If you have cards you either play with them or collect them. While both activities go hand in hand, sometimes it’s easier to do one, especially when you have a favourite Pokemon, or enjoy competing with other people. For me, I’m a collector of cards, mainly because I live out in a rural environment with nobody else to play with. As a collector, I am currently working on building a collection of Dragon and Dragon-like Pokemon, Pikachus and Pichus (rather stereotypical choices), Pokemon Promotional cards, and rare cards from the Base series to Neo expansion. Collecting a variety of different cards makes it easier to complete these collections, but sometimes I can run into challenges, especially with my Promotional collection (where some cards are either hard to find, are very expensive, or when there are simply too many cards in the collection). While making collecting difficult at times, they can add to the fun as well, not to mentioning giving bragging rights to someone who, for example has a complete collection of Base cards.
Collecting Pokemon cards is an easy hobby to get started with, though at times only the most dedicated will stick with it. The most important thing to do when starting is to find a particular type of card you want to collect (whether it’s a specific species, a type, or even an entire expansion). Do some research on your choice and see which cards are the easiest to obtain, and which are the most expensive. Next you’ll need something to hold the cards in while keeping them well protected. Either a card binder or a tin will do the job, but if you want your cards to remain in good condition, invest in card sleeves for further protection.
Now comes the fun: the actual collecting of the cards. If you’re collecting entire expansions, try to go with booster packs or online websites that sell common cards in bulk (in particular, websites that sell bulk cards according to expansion). Promotional cards can be harder if you don’t attend events, but they can be done. Places like eBay or the Hardrock Pokemon can yield some of the most hard to come by, and both value packs and repacked cards can offer a promotional card inside. Be wary with the latter however if you do not consider POP (Pokemon Organized Play) cards to be promotional, as these on occasion will offer a POP card in the place of the promo. And with rare cards or any other type of cards, online stores and boosters are the way to go. Just make sure to research the value of the card you’re looking for before you buy.
Of course if you want to be more social in the experience, trading should definitely be considered. If you’re like me however and cannot find others in person to trade, the internet can still be relied upon. An interesting site called Trade Cards Online offers a free trading service to those who are looking for specific cards for their collection. The website uses a merit system to ensure that members aren’t scammed out of their cards, forcing members with the lower merit to send first. Members can also buy second hand cards off of others, using this same system.
Whatever strategy you decide to choose when beginning your collection, the most important thing is to have fun with it, and not do it for value. While it’s easy to think that a complete collection of rare cards could be sold for a lot of money, the idea of collecting just to sell defeats the purpose in the end. Simply put: do it to enjoy it, not for financial gain (even though it’s sometimes hard to sell an entire collection of cards).
Tags: Card Collecting