Guide to Collecting Pokémon Cards with Jake Holland

Over the past few years, Pokémon cards have experienced a surge of popularity. During the pandemic, many people returned to this hobby and started getting cards graded and making new purchases for their collection. Subsequently, Pokémon cards have grown in value.

If you are interested in collecting Pokémon cards, it’s important to have knowledge of the hobby to help you get started. We had the opportunity to interview Pokémon card collector and social media influencer, Jake Holland. Read on to learn which cards are valuable, how to get into the hobby, how to make sure your cards retain their value, and more!

COLLECTIBLES INSURANCE SERVICES (CIS): What are the top Pokémon cards that collectors are after?

JAKE: Typically, the “go-to” card with any set is the original Charizard. There are various forms of that card, but the top one is the first edition Charizard hologram. The most recent set has five variations of Charizard varying in rarity and value.

Another popular card – considered a trainer card – is called the Pikachu Illustrator card. This is even rarer than the Charizard. It’s not necessarily more sought after, because there are so few of them. It was sold at auction for almost $1 million this year. It was the card that [popular YouTuber] Logan Paul wore around his neck at Wrestle Mania. In the past, he has also worn the Charizard card around his neck at a WWE Event.

CIS: What is the top piece of advice you would give a newbie Pokémon card collector?

JAKE: I would say be patient! You’re probably not going to pull the best cards in the first 50 packs you open. The odds are crazy. I’ve bought a box of ten packs, and the first pack I opened had one of the best cards of that particular set. But I know people who have opened hundreds of packs and not pulled that card.

So don’t have any expectations! It’s a frustrating and fun hobby. Lean into the community aspect [of collecting] – it’s a lot more fun if you’re doing it alongside friends, whether through social platforms like Discord or in real life. It’s a lot more fun together!

CIS: What factors contribute to the value of a Pokémon card?

JAKE: Since the huge boom in popularity [that occurred over the past few years], it has boosted how much people are getting them graded. [Graded cards are worth more than ungraded ones].

Graders look for errors in printing, corners of the card, centering of the picture, and a whole lot of other factors. Ideally, you want to get that perfect ten score, which is hard to get. Many people don’t want to buy graded cards because they want the thrill of pulling them [from the pack]. However, people still seek cards that have already been graded, so they know what they are getting. Perfectly graded cards are up there in value.

CIS: How do you store your cards to ensure they retain their value?

JAKE: Typically, I put them in plastic sleeves and then in a hard protective case. There’s a box that the cards come in known as the elite trainer box, and I use those boxes as storage. They also sell high-quality cardboard boxes, and a lot of people use those for storage. [It’s also important to] store them out of the light because that can damage and fade the cards.

CIS: What advice would you give to someone looking to sell their Pokémon cards?

JAKE: Get varying feedback – don’t just sell on the first platform you put the card on, whether it’s eBay, WhatNot, or Mercari. Get varying opinions, and get a good feel on what that card is worth, so you don’t undersell. Some people might be trying to get a good deal so they can flip the cards. Be patient, and don’t settle for your first estimate. One way to get an estimate is to look on eBay and get an average of what people are buying it for. Other sources for pricing include Pokellector.com and TCGplayer.com.

Collectibles Insurance Services was founded by collectors, for collectors! Homeowners insurance often falls short when it comes to providing coverage for collections, so that’s where we step in. We help insure collections of all kinds — from LEGOs to sports memorabilia, and comic books to toys, and so much more.

Find out what types of collections we insure or get a quote today!