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Where to buy Pokémon cards

Make an instant collection with cheap Pokémon cards or pick up a rare Holy Grail.

Pokemon cards hanging in a Best Buy store shelf
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When it comes to buying Pokémon cards, you’re not short on options. With thousands of cards both old and new available in local shops and online, finding where to buy Pokémon cards is often less of a challenge than knowing what to buy.

Even so, finding the best place to buy Pokémon cards can be crucial if you want to ensure you aren’t paying too much for your must-have card - or, worse, potentially ending up with a fake in your collection.

Where to buy Pokémon cards

While the very rarest Pokémon cards make appearances under the hammer at auction houses and have been professionally graded to prove their authenticity, the average Pokémon fan probably isn’t looking to spend thousands on a single card. That doesn’t mean you can’t end up with an iconic Pokémon card for a good price if you know where to look, though.

To help you navigate the many places you can purchase Pokémon cards, we’ve put together this guide on where to buy Pokémon cards if you want to make sure you’re paying the right price and getting exactly what you pay for.

Where to buy Pokémon cards

  • Amazon (US/UK): The world’s biggest online retailer is one of the easiest places to buy Pokémon cards, offering the latest expansions for the Pokémon TCG and individual cards from third-party sellers. The open nature of its third-party marketplace means that there is some risk of unscrupulous sellers - especially if you’re looking for rare cards - but you’re likely to get a very good price on common cards and sets.
  • eBay (US/UK): The online auction house sees cards of all rarities and values listed, from single cards priced in the pennies to rare finds fetching hundreds and thousands. Like Amazon, checking the reputation of the seller is important, but eBay also hosts auctions from major trading card sellers and sees everyday fans flogging their collections to clear space - meaning you could grab a bargain or pick up a surprise in a bulk purchase.
  • Dedicated TCG sites: There are a number of dedicated trading card retailers online that sell the latest Pokémon TCG expansions and singles. Among the most prominent in the US is TCGplayer, which hosts thousands of listings for individual Pokémon cards. Here in the UK, sites such as Magic Madhouse, Total Cards and Chaos Cards similarly offer ways to quickly search through for a specific card. Specialist sites can offer a bit more detail and better protection from counterfeit cards, though you’re less likely to find a complete bargain as they will know exactly what a card is worth.
  • Local game stores: Local game stores around the world often have a well-stocked collection of trading card games such as Pokémon, though this will depend on your local area and the shop itself. Some comic book shops also offer both sets and single cards for purchase - and some may even offer to let you know if a particular card comes into stock. You’ll need to do a bit more research into your local offerings, but once you’ve found a reliable store nearby, it can pay dividends to become a regular customer. Pokémon's official website has a store locator that can be used to help find some stores stocking official products, but bear in mind that smaller local outlets might not appear.
  • Conventions: Like local stores, gaming and comic conventions around the world often play host to stands dedicated to offering Pokémon cards for sale. Many of these stands focus on collectible singles, but will range from cheaper Pokémon cards up to more valuable finds. Many will also have an online or physical outlet too, giving you a way to buy Pokémon cards even if you’re not able to make the latest event.
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Where to buy cheap Pokémon cards

Knowing where to buy cheap Pokémon cards isn’t difficult; a quick search online will quickly throw up thousands of options.

However, cheap Pokémon cards can be more risky to buy online if you’re looking to get a deal on a specific card, with counterfeit versions of iconic and popular cards often appearing alongside the genuine article. These can be hard to tell apart online, even if you know how to spot a fake Pokémon card - sometimes what you see is not what you get.

To get the best price on specific Pokémon cards, visiting specialist trading card sites such as TCGplayer and Magic Madhouse is often best, as well as checking in your local game store - as they often have their own way of checking a card’s authenticity, and rely on their reputation among knowledgeable fans for business.

If you’re not fussed about a specific card, though, buying cheap Pokémon cards can be an easy way to quickly amass an instant collection. Mainstream sites such as Amazon and eBay offer job lots containing hundreds of common Pokémon cards for a low price, as collectors look to offload less valuable cards or clear room for the next big release.

You might need to sift through to find what you’re looking for, but for those willing to spend time instead of money, buying cheap Pokémon cards can be a very cost-effective way of building up your library.

Pokemon Trading Card Game card Charmander
If you're looking for a quick collection, many online retailers sell common Pokémon cards in bulk for a budget price. | Image credit: Sarah Jarvis

Where to buy new Pokémon cards

New Pokémon cards are among the easiest to buy, thanks to the enormous popularity of the trading card game.

You’ll be able to buy new Pokémon cards in your local store by picking up the game’s latest expansion set. If no store nearby sells Pokémon cards, you’ll easily find the latest releases on major online retailers such as Amazon.

If you’re after specific new Pokémon cards, specialist trading card sites and stores will quickly see individual cards go on sale shortly after a set’s release. However, bear in mind that you’ll likely have to pay more for rarer cards as demand surges - the same cards you might discover by opening a booster pack. Nothing’s guaranteed when it comes to what you pull, so sometimes a good price on a new Pokémon card you really want can be the way to go.

Pokemon Trading Card Game cards
Shiny Pokémon cards are among the most popular cards out there, so expect to pay more for them. | Image credit: Sarah Jarvis

Where to buy shiny Pokémon cards

Shiny Pokémon cards - the popular nickname for holographic Pokémon cards - are among the most popular Pokémon cards going. After all, the most iconic Pokémon card of all time is the original shiny Charizard.

Who can blame players for being so enticed? Shiny Pokémon cards apply a special holographic ink to their artwork that lets them, well, shine in the light. The shiny appearance also marks them out as being rarer than their non-shiny counterparts: a holographic Pokémon card only appears in roughly one in three booster packs.

There are several types of shiny Pokémon card, ranging from normal holographic cards through to some of the game’s very rarest cards, such as reverse holographic cards (where everything except the artwork is shiny), Ultra Rare cards and visually stunning Rainbow Rare cards, which add an especially colourful finish to the card.

The popularity and rarity of shiny Pokémon cards means that they often fetch higher prices online. However, they’re fairly easy to find, with more common shinies often appearing on sites such as Amazon and eBay. If you’re going after a shiny for its appearance rather than its collectability, this can be one of the best ways to get a card for a bargain.

For the rarest and most valuable cards, you’ll want to visit a specialist trading card store to ensure you’re getting an authentic purchase. Make sure you do your research ahead of time to make sure you know how to identify a fake Pokémon card. Expect to pay into the hundreds or even thousands for the most expensive cards, so definitely ensure you’re buying through a legitimate trader or auction house to guarantee your money is well spent.

The most valuable Pokémon cards appear at auction, and have been graded by specialist companies to verify they are authentic. | Image credit: PWCC

Where to buy valuable Pokémon cards

While most Pokémon card fans will be happy with a collection of cards they can simply play with, collectors may be looking to buy an even more valuable Pokémon card. This might be because of their nostalgia for a certain card from yesteryear that has increased in value due to its rarity, or because they’re hoping to invest in a specific card that might rise in value over time.

Knowing where to buy valuable Pokémon cards is vital in order to make sure your money is spent on a genuine card. Pokémon’s rarest cards attract no shortage of counterfeits and overpriced listings, so finding the right place to buy from is a must.

The most expensive Pokémon cards are often sold via auction, to reflect their extreme rarity and value. These cards are typically graded by a specialist company such as PSA to guarantee their authenticity and condition, providing a level of comfort to buyers that they are bidding on the real thing. Auction houses such as PWCC and Goldin often hold auctions for trading cards including Pokémon cards, and also have dedicated eBay pages that see cards go under the hammer online.

Other valuable Pokémon cards can be found for fixed prices on specialist trading card sites such as TCGplayer and Magic Madhouse, which typically offer more protection and expertise than a random eBay auction or Amazon listing.

However, as with everything online, make sure to do your research so you know what you’re paying for - checking the average price of a card can help determine what it’s really worth, and you should always look for telltale signs of a counterfeit card before spending any money. If something seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance that’s the case.

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