Why Are Pokémon Cards So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Freya Crawford

Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

Pokémon cards are flat, thick paper pieces with Pokémon characters printed on top. If you’re interested in investing in some Pokémon cards, you might notice that many are expensive.

Why are Pokémon cards so expensive? What about these cards makes them so popular for people to invest in for a collection? Why are the prices much higher than they should be?

Why Are Pokémon Cards So Expensive?

1. Stock Shortages

The main reason for the high Pokémon card prices is a shortage of stocks. The demand for Pokémon cards is high, but the companies can’t make enough to keep up with it.

The higher the demand for a product, the more a company needs to manufacture. With so many people, it’s not uncommon for a product to run in short supply.

Instead of catching up and producing a mass of Pokémon cards, a company will make a money-wise choice by raising the prices. They make more money and spend less in the end.

2. Scalpers

Scalpers exist in every market. They take items and sell them for a price much higher than the traditional value. Unfortunately, scalpers often have the only choices for a particular card.

Often, scalpers produce a card at a low price point or invest in a specific card in bulk. They will wait until the card is in high demand and then sell the card for a much higher price point.

Scalpers are problematic in the market. They pocket extra money that doesn’t go to the companies – instead, the funds go into the pocket of a corrupt individual who does it again.

If you can, try to avoid investing in Pokémon cards from scalpers. It’s not worth the additional funds for a single card that you can’t find on the market.

3. Rare Cards

The rarer the card, the more expensive it will be. You might note a card from a seller that costs a lot more than the others. This card is more expensive because of higher demand.

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You can look for rare cards online and determine their value through books and collectors’ websites. These will help you avoid investing in a card that isn’t worth the money.

Rare cards are worth more money because they have more perceived value on the market. If you are interested in a card of value, it’s critical to remember that you will spend lots of cash.

4. Cards Sell Fast

Cards sell fast, especially when they are the most popular on the market. To slow down sales and improve profitability, a company might raise the prices for interested parties.

Now that Pokémon cards are so expensive, there are only a select few that can afford them. This price increase allows companies to take more time to produce the products.

Of course, fast-selling cards can be frustrating to handle. If you want a specific card, it can be frustrating to see it slip from your fingers in moments to someone who can afford it.

5. There’s A Massive Fan Following

Pokémon cards have a massive fan following. Companies know that and understand that they can raise the prices and avoid losing the loyal investors of the cards. It won’t go away.

Those that grew up on Pokémon cards will always buy them, and one day they will pass on this love to their children. It’s a cycle that will never end, so long as all generations participate.

Companies know that a price increase will be dismissed as normal among devoted fans. They will continue to add to their collections.

6. Quality Condition

Quality Condition

If a Pokémon card is in excellent condition, it will cost more than the average card. A Pokémon option from forty years ago that is pristine is more valuable than a torn one.

To protect Pokémon cards and hold to their value, it’s critical to take care of them. You need to put the cards in a sleeve, place the sleeves in a book, and put that book somewhere safe.

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The better the condition, the more money people will be willing to pay for the product. That factor has played out time and time again.

7. Tons Of People Love Pokémon

Many people love Pokémon. Due to the demand, many companies raise the price to make more of a profit off of this love. There’s little worry about losing loyal followers.

Even if people fall away, there will be new fans to take their places. Videogames and TV shows have established that well.

A solid market means Pokémon can increase their prices without much worry. They are set to keep themselves in business, not to keep their prices the lowest. They are the one and only.

8. Sets Are Bigger

Now, Pokémon cards come in bigger sets. More cards in a pack mean a higher price point for the buyer. The more you pay, the more you can expect to receive in a pack.

If you get fifty cards in a set, you are more likely to pay a higher price than purchasing three at one time. Pokémon knows that more is better for the general audience.

The more you get, the better. Pokémon prices have gone up to match the way cards are packaged.

9. Nostalgia Is High

In a time of change, nostalgia is higher than ever. People invest in Pokémon cards at a rapid pace, hoping to be reminded of their childhood by using the card as a vessel.

When people see something that reminds them of their childhood, they often cling to that feeling. It’s something blissful, a reminder of happier times for many.

A hope to get back to nostalgia amid a pandemic is not uncommon. The prices rose in response to the extreme demand.

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10. Covid-19 Pokémon Revival

During Covid-19, people were trapped indoors. All the time inside gave them a chance to become interested in Pokémon cards once again, raising the demand for the product.

Many people bought out their old collections and noted cards that were missing. These grew in demand as more and more people sought them out.

Some individuals took the chance to get their kids involved in the Pokémon card market. They purchased beginners’ editions and rare cards to fit the bill.

11. Some Types Are Valuable

Some types of Pokémon cards are more valuable than others. One of the most valuable is the holographic card. You might notice prices are much higher for these than other card choices.

If you are interested in a unique Pokémon character or a type of card material that is more uncommon than others, it will cost more. There are fewer of them that exist in the world.

More common Pokémon cards are still expensive, but they cost less than those that are rarer on the market. Do your research before investing in cards to save some money.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Warhammer is so expensive, why model trains are so expensive, and why Squishmallows are so expensive.


If you need a Pokémon card, you may have noticed they are expensive. This price is due to demand, quality, and even nostalgia factors.

Those that love Pokémon cards will still pay the price for them, but others might not be as comfortable investing in a piece of paper this expensive. They’ll likely increase later.


  • Freya Crawford

    Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

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