Hey there, fellow collectors and aspiring Pokémon Trainers! So, you've decided to dive headfirst into the captivating world of Pokémon TCG (Trading Card Game) collecting? Fantastic choice! But before you embark on your adventure to become a Pokémon Master Collector, let's go over some crucial do's and don'ts to help you get started on the right foot.

Do: Set Clear Goals

Starting a Pokémon TCG collection is a bit like planning a journey. You need a destination. Decide what you want to achieve with your collection. Are you aiming to complete specific sets, chase after rare cards, or simply gather your favorite Pokémon? Setting clear goals will keep you motivated and focused.

Don't: Buy Everything in Sight

It's easy to get carried away when you first start collecting. But resist the urge to buy every Pokémon card you come across. Impulse purchases can lead to duplicates and clutter, making organization and goal achievement harder.

Trust me - I learned the hard way on this one. Any time I saw a pack I bought it… and now I have a ton of cards I’ll probably end up tossing because the market is so oversaturated with these cards and I didn’t know what I was buying when I did. Which leads me to my next DO.

Do: Research Card Values

Knowledge is power, my friends. Take the time to research the value of Pokémon cards before making purchases. Understand that card value can fluctuate, and not all cards are equally valuable.

Use online resources and price guides to stay informed. I used Mavin for a while, but it took a bit too long to validate everything or search through all the collections. Hopefully, something comes out that’s better.

Don't: Neglect Card Condition

A card's condition significantly affects its value. When buying cards, pay attention to their condition. Mint-condition cards are the most valuable, obviously, but slightly played cards may still hold sentimental value or be suitable for casual play if that’s your thing.

It might be easy to get what you can get just to finish your “dex” but over time you might regret the low-grade card when a mint becomes available. 

Do: Use Protective Sleeves and Storage

Your Pokémon cards deserve TLC (tender loving care). Invest in card sleeves and a proper storage system like binders or card boxes to keep your collection safe from dust, wear, and tear. Protecting your cards ensures they'll stay in great condition for years to come.

My college roommates deeply regret not protecting their cards more when they were younger. Both had an original base set. Once they started popping, one discovered that her parents tossed them all and the other said the condition was so bad they should have been tossed. 

Don't: Store Cards Haphazardly

Avoid the "shove them in a shoebox" approach. Storing your cards carelessly can lead to bent corners and damaged cards. Organize your collection neatly from the start to save yourself future headaches.

You might think they hold no value so it doesn’t matter, but you don’t know what others value so treat them all nice unless you plan on dumping them.

Do: Participate in Trades and Local Communities

One of the most exciting aspects of collecting is trading with fellow collectors. Join local Pokémon TCG communities, attend events, and engage in trades to expand your collection and make new friends who share your passion.

There are some incredibly nice people out there. You might have someone locate a hard-to-find card on your behalf, or help you trade some of your extras for something you’re missing. 

Don't: Trade Blindly

While trading is fun, make sure you know the approximate value of the cards you're trading. You don't want to accidentally trade a valuable card for one of lesser worth. Research and communication are key to fair trades. Again, I know it’s easy to find that last card for your lineup and just want it no matter what… but that isn’t the only one on the planet, so take your time and think about it first.

Do: Keep an Eye on Trends and Releases

Stay up-to-date with the latest Pokémon TCG news. New sets and special releases are frequent, and they often feature sought-after cards. Following trends can help you identify potential investment opportunities while avoiding overpaying for something that’s just trending.

Don't: Rush into Expensive Purchases

High-value cards can be enticing, but they're not always the best starting point for new collectors. Take your time to learn the ropes, build your collection, and gradually consider investing in more expensive cards.

I made the mistake of buying an expensive card at a con once and didn’t realize it until I looked into it longer… it was not that valuable. I paid about double what I could get at the time. So I’m going to have to wait a while for that value to rise so I can make something off of it. 

Do: Have Fun and Embrace the Journey

Remember, collecting Pokémon cards is all about enjoyment and nostalgia. Embrace the thrill of the hunt, celebrate your finds, and don't stress too much about completing your collection overnight.

Enjoy every moment of your collecting journey and meeting like-minded people along the way!

Starting a Pokémon TCG collection can be an exciting and fulfilling hobby

By setting clear goals, being informed, protecting your cards, and engaging with the community, you'll be well on your way to becoming a Pokémon Master Collector. So, get out there, catch 'em all, and have a blast on your collecting adventure! Happy hunting!

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.