Though some trends fade in and out, Pokémon cards seem to be a constant for the youth of the world.
Students can be found trading their cards at recess or competing in duels with crowds watching.
Beyond the game, though, Pokémon cards have come to amass quite a following from collectors hoping to make a profit.
Rare cards increase in value over time, with some cards appraised at over $375,000.
It comes down to what you’re looking for.
If you want a few cards with high value to make a profit on resale, then online marketplaces like Troll and Toad and TCG Player might be your best option.
If you’re a Pokémon card player looking for some extra, low-cost cards to add to the gameplay, stores like GameStop and Sam’s Club will be perfect for your needs.
All these stores seem to vary in their selection.
Keep reading for a list of places where you can buy Pokémon cards, online and in-store, and figure out which place is right for you.
Best Place To Buy Pokémon Cards (11 Places)
1. Best Buy
Though Best Buy is mostly known for their electronics options, they sell Pokémon cards as well.
They have a surprisingly good supply of cards, considering so many other stores have stopped selling cards online or in-store due to the supply chain issue.
The supply will vary in-store depending on local demand and the location.
On the Best Buy website, there are a lot of options for cards, such as the Celebrations Collections Box, VSTAR Special Collection, Evolving Skies Sleeved Booster, Fusion Strikes Sleeved Booster, Fusion Strike Elite Trainer Box, and much more.
More options are available online than in-store, and the stock in the store may vary depending on location.
GameStop is the go-to place for all gamers.
Of course, they carry Pokémon cards and have a wide variety of related merchandise as well, but since they are so popular for games, GameStop might also be one of the first to be sold out when new cards are released.
Some of their online merchandise include the Sword and Shield Vivid Voltage Booster Pack, V-UNION Special Collection, Dragonite V or Hoopa V Box, Sword and Shield Evolving Skies Sleeved Booster Pack, and much more.
You can also call your local store to see what they have available.
3. Pokémon Center
The Pokémon Center is one of the best places to buy trading cards because they come straight from the source.
Some items are available exclusively at these authorized stores.
Some examples are the TCG Sword & Shield Fusion Strike Elite Trainer Box and the Sword & Shield Battle Styles Elite Trainer Box.
There are also collector’s chests and a lot more merchandise to choose from.
The items are available on the Pokémon Center website and there are some in-person locations in big cities as well.
4. Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is another wholesale chain in the United States that sells Pokémon cards.
Like Costco, the cards are not available online right now, due to the supply chain issue which hardly guarantees enough stock to be available in store.
You can call or go to your local Sam’s Club location to see if they have the cards in stock.
Online, you can purchase a Pokémon Collector Chest and Ultra Poké Ball if you are looking for other related merchandise.
Costco, a beloved wholesale retailer, also offers games and collectibles at its many locations.
For people hoping to add more Pokémon cards to their collection, you can find a decent selection at Costco.
The downside of buying here is that the cards come in concealed packages, so which cards you receive are completely dependent on luck.
The cards are not available on the website right now, but you can find them in select stores.
Online, you can purchase the Classic Adventure Collection books or video games for your Nintendo Switch.
6. Walmart (Online Only)
Walmart, one of the U.S.’s most popular stores, sells multiple options for Pokémon cards online.
They are not typically sold in-store anymore, unless it is put on the shelves from an online return, due to a recent slew of physical fights that broke out at multiple stores over Pokémon cards.
Online, customers can purchase packs of three random booster cards, assorted cards with a collectible tin, any series of 50 single cards, Champions Path Charizard special gold cards, Darkness Blaze packs, and even individual high-demand cards as well.
Check if the cards you order come directly from Walmart or a third-party seller.
If they come from a third party, there is a chance that the cards will not be in mint condition.
7. Target (Online Only)
Like Walmart, Target has faced controversy when customers fought for the last pack of Pokémon cards.
As a result, Target opted to sell their Pokémon collectors cards online only, to avoid physical conflict in store.
Target has a wide variety of options for collectors including the Leafeon VSTAR Special Collection, Glaceon VSTAR Special Collection, Chilling Reign Booster Pack Box, Vivid Voltage Pack Booster Box, Darkness Ablaze Booster Pack Box, and much more.
You can even purchase a collector’s binder to neatly store your cards in an easy and aesthetically pleasing way.
eBay is a hit and miss.
Their inventory totally depends on whatever individual sellers put on the market.
On the plus side, though, a lot of exclusive, limited editions can be found for collectors.
You can also find sets of cards for really good prices from people who want to get rid of their collections that they no longer want.
Something to be aware of, though, is that since these orders are fulfilled by resellers, the condition might vary.
Some items available online are the Pokémon Brilliant Stars 3 Pack, Pokémon Sword and Shield Evolving Skies Elite Trainer Box, and much more.
You can find almost anything on Amazon.
Likewise, there is a lot of Pokémon merchandise including collectors’ cards.
You can buy directly from Amazon or a third-party reseller who is selling through Amazon.
Amazon has a lot of options such as large packs of 50 Assorted Pokémon cards that include two rare cards and a random Vmax card.
There are also the special gold foil cards in addition to the less expensive 50 assorted regular cards.
10. Family Dollar And Dollar Tree
Family Dollar is a surprising yet reliable spot to purchase Pokémon trading cards.
This is a great option for collectors who want to increase their quantity at an affordable price.
There is not much variety available, but you can purchase the assorted packs for about a dollar.
You can also find Pokémon cards at Dollar Tree, but you must go to the in-person location since they are not available online.
11. TCG Player
TCG Player is a great option for people looking for high-quality collector’s cards.
This website is for serious gamers.
You can choose to order items on presale and put certain collectors cards on hold.
As the leading online collectibles website for the gaming industry, TCG connects buyers and sellers on a global scale.
Again, since most orders are not fulfilled by TCG themselves, and rather by independent sellers, the quality of the cards cannot be guaranteed.
However, the website has a great reputation for exceeding customers’ expectations and appealing directly to serious gamers who will not accept anything less than perfection.
You can find a lot of Pokémon cards on the website, including retired sets, single cards, limited edition booster boxes, and more.
This website is great for serious players because it offers specific search options for people looking for a certain type of card.
You can search by set name, card type, rarity, energy type, price, and much more.
These cards can be a bit pricier because they are often rarer, collectors’ cards.
Pokémon Cards Explained
If you are new to trading Pokémon cards, there’s a lot to know about the game and the collectible items.
Keep reading for answers to some popular questions.
1. When Did Pokémon Trading Cards Start?
The Pokémon card sensation began in 1996 as a collectible card game to go alongside the popular Nintendo Pokémon game and television series.
Nintendo eventually transferred the rights to the Pokémon company in 2003.
To date, 34.1 billion Pokémon cards have been sold worldwide.
2. What Are The Different Types Of Cards?
There are several types of Pokémon cards.
The cards are classified based on the corresponding video game.
There are green grass cards, red fire cards, blue water cards, yellow lightning cards, purple psychic cards, brown/orange fighting cards, black darkness cards, silver metal cards, gold dragon cards, pink fairy cards, white colorless cards.
There is a bottom circle in the corner which will have the letters C (common), U (uncommon), R (rare), RR (really rare), SR (super rare), and UR (ultra-rare), to signify the rarity of the card.
There are also secret rare cards with art over the entire card with rainbow or single colors.
3. Why Did Some Places Stop Selling Pokémon Cards In Store?
Walmart and Target were a couple of the most popular stores to purchase Pokémon cards.
However, the competitiveness surrounding Pokémon fans urged both stores to halt sales of the cards.
At one Target in Wisconsin, a fight broke out between two people trying to grab the last package of Pokémon cards.
The supply chain issue facilitated by the pandemic has caused some stores to experience low stock of Pokémon cards, to the dismay of avid fans.
When the scuffle turned violent, Target announced that it would no longer be selling the beloved cards in-store, and Walmart soon followed suit.
They are available on both stores’ websites, though.
4. How Can You Tell If A Pokémon Card Is Valuable?
The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) authenticates and appraises the value of games and collectibles.
PSA states that the worth of trading cards basically has to do with their rarity.
For example, if there are only 100 copies or less of a certain card, then it will be worth more because it is in such low supply.
Another important factor is the condition.
Cards in good condition retain their worth over time, but cards that have physically deteriorated or not been treated well will lose their value.
One more factor is the type of card.
Beloved characters will be worth more money, whereas characters that are not as popular may not be valued so highly.
Cards featuring Charizard, Mewtwo, or Lugia might possess more value because they are such popular characters.
A score of PSA 10 is the highest value something can have, and a PSA of 0 or 1 is the low end.
Ultimately, it comes down to supply and demand.
If you want to check the value of your collection, you can consult PSA’s online price guide.
Some local auction houses will even appraise your cards for free.
It is not only Pokémon fans in the market for new cards now, but also millionaires and billionaires looking to make a profit on the rarest cards.
5. What Are Some Good Places To Sell My Cards?
If you have rare cards that you want to sell, the best place is eBay, where you can set your own price.
There, people can either purchase the collection at the asking price or make a bid.
If multiple buyers place competing bids, you might end up with more money than you were asking for originally.
You can also sell your cards at Walmart.
Other special marketplaces especially for rare collectible items include Troll and Toad, TCG Player, CCG Castle, and Dave & Adam’s.
These are the best sites for rare cards, where collectors are willing to pay higher prices.
You can find luck at pawn shops, comic book stores, and Craigslist as well.
These options are a bit more hit-and-miss because it totally depends on the inventory at that particular moment.
6. How Do You Play The Pokémon Trading Card Game?
Besides for collecting cards, people can also play against each other in the game.
In the game, each player assumes the role of a Pokémon trainer who battles his opponent’s Pokémon.
To begin, players choose heads or tails and flip a coin to see who goes first.
If there are more than two players, dice can be used instead.
Cards are shuffled so each player starts out with seven cards.
They then play one basic Pokémon on the field.
This is the one who attacks and receives damage from the opponent.
The player going first cannot use an attack in their first turn.
Players can have up to five basic Pokémon on their bench in a round.
Each player draws a card, which has corresponding offensive and defensive powers to fight against the other player’s card.
There are different types of strategies and turns in the game, including playing new basic Pokémon, developing existing Pokémon, playing Trainer cards and Energy cards.
At the end of a turn, a player can retreat their Active Pokémon, by switching the basic Pokémon they have on the field with one that is on the bench.
Some attacks have effects but do not do damage to certain Pokémon.
A Pokémon that has received enough damage will be knocked out.
The player who did the ultimate damage gets to draw a prize card.
To win the game, one player must have drawn all six prize cards.
Another way to win is by knocking out all of the opponent’s Pokémon, or if the opponent has no cards left to draw.
Pokémon cards have been fan favorites for nearly 30 years, and they are not going away anytime soon.
Over the years, more vendors have participated in the distribution of Pokémon cards, but recently, supply chain issues and subsequent violence over stock in stores have made some retailers hesitant to carry Pokémon cards.
The best places to purchase Pokémon cards in person are Sam’s Club, GameStop, Costco, Best Buy, and of course, a Pokémon Center.
You can also purchase from all these vendors online, in addition to Target and Walmart.
For serious players, you can check eBay and TCG Player which have options for limited edition cards.
Regardless of where you shop for your Pokémon cards, you are sure to find some great additions to your deck that will enhance gameplay and increase the value of your collection.