How we determine Pokémon Card Prices
Published 10th October 2021
Where do we get our Card Prices from?
As the name suggests, we are all about valuing Pokémon cards. We try to provide the most accurate market value for Pokémon cards with the data that is available to us. Currently, all of our data is retrieved from the Troll and Toad Pokémon card marketplace. Troll and Toad is one of the biggest card marketplaces in the world and is currently the most suitable candidate for providing an accurate valuation for the largest range of Pokémon cards. They have listings for almost every card printed in the English Pokémon TCG and each card listing will often have multiple buy options for different conditions and from different sellers.
How do we decide which price to use from a Troll and Toad Card Listing?
Because there is often more than one purchasing option for a card, we have to ensure that we get the most accurate price available at the time. When looking at card buying options, we will firstly prioritise the option available directly from Troll and Toad. We also try, where possible, to prioritise options for Near Mint condition cards. If there are no Troll and Toad options, we will then look for the “Request Item” price. This is where Troll and Toad allow you to request the card for a given price. This price is what Troll and Toad would sell a Near Mint condition card, if they had one available. If none of the previous options are fruitful, we will get the next lowest priced card at the highest available condition.
Once we have the final price, we need to calculate the prices for each of the other possible conditions the card can be. We do not use other listings to fill in the other prices as they provide inconsistent price differences. This is why we always calculate lower condition prices based on the Near Mint price. All other prices are calculated as a percentage of the Near Mint price. If you would like to find out more information on how we determine these calculations, please keep reading.
Why we prioritise Troll and Toad Prices
We prioritise Troll and Toad prices because in the past, we have found that some sellers will artificially inflate their card price if no other sellers have that card available. This inflated value does not reflect the true value of the card and is a poor sales tactic performed by sellers. We prioritise Troll and Toad prices to combat this, and in the case that they don’t have a particular card available for sale, they will have a “Request Item” price that will be a more accurate value.
How do we calculate values for other Card Conditions?
As mentioned previously, we always calculate prices for lower condition cards as a percentage of a Near Mint condition priced card. The percentages are as follows:
- Near Mint = 100%
- Lightly Played = 80%
- Moderately Played = 60%
- Heavily Played = 30%
This means that if Near Mint condition card is worth $15, the remaining conditions will be:
- Lightly Played = $12
- Moderately Played = $9
- Heavily Played = $4.50
The percentages have been calculated by gathering data from every card listing and buying option available on Troll and Toad and then by calculating the average price increase or decrease when changing the condition of a card. The results were then rounded off to the above figures, to allow for easier conversions.
If our final price is for a non Near Mint condition card, we still make the same calculations, just basing them on the condition available. The new calculation becomes as follows: final price x 1/condition multiplier. For example, if the final price is for a Moderately Played card, to get a Near Mint price, we would have to multiply it by 1/0.6.
Pokémon card condition is subjective and it can be difficult to judge the exact condition of your card. Check out our article on judging card condition if you need help determining which category your card falls into.
Will we include prices from other Card Marketplaces in the Future?
As we aim to provide the most accurate market value for Pokémon cards, the more data we have on card pricing, the better. We are looking to integrate pricing from TCGplayer as they have a lot of sellers on their card marketplace, and they have breakdowns of high, low, and median pricing for many cards. Unfortunately, currently there is not data on all cards so we are still trying to find a way to best collect and integrate the information into our database.
Are the Prices Perfect?
Perfect prices are unfortunately not possible. All of the prices we provide here are approximate values and are not always the exact values these cards go for. We like to think we get pretty close to accurate market value of Pokémon cards, though!
As mentioned above, we are looking to integrate more data into our card valuations and with more data, comes more accurate pricing. But like anything for sale on the secondary market, prices are determined by how much one person wants for a card, and how much another person is prepared to pay for it. At the end of the day, you need to make sure you are happy with the transaction, whether you are a buyer or seller or if you are trading cards.
What about eBay prices?
Cards sold on eBay are difficult to get good data for and therefore will not likely be included in our pricing data in the future. The primary reason is that card condition is extremely subjective and there is nothing stopping sellers from stating that their card is in a higher condition than it actually is. There isn’t a great way to judge the actual condition of the card that's been sold, except for looking at it and judging for yourself. It is also difficult because listings may have multiple cards for sale, but the title may only name one of the cards. Secondly, listing titles are sometimes incorrect or purposely misleading to catch your attention leading to significant data variability that would be very difficult to control for.
- Card prices are retrieved from the Troll and Toad Pokémon card marketplace.
- We prioritise card prices directly from Troll and Toad as some sellers can artificially inflate prices if there are minimal buying options.
- We calculate lower condition card prices by looking at the average difference between card prices of different conditions.
- Prices from other card marketplaces like TCGplayer are not currently included but we are looking to integrate them in the future.
- eBay card prices will not be integrated due to the inconsistency in the data available.