Assorted Pokemon products

How to Keep your Pokemon Cards Safe

Keeping your Pokemon cards safe throughout time is important. Preserving the condition of your cards can greatly increase their value…

In some instances you could cost yourself thousands of dollars if you allow your cards to be damaged or scratched. When it comes to the value of your cards the condition of them is key.

Protecting your cards is easy and affordable. I will explain the best ways to protect your cards below.

How to Store Your Pokemon Cards

Trading Card Sleeves

Soft Sleeve

I keep my Pokemon cards safe by using a soft sleeve, sometimes referred to as a ‘penny sleeve’. This will protect your card from surface scratches and general wear and tear.

Soft sleeves come in many different sizes, I personally use ‘Palms Off Gaming‘ soft sleeves as pictured above. They are great quality and are acid-free which means they won’t fade or bleach the cards when stored for long periods of time.

Inserting your beloved Pokemon cards into a soft sleeve is the first step to storing your Pokemon cards. So that brings us to our next protection method…

Semi-Rigid Sleeve

On top of a soft sleeve you can then insert your sleeved card into a semi rigid sleeve further protecting your card from more viscous damage. Semi-rigid sleeves are a hard but flexible plastic which is great if you drop your card as it wont chip or crease.

There are many different brands and sizes or semi-rigid sleeves but i would highly reccomend ‘Palms Off Gaming‘ grading holders. Also if you ever want to have your cards professionally graded you will need to send them off in semi-rigid sleeves.

Using a soft sleeve and semi-rigid sleeve is the most cost affective and effiecint way of storing your Pokemon cards

Set Binder

Card Binder

A Card binder is a folder for your cards, each page in the binder generally has either 9 or 12 pockets that stores cards. Most collectors will use a binder when collecting a set or series of cards.

Binders are great for collecting and storing your cards. I will still use a soft sleeve or deck sleeve for my card before inserting into the binder pocket. Each pocket is like a sleeve for your card, just slide your card in and your good to go..

When putting together a set for your binder its crucial to get the order of your cards correct so you dont make a mistake. If you put a card in the wrong spot you may have to move most of the cards along one spot which can be a nightmare. The best way to ensure you dont make a mistake is to use the set list booklet that comes with the ‘Elite Trainer Boxes‘.

These booklets are very helpful and detail all the different types and varites of one card so you dont miss one.

Storing your Pokemon cards as explained above will help protect them for many years to come. But there is one more step you can take to have them encased for life and that is having them professionally graded…

Grading your Cards

Having your Pokemon cards professinal graded is the best way to protect your cards and preserve their condition. Graded Pokemon cards are encapsulated in arcyilc and given a grade (score) out of 10 for their condition.

The most popular graded card company would be ‘Professional Sports Authenticators‘ (PSA). PSA cards will generally give you the most value for your cards compared to other companies.

Other companies such as ‘Beckett Grading Service‘ (BGS) and ‘Certified Guaranty Company‘ (CGC) are also great options for card grading. The companies I have mentioned above are very respectable and trustworthy, hence the reason they are the best Pokemon card grading companies in the world.

How to Store Your Pokemon Cards Long Term

In addition to using the steps above, you will need to protect your cards against the elements. Ensure your cards are stacked firmly so they cannot bend or warp if left for long periods of time.

Most importantly you want to be able to display your cards, you just need to be mindful of humidity and moisture so your cards dont warp. Semi rigid sleeves will prevent your cards from warping so I always use them when displaying my cards.

Moisture will increase the chance of your cards warping so I also store them with some moisture absorbent pads, commonly found in new shoe boxes or available to purchase here. If you follow these steps your cards will remain in pristine condition for a very long time which is important for future resale value.

Semi Rigid Card Sleeves

Alternative options

An alternative option for soft sleeves are ‘deck sleeves‘ most commonly used by Pokemon TCG players rather than collectors. Deck sleeves are found in Elite Trainer Boxes or they can be purchased online.

The alternative to semi rigid sleeves would be top loaders. Top loaders do a great job of protecting your cards but I find the card itself can slide around too much inside the top loader which could cause light scratching to the cards surface.

Graded Cards

Pokemon Graded Card
Professional Sports Authenticated Card, GEM MINT 10

Pokemon trading cards can also be professionally graded and encased in whats known as a ‘slab’. Most commonly collectors will use Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) to grade their cards.

There are many other trading card grading companies, but PSA cards command the most value overall and the company is well established.

It’s quite common for older cards such as Base Set (1999) to be damaged, as kids played with them and took them to school. When having your cards professionally graded the difference in value between scoring a 9 grade over a 10 grade on your card is substantially different.

Before you Go…

The value and grade of your cards isn’t the only thing that matters when collecting. Most people enjoy the hobby for what it is… having fun, meeting new people and trading cards with one another.

It’s just an added bonus to know your cards are in pristine condition and you have maximised your potential resale value if you do decide to sell some of your cards.

We welcome feedback on our blogs and would love to hear your opinion, you can contact us anytime.

Thank you for taking the time to read and we hope you have learnt something new.

logo for the pokemon guide

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *