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Are Damaged Pokemon Cards Worth Anything?

are damaged pokemon cards worth anything

Do you have damaged Pokémon cards, and are wondering if they are worth any money?

Fortunately, damaged Pokémon cards are worth something. Although they are likely to be worth much less than intact cards, there is a market for damaged cards. The amount your card makes depends on the extent of the damage and where you sell it, as different buyers will accept different levels of damage.

In this article, we will look at where to sell damaged cards, what can be done with damaged cards, what is considered damage, and what they are worth graded.

Can You Sell Damaged Pokémon Cards?

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You can sell damaged Pokémon cards. Despite flaws affecting the value of the card, there is a market for damaged cards and people are likely to want to take them off your hands for numerous reasons. Some don’t mind playing with damaged cards, while others put them to other uses such as art or restoration.

As with anything, how much your card is worth depends on the extent of the damage. Minimal damage, like a small, superficial scratch, is unlikely to affect the worth too much, but severe flaws, like bending, rips or edgewear, can knock some serious money off the valuation.

The amount you earn from your damaged cards also depends on where you sell it and the type of card you have. Rare cards with slight damage can sell at auctions for considerable money, while more common damaged cards can be sold through online sites. You are likely to have more luck earning money from such sites. 

Otherwise, as long as cards are still playable, many people may be willing to purchase them at a reduced price point rather than paying out more money for pristine, brand-new cards. You may be able to make direct sales to other people who may be specifically looking for your card and willing to buy even if there is damage.

To check out the current prices and availability of Pokemon Booster Boxes, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

What Can You Do With Damaged Pokémon Cards?

Of course, selling damaged cards isn’t the only option. If you don’t want to sell your cards, there are some things you can consider doing instead. Your options are somewhat limited depending on the source and extent of the damage but you shouldn’t assume selling is the only choice you have.

First, what can you do if the damage was the result of a production fault or manufacturing error? It depends on whether the damage can be proven to be the result of a production error. However, you might want to get in touch with the Pokémon Company, who may be able to replace the card for you and might even be able to reimburse you.

Alternatively, if the damage is superficial, you might decide to try to repair your damaged cards. This can be a very difficult thing to do if the damage is more severe. Flaws to the fibers of the card can be very hard to repair and you may only be able to cover them up, rather than doing any actual restoration. We will look more at restoration later.

What Is Considered a Damaged Pokémon Card?

What constitutes a damaged Pokémon card is likely to depend on the opinions of the buyer. However, there are some things that are universally considered to be damage to a card. Let’s take a look at some of the flaws that can damage a card.

  • Scratches. Particularly harmful to holographic cards, scratches are unfortunately very easy to come by. Small, superficial scratches may not affect the card’s value too much, whereas deeper scratches that affect the illustration can seriously harm valuation.
  • Rips and tears. Again, rips and tears happen all too easily to cards. Even rare cards can see a decrease in valuation if they are ripped or torn. Some people are unbothered by slight rips and may purchase the card anyway, but in most cases, severe rips are likely to seriously devalue cards.
  • Staining. Unfortunately, staining occurs easily, with anything from ink to water spillages causing stains that can be impossible to remove. There is also the risk of sun damage, which can stain the card’s colouring and illustration.
  • Edgewear. Occurring due to overuse or being handled too much, edgewear can cause whitening that can affect even the rarest card’s worth. Make sure to keep an eye on corners as well.
  • Fading. Some might appreciate the aesthetic appeal of a faded card, but for most, it’s a flaw that diminishes the value of the card.
  • Peeling. Peeling can quickly spread from a single corner to the whole card. While severe peeling can seriously harm the worth of the card, a lot of people also won’t accept even corner peeling.
  • Bends. Bending is unfortunately very common and can occur easily if cards are handled a lot or stored somewhere that isn’t dry and cool. Bends unfortunately affect the worth of a card a great deal.

What Are Damaged Pokémon Cards Worth Graded?

For most, damaged Pokémon cards are worth more ungraded. A low grade due to damage or flaws can lower the card’s worth seriously and you may end up getting less than if the card were ungraded.

Most consider it a waste of time and money to get damaged Pokémon cards graded, especially if you are uncertain of its valuation in the first place. In most cases, grading companies won’t consider damaged cards, and even a small flaw can seriously impact grading.

Can Damaged Pokémon Cards Be Repaired?

As we discussed earlier, it can be hard to repair damaged cards, particularly when the damage is severe. But is it possible to repair superficial damage? And how is restoration work likely to affect the card’s worth?

First, let’s look at whether any damage can actually be repaired. Unfortunately, most agree that a card damaged through everyday use can’t be repaired in a subtle way that won’t differentiate it from other cards. The other major concern with attempting repairs yourself is that you could inadvertently make the card more damaged.

Some grading companies are also to look unkindly upon restoration work to damaged cards. Many require entirely pristine cards with no sign of cleaning, product use or repairing. If restoration work is noticeable, your card’s grading can seriously be impacted, which is likely to affect valuation.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, Pokémon cards can be damaged all too easily, especially if they are handled often. From sun damage to improper handling, flaws can affect the valuation of even the rarest of cards. Due to this, you may consider your damaged cards worthless, or at least of lower value than your pristine cards.

However, we have seen that this is not always the case. Damaged cards are sellable through direct sales or online, and while you may not be able to make as much money as you would with cards in top condition, some money can still be made.

Fortunately, even severely damaged Pokémon cards might be worth something to someone, as the most important thing for many is the playability of the card rather than the appearance. Some people can find value in even the most damaged playable cards, meaning even your damaged cards are likely worth something to someone.

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