I have always been interested in alternative investments alongside my crypto and NFT portfolio. And after I saw the uptick of people talking about Pokemon through Courtyard and Magic Eden's drops, I thought I would share some information to help people start looking into this to make the decision if it’s also for them. Pokemon is the largest IP in the world, through all of its various channels, by a considerable amount. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_media_franchises)
I’ll cover some things that I have seen people ask and feel free to leave more questions with me to add to this guide for you. A lot of the same lessons you learned from NFTs\Crypto are relevant.
What do you wish you knew before you started collecting?
In basic terms, you kind of need to decide if you want to get involved in collecting specific types of things, each having its own pros and cons. I would say you can split it up into a few categories…
Pokemon releases sets on a schedule, with holiday/special sets thrown in, plus it reprints normal sets, but not holiday sets. Understand those schedules, release timelines and reprint timelines. You can see the release schedule of sets here https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Pokémon_Trading_Card_Game_expansions
You can do this through a variety of sites, I have my own spreadsheet to cover my own purchases and sites I bought from, but I also use a site called https://www.pokedata.io/ as it allows me to quickly see overall value of my collection.
Another good resource is TCG Player, as it will show you the prices per card/set etc and you can see the volume of sales.
How can I find reputable sites to buy from?
Depending on your country, look into local game stores through Google, check reviews etc, but most brick and mortar stores have an online presence. I have a whole list of UK based ones if anyone requires that, please reach out to me, but I did not make a US list.
You also have the official Pokemon Center site where everything is sold at RRP https://www.pokemoncenter.com/ but usually on new sets, you will get them cheaper from stores which get them direct from distributors.