At some point, you've probably wondered, 'How much are my childhood Yugioh cards worth?' but didn't know where or how to check. This article answers your question with a process that is also useful for Pokémon or Magic the Gathering cards. It will acquaint you with card rarity variations, assessing their condition, and using a website where you can find all the prices.
The first indicator of a card's potential value is its rarity, which is manifested by the type of foil treatment on the card. The harder it is to pull a card in a booster pack, the higher its rarity, and usually, the card is visibly shinier than others.
The name of Rare cards is embossed in silver or gold, and they look the same as Commons in all other aspects. They are somewhat rarer than Commons but rarely increase in value beyond a few cents. Super Rare cards have a holographic treatment over the entire card image. When you tilt the card at an angle, you can see a shimmer in rainbow colors, and the card is noticeably sturdier than Commons or Rares. The cardboard layer is now glued to a layer of holographic foil onto which ink is applied, and cards of Super Rare rarity and higher are appropriately called 'foils.' Ultra Rare cards combine the attributes of Rare and Super Rare cards into one. They have a holographic image and the name embossed in gold letters. The value of foils varies greatly, so it's worth checking.
Secret Rare is one of the higher rarities in Yugioh. It's easily recognizable by the diagonal dotted shine on the card's image and features a silver holographic name, distinct from the embossed names of Rare and Ultra Rare cards. Ultimate Rare is a special treatment where, in addition to the gold name, the card's image, stars (if it's a monster), attribute, and in the case of newer Ultimate Rares, card border elements are also embossed. Ghost Rare is the highest rarity in Yugioh and immediately stands out. The entire card image is silver, and its holographic outline is visible from various angles. In later releases, there is also a 3D effect between the subject of the image and the background. For these three rarities, it's worth checking the price of each card you come across because there's a much higher chance that they are valuable.
Occasionally, Konami has introduced additional rarities, but the vast majority of cards in these rarities are of lower value. Examples include Gold Rare, Gold Secret Rare, Platinum Rare, Platinum Secret Rare, Starfoil Rare, Shatterfoil Rare, and Mosaic Rare. If you've been buying newer items within the last 3-4 years, you might want to take a look at how Starlight Rare and Collector’s Rare cards appear.
In addition to rarity, the condition of a Yugioh card is also crucial for its price. Using cardmarket ratings for condition, there are a total of 7 categories: Mint, Near Mint, Excellent, Good, Light Played, Played, and Poor.
Mint is a category you can generally ignore because, in practice, it applies exclusively to cards that have been sent for condition grading by professional companies like Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Grading Service (BGS), etc.
Near Mint refers to cards that you would expect to pull from booster packs. They have no damage or visible defects on the front or back of the card, making them perfectly preserved.
With Excellent cards, some minor flaws start to become noticeable. For example, small white dots on the edges/silver shine on foils, slightly worn corners, or minor scratches on the image. The card appears to have been used slightly outside of its sleeve.
Good cards exhibit a visible range of damage. More whitening and worn edges, more scratches. What's important is that the card is still legal for tournament play because it cannot be distinguished from other cards in the deck when sleeved.
The remaining three conditions scale the level of card damage, and it becomes questionable whether such cards would be legal for tournament play. They are also significantly less valuable than better-preserved copies.
Light Played is an even more extreme version of Good condition, representing a card that has been used for a longer period without sleeves, accumulating damage over time.
Played refers to cards that look as bad as possible while still being the result of normal card use.
Poor cards have damage that could not have occurred through normal card play. Any visible creasing of the card, markings with a marker, holes, or dents in the cardboard from, for example, a pen, almost completely destroy the card's value.
Language and edition
Earlier, I mentioned the '1st Edition' text in the bottom right corner of the card. Cards of the same rarity and from the same set are generally worth more in their 1st Edition release than in the LIMITED Edition or Unlimited (without the text) release, which makes sense - collectors always want the first edition. The card's language plays a lesser role and doesn't have intrinsic value, but demand varies depending on the card itself. For example, 'Burning Abyss' cards are highly popular in Italian because they are based on Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Generally, English versions of the cards are the most valuable.
If you're unsure whether your card is authentic, seek help in one of the Croatian Yugioh groups. The largest one on Facebook is 'Yu-Gi-Oh! Hrvatska!' Through this group, you can also find information about where and when tournaments are held. There, you can play the game or ask someone for assistance with card valuation.
Cardmarket.eu is the largest platform for buying and selling TCG cards in Europe, serving as the best price reference. Open Cardmarket and enter the name of your card in English. Press enter, and among the results offered, select the one that matches your card's code - three letters located at the bottom right below the card image. Expand the left menu and choose filters that match the language, edition, and condition of your card. Press the "Filter" button, and Cardmarket will display the results. The highest listing is also the cheapest. If a seller has more than ~100 sales, as you can see to the left of their username and country flag, you can confidently conclude that it's a credible price, and your card is worth that much - provided you have accurately assessed the card's condition. The following set of images uses Light Played Trap Dustshoot as an earlier example for the search. The code at the bottom right below the image is PGD, indicating the Pharaonic Guardian set. An Unlimited version in light played condition is worth 7€.
And that's it! If you've followed all the steps in this guide, you should have no problem determining the value of any card you own. If you find a hidden gem, the fun is just beginning! Selling such a card is a completely different topic, one that I won't cover in this article. However, I once again recommend the Facebook group Yu-Gi-Oh! Hrvatska! or local tournaments for assistance in that regard.