Damaged cards for a hardcore collector are either a blessing or a pain. Like me, I tend to only like collecting cards that are in mint or near mint condition. Even if it’s a card I want, if it has any wear and tear on it, I will generally pass on the opportunity to get it. Yugioh, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, etc. It doesn’t matter which game / TCG. If the card has flaws, I will pass on it.
For your everyday player though, damaged cards are a boon for their decks!
In many cases, a damaged card has a hefty markdown on its’ value because of its’ condition. Whether it be just a Light Play (LP) or a Heavy Play (HP) or just flat out Damaged (D), the card is now not worth nearly what it could have been had its’ condition been maintained. Still, the card has a use.
Take AST-080 Night Assailant from the Ancient Sanctuary set of the Yugioh Trading Card Game. While the card is older, it still sees some play and deck builders are often more than happy to get their hands on one even if not in absolutely perfect condition.
In fact, some players often prefer a damaged card over a Mint / NM version simply so they don’t have to worry about damaging it during play. In even more cases, a player / collector will sock away a Mint / NM copy of the card and use a damaged copy in their deck. This is quite common and I did this often when I used to play card games actively back in the early and late 2000s.
But is it worth the trouble of selling it? That’s not always an easy thing to answer. Some cards like the aforementioned Night Assailant still see play in a handful of decks. Other cards see absolutely no play and even Mint / NM versions never make it into a deck unless the user is experimenting. Still, even if the card is not often used, I still find it a good idea to hold on to it, even if the card is severely damaged (water damage, major creases, massive edge wear). Unless you have a literal ton of damaged cards which see almost no play, it makes little sense to get rid of them. I find posting them on my online store the best thing to do. Often times I do ask myself “Will this thing even sell?” when posting the cards. In a lot of cases, it works out and the card actually does sell.
For how much?
Well, that’s often up to the market. Just like a NM / Mint card, the market determines how much a card is gonna go for. Marketplaces like TCG Player have built in categories for cards in various conditions. There is often a market price and average price you can look at as both a buyer and a seller. This info can often take the guess work out of pricing non mint cards.
So don’t toss out that damaged card just yet. You never know if someone is willing to pay you a buck for it. Post it to your store or eBay (whichever your preferred method) and see what happens. The worst thing is it sits in your inventory for a very long time. On the flip side, it sells, you get rid of the card, and you walk away with a little money in your pocket.