Unless you get insanely lucky and come across something extremely rare in the market, there is no quick fix to earning money.
It is important to remember that in any MMO—generally the best things come with time and hard work.
This guide focuses on the long-term and combining various strategies, although there are some tips that are quick for small-scale gain.
If you are looking for an instant fix, this guide is not for you.
- Frisk. Frisk is an ability that displays the held item of your opponent when the Pokemon with the ability enters the battle. This is one of the first things you can obtain in the game that will help you immensely throughout the game although this is more of a long-term option. Frisk is the H.A (Hidden Ability) of Sentret and Furret which can be found on Route 1 during Morning/Day.
In conjunction with either Covet or Thief this can be incredibly handy for farming held items.
- Covet and Thief. Covet and Thief are moves that steal the opponent's held item.
As mentioned above, these are to be used in conjunction with Frisk for maximum output-minimal effort. However, until reaching Celadon to do the Thief Quest, Frisk is virtually useless since you cannot Trade to ask someone to put Covet or Thief on your Pokemon and the combo is otherwise unavailable to you at this point.
As an alternative, in addition to capturing a Frisk Sentret (or Furret), I would suggest catching a Mankey; these can be found on Route 22 - just west of Viridian City since Mankey at this early stage of the game will already know Covet.
- Synchronize. Another ability based money-maker, Synchronize (commonly called sync) gives a 50% chance that the caught Pokemon will be the same nature as the Pokemon with the Synchronize ability - be aware this only works if the Sync Pokemon is in the first slot of your party, it also WILL NOT work if the Sync Pokemon has fainted.
Early on in particular, I suggest taking the opportunity to learn Headbutt in Viridian Maze so that when you arrive at Pewter City, you can headbutt the trees there with a chance of finding Natu, you will notice Natu/Xatu are very commonly used Syncs because of their ease to get ahold of.
Syncs generally sell for around 10k per, this is quite cheap but when 75k for a bike seems daunting, this could be a great thing to stock up on ready for when you complete the Fourth Gym.
I personally recommend finding (or buying, if you feel like it) your own collection, and keeping one of each Sync (minus any neutral natures such as Hardy, Serious, Bashful and Quirky - trash these, they will do you no good) and using your personal collection to either farm more syncs or to farm rare Pokemon - depending on the Pokemon caught this could make thousands to millions in single sales.
- Held Items. So, here is where I explain why Covet and Thief are super useful early in the game - and it might not be what you expect. Paras is incredibly common in Mt Moon and holds the Tiny Mushroom item. This can be sold to the Item Maniac for $1500 - you would need to find 50 to outright pay off the bike.
It may be a slow process, but not half as slow as farming Pokemon battles - this is definitely a "every little helps" suggestion.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, with some effort, luck and strategy, you could make a huge amount off Held Items - especially when Trading becomes available to you after the Fourth Gym. Items such as the Protector (held by Rhyhorn), Magmizer (held by Magmar) and the Electrizer (held by Elekid and Electabuzz) can make you some impressive money in single sales.
- Hidden Items. Hidden items are found throughout the game and can vary from "You found Nothing... That's right. You found Nothing" to Rare Candies, Evolution Items and other useful items. You can use a Hidden Item Location Guide or simply try to find these yourself. Items such as Rare Candies will easily make you upwards of 15k per.
- Farming. Early in the game this simply isn't an option if time and speed are something you are concerned about.
This is only useful if you have an appropriate Sync for a Rare Pokemon in an area (Spawn Guide & Rarity Guide) and understand the mechanics of IVs/Nature/Ability (IV/EV/Team Building Guide) - the latter being particularly important as this allows you to understand what is worth selling and what isn't - and roughly how much you can sell it for.
Another form of farming also isn't particularly beneficial until later in the game, but is worth mentioning, is locations such as Victory Road (Prior to Kanto E4), Dragons Den and Cerulean Cave - these contain high level Pokemon who give a pretty decent amount of money per battle, this is definitely one to keep in mind for later on and are good locations to also level Pokemon to 100.
- Dig spots. Dig spots reset every 3 days, Trainers every 7 and Bosses every 11-15 days.
All of these are very effective methods of making some extra money on the side - however are also a later feature in the game.
Dig sites can contain Pokemon, useful items and in some cases Fossils or items that are sellable to the Item Maniac (Dig Spot Guide - this guide is currently outdated but a very good place to start, I will update this link when it is either updated and/or I find a full up-to-date Guide).
- Trainers. I have noticed that if I leave all my Trainers to do in one day, I can make on average 100k per region - this also includes trainer battles inside gyms (does NOT include Gym Leader, these cannot be battled again once beaten). This can be time consuming but it is also very satisfying not bumping into any trainers for a week when done this way.
- Bosses. Boss battles themselves can give anywhere from 4k to over 90k, depending on the boss. It is also the boss rewards that we are interested in here, for example Erika has a chance of Larvesta - which is a very popular Pokemon that can fetch a good price, or save you both time and money if you intend to use it for PvP. There are also "Pokedex Pokemon", such as Audino from Shary&Shaui. You can profit from obtaining one multiple times by using it for Pokedex service.
- Excavation Sites. Excavation Sites are another great source of income, for players who are more advanced in the storyline. This Guide to Excavation Sites is incredibly useful if you are unsure of how these work, or what you can expect from Excavation.
- Daily Quests. Celadon and Solaceon dailies may not seem much at first, but the rewards quickly add up over time. >Celadon daily quest < will give you a small money reward every time, in addition to a plethora of items, with a guaranteed shiny Pokemon after you have completed it 50 times. Keep in mind that it is worth doing even if you do not have time to catch a Pokemon with amazing IVs every time; you will still get the money reward and some items. > Solaceon daily quest < may not directly give money, but you get useful items such as Revival Herbs, Ultra Balls and possibly even a Reroll Ticket, which is always in high demand and is worth a decent amount.
- Daycare and PokeDex Services. Some players will lend their Pokemon to fill out someone's Pokedex, this is primarily used for those interested in obtaining legendaries such as Mew and Celebi - which require a full regional dex relating to the one they are a part of. As mentioned before, rarer Pokemon such as Elekid/Porygon2 will sell considerably higher and open the door to cash in on a single Pokemon multiple times.
I do advise caution when running a Pokedex service, please ALWAYS screenshot your Trades - this is something you should do regardless of running a service or not, but the rarer the Pokemon, the higher the chance of a scam - when running a dex service also screenshot your chat log showing the agreement that the Pokemon is to be returned after the Trade. If this ever happens to you, please report in the Report Center subforum.
In regards to Daycare, some players will level your Pokemon for you for a fee - this is something that could be done yourself if this is something you're interested in donating your time to. Again, ensure that screenshots of all Trades and agreements are made as a form of insurance if things are to go awry.
- Opening Your Shop. Forums are your friend. They remain a good way to sell Pokemon, since unlike Trade channel, your post is fixed.
This allows for a lot more control over your sale, and gives buyers time to think carefully about their purchase and results in a fair price that reflects the Pokemon more accurately.
Pokemon used in Ranked PvP or Collector Pokemon (e.g. Event/Shiny Pokemon) generally receive good prices.
The best way to make money from your finds are to EV Train and level the Pokemon to 100, this also adds value to Pokemon that are not so good - but are suitable for story.
Some Non-Rare Pokemon that will generate a relatively quick sale, for beginners.
We've covered making money, now here's a few tips on how to keep ahold of it.
- Pokeballs. There is a Team Rocket NPC in Celadon and Goldenrod Marts, selling 50 Pokeballs for $9,000. This is a $1,000 saving per 50 Pokeballs, which adds up over time.
- Escape Ropes. Ned outside Mt Moon that sells five Escape Ropes for $2,000. This is a $750 saving per 5 Ropes.
- Berries. Shelbie in the Route 104 House sells five Berries daily for $100. The type of berry rotates weekly.
- Supplements. Energy Guru in Slateport City sells 10 of a chosen Supplement (such as HP Up, Calcium, Iron etc) for $40,000 once every two weeks. This is half price when compared to 10 bought normally.
- NPC Quests. Speak to NPCs everywhere you go, they will give you quests that may result in a few extra useful items:
For example, the boy in Viridian Forest outside the Maze will ask you to rescue his Pokemon in return for 15 Pokeballs. He also gives you an Escape Rope at the beginning of the quest.
Another example is Nugget Bridge north of Cerulean City, you will need to pass this en route to the Item Maniac and to begin the SS Anne Quest—but the Team Rocket Grunt will battle you and give you a nugget as a reward for beating all the trainers on the bridge. Officer Jenny quests in Viridian and Pewter are very useful for new players; you can get a nice amount of money for relatively low effort needed .
- NPC Pokemon. NPCs in various locations will ask you to swap Pokemon with them, some of these can be particularly rare such as Mr. Mime or Goodra.
In Goldenrod there is an NPC who will swap a Pokemon with you that is holding a Macho Brace (if you lose or sell it, you can buy another from the same NPC for $20,000).
- Farming & Selling Your Own Pokemon. This may seem an obvious one, but simply limiting the Pokemon you buy unless they give multiple returns (such as investing in Pokemon to be used for a Pokedex Service) can save you a lot of money, and when specifically farming and selling your own, this is virtually 100% profit.
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