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4 Tips On Making Better Trades

The first time that I ever sat down to trade with anyone other than my siblings was a rough experience. I had a binder that a friend had given me, carefully arranged by color, then alphabetically organized. More time was spent on making that binder presentable than actually trading.

I walked into the place like, yo, what up,  I got a big binder. Every rare that I owned was in that thing. I made sure that all twelve pages had every slot full front at back. Everyone would be clawing to get their hands on my Malakir Bloodwitch, Sadistic Sacrament, or my Psychosis Crawler. I was stoked to say the least. Suckers wouldn’t even know what hit them.

I soon discovered that I had no idea how to trade. People were in the middle of trades all around me, but how they got there was a mystery. After nervously clutching my binder for about forty minutes someone says “Is that your trade binder?”. Next thing that I know I have over 1,000 cards in a three ring binder in front of me. After only getting about three pages into this mammoth of a trade binder he pipes up with “Sorry dude, nothing I’m interested in.” When he took his binder back it was like part of my soul went with it.

After having this happen another half a dozen times it hurt. I finally sat down with a sheisty looking fellow and started flipping through his binder. No way, dude had a White Sun’s Zenith. I say “I really want this White Sun’s Zenith, could I trade you for it?” He tells me nothing he really wants so he’ll need value to part with his Zenith. WTF mate? I don’t even know what that means but if it gets me my White Sun, that’s cool.

He pulls out my Seachrome Coast, Green Sun’s Zenith, and Birthing Pod. “Does that work?” I really don’t know how to say no, and if he thinks it’s fair it must be. Three hours later I notice that Seachrome Coast is going for fifteen in the case at the LSG. They are charging $3 for a White Sun’s Zenith. Lesson Learned.

If you won’t watch out for yourself, no one will. Had anyone of dozens of players I now know seen him do that to a new player, they wouldn’t have let any of it go down. Unfortunately no one did. You can’t expect anyone else to know prices on your cards and you should know/ have the ability to look up the cards you want.

Know what you are looking for. When you have a clear idea on cards that you want, or would benefit from having in your binder, trading goes smoother. One of the best things that I have seen people do is put a list on their trade binder. Not only does this keep you from looking like a shark by saying “I’m looking for lots of stuff”, people will grab cards from everywhere. I don’t know how many random stacks of cards I have seen come out of deckboxs. Hell I’ll even pull things from decks I have to help people I like.

Figure out ahead of time weather you are using StarCity prices or TCGplayer. I know there is only “like a buck” difference between them, but man that’s a buck. I’m not one to really worry about a dollar trade difference but it adds up. Like when you want a bunch of cards that are basically bulk rares and he wants your Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. If you use SCG (Star City Games) all those rares are like a buck. On TCG they are all like 38 cents.  Kiki is 18.99 on TCG and 19.99 on SCG. Thats a difference between you getting 20 cards and fifty. Be aware of this.

Maintain walkaway power. “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Famous words that apply to trading as well as being a crime lord. You never will need a card so bad that you can’t walk away from a trade. Once you need it bad enough that you can’t walk away, you are letting the other person know that they can dictate the rest of this exchange. Keep that power to yourself, don’t give it up. If you do give it up do yourself a favor and use a buylist.

This Friday do yourself a favor and put some conscious effort into being aware of your trading. Free tip of the day, don’t be a dick. You can shear a sheep as much as you’d like, but you can only skin it once.

Question: What are some tips you have on making better trades? Whats the worst trade you’ve ever made?

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