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001 Cards of the week

In my last blog post I talked about using a buylist to do your trading for you. This is done best when a site will give you close to if not exactly retail on these cards. Friday mornings I will be posting a group of cards that buylist for at or around retail when traded for credit. This way when you get asked what cards that you are looking for you can reply with at least a few.

Top on the list this week are

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite tcgplayer mid - 13.49  Buylist Cash - 11.50  Buylist Credit - 14.49

Cardkingdom.com

 

tcgplayer mid – 13.49
Buylist Cash – 11.50
Buylist Credit – 14.49

That’s right, you can actually trade this card to a store for more than it is worth. This makes this my primary target card this week. Cardkingdom.com will buy up to 83 copies like this. Come on Dual Lands here we come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed Tcgplayer price - 4.00  Buylist cash - 3.30 Buylist Credit - 3.96
TrollandToad.com

 

Tcgplayer price – 4.00

Buylist cash – 3.30

Buylist Credit – 3.96

This one will get you pretty close to retail but when you start getting this low on the tax bracket you have to watch shipping cost. If it cost you two dollars to ship you may want to accompany it with other cards to make sure you offset the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

Garruk, Caller of Beast  Tcgplayer mid - 22.27  Buylist cash - 17.00  Buylist Credit - 20.40

TrollandToad.com

 

Tcgplayer mid – 22.27

Buylist cash – 17.00

Buylist Credit – 20.40

This is a little farther from Tcgplayer mid than you may normally want to go. On the flipside it is close enough that you might. The thing about this card is that it’s in standard right now and maybe a little more attainable, your call though.

 

 

 

 

 

Those are my top three for the week. There are a few more that also should make the list as well

Make sure that when you are out there trading this week to be honest and fair. There is nothing like repeat business, but that requires a good reputation. My dad always told me “A reputation is one of the hardest things to build and one of the easiest to tear down.” Besides, using buylist you can trade for what you want anyway. So as always

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What is a buylist and how do I use it?

A buylist is just a list that a store or dealer puts out for what they are buying and how much they are buying it for. It also tells us in most cases how many of that item they are buying.  How does this help you? You have an Underground Sea that you know is worth $175. Unless you have a store to sell it at or know someone in immediate need of that card it is basically just a good fire starter. You could start an ebay account, but that could take weeks to sell if it does sell. How do you get cash from it relatively quickly? There is a local gaming store (LSG) that will buy it for like 30 percent of it’s value. Someone must be willing to pay more than that right?

Financial Crisis / Finanzkrise
alles-schlumpf / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Buylist will pay you a little more than an LSG because they are competing on the internet. Your LSG may have one or two competitors that are also buying for around the same price, but internet retailers are competing with more and more stores everyday. With stores publishing their buylist publicly, they have to feature more competitive pricing. Each store has a different price on their buylist. How do you find who is paying the best?

One way to do it is to go one by one to each retailer’s buylist. This isn’t too bad if you are just looking to buylist one item. If you have more card you are looking to buylist this becomes very inefficient and time consuming. It may only take ten minutes to do for you Underground Sea, but what if you have thirty cards to do? That is like five hours!!! Good news is there are sites that will compare buylists for you.

My favorite site to use is Quietspeculation.com. They have an app that is easy to use and very efficient called Trader Tool. It does cost to use this, but it’s only $12 a month. It also gives you access to the site and their amazing forums. Bidwhicket is a free site that isn’t near as efficient, but hey, it’s free. No matter how you gain access it’s good to check more than one site before deciding. Now that you know where to go you need to decide if you are looking for cash or store credit.

Using buylist to trade can yield very amazing results if you know what you are doing with it. Some online retailers will give as much as 30 percent bonus when you get store credit. Do your research beforehand though. The first time I went for store credit I buylisted some cards to ABUgames.com. They happened to be paying the highest cash on the cards that I was selling so I went to them. They have a 25 percent bonus for trade in which is very high. What I didn’t check was CardKingdom.com who was paying roughly fifty cents less for the cards in cash, but they have a 30 percent bonus on store credit. It would have got me an extra three dollars, which doesn’t seem like much but add it up over a year. I buylist weekly so that is almost an Underground Sea. The other thing to look at is how much they are selling cards for. It does you no good to buylist something for a dollar more if the store charges five more for the card you need.

To trade with a buylist you want to use cards that buylist for relatively close to their value. If you do that you can trade almost even up with a store! What if none of your cards buylist close to retail? Trade for cards that do. How many times at your local FNM when people ask you what you are looking for do you reply with “lots of stuff.”? Not only does this not answer their question, they feel like you are about to attempt to screw them. If you are targeting specific cards it will not only make trading easier, but you can then trade them to a store for anything that you want. You can literally turn your standard binder into a legacy deck.

I will be publishing cards on a weekly basis that you can target for  this purpose. Until then go ahead and try a buylist out this week and see how it works. A few disclaimers before you use a buylist. Most buylist take about a week to sort through your cards and give you a store credit amount. Before you use a buylist you may want post to #mtgfinance on twitter and ask if the buylist is reputible. I will back CardKingdom.com, TrollandToad.com, and ABUgames.com but anything beyond there check out with the community. And as always, welcome to the grind.

Questions: What questions do you have concerning buylist? What would you recommend to beginning buylisters?

5 Ways to Grow Your MTG Binder Exponentially

Getting the cards that we want is always a constant problem for magic players around the world.  Something I heard a lot of when I was playing legacy was “Man, if I had his cards I could play as good as he does.” I even found myself saying those exact words on more than one occasion. We are in a card game that, thank god, is always changing. New decks, new formats, new information, new brews, new everything, so how do we keep up with the demand for our wallet?

MtG: My Pride-n-Joys
AuE / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

We simply don’t have the means to acquire every card that we want to, or do we? The biggest reason why people play standard is that it is relatively inexpensive. What people don’t realize is it’s relatively inexpensive four times a year. We budget to keep up with the demand that wizards keeps on our wallet when we have everything that we need in our binder. The problem is how do we manage our binder and wallet to keep up with current meta-game changes?

  1. Quit grabbing cards on the way out. If you want to have the deck of your dreams, don’t complete it three months before half of it rotates out. Aristocrats was a ton of fun to play for a while, just not to start playing two months before rotation hits. Wouldn’t it be alot more fun to play your deck for a year? June will not be the time to start picking up Sphinx’s Revelation no matter how good U/W is doing. Look ahead and start changing out your Boros Reckoners for Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. The closer rotation is, the harder this is to do. Be proactive!
  2. Educate Yourself. Figure out what cards will be powerhouses, no matter what happens. Stormbreath Dragon is a powerful card that doesn’t need anything else to make it good. This means that you will have a card that will be in demand post rotation before we have a Metagame. Your best bets are usually mythics from the third set of a block (Voice of Resurgence *cough)
  3. Get some staples. If you want to maintain and increase the value of your magic cards get some staples. I am not talking about standard staples either, I’m talking Underground Sea, Force of Will, Remand, Tarmogoyf, and any other card that will always see play in modern or legacy. Modern is especially good to get into right now because the season is still a few months away, so prices will keep going up for the next six months. This is what is referred to by financiers at real estate. It might fluctuate, but it will always increase in value in the long run.
  4. Stop buying packs. Buying packs isn’t a bad thing. Buying twelve Dragon’s Maze packs to try to get one Voice of Resurgence is. I know that there is a rush that goes into opening a pack, but at least have a purpose. You can put those packs to use by doing a little drafting. I’m a math guy at heart, so i figured out what buying packs just to buy packs cost you. If you only buy two a week, after a year that is over $400. Four hundred should give you the option to play any deck in standard.
  5. Listen to great sources. Twitter can be a huge resource if you let it. Do yourself a favor and follow a couple finance experts. I’ll give you my list of experts

It also takes some patience. You won’t have power nine by tomorrow unless you win the lottery or someone starts paying five dollars for bulk rares. It may take a year for you to stabilize your collection so you can play what you want. You will also need to exert a certain amount of self-discipline. The only way to get to the point you want to be at is a bit of grinding. So as always

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Why MTG Finance Matters to You

Speculators and private dealers obviously need to have in depth knowledge of how MTG finances work, but why should this subject matter to you? What uses could the average player have for knowing anything about the financial spectrum of Magic: The Gathering? It’s not like Average Joe is going to make money off mtg, he just wants to have fun with the game.

GPDetroit

photo courtesy of Danielle Nicole Conine

Though Average Joe may not be looking to try to make money from his beloved game, he may like to play with expensive cards. If Joe knew how to be proactive with his collection there are many benefits to enjoy even as a player.

  1. Watching your mtg collection grow: Every playgroup or store has a Collin. Collin is the guy with a collection that everyone is super jealous of. He brings in a trade binder that looks like a store binder to every FNM that you have ever been to. Collin only ever seems to be looking for like three cards to finish any deck that he wants to play. There are two ways to be a Collin. First is to place exuberant amounts of cash into your collection so that you can have every card you’ve ever dreamed of. For most of us this is way outside of our boundaries. The other way is just to manage your collection very intelligently. It doesn’t happen overnight, but by paying attention and making smart decisions when it comes to trading, we can slowly build a quite large collection.
  2. Keep from getting taken advantage of: We have all seen someone being taken severe advantage of in a trade before. But how many times have we been slightly taken advantage of and never known about it. We all have smart phones to try to keep this from happening, but how many times do we need it when it is dead or running slow? It really doesn’t take much to keep up on the prices of things that we are looking for. You should pretty much know the value of the things that are in your binder and it really doesn’t take that much to do. I use the trader tool on quiet speculation to keep live track of my binder. This keeps me from having to type every card in individually. Before I subscribed to that I used to take almost an hour and write down the each cards price after using the Starcitygames.com deckbuilder function.
  3. Keep the cost of deckbuilding low: How many times have you needed a few last cards to complete a deck and they shoot up in price, making them almost impossible to get a hold of? You didn’t get unlucky, you were just under informed about price trends. We know that cards go up and down, why not take advantage of that? If we are going to take a month to build our decks anyway we can take advantage of cards that are undervalued right now. If you know that post rotation you are going to play esper, pick up your Blood Baron of Vizkopa when they are down per-rotation. Doing this would have saved you about $48 on a playset of them. Doing this with your entire deck could save you over $100. Then you might be able to afford to play with shocklands instead of guildgates.
  4. Buylisting your way into the cards you want: Most people are a little uncomfortable using a buylist because it makes them feel screwed. A few tips to not feeling that way, start using tcg mid or low prices. You would be surprised at how close some cards come to tcg prices. If you are used to using SCG (starcitygames) prices, buylist will seem more than a little off to you. It will just leave you with the feeling that you got robbed out of half of your cards. A buylist is a great way to “trade” with someone that will give you anything that you want for a certain cost. The best way to go about this is to do some research and trading before you start buylisting. Current example is Card Kingdom is paying $12 cash for Griselbrand. With their thirty percent trade bonus that means that his trade value is around $15.50 to them and his current tcgplayer price is $16. So you can trade the cards with a much larger difference between buylist and tcgplayer mid to get some Griselbrands, such as Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx with a 50% spread.  This allows you to finagle your collection around to fit your needs.

So how do you find out all of this information? The answer is just to study up. Take in as much as you can, but keep in mind where it comes from. My previous article has a few different places that you can find reliable information, but feel free to explore.  The internet is a big place and there is no way that I have scoured the entire thing. If you stumble upon more places for reliable information feel free to let other grinders know in the comment section. As always

Welcome to The Grind