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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?

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