MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (May 31/15)

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By James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

One of the most common misconceptions about folks involved in MTGFinance is that we are constantly manipulating the market and feeding players misinformation to help fuel achievement of our personal goals.

It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing. As such we’ve decided to run a weekly series breaking down what we’ve been buying and selling each week and why. These lists are meant to be both complete and transparent, leaving off only cards we bought without hope of profit, where appropriate. We’ll also try to provide some insight into our thinking behind the specs, and whether we are aiming for a short (<1 month), mid (1-12 month), or long (1 year+) term flip. Here’s what we were up to this week:

Buying Period: May 24th – May 31st, 2015

Note: All cards NM unless otherwise noted. All sell prices are net of fees unless noted.

James Chillcott (@MTGCritic)

BOUGHT

  • 3x Modern Masters 2015 Booster Box @ $205/per
  • 1x Lilianna of the Veil: $66
  • 2x Keranos, God of Storms @ $7/per
  • 1x Reveillark @ $2
  • 1x Kiln Fiend (Japanese Foil) @ $6.50
  • 1x Humble Defector (Japanese Foil) @ $3.25
  • 2x Nylea, God of the Hunt @ $3/per
  • 4 x Master of Waves @ $3/per
  • 1x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx (foil) @ $10
  • 4x Scavenging Ooze (Russian Foil Promo) @ $7.50/per
  • 1x Leyline of Sanctity (Japanese Foil) @ $40
  • 1x Fulminator Mage (Japanese Foil) @ $53
  • 1x Noble Hierarch (foil) @ $53
  • 1x Chandra, Pyromaster (foil) @ $10
  • 2x Sphinx’s Revelation @ $5.75/per
  • 2x Splinter Twin @ $11.00/per
  • 3x Woodland Cemetary @ $3.00/per
  • 2x Chalice of the Void @ $13/per
  • 2x Erebos, God of the Dead (Japanese) @ $3.50
  • 2x Temple Garden (foil) @ $18.00
  • 5x Swans of Brynn Argoll @ $3.00/per
  • 5x Kolaghan’s Command (foil) @ $6.75/per

SOLD (Pucatrade):

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  • 1x Duress (IDW Promo) @ $22.75 ($4 cost)
  • 1x Chalice of the Void (Mirrodin) @ $17.48 ($5 cost)

My purchases were pretty scattered this week, with the common element being the pursuit of cards that I consider undervalued, or solid mid to long term holds. This included a few early snags on some MM2015 foils with great rebound potential.

Just a couple of Pucatrade items this week, but both with very solid returns. I’ll be slowing my Puca activity now, with over $1200 USD in points built up, as I try to find a trading partner to help me trade up into Power 9, dual lands or Judge foils. If you have anything like that you want to send my way let me know 😉

Sidenote: Of my earlier MM2015 box deals, two of the larger deals fell through as the overseas vendors failed to produce product on time. As it turns out, this is to my benefit, because I had enough product to fulfill earlier local orders, but now have a chance to get in on boxes at $205-210 as dealers gain access to three more cases this week direct from WOTC. Take this to mean that despite the quality control issues and complaints about set variance, I am still happy to be holding some number of MM2015 boxes heading into the end of the year, where I’m looking to exit around $300.

Danny Brown

BOUGHT (Pucatrade)

10x Tasigur, the Golden Fang @ 648 PucaPoints each
4x See the Unwritten @ 341 PucaPoints each

Danny says:

“How exactly is Tasigur this low? Sure, he’s not a mythic, but he is from a small set that will be in short supply come next year. He’s proven himself in Standard, Modern, and even Legacy, and with Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time banned out, is one of the most powerful things you can be doing with delve (which is in and of itself rather powerful). Despite having a goal for my PucaPoints, I decided to not just let them sit.
 
I’m already in on a couple playsets of See the Unwritten at 410 points each, so with the price drop, I figured going in on another set couldn’t hurt. Battle for Zendikar will make this price go up on hype alone once the first Eldrazi are spoiled.”

SOLD

2x Steam Vents @ 1319 PucaPoints/per
1x Sulfur Falls @ 821 PucaPoints
2x Pestermite @ 39 points/per

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36 Khans of Tarkir packs on MTGO @ an average of 1.8872 each

Danny says:

“I’ve been slowly outing my pile of Steam Vents, and this all went to the same guy, so I threw in a couple other Splinter Twin cards he needed. 
 
I don’t speculate much if at all on MTGO, but Khans packs seemed too cheap to me a month or two ago, so I bought 36 packs at an average of 1.3 tickets each. I don’t know if these are headed up or down, but given my inexperience in MTGO speculation and the opportunity for profit right in front of me, I sold out for an average profit of .5872 per pack, putting me 9.3952 credits up (probably rounded down a bit due to credit being stored in bots). Then I promptly blew twice that amount on a couple Tempest Remastered drafts wherein I did poorly. Oh, well.”

Note: The rest of the guys were quiet so far this week.

Bonus Tips:

  • Tarmogoyf hasn’t been falling nearly as hard as some predicted, largely due to the vendors at the GP’s this weekend propping up the price via widespread hoarding. Buylist was as high as $130 on the floor in Vegas, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the dominant green creature in the modern era hold the line above $120, rebounding to $160-170 by mid-summer. I wouldn’t wait long to get in for a set if that was your goal.
  • The rest of the MM2015 rares and mythics have certainly fallen across the board, but the race to the bottom hasn’t really showed up yet. Keep an eye on the price index for the set and don’t be too greedy trying to find the absolute lows on the cards you need.  My call that Noble Hierarch would end up below $15 for instance, looks far too low, and I’d be surprised to see many sell below $30.
  • There are some very good buying opportunities on MTGO right now with the MM2015 mythics and rares being at historic lows in many cases. Look for a solid entry point later tonight.
    So there you have it. Now what were you guys buying and selling this week and why?

James Chillcott is the CEO of ShelfLife.net, The Future of Collecting, Senior Partner at Advoca, a designer, adventurer, toy fanatic and an avid Magic player and collector since 1994.

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29 thoughts on “MTGFinance: What We’re Buying/Selling This Week (May 31/15)”

  1. Here’s my list,
    1 Snapcaster Mage @ $45
    12 Deathrite Shaman @ $7 per
    12 Supreme Verdict @ $3.50 per
    3 Supreme Verdict Foil @ $9 per
    5 Collected Company @ $10 per
    I’m still waiting for rotation to pick up the Theros block gods.

  2. I raided the local store, hitting the mass bulk, $2.99 box and $5 up box. Below was what I picked up, the owner set aside more for me to pick up later.
    Purchased
    24 near mint beta Islands @ $3 per
    12 near mint beta mountain @ $2.5 per
    12 near mint beta Swamp @ $2.5 per
    12 near mint beta Plains @ $2.5 per
    20 NM razorverge thicket @ $3 per
    45 NM scavenging ooze foil promo @$3 per
    1 Foil Ixidor, reality Sculptor @$3
    1 sygg, river cutthroat @ $3
    1 asceticism @ $3
    9 blackcleave cliffs @ $3 per
    4 lighting greaves @ $3 per
    3 kolaghan’s command @ $3 per
    8 cauldron of souls @ $.39 each
    12 retether @ $.39 each
    8 reanimate @ $3 each
    24 snow-land @ $.39 ( 9 mountains)
    7 Krenko, the Mob Boss Foil @ $3 each
    1 cunning wish foil @ $20
    3 cunning wish @ $7.50

    Sold
    7 playsets kolaghan’s command 18.99 each (paid $4.49 per playset preorder)
    2 Playsets blackcleave cliffs (23.99 each)
    5 playsets (com 2014) ezuri renagade leader @ $12.89 (purchased 20 playsets at $.99 on ebay) plus 20 SoM singles at $.39 each

    I purchased the scavenging oozes because how can I pass up on one of the top 10 modern creatures for $12 a playset.

    I love these articles, they have really helped me focus my purchases and sales.

  3. Circle of Protection: Green (SP/NM-) Summer Magic/Edgar $139
    Demonic Attorney (NM) Beta $28
    Rasputin Dreamweaver (NM) Legends $26
    Vorinclex (x6, NM) New Phyrexia $10.50/each

    The CoP:G is my first piece of Summer and even if it’s a common as common can be its still nice to add to my rarities binder.

  4. BOUGHT
    10 Modern Masters 2015 Booster Box @ $185 ea.
    3 Lilianna of the Veil @ $62 ea.
    2 Noble Hierarch (Foil) @ $49.99 ea
    1 Leyline of Sanctity (Foil ) @ $25
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx (foil) @ $35 ($8.75 ea)
    1 Chandra, Pyromaster (foil) @ $8
    2 Sphinx’s Revelation (Foil) $7.85 ea.
    5 Keranos, God of Storms @ $6.50 ea.
    15 Kolaghan’s Command (foil) @ $4.30 ea.

  5. Wednesday or Thursday sometime I traded for and purchased Blood Moons. Then I purchased more Blood Moons. Afterwards I went through all my binders and rare boxes and sorted out more Blood Moons.

  6. Here’s my list:
    7x Alpha Black Lotus – $50.00 each
    10x booster box Beta – $125.00 each

    I hate that this has just basically become a set of humble brag posts for acquiring things “under market.” Stop posting things that are irrelevant to 99% of your readers. What are you buying at market prices?? That’s so much more useful to people…

    1. You are welcome to your opinion, but outlining what I’m getting things for IS relevant, because you can be to. I don’t have some special wand I wave to make deals appear. I hunt for them in all the same places as the rest of us, with a dash of experience and intuition leading to some slightly greater chance of success. I also try to explain my actions wherever possible so that you can judge for yourself whether the moves are worth emulating or should be ignored. Further, we get LOTS of positive feedback on these articles, so don’t hold your breath for us to stop reporting when transparency is so valuable to the advancement of the financial community within the MTG sphere.

      1. This article is always the highlight of the week for me. It is always well-explained and gives me a good idea how the European market-prices are compared to the US (mostly it’s a lot cheaper here). I do not read it as “Yeah, I got this way cheaper than you”. Sounds like a serious case of butthurt to me 😉 Keep up the good work, James! And if you ever need a card altered with your portrait on it, let me know 😀

      2. Chasing positive feedback for an article is a fallacy when you’re trying to justify article value – unless you’re talking about impressions and readership.

        Plenty of people watched Jersey shore, and plenty more like keeping up with the kardashians – positive feedback doesn’t immediately mean useful, valuable or good.

  7. A lot of what James posts is around market price. You don’t have to beat a ton of bushes to get foil Nykthos @ $10 or Chalices @ 13. H. E. Double Hockey Sticks, anyone could order MMA2 boxes off of reputable vendors on Facebook this week for 210 shipped. That’s $5 than his price and I’m sure if you get in good with people they’d shoot you the same price.

    1. Hit me up on Pucatrade or Twitter (@mtgcritic) and I’ll be happy to discuss, cheers.

  8. Honestly. I am in the camp that these posts are bragging now. Yeah sure we are all entitled to our opinions but i think there is many ppl who will think the same way.

    Yeah sure some cards you say are at market price but i have been comparing your list against market price and majoooooority are NOT at market price or at prices in which other people can buy at.

    My point is these are luck and maybe skills of finding the opportunity to buy it at very low price but you aren’t finding these good cards at cheap prices by advices.

    Every week you always have the same introduction that “It has occurred to us at MTGPrice that though we dole out a good deal of advice, most of you ultimately have very little insight into when our writing team actually puts our money where our collective mouths are pointing…”

    What advice are you doling out that allows you get buy cards at such rare low prices?

    To be honest, the advice is really get lucky at buying cards at low prices. Not buying cards because of forecasting advice or whatsoever.

    But sure continue to post these since you have said it apparently got positive feedback but im sure you know that it got negatives as well whether you admit or not.

    1. Liliana of the veil for 66…. that is very very low. Ebay, tcgplayer, stores all over the area do NOT sell those at that price. Maybe 75 at the lowest.

    2. So he should just basically skip the prices he got the cards at? Well, don’t know if that helps.

    3. I’m not sure I follow your logic, but this site is full of buying advice. Where appropriate we include it here as well. Sometimes that means listing some good deals, and sometimes it means drawing attention to Future Value Trading opportunities where you can get in on a card long before it’s coming spike. It varies week to week depending on our focus on how active we are and I hope you’ll find good reason to stick with us as we break things down for everyone.

  9. Jeez. Here is a example of why people should beware of winning. Anyone can make offers on cards below market price. You look up the highest buylist price for it, show it to the person with the card and add 10 -15%.

    This isn’t rocket science. If you’re willing to hustle bargains practically fall in your lap.

    1. So true. But then the focus should be on hustling, not knowing/anticipating the market, no?

      Don’t confuse things.

      1. Both methods can lead to results, but the key here is this: we committed to sharing what we’re buying transparently so that’s what we’re doing. When it’s long range FVT style buying, it will include analytics. When it’s short term value trading, the best I can do is outline that.

  10. James,
    If you bought 45 things last week, and 43 are below buylist…I’d much rather you go into depth about why you’re buying the 2 things at market vs. the 43 times where you say “below buylist, an obvious buy”…buying deals below buylist is the most obvious thing. It’s far more interesting to hear about the things that financial gurus (such as yourself and others on the site) talk about what they think will happen and why they bought or traded x, y, or z at market price. That’s why I liked Danny browns contribution where he identified something he liked (tasigur), and bought 10 of them. Great info!

    Not that you’re likely to change your style, but just a suggestion to focus more of your time talking about your at or near market buys vs the below market buys

    1. I agree that I too get more value out of logic behind non-obvious picks than I would from “boring” below market value picks. The reality however is that you are much more likely to make money in MTG Finance from seeking value than from speculating. That being said, if you review older articles, you’ll find plenty of reasoning behind Future Value Trading picks. For further reading along those lines check out my Weekly Winners & Losers series and the Pro Trader article Future Value Trading that was released with the Kickstarter campaign and will be posted to the site soon.

      1. There’s value in knowing what someone is buying, below market or not. If I found a bunch of Scalding Tarns for 10% below market price right now, I’m not buying. 20%, questionable. 30-40%, yeah, and they’d be on TCG for 5% lower than everyone else so I can sell as soon as possible.

      2. I have less of an issue with your actual article, but these comments…

        “I raided the local store, hitting the mass bulk, $2.99 box and $5 up box. Below was what I picked up, the owner set aside more for me to pick up later.
        Purchased
        24 near mint beta Islands @ $3 per
        12 near mint beta mountain @ $2.5 per
        12 near mint beta Swamp @ $2.5 per
        12 near mint beta Plains @ $2.5 per
        20 NM razorverge thicket @ $3 per
        45 NM scavenging ooze foil promo @$3 per
        1 Foil Ixidor, reality Sculptor @$3
        1 sygg, river cutthroat @ $3
        1 asceticism @ $3
        9 blackcleave cliffs @ $3 per
        4 lighting greaves @ $3 per
        3 kolaghan’s command @ $3 per
        8 cauldron of souls @ $.39 each
        12 retether @ $.39 each
        8 reanimate @ $3 each
        24 snow-land @ $.39 ( 9 mountains)
        7 Krenko, the Mob Boss Foil @ $3 each
        1 cunning wish foil @ $20
        3 cunning wish @ $7.50”

        Yeah we’ll all but when we can get stuff THAT cheap…

  11. Ok, I’m venting. Do you ever get pissed off because store owners think of you as “that guy”. I went to Game HQ in OKC, the manager followed me and the cashier around. All the cards have prices on them, everytime I picked up a card, the manager would run to the computer to check the price. He would tell me I could get only one and then jack the price up on the rest right in front of me. They have a 10% military discount but I was told I could not get it ( I was in uniform). The real thing that pissed me off is he told me he has to save the cards for his playing costumers. He had about 30 abrupt decays in the case at $10, they have been there for 3 months. He allows his tournament players to use proxies so they just sit in the case. I’m willing to pay cash for cards that no one is buying because they can use typing paper and ink. Oh well, I did get a few good buys. If he followed everyone else around, checking what they were buy I would not be so mad.

    1. So I called that store to see if I could score you the Abrupt Decays since their online store is broken. Asked for a quote on them and was told $15. Lol.

    2. I hate stores that do that. If you have a card listed at a certain price then you cant just increase it as soon as I say I want to buy the card. I will walk out of any store that does something that shady.

    3. That’s pretty crappy. The guy’s too lazy to follow the market himself, so he’s using you to find out what’s spiked. You’re basically doing his job for him.

      I’d walk in there, straight up and tell him “listen, I’m fishing for deals, and you know it. I’m more than willing to point out to you things that are underpriced, but I’m not going to do this crap with you letting me buy one at the listed price, and you jack up the rest. Keep that up, and I’ll go somewhere else, and someone else will walk in and buy all those cards up at below-market price”.

      I’ll tell some of the local store owners to keep an eye out on their binders for specific cards, and they know I’ll do it for them. So if I’m looking for something and it’s spiked recently, they’ll usually find it and give it to me at basically the pre-spike price.

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