Tag Archives: buylisting

First Look – TCGplayer Adds Buylisting

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Do any of you remember what it was like buying from TCGplayer before TCGplayer Direct? How about selling on TCGplayer before then?

It was a little different, a little weird and a little sub-optimal, though we didn’t know that at the time. All we knew was that when TCGplayer Direct came along, things were going to be different. Now, all of a sudden, when we ordered a whole deck worth of cards or bought a significant number of copies of a card for a spec from multiple sellers, we started getting one package. Sellers would send the cards they wanted to sell in to TCGplayer and TCGplayer would package the cards and send them to buyers, eliminating the need for four sellers to make up four packages to go to one person who would receive those four packages. This is known as “stream-lining” (I mean, I assume, I’ve never taken a Business course in my life) and, like in non-metaphorical streamlining, it reduces drag.

We can agree, then, that TCGplayer has a little bit of experience streamlining the buying and selling process. They have created a marketplace where people who aren’t gigantic stores but rather are individuals trying to get rid of some cardboard can participate. It’s the eBay model but tailored specifically for our specific game. It’s been working pretty well so far. The TCGPlayer marketplace is often a go-to for buying cards, and is often referenced as the going price of a card.

So now that we’re all caught up, do you remember how TCGplayer Direct changed things? Because it’s about to happen again.

The Future

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In the exact same way that TCGplayer Direct changed the way people bought and sold cards on TCGplayer, TCGplayer Direct buylist is going to change the way people, wait for it, buylist. That is, to say, it’s going to change the way some people buylist, or sell their cards to stores. I think there are a lot of advantages to this method, but I also think this is likely to be a supplement for a lot of us rather than a complete sea change to how we do business. This does have one distinct advantage over all of the methods I currently use, and that is convenience.

Current Methods

The first buylisting I ever did involved bidwicket.com. If you’ve never been to bidwicket, it’s a confusing place. Once you figure out how to navigate it, though, it ends up being worth it – at least it used to before there were alternatives. Bidwicket was useful because it had a lot of buylists from vendors accessible. You would type in the name of a card and it would take you to this page.

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You could click the “sell to store” link down where it lists the buylist prices. You filled up a “shopping cart” for each vendor, and when you finished and checked out, you would process the order separately for each vendor. You would mail the cards to the vendor and the vendor would pay you. Usually. That’s another story, and it’s not really bidwicket’s fault. The point is, this worked fine. A lot of the times, the online price was better than the in-person price and I found myself using bidwicket a lot in between Grands Prix. It wasn’t fast or particularly convenient, but at the time, it seemed worthwhile.

Then websites began to take the next step, with MTGPrice and others developing ways to connect sellers to stores that want to buy their cards.

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The big revelation here is allowing you to search both the retail price as well as the buylist price and the website taking you to each dealer’s webpage. These services all work with the goal of not forcing you to go to each dealer’s web site and punch in the card five times. With some offering the ability to fill your cart once and then have that list populated to vendors’ sites, it becomes very easy: you search once, then send them the cards you agreed to sell them (in the order they specify) and you get paid when they get cards. It couldn’t be simpler. Or could it?

While convenient, there are some shortcomings with all these services. Selecting condition is one of them, as are bugs or bad links when trying to tie together so many individual web sites. Some stores only accept NM cards but others grade down for condition but would like to be apprised that they’re getting less-than-NM cards. Another issue is that it’s no fun trying to balance getting less money for the cards and paying more money for shipping because you’re sending out a ton of packages. It’s hard to know how to balance that, and when you’re sending the quantity of cards I was sending, a $12 flat-rate USPS box didn’t always cut it, meaning sometimes it cost $24 to add a new vendor. How many times does that vendor paying a nickel more per card add up to cover the additional shipping? Why do I have to choose which way I’m losing a lot of money in non-free transaction costs? It felt pretty bad.

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So what exactly will TCGPlayer offer in this field?

The Basics

BuylistThe premise is simple. Much like an account for selling cards on TCGPlayer, there is a level associated with your account for selling cards to TCGPlayer, and as you complete orders and send the cards in you move up. Top stores in the TCGPlayer Direct program will have the opportunity to be part of the buylist program, and it will essentially create a marketplace for buylists similar to what is currently available. Searching for a card will bring up the marketplace with the current highest offers by stores buying the card.

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There are a few key notes here.

  • Stores pay the fee associated with buying the cards from you. Money is deposited directly to you when the order clears.
  • Because the stores buying from you are part of TCGPlayer Direct, you only ship once. No matter how many stores you’re actually selling to, you only ship to TCGPlayer. One package, one tracking, one insurance – you don’t have to ship to multiple stores.
  • However, by that same token, “stores involved in TCGPlayer Direct” is not everyone. There are plenty of stores with great buylist prices that you’ll find going through MTGPrice or the dealers’ own sites – Card Kingdom and a few others come to mind – that you won’t find on TCGPlayer.

Takeaways

I have monkeyed with TCGplayer Direct for a few days and I think it has a few very distinct advantages over both in-person buylisting that doesn’t let you sell cheap cards or large quantities, and online buylist aggregates which all come with their own set of challenges.

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TCGplayer Direct is very simple. Sellers will go to the TCGplayer website. Players used to selling cards on TCGplayer will recognize the seller portal but now there is a new option – buylist. You type in the name of a card, search for it, and it will bring up a list of the vendors buying the card for each condition and for foil and non-foil. You will populate the appropriate field corresponding to the number of copies for each condition and edition you are selling and then you submit the offer. It will tell you how much money is coming to you based on the combination of dealers buying that many copies.

If three dealers are paying between $3 and $5 on Night of Souls’ Betrayal and that’s acceptable to you and those two dealers are buying 10 copies total and you want to send that many, put “10” in the field for NM non-foil and submit. You’ll be offered the total of what each dealer is paying for each copy. You’re still splitting 10 copies over multiple dealers only now you aren’t sending in multiple orders. You will drop all 10 copies in the same envelope and send them in to TCGplayer. TCGplayer will verify the order is complete, the conditions are correct and will pay you and give the cards to the dealers.

If that sounds complicated, it doesn’t need to be because all you need to know is that you will type in a card, select as many copies as you want to send in and then mail them to TCGplayer and TCGplayer will take care of the rest. Sending one package is incredibly convenient and you will have access to a much larger number of dealers than you ever did with another service. This saves money on shipping costs and packaging, which is not only valuable in itself but also saves you a lot of time on the front end.

If you aren’t happy getting $3 for your copies, the list will tell you who is paying the most and how many copies that dealer is buying. Just submit that many copies and get the best price, or submit the max number of copies being asked for and take a combination of all prices. You don’t sacrifice any degree of control over the amount of money you get versus other systems and you get additional convenience in the form of only sending one package.

Ultimately, I think this is likely to be a supplement to how I buylist. I still plan to use a combination of the different tools available along with TCGplayer Direct or at least verify that I’m getting the best prices and not losing too much to shipping fees (buyers, not sellers pay all of the fees associated with TCGplayer Direct buylisting so shipping is your only expense as a seller) and I’ll be happy to switch over entirely if TCGPlayer Direct buylisting turns out as good as it looks like it could be.

It will only get better for people as more dealers add TCGplayer Direct as an avenue to get more cards sent to them and more dealers means more competition which means higher prices for players selling to them.  Having monkeyed around with the site a bit, I found it easy-to-use and very similar to other TCGplayer services and I’m excited to see how many dealers add their buylists in the coming weeks. This has the potential to completely change the way I buylist and I don’t see a ton of downsides. All of my criticisms of it were pretty minor (you have to click the search icon instead of clicking on the card name to get the page to come up) but we’ll have to see how the first few weeks go before we can make final pronouncements. As far as a first look at the site goes, I’m hopeful and I think this could be big news for the community, finance or otherwise.

 

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A Break From Bulk for Those Who Can’t be Buylists

Written By:

Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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We’ve been focusing on bulk, both common and rare, for the past few weeks. If you were comatose and missed one or all of those articles, you can find them each here to catch up;

I’ve got one more article up my sleeve in that little “trilogy” if you want to call it that, but it can wait until next week because this article is unlike most of my others in that its’ time sensitive. We haven’t really talked a lot about Eternal Masters in this column because buying those cards at retail and crossing my fingers isn’t normally how I operate. I’m in a fortunate enough situation that I’m one of the only “buylists” within about an hour drive, so a lot of collections and singles at buylist just come my way due to word of mouth. A lot of my writing has been geared towards helping you be that guy, or how to get around being region locked if you’re forced to compete with a huge store.

This article goes against the grain in that it’s a strategy that I wouldn’t personally use because of how I’m “region locked” out of it, and the margins are too low for me when I have individuals selling me cards at buylist. However if you live in an area where trading as a whole is still alive and well, then you might be able to use these tips to pick up some cards with a low buylist-to-retail spread in trade, or build a deck for cheaper than you might otherwise have to pay for it.

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It’s no secret that the difference between the low and mid spread on Eternal Masters rares is pretty thin already, with some rares being available on TCGplayer for 60% of their “median” value. Look at the “featured seller” in the top right of each of the below pictures to see what I mean. This drops even further if you’re a smart consumer and use Facebook/Twitter to purchase your cards at 10-15% less than the available low. Even if we haven’t hit the absolute possible low that the card will ever reach, we’re damn close enough that I feel comfortable in this strategy. That is, if you have a highly active local group of traders who aren’t sharks.

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Maybe you can already see where I’m going with this. If you’re located in an area where trading at TCG median is still relatively common, then it’s possible to buy cards at 60% of the TCG median, then trade them out for cards that have a significantly lower spread between the buylist and retail. Do I know of any such cards? Well, here’s a couple of hitns to get you started.

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Sedge

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galerider hive

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There’s a ridiculous spread on certain competitive Slivers right now for whatever reason, at least according to SCG. They’re paying almost retail to fill up on cards that are played in the Modern slivers deck, and you can find these in binders for $4-5 each. Based on our previous discussion, here’s an example arbitrage purchase and follow up trade you can make.

The cheapest available NM Sinkhole on TCGplayer right now is $9. If you go on Facebook/Twitter right now, scour through the various groups/backpack grinders, you can probably find one or several for $8. When those come in the mail, you walk into your LGS and say “I’m looking for Galerider Sliver and Sliver Hive. I have Sinkholes (or whatever EMA card you bought).

If you find someone with Galeriders that you can trade for at $4.50 (their TCG median price as of 6/21/16), then you can get three copies plus a dollar throw-in for your $8 Sinkhole.

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Is this highly specific scenario going to occur every time? No, of course not. In fact, there’s more than a negligible risk involved because we’re waiting on our TCG/Facebook/Twitter seller to ship the card and arrive 3-4 days later, then we’re hoping that SCG’s buy price on these Slivers holds strong over the course of that week. I’m not to worried about that latter fact in this example because Slivers are such a strong casual pickup in the long run, but I think you get what I mean.

The “worst case snenario” here is that you paid $8 for a Sinkhole, which I think is still a pretty fine buy for the long haul if you’re into long term speculation on Eternal Masters singles. It’s certainly not a foolproof arbitrage strategy and it’s not even something I’ve tested personally, but it’s an idea for those of you who still have a lively trading scene at your LGS or PPTQ. Personally I have to pay state sales tax on anything I purchase from TCGplayer, so any small spec target I buy from there is automatically slightly less attractive.

End Step

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This happened with Moat over the weekend. A single party purchased all available copies on SCG and TCGplayer, then posted a video to Facebook that said something along the lines of “I just bought all the Moats on SCG and TCG. I’m going to wait 30 minutes before buying all of the ones on eBay as well. If you want to get Moats anywhere else, now is your chance.”

While most individuals in this community use the term “buyout” incorrectly, this would be one of the few examples where the word rings true. It’s highly unlikely that the card will fall to its’ previous low of $350, but there will be at least a few people who decide that $700 is a little high for a card in their Commander deck, so be looking for those to hit the market on TCGplayer or eBay. There’s also the option of grabbing Italian copies for significantly cheaper, considering the Master Buyoutmancer didn’t touch the foreign copies.

For what its’ worth, there are two NM copies on TCGplayer for $400 each as I’m finishing up this article. I’m tempted to grab them, but that NY sales tax really bites at that high of a number. I think I’m gonna leave them alone for now, as I don’t want to risk that amount of capital on a card that I’m not confident people are ready to buy into post-spike.

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I’ll see all of you next week, when we return to a new discussion on bulk rares. Thanks for reading!

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Live from Grand Prix: New York, one week later

Written by: Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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Hey there! I have returned from Grand Prix New York, and it felt good to say hello to some faces that I haven’t seen since Vegas. Even if you don’t plan on playing in the main event (especially if you don’t plan on playing in the main event), I really can’t recommend Grands Prix enough as your foray into the next level of Magic. There’s just so much to do, no matter what your format. I’m going to delve into my experiences at the event, but first I want to preview what next week’s article is going to be based on a question I got on my previous piece.

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If you were really enjoying my Blueprint article last week, then I recommend sticking around for next Thursday when we dive into the above questions and more. While I may not know or care what Standard cards are going to spike, bulk is a niche I can write about. I could have gone into a lot more detail about the sorting process, but we’ll touch on that next week. Until then, let’s do a brief overview of some tips for buying and selling at Grands Prix, because I know I’ve gotten a non-zero number of requests about that and it’s still fresh in my mind.

Hotlists

So let’s start from a pretty basic level. What’s a hotlist? If you follow me on Twitter and hastily scrolled past all my tweets from this past weekend, you probably have the word “hotlist” embedded in your mind. Contrary to what I hope isn’t popular believe, vendors at the event want more than what’s on their hotlist. That whiteboard, chalkboard, or fancy digital screen that they have posted is just to get their foot in the door, and show you the cards that they’re really aggressively buying. A quick skim of the list can usually give you a solid idea of what format that vendor is most interested in, and if a large number of vendors have similar cards on their hotlist then you can use that as a decent indicator for what will be hot over the course of the weekend.

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Based on the above pictures, we can make some rational predictions for the cards we want to sell to different vendors. We don’t want to waste too much time selling our cards to seventeen different booths and waiting in line for hours, because we value our time at this event relatively highly. It looks like Channelfireball was really going hard on casual cards, paying damn close to retail on cards like Xenagos, God of Revels, Exquisite Blood, and Death Baron. We see multiple vendors paying $4 on Birthing Pod, which is curious considering how illegal that card is in Modern. Hareruya was at their usual top-tier of competitive staple buy prices, but they don’t really care about EDH or casual cards.

Do Your Homework

If you’re planning on attending these events and you don’t want to wait for people like me to snap pictures on Friday or Saturday, you can certainly email or message the stores beforehand to try to get an early hotlist. This gives you time to prepare and do your homework, so you can bring cards in hand with predetermined buyers on site. Print out that hotlist (or grab a copy of the vendors’ buylist from the table), and you’ll be much more efficient at this than 90% of the people in the room.

Adding to that, I’m going to repeat something I’ve mentioned before, just because its’ important. Those who plan on selling cards at those sweet hotlist prices should absolutely try to get into the convention center as early as possible on Friday, because the vendor prices will go down as they accumulate more of the cards that they’re paying aggressive numbers on. I got to the convention center at around 2pm on Friday, and even then I probably missed out on some good deals in the vendor cases.

Personal Hunt

So what kind of deals was I looking for personally? Well, other than finding some cards at buylist prices that we’ll get to later on in the article, I was on a mission to complete the foils in my Child of Alara deck. I needed an Expedition Stomping GroundBreeding Pool, and the cards in the picture below (The proxy is Lotus Cobra, for those who understandably choose not to read my penmanship). I also refused to pay more than the cheapest available copy on TCGplayer/eBay, as you should too. Again, we go back to doing our homework; if you write down the prices you’re willing to pay for cards that you’re specifically trying to hunt down at the event, you won’t have to waste data on your phone looking it up in the display case. I knew I wasn’t going to pay more than 65 for the Breeding Pool, 30 for the Exploration, and 20 on the Reflecting Pool.

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Success! I’m still looking for a Reflecting Pool (The cheapest one on site was 23, and there’s one on TCGplayer for 20 right now. I can wait.), but I put a solid dent in the rest of the cards on my list. I’m also looking for a replacement for Westvale Abbey, as that card did not perform well enough in testing to continue sitting in the deck.

Other Finds

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I didn’t only go to the GP to pick up cards that I was actually going to play with, though. I also wanted to find some sick deals on cards that i would be able to flip later on, and NM foil Collected Company for 32 at Hareruya seemed like a good place to start. The cheapest copies on TCGplayer right now are $40, so I shouldn’t have too difficult of a time moving these for $37-38 to the right buyer.

Binder Grinding

I found those CoCos in the display case, but most of the time deals like that will be snatched up very early on in the weekend by other grinders or passerby who happen to notice that a card is underpriced. The real treasures are in the low-end binders, full of EDH and casual garbage that the vendors don’t really care too much about. If you spend a few minutes looking through these binders, you’ll probably find some cards that jumped in price a while ago, but nobody updated them.

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Usually the binders will range from $1-10 cards, and contain random EDH/casual/cube/old school gems
There were over 20 copies in the binder, but several of them were SP. Still though!
There were over 20 copies in the binder, but several of them were SP. Still though!

Sometimes there will be a bunch of a card that just doesn’t sell very well anymore; Considering Tasigur, the Golden Fang isn’t played in Modern anymore, vendors were in no hurry to hold onto copies. I found twenty-something copies in a binder at $2 each!

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Banned in Modern, but still easily playable in Commander!
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I paid $1.50 each for the top row, and $2.50 each for the bottom row; all foil!

Finally, I want to touch a little bit on the whole prize ticket system. After playing in a 2HG Sealed event and going 2-1-1, my teammate and I each received 110 event tickets. The exchange rate is one Standard legal booster pack for 10 tickets, so we can approximately estimate the retail value of a 10 tickets to be $3-4. While my friend and I blew our prize tickets on SOI packs to practice and jam Sealed decks against each other, I want to let you in on a little tactic I wish I had used.

Channelfireball had a lot of Standard legal singles in the display case that you could use prize tickets on, but one of the best values was the option to get Startled Awake for 10 tickets each. Now, you’re probably thinking: “But DJ why would I spend my hard earned tickets on a bulk mythic that no one cares about?” Well, I would tell you that Startled Awake had refused to drop down to bulk mythic status, and that you can still sell these things locally for $3 easy. That whole “double-sided mythic” aspect really takes a number on the supply, when you realize that there are approximately the same number of Startled Awakes in the world as there are Archangel Avacyn. I could have picked up eleven copies of Startled Awake, and sold them locally after coming home to the casual players on Facebook.

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End Step

Before we close for the week and begin our adventure to the world of bulk, I want to take a couple of paragraphs about Eternal Masters possibilities. I got into a discussion on Twitter a couple days ago about why I don’t expect to see Dredge in the set, considering they already tried it in Modern Masters 2013 and it really didn’t work in the Limited format. I think they’ll try to make reanimate a legitimate strategy, but through means like Faithless Looting effects and not Dredge.

With these predictions, I’m really expecting Golgari Grave-Troll and Darkblast to have significant gains in the next few months. If we don’t see either reprinted in EM but we receive other support in the set (Cabal Therapy, and to a lesser degree Ichorid), I can see both Dredge spells jumping in price because of how easily accessible the deck is other than Lion’s Eye Diamond.

On a similar note, I’m really expecting to see a tribal Elves theme in Eternal Masters. This set allows them to jam Glimpse of Nature and competitive elf friends while relieving some pressure from the casual Lorwyn elves. I’m expecting some combination of Elvish HarbingerNettle SentinelWirewood LodgeImperious Perfect, and Jagged-Scar Archers to make the cut. I think they want to let you build “Legacy Elves” with a mix of casual and actual Legacy elves, and I don’t believe that Consiracy would let them build that kind of Limited environment.

 

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Blueprinting 101

Written By:
Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
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Welcome back

Hey there friends! I apologize for not managing to get an article out last week; final exams have been pretty stressful, but I’m almost finished with my last year of undergraduate college. I’m going to miss Oswego, mostly because my location is a big reason I’ve been able to become a little successful in this little niche of a community. I’ll still be able to visit the campus once a week for graduate classes, but it’s pretty clear that my strategies in making money through this little side hobby will have to adapt now that I can’t stop by the shop and buy collections, or restock the case on a whim.

So what’s changing?

Well, my locally famous 1k for $7 boxes  have died down a lot over the course of this past year. That’s partially to be expected, I suppose; there’s only so many thousands of bulk commons and uncommons you can force down a college town’s throat before they satiate themselves for a while.

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This is the photo I’ve used for my Craigslist advertisement for the past year or so…

While moving to a new location approximately an hour and a half away means that I’ll have a semi-new Craigslist stomping ground, I do need to adapt and have a more consistent outlet for bulk commons and uncommons. This week (and possibly in the next few weeks depending on how long this ends up being), I’m going to go a bit more in depth on a topic that I briefly tossed out a few weeks ago; specifically referring to “The Blueprint:” an extremely in-depth common/uncommon  buylist created by Thomas Dodd “@Amistod” and Zach “@ZachSellsMagic”. I got a couple of questions last time I casually mentioned it about whether it was a secret #MTGFINANCE cabal thing where only the elite scientologists could join, and it’s not that at all.

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I will put a disclaimer in advance though; the project I’m going to embark on in the next couple of months requires a significant time and decent monetary investment. I’m lucky to have a month and a half off before I start my graduate assistantship, and two close friends who are very eager to sort cards in exchange for trade credit. This article is less of a “how to make a couple dollars in trade at FNM” and more of “how to spend several days or weeks squeezing every last drop of lemonade out of 300,000 bulk commons and uncommons.”

Bulkland

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So these are a few pictures of what my room at my Dad’s house looks like right now. I know one of the boxes has “RARES1” scribbled across the top, but trust me; it’s all glorious bulk. Some of it’s picked, some of it probably has Swords to Plowshares and Unlimtited basic lands. Some of it is sorted out by set, and some of the cards are upside down or backwards. I paid anywhere between $3 and $5 per thousand on all of this, paying more when I knew that there were probably unsorted treasures and less when I knew it had been picked clean. At this point I’m pretty maxed out on bulk for the moment, so I’ll probably have to dial back any current bulk purchases to between $3-4 per thousand while I deal with this pile.

Blueprint

So what kind of magical buylist is going to make this all worth my (and more importantly, your) time?  Well, let’s show you an example page to demonstrate what kind of cards we’re talking about. While there will hopefully be some Swords to Plowshares and Blood Artists in that bulk, I’m actually going to be picking out and sorting these types of cards….

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Remember how people like me probably told you that Theros bulk wasn’t even worth picking cards out of post-rotation? Well, now you can get some sweet dollars for several of the individual cards in the set; three cents per card doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you think about it as $30 per thousand it gets a lot more enticing… we just have to put in the leg work of set sorting and alphabetizing everything, then shipping it all to our friends in Georgia. Now, what would be the best way to go about that…. Set sorting and alphabetizing has always been my mortal enemy because its’ so freaking tedious, but Netflix and Spotify should help with that to a degree.

Step 1: Sort by Set

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This little project is something I worked on for a good chunk of spring break, and I’d like to give a shout out to John from Card Advantage and my fiancee’ Emily to helping out. While my scissors and tape skills are not exactly the most renowned, it’s certainly functional for its intended purpose. Sorting your bulk by set will make the following step much easier when you’re working with a bunch of individual smaller card pools.

If you’ve been playing for a while and have empty 1K or 5K boxes lying around, it’s a great idea to label these for each set or block; depending on how many cards you’re working with. Sorting by set and alphabetically will scale with the size of your collection much better than sorting by something like color, where your piles will grow to an unwieldy size.

Sorting by set is also much easier and faster when you hold the cards upside down. It’s not exactly intuitive, but it lets you see the set symbol first and foremost without looking at the rest of the card, put it into its correct section, and move on. As you may have noticed in my picture of all the sorting trays, I left the four deep pockets empty for each tray intentionally; I can save those for foils, foreign cards, rares, damaged cards, etc; we don’t want to accidentally sort a Flameblade Angel when we could actually sell it for 25 cents, do we?

You’ll notice that my sorting trays are chronologically ordered instead of alphabetically, but it will be much easier to add new sets along the way. When Eldritch Moon comes out, I can just print out the set name and symbol and tape it next to Shadows over Innistrad. Then we wait for the Blueprint to get updated, and start buying bulk once again.

In case you were about to scroll down into the comments section or hit me up on Twitter about where I got those dividers and sorting trays, I can recommend BCW supplies. While their shipping costs are absolutely ridiculous sometimes, it’s definitely worth buying from them if you plan on ordering enough materials to go above the free shipping threshold ($80).

dividers sorting trays

Step 2: Alphabetical Order

This is a method most of us are a bit more familiar with, so I can spend a bit less time talking about it. Alphabetize each set, so that you have your 40 Archetype of Aggressions first, followed by your 18 copies of Archetype of Courage (which is a 16 cent Magic card, by the way). Again, I prefer to use the BCW trays but there are a couple out there that work equally well. I know that CoolstuffInc sells a pretty high quality tray, but $31+shipping is a dealbreaker for me when this one works perfectly fine. I got the stickers from the video game store where I sell cards, but anything should work as long as its’ clear and distinct.

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So now we’ve got several thousand cards worth at least .03 a piece, all set sorted and alphabetized, with each set in alphabetical order as well. What’s the best way to ship these to Georgia? Well, first I recommend making sure that the cards are packaged safely so that none of the cards are able to move or become damaged in transit. It would be a real downer if you ship several hundred dollars worth of cards just to lose a significant percentage because they weren’t tied down safely. Packing 1K boxes full to the brim should prevent any movement, and boxes that only have a few hundred cards should be filled with some other sort of filler to prevent them from moving around.

A USPS large flat rate box costs around $19, and holds around six 1K boxes, meaning we’re paying around $3 per thousand just to ship. Again, that’s definitely an unreasonable number if we’re planning on selling these via Craigslist or mailing them to SCG at bulk prices, but we’re not. We’re spending a few days to drain every ounce of value out of the cards, and the dried husk of un-blueprintable stuff can be bulked off later to a vendor like CSI or SCG to cover parts of our shipping costs. You can head down to your local post office and grab several of the unfolded boxes, then package them up at home and bring them back when you’re ready to pay and ship. Just remember to email Thomas first with a confirmation of the list that you’re shipping!

usps

You may have noticed that there aren’t actually any cards in the process of being blueprinted right now. I have final exams until next Friday the 13th, and then the week after that will be buylisting season until July 1st. If you’re interested in this kind of mtg finance, I highly suggest tuning into my next few articles as I try this out first-hand and report my results. If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter at or in the comments section.

If anyone is interesting in getting a copy of the Blueprint, please email send an email to thomas@cardadvantage.com. He’ll be more than happy to help you out.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or given any sort of incentive by Card Advantage to write this article about them. The only incentive is the ridiculously deep buylist and friendly people who created the Blueprint!

End Step

  • I will be at GP New York City this weekend from Friday at noonish until Sunday, depending on if my friend day 2’s the event. I will be posting vendor hotlists on Twitter at @Rose0fthorns, so be sure to pay attention to that if you plan on going to the event or want to keep an eye on some cards that vendors are hot on.
  • It’s probably a little late to give this tip out for GPNYC, but it should come in handy for future Grands Prix that you plan on attending. I mentioned this a couple days ago on our podcast Cartel Aristocrats, but it bears repeating:If you plan on staying in a hotel and booking online through a website like booking.com or Expedia, I highly recommend doing your research into the price and fees of your stay, then calling the hotel directly to try and negotiate a price while avoiding those booking website fees. The hotel knows that they have to throw away a percentage of your money to those sites, so calling them directly and asking “What is the cheapest price you can give me if I book right now over the phone without hotels.com?” has a solid chance of cutting out the middle man and getting you a much better deal.

Hope to see some of you at GPNYC!
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