Legacy Hero #9
I know everyone is interested in the trades I’m making to get the deck done. I don’t know how many of you are actually reading my articles for the other topics but I was asked an interesting question this past week that I felt needed to be answered. “How do you get people to trade you legacy staples? How do you trade your legacy staples?” I never really put much thought into it. Cards are cards right? Most of the people I asked the question to said that their legacy cards are a lot harder to trade out of their binder. That response seems like the opposite of what you would expect if you have been following the progress I have made so far with Legacy Hero.
When I first got into the finance part of magic I was told that as long as you are able to get some value it doesn’t matter what you’re trading. When it comes to this project that statement is only half true. I need to increase the value of my trade binder while adding cards to my deck. If I trade out my binder for a pair of revised Tundras, it’s game over. Finding the balance between building the deck and building value is extremely hard. I think a lot of it depends on the opportunities that are offered. Your average trade partner isn’t going to have a stack of dual lands to trade for the standard stuff you don’t want anymore and even if they did, are they going to find the right cards in your binder to make the trade work for them? The struggle is real folks.
When you buy list your cards somewhere you are taking less for your card but getting cold hard cash or at least 20% extra in store credit. I’ve gotten a little lucky so far with my trades. I stumbled into someone that was willing to part with a pair of Force of Will and another trade partner that cut me a great deal for two cards that were going to get buy listed. That is the exception, not the rule.
Let’s look at Show and Tell for an example of a Legacy Staple. The card has had two printings, Urza’s Saga and a Judge Foil. It’s been pretty consistent in price. It sees play in a couple tier one decks and the 12 post deck. I don’t know what the exact print run of each version was but I’m going to focus on the Urza’s Saga version for this example. The lowest price is you see on mtgprice.com is on tcgplayer.com, but that is deceiving. There is only one copy at the $48.99 price and it is moderately played. Looking at the other sellers (assuming you want to get four copies) it would cost you just under $210, assuming you’re getting the same condition from the available sellers. Looking at ebay completed sale prices you’re going to pay an average of $55 a copy. What about a major retailer like Channel Fireball? They have 12 near mint copies for $69.99 and 3 slightly played copies for $62.99. Where are you going to get your copies from? Channel Fireball. I can buy list them roughly $196 ($202 including shipping) in cards, use the 30% store credit bonus and that is like paying $49 each. Granted, this isn’t taking into account the time spent on acquiring the cards to send them, the buy listing process on their site, packing and shipping the cards, etc. I like to send a buy list order at least once a month. It is nice to have the store credit waiting for a great sale to pop up, to get some cards my local players are asking for, grab a box of something to draft with my friends, or even to snag the last couple cards I need for a deck.This just shows how buy listing works in your favor. That 30% trade in bonus can come in handy if you’re smart about what you pick up and when you buy list.
The argument of tying up your money in store credit versus spending immediately to continue making you more money is another topic that would take up my entire article and then some. Ultimately you have to do what works best for you. I have a full time job that takes up a lot of my time. I’m not paying my bills with my profits. I love the finance aspects of the game but I’m just trying to minimize the cash I spend on the game. That’s what this article series boils down to really. Maximizing resources to minimize the cash you’re spending on the game. And well, grinding value can be really, really fun.
Now what if you’re trying to move your copies of Show and Tell? Are you going to list them on tcgplayer.com? How long do you let them sit there? How many times are you going to price them down just to make a sale? Don’t forget about the fees you’re paying when they finally sell. You can always list them on Ebay. What if the winning bid didn’t break $50? You can always try and trade them out but how many people have asked you about Show and Tells? Do you try and trade them out for $75 worth of modern and/or standard cards? How long are you going to let them sit in your trade binder? It really depends on how much you value your value. Why do people ask for value when trading their legacy staples for your modern or standard cards? The best answer I can come up with is because they can I have mentioned before that you should try and find a trade partner that doesn’t charge you for trading down. Well, I was kind of wrong. Sometimes you have to sacrifice value to get what you want if you don’t want to wait for the right deal. If you’re not in a hurry and you trade with enough people you will find the right deal but as always cash is king.
Turning cardboard into cash isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Two of the best floor traders (they have a really good podcast) in the business showed me once upon a time at the Return to Ravnica pre-release that trading out eternal staples for standard stuff is the way to go. It is easier to trade standard stuff. It is easier to liquidate standard stuff. Plain and simple, the demand is much higher. When you can sell into the hype you have the potential for more value before the bottom falls out of the cards.
When it comes to trading, I believe in transactions. The more trades you do, the more potential value you can acquire. How many times have you tried to put together a big dollar trade and have the other person walk away at the last minute? How many times have you had someone flip through your binder, pull out a couple cards and walk away happy in less than 10 minutes? I will take the 10 minute transactions all day long. I can play a game of EDH and trade while the game is going on. I can trade in between rounds at FNM and go home with some value in my binder.
I haven’t pulled the trigger on anything with my store credit at Channel Fireball yet. I was hoping for a little more input from readers and better sales. I was tempted to jump on the speculation bandwagon and buy up a whole bunch of Ancestral Visions and Bloodbraid Elves. I didn’t see the sense in it. I’m working with limited resources and didn’t want to buy into the hype and end up without anything to show for it.
Here is what I have for the Stoneblade deck so far
- Force of Will x2
- Sensei’s Divining Top
- Brainstorm x4
- Ponder x4
- Spell Pierce x2
- Treasure Cruise x4
- Daze x2
- Young Pyromancer x4
- Swords to Plowshares x4
- Stoneforge Mystic
- Flooded Strand x5
- Council’s Judgement
- Supreme Verdict x4
- Baneslayer Angel
One of the Flooded Strands and the Sensei’s Divining Top are going into the trade binder along with at least 2 copies of Supreme Verdict. I’m focusing my efforts on finishing the set of Stoneforge Mystics and Force of Wills. The Tundras are going to be a challenge. The price has come down on them. I’ve been watching ebay and there has been a handful that have sold for less than $130.
I was hoping to have some exciting trades from my adventure in Chicago but sadly I wasn’t able to put a single one together. The crowd was great. There were opportunities but just couldn’t come to terms. This was the last chance I had to travel for magic for a while because of the amount of work I have coming up with my day job. To add even more salt in the wound, I didn’t even get to play in the event. Lesson one of the weekend was that Uber isn’t always the best way to get around the city.They like to think they have a better way to get to where you’re going but in this instance, they were wrong. Lesson two was to make sure to double check that your power cable for your laptop is in your bag BEFORE you checkout of the hotel. All in all I was extremely disappointed with the whole magic experience. On the plus side, I was able to drown my sorrows over a Portillos Italian Beef sandwich.
That’s all I have for this week. Next week I will be able to go over any financial fallout over the banned and restricted list and I will go over what I bought with my store credit. I can’t promise any trades. I won’t have any time to go to my local stores but I will try and find something. As always you can find me on the gmail at mtglegacyhero and on twitter @somethingsays. Thanks!