I’m fresh back from Minneapolis to discuss what went down at the GP this weekend. Many trends are starting to pop up in the vendor world when it comes to card prices, and as usual I will be reviewing each vendor! As a note, my camera card was corrupted halfway through the event, so some vendor pictures may be old from previous floor reports.
I had tweeted out before the event that I was building Ogre boxes. Quite a few of my followers had no clue what an ogre box is. Without stealing too much from Douglas Johnson’s article, it’s pretty simple to explain. This process was started by another St. Louis local known as Ogre in the vendor community, and can lead to way more money for only a little bit more work. An ogre box is where you take all of the cards that retail for under $5 or so, and look up the highest buylist for each card and place it in the corresponding stack. You then take the stacks and put them in boxes labeled clearly with how much you are looking to get for each section of the box. Vendors pick through them, and it saves you both time as well as getting the most bang for your buck. In my experience, smaller shops will take quite a bit as opposed to a shop like CoolStuff who has predetermined numbers that they are paying on everything even before the event halls open. Remember to take your boxes around to each vendor before compromising and going lower on cards before each booth has had a look! Remember, we make money off of players being lazy. Don’t be lazy, and you’ll make more money if you put in more work!
Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty vendor review system.
Power Nine was situated towards the middle of the room with MTGDeals when one walked through the doors first. As a result, they accumulated quite a long line of bystanders checking out their prices between rounds and a ton of foot traffic. I wasn’t happy with their prices on the higher end stuff, but their buyers were friendly. Ogre was buying for them and bought all of my Portal Three Kingdoms stuff at the highest buylist numbers I showed him off of MTGPrice’s own collection tracker.
They also were paying the highest on Promo Stoneforge Mystics in the room at $12. An interesting situation occurred when someone brought in a pile of cards on a dolly, and sat at Power Nine for 2 straight days. To the untrained eye, it appears that this collection would be a goldmine. However, this meant that one of Power’s buyers would be encumbered with only buying and pricing this collection and haggling with this individual for the entire GP. Because it isn’t cheap to fly and house a buyer, it would have probably been more efficient to pay the seller to fly to Power’s shop and sell them cards after the GP. This is because if all the buyers are busy, people waiting to sell cards will simply go to another booth to sell their cards about 75% of the time, meaning that the shop will lose the opportunity to buy their cards in and make a profit. I myself walked away from Power the first day after a 45 minute wait, as all of their buyers were busy, but did come back Saturday night and was happy with the prices they gave me on my remaining cards.
If you guys are selling cards to Power, I recommend selling to Ogre or Alex as they move very fast and don’t hem and haw over dimes and condition as much as the other buyers at the booth.
Tales of Adventure
Tales of Adventure was a booth that I had previously contacted before the GP started about potentially getting an advanced buylist and selling Pokemon bulk to. For those that aren’t aware, Pokemon bulk can go for $100 a k in the right condition. I ended up selling played Pokémon bulk to Tales for 40 per k, an agreement both of us were happy with. I walked up to Tales with an Ogre box, and sat down with Jim and their President, Michael. I had previously talked to Michael about selling those cards and he had implied he would try and match mtg.gg numbers. I didn’t expect for Michael to buy 60% of my box at first glance however!
They both worked on pulling apart the ogre box, and in a little less than an hour most of my first ogre box was demolished. I was very happy and had sold them a few things in my binder, when I received this message while still at the GP. http://imgur.com/Dt9zmFh . The fact that Michael reached out to me after I had sold a CE Chaos Orb to pay me more meant a lot to me, as he felt that he would have screwed me on the now $60 card (seriously guys? Too high of a price). Overall, I was very happy with Tales.
Coolstuff has become a mainstay on the tournament circuit. I sat down with their buyers Victor and Ricky, and was happy with the numbers I received. Although Coolstuff doesn’t really haggle since they are a larger company, they do occasionally pay higher than others on random things that they are out of, such as Jhoira of the Ghitu and Gaddock Teeg. I didn’t sell them that much, but they always have consistent pricing and solid customer service at their GP booths. I ended up buying quite a few cards from their damaged binder, a practice few finance people look at when trying to get deals. I was able to get a MP scroll rack for $20, and also walked away with some free pens and life pads (now that’s value).
MTGCardMarket also had a central location right near the entry point of the hall. However, they didn’t seem that busy during the weekend. I didn’t sell anything to them, but I did scrape some fun deals from their damaged case such as a damaged Scroll Rack for 17 and a damaged beta Dark Ritual for 12. None of their buy prices really were high compared to the rest of the room, so I’m sad to see them on a decline from the last GP they vended. However, they did have a ton of high end magic cards in stock and quite a bit of graded power for those interested in trading for collection gems.
Coming into this GP, I had never heard of this shop. These guys ended up being pleasantly surprising with both their prices and personality. Having your buyers wear moose antlers is pretty amusing and a gimmick that draws people to your booth. These guys had some of the best foreign priced cards on the floor, and solid buy prices. I didn’t sell that much to them, but I enjoyed the banter while waiting for them to look through my binders. Something that many vendors need to work on is their personalities and friendliness, and these guys crushed it. I hope to see them in the future, as this was a great booth that has so much potential in the future.
Chimera Hobby Shop
This booth was situated closer to the back of the room, and one could tell by the amount of foot traffic that they weren’t really buying as much as their neighboring booths. However, Chimera showed up with the largest amount of sealed packs at the GP. A lot of players traded in and bought old packs for nostalgia, and I definitely pack war’d a couple too many with friends from their booth. Their buyers were friendly, but I didn’t end up selling anything to them. I did buy a played savannah from them later in the weekend, but for the most part I skipped this booth.
Alter Reality Games
Alter Reality brought some of the cheapest original Modern Masters packs on the floor to the GP. Besides that, I wasn’t happy at all. They were consistently 10-15% lower on almost all cards they picked through in my binders, and their staff wasn’t the most pleasant to deal with. This was a repeat of the last time I encountered them at SCGSTL, and none of my friends had a good time dealing with them in Minneapolis either. I hope to see a better booth at the next GP I attend, but I spent very little time and money dealing with them.
MTGDeals had some of the best buy prices and sell prices in the room, something they’ve become known for at almost every GP that they have vended over the last year. They had the highest buy prices on almost every staple in the room, and their booth was packed all weekend. Being near the doors, they had some of the highest foot traffic all weekend, and were packed for almost the entire weekend. I bought a lp savannah from them for 48, and sold them loads of Modern Masters cards that they were paying practically TCGLow on. They were also paying $90 on Lion’s Eye Diamonds, a sign that demand for this card is only going up as reserved list cards continue to provide good returns for those that invested or traded for them years ago.
Hot Sauce Games
Hot Sauce had the third and final booth near the opening doors this weekend. They had great deals on played cards, but little was to be found when it came to their buy prices this weekend. After about 10 minutes of them looking through my binders, I walked away not satisfied with many of their prices they were offering when I could have walked a booth over to deals and gotten much more.
Pink Bunny Games
In the past, I have been highly critical of Pink Bunny’s conduct at both events and shipping practices when it comes to them selling cards online. Pink Bunny had one of the strongest buylists this weekend on standard cards. They were paying $3 on most Battle for Zendikar dual lands, something that other vendors used to arbitrage their buys over for cards that they really wanted. Both Damien and Matt were highly friendly at this GP, and I found myself sticking by their booth and selling quite a bit to them. If Pink Bunny keeps this up, I will definitely look to make their booth one of the first stops at any GP Circuit.
After talking with most vendors and floor traders, a clear picture emerged. Almost everyone on the floor was dumping Dragons and Origins rares out and trying to get low priced Eldrazi and blue chip cards in stock. After talking with a floor trader and reader of this site named Ryan, he echoed what many were thinking in the room. “Picking up Restoration Angels, Thoughtseizes and shocks seems like a good long term bet” according to him.
A ton of vendors were also paying very low spreads on gods as they continue to soar in popularity. I still personally feel like the gods have quite a long way to go, especially the ones from Born and Journey (I just wish I hadn’t sold so many at their low to Ryan Bushard). Other cards that were in heavy demand on the floor were Library of Alexandria, Chromatic Lanterns, and Rishadan Ports. Port had been confirmed as not in Eternal Masters during the first day of the event, so traders were trying to get every copy they could on the floor. Chromatic Lantern continues to be a blue-chip card, as every multi colored EDH deck needs one of these and most players don’t care paying the ever increasing rate this artifact commands.
Many players were trying to dump foreign foils, and I picked up a couple Russian Foils that were intentionally underpriced for my cube.
Pastimes did a very good job with this event, unlike previous disasters such as GP Chicago that I had attended. The Legacy event Friday had a mishap with the payout, and Alan the owner personally confronted each player about it and provided twice the amount of payout as well as a free $25 entry fee into another event this weekend. Rounds were quick, and side events were moving very well. Overall attendance for the GP was around 1500, with many pro players trying to grind last minute pro points to secure their Platinum status for next year.
Overall, Minneapolis was a fun event and a great city. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments, or reach out to me @xemitsellsmagic on twitter. I hope each one of your Eternal Masters packs has a Jace!
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