Category Archives: Conjured Currency

A Grab Bag of This Week: GP Vegas and More

I was planning on writing this article on the morning of June 2nd while I was at the airport on my way back from the largest Magic: the Gathering tournament in history. Unfortunately, I realized upon opening my Chromebook that I had forgotten to charge it. Damn.  That leaves me scrambling to come up with a succinct way to pack the events of this week into a short finance-centered column, in only a few hours. I actually took my finger off the pulse of the finance machine during my time in the desert so that I could play more Magic in one week than I had done in the past year and a half, but I reluctantly managed to pick up some information that I’ll spill out through this column in separate little topics.



Now that the 1970s are firmly behind us, can we stop labeling every slightly controversial issue in any community ever with the suffix “-gate”?  If you haven’t heard the news, I’ll do my best to quickly fill you in on why that particular Tarmogoyf is being auctioned off for ridiculous amounts of money (Unfortunately at this point, the auction is likely being ruined by fake bidders who have no plans on paying the number).

After Pascal Maynard rare-drafted a foil ‘Goyf in the Top 8 of the Grand Prix, several other well-respected names in the community lost respect for him and felt that he had damaged the competitive integrity of the game, copping out for a theoretical $300 bill over the Burst Lightning that was obviously the better pick for his deck. Everyone has their own personal struggles and situations that they’re dealing with in life, and it was later revealed that Maynard would likely be selling the Goyf in an auction on eBay in order to pay for future Grand Prix trips.

The really cool part about this is that Maynard is donating 50% of the proceeds to a charity that holds dear to my heart personally, called GamersHelpingGamers. It’s a group of people who have been playing Magic for almost as long as I’ve been alive, who have been giving out scholarships with donations to Magic players who are trying to afford college. I received one of their first scholarships back in 2012, and I try to encourage everyone I know to apply. If you’re in college (or planning on attending college in the next few years), here’s a Magic finance tip above almost all others: Have foil Tarmogoyfs and the likeness of Dark Confidant help you pay for your college degree instead of selling your collection to do so.


This foil Goyf from Maynard’s pile of 45 cards is special for more than just the story of being picked. It also has the GP stamp that the judges used to mark the cards, to prevent any additional unwanted cards from joining the pool. While a majority of vendors and sellers would consider the mark as a damaging aspect of the card, there is definitely a niche market out there who collect the stamped product for use in cubes and EDH decks. Foils are the big targets here; Although I’m not suggesting you should start grabbing foil Simic Initiates to make your Day 2 draft pool a bit more attractive to a niche market, maybe that’s what I should have done considering how bad I am at Limited.




I wouldn’t go hunting down stamped foils in order to speculate on a big spike, but if you have a choice between a foil cube playable card and a non-foil ten cent Vampire Lacerator for your UR Elemental deck…  it’s definitely worth picking up and finding the person who wants to pay extra.

Box of Shattered Dreams

Although there were a few hiccups with side events starting late on Thursday and Friday, the Grand Prix as a whole was overwhelmingly smoothly run. Product was distributed at a reasonable pace, players didn’t have to wait in a two hour line to acquire their promos or playmats, and Day 1 ended by 10:00pm local time, making sure there was enough time to get sleep for the draft the following day.

One of the key aspects of making sure the product was moved from the judges to the players quickly was packaging playmats, life counters, promo packets, pens, packs, and deck registration sheets inside the 800-count long boxes that I talked about last week, so that every single person in the room had an easily accessible container of all their GP swag. It was easy to tell if someone hadn’t received their box of products, and everything was kept neat and clean.

If you’ll remember to last week, I was complaining about the price increase from BCW Supplies on the boxes that I regularly ordered. As I traversed the floor of the event, I watched hundreds and hundreds of people throw away their boxes into the garbage. I didn’t bring a large enough backpack to fold them up and take them with me, and I sure as hell didn’t have the room to take them back on the plane with me, even unfolded.

Maybe I’m being a bit too frugal here. but I would have loved to collect as many boxes as possible from those who weren’t using them, and bring them back by the hundred to my house if the GP had been local. I would have saved so much money, and I had to just watch my potential deals get thrown away. If ChannelFireball continues this method of product distribution (or if another vendor smartens up and decides to use the idea for themselves), you might be able to cash in on some cheap or free card storage if you brought the space to move a large quantity of boxes.


At some point over the weekend, someone decided to buy out all of the copies of Omniscience off of TCGplayer and eBay. While I have no idea how many copies there actually were before the buyout or how much money it cost the person to do it, the cheapest available copy I can find right now is $30, several days after the spike.

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Aether Games’ Goyf buy prices were the talk of the town over the weekend, but they were also extremely aggressive on a significant other number of staples, targeting cards that were safe from a reprint anytime soon and poised to go up. They were paying retail prices on Creeping Tar Pit, Omniscience, and other staples that would continue to go up in price due to their exclusion from MM2015. If you’re on the floor at the next GP that Aether is vending, I recommend snapping a picture of their hot list and using it as a guide for trades, as an easy way to turn cards into cash for full retail, or hold onto the cards on their list in hopes for a steady increase. Personally, I’d be selling them all of my Deathmist Raptors, but joining them on the Cavern of Souls and Tar Pit bandwagon.

Retracting after a Buyout

Following its ancestors Fist of Suns and Sylvan Safekeeper in “cards that spiked in price due to an artificial buyout and have yet to prove themselves at a competitive level in an actual event,” we have Retract, a rare from Darksteel that is an integral piece in a fragile Modern combo deck called “Cheerios,” presumably due to all of the 0-drops that would be of a similar shape to the cereal. While the deck has been a very fringe player on MTGO for months now, someone decided to make the move over the past weekend. I’ve owned copies of these for a little over the month, at the advice of my co-writer Travis Allen:


While buylist prices haven’t caught up to the hype, now is your time to get out if you like locking in profits, or holding if you’re more of a risk-taker and expect more of the deck. Remember that Amulet of Vigor spiked several times over the course of a couple years, every time it saw coverage at a large Modern event. If you bought in at the floor with Travis and I, you might want to hold off a bit and see if you can sell into another hype wave later on. Either way, I definitely don’t think buying in now at $2-3 is the correct answer.

End Step

Normally I have some sort of coherent theme throughout the article, and this is where I add in random tid-bits of information about what happened last week, where to plan for next week/month/year, or something to that effect. Considering I spent an entire week’s article on one giant “End Step,” I’d like to instead open the floor to do some sort of mailbag article, or “Ask me Anything” style article, where I take questions from readers and provide in depth answers as to what I would do in your situation.

If you would like to have your question answered, please provide at least some degree of context. Letting me know what type of player you are, how often you play, what your usual methods of acquiring and moving cards are, and what your goals are in Magic can help me answer your question more thoroughly. Questions can be sent to my email at, or hit me up on Twitter if you can somehow pose it in 140 characters or less. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!


Dealing with 150,000 Bulk Commons

I’m not going to talk about Modern Masters 2015.

“But DJ, it’s the hottest ne—”

Don’t care.

“There are a bunch of complaints about the packaging an—”


“This set is going to make Tarmogoyf into a $50 ca-”

No, it’s not. And I said I don’t care.

Maybe that’s a bit of an aggressive opening to this week’s article, but it’s honestly how I feel. I’m not diving in headfirst and buying mass copies of cards that have been reprinted, and I’m not squirreling away boxes of the set so as to gamble on their long-term desirability.

My methodology stays that same throughout this turbulent time in pricing, and that’s, “Buy stuff at or below buylist prices, and then sell it for TCGplayer-low through local individuals, Facebook groups, and on TCGplayer itself.” It’s really that simple, for the most part. If Timmy/Tammy cracks a Mox Opal but was hoping for an Emrakul, I’ll be happy to ship her $20 for it so that shecan grab two more lottery tickets.

…I just talked about Modern Masters, didn’t I? Crap.

That Is Over Now, Though

Actually, this article is supposed to be one that will continue to be useful months and years after MM2015 stops causing a financial hurricane. About a month ago, I purchased a pretty large lot of bulk commons and uncommons: approximately 150,000.
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Thanks to being able to negotiate with a past employer who owns a videogame store, I’m able to have access to a display case and physical retail location where I can buy and sell singles, collections, and bulk lots. My most popular item is definitely a lot of 1,000 randomized commons and uncommons sold in a BCW storage box for $7.


Quick aside: While I used to highly recommend ordering these boxes en masse from BCW itself, its shipping costs have changed since I last ordered from the site.

“Super Saver Shipping”? Not exactly.

If anyone reading this knows of an alternative method to acquire 1,000 count boxes for a cheaper price, please feel free to let me know so I can spread the word. I’d like to know for myself as well.

One of the “Magic Rules of Magic Finance” that I tend to repeat a lot is that I will always pay $4 per thousand on unseen bulk commons and uncommons and never more. If I am already stocked up on tens of thousands of cards and am in no rush to acquire more, I’ll lower my buy price down to $3 per thousand. If the person I’m working with wants to trade for cards out of my binder, I’ll give $5 per thousand. Because a large majority of the cards in this lot were common and sorted by set and color, I ended up giving $500.

Sorting 150,000 Commons

It’s actually a lot more annoying for me to buy collections of commons and uncommons that are sorted methodically by color and/or set, because casual players don’t really want 14 copies of Pensive Minotaur all lined up next to each other. They want one or two of each minotaur from the set, and some supporting cards from other sets so they can build their own 78-card unsleeved minotaur deck akin to how Tony Stark built his first Iron Man suit. The more randomized, the better, and I let people know that before they sell to me.

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The most frustrating part of this buy was effectively randomizing the 100,000 cards from the recent blocks of Return to Ravnica and Theros and mixing them into the older stuff that was among the collection. Ideally, you want a wide mix of cards in every box so that Timmy/Tammy doesn’t feel like he should have just dropped his money at Wal-Mart on two packs of Return to Ravnica and gotten some rares with a chance at a planeswalker.

(Side note: announcing that you threw a planeswalker into one of these boxes may have the side effect of new players ravenously buying out every single box in hopes of being the winner of the Golden Ticket).

Thankfully I’m a college student and have other friends who had nothing to do but pick through my intimidating wall of Magic cards. That plus the promise of food and Netflix helps.

A Barren Landscape


No, we didn’t find a Wasteland or anything else close to that amount of money in a single card. The person that I purchased the lot from had thoroughly picked it of almost everything that I would have set aside, and I was actually more impressed than anything. It was definitely the cleanest-picked collection I have ever seen, so it freed me up to skim through a lot of the sorted cards without worrying about missing anything. However, there were a couple of things that I did end up finding…

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Shadowborn Apostle has gone the way of Relentless Rats, to the surprise of zero people. While buylists only pay around $.15, they’re easily able to be unloaded locally in sets of 20 for $15 to all of those casual demon players or anyone wanting to make a fun EDH deck with Athreos, God of Passage.  Out of dozens of forgotten M14 commons, these guys helped make up for the fact that all of the relevant uncommons were already spoken for.

As for the tokens, I’ve previously written about how tokens are often forgotten about and can be free money. While not all of them will be worth $.50 to $1 on a buylist, they’re easy ways to add a little bit of value to a trade here and there. At the absolute worst, I like to use them as throw-ins when I sell their associated card on TCGplayer, to practically guarantee a positive feedback review. As a general rule, a token will become more expensive as its associated card increases in price. If SCG will pay $.25 a piece for Young Pyromancer tokens, you can get at least $.50 to $1 from the actual players who want to use them.

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Eventually, I ran out of uncommons to ration appropriately throughout the 1K boxes. What I had left were 50,000 or so commons without additional uncommons, so I decided to label and price them differently without waiting to get my hands on more uncommons. As you can see in the picture, the “1,000 commons and uncommons” boxes are labeled “1K”, and the ones that have zero uncommons are labeled “1KC”. You can’t see in this picture, but I have the labeling explained on the top of the boxes as well. I’ll be selling the ones with just commons for only $5 per thousand, and it’ll be a nice experiment to determine whether the casual players who shop at the store are more attracted to having uncommons in their boxes or the lower price tag associated with removing them.

Moving 150,000 Commons

Thankfully, I have more than one out for these. In addition to having a passive source of income at the store, I’ll be making a Craigslist ad for these once I get back from Vegas now that I’m home for the summer.

I’ve even seen a bit of interest on Facebook for buying lots of 5,000 cards for above my usual sell prices, which helps take shipping into account. The sentence, “I just want to have a bunch more cards to add to my collection, kind of like opening a much less expensive booster box,” is music to my ears, so I’ll be looking into Facebook in the future to not only sell singles, but bulk lots that have been customized to have rares and mythics included.

Overall Evaluation of my Experience

I’ve seen multiple other articles where at the end of the exercise, the author will break down and calculate exactly how much money he made through buylisting the picked singles, selling the bulk, and determine an hourly rate that he basically worked for. I’m not going to do that. I already know that I probably made less than minimum wage during the time that I was randomizing these cards, boxing them up, moving them into the store, making advertisements to sell them, etc. However, I’m also a college student who didn’t have a whole lot else to do other than work on school papers, play League of Legends, and watch Netflix.

I don’t need to be told whether or not it was worth my time, because I understand that not every collection earns you $300 an hour because you happened to find a playset of Forces in the small box labeled “old blue commons.”

End Step

I forgot to mention this last week, but thankfully I haven’t really seen anyone mention it since. While everyone else was complaining about the higher-end cards that weren’t in Modern Masters 2015, I saw that Spell Pierce had also been omitted. I don’t think that it has too high of a power level for Standard, so I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see it in something like Magic Origins or in the next Zendikar block. I think selling these off is the call for now.

I had a local casual player ask me if I had any Archenemy schemes, and I was surprised to see that some of the random ones I had that were collecting dust were actually worth a decent amount of money. If you have schemes or Planechase planes from the multiplayer sets, I recommend doing an inventory and seeing if any are worth buylisting or throwing up on eBay/TCGplayer. Hint: the Time Walk one is worth something.

Anyone have personal stories of buying massive amounts of commons and uncommons? Find anything cool, or was it cleaned out like mine? Let me hear your stories! I’ll be in Las Vegas for the Grand Prix as of this past Tuesday, so hit me up on Twitter if you want to find time to hang out!

Selling Collections Through Facebook

Alright, so last week we went over how to find people selling their cards on Facebook for buylist prices, and how to negotiate a deal so that you don’t get scammed. I mentioned that sellers were between the two extremes of, “I want to sell my cards for SCG prices over Facebook” and “Please buy these today, I need gas money.”

You want to be a median of these two types of sellers, because it allows you to maximize profits from the things you’ve bought at buylist prices, avoid fees from eBay and TCGplayer, and get paid on the same day that you sell the cards. Today, I’m going to show you how to create a proper Facebook ad for buying and selling cards at a reasonable rate.

Rule Number 1

For the love of Pharika, don’t be any of these people. If you are one of these people, you’ll learn that changing your prices and listing methods will prove fruitful. Each of these individuals has at least one thing wrong with how they created and priced their list of cards.

Figure A

In the first post, we see someone looking to move a pretty high-value collection, if he has what he says he does. Revised duals, foil fetch lands, and staples. What duals? What fetches? I have no idea. There’s no picture, no list of cards, and no document to reference. He’s only willing to produce a list for those who are interested, which is an immediate turn-off when considering the price he’s asking. Five percent off of TCGplayer low is a price that I would sell singles for out of my display case, or if I was trying to piece out a collection over time. To ask for a number like that when selling an entire collection at once is simply unreasonable. For these reasons, his post had exactly zero comments or interested parties when I saved the picture.

Figure B

Well, at least we have a list to work with here. This person has linked to a Google document, so we can see what cards exactly we’re dealing with, and how much each of them costs. He’s looking to sell everything in order to purchase a car, so there’s clearly a bit of a hurry to move everything at once for a lump sum. The problem? Ten percent off of TCGplayer mid (which I’m assuming he used for pricing based on my quick look at the document) is not exactly a deal that we’re looking for, and it’s sure as hell not going to get him any bites. If his “firm” became “less firm,” I asked him to let me know and send me a message, as I’d gladly pay $1500 to $1700 for the whole thing, and PayPal him the money today if he provided enough tracking and shipping confirmation.

Figure C

Lastly, we’ve got this carefully typed out list. This is only about 25 percent of the total cards that he carefully typed out, but I think you can see a pattern of problems here. First of all ,”Scarcity games” doesn’t exist, so I have no idea what his cards are priced at. Then there’s the issue of him painstakingly listing every single bulk rare on his list, in an attempt to make it look like his list is more valuable than it actually is. Near-mint bulk rares are worth 10 to 12 cents each to any buyer who would be interested in picking up an entire collection, nothing more.

Rule Number 2

This rule doesn’t specifically apply to Facebook buying and selling, but more to the world of Magic: The Gathering finance as a whole. If we’re looking to sell cards, we will get paid a varying amount of money depending on the amount of work we put in. If we want to appear to be a reputable seller via Facebook and get paid approximately what our cards are worth, we want to put at least a bit of effort into our listing, and make it as easy as possible for the buyer to purchase our items without asking an infinite number of questions.

This means that every item should have an associated price tag, and not a lazy listing like, “Everything is ten percent off of TCG low,” because that just makes more work for your potential customers.


Now this is an example of a much better listing. The cheapest copy of Lion’s Eye Diamond on eBay right now is $68, and the lowest priced near-mint copy on TCGplayer is $72. Putting his at $60 almost guarantees that someone who was already eyeing (heh) one will gravitate towards this deal, but it’s also above the “liquidating these because I need rent money” pricing so that the seller makes a profit.

I only have a couple of criticisms about this listing that if addressed would serve to make the transaction easier for both parties. There’s no condition listed for any of the cards, so I’m not sure if I’m getting a great deal on a NM LED or an average priced HP copy where the back of the card has been sandpapered down. There’s also no info on shipping prices. Some people feel the need to charge $5 for tracked shipping in a bubble mailer, which would certainly take the sweetness out of that Mox Diamond deal.


Now, let’s try to make our own Facebook post that is both comprehensive, simple to read, and priced smoothly enough to make multiple sales within a couple days of the post’s origin. First of all, we want to establish a rule of how much we’ll charge for shipping and how we’ll accept payment. I usually ship for free in a plain white envelope (PWE) for total orders under $20, unless the buyer specifically requests a tracked shipment of the small order, in which case I charge $2. You can create a PayPal shipping label from home with a printer for $1.93, and then buy bubble mailers for approximately $.07 each. Once we start getting over the $50 mark, I generally just start shipping for free as a courtesy, and to encourage buyers to add a few more cards to hit that price point.

As for payment, I only accept PayPal, and I always ask for the money upfront. I have enough references to solidify my position as someone who’s not a ripoff artist. While I’ve lost a couple of deals over this, I’m not willing to ship another party cards only to have them be unable or refuse to pay. If you’re just starting out selling via Facebook, you might have to accept shipping the cards out first if you don’t have enough references. Just be sure to actually confirm that the other party has real references, and that they’re not just sending you a list of names, by waiting for replies. Payment via gift is the preferred option, because we don’t have to deal with that little three-percent fee that comes attached for the goods and services option.

Finally, let’s get to the cards and their pricing. The golden rule of thumb here is to try to make sure everything is a little bit below the cheapest available copy on eBay and TCGplayer—otherwise there’s no point in buying from you. This difference in price between your listing and the cheapest available copy can vary based on the current market for the card, taking reprints and such into account. For example, let’s say I have this Tundra:


Other than the fact that it’s yellow and looks like someone took out a cigarette and smoked directly onto it over a period of time, it’s still a sleeve-playable Tundra. It’s a dual land, and won’t ever see another printing. The cheapest heavily played copy on TCGplayer at the time of this writing is listed for $146 shipped, so I would probably put it on Facebook for somewhere around $130 if I wanted to get rid of it. While this is close to the “ten percent off of TCGplayer low” that I criticized the above seller for citing, this is the price of an individual dual land, and I’m not pricing my entire collection at this looking to unload everything. For contrast, let’s look at something that’s scheduled to be reprinted.

splinter twin

In contrast to Tundra, the cheapest Splinter Twin available is $19 on TCGplayer, and I would list mine on Facebook for closer to $13 or $14. The highest available buylist for Twin right now is $12 if I wanted to sell to ChannelFireball, and I’m predicting that Twin drops down to $10 or $12 a few weeks after the reprint in Modern Masters 2015. I’d rather sell it to someone who is looking to build the deck immediately instead of buylisting to CFB.

In both these cases, note that instead of glancing over a pile of cards and saying “ten percent off TCG low for everything,” I’m going through each card and determining a value that would be beneficial to both me and the buyer, depending on the future of the card.

If you’re planning on buylisting a bunch of staples in the future, you might want to look at the prices that you’re willing to accept and consider selling them on Facebook. Instead of spending time alphabetizing, set sorting, and scouring multiple different buylists for the right price, we can make this a lot easier. Add a small percentage to that number that the store offered, list some rules for shipping and payment, add a couple of pictures of the collection, and then wait for some replies.


And there we have it! This is obviously just a very basic template, but it conveys the message quickly and can be customized to add more cards easily. We made sure that we were beating the current market price to move product quickly, established shipping and payment in advance so that we don’t have to waste time answering questions about it, and we’ll get paid today if someone’s interested in the cards.

One final note when making posts across multiple groups, though, is to wait at least a couple days after posting a listing in a single group . You don’t want to spam the feed and get kicked out. Good luck!

End Step

In other news, Abrupt Decay has started creeping back up on MTGstocks Interests. It’s only up by five percent, but I fully expect this to be a $20 card sooner rather than later. If you need copies now, I think now is the time to buy, and they’re still great trade targets. Remember that almost anyone building a Tarmogoyf deck is going to need these, and I don’t think it’ll be getting a reprint soon.

Buying Collections Through Facebook

By: Douglas Johnson

Hello, readers! Sorry about the lack of an article last week: it’s exam time here at Oswego State, so I had to prioritize writing about cognition, perception in digital image manipulation, and the history of past psychological theories over my beloved trading card finance. If you’re interested in any of those papers, I can be sure to get you a copy.

Now that we’re back, I’d like to provide a correction from the Immortals article from a couple of weeks ago. In that article, I referenced the “leaked” list from about a month ago, and assumed it was true because it came from the same source as the leak that had ended up being true for a list of Modern Masters stuff back in 2013. While several of the cards on the list ended up being correct, several cards were inaccurate (Comet Storm over the supposed mythic Splinter Twin), and  Goblin Guide ended up being completely missing from the set.

I received a bit of negative feedback for automatically assuming the list to be true, and I accept that I should have waited for confirmation from WOTC before going ahead with the example that I used. That being said, Tezzeret ended up being in the set (lucky me), and I still think he’s a good example of an “immortal.” If you need one for a deck or are looking for long-term stable gains through trade, I recommend picking them up about a month after the release of Modern Masters 2015.


The New Craigslist

Now that those things are out of the way, let’s get to the content. When I get asked, “Where are the best places to find collections?” my two instant answers have always been Craigslist and word-of-mouth. Once you become a well-known person in your local area for buying pretty much anything at buylist, you’ll have friends of friends referencing you as “that guy” who is willing to drive out to their house at 11 p.m. on a Monday to buy their Standard deck because they need to pay rent by the next day. While both of these are still excellent ways to grab cards at buylist values to immediately resell at TCGplayer low prices, I’m happy to add another method to that list, and that’s Facebook.

I’m not even talking about using your local Facebook groups to meet up with people in your area to buy stuff—I’d categorize those under the “word of mouth” section, and just having a sufficient network. Even then, you’re still actually physically meeting up with the person and exchanging cash for the cards immediately. While my definition of a collection right here loosely translates to, “A pile of random singles at approximately buylist values shipped to your door,” it’s still been a great experience for me, and picking up two collections this way gave me the idea to write this article.


Where to Join? 

To start out, let’s go over some of the various groups that I’m a part of on Facebook where you’ll be most likely to find willing sellers. While I’ve also joined at least a dozen localized groups that serve the same function, this is a decent starter list of the ones that aren’t tied to a specific location. Some of these groups will spam up your feed with unreasonable sellers more than others, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make in order to find the occasional great deal.



Magic Forum Buy-Sell-Trade




Magic: The Gathering


Puca Points / Tickets / Card Exchange


The first three groups are pretty self-explanatory: they all focus on the same thing, albeit the “MTG ONLINE TRADES” group is more focused on trading and less on cash transactions.

The fourth one on the list, “Magic: The Gathering,” lacks an easily distinguishable name, and is a much more casual-based group, and will actually provide great examples of what an “invisible” player looks like, as defined by my co-writer Ross Lennon . However, you’ll occasionally find a decent gem post there, and selling cards on that page for under TCGplayer low is a huge hit with the casual crowd in my experience. We’ll go over the correct formatting for selling your cards via Facebook later on.

The last group is a newer one created for exchanging the different types of currency that we use: PucaPoints for the PucaTrade website, Magic Online tickets, cards themselves, or actual cash.

Pretty much all of these groups are technically “closed” by Facebook’s definition, but just ask for permission to join and they’ll let you in. If you’re someone who is constantly checking in on your Facebook every few minutes while bored and sitting at the computer, this is a great way to find buying opportunities without having to put in any noticeable extra effort. Be warned, though: you will inevitably see a large number of people who have no idea what they are doing, expecting full retail for their list of random rares.

My Haul


A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed to procrastinate on my term paper on perception. I happened to notice a post on one of the above groups that was selling the above list of cards,  and was asking damn near close to buylist prices on each card. He only wanted $10 for the (albeit German) Privileged Position, $1 each on the Townships, etc. I sent him a private message (and commented on the thread telling him that I had done so), asking what his price was to move the entire list today. His number was $180, which I snap-agreed to, especially since he was willing to ship the cards to me with tracking included (something you’ll always want to do when making these types of buys).

He supplied me with a list of his references, so that I could contact the admins and other traders of the various Facebook groups to confirm that he wasn’t going to take my money and block me. Thankfully, this was someone that I had purchased cards from in the past through the very same group ($5 copies of Liliana Vess? Don’t mind if I do.), so I had already confirmed his legitimacy. Even so, I still always wait for the seller to give me a tracking number before I send the money,  and I pay the extra 3% fee to cover the “goods and services” portion that PayPal takes, just in case I need to resolve a dispute.



This list of cards was another lot on Facebook that I found within a couple days of the last one. After a bit of negotiating and letting the seller know that he could be paid the same day once providing me with the tracking number and confirming his references, we settled on a $220 price tag. While a large chunk of it is Standard stuff that will  be rotating within the next four to five months, I’ve already managed to move a decent chunk of it through local customers and selling on TCGplayer.

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After about a week of waiting and a couple of days of the USPS lying to me about when my package was scheduled to be delivered, we got our prizes in the mail.

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There’s… uhh… a little too much tape involved here, but it was his first time selling online, and he said he didn’t want anything to get damaged. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

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And here’s everything unwrapped and laid out, ready to be added to my own inventory. The seller actually didn’t mention that the Butcher of the Horde was actually Japanese and foil, so that’ll be nice if I can actually find a buyer. Even if I don’t, I only paid the buylist price of a non-foil English one: $.25.

All in all, I paid a litle over $400 to have $900 of (retail) value of cards shipped right to my mailbox . While this is obviously one of the rarer and more lucrative examples that you’ll come across, they do exist.

A more common situation with the reasonable sellers is the first time I bought from the seller who provided the first list: I bought two copies of Liliana Vess for $10 total, shipped in a plain white envelope. You definitely have to be fast with messaging the sellers when you see potential buys, but it’s worth it. There are multiple people like me who have nothing better to do than scroll through their Facebook feed for the off-chance that someone needing to pay for rent/car repairs/schoolbooks shows up in one of the groups, and actually knows how to list things at buylist prices in order to move them immediately.

I mentioned earlier that I would go over how to properly list cards on Facebook so that they actually move and allow you to make a profit, but I think that can be saved for next week, as it’s a pretty detailed subject. There are also a couple of things that I want to go over in the End Step before I close out for the week.

End Step

Modern Masters 2015 boxes are available for MSRP pretty much everywhere, and I’ve gotten several questions as to whether or not one should buy in expecting the same growth rate of the set’s predecessor.  I don’t think I want to buy these at $250, for singles or for storage. They’re an even bigger lottery ticket than Modern Masters, with a whole bunch of money packed into the mythics and very little distributed at rare. I’m a pretty risk-averse person, so I’d rather be the one buying other people’s cards at buylist so that they can be the ones to roll the dice on $10 booster packs. Unless you can get in below $210 or don’t plan on making money off of it, stay away for now.

Serum Visions is the FNM promo for August, following Path to Exile for July. I guess that explains why it wasn’t in MM15, so gold stars to everyone who called that. The lack of Gitaxian Probe is less easily explained, though, and my money (not literally) is suggesting that it’s teetering on the edge of a potential banning. While I don’t think the card is powerful enough to deserve an excommunication from the format, I also thought the same of Birthing Pod. I’m personally selling my copies at $3 when I have the chance, but that’s partially just because I found a bunch in a collection last week.

That’s it for this week. See you next time!