Judge Foils I’d Like to See


By: Cliff Daigle

With the recent spoiling of some special-edition judge foils, it became clear to me that there are more judge foils that need to be released.

I leave it to others to speculate on the price of the promo Force of Will (ALL THE DOLLARS) and instead I’m thinking of my experiences buying foils that are given out in judge packs at high-level events for a while. Judge foils usually follow a pattern of being at a very high price on their release, and that price slowly comes down over the duration of the card being given out.

For example, a friend of mine bought a Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed when it was first printed as a promo for the price of $120. Eight months later, it could be had for $60.


First of all, two cycles:

Sword of War and Peace & Sword of Body and Mind (old frame) – We’ve gotten three of the five swords in the old frame, and Wizards knows we like our cycles. Expect these as a when, not an if. WaP and BaM are the weakest of the Swords, and would probably end up in the $30 range. 


The other Praetors in Phyrexian – Again, this is a cycle begging to be printed. The Phyrexian Elesh Norn is sick, and I’d love to have this same effect applied to the other four colors. Since the other four see less play and are arguably weaker, their prices will be low too, probably down to $20.

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth – There are three Legendary Eldrazi, and Ulamog and Emrakul have each had a special edition. Set foil Kozilek is surprisingly expensive, and the judge foil wouldn’t make it any lower than $60, I’d say.

Iona, Shield of Emeria – As a reanimation target, Iona is super-popular for her ability to shut out an entire color. She’s popular in Cubes for this reason, and there are polite disagreements about her use in EDH, when a reanimation/Kaalia/Bribery can put her in play early and lock out some players. A judge version of her would be around $30 once the initial demand was met.

Mana Drain – If Force can finally make it, this is the other one that Eternal players are eager for. It’s enormously powerful, a card that hearkens back to the days when counterspells we not only undercosted, they gave significant advantages. I suspect that this would be a limited edition as Force is said to be, and therefore I’ll say the price here would be around $600.

Vigor – This would be an attempt to goose the supply of Vigor for casual players. It’s a really great effect for a wide range of decks and players, something I try to put in as many decks as I can. It dates back to right before Magic started to explode, and would be welcome in lots of formats. It’s never seen much Constructed play, so I’d expect these foils to be around $25.

Yavimaya Elder – Hear me out. This is a card that isn’t worth much in nonfoil, but there’s only been one foil printing. This could use the superior Matt Cavotta art, and be a very pretty upgrade in nearly every green deck ever. It would carry a price around $15-$20, and I would be delighted to pick those up.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed – This is a card that frankly people in casual formats don’t play enough. It’s not only Wrath insurance, you’ll also get a re-use of all the sweet enters-the-battlefield effects on the creatures you play with anyway! this would not be a high-value card, but it would be a lot of fun. $15.

Sensei’s Divining Top – It was a mainstay of so many decks that it’s banned in Modern due to sheer logistics. It’s an old uncommon, it was in FTV: Exiled, and it doesn’t matter because so many decks like having this effect. Judge foils on this would never be below $50.

I imagine that I left out some fun ones. (Remember, judge foils can no longer be from the reserved list, despite the presence of Survival of the Fittest and Thawing Glaciers promos) and I’d like to hear what you want to have. I’m excited that Terese Nielsen’s Hanna, Ship’s Navigator will be available, and more Commander-only cards are sure to be printed too! Let me know what should be here, in the comments or on Twitter @WordOfCommander

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Knowledge as Power

By: Camden Clark

As financiers, we gain the power that we have from communication.

Communication is social media.

Communication is Twitch streams.

Communication is talking to Magic players like you and me.

But above all, communication provides you with the information to make wise decisions.

Kind of like organization, communication is an abstract concept in Magic finance. We all have personal expectations for what it means and how we utilize it. However, most of us fail to see deeper. We fail to analyze whether the information we are gathering is useful and where it is produced from. Even more dangerous is receiving information and archive it but never use it.

What does this even mean?

It means we have to analyze the sources of our information.

The first level (and the most basic) is the finance level.

Twitter – Finance

If you are not on Twitter, sign up for an account now. It is almost no hassle to install on your smartphone and just follow the people who are very established and know what they are doing.

Chas Andres
Also you can follow me – http://twitter.com/CamdenClarkMTG

The #mtgfinance hashtag is also an extremely valuable source of information. It can give you an ear to the ground on how people in the finance community are feeling. There are few other places where you can get random blips like this that you may have not been aware of.

I use Twitter because it is an easy and time-efficient way to interact in the MTGFinance community. There are millions of people who have accounts on this website for a reason. It provides really easy blurbs from people that are well respected.

Twitter is good for what it is but there are some inherent limitations. The 140 character limit prevents extended analysis of picks. Moreover, most of the information is not very relevant to speculation. There are simply so many people here that it becomes hard to distill valuable content from just some guy on his iPhone. Another issue with Twitter is the community centric aspect. With so many people posting it is difficult to have one tweet to have a major effect.

My advice for using Twitter is as follows: watch, but take everything with a grain of salt. It is a fun and easy way to keep an ear to the ground but following the mtgfinance people exclusively is dangerous.

Twitter – Players

The Twitter Magic community is quite similar to the Magic finance community. There are major moguls who constantly post about their records at major tournaments and talk about specific cards and decks.


There is even more information than in the Magic finance community so it becomes hard to discern what is useful and what is not. Most posts from ordinary people should have no bearing on your financial decisions or learning. In contrast, the tweets from professional players and major people in the community should have a major impact on how you think about certain cards.

A couple of pitfalls to avoid is that pros sometimes joke about certain cards or decks. There are also some professional players who tweet nothing but their records at a tournament and provide little value for finance.


This subreddit has a lot of potential. Recently, the community became a dung-throwing festival where posters accused the moderators of being in cahoots with content writers on a few different sites. However, I find these accusations to be untrue and most of the community feels the same way. It seemed to be a very vocal minority who believed that /r/mtgfinance was only trying to shill certain websites.

Nevertheless, after that situation the subreddit picked up steam again and seems to be back in working order.

The good things about Reddit are similar and magnified. The voting system allows content that the community feels is valuable to get more airtime while content that is not so good gets voted down. Everything in this subreddit is submitted by community members and it is extremely transparent who is submitting the content and what they hope to achieve. Discussion is amplified because each post usually gets at least three commenters who have good and unlimited analysis.

The downfall of Reddit lies in the voting system as well. Opinions outside the majority may get voted down in controversial topics, resulting in certain people’s thoughts being given little visibility. However, adopting a holistic view on reading comments and even reading those that have been downvoted will dissuade this. Another issue with this community lies in the “pump and dump” mentality of many of its users. They often post a discussion or “speculation” thread and attempt to create a buyout for the card they open a discussion post for.

The best way to use this community is similar to Twitter. It is a valuable source of legitimate discussion and can foster very good debates. The posting system creates a pseudo-filter to get rid of garbage content. Still, take everything with a grain of salt and make sure that you are making educated decisions by doing your own research

Moreover, use Reddit to ask questions and create decent dialogue. That is where you can get the most value out of this subreddit. People there have experience and you can get a variety of opinions on whatever you post. I highly recommend utilizing this subreddit not only for reading but also contributing. You will learn a lot.


The subreddit for people who grind PTQs is also a great resource for determining good investments. These are the people who spend hilarious prices to buy the cards they need for their deck that they want to take to their PTQ. It is literally like being in the mind of the people that you are trying to predict.

Tournament results that get a major nod here are probably significant. They should provide you with the foundation for determining what decks are likely going to become more popular. As we approach Modern PTQ season this gets more and more important. I always talk about how open Modern still is. There is a lot of potential for specific cards and even overlooked staples to rise in major levels.

I have no doubt that if you pay some attention to /r/spikes you will be able to profit a little bit. You will also be able to pick up staples for Modern before they skyrocket if you just want to play in PTQs. This is even relevant if you don’t want to invest but just want to play Magic and not have to spend as much money.

Content Sites

There are a whole host of websites out there that push content of varying quality. A lot of it is valuable. Some of it is not. That is the double edged sword of content: it is top-down. 

However, if you are reading content by people who know what they are doing it will be quite obvious. Many of the people above who are major personalities on Twitter also have corresponding content on websites. That makes them automatically very good people to track and at the very least skim through their content.

Analyzing the utility of such content is a different story. There are very useful articles posted that go over fundamentals and examine merits of different investments. Many also examine the history of the writer’s picks or recommendations and does a self-evaluation.

These are the best type of articles in my opinion. When we go back and examine what we did and our decisionmaking process we learn new things that we wouldn’t have learned had we chosen not to examine.

I have gone over the content that comes from the financial sector. Although it is very valuable to read content and be a part of the MTGFinance community, most picks are gone by the time MTGFinance people get turned onto them.

This is why it is also useful to follow the players’ communities as well. They are the ones who buy the cards. They are the ones who build the decks that the speculators end up speculating on.

How has knowledge meant power in your experience? Leave it in the comments.

Only God and Forsythe Can Judge Me

By: Travis Allen

I only wish I had put a finer point on it.


Wizards has announced new judge promos, and they’re a doozy. In celebration of breaking 5,000 active judges we are getting some pretty sweet promos. Well, I shouldn’t say “we.” Roughly 1,000 to 1,500 people are getting some pretty sweet promos.

Yes, that’s right. It’s finally happened. We’re getting a foil Force of Will. Think of how awesome your Legacy deck is finally going to look. The only foils missing will be the duals!

ebay forces

Oh, you didn’t think you’d actually be able to afford them, did you?

Before we figure out exactly where these are going to land, let’s step back a bit and examine judge promos at large. I want us all to know what’s possible. I’ve compiled a list of every judge promo that’s been printed and its (rough) price. Some of these may be a surprise to you if you’ve never looked. For instance, did you know Stroke of Genius was a promo? Tradewind Rider?


I separated the list into three categories because that will be the metric I am most interested in examining. I lumped all the exclusively currently-competitive promos together, all the strictly casual/EDH ones together, and then all the cards that blur those borders.You may have some disagreement about what column some of those cards fall into, but overall I think that’s a pretty reasonable separation. What immediately jumps out to me is how much more valuable the competitive cards are than the ones that are currently only playable in casual formats. Even if you cut the earliest six casual cards out of the equation as hailing from a bygone era of Magic, the casual cards are still barely half the value of the competitive ones.

Also interesting is that the cards that appeal to both markets are worth slightly less than strictly competitive cards. Part of that may be how I defined “both.” I’ve got things like Goblin Welder, Entomb and Mishra’s Factory in the both column that may be more appropriate in a different category. Still, that wouldn’t change the lists too much depending on where you moved them. If you shuffle some cards around the average of the both column may catch up in average price to the competitive ones, but they wouldn’t overtake them by much of anything.

Let’s make that point a little more clear: Cards that are strictly competitive in nature are overall the most valuable promos. The average price of cards only playable in casual formats is about half that of the competitive cards. The cards that are desirable for both formats are worth roughly the same as the cards only valued for competitive play. 

That last sentence tells us that on average, competitive play is by far the biggest indicator of value. Is card X playable in Legacy? Then the promo is going to be worth about $100. Is it playable in EDH too? Well, it’s still going to only be around $100. Apparently casual demand doesn’t push the price much higher on already-playable competitive staples.

Another aspect of all of this is age. Take a look at the last two years; 2013 and 2012. All five competitive cards are well represented in Legacy, and all five are $90-$200. All six casual cards are $15-$40 each. That’s a huge gap. But as you move further back, the lines start to blur a bit. Moving into 2011 and 2010 the average value of the competitive cards gets even higher, but the casual cards are gaining too. The outlier of Mana Crypt comes in at an absurd $250, and we get Wheel of Fortune pushing $100 as well.

Once you get into 2008 and earlier, the distinction is gone. You’ll notice less and less cards in the competitive column past 2009, and only three or four are nearly as heavily represented as the cards from 2010-2013. What’s going on here is the changing face of Legacy. Judge promos from 2007 were from a different era. Orim’s Chant, Exalted Angel and Living Death may have been constructed playable at some point in the past, but those days are behind us. Meanwhile the casual cards are all over the place. Staples like Demonic Tutor and Sol Ring command $200+ price tags, while cards from days of Magic past are $10 and $15. I’m also noticing that the cards that belong to both formats hold their overall value much better as we move back in time. Even a cards like Mishra’s Factory or Yawgmoth’s Will, which are only barely competitive, are still maintaining respectable price tags.

This is another valuable lesson. Competitive cards are worth a lot while they’re competitive, but formats are fickle and subject to the ravages of time. If a card drops out of competitive play and into the realm of kitchen tables it stands to lose a lot. Meanwhile, casual all-stars are only going to gain as time goes on. They have to be true staples though. Additionally, a mix of demand will help keep older judge promos afloat quite well, even if they’re not hot tickets in any particular format.

One thing to keep in mind is quantity. Those older judge promos were printed in much, much smaller amounts than the newer ones are, just as with current Magic sets. If Magic plateaus around 20 million active players you’re going to see the old promos settle at much higher prices than promos like Bribery or Genesis, even if they see comparable play, simply because of the quantity available. Another quick point: any good judge promo from pre-modern borders is going to be the safest of safe investments. Of course they’re mostly absurd already, but you absolutely cannot lose on them.

What have we learned from all of this that we can apply to our new promos? Competitive play is far and away the major impetus behind price on new promos. Casual play can’t keep newer promos up, not for the first year or two at least. Top tier casual staples will rise in price, but anything below the upper 5% should settle in the $20 to $50 range.

So how about those new promos?

Casual Only


Four generals and a premium green enchantment. The generals are a bit of untrodden territory, as Wizards has only really started pushing Commander in the last few years. If we take a look at the Commander’s Arsenal Kaalia we see she’s around $30, which should be a fair benchmark for these guys. Nekusar may end up the highest simply because he seems to be capable of driving the prices wild on many ‘draw extra’ cards, but then again the people playing those decks may not care much for a $50 foil general. Meanwhile, Greater Good is reasonably well represented in EDH according to metamox. It looks like it is just about as popular as Genesis, which is currently $20. Both of those will tick up over time, but I’d be surprised to see them more than double in the next five years.


 Mixed Play


Now THOSE are some promos. That Elesh Norn is quite possibly the coolest promo we’ve seen out of Wizards in years. That writing is Phyrexian if you are unaware. She’s awesome as heck, and people have taken notice:


This will absolutely come down, as she should reach typical levels of distribution. I’m not exactly sure when she’s going to be hitting judge packs though, so her price may be kind of nuts all the way out through the end of next year. She’s a bit different than our other competitive promos in more ways than one. You’ll notice that in the list above not a single card with competitive demand was strictly Modern playable. Elesh Norn is mostly unrepresented in Legacy, so all her competitive demand will be from Modern. At the end of the day I don’t think it’s going to matter though. If she was just another foil copy with a different set symbol her price wouldn’t be noteworthy, but that Phyrexian script is going to keep her high. My guess is that she’ll probably dip towards $90-$150 at her lowest. It could be a very long time before her effect is upgraded, and even if it is the promo is going to retain demand based simply on the uniqueness. Hold off for now, but when it gets close to $100 make sure you grab any you need.

Sword of Feast and Famine is roughly as played as Sword of Fire and Ice in EDH, Modern and Legacy. Expect it to start high at release, dip as the judge packs are released, then start climbing once its run is over. The judge Sword of Fire and Ice is currently $120 and it’s about three years old, so that gives you an idea of what to expect.


Grand Poobah of Legacytown

Let’s understand the facts first. We know it was sent to somewhere between 1,000 to 1,500 judges. The announcement read as if a single copy was sent to each judge, but I’m hearing reports that people got playsets. That means we’re most likely looking at a maximum of 6,000 copies on the market right now. While there was initial panic about the scarcity, Helene Bergeot confirmed multiple times that night that they would be available through other avenues in the future. Nobody is entirely sure what this means yet. Are they going to be the mythic rare of judge promos? How many more will we get? It’s very hard to say.

Let’s say we end up with roughly 10,000 copies of Force. That’s 2,500 playsets or so, depending on what the actual distribution ends up at. How scarce is that? One way to think of that is fifty playsets per state. Montana probably doesn’t need fifty sets, but California and New York sure as heck will.

The Forces are selling for around $1,000 right now, and that will come down. A bit. I think the absolute lowest they could possibly hit is $300-$400 unless there end up being many times more copies on the market than I’m predicting. Once they’re done distributing, the price is just going to keep ticking up and up and up. Force of Will is one of two banner cards of Legacy, and the other one already had a MM foil and an FNM promo. There is no other Force foil, and the original card is murky and just plain ugly. Any tier one Legacy card released in this capacity would have a hefty price tag, and this one is just going to get multiplied by status, lack of prior printings, and typically being run as a playset. Once the run is over, there’s no telling what this could reach. I would not be surprised whatsoever to see this north of $1,000 again a few years down the road.

Modern Buylist Data Crunching

By: Jared Yost

The other day I was browsing around MTGPrice’s ProTrader Money board. A new addition to this tool is that it now offers buylist prices for all sets that there is data available. This piqued my interest and I decided that I would browse through some of the most recent sets to see who was offering the highest price for individual cards I was looking to buylist. Then I had an idea.

Having buylist data for thousands of cards offers us some insight into trends that appear for the vendors that MTGPrice tracks. By gathering the data and visualizing these trends we can better understand who offers the most for cards and how much we are leaving on the table when deciding to buylist.

I wanted to gather this information for Modern because it will be the most relevant format for all of us going into the summer. When the prices start rising up again and demand for Modern cards goes up, if you have a lot of a particular card and want to sell out buylisting is generally the quickest way to do this. However, as we’ll see sometimes creating eBay or TCGPlayer listings also have their rewards even if it may take longer to sell the item.

What I hope to accomplish by showing you these statistics is first and foremost the average buylist price by vendor. This will show us who on average will give you the most money for buylisting.

Secondly, we’ll want to see which vendor has the most cards listed on their buylist. If you’re going to ship a lot of cards you will want to know which buylist has higher odds of having more cards that you own and want to sell on it.

Thirdly, we’ll want to see the median and mode buylist prices for each vendor. This will give us a better understanding on who pays the most from a different perspective. The higher median price on average for uncommons and commons is important because it will tell us who has a higher range of prices for less valuable pieces of a collection. The mode for each vendor and rarity type will better tell us on average what you can expect to receive for any given rarity from a vendor.

Finally, the most important data point we’ll want to gather is the loss percentage (or money you are leaving on the table) for each buylist. This will indicate how much money you are losing compared to the MTGPrice fair retail value of card.

Data Collection Method

Before I show you the statistics let me tell you how I collected the data. The data set includes all non-foil cards from 8th Edition through Born of the Gods. 10,445 cards total are listed on the buylists. Not all of these will be used for the data analysis. Finally, we’re tracking all rarities from mythic to common.

  • Buylists:
    • Fair – This is the MTGPrice fair retail value of the card. This is what you can expect to buy the card for at a retail site or the value it is worth when trading.
    • eBay – Though this is not a buylist vendor I wanted to include eBay because it is a good indicator of the market price for a card, more so than the fair price. This is one of the best ways to get a high cash value for your card.
    • TCGPlayer – Same as eBay, not a buylist but allows you to get a higher cash value for a card if you’re willing to wait longer to sell it.
    • CFB – Channel Fireball
    • ABU – Alpha Beta Unlimited Games
    • CCGHouse – CCGHouse.com
    • Hotsauce – Hotsauce Games
    • Strikezone – Strikezone.com
  • All cards that were analyzed had a price of at least $0.01 on a buylist. The MTGPrice MoneyBoard buylist prices for some cards are $0 or blanks. I did not include these in the calculations. After taking these out of the calculations, here are the number of cards that were included to calculate the statistics for each buylist:
    • Fair: 10,058
    • eBay: 9,990
    • TCGPlayer: 9,872
    • CFB: 3,207
    • ABU: 3,578
    • CCGHouse: 1,739
    • Hotsauce: 1,488
    • Strikezone: 1,565

Calculations Explained

For the data itself, here is how I calculated each data point:

Average – Average price of a card on a vendor’s buylist. The average was calculated based on all the cards that you could purchase from the buylist. This is the average amount you would receive per card if you were to sell a lot of cards of varying rarities to the vendor.

Total Buying – The dataset of the buylist for the vendor. This is the total number of cards with a value greater than $0 (or not available to buylist) that was listed on the Money board for all cards on the buylist for that vendor.

Sum Total Prices – The sum of each individual card’s price on the buylist. This is useful to know to get an “index fund” view of the vendor to determine how valuable the vendor’s buylist is overall not taking into account averages. It is used in calculating your loss percentage for selling to that buylist.

Median – The mid value of the buylist. This is the price that is halfway between the buylist’s lowest and highest value.

Mode – The most common buylist value. This is the most likely value you will receive per card if selling to the buylist.

% Buying – Based on the total Fair prices available for cards greater than $0, this is the percentage of cards that you can sell to the vendor. In other words, based on the entire Modern cardpool this is the approximate amount of the cardpool you could buylist to the vendor at any given time.

Avg * Buy % – This is a more accurate representation of the average value per card you can get from the buylist. It is the average times the percentage of the Modern card pool that the vendor is buying. This price reflects an average based on availability for the vendor.

% Loss Total – The amount of money you are losing selling to the buylist. On average, if you sell a lot of cards to this buylist based on the fair trade value this is the approximate percentage per card you are losing buylisting those cards.

Real eBay – This is the real eBay value of all cards based on the eBay and PayPal transaction fee of approx 14% per sale.

Data Listed by Rarity

I analyzed the data according to rarity. I did this so it would be easy to see who offered the most not only on mythics and rares but also on commons and uncommons which is where you can make a surprising amount of money selling to a buylist.

I have a set of data for the following rarities:


I wanted to include ALL and NON-COMMON so that I could get a better picture of who in general offered better buylist prices.


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode % Buying Avg * Buy % % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $1.29 10058 $12,960.17 $0.22 $0.14 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $1.76 9990 $17,611.09 $1.00 $0.99 99.32% 1.75 35.89% $15,145.54 16.86% 16.86%
TCGPlayer $0.90 9872 $8,923.88 $0.10 $0.06 98.15% 0.88 -31.14% n/a n/a -31.14%
CFB $1.33 3207 $4,261.19 $0.10 $0.10 31.89% 0.42 -67.12% n/a n/a -67.12%
ABU $1.47 3578 $5,251.03 $0.21 $0.02 35.57% 0.52 -59.48% n/a n/a -59.48%
CCGHouse $2.06 1739 $3,583.09 $0.51 $0.10 17.29% 0.36 -72.35% n/a n/a -72.35%
Hotsauce $1.91 1488 $2,845.03 $0.45 $0.05 14.79% 0.28 -78.05% n/a n/a -78.05%
Strikezone $1.92 1565 $3,004.52 $0.47 $0.01 15.56% 0.30 -76.82% n/a n/a -76.82%


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode % Buying Avg * Buy% % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $9.41 324 $3,048.12 $5.56 $1.30 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $7.86 324 $2,546.42 $4.50 $0.99 100.00% 7.86 -16.46% $2,189.92 -28.16% -28.16%
TCGPlayer $7.10 323 $2,292.86 $3.51 $0.60 99.69% 7.08 -24.78% n/a n/a -24.78%
CFB $5.77 229 $1,320.75 $3.00 $0.25 70.68% 4.08 -56.67% n/a n/a -56.67%
ABU $5.22 293 $1,530.92 $2.43 $0.06 90.43% 4.72 -49.77% n/a n/a -49.77%
CCGHouse $6.05 189 $1,143.37 $3.01 $3.01 58.33% 3.53 -62.49% n/a n/a -62.49%
Hotsauce $5.11 193 $985.33 $2.70 $0.59 59.57% 3.04 -67.67% n/a n/a -67.67%
Strikezone $5.49 152 $834.74 $2.70 $0.81 46.91% 2.58 -72.61% n/a n/a -72.61%


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode % Buying Avg * Buy% % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $2.83 2752 $7,800.37 $0.71 $0.38 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $2.62 2746 $7,206.26 $1.00 $0.99 99.78% 2.61 -7.62% $6,197.38 -20.55% -20.55%
TCGPlayer $2.02 2741 $5,548.69 $0.42 $0.25 99.60% 2.01 -28.87% n/a n/a -28.87%
CFB $1.71 1585 $2,711.00 $0.25 $0.10 57.59% 0.98 -65.25% n/a n/a -65.25%
ABU $1.64 2087 $3,423.47 $0.32 $0.06 75.84% 1.24 -56.11% n/a n/a -56.11%
CCGHouse $2.05 1095 $2,246.07 $0.75 $0.10 39.79% 0.82 -71.21% n/a n/a -71.21%
Hotsauce $2.25 733 $1,647.65 $0.68 $0.23 26.64% 0.60 -78.88% n/a n/a -78.88%
Strikezone $2.12 935 $1,986.63 $0.65 $0.14 33.98% 0.72 -74.53% n/a n/a -74.53%


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode* % Buying Avg * Buy% % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $0.44 3016 $1,325.46 $0.21 $0.17 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $1.14 3002 $3,428.58 $0.99 $0.99 99.54% 1.13 158.67% $2,948.58 122.46% 122.46%
TCGPlayer $0.24 2985 $724.00 $0.10 $0.10 98.97% 0.24 -45.38% n/a n/a -45.38%
CFB $0.22 888 $197.96 $0.02 $0.01 29.44% 0.06 -85.06% n/a n/a -85.06%
ABU $0.31 794 $248.54 $0.03 $0.02 26.33% 0.08 -81.25% n/a n/a -81.25%
CCGHouse $0.65 265 $171.08 $0.15 $0.05 8.79% 0.06 -87.09% n/a n/a -87.09%
Hotsauce $0.55 324 $176.81 $0.14 $0.05 10.74% 0.06 -86.66% n/a n/a -86.66%
Strikezone $0.57 267 $151.47 $0.22 $0.01* 8.85% 0.05 -88.57% n/a n/a -88.57%

*Only 15 uncommons on Strikezone’s buylist are $0.01. The buylist is actually quite diverse for uncommons. 35 cards on the buylist are $1 or more for an uncommon and there are plenty of 50c uncommons.


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode % Buying Avg * Buy% % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $0.20 3966 $786.22 $0.14 $0.14 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $1.13 3918 $4,429.83 $1.00 $0.99 98.79% 1.12 463.43% $3,809.65 384.55% 384.55%
TCGPlayer $0.09 3823 $358.00 $0.06 $0.06 96.39% 0.09 -54.47% n/a n/a -54.47%
CFB $0.06 505 $31.48 $0.01 $0.01 12.73% 0.01 -96.00% n/a n/a -96.00%
ABU $0.12 404 $48.10 $0.02 $0.02 10.19% 0.01 -93.88% n/a n/a -93.88%
CCGHouse $0.11 183 $19.51 $0.03 $0.01 4.61% 0.01 -97.52% n/a n/a -97.52%
Hotsauce $0.15 238 $35.24 $0.05 $0.05 6.00% 0.01 -95.52% n/a n/a -95.52%
Strikezone $0.15 211 $31.68 $0.09 $0.01 5.32% 0.01 -95.97% n/a n/a -95.97%


Vendor Average Total Buying Sum Total Prices Median Mode % Buying Avg * Buy% % Loss Total Real eBay Total Real eBay Loss % Loss Total Update
Fair $2.00 6092 $12,173.95 $0.39 $0.17 n/a n/a 0.00% n/a n/a 0.00%
eBay $2.17 6072 $13,181.26 $1.00 $0.99 99.67% 2.16 8.27% $11,335.88 -6.88% -6.88%
TCGPlayer $1.42 6049 $8,565.88 $0.23 $0.10 99.29% 1.41 -29.64% n/a n/a -29.64%
CFB $1.57 2702 $4,229.71 $0.10 $0.10 44.35% 0.70 -65.26% n/a n/a -65.26%
ABU $1.64 3174 $5,202.93 $0.25 $0.06 52.10% 0.85 -57.26% n/a n/a -57.26%
CCGHouse $2.29 1556 $3,563.58 $0.75 $0.10 25.54% 0.58 -70.73% n/a n/a -70.73%
Hotsauce $2.25 1250 $2,809.79 $0.59 $0.23 20.52% 0.46 -76.92% n/a n/a -76.92%
Strikezone $2.20 1354 $2,972.84 $0.62 $0.14 22.23% 0.49 -75.58% n/a n/a -75.58%


So, What Does This Tell Us?


This graph was created using the “Avg * Buylist %” column for each rarity type by vendor. This is a better representation of the average amount you will receive per card when selling to a buylist because it factors in how many cards are available on that vendor’s buylist.

The key to this graph is to look at the NON-COMMON data. Fair is hovering around $2, right? So why is it that on eBay you can get a higher value on average for your cards than the fair price? That seems strange considering you are supposed to be selling at lower than Fair since it is eBay right? Well, the retail sites aren’t buying all the random uncommons in your collection which could be the case on eBay. This is why you see higher averages for eBay than Fair, but good luck trying to sell everything through eBay alone. ABU appears to have highest buylist prices on average for non-common cards.

Looking at the bottom of the chart, the uncommons and commons don’t seem to even appear on the charts. It looks like eBay is the way to go if you need to get rid of commons and uncommons – look at how much higher on average you can get for a common/uncommon on eBay versus the other ways of selling! Of course, this could be a large margin of error on the price scraping tool’s part where it collects eBay auctions that are selling more than one copy of a common/uncommon. Still though if you have the drive and determination you could probably sell a lot of commons and uncommons on eBay even if the auctions are for playsets. You will get a lot higher than the $0.01 buylist prices of the retail sites.

Average doesn’t tell us the whole story, however. We should also look at it from another perspective.


It may be true that the shops are buying fewer commons and uncommons, and who can blame them since they are generally worth less than mythics and rares. Note that they still do buy these types of cards, and for some shops like CFB and ABU they are not an insignificant number. Just be aware that at some point the law of diminishing returns will come into play – how much effort do you want to make on buylisting a bunch of $0.01 cards?

CFB and ABU are buying significantly more cards than their competitors by looking at the total non-common cards that are on their buylists. This helps curb the law of diminishing returns. If you have a lot of cards to offload, it can be convenient to ship them all to one buylist and get paid all from one source. You will have a better chance of doing this through CFB or ABU for Modern cards. Not to say that you won’t get the best price, especially on a card by card basis. But on average you will be able to sell more to these shops and thus increase your chances of offloading cards that you may otherwise have to put more work into selling.

Let’s look at the data from more perspectives, the median and mode buylist prices per vendor.



By knowing the median price per vendor we can compare it to the average and see how far off the two are. If they are off by a large margin, that means that a few data points are skewing the average upwards or lower. Thankfully the average and median graphs are very similar looking which means that there aren’t any outliers on any of the buylists that are significantly altering the average.

The mode, on the other hand, tells us what the most common price per buylist we can expect for a rarity. The clear outlier here is CCGHouse – if you are in the market for buylisting mythic rares, CCGHouse is buying most of their mythics at $3. What CFB and ABU offer for the guy that wants to get rid of a large amount of commons and uncommons they clearly lack for mythics – most mythics on ABU’s buylist are less than $0.10. If you have a lot of mythics you should definitely check out CCGHouse because odds are they will pay the most for your mythic rare. Hotsauce and Strikezone pay more for mythics than CFB and ABU but they have significantly fewer cards on their buylist than the other stores. It looks like Hotsauce pays more per rare on average than other retail sites so if you have a lot of rares you may want to look at Hotsauce as your vendor of choice.

Seeing the eBay numbers for these graphs does make me suspicious. For commons and uncommons, I’ll guessing that MTGPrice counts a playset auction as one card sold which does skew this data in a big way. If the data was collected more reliably from eBay I would predict that it would have statistics similar to TCGPlayer.

Finally, I’ll show you the loss percentage per vendor when buylisting.



Disregarding the strange eBay results I was getting, here is the chart starting at 0%.


The reason that eBay was so high on the other chart is because I was getting absurdly high averages for common and uncommon cards that were “sold” on eBay. The most likely reason for this is because they are sold in playsets which means that if you have four of them you can probably sell them for a dollar through eBay. This is pretty decent considering how much lower buylists are. It is a lot of work to be successful at it though.

Looking at loss percentage for the retail websites, the clear winners are ABU, CFB, and CCGHouse. Your losses for non-commons that you sell to those buylists on average are going to be smaller than selling to Hotsauce or Strikezone. Generally speaking, the best way to go is eBay or TCGPlayer if you have the determination and time to get the most money but selling to stores is good if you are pressed for time.

One interesting thing to note is that selling through TCGPlayer does seem to have a much larger loss than I was expecting. For non-common cards in general, you are losing on average about 30% selling through TCGPlayer. This seems pretty high to me. One reason I can think it is so high is because MTGPrice may track all condition types – so MP, HP, and SP cards could be included in that loss. Even still, I didn’t factor in the additional loss you will encounter when listing the items – TCGPlayer charges an 8.5% TCGplayer fee + a PayPal / credit card processing fee (which I think is around 3%). So that loss percent would be even higher if I included that in the calculations. It appears that TCGPlayer is having a “race to the bottom” effect on prices where people are continuing to outbid everyone else on low prices. I wonder if this loss percentage for TCGPlayer will only increase going into the future?

Final Thoughts

So, I realize that this was A TON of information so I’ll try to keep this section short and sweet.

I learned a lot from this endeavor. I learned exactly how much I will be losing when selling to a buylist, but I also learned which buylists and websites I can expect to get a better price for mythics, rares, uncommons, and commons. I thought that analyzing the buylist data for all the Modern legal cards across several several vendors, eBay, and TCGPlayer would be useful for the community to make judgements about how they want to sell their cards. I hope you all can take something away from this like I did.

I would have loved to include data from more vendors (let’s face it, Starcity is out of the question however Cardkingdom is usually pretty competitive) to get a better market picture. I think that I’ve hit a lot of the big names though so the market data should be pretty relevant. Happy selling during Modern season! Also, a shout out to MTGPrice for scraping this data in their new buylist Money Board feature.