Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns
I’ve got nothing to write about this week. I had nothing to write about last week either, which is why I decided to burn up one of my vacation days and relax while the rest of the internet world burned. I could have just copied and pasted all of my tweets about the Reserved List and shambled together some makeshift satire article, but my heart really wouldn’t have been in it. Two weeks ago I continued on my discussion about in Customer Service #mtgfinance, so go ahead and catch up on those two links if you’re looking for an additional dose of content, while I think of something to write for this wonderful Thursday.
This would have been a timely opportunity to write about the new TCGplayer Direct buylist that just launched this week, but I feel that I already covered a large majority of the questions that I’ve been approached with so far. That article can be found right here, but it can be summarized in a few points.
- I’m not worried about the TCGplayer buylist encouraging locals to sell cards online as opposed to bringing me their collections for cash.
- The conveniences you offer by having cash in hand and being available at odd hours of the day/night more than make up for the slightly higher percentages that TCGplayer’s buylisting vendors will offer.
- I expect that your ability and willingness to buy “pretty much everything,” including bulk common/uncommons and bulk rares will sway people in your favor who want to get rid of everything in one fell swoop.
- I don’t think many (if any) stores will be able to offer the competitive buy prices that the Blueprint will offer for your jank common and uncommon buylistable stuff. Thomas is awesome to deal with.
Bullet Points on Bulk Rares
It’s been a little while since I’ve covered bulk rares as a topic, but there are a couple more things I wanted to mention about them that don’t warrant an entire article’s worth of content. I know that I enjoy proclaiming that I “buy anything and everything” as a personal buylist, and I especially enjoy buying bulk rares because of how safe of an investment they are. However, there are a few bulk rares that I actually advocate staying away from and I don’t think I’ve made that clear in any of my previous articles where I suggested you buy dime rares.
- Stay away from foreign bulk rares. Almost all of the non-competitive players I’ve dealt with will avoid foreign cards that they and their friends are unable to read. As such, non-English bulk rares are extremely difficult to sell in my 25 cent boxes, and I’m always happy to move them for dimes myself just to get rid of them.
- Stay away from moderately played bulk rares. Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I really like my bulk rare boxes to all contain NM/SP cards. Sometimes I’ll leave in MP cards that have a retail price of $1 to effectively price the card at a quarter, but in reality it’s extremely hard to move played bulk rares. Basically, we don’t want anything that we can’t easily resell to SCG. I have all of my played and foreign bulk rares in a large box that I try to move for 10 cents each.
- Stay away from non-gold symbol bulk rares. Okay, this one’s a bit more unique. While these are still technically rares, they’re pretty hard to move when the non-competitive players think that you just accidentally left commons and uncommons in the box. Again, if the big-box stores don’t want them then neither do we. Channelfireball states explicitly that they only want gold symbol bulk rares, so feel free to turn away any 5th edition Shivan Dragons. I’d rather pay a dime for a Necropolis Fiend any day of the week.
If you started reading my articles relatively recently, you might be confused by the lack of attention I’ve paid towards new set releases. I’ve yet to mention Eldritch Moon in any of my articles, and I tend to avoid picking out cards that I think will spike hard in Standard. It’s not that I hate the format, I just don’t trust my own card evaluations well enough to justify putting them onto internet pages for you to read and trust.
What I *am* good at, is picking out cards that most other players will write off as “just a garbage bulk rare”, and letting you know that the buylist is actually five times what you might have thought it was. Let’s grab a handful of cards out of a pile that I paid 10 cents each for, and take a look-see.
There’s a lot of cards in this pile, and you might be wondering “Really?” on some of these cards that are all getting tossed into my “$1 each or six for $5” box.
Colossus of Akros
Yep. This guy is absolutely a $1 card, and I love being shipped bulk lots off Facebook when I pay 10 cents each for these babies. I don’t know the exact deck this card goes in, which is weird because most casual only cards are pretty obvious where they’re being played. Maybe this is just a cheap alternative to Emrakul for the rampy Timmys? I don’t know, but I’m okay with it.
This one is a bit more obvious. Everyone loves Tokens, and this card is a Commander gem in strategies like Ghave. Even though it was thrown in the mono-white deck in 2014, its’ shaken off that reprint and continues to creep upward, while more competitive Spikes blissfully throw it into boxes to sell for a dime.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. That graph gives me a chuckle, because people are always surprised when I buy their Desecration Demon for more than double what they expected before I throw it into the dollar box to sell off later. While I was initially confused as to why this didn’t drop to true bulk after rotation, I have a working theory that the demand from this card comes from being one of the few demons with converted mana cost of 4 or less that actually fits into “Demon tribal”, before you get into the big and scary demons where you have a lot more options on the curve.
This one might be a bit more known because of its’ strong applications in Commander…. Oh wait, it probably wouldn’t. I recently played against an Olivia deck that ran this card, and I had to read it twice to make sure it was as good as they said it was. Yes, you drain each opponent, and you gain all the life that you stole. It’s Gray Merchant for people who like Vampires, and there’s a lot of people who like Vampires. This card has been a dollar for a while as you can see from the graph,but its’ gained some recent traction from being a seven year old vampire with no reprints, while having a random protection that ends up being very relevant.
- I really don’t care about Eldritch Moon. I likely won’t care until a bunch of the cards in the set drop to bulk rare status, so I can start picking them up for a dollar (plus 20 cents) a dozen.
- It’s very unlikely that Arachnogenesis goes any lower than the $2.50 that it currently sits at. I’m not saying it spikes, but I’m also not saying that there wasn’t just a Legendary Spider made that people have been waiting for.
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