Tag Archives: conjured currency

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.

BusinessCards 047

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.

BusinessCards 048

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.

BusinessCards 050

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!