Scent of a Gamer

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5 simple rules for selling your Magic: the Gathering card collection

Magic: the Gathering has never been more popular than it is now. With more cards selling in more locations around the world, the secondary card market has blossomed. There are many channels open to you should you decide to sell your Magic cards. There are some pitfalls to avoid too. As with any selling opportunity there are simple ways of maximising your price. Scent of a Gamer presents these five rules to follow when selling your card collection:

1. Maximise your customer base The market for your cards consists of individual players, collectors, dealers, stores, and large online card sellers. If you want to sell to all of these groups, your collections needs to be broken up and priced accordingly. If you would rather sell all in one go that is fine, but understand that you are limiting the number of buyers. For larger and more valuable collections, no one but the largest stores or online sellers could possibly afford the cash outlay. This minimises the price you are likely to receive for your cards.

More buyers = higher prices

2. Use online buylists If you aren’t sure what your collection is worth, online buylists are a Godsend. The larger online retailers including Channel Fireball, and Card Kingdom have these. Pricing your collection according to a buylist gives you an idea of what your collection is likely worth. Taking the time to look up the prices of your collection gives you a decent overall value, as well as a good idea of where the gems in your collection are. Sometimes obscure cards shoot up in price, often when a new card is printed that works well with the old card. This is impossible to predict, but can make you very happy, as owners of Grindstone and Dark Depths were at the printings of Painter’s Servant and Vampire Hexmage. Having realistic prices gives you some credibility. Pitch things too high or too low and potential buyers may be put off by your seeming lack of knowledge.

Correct prices = more buyers

3. Understand the time versus money equation Time equals money, but its important to know how much time, versus how much money. You will need to spend some time on selling your collection. What you need to determine is how to spend your time intelligently. Taking the time to price your collection, research your buyers, and look at your selling options is good. Spending time cataloguing the lower valued cards in your collection is not so good. It will take longer to lift out you value cards and sell those separately but the rewards will always be worth this extra time. Also bear in mind the time/money equation applies to your buyers as well. Don’t get outraged at a bulk prices given for your commons and uncommon and rares too. These low priced cards will cost more in terms of time to grade and catalogue than they will return in sales. Larger buyers will take bulk as it’s important for them to offer a full catalogue to their customers. Smaller buyers may be tempted by the opportunity to ‘wildcat’ your collection and sift your bulk for valuable cards you didn’t know about.

Time spent well = money well earned

4. Highlight the valuable cards in your collection You can see know how these rules go together. Pricing your collection and sorting the bulk from the valuable means you can highlight the value you are offering to your buyers. Identify the value in your collection, and make that value visible to your buyers. An image several piles of magic cards shows nothing and means nothing to anyone. You have some cards. So what? Where you have gems highlight these to encourage buyers to take your bulk cards along with them – they need the incentive (see rule 3). Where you have cards of exceptional and rising value, consider calving these away from the collection for individual sale, as you will have many buyers willing to fight over these cards (see rule 1).

More value = more money

5. Be a good communicator Respond to questions promptly, preferable within a couple of hours, time differences permitting. Provide complete answers, and be polite in your responses, especially when people ask questions you believe you answered in your description. The better you are at answering questions, the more interested people will be in what you are selling.

Better communication = more buyers

Follow these five rules, and you should have a pleasant experience selling your cards! villainouswealth

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6 comments on “5 simple rules for selling your Magic: the Gathering card collection

  1. Von
    December 21, 2014

    It’s like you read my mind! As Return to Ravnica ebbs out of standard circulation and I realise that I’m just not that interested in current Magic – or even in playing the decks which I’ve pretty much solved and sorted over the last couple of years – I’m looking to bow out. I’ll probably keep my Orzhov deck, which I’m quite fond of aesthetically, and let the rest go.

    The warning to look at buylists is key. Many of us have made the mistake of thinking rare automatically means valuable – nope. Value has more to do with the rules text than anything else; there are commons worth top dollar and mythics you’ll be struggling to shift for years. You know that, obviously, but for someone out there, the logical leap has yet to be made.

    • davekay
      December 21, 2014

      The article was prompted by a forum discussion with someone who was basically saying ‘I want to sell my collection as one lot, I can’t be bothered pricing, how can I get the best price?’

      • Von
        December 21, 2014

        Is that quoted portion supposed to read “I’m too lazy to ensure that I get a good deal on this”?

      • Von
        December 21, 2014

        Or ‘busy’, I suppose. I should be charitable. Then again… time to play, time to price.

      • davekay
        December 21, 2014

        ‘how can I get the best price without trying’ was my interpretation, and of course you can’t.

  2. Pingback: [Another Year of Frugal Gaming] Bought and Sold and the World Keeps Turning

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2014 by in Card Games, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , , , , , .
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