The Myth of Ripping People Off – Jonathan Medina

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 This was written in response to some comments that I received on my Top Level Trading post at Quiet Speculation.

Sometimes my trades make people wonder, "how does this guy sleep at night"!? Is it right to take a trade that is in your favor? How much you can make on a trade without being immoral? What is the limit? These are tough questions that anyone with a conscience wrestles with each time they trade.

Let me start our discussion with a question - If you won an auction for NM Tropical Island on Ebay with a bid of $10, would you make sure that you sent the seller the extra $40? I get the feeling that not a single person would send more than they were obligated to. Couldn’t you say that you “ripped that seller off'? You might defend your position by saying, surely, the seller understands the way that Ebay works when they list products. We automatically assign a level of responsibility to anyone selling products. We expect that they know the value of their inventory and that they enter the market with a basic understanding of commerce. Why don't we don’t do the same for those who trade? the rest at

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

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3 thoughts on “The Myth of Ripping People Off – Jonathan Medina

  1. If someone tells me that they value their Tropical Island at $10, and I'm not trading at the shop that I normally play in, I will take it. If I am at the shop I trade in, and that person later finds out that his Tropical Island was worth $50, I'm going to have to deal with having a bad rep for ripping people off. However, buying online I don't have to worry about that.Now, me telling someone that their Tropical Island is worth $10 knowing it is $50, that is lying and ripping someone off without question. I have absolutely no tolerance for that. Sometimes people want a card from me that I don't really want to trade. I will tell them "that card isn't something that I want to trade, but if you are willing to overtrade for it I will let it go". A lot of times people are willing to go ahead with the trade, knowing that they are overpaying for the card.

  2. There's a fine line between malicious omission and taking responsibility for someone else's collection. This is a collectible card game – the imperative is on the individual owner to KNOW the values of their assets. No one would think twice if someone underpriced their house on the market. The burden is on the seller to set a correct price.Now, since Magic is something of a community game, it is the trader's decision to what degree he wishes to inform his partner. Honestly, I am a nice person and have a reputation to maintain, so I try to be as honest as possible when trading, especially now that I own a store.I think it is important, honestly, for new players to learn that people WILL rip them off if they're not careful. Whether they learn that by being screwed or by reading an article is why Jon and I write what we do. Remember, there are no sure things in trading. Just because a few online sites list a card at a given price doesn't mean I will ever sell it at that price. Most traders know that they will get more value out of a good reputation than screwing people. Regardless, it is our job as MTG writers to simply explain the process to people. As they say, don't hate the player. Hate the game.

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