If you've been reading my articles, you'll see that I’ve taken in a lot of data, smashed it, shook it, baked it in Excel, and it’s given us some perspective on the prices and demand of various cards. There is still a lot more to learn, and I hope, more data to be had. There is another very valid way to evaluate cards. Buy Lists are perhaps an even truer value of the worth of a card versus the "price" or "cost".
Before we go further, I should make a note about that last sentence. To many of you, it might seem as though I used a thesaurus to spit out the pricing equivalent of “me, myself, and I” but there are some pretty distinct differences in my mind. Though the term “cost” can get pretty overloaded with meaning. Here is how I (with the aid of neither Merriam nor Webster) would define each as in relation to the topics herein.
As with the ongoing development of the Demand Index values these Worth Matrix values are going to take some time to work out, and more data is going to be needed in order to lock them down to something we can really rely on.
The concept of the Worth Matrix is similar to the Demand Matrix in that it should give us some indication of the real worth of cards in an ever changing landscape. A few of the major differences are that we can establish a Demand Index value for any card in a given subset of cards, but in the Worth Matrix, we can only highlight the cards that are specifically in demand by the indexed sellers or the changes in those lists over time. Some of the cards that are on buy lists are there because their inventory has fun low, or because the cards are forecasted to become hot in the future. I would imagine that many of the cards are only needed regionally, and that different stores might have different needs. Some of these irregularities can be overcome by aggregating more information, some by looking at the values over time. As with the Demand Index values, more data will mean more accuracy. Another difference is that these results are going to be more directly related to their price. The Demand Matrix looks at the relative interest a card is generating and I hope that the proportional values extracted from the Worth Matrix might give us a baseline for establishing and predicting the pricing of certain cards.
This week I’ll show you some of the results from aggregating and sorting a few of the more accessible online buy lists. The lists currently being crunched are Star City Games, Cool Stuff Inc, Troll and Toad, BlackBorder and AdventuresOn. I’ll probably be adding more (please list out your favorites below) but am somewhat limited as to which I can automatically pull data from, so please bear with me. As I add and compile more and more buy lists and cross these values with sales history and pricing fluctuations, I think that not only will we be left with another potentially useful value (Worth Matrix), but we will also see stronger relational information between all the values.
Below we have some of the more straight forward information. These three lists are sorted according to the highest average buy price as listed in the above online stores published buy lists.
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This list seems about right with the possible noted absence of Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
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Star City Games and Cool Stuff Inc don’t seem to buy a whole lot that is strictly in the Extended block at this time.
[iframe https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AukC5EWiTvOpdE1fQjE4bFdmMHJ5ZE84d2tNbjhsN2c&single=true&gid=5&output=html&widget=true 100% 600px]
The Legacy and Vintage list is mostly useless in this format but fun to look at. With Standard and Extended I can get down to the $1.50 card mark in about the top 50. For Legacy it’s almost the top 750 to get down to $1.50 and a list that large isn’t as easy to produce due to some of the limitations of Google Docs. I’ll come up with a better way to display the Legacy values soon though.
For a bit of a taste as to what the Demand Index values can do for us, the following list is a comparison between the cards that are specifically sought by the stores but whom have the lowest demand. In other words, the stores may want them more then you do, so now is a good time to sell them either on their own, or add them into the shipment you have going out.
[iframe https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AukC5EWiTvOpdE1fQjE4bFdmMHJ5ZE84d2tNbjhsN2c&single=true&gid=2&output=html&widget=true 100% 600px]
As you can see some of the stores are buying some cards that might seem a bit surprising. These are all cards that have virtually no demand (Demand Index values) behind them, so they should be either lying about in your sorting boxes or perhaps the stores know something we don’t. I’m anxious to add Channel Fireball to the list of stores searched since they do so much speculative pricing and buying. As of right now their online buy list isn’t practical enough to access, but I hope that gets better in time. This list will get better as I refine the sorting parameters. For example, right now I’m only looking at cards that are at least $1 on average, but other thresholds and lists (perhaps a $5 min?) are something I’m considering.
As always, please comment as to what other information and results you’d like to see.