Welcome back to the Revenue Review, where this week I hope to shed some light on the process of selling off some of your stock.
I figured the best way to walk you through this topic was to clean out some of my own stock, something I’m overdue for. My girlfriend and I got a pretty sweet Black Friday deal for a TV (42 inches, $400 for a name-brand plasma set), which dovetailed nicely with my decision to sale some cards. My goal when I set out thumbing through my binder was to sell enough to pay for my half of the TV, something I should be able to do.
Cleaning out your binder
The first step I took was going through my binder and pulling out everything I knew I could sell off for a decent price, such as my extra Vengevine and Aether Vial. Then I pulled out cards I have tons of extras of that are a little higher than bulk rares, such as Oran-Rief, the Vastwood and Devastating Summons. I also grabbed cards like Grim Monolith that I’m unlikely to be able to trade off in my area.
I left a number of cards in my binder. For starters, I decided to keep my bulk, because I don’t have enough to justify shipping it off. If I’m going to sell cards in bulk, I’m going to do so in person rather than mail it off. The shipping costs on the bulk makes it rather unappealing, regardless of whatever small profit I could make. Keeping those cards in my binder gives me some opportunity to trade back up, as I talked about last week.
Where to sell
The next question I faced was where to sell off my cards. First of all, I consulted this website. Looking over the Nutt Draw by Chris McNutt gave me a great place to start. Once I realized that I was going to be using Ebay for a number of my cards, this article by Doug Linn was pretty useful while setting up my sales.
One of the first major decisions I made was to choose one buylist to sell to rather than spread my cards around. Even though I inevitably lose some profit this way, I did this for convenience. It can become pretty convoluted to sell to three or four buylists and keeps track of all of that on top of Ebay sells. I chose Star City Games as my buylist of choice because it was simple and easy, as well as being a reputable source. I don’t have enough experience with other buylists to compare, but you’ll be fine as long as you choose a reputable store.
My (awesome) girlfriend happens to be a whiz with Excel spreadsheets, so she started a list comparing Ebay and Star City prices as we chose which source to sell individual cards to. We compared prices and divided the cards into piles as we made each decision. I chose to sell a number of cards to Star City even though I could fetch marginally higher prices on Ebay because there’s other costs associated with Ebay, such as Ebay fees, shipping fees and, most importantly to me, my time. With finals coming up in a few weeks in addition to my usual hectic life, convenience was a big factor for me. With all that in mind, I decided to Ebay only those cards that I either couldn’t sell to Star City or that represented a large difference in profit.
Here’s the sheets showing the cards I decided to move and the prices we estimated for them, based on completed sales.
Card Ebay Price
Oran Rief, the Vastwood 4x $4
Promo Krosan Grip 2x $5.50
Indomitable Archangel $1.50
Devastating Summons 4x $0.99
Survival of the Fittest $35.00
Ball Lightning 4X $4.50
Consuming Vapors 4X $8.00
Eldrazi Monument 4X $61
Cunning Wish 1X $4
Stoneforge Mysticp 4X $30
Tinker 1X $4
Gideon Jura 2X $30
Frost Titan 1X $14
Avenger of Zendikar 1X $7
Sensei's Divining Top 1X $4.50
Grim Monolith $9
Aether Vial 2X $15
Steel Overseer 4X $7.00
Card Name SCG Buy Price Number of Cards Total $
Grim Monolith $8.00 1 $8.00
Sensei's Diving Top $3.00 1 $3.00
Ball Lightning $1.00 4 $4.00
Goblin Guide (FOIL) $8.00 1 $8.00
Awakening Zone $0.50 1 $0.50
Consuming Vapors $2.00 4 $8.00
Elvish Piper $1.00 1 $1.00
Elvish Champion (Ninth Edition) $0.75 1 $0.75
Avenger of Zendikar $6.00 1 $6.00
Warren Instigator $1.00 2 $2.00
Cunning Wish $2.00 1 $2.00
Frost Titan $12.50 1 $12.50
Grove of the Burnwillows $0.50 1 $0.50
Blood Crypt $4.00 1 $4.00
Trinisphere $0.50 1 $0.50
Nevinyrral's Disk, 4th Edition $2.00 1 $2.00
Boseiju, Who Shelters All $0.50 1 $0.50
Factoring in Ebay fees, we estimated I can make at least $240 from my Ebay sells, and with the $60 from my Star City sales, I’ll easily cover my half of the TV, and have a bit to pocket after that.
Since I’m selling off relatively few cards, I still have a solid collection to work from. It’s nice to see the money I’m making here because it’s a direct reflection of months of solid trading. I have a few cards in particular I want to touch on.
This card may not have actually peaked, but I think it’s pretty close to it. I have no problem unloading this now, because I don’t think it has much farther up to go. The metagame is likely to shift as people find ways to answer the Titan. He is powerful, yes, but he only locks down one card at a time. I’m not saying it’s definitely time to sell Frost Titan but it’s way past buy time.
This card has done nothing but come down in price since its unbanning, so I’m getting rid of the one I picked up now. It’s possible this card gets broken and I regret it, but it seems rather unlikely.
Survival of the Fittest
Doug Linn wrote an excellent article on this a few weeks back about whether it’s worth holding on to your Survivals right now, and I’m of the opinion it’s time to let go. The downside on this card massively outweighs the upside right now. Basically, If it gets banned, you’re screwed. If it’s not, there’s not much higher it can climb. I listed mine on Ebay and set it to expire tonight, so I’ll beat the Dec. 2 banlist update.
I’m not about to miss an “I told you so” moment, and this is it. Monument has risen steadily since I wrote about picking them up more than a month ago. Now’s a pretty good time to cash out, because the Monument is holding steady at its current price while seeing play in a Tier 1 deck (Elves).
Tips for selling cards
- When in doubt – do it. Cash in hand is better than cards in binders. It’s easy to develop an emotional connection to your collection and be hesitant to sell it off, but you will almost always be better served doing it.
- Know your underrepresented cards – Elvish Piper and Elvish Champion are cards it’s very easy to classify as bulk if you don’t know better. Make sure to check buylists for all your cards before bulking them out.
- Choose only a few outlets to sell your cards. Grinding out every possible penny is great, but unless you have tons of time on your hands it’s probably a more efficient use of your time to use just two or three outlets for your cards.
- Bulk in person. You will lose a ton of potential profit if you try to ship out bulked cards, especially as your number grows. Bulk prices don’t change, so just hold onto them and sell them off at your next PTQ or Grand Prix.
Since an important part of cleaning out your binder is having the ability to rebuild it, I made it out to my first Scars draft Saturday night (working on Fridays sucks). At least, I thought I did. If you don’t know, I live in Oklahoma, and Saturday was the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game, otherwise known as Bedlam. Bedlam pretty much trumps everything but Christmas in this state, so only six people showed up to the event. We weren’t able to draft (so I’m still a Scars draft virgin), but I did get in a trade with an EDH enthusiast before everyone cleared out to watch the game (Go Pokes!).
My partner actually priced this all out on Star City as we were making the trade. I told him I valued the filter land at $8, because of the fact Jund is the real deal in Extended, which I think is true. He threw a lot of it in because he really wanted the cards for EDH, including the foil Stalking Vengeance, which I’m pretty sure is literally the first rare I ever opened. Nonetheless, it’s a good trade to start rebuilding my binder.
That wraps up this week’s column, as well as my series on building, organizing, and selling your binder. I hope you found this series useful. I’ll make sure to touch on this again in a few weeks with an update on how much I ended up making from the sells. Come back next week, when I’ll check in with an update to Extended and the cards to pick up now. I’ve been doing a good amount of testing and brewing with the format, and I have some solid tips heading into the season. I'll give you a hint - The boogeyman is back (and it's not Faeries).
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