No One Cares How Awesome Your Collection Is

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Welcome to my first of what I hope to be many articles here on Quiet Speculation. While I write about enumerable topics, many of them completely unrelated to Magic, I decided that my introductory article on this site should have at least a little bit of a financial element to it.

With that in mind, here’s a little bit about myself: I’ve been playing Magic for almost 16 years now. Just before M10 came out, I had to sell almost my entire collection because of college loans. Before selling those cards, I had a playset of every popular card in Standard, Extended, and Legacy, about 70-80% of which were foiled. And I’m willing to bet that you couldn’t care less about that and wouldn’t care even if I still owned them, nor should you. I didn’t acquire these cards because I wanted to show off how damn cool I am, I got them so I could play any deck in any format whenever I felt like it. As for the foils? I’m distracted by shiny objects.

Admittedly, that’s a pretty impressive collection. However, it’s also admittedly not something that my trade partners would give a damn about, and not something they want to see. Fortunately for me, my brother, Syd Lexia, figured out the proper way to handle this years ago. One night we were playing cards with our friends, and everyone was pulling out their trade binders. We all noticed that Syd had a binder labeled “Syd’s Fallen Empires Set" which he did not hand us. It seemed silly and made us vaguely curious, but he’s also the type of guy who really would carry around a Fallen Empires set just for laughs, so we largely ignored it. Then, for reasons I don’t recall, one of us opened the binder one night. It was NOT a Fallen Empires set. It was a binder filled with Sneak Attacks, Oath of Druids, [card Tolarian Academy]Tolarian Academies[/card], Gaeas Cradles, and lots of other cards that we’d all like to own more of. This was our first introduction to the concept of a “no trade binder.”

Simply put, unless you are someone who just grinds the trade tables all day and doesn’t actually have any intention of ever playing Magic, you need a no trade binder. As if the name doesn’t make it obvious, this is the binder where you put all your cards that are not for trade. If you actually play Magic and don’t just trade, you should have some. I owned the same set of Birds of Paradise and Wrath of Gods from like 1995 until they were reprinted with black borders. If they weren’t in a deck at the time, they needed a home. Boxes are an option, but most people prefer binders; I am no exception. Be they tournament staples like Wrath (Or now Day of Judgment), Commander staples like your foil No Mercy and foil Kor Haven, or just cards that you like or have some sentimental value to you, like the first Vizzerdrix you opened or a card signed by your favourite pro player, these cards need to get out of your trade binder.

If you’re wondering why I am so adamant about this, I assure you it’s for your benefit. Sure, I believe cards should be sorted. In fact, I’m so anal retentive I bought a controlling interest in Pepto Bismol. That’s not the reason I’m telling you to do this, however. Quite honestly, having cards in your trade binder that are not for trade is bad for business.

Have you ever tried trading with someone who filled their binder with junk that wasn’t for trade? You know the guys I’m talking about: people who fill their binders with all their most impressive cards so they can say, “Look what I have!” as though trading cards between rounds at a tournament was supposed to be some sort of pissing contest. Asking what someone values cards at and being told over and over again, “Oh, that’s not for trade,” gets really old, REALLY fast. Not everyone who has cards in their trade binders they don’t intend to trade is like those guys, but whether you’re trying to show off or you simply never thought about it before, creating a no trade binder is a simple way to ensure that you don’t chase away any potential trading partners. It won’t make you better at trading for value, but this is a sure fire way to decrease the number of people who walk away before you can make a deal.

And since every rule has them, here’s the one caveat to this golden rule of binder assembly: You are absolutely not required or expected to carry your no trade binder around with you; it’s probably better if you don’t, unless you get to use it as a wish board in multiplayer games. That being the case, keep a blank page or two at the end of your binder in which to put everything you pick up over the course of a day. That way, when you begin trading with someone you can let them know that the last page is stuff you just picked up that day, but everything else is for trade. Sometimes just saying aloud that everything is for trade will be enough enticement for people to consider your binder more carefully.

Finally, a simple rule of trade etiquette: Much like that no one wants to see all the cool stuff you have that isn’t for trade, no one wants to hear about it either. If someone asks you “Do you have any Koths for trade?” the answer is never, “I do, but not on me,” unless it’s someone you see regularly, and the answer is ESPECIALLY never, “I have some, but they’re not for trade.” The appropriate answer is simply, “No, I do not.” Unless you’re a total douchebag. You’re not a douchebag, are you?

Dr. Jeebus

The Amazing World of Dr. Jeebus

dr_jeebus on Twitter

Dr Jeebus

Dr. Jeebus is the most electrifying man in intellectual sports entertainment. He has been playing all forms of Magic since early 1995, and was recently voted the angriest Magic personality on Twitter. Though Jeebus does not have the time or money to go pro, but he's still really good and understands both the intricacies of play and of design, so you should listen to him. His notable accomplishments include beating a pro player so severely as to make him cry while at the age of 13, and defeating 5 multiplayer opponents using a single Thoughtlash.

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16 thoughts on “No One Cares How Awesome Your Collection Is

  1. Finally someone comes out and says it!! This is my absolute pet peeve. I’ve pulled trades from the board in excess of $100 in value because the trader responded “not for trade” so many times.

    Being a sarcastic asshole, I absolutely love being asked if something in my binder is for trade. I always look at them, sarcastic gleam in my eye, “Yes… This is my trade binder.”

  2. What’s even worse is when someone was willing to trade something, so you start pulling things, then they decide that the cards you want are good (duh, I don’t want to trade for your 25 cent rares) and so they change their mind.

  3. You just had to remind of a guy last week showing off his PW foil collection. Never trading with him again (either because its Mexico and he got robbed of 'em the same day or just cause he was too arrogant, lol)

    Welcome to the site!

  4. There is none. He just wanted to type an article up about douchebags and cunts and tell you that he has a bigger collection of cards then you, but he doesn’t care.

  5. Most of my writing doesn't fall neatly into any one category. However, since this article was related to trading, it seems to fit much better under financial than it would under casual or competitive. If either of you trolls would care to make an argument for why this belongs in one of the other categories instead, I'd be happy to hear it.

  6. I've got a couple blank pages in the back of my trade binder that I've marked with "NOT FOR TRADE." It's for trades I've made recently that I haven't pull out of my binder just yet. People can ask and look, but unless they really blow me away, I don't trade from back there.

    I do have my own personal binder of cards I collect. It's at home, and I don't show it to anyone unless they ask.

  7. I feel like this article was written and submitted without a title, and then the editor read it and thought to himself, "No One Cares How Awesome Your Collection Is."

    Jeebus, this seems more appropriate for a "Culture" article than a financial article. It focuses on the douchebaggy behaviours of most traders and how to change them, rather than mechanics and theory of trading for profit.

    And the real answer is, there is no such thing as a "No Trade Binder" because everything has a price.

    1. As the impromptu editor on this one I feel I should say a few things. Much of this probably wouldn't be known by a reader without closer study.

      I did not title this article.

      All QS articles are put into one of three categories, Finance (financial), Spike (competitive), and Timmy (casual). This is to steam line the navigation and editing responsibilities and it works very well. Additionally we add tags to the posts. Culture is certainly a tag we could add, but I honestly think this is very much a Finance article. Trading is an aspect of the financial content we host, and a trade binder is a legitimate tangent to trading.

      Yes, everything has a price, but in the normal discourse individual and likely trading there are things we all refuse to part with. Many of is leave them at home, and some of us show them off. I for one never bring by binder with 200+ Camels in it to events.

      All that said, we are happy that you took the time to read the article and comment and appreciate your attention and opinions.

    1. With respect, that's perhaps a little unfair, mate. The new QS has a ton of offerings for every interest. Heck, they've even given me a home to talk about intro packs, Duel Decks, and precons! Jeebus is Jeebus, no-one at QS can be surprised at what they got. But that said, if you don't like Howard Stern and prefer classical music, you change the station, not throw your radio out the window.

      If Jeebus's "colourful commentary" isn't to your liking, I certainly invite you to check out other articles and contributions from others who take a different approach!

      1. The issue with cursing isn't so much finding it and then deciding to turn the channel as it is not expecting to find it all when reading financial articles. I accept your premise since I don't support such sort of values censorship, but it does contribute to the overall reputation of the site.

  8. Have you ever traded with someone and, upon having nowhere to put your newly acquired cards, you put them in your trade binder? that happens to me often and often I forget to take some of those cards out. Or worst yet, I will switch this cards for cards that I want to take out of one of my decks, and probably I wouldn't want to trade this cards away, nevertheless I have no other place to put them away so I'll just keep them in my trade binder. Of course I will only reserve the very back of my binder to try to avoid this awkward situation, but one can't helped be asked "is this X card for trade?"… only to answer "No dude, I just got this"

  9. Simple solution to all this, If I acquire something and dont want to trade it back off (rare since im in this game for profit potential) I will place it in the very back on the back side of the last page and inform people every time they open the binder that that page is things I just picked up and am not AS willing to trade…however as someone mentioned earlier everything has a price, if someone wants something and you dont want to trade it value it at double, if they still want it that bad awesome for you, you just made 100% profit and can go pick another copy up and still have alot of trade fodder left.

  10. I've said time and time again to trade partners and to friends who are trying to get into this game for profit: "Everything has a price." If you want my cards bad enough that you are willing to offer double what they're worth, then fuck sentiments. I'm simply going to quote a higher price than it's really worth when you ask me what I value it at.

    "Oh, I just picked that up" is pretty dumb, as there are a ton more copies of that card around, and if you can turn a higher profit trading it away, then you should capitalize on that potential value. Isn't the key to gaining value to keep your stock perpetually moving, anyway?

    All of the cards that I have that aren't for trade are in decks, and they stay in those decks until I feel like dismantling them to trade the cards away again.

    1. Agree. All the stuff I want to keep is in my EDH decks or in a separate binder. There are a few cards in my binder that I'm rather reluctant to trade at face value, but if there is something I want bad enough, I will let them go.

      It's not that they're not for trade, but that I won't trade them for just anything. Certain cards carry more weight than others, and I think it's more than fair to ask for cards that are similar in value.

      @Jeebus: I especially agree with one of your last points. My answer is never "I have some, but not for trade,", but "No extra copies, sorry." The latter sounds more considerate, IMO.

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