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Introducing Data-Centric Content

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Hey QS Insiders!  First, I must apologize for the light content lately.  We've had a few writers take hiatus for personal reasons; school, work, etc.  This comes at the worst possible time for us.  The vast majority of our staff's time is being put towards developing tools for our subscribers rather than written content.  In theory, this work was supposed to happen behind-the-scenes while our content hummed along steadily.  Clearly, this has not been the case.

Our current focus, going forward, is data-driven content.  We still have a capable staff of writers and editors producing awesome stuff, but the future of MTG trading lies in the numbers, not the written word.  Written content will always have a home on QS, but as our technology stack gets more advanced we'll able to crunch more numbers, faster, and with more precise results.  We have some really big plans, but they will take time to bear fruit.  You have my word that the wait will be worth it.  Rather than having generic Insider email blasts, we will be transitioning to user-customized alerts, which will inform you of price changes as they happen.  You'll be able to specify your thresholds, specific cards, sets, and almost any other variable you can imagine.  This software is being written 100% by hand, customized for our subscribers.  This will be the first of many "power-user" tools that we plan to deploy.

While the software is not ready for prime-time yet, we are starting to use the "rough" version to generate data nuggets for you guys.   We want to be sure that market activity backs up our predictions, so as we gather more data and generate more advanced reports, our subscribers will reap the benefits many times over.  I implore you to be patient and bear with us.  Custom software is neither quick nor easy, but the upside is that we're getting exactly what we want.  In addition to our market tracker, we're looking at ways to revamp the prediction tracker from the ground up.  Again, we imagine customized alerting, a slick and searchable UI, and market data comparisons.  We're unreasonably excited about the future, and we can't wait for the future to get here!

Enough excuses.  You came here for data, and data I shall provide.  Innistrad is hitting the "dip".  This dip comes about a month to 6 weeks after the set hits shelves, and it represents the point at which supply begins to exceed demand.  Players have their cards for States, the PTQ season is bringing cards into the market rather than out, and people are drafting constantly.  This means that the supply-demand curve is getting ever less favorable for sellers.  The big money cards are crashing down to earth as predicted, and the data backs it up.  Since our software is still in early development, I have to do a lot of the production by hand.  As we develop more and better tools, the process will get faster and I'll be able to produce more graphs than you could ever possibly imagine.

Sun Oct 16 - Thurs Oct 20 (TCG Player)

For this particular chart, I wanted to use TCGPlayer.com's data.  We're not compensated in any way for using their info, but I wanted to attribute my sources.  I decided to use TCGPlayer because their site aggregates about 70 online stores.  Big ones like ChannelFireball.com help set the market, and seeing how the smaller stores react can inform us as to what the "market" will bear.

This chart, representing Liliana of the Veil's average and lowest price, covers a date range from Sunday the 16th through Thursday the 20th.   In this ~5 day span, we can see 2 very important things:

1: Liliana of the Veil's average price dropped from $62 to $55

That's a drop of $7 within a span of 5 days.  Incredible.  We all knew the bubble would pop, but this fast?

2: Liliana of the Veil's low end price dropped from $52 to $44

On the low end, the drop was slightly more pronounced, dropping an additional dollar.

This is pretty damning evidence for "the dip".  It's hard to say whether we should evaluate the average or the low price, as each has its own merits.  Looking at both, for now, should suffice.  As our analytic tools get more robust, we can fine-tune the model some.  Let's take a look at another chase card, Snapcaster Mage:

Sun Oct 16 - Thurs Oct 20

This chart tells a different story.  We see an almost static line on both sides.  Somewhere on Wednesday, it seems some copies sold through, or someone bumped up their price.  Either way, the market corrected itself down to where it's been hovering.  Very odd that a $20+ rare is holding it's value, but we can probably blame multi-format play for this.  I'd love to do a breakdown of the States deck lists and compare Liliana and Snapcaster usage, but such an undertaking is beyond what I'm currently capable of.    It's clear that Snapcaster Mage is resisting "the dip", but we'll have to dig deeper to figure out exactly what's going on.  Expect more charts to follow.

This is just a tiny taste of the sort of things we are working on behind the scenes! Please let us know if you like this kind of analysis want more.   Thanks to all our Insider subscribers that have stayed loyal through some of our growing pains.  We are always looking to add value to your subscription, and we think that the data-centric model is going to do nothing short of revolutionize Magic trading!  We hope you agree.

--Kelly

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in Finance, Free Insider

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12 thoughts on “Introducing Data-Centric Content

  1. This is great. I'd still love to see a buy-list tool as well – something with the buylist prices from a number of stores, as well as the buy price to sell price ratio for determining what cards have the best bang for the buck with retailers.

    1. buy lists have a lot of challenges on the data-gathering front. we have a partner site we're working with to see about getting that done, but it is not a simple task. believe me, with the quantity of cards I sell, this is something I'm dying to have too

  2. I just joined the site around the release of Innistrad and so far I love the content. I love the idea of moving forward with more data driven decisions. I'm really excited for this new project you guys are working on to be released; it is exactly what I have been looking for.

  3. I like the data, but I'm also very interested in the analysis of the data and market calls. Results/profits are really what we all signed up for (at least I believe so).

    1. Absolutely; as things get more advanced, that'll come. Once I can deploy some tools to our writers, they can then use data driven analysis to make calls and to examine past calls.

    1. Thanks for the support Jerry!

      I can tell you that this project keeps getting more and more exciting, even from the exhausting, behind-the-scenes perspective. We've got a ton of excitement continuously bubbling up here… and I feel I should probably hold my tongue at this point. ūüôā

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