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Insider: How to Buy Magic

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So, as a QS member you have full access to trader tools, a backlog of insider articles, and a solid forum. While it's relatively easy to find advice about what you should be picking up and what you ought to let go, I think I can still offer some good advice about how to spend money in the MtG secondary market.

Buy at dealer prices for singles. You've got some wiggle room if you are willing to trade with shops that offer a bonus on trade credit. This is not hard thanks to Trader Tools. That handy tool often shows negative spreads between buy prices and tcg prices. Ebay remains a valuable source as well - yes that's a risk free Time Spiral.

While Ebay is easier to exploit thanks to easy access to ALL of a particular seller's listings, you'll benefit from focusing on the same sellers on both sites once you've found your mis-priced product. Simply put: the guy selling stuff too cheap isn't doing that once.

Buy sealed product that sells for less than expected value. That is not as hard as tracking down that elusive Mind Seize. Try the complete set of Planechase 2012 in Spanish for $84.49. You can sell parts to capefeargames for $40.47 after taking a 25% hit because they are Spanish. Alternatively on Ebay, the Night of the Ninja sold for 56.99, and a playset of Spanish Shardless Agent sold for over $60 shipped. For some reason, Ebay is also the best place to pick up complete sets of all four 2012 Planechase decks. Spanish sets there can be had for less than $75. That looks pretty low risk.

Once you've bought at these lows, you can feel much more comfortable trading into staples no matter the next Pro Tour format. Remand at $16 is pricey, but trading into them will add velocity to your binder. That card is a great tempo play for Modern.

If you are more conservative, trade into the plethora of standard playable modern/legacy staples. You could do worse than Thoughtseize, Deathrite Shaman (is this banned in Modern yet?), Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, shocklands, or Scavenging Ooze. While Mutavault looks pricey, much like Scavenging Ooze, it benefits from being reprinted in a core set. I won't be buying any but trading into them is still justifiable.

You should always be hoarding your MtG cash. Players often demand more value in trade, and if you are going to buy cards you need to be sure you leave plenty of room for profit when you trade those cards you've purchased. If you are going to try and earn an income through MtG speculation the reasons for tight money control should be obvious: the easiest place to unload your cards will always be dealers. Buying at or below their buylist prices offers you an easy path to profitability through trading with little to no risk of capital. Buy cards to trade into cards. Trade into cards you plan to sell. If you aren't doing both your hoarding. Make money not inventory!

mathieu malecot

Mathieu is a daily trader of options/stocks, selling both bearish and bullish options. Lead wrangler of "The Kitten Ranch", as in lives and works at home with two annoying and cute (annoyingly cute?) cats. Ranch motto: "Always Feline Awesome". Playing magic since beta/ high school. Casual player and regular participant in FNM drafts.

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3 thoughts on “Insider: How to Buy Magic

  1. I feel as if Mutavault is at his peek/too damn high. If I had any I would be offloading them ASAP. Once the 1cost B spell hits standard, people are going to be discouraged from him and he will tank back down to a reasonable Investment number.

    I agree with the idea of never trading at a loss. Always come out on top in a trade when Trading portfolio wise. (When trading Friends/Important traders, just make sure you maintain that Bond that doesn’t discourage them from further investment trades)

    In my opinion, A lot of people are discouraged from Ebay. You have to deal with Ebay Sticking their Honey covered hands into your profits, And then if you use Paypal, they will stick your hands in there once, or even twice. Perhaps providing a little more thought on Ebay in this sense? I have tried scooping out Ebay late nights during the week and occasionally find a few good investments, but then 10$ or 5$ shipping totally kills them.

  2. You can affotd to trade in the favor of your trade partners if the cost of your stock is low enough. That’s how to trade into legacy staples for example, even when people expect a premium.

    Ebay is ok for buyers, sucks for sellers. Getting hit by ebay and paypal fees seems, um, unfair…

    Mutavault in general is a hold at 20 $, buy at 15 $ and sell at 30 $. The card will remain very liquid (easy to move) regardless of price though. It is just that playable.

    Detention Sphere looks cheap, Izzet Charm too.

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