This week I return to my series of articles on how to invest on MTGO.
Last time I discussed how to buy the cheapest tix and get your cards at the best rate. Similarly to buying cards, selling cards requires some research and attention paid to what's happening on the market to get the most out of your specs. Naturally, your goal is to be as close as possible to the price peak, and then to find the best buyer(s).
Cyclical investments are the easiest. Timing is not so much an issue and you already know what your selling price will be.
For more speculative investments, the target is probably fuzzier. You don't necessarily know when your cards are going to be hot, nor how hot they are going to be.
Unlike buying, for which it is frequently possible to buy dozens of cards in a matter of minutes, selling may require a little bit more discipline and patience. Bots and humans will rarely buy more than a playset from you. You may have to spread your selling over time and/or find multiple buying sources to sell at the best price.
As with buying, you basically have three options to sell your cards:
- To humans and bots that have posted offers on the Classifieds
- To bots
- Using your own selling offer
Watch Your Investments
Again, one of the best tools to monitor the prices of your cards is certainly MtgGoldfish. If you log in, you even have the option to track your collection. This feature allows you to selected specific cards to follow. Then you can track your entire portfolio on one page. Regularly checking the different indices is also a good way to detect when sets or formats are trending up or down.
Tournament results often trigger an increase in price of the rares and mythics from the winning deck and/or Top 8 decks. Especially if the winning deck is new, cards are going to spike hard.
If you own some of these hot cards, you may want to consider selling them in the hype or at least paying attention to how the community reacts. If you didn't possess these cards, there's still a quick-flip opportunity here if you act fast enough.
Two types of news form the Mothership are particularly important and may modify your plans.
- The ban list announcement. It shouldn't surprise you that if a card gets banned its price will drop hard. If you hold some of the newly banned cards, sell them as fast as possible. Note that after the initial rush to sell, the same cards might constitute a good buying opportunity as prices are going to be "artificially" low because of the panicked reaction from most of the people. The obvious example from the most recent announcement is Deathrite Shaman.
- Flashback drafts. This happens whenever a flashback draft goes live--the playable cards of the drafted sets dip. Selling and rebuying after a week has proven to be a viable strategy, especially if you keep some of these cards to play.
Another way to monitor the price of your positions, and maybe detect an opportunity to sell, is to make your collection (or specific cards) tradeable and try to sell them to Aboshanbots or Hotlist bot (you can also check Mtgotraders hotlist). I do this now and then, especially when I know some of my positions are close to maturity.
These two bots usually offer the best buying prices on MTGO. Screening them not only gives me a chance to sell my hot cards at the best price but can also alert me to cards I didn't know were valuable at a given moment.
One last thing here, if you have several dozen or hundreds of copies of a card, selling all of them at your desired selling price will require more work. Plan ahead and start selling early enough that you don't get stuck with 50 copies after the spike has passed and nobody is looking for your cards.
Selling in Response to an Offer
Selling to humans, or bots, in response to a posted offer is rarely a good option. Usually, buyers on the Classifieds have low buying prices. Nonetheless, it happens from time to time that bots are not up to date or humans are in a hurry for trendy cards and they propose excellent prices. If you're lucky and fast enough to spot them, it can be an unexpected little extra.
Don't spend too much time and effort constantly screening the Classifieds as this kind of opportunity is pretty rare. Anyways, if bots with good buying prices are affiliated to Mtgo Library you'll also find them easily with the search engine.
Selling With Your Own Offer
Unlike buying, selling through the Classified using your own offer is a much more viable option. Prior to posting your offer and prices, look briefly at other vendors to make sure your price is attractive, or at least not below any of the buying bots' prices.
Most of the time, being a little bit under the average bot selling prices and at the same level as other humans is enough to get you clients. Don't put more than a playset for sale at a time even if you possess 200 copies of a card, this way you can adjust your prices if you feel like you are selling too fast too cheap.
While it might take some time to sell your cards with your offer this is your best shot to get the most for your investments. However, selling this way doesn't require much attention, you can set up an offer while doing other stuff with your computer or watching TV.
Selling to Bots
Bots offer a rapid and efficient way to sell your cards, though not necessarily at the best price. Even if you sell a little bit cheaper as compared to posting your offer on the Classifieds, you will appreciate the time saved and the reward of watching your bankroll grow suddenly.
If you sell to the right bots you might not even notice the difference with selling "manually". Several times, I have even been surprised to see that some bots were buying at a better price than I was trying to sell for!
As your bankroll becomes bigger and more diversified, you will find yourself selling to bots more and more to save precious time.
One more general comment. Buying prices tend to be updated more and more rapidly. Whether it is Mtgo Library bots, Mtgotraders hotlist, or Goatbots, I have found their prices varied multiple time during a single session of 30 minutes. Therefore, you may want to check the buying prices many times a day when you feel like the time has come to sell your cards.
Mtgotraders Hotlist and Aboshanbots
As mentioned above, in addition to any other tools you are using to decide when and at what price to sell, I often screen the buying offers from the Hotlist bot from Mtgotraders and from the three Aboshanbots. 95% of the time these guys offer the best price on the market.
However, you should always check several bots before committing to sell to one in particular. It will take additional minutes to complete a deal, but if you don't want to leave some tix on the table 5% of the time, you should consider a quick survey of other bots.
Another good option for Standard cards specifically are the Goatbots. They buy almost endless quantities of cards, with decent prices. For boosters or cards, if you want to sell a wide variety of cards and seal the deal in 30 sec, you will love them.
Mtgotraders Regular Buying Bots
In the same trend as Goatbots, the "regular" buying bots of Mtgotraders (look for the Official Mtgotraders buying bots) buy most of the staples from Standard and other formats. Their prices got better as compared to the past years, but they are still cheaper buyers than specific Mtgo Library bots.
The power of Mtgo Library is that in one click you see dozens of bot offers, and you'll always find a bot that is buying your cards. How much? This can be the issue; sometimes even the best buying bot has low buying prices. Sometimes, their owner didn't adjust the prices fast enough and buying prices are really good, even better than other bots selling prices!
As well as for buying cards to bots affiliated with Mtgo Library, you may have to "leave" credits on several of bots if you want to get the most tix for your cards. Once again, don't worry about your credits--you are more than likely to come back to them if you are speculating regularly enough.
A little tip here, many bots on Mtgo Library buy commons, junk rares and uncommons, but often at ridiculously low prices. Based on my experience, I have found that the Mtgo_Baazar bots frequently buy junk cards at 0.01 tix or more. If you want to sell these kind cards (if you bought a collection on eBay for instance) check them.
Next week, I will discuss and compare the options you have to finally transform your hard labor and patience into real cash. Be sure to tune in!
Thank you for reading.