Fearless Magic Card Inventory

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Hey, all!

Earlier this week in my alticle I hinted that I might be transitioning in my role here at Quiet Speculation. Jason's Alticle is no more. Instead, I will be writing an Insider "Alticle" each week. If that's not going to be enough of a fix for you, or you're not an Insider, fear not, because I will be posting something cool for you here on the free side every. Damn. Day.

If that's not enough of a fix, and you're already reading me on Gathering Magic and MTG Headquarters and listening to the podcast and following @jasonealt on twitter, you may need to get a life.

Since my Insider Alticle is going to focus on how I make money doing things that aren't speculating, I have been thinking about how I am going to write about Inventory. I found a couple very good examples around the web.


Now I Know My ABC's

This first one  from Ryan Bushard was an inspiration.

It may seem tedious at first, but organization is a big key to moving forward—even if your collection is manageable now, if it continues to grow—as most hope it will—it is better to have a handle on the problem before it forms. I wish I had someone to have told me these same tips and tricks years ago, but take it from me: This is one time-consuming effort that may not seem worth it at first, but in the long run, you will be glad you kept a hand on it.

Ryan advocates starting any project, acquisition or buylisting venture with a full set sort and alphabetization. Sounds like a lot of work? He makes the cast for it being worth it.







 Long-Term PlansThis ongoing series on Brainstorm Brewery is really shaping up as well. Part 2 is on the site as well if you'd like to read more. I think the author has some useful and inspiring info here.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Losses

Losses will kill you, as I said above. We are all inclined to shuffle these experiences to the back of our minds, but it is important that you recognize inventory-related losses. You can’t just forget about them or call it bad luck or stick them in the bad spec box. Here is an example with some numbers to illustrate:

If I buy five copies of Snapcaster Mage at $20 ($100 total investment), then sell them for $30 cash each, I have $150 for a profit of $50 or 50%. Awesome, 50% is great. But if my dog chews just one of those cards up (or more likely, I confuse collecting and finance again and stick it in my cube) and I can only sell four, I have $120. My initial investment is the same $100, but now my profit is only 20%, meaning I’ve lost more than half of my profit because one-fifth of my inventory disappeared.

I hope that's enough food for thought for now. Expect my first Insider Alticle early next week!



Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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