Modern - Oh how I love thee. Seeing the hard work, observation, and thought put in bring about astounding results is truly a sight to behold. The thought that a format could be the bastard child of Magic formats should be banished from every man, woman, and child now. The success that GP Richmond provided shows just what a fun, complex, eternal environment can do for the gameplay of Magic. Unfortunately - now it's also showing that darker side too. Affordability will soon no longer be the keyword associated with Modern. "Cheaper Legacy" will be a term lost to the sands of time unless the market corrects. I promise you though, Wizards is already on the case. They either saw this coming, or figured it would happen sooner or later.
The question of if Modern could be a reliable crowd pleasure was initially answered with the release of Modern Masters. With that release though, it brought a buzz that I believe is still really growing. GP Richmond had many things going for it: Location, Timing, Playmat, Reasonable Expectation of affordability to get involved. That's soon going to be a dream of the past. This upcoming season we just might start seeing decks rival their older Legacy counterparts. I would not be surprised to see that in the least. Fortunately, this does not mean it's a time to panic sell everything. Don't push that button!!
Wizards has truly shown an understanding of Supply & Demand. Even more though, they have shown repeatedly that they understand the concept of something that cannot be undone. The measured reaction that Modern Masters gave them has got to be thrilling and exciting to those behind closed doors. It, however, was a "careful step." A step in the direction of correcting the market and making Modern singles more available. Wizards may have already come out and said that it was everything they hoped, but it stands to reason that it's been even more. That step has created even more Demand and now will require even more from Wizards of the Coast. This is what I envision will happen in the future: More. Why more? Because the laws of Supply & Demand require it.
To understand this further - let's take a dive into understanding what Supply & Demand really is:
1) A commodity is a good that is perceived to be worth the same amount regardless of the supplier.
Simply put - regardless of which vendor is supplying the Secondary market singles; there is a perceived value among the buyers and sellers that a card has worth. This concept has been there for a very long time, yet as trend setters there are very few that are willing to take that first step in setting the market. That appears to have changed as even the perceived possibility of a buy out is now starting to move prices before it truly happens.
2) When the price of a good rises, the demand for that good decreases and when the price falls, the demand for that good increases. This is the law of demand.
This is still based on perception of value. Tarmogoyf is moving. What if the value was suddenly $400? Would people still want it? More than likely not. The price shock alone would decrease the Demand as a result of the price memory. But a slow climb will consistently keep Demand rising with the cost of a good.
3) When the price of a good rises, the supply for that good increases and when the price of a good falls, the supply for that good decreases. This is the law of supply.
It stands to reason that the higher price something gets combined with people wanting it less because of high price; a price will typically fall until it reaches that median place again. More of something available means more competition to be the source for your purchase.
[cardimage cardname='Misty Rainforest']
4) Perfect price information and equivalency of goods are some principles of perfect competition.
If you had multiple Dealers in front of you, but ONLY ONE was selling Misty Rainforest for 10% less, this makes for perfect competition. This doesn't always happen, but as you are a Quietspeculation Insider, you have access to more information than most.
5) Instantaneous price adjustments are another aspect of perfect competition.
This is the results of consistent sales of an item and less about knee jerk reaction, tournament results, or speculation buyouts. But with all the information available, most stores will try to position themselves better.
[cardimage cardname='Scalding Tarn']
6) If there is a surplus, a lower price or perhaps a smaller supply of an item by the supplier are examples of market corrections.
There have been many examples of this as of late, but the buyout of Blue Fetchlands comes immediately to mind. This is an example of forcing a market correction. Another would be Wizards reprinting another large swath of high priced cards in order to make the market more affordable.
7) If there is a shortage, a higher price or perhaps a larger supply of an item by the supplier are again examples of market corrections.
Finally, we come to the heart of the matter. Supply is currently fixed. The Demand has increased for Modern singles to the point that Supply has run short and prices have jumped. Either by Speculators, Stores, or Players hoarding, destroying, or simply just playing - the Market has responded in kind. There is going to start being a shortage and a market correction is going to be needed. Either by Wizards reprinting or a hoard of recently unattainable copies flood back into the market dropping prices left and right. There's a crux though - Modern season will soon be upon us. Understanding this back and forth, wax & wane, is the key to this new Millennia of speculation. The Game is changing and in large part to the dissemination of more information on the ways and hows of best practices - we have this ever fluctuating chaotic market to look forward to. What will you do? As always: Buy low. Sell High. Pick your target point and then choose your exit. At some point....
8) The market will correct itself until a point of equilibrium is reached.
Ladies & Gentleman - welcome to the "When not If" Era.
It's no longer a matter of if a card will rise in value. No, no, no. That would be too easy. Now, it has become simply just a matter of Time. Are you prepared to properly assess when to get out, and when to stay? As we watch the Modern market fluctuate chaotically like it is, this should be a primer for what to expect from the Suppliers. Wizards or other Stores will strike while the market is in hand or reaching a boiling point. More copies will enter into the market and then you will be too late to exit for the most profit. The market will quickly reach equilibrium and your hard earned profit will start to drip away until the item finally sells, or is buylisted. Welcome to the future of constant market corrections.
-Till next time.