If we were in the seventh inning of the Reserved List buyouts last week, then we’re certainly into extra innings this week. We’ve gone from having six to eight buyouts a day to a trickle of one or two modest jumps. Yesterday brought a spike in Power Artifact and a re-spike of Ring of Immortals, for example.
At this point, new long-term plateaus are gradually being established. The beautiful thing is the fact that all these cards—even the “unplayable ones”—will reside at a higher price point from now on. Even unplayable cards like Spiritual Sanctuary have buylist prices triple what they were just one month ago.
Anyone who has ignored these buyouts in their publications or has written them off completely has done a disservice to their followers. It’s the equivalent of hosting a show on the stock market and refusing to discuss the hottest sector (e.g. Cloud Technology, Bitcoin) because you don’t believe in the movement. How can you deliver the most important and actionable financial news if you choose to ignore one of the most lucrative trends of 2017? Beats me, but I’ll get off my soapbox.
In all honesty, there’s little more for me to say about these trends. I’ve invested thousands of words in multiple articles detailing my strategy and buying/selling approaches when dealing with Reserved List cards. This week I want to go in a completely different direction…
The New Most Valuable Resource?
One of the most useful MTG finance sites (besides Quiet Speculation of course) that I visit on a regular basis is MTG Stocks. Their Interests page proves to be the defining website for tracking price movement for individual cards. If something is getting bought out or if a new trend is emerging, this site will be like a beacon flashing its light on resulting price changes. For this reason, I visit the site on a daily basis.
There’s a new site that I’ve begun visiting on a daily basis now, and it is controlled by our very own Quiet Speculation. It’s behind the paywall, and this helps screen out dysfunctional content from overzealous (and impolite) Reddit-type posters. This site is professionally maintained and houses up-to-the-minute actionable information across all formats and geographies.
I'm talking, of course, about the Quiet Speculation Discord.
This may seem like an advertisement, but I’d prefer to color it as a testimonial. Not because I want to generate more subscribers for the site (though that would be nice), but because the site has truly been value-additive to my MTG finance hobby.
There have been numerous occasions where information gleaned from the QS Discord in a timely manner has led to profitable opportunity. In addition, the community being formed within the Discord fosters cooperation and support—quite the refreshing take on the hobby after dealing with all the negativity coming from Twitter these days.
Let me share a couple specific examples to illustrate my points.
Pointing Out Underpriced Cards
Within the QS Discord chat, we’re all working together to help each other make and save money from MTG finance. Of course we’re all looking out for number one, but there’s also a sense of community that leads to selfless acts of generosity. One way this manifests itself is in how people report on where to find good prices on certain cards.
For example, one Insider posted on Friday that they found a listing for an MP Sandals of Abdallah for around $4.50. They were unable to buy it profitably due to their geography, so they shared the information for someone else to capitalize upon. Given that Sandals buylists to Card Kingdom for $13, an MP copy would likely fetch $6.50.
While $2 profit isn’t going to change anyone’s lives, I instantly bought the card because I was already planning to ship Card Kingdom a buylist order in the coming days. Within two minutes the card was purchased, and now I’ll enjoy another couple bucks’ profit come time to submit my buylist.
Something a little more lucrative happened a few weeks ago. People were watching all of the Reserved List foils skyrocket and they were scouring the internet for any remaining opportunities. A fellow Insider made a comment that they were targeting judge foil Morphlings in the $10 range. I looked across the internet, but I couldn’t find any copies for less than $15. I said as much, and the Insider sent me a link to where they found copies listed at $10. Respectfully, I purchased only three copies out of the dozen or so they had listed, careful to leave a few behind for others.
The information people share about where to find good prices on cards can directly lead to profits. That’s always nice, but such opportunities don’t arise every day. Despite this, there are still many ways of garnering useful information about the MTG market to gain a competitive edge. One thread of the Discord I pay close attention to is the one on Sales Reporting.
This isn’t a “humble brag” thread meant to show off wealth or make people regret not participating in a given spec. That kind of negativity plagues Twitter, and there’s no place for it among the QS Insiders. This is a place where people share data on sales they’ve made using neutral, informative language. When you strip out the bragging component, such data is extremely valuable when understanding what cards are selling for and at what rate.
Some recent examples:
- “Sold a foil Stonybrook Banneret for $6.”
- “Sold a played Exorcist for $4.75.”
- “Just sold 2 NM Legends Concordant Crossroads on TCG for $68.”
- “My LP Singing Trees finally sold for $90 ea, also sold a playset of Rapid Fires at $10s…also some LP Citanul Druids for $7…same buyer for all 3.”
Do you see how this information could be useful? The information is helpful when trying to decide whether or not you want to move into a spec. Or if you have copies you’re looking to sell, you have a frame of reference for what others are selling their copies for.
I also like this information because it’s cross-platform; some people sell on eBay, some sell on TCGplayer, and some run shops and sell locally. Since I only sell on eBay, it’s helpful to see what kind of prices people are getting on TCGplayer because sometimes (especially on older cards) there is a large price discrepancy between the two.
The last benefit of the QS Insider Discord I want to explain in depth is the Insider Coverage. We all get the email alerts from Chaz during a Pro Tour or some other major MTG event. These are helpful and well-written; however, they aren’t real-time.
Enter: the QSCoverage thread in the Discord.
We have QS Insiders doing thorough coverage of major events and reporting their observations live-time in the QS Discord. The most recent example of this was at Hascon, where we had a QS Insider snap pictures of many of the Iconic Masters cards as they were being spoiled/opened. Twitter caught many of these too, but it was very helpful to have all the information consolidated in a single thread. Additionally, others add commentary around the spoiled cards that contain useful finance tidbits.
Here are a few unprompted remarks about the coverage from Hascon last weekend:
- “The coverage has been phenomenal. I have to confess that I stopped my monthly subscription a few weeks ago. But, between the Trader Tools enhancements and the coverage, I am thoroughly impressed. I can't afford not to be a member. Kudos all around.”
- “It was quite delightful.”
- “Yeah, because of [Insider Coverage], I was able to move out of my foil Supreme Verdicts and my non-foil Bloodghasts very quickly, in time to actually come out slightly ahead (with store credit). Phew!”
The benefits are loud and clear. The coverage is actionable and specific. Best believe this sort of coverage will be repeated many times at major events going forward.
Wrapping It Up
There are many other benefits to the QS Insider Discord. There’s an active buy/sell/trade thread. There’s a thread that focuses on price increases, which can be a helpful way to get real-time pricing information in advance of the morning refresh of MTG Stocks. There’s also a place to share feedback and technical issues. It’s a well-rounded community that focuses on MTG finance in real-time.
The best way to benefit from this resource is to stay actively engaged and check back in a few times a day. This may seem like a tall task, but the benefits are clearly there. It’s one of those “you get out what you put in” type of services—if you’re truly serious about using MTG to make money or to make the hobby cheaper, then the time investment is well worth it.
Thanks to the chat there, I’ve increased my engagement with the community while simultaneously boosting profits. It may sound too good to be true, but I’ve tried to provide distinct examples of where the tool helped me make more money. I’ve also returned the favor by reporting on good deals I find and trends I uncover. It’s a thriving community with many contributors aligned to a singular purpose.
If two minds are better than one, then a couple dozen minds are certainly far superior. In today’s world of connectivity, there’s no reason to go solo when delving into MTG finance. Leveraging the hive mind is the next logical step up, and I strongly encourage those of you not involved to stop by, speak up, and take advantage of this service that you’re already paying for by being a QS Insider!
- Of course I still have a couple Reserved List cards on my radar that I want to share! Let’s begin with Ramses Overdark, a rare out of Legends. Star City Games is sold out at $14.99 and I have seen copies gradually bleed out of the market. There are 19 sellers with English copies, and the cheapest LP will run you about $10. It won’t be long before someone takes notice of this low stock, makes a move, and it posts on MTG Stocks as $50.
- The other Legends card I have my eye on (thanks to the Discord chat) is Boris Devilboon. The artwork on this card is so cool, so I was happy to grab a copy for myself. But looking at TCGplayer now, I see 11 copies for sale across nine vendors. You can still get an LP copy for under $10, but once the cheapest few are bought, that NM copy listed for $28 will cause a major spike in the market and catalyze panic-buying that will send prices higher.
- The Saffron Olive effect strikes again! This time, Psionic Blast is getting hyped because he used the card in a deck on stream not long ago. It’s easy to forget this classic card is Modern-legal thanks to its Timeshifted version. It’s also useful in Old School MTG—a rare combination! Star City Games is sold out of Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, and Timeshifted copies. They have one SP foil in stock (which likely won’t last) and then a bunch of the underappreciated textless version. I’d keep an eye on this one!