Comments

  1. Honestly, it comes down to the fact that players were willing to sell their played versions of cards at a massive discount for a good number of years. When players are no longer willing (as it seems they might be now) then stores will be forced to change that policy by the market..the first store to aggressively buy played cards will be the one making a lot of money off of Old School players…I’m still cautious as to how much actual demand there is for that format (as I’ve not seen it played anywhere) and it honestly just feels like it’s just a watered down “vintage” form (since everyone wants power), this caution could be the reason we haven’t seen change yet.

    • David,

      I agree with you on both accounts. The first vendor to make an adjustment on solid HP Old School cards stands to gain a good amount of additional business. But if they go too deep or make some poor pricing decisions, then they may get overwhelmed with tough stuff to move.

      Perhaps it should be managed as a case-by-case basis? Though this requires more hands-on management from vendors and this may not be something worth pursuing. All I know is the system isn’t working all that well right now.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Sig

    • David,

      You are deeply, deeply wrong about how much old school is played and how much like vintage it is. There are large play groups in every area of the US and every European country. I have many friends that are willing to take flights to the midwest, the east coast, the south east and also Sweden to play old school. (I live in California.) These folks are wealthy and ready to shell out cash to get the cards they need to build a new deck or spice up an old one. It is also so much better than vintage. It is a deep an interesting format with a lot of unexplored design space that leads to new and exciting decks all the time. There is a premium placed on “spicyness, not spikiness” in old school to the extent that the best prizes will go to the coolest deck, not the best record. Although you haven’t encountered the old school community, I can assure you that there are many of us, and our wealth and cardboard crack addiction are very real.

  2. Horizon Canopy isn’t seeing spotty play in Moderns, it’s a 4-of in the best and most popular deck Humans. It is becoming even more popular because it’s used as a 2-of in the new Hardened Scales deck that now has a GP win. It’s also a 2 or 3-of in the new Bant Spirits deck, so in fact is seeing more play now than ever.

    • Adam,

      Thanks for the data! I really appreciate it. I don’t know the Modern format all that well, so I’m really glad you got my back in the explanations. :).

      Thanks!

      Sig

  3. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that for us at Pat’s Games, we generally don’t want to tie up a lot of money in MP or damaged cards. It’s not that there isn’t any demand, it’s a very limited market. I think most vendors (us included) are happy to pick these cards up at a reasonable price but are unwilling to pay highly for them. These are cards we look to turn over as quickly as possible, and I assume other vendors feel the same way. The fact that the cards are moving quickly as things are is actually more of an argument to keep the status quo. MP old school cards are something maybe 1% of customers are interested in, so the buylists and prices reflect that.

    • Aryeh,

      I appreciate some vendor perspective. There’s a continuum here I’m sure. There is very limited demand for some HP Old School cards. But Power? Chaos Orb? UNL Dual Lands? HP copies may not merit such low pricing? Power in particular still has solid demand, and there will always be those aspiring Vintage players looking for the cheapest copies out there. The standard pricing downgrades just can’t hold up with such a diverse group of cards anymore. That’s my two cents, anyways.

      Perhaps if there’s a flood of MP/HP cards heading to vendors, they would suffer cash flow issues and have difficulty moving copies. I just feel like the “G” pricing at Card Kingdom is far too low on a lot of things.

      Thanks again!

      Sig

  4. Maybe others are willing to get better looking copies when worse isn’t available? Not everyone is as price-conscious as you are.

    Selling a higher priced item leads to more absolute profit. Shops don’t owe you cheaper stock and if the higher priced item sells anyway, why spend money on the cheaper one? (Obviously they could buy both, but if they don’t have unlimited funds they may need to make choices).

    I don’t think I see the case for shops to change their behavior, unless other shops change theirs. It takes a significant investment and money may be tied up for a long time if demand isn’t as strong as you think. It looks risky from a shop’s perspective.

    • This could very well be a major consideration. But I’m pretty sure there’s at least SOME part of the player base who wants cheap, played copies for their decks. Maybe that population is too small or too difficult to quantify for vendors to take on the risk. But…I mean…CK has been out of stock on “Good” copies of Power for many months now. I think that’s a compelling reason to consider a change, even if they start small at first.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Sig

      • If they’ve been sold out they haven’t seen the demand you think is there. It would make sense that they don’t make the risky move of increasing the buy price on something that they don’t know for certain sells. All they could conclude is that nobody is selling at their buy price, however, that doesn’t mean it’ll sell at the price they have to ask when they raise their buy price.

        Let’s say their current list price is 100% and for convenience sake, that they buy at 50%. If they would want to increase their buy price to 70% of that old price, then their new sell price would need to be 140% to make the same relative amount of profit.

        Are the people creating this demand willing to pay 40% more for their copies just so CK can raise their buy price and actually get cards in? Obviously the numbers are made up, but that a buylist price increase correlates with a list price increase is fact and that a buy increase doesn’t result in the same absolute increase in sell is fact as well, instead the sell will increase more to still make a similar margin.

        I do believe there are players who would buy the cheaper*, played copies, I am however not so sure they would go to the stores en masse if those stores had to ask higher prices than they’re used to from FB and eBay. The margin the store could make on the played copies may simply be too low for it to be interesting to them.

        * “cheap” doesn’t seem accurate when talking about Power

  5. Hey Sig, interesting article. HP cards are almost never really discussed, so I’m glad to see some digital ink spilled on this subject. I do want to make sure I understand your hypothesis here. Are you advocating that buy prices increase and sell prices stay stagnant? If yes, wouldn’t that be less attractive to vendors as they turn less margin on higher risk stuff?

    If the sell prices are to increase, then perhaps sales on such cards will fall as players don’t see the benefit to paying for something they may have a hard time turning over if they decide to sell.

    After reading this a couple times, it sounds like you are actually trying to argue that the demand for specific, Old School playable, cards is robust enough to warrant individual buy prices for each condition as opposed to a flat rate one-size fits all multiplier. As you say, Hypnotic has more demand than Living Artifact.

    • Scott,

      You got it! I am advocating both buy AND sell prices increase, at least with specific, in-demand Old School cards. I would love to get some “Good” copies of many Alpha/Beta/Unlimited cards on Card Kingdom’s site…but they NEVER get any in stock. And when they do, the fastest fingers get the copies. There’s got to be room to close this gap a little bit, right?

      Anyway, some food for thought. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Sig

  6. Sands of Time I think is related to something from the new commander decks, can’t remember which interaction though.

    • Justin,

      Really? I’d be curious to learn more. I always found the card simply obnoxious / quirky. I would love to see it get real play somewhere!

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