October is coming to a close, and November means the holiday buying season is just around the corner. This time of year offers some unique opportunities for Magic finance, so today I want to share my recommendations for moves to make over the coming weeks in order to seize on them.
Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday make the weekend after Thanksgiving the biggest time for shopping all year long, and it presents some great opportunities in Magic from both a buyer's and seller’s perspective.
As a buyer, big box stores will likely have some sort of Black Friday deal that can be applied to cards, so it’s an opportunity to buy what can be found there, with special products like Commander decks potentially offering the most value. In my experience local game shops will cash in Black Friday too, and they could offer any variety of discounts, especially on sealed product like booster boxes, and potentially on singles.
Online Magic retailers want to cash in too. I expect that the major stores like SCG, CFB, etc. are going to offer discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, maybe through the whole weekend. I’d count on eBay offering some sort of coupon or deal, while TCGplayer is likely to have some sort of store credit kickback percentage offered on purchases.
It all combines to make Black Friday weekend a really a great time to buy cards if you have a purchase in mind. Now is a good time to start getting cash ready in order to capitalize on any opportunities that come up.
From the seller’s perspective, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are incredible opportunities to move product. What’s really attractive are places like eBay and TCGplayer where you can sell your wares at full price, but reap the rewards of the coupons and kickbacks that come out of their pocket. On the other hand there’s likely to be more competition from other sellers, but there’s so much buying going on that there should be room to make sales.
It seems like the most unique items would be ideal candidates to sell. High-ticket items like graded cards, Power 9+ cards, oddities, complete sets, old sealed product, etc. would be a less crowded market, and they offer buyers a great opportunity to cash in on coupons and kickbacks.
Acquire Recently Rotated Staples
The recent Standard rotation that came with Guilds of Ravnica’s release has moved Kaladesh block and Amonkhet block out of relevancy, and their prices to new lows.
The period after a rotation offers the opportunity to buy cards at their price bottom, which in the long-term will lead to significant gains on cards that see future demand from things like Modern and Commander. Now is a great time to figure out what rotated cards have the most potential and could offer major gains over the next couple years. This sort of investment ties up capital for a while, so it needs to be made carefully, but it’s also a relatively low-risk endeavor if done carefully.
I personally like focusing on the cards that are already proven to be playable in Modern and already have Commander demand. For example, Bomat Courier bucked the trend of most rotated cards and actually increased in price over the summer and into rotation.
Now it's up to $0.75 from a bottom of $0.50 in July, which it hit a few months after being reprinted in the Hazoret Red Challenger deck. Bomat Courier sees Legacy and Modern play, where it’s now seeing increased play with Guilds of Ravnica’s Arclight Phoenix. I interpret its price increase to mean that there is very strong demand apart from Standard—which should continue to support its price and make it a valuable card in the future.
A better example of cards that have actually been falling in price are things like the Amonkhet gods, which have been falling steadily, but will eventually flatline at a low before seeing future gains.
In his latest article Christopher Martin pointed out Soul-Scar Mage. This is a great target because its price was derived by Standard, but it is also coming into its own as a Modern staple with a bright future.
Anticipate Ravnica Allegiance
When we get through the holiday season and into the New Year we will be in the midst of spoiler season of the next set, Ravnica Allegiance, to be released at the end of January. It’s going to have a big impact on Standard, most of all by releasing the five shocklands missing from Guilds of Ravnica.
This will reshape the landscape of Standard, and I predict will significantly increase demand for the cards that go along with these colors. In particularly I am eyeing the corresponding checklands. Guilds of Ravnica has increased the price of its corresponding checklands, and while the other five have also started to creep up, I do see room for more gains into the spring.
I’d also pay attention to cards relevant to those color pairs that are currently underappreciated. For example, Merfolk and Vampires will be elevated by the printing of their shocklands, and if they were improved enough to become a part of the competitive metagame they would see some significant gains.
What moves are you making in November and into the new year?