Thursday, December 10, 2009

Price Check

I always do a monthly price check, where I go to, and look up all the prices for Standard cards valued at $1 or more. I then write all the prices down (rounded to nearest whole number) on slips of notepad paper and carry them in my trade binder. I round because people tend not to ever want to use decimals, not even halves. I'll say $2.50, but then they ignore me and quote their own price. So to make it easy on others, I just round up or down. No one complains about this. And I'm not nitpicky.

I use TCGPlayer because Magic Traders uses eBay averages, which are always a bit lower than prices you'd find elsewhere. And because other traders I encounter tend to agree with prices I quote from TCGplayer. Whereas if I quoted a MOTL price, they would disagree and claim the price was higher.

Having this monthly ritual is useful because I can see which cards are going up or down and catch market trends.

So far, every non-Mythic rare is dropping from Zendikar except for a select few, which have gone up. Emeria Angel is now where she belongs at ~$4. The promo is like $20 for some reason. I traded mine away for a Stag and a Malakir. Talk about value? (I don't feel bad really since I got that Emeria by chance on Game Day.) A few people overshot Sphinx of Jwar Isle, but it's settled nicely at $2. All the fetches are $12 except Verdant Catacombs which is still $15. I see people trading for the fetches as high as 15 still, which shouldn't be happening. But people don't keep track of prices and so believe cards are still as high as they were a month or two ago. Day of Judgment has dropped to $8 or $9.

For some odd reason, Dragonskull Summits are $10 each. I'm not sure what's up with that, and it may just be a temporary spike from Jund's popularity or sudden drop of supply. Rootbound Crags are $8, and every other M10 dual is $7. Which is actually higher than a month ago, when they were all closer to $6. Great Sable Stags have shot up to $7-8 also, probably because of States. is having a ridiculous sale on some of their cards. If you look on TCGPlayer, you'll notice that some of their rares are going for $1-2 lower than the rest. And they have a huge supply (>100) for many of their rares. The DOJ is going for $8, which is a nice deal. The problem is I have heard a lot of horror stories about their customer service, shipping, and delivery. I don't want to say one way or the other really, but those stories make ME want to not ever buy from them.

But if you want to take the risk, their prices for singles are still quite good.

If you trade cards, I recommend just knowing all the prices by heart. I write them down, but I rarely ever get my notes out. It's bad when I get the prices wrong, though, so there are times when I should definitely double-check with my notes. But just knowing the price and automatically setting it at a certain level will speed up the trading process. And it helps when you recognize when people are being a little overzealous in their values... $5 for Oran-Rief, the Vastwood? Uh, no thanks! $60 for Baneslayer? No thanks!

Fortunately I deal mostly with Standard cards. If I had to memorize all nonStandard values I think my head would explode.

I'm not, like, a super avid trader or anything, so I won't discuss this topic much. But I was doing my monthly price check today and felt like mentioning it. Carry on, people.