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Subject: Thinking of Selling My Magic Cards rss

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Dave Lartigue
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I was heavy into Magic from around Antiquities through, I dunno...I guess just before the Urza sets. Haven't played in years and am thinking of unloading all my cards.

Question is: is there even still a market? Is it swamped right now with people pissed off about the rule changes (or people migrating to playing on Xbox?)

And if there is a market, where is it best? Ebay? Elsewhere?
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Bryce V
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I'm surprised I have GG to throw around on frivolous stuff like this.
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Ditto...

I actually have quite a few unlimited cards from the original printing (after the Alphas/Betas)... but WotC seemed to water down their value by reprinting everything ad nauseum.

The one thing I always noticed was that the original printings had the best color and quality and it seemed to go downhill after that (maybe they've since fixed this). Is their any premium for even the common/uncommon cards from those original printings ?
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Matt Fantastic
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If you have certain cards, then they can still be very valuable. But the vast majority of cards, even most rares, aren't worth much. For commons you can get like 5k for $20 on ebay. Uncommons slightly more.

So basically, if you want to deal with it, check the list of "worth it cards", sell them individually and then just dump the rest for some insultingly low amount.

Other option is to offer the whole thing as a set with no card list on here or ebay and people might buy it to either play or hope to find a few cards that pay for the rest.
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Bryan Maxwell
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Check CoolStuffInc. They buy singles and give you an extra 15% if you take store credit. It's how I built my board game collection.

I found that most of their singles prices were competitive with what I saw on Ebay, and for me it took all the headache and hassle out trying to auction them. It's time consuming to go through your collection and see what's valuable, but worth it.

I got about $700 in trade, and that was from my leftovers after I'd already sold the bulk of my stuff.
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Denis Maddalena
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Mr_Nuts wrote:
Check CoolStuffInc. They buy singles and give you an extra 15% if you take store credit. It's how I built my board game collection.

I found that most of their singles prices were competitive with what I saw on Ebay, and for me it took all the headache and hassle out trying to auction them. It's time consuming to go through your collection and see what's valuable, but worth it.

I got about $700 in trade, and that was from my leftovers after I'd already sold the bulk of my stuff.


Coolstuffinc is great, I agree. They guys are quick to answer and questions and always have fantastic customer service. I only ever had one issue with them where an Axis and Allies Stuka single got "lost" in the fray so I didn't get 7 bucks. Couldn't really prove it, and I wasn't upset with the decent prices they offered. I swapped all my Magic for a ton of UFS singles, then got out of UFS when I joined the army...

On that note, there are guys like me all over who want to pick up cheap bulk lots. If you're heading that route, give me a shout and we can probably work out some sort of deal. I'm a sucker and pay more than Coolstuff would, plus shipping, but I don't have their vast resources, either, and can't take in collections of 100K+ cards. This applies to most any card game (I generally refuse to play Pokemon or Yugioh, but have picked up some bombs like Hyborian Gates... on purpose). While in Iraq I've probably absorbed 10,000 L5R, 12,000 Guardians, 8,000 Star Wars CCG, and more from guys who wanted to be rid of them. I felt they were all steals, but presumably they were happy with the price they got, since most were on Bartertown or some other trade website.

Or you could just go straight to eBay and set a reserve you're happy with, then start bidding at .99 cents and see where it goes. Just make sure you itemize your stuff beforehand, or you won't get paid what it's worth... unless you grossly overestimate, and that's just illegal.
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Steve W
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there is still a pretty huge market, depending on what you have. You stuff can be anything from Bulk to 20-200$ cards. If you have any of the money cards you will want to sell them separately, and then when your left the bulk sell that as one big lot.

also know that Alpha/Beta/unlimited, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Legends have hit collectible level, so any cards in NM condition tend to have value. High value cards can have a premium on them in high grade conditions.
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Dave Lartigue
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Thanks, folks. Food for thought here.
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Pete Lane
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Yeah Magic is still huge, and some older cards are still worth money. I would recommend that anyone who has Power 9 (Black Lotus, Moxen, etc) or old skool Dual Lands to go through ebay before selling to stores. Stores will likely only give you 25-50% (and even then only the "good" stuff) of what they will turn around and sell them for, and the more sought after cards are well worth your time jumping through the ebay hoops for. Also, talk to your local shops! If they know you they might very well work with you to do a better deal in store credit.

Your best bet is to catalog what you have, which can be a pain but will let you know exactly what you have, and go to a site like findmagiccards.com to see the range in values. The biggest problem with the old cards is that there is no quick way to determine rarity like you can with newer cards... but as older cards were so overpowered and never reprinted... even an uncommon can net you some serious cash (Force Of Will is still $25+, Maze of Ith is still $10).
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Dave Lartigue
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Is there a standard guide for judging condition?

I am assuming that in a catalog of cards, potential buyers will want to know:

card name
version (Unlimited, Third, Alliances, etc.)
condition

What else?
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Pete Lane
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Legomancer wrote:
Is there a standard guide for judging condition?

I am assuming that in a catalog of cards, potential buyers will want to know:

card name
version (Unlimited, Third, Alliances, etc.)
condition

What else?


With older Magic cards it's really a hard thing to determine rarity and sometimes the set from which each card came from. keep in mind that older Alpha/Beta/Unlimited versions of even commons are worth money BECAUSE THE PRINT RUN WAS LOW and are thusly harder to find. The same card in 5th edition is still only worth a couple of cents. Also, the older the card the more condition matters (as the smaller print run means finding a high quality version of that old card is tougher).

http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=15010686&postcount=...

Will help with the determination of the sets especially the tricky "core set" cards which all look the same to an untrained eye.

Here is a list of the expansion symbols. Starting around the Urza block (I think) they started color coding the symbols to represent rarity. Orange = mythic rare - gold = rare - silver = uncommon - black = common. Older sets with the symbols are always black, which sucks for trying to figure out the rares.

http://www.wizards.com/magic/TCG/Resources.aspx?x=magic/rule...

I'd say the best way to organize a collection is by set. Then you can say in your posting "400 cards from Invasion" "300 from Urza's Legacy" which will allow an interested buyer to say "Do you have ___ from the Invasion set?" Then you only need to sort through 400 cards instead of looking at a 50,000 card collection and have to deal with everything at once.

If you know which cards are rares and such, a great way to see if what you have is worth money is going to www.starcitygames.com. You can do a search in their store and sort all rares out and organize by price. They are respected in the secondary market and many FLGS use the site to price their cards. As new sets come out, some prices can change dramatically. These guys will always be up to date on the trends. I would say they might sell a little on the high end, but it's still better than guessing.

Some key ideas for selling off everything:

Ebay. Bulk up everything into smaller boxes and get 10-20$ a piece for small lots of commons and uncommons. Obviously the good stuff you may want to sell separately, but at least you can set prices, and bulk lots are appealing to new players.

Shops. Some local shops do a lot of business in Magic singles. you can walk in and sell everything for a base price or store credit. Troll and Toad as well and Star City Games will also buy through the mail. Only thing is, they will likely only give you 25-50% of the actual worth, and if the collection is unsorted will maybe just throw out a figure without looking at what you actually have (to their benefit). I've been shafted many a time selling directly to a shop!

Craig's List. You see bulk collections sell quite often here. It would also allow you to let the buyer look through themselves and see what it's worth to them. You might get someone sharking you if they see it's obvious you have no idea that you have some hidden treasures.

Math trade. Offer them up on a math trade and get something you want!

Basically said, be careful. The less you know about the cards you have, the more likely you are to either be ripped off or rip someone off unintentionally. It's easy to think you have junk and have treasure (I know someone who bought cards for $50 from a rummage sale and ended up selling them on ebay for ten grand individually)... and vice-versa (I know a guy who wants $10 a pop for old rares that won't nab more than a dollar each on the secondary market). It's tricky, and frustrating. But if done right, might make a house payment or two!

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I've been considering this myself. I haven't played in about a year and even then it was just a few times. Prior to that was several years back. Aside from being quite happy to play board games instead of MtG, I've also been annoyed with the Mythic rares and the new rule changes.
 
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Floyd Sherrod
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Along these same lines, I have lots of boxes of old boosters (in shrink). Would I do better to sell/auction the booster packs individually or the entire box?
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Preston Cordy
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fhsIV wrote:
Along these same lines, I have lots of boxes of old boosters (in shrink). Would I do better to sell/auction the booster packs individually or the entire box?


It would definitely be in your best interest to sell the boxes sealed, rather than selling the packs. If you have a list of boxes you could email me at ep @ cardhaus.com and I could let you know what we are paying. On most older boxes you can get more from us than you would from Ebay.
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Preston Cordy
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What Pete says is totally correct. Listing out the cards, by set, with conditions is the way to go. The other option would be to just go through a MTG buylist posted on cardhaus.com or one of our competitors (coolstuff, troll and toad, etc.) and send in a list of exactly what it is they are looking to buy.
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Mr_Nuts wrote:
Check CoolStuffInc. They buy singles and give you an extra 15% if you take store credit. It's how I built my board game collection.

I found that most of their singles prices were competitive with what I saw on Ebay, and for me it took all the headache and hassle out trying to auction them. It's time consuming to go through your collection and see what's valuable, but worth it.

I got about $700 in trade, and that was from my leftovers after I'd already sold the bulk of my stuff.
Thanks to you and the others who mentioned CooStuffInc. I was able to sell off over 400 in cards with just a couple evenings of perusing their buy list. That was for less than 400 cards, so I still have the VAST majority of my collection, which I may sell off bits and pieces here and there for store credit as new games come out that I want.
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Pete Lane
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cardhaus.com wrote:
fhsIV wrote:
Along these same lines, I have lots of boxes of old boosters (in shrink). Would I do better to sell/auction the booster packs individually or the entire box?


It would definitely be in your best interest to sell the boxes sealed, rather than selling the packs. If you have a list of boxes you could email me at ep @ cardhaus.com and I could let you know what we are paying. On most older boxes you can get more from us than you would from Ebay.


Not to mention that the sealed boxes of older sets have not been "tampered" with. Some shops got involved with shady dealings of opening up packs and substituting the good cards and re-sealing them. This was when it was the old "wax pak" days, but still was an issue. Even a set that didn't have any quality to it is going to be "worth" more sealed than opened, as they are willing to gamble with what they open as opposed to just picking up a random stack of cards that may not be in the condition promised by the seller.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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Does anyone know what such places think of non-English cards? I have some of the Italian Legends cards, as well as some other rares and uncommons in languages other than English. Are these valued at all by such places, or should I start looking for Italian players?
 
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Pete Lane
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Some collectors seek out foreign language cards, but legally you can only play them in tournaments if you have the English card handy or can prove what they translate to, which scares as many people away (I'm not a fan myself because of this). Also, Italian Legends cards are quite common. For whatever reason they printed more copies of that set in Italian than any other.

I'd say pop into a local shop. I know MTG is popular worldwide, so it might not be a difficult thing to find a collector nearby. Or ebay is always an option.

http://www.trollandtoad.com/Magic-The-Gathering-Cards/949-10...

Here is a site that has a neat way for you to tell what you've got, as there are some very valuable cards in that set still.
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Gerald Sunkin
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Legomancer wrote:
Question is: is there even still a market?

There are more active players in the DCI system now then ever before. The game is thriving. There are lots of companies that will purchase your cards.

Legomancer wrote:
Is it swamped right now with people pissed off about the rule changes (or people migrating to playing on Xbox?)

Much like the 6th edition rule changes people got over the changes pretty fast and the sky did not fall. There are definitely people moving from the Xbox game to stores to buy product. How many is not certain yet.

Legomancer wrote:
And if there is a market, where is it best? Ebay? Elsewhere?

If you take time to break your collection down and sell it in pieces you'll get the most for your cards if saving time is not as important as getting the best price. There are also stores that will buy your cards.

Jerry
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Dave Lartigue
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Next question: I've got everything sorted by set. I'd like to get hold of a program that will let me input what I have (including things like language and condition) and then export it as a file. Any recommendations for this? (I am on Windows.)
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Pete Lane
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Magic Work Station might work for you (http://www.magicworkstation.com/), but it could be a hassle to set up since you have to update the database after install and if you want pictures for the items you have to do each set seperately.

Also, there is a website called http://www.mtgvault.com/ that is a site you can build decks and export as a text file. It might help you out, but again might not be worth some of the hassle and I'm not sure if the site allows for what would essentially be a 1,000+ card deck.
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Dave Lartigue
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Okay, I now have all 11,000 cards (not including basic land) sorted by set and color, and catalogued (in a spreadsheet, it turned out to be the simplest way to do it) according to condition (most are NM/M).

Now, I'm not stupid. I know that the "value" of a "collectible" is whatever someone will give me for it, so a card that's supposedly "worth" $10 isn't worth jack if nobody will pay me anything for it. Still, I'd like to have some kind of ball-park estimate to ensure I don't get too grifted when I sell. Is there any kind of online tool that lets you enter a list of cards and spits out a rough approximation of value?

For those who have sold collections, what places do you recommend? I'm really not interested in doing it bit by bit on eBay unless we're talking about a huge difference in cash; my time is more valuable to me than eBay usually pays off.

Thanks for your help!
 
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The XBox version, while fun, doesn't hold a candle to the real game.
 
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