Home > Finance > [Finance] Dual to Deck: Part 3

[Finance] Dual to Deck: Part 3

by Ryan Youngbar

Welcome back to Dual to Deck. Now that we’ve opened the box and (barely) got the value we needed out of it to make the dual land trade worth it, it’s time to turn our Innistrad block binder into a more well rounded portfolio. First things first, getting rid of the bulk. Bulk commons and uncommons can be tricky to get a good deal on if you don’t know anyone who deals in bulk. Fortunately I do know someone who deals in bulk, unfortunately that person is me. The only other person who deals in bulk at the local shop moved to California a few months back, making me the only one who deals with this aspect of magic trading in the area, aside from the store of course. I know I said it was ok for me to trade with myself in this project, but I really did want to keep it just to the end when grabbing those last few hard to get legacy cards. I should have known I was going to have to do the bulk trade with myself upfront but like what usually happens with bulk—I completely forgot it was going to exist as a natural byproduct of opening a box.

Before I show you the actual trade I wanted to make the case for why dealing in bulk can be
profitable. Bulk commons and uncommons are worth anywhere from $3-$5 per 1000, or about $0.005 a card. On the surface this doesn’t seem like the most valuable market to be in, but there are some advantages. Most people consider this stuff worthless, most to the point that they will even leave these laying around on tables at the shop after a draft or sealed event. You can often get a couple hundred cards for free just for “cleaning up” the tables for your store after any limited event. You can also pick up a ton of these in trade at a value of $0.01 or less a card for $1 or below rares. The best part about this is that most people don’t sort their bulk beyond pulling the rares, so if you don’t mind dumpster diving through this bulk you can end up with some highly playable commons and uncommons for your main binder. Trading in bulk is also a good way to get older, now valuable commons/uncommons from older players who are returning to the game and find out their old store of commons/uncommons is worthless to them if they want to play type 2. This does require you to know what commons and uncommons are worth something as well as having the time to go through lots of cards. I’ve had a lot of success dealing in bulk, finding several $5 uncommons and even a few missed rares just by offering current cards for what, to the owner, seemed like a useless waste of space. Bulk becomes even more profitable if you become a dealer in it yourself. You’ll notice that playsets of commons and uncommons fetch some good money on websites. If you acquire enough bulk and have the time, you can make up playsets and sell them to people yourself.

In this trade I valued the bulk at $0.01 a card x225 cards =$2.25, I was going for some commons and uncommons to sure up my playsets since they trade better than singles so I had to throw some other stuff in. Most of it was random commons/uncommons and bulk rares. The truth of the matter is that I am a collector and completionist, so no matter how unlikely it is that I will need playsets of every random rare and common/uncommon I just have to have them. That led to a trade of:

  • 225x bulk commons/uncommons-$2.25
  • 1x empty Innistrad box-no value to anyone except a collector/casual player
  • 1x Divine Reckoning-$0.75
  • 1x Purify the Grave-$0.5
  • 1x Invisible Stalker-$2.00
  • 1x Rooftop Storm-$0.75
  • 1x Gutter Grime-$0.50
  • 1x Hollowhenge Scavenger-$0.25
  • 1x Splinterfright-$0.75
  • 2x Ghost Quarter-$3.00
  • 1x Angel token-$0.50
  • 1x Bonds of Faith-$0.25
  • 2x Cloistered Youth-$0.5
  • 2x Moan of the Unhallowed-$0.5
  • 2x Hanweir Watchkeep-$0.5
  • 1x Gatstaf Shepherd-$0.25
  • 1x Butcher Cleaver-$0.25
  • Total-$13.50

His (actually me):

  • 2x Fiend Hunter-$1
  • 1x Intangible Virtue-$1
  • 3x Midnight Haunting-$3
  • 1x Delver of Secrets-$0.5
  • 2x Dissipate-$2
  • 1x Forbidden Alchemy-$0.75
  • 2x Think Twice-$0.5
  • 2x Diregraf Ghoul-$2
  • 2x Tribute to Hunger-$1
  • 2x Unburial Rites-$2
  • 2x Victim of Night-$0.5
  • 1x Reckless Waif-$0.75
  • 1x Traitorous Blood-$0.25
  • 1x Avacyn’s Pilgrim-$0.25
  • Total-$15.50

+$2.00

The Angel token and empty box were both valued at $1 and the Ghost Quarters at closer to $2. Some tokens are rarer than others and actually have a market. Always hold on to your creature tokens, they work as throw ins and a few are actually worth $1 or more. Empty boxes can be worth something too as long as they are in good condition. Empty product packaging in good condition has a surprising market with the collectors, even fetching top dollar for 10-15+ year items. The token and box are two interesting ways that trading with collectors can be very different from trading with players. Collectors want obscure things that most players have no use for, on the flip side though, they won’t care about current card trends and won’t pay a premium on cards seeing heavy play because they don’t want them for that reason. An example in the above trade is the Hollowhenge Scavenger, it sees play as a 1 of in Pod sideboards so normally I would try to get a $1 from it in a trade since it’s a card most people don’t realize they don’t have laying around and need just 1 of. No one wants to actually order a dorky 1 of common/uncommon for their sideboard and don’t mind paying a small premium to a trader that actually has it available. Not the collector, they just need it for their collection and don’t care if they have to buy one to finish a set. So collectors are good for unloading junk or oddities to (as well as certain pimp, but that’s a whole article onto itself) but do not try to get premium values on hot staples from them. This can work in reverse, if the collector is not a player then you have a good shot at picking up the current best cards for cheaper values.

To sum up, bulk can be a lucrative market if you know how to play it and especially if you know someone who is willing to buy bulk or playsets of commons/uncommons at above dealer value; and collectors can be a unique trading opportunity if you know what to stock and if they’re an active player. Now that the bulk is taken care of for the moment, the trades from here on out should look more like normal affairs. Hopefully I can start adding some real value to the binder and break the Snapcaster before the price dips.

“Rebar” at Collectors Corner
@Brass_Gnat on Twitter

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