Magic the Gathering question (in Off-topic)

[EG] Almuric May 12 2005 2:07 PM EDT

I noticed some people doing some selling of MtG cards over on CB1 and I had some questions, so I figured posting over here wouldn't hurt anything.

I was looking at a couple of the FS threads where people were talking about Magic cards. I had no idea prices were so high. I stopped playing in mid-'94, but I have a bunch of cards. If I remember correctly, I have:

An almost complete Alpha set (missing 1-4 cards, I think)
An almost complete Beta set (missing 1 - 4 cards, I think)
A complete original (white border?) set
A complete Arabian Nights set
A complete Antiquities set
3 boxed sets of 'collectors' cards - they were square cornered, I think. 1 opened, 2 still in the original wrapper.
Some Legends cards (that was about the time I quit)

Most of these cards were played with, so some are not in the very best condition. But I don't remember any that were bent or anything.

My question is, what would be the best way for me to sell this? They're in a box in my office and I honestly haven't even looked at them in years. Are the prices going up? Steady? Declining? Is this a good time to sell?

On I saw some of the cards selling for over $1000. Is there a bubble in the market right now or has it been that way for a while? Would ebay be the best place to sell them or are there brokerage services where I send them my cards and they'll send me the proceeds minus a commission?

I've pretty much ignored MtG for 10 years. Any answers or advice would be appreciated.

Barron [CB2BANK Investors Club] May 12 2005 2:11 PM EDT

Ebay would be the best place, and i bet their worth a pretty penny.

Undertow May 12 2005 2:13 PM EDT

Your sittin on some phat cash Almuric. Like tubby.

xDanELx May 12 2005 2:16 PM EDT

Prices for everything has increased all this time. And from what I'm seeing, it will not settle anytime soon. You are sitting on a gold mine atm. Prices? I don't know. But if you have the full power 9 (Lotus, Moxes, Time Walk, Timetwister, Ancestrall Recall) on both Alpha and Beta, you may be looking at about $8k to $10k (conservative estimate) just on those 18 cards. A full set? Priceless. (And no, I'm not plugging for VISA... DOH!)

Even the collectors edition are now worth probably $200 per box (this one I have no idea, just a guesstimate).

Anyway, look at ebay to check for current prices. And pretty much, ebay would be the way to sell it especially since it has a pretty big customer base. I honestly would love to offer to buy those off you but I'm afraid my last name isn't Gates. =(

BTW, congratulations. Your investment in Magic has paid off. =D

[EG] Almuric May 12 2005 2:17 PM EDT

Why are they worth so much? Is it collectors or people who use them to play? And if it's to play, are the highest priced cards ones that have never been reprinted?

In other words, two cards that were equally rare in the Alpha deck, but one has been reprinted in a later deck, would the un-reprinted one be worth a lot and the reprinted one basically be worthless? Or is there some other mechanism at work here?

xDanELx May 12 2005 2:20 PM EDT

Supply demand. The power 9 were never reprinted. Dual lands, black bordered ones worth $100 each at least, and look very very nice, and of course, never again reprinted after revised. Magic is now 12 years old and still going strong. Those sets are like antiques now. So yes, they are very valuable. They are just pieces of cardboard, but man, are they pretty nice cardboards. >.<

What you have? Nothing worthless. Even the laces are at least worth a few bucks. =P (revised ones are just being thrown around)

xDanELx May 12 2005 2:23 PM EDT

Oh ,and yes. It is both sought after by collectors (near mint ones) and players (as long as the card is playable, condition doesn't matter). With the resurgence of interest in Type 1 format, demand has just increased. Take for example Bazaar of Baghdad. It used to be a $20-25 card. But due to new abilities in newer sets, it has gone straight up to around $120... *sniff*

Undertow May 12 2005 2:28 PM EDT

Keep in mind that since you quit, your looking at what.... 30 sets out since then? (quick in head math) maybe closer to 20. Your sitting on cards to are A: Ungodly powerful compared to what gets printed now. B: Have never been reprinted because they ARE ungodly powerful, and C: Maybe of which can't even be played unless it's between friends. Outright banned. Which of course, only ups the value.

xDanELx May 12 2005 2:40 PM EDT

Actually Undrtow, banned cards have lower value, well, sort off. If you can't play it, then only collectors would be after them. As I said, there has been an increasing interest in Type 1 (a deck with only 2 lands that wins on turn 2-3, turn 1 if lucky, anyone?). So power 9 and duals are some of the most sought after cards from the earlier sets.

[EG] Almuric May 12 2005 2:45 PM EDT

OK, thanks for the info. I just did a little browsing on ebay but I can't do too much, since I'm at work. Looks like there's quite a bit of a market out there. I don't really need the money, but I have been thinking about trading in my 10-year old Ford Contour for a newer pickup truck, since I'm doing a good bit of work on my house and trips to Home Depot can be a pain without something to haul sheetrock and lumber.

So, here's the ultimate question: What should I do? Or better, how should I go about unloading these cards?

Here's the problem. I have well over 2000 cards, if I remember correctly. I open up my box and pull out a card. I start searching on ebay and the net and stuff to find out the appropriate price, then scan it in or take a picture of it, then open up a listing on ebay and put it up for sale. Seems like that'll take at least 15 minutes per card. Sort of tedious, even if it's lucrative.

Can someone think of a more efficient way to sell? Should I sell them in lots? I may be able to come up with some of the answers on my own tonight after I research this some more, but it doesn't hurt to ask, does it?

deifeln May 12 2005 2:50 PM EDT


I would sell them for you this summer for 20% of profits. I'm a grad student in DC and will have some time to do it right. I also played Magic a while ago so I am familliar with the cards.

Send me an email if you are interested.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] May 12 2005 2:53 PM EDT

Almuric, best thing to do is get a scanner or digital camera. Then scan a number of them in all at once, and then you can put the images up on ebay, and try selling them all as a bunch. Chances are, that if you have good pictures of them all at once, you can sell them as a bunch and get alot of money for it.

xDanELx May 12 2005 2:56 PM EDT

You do not need to scan every single card. Things that you have to list down though:

1. Set - Magic players worth their salt knows what the different sets are (at least for the ones you've listed). They don't need to see pictures. They know the cards by heart (probably artist, print run, picture, flavor text, original wording, oracle wording... kidding... maybe).

2. Make sure you know what cards are missing and list them down - remember that Alpha, Beta and Unlimited are pretty much the same set. Except that Alpha was missing a Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection Black I think. Not sure if there is anything else.

3. Condition - Have a look at condition guide. Look through your cards and give an estimate of overall condition of your set. If there is anything that has any kind of significant damage or wear on it, list it.

4. Shipping condition - If you plan to sell all these in one go, then its worth to FexEx it. Or pick up may possibly be an option.

Special J May 12 2005 3:22 PM EDT

I went into my closet and dug out my shoe boxes,

My oh My, if the above is true, I am rich like dave chapelle.

4 complete alpha sets, 2 betas.

Time to check ebay.

Undertow May 12 2005 3:34 PM EDT

I, personally, wouldn't do it myself. Especially if you don't NEED the money.

Find a card/comic. Shop in your area, and talk to the oldest looking guy behind the counter. Let him know you have a lot of old stuff for sale, and you'd like him to fence it for you.

You'll probably end up losing a little bit of the profit, and and your case we ARE talking thousands, but you won't have to do ANY of the work.

vendo May 12 2005 6:10 PM EDT

A side note.
There's nothing like watching the price of your auctions going up every time you refresh. :-)
I'd recommend selling at least a few yourself, if only for the fun factor.

[EG] Almuric May 12 2005 8:37 PM EDT

Man, this is a huge job. It's going to take me a month just to catalog them all. I found a spreadsheet online that I can fill in, but still. I know I had some sort of catalog system back in '94, but that was probably a half-dozen operating systems ago.

I had to do a google search to figure out how to tell the alpha and beta cards apart. Amazing to think how long it's been. It's fun thinking about what I can buy. Selling one Black Lotus will allow me to bet Dawg at his own game. Ha!

Stephen May 12 2005 9:14 PM EDT

Am I missing something? A quick search of ebay doesn't give any auctions with the sort prices you are all talking about here.

[EG] Almuric May 12 2005 9:34 PM EDT

Black Lotus
Time Walk
And, more specifically, this page.

That's some of the more rare stuff. A lot of the others go for $10 - $100. But I figure I've got at least enough for a truck. Maybe not a brand-new one, but a nice couple-of-years-old one.

(And that was beat Dawg at his own game, not bet.)

TheEverblacksky May 13 2005 4:03 PM EDT

wow man i wish i could be you.... your looking WELL into the thousands with that stuff......

[EG] Almuric May 13 2005 5:13 PM EDT

Makes me wonder what you can buy now that will have the same kind of rise in prices over the next 10 years.

Perhaps Star Wars toys? I could see buying a couple of thousands of $ worth of Jar-Jar Binks dolls. He'll either become the most beloved or most reviled character of all time. If reviled, there'll probably not be too many of his dolls around 25 years from now when I get ready to retire. Of course, it's possible he could get his own spinoff TV sitcom, kind of like Alf. Or maybe he'll become a rebel smuggler, kind of like a pre-Han Solo. Teaches Chewbacca everything he knows, who will then pass it on to Han.

Before you start flaming me, know that my mom loved Jar-Jar Binks. So he's not universally reviled. Perhaps he'll grow on you. Watch Phantom Menace a couple more times. George Lucas may be more of a genius than you give him credit for. ;}

And yes, Everblacksky, I am sitting on a buttload of money. I was looking through them last night; I don't have as many Alphas as I had thought, but I have a buttload of Betas, Unlimiteds, Arabian Nights, and Antiquities. Part of me doesn't want to sell, though. What might they be worth 25 years from now? Of course, the saner part of me realizes that there could very well be no-one playing Collectible-Card Games 25 years from now. And the thought of being able to buy a few toys (new laptop?) is very appealing. I guess this is a good dilemma to have.

maulaxe May 17 2005 12:17 AM EDT

I bought my cards when I was living in Argentina... no one cares about cards in spanish... *snif*

besides, not as old as yours... so even less interest in them

btw, anyone still play? I havent for a while, but I still thought some of the cards that came out in the new joke set were hilarious!
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