Please read it
First of all, let me start off by saying that while I am in no way an Ebay
expert, I am an expert in this niche. I've been involved in it for close to 20
years now long before I ever got into IM. This is one example where it doesn't
even matter how much competition there is. You WILL clean up.
What follows is what you do IN DETAIL STEP BY STEP.
First, let me tell you something about the niche.
It's Magic The Gathering. And no, you're not going to be selling strategy
guides or anything like that. You're going to sell the cards themselves. There
is a rabid buying crowd out there. I know...I'm one of them and have been
beaten out of a number of auctions making top bids.
The buyers absolutely outnumber the sellers.
Step 1 - Buy a current box of magic cards. That's right...a whole box. It
will run you about $120. If you can find a wholesaler that will allow you to
buy 10 boxes or less, go for it. They'll run you about $60 to $80 a box.
Step 2 - After the cards arrive, open the boxes and the individual card
packs. That's right...you're NOT going to just resell the boxes. That's NOT
where the money is. The money is in the individual cards.
Step 3 - Separate the cards into commons, uncommons, rares, and
mythic rares. Naturally, the rarer the card, the more it's going to be worth.
Step 4 - For the mythic rares, rares and uncommons, get the going price
for each card. The card breakdowns per box are pretty much as follows:
30 packs in a box...15 cards per pack
1 mythic rare
The commons bundle together in groups of 50. Price them at around $25
minimum bid. That way, if you don't get the bid you want, you can pull
the auction. In most cases you will get the bid you want, but yes, some
auctions do get pulled.
That alone should bring you about $150 just from the commons. At the
very least, you should make $100 from them. Even if you only make $50 off
the commons, it won't matter. The money is in the mythic rares and rares.
To get the going rate for most MTG cards, go here:
www.FindMagicCards.com - Find Mtg Magic The Gathering Cards and Prices.
There are other places, but I think this is the best one online.
Step 5 - Price each card for what you want to get minimum and then put
it up for bid.
Now, here's a tip. Whatever the going rate is for the card, you won't get
it. You'll get about 75% of that going rate at best, but usually about 50%.
Depends on the card.
So if a card goes for about $75 (yes, the do go that high and higher) figure
on getting about $35 to $50 for it.
The 30 rares in the box should go for an average price of about $20 a card.
That means you SHOULD get about $600 for the rares in total.
The uncommons will get you about a buck a piece, maybe $2 for a really
good one. Figure on $100 for the uncommons.
You're looking at around $750 to $1,000 for the whole box.
You can see where this is a huge profit margin.
Step 6 - Put each card in a hard plastic sleeve IMMEDIATELY after opening
the pack. These MUST be in Mint condition to get top dollar.
Yes, it's a lot of work going through 450 cards and pricing them all. But
as you can see, it's worth it, especially if you happen to pull the top cards
in a set.
Will some boxes be worth more than others? Sure. I pulled one box that
had the top card in the game today. It's going for about $80 itself. It
almost paid for the cost of the box. And at wholesale, it more than pays
There are people who make a living doing this. If you think I'm kidding, go
to Ebay, look up "mtg" and whatever card name you're looking for and
take a look. I've personally spent hundreds of dollars just this month alone
on buying cards.
Now, if you can get a hold of a vintage box, then you have gold in your
hands. Some of those old cards are going for thousands of dollars a piece.
Anyway, this is a more than viable business model. My friend Steve, who
owns a comic store, does this on the side and does very well.
I can almost guarantee you that you'll make a decent profit if you stick
to your guns on minimum bids.
There WILL be somebody out there willing to pay your price as long as it's
under the going price for the card.
** Update 10/23 **
I met with my friend Steve today and we discussed this very model. It
works, but it's not going to work as well for the common guy on the
street. Several reasons.
1. WOTC has become a real SOB to work with. They no longer allow
you to buy wholesale unless you show proof of a brick and mortar
business. This is a very recent development and has discouraged
a lot of people from doing this.
2. The legacy and vintage card collectors and players has dwindled
to the point where the more valuable sets, because of age, don't
sell as well simply because there aren't as many buyers as before.
This also a recent development.
3. The mega dealers are buying these boxes in cases of 40 and
essentially driving out the little guy who can't compete with their
prices because of their cheap labor and volume.
In short, I can't in good conscience recommend this model unless
you are willing to invest a ton of money and can somehow get
the cards at wholesale, which is very hard to do today.
This downward trend actually started about 5 years ago though
was still viable. Now, forget it. It's not worth it as Steve put it.
In fact, not only won't you make a decent return on a box, you'll
be lucky to break even. Yes, it's THAT bad.
I have no trouble admitting when I have to eat a little crow. And
in this case, I do. At one time, not too long ago in fact, this was
a gold mine for the little guy. Now, unless you are a mega
dealer, you have very little chance.
However, this model WILL work with other cards, just not
Magic The Gathering.
PS - I want to personally apologize to anybody who I got to
give even 5 minutes of their time to this. I screwed up and