Here's An Ebay Model You Might Want To Try NOT...Updated 10/23 Please Read

115 replies
** URGENT ** At the end of this model there is an important update.
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
29 rares
90 uncommons
330 commons

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
for it.

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
I'm sorry.
#ebay #model #profit #try$600
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I am not a card collector, but I can definitely see how this strategy might have a value for me outside of your niche...
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I am not a card collector, but I can definitely see how this strategy might have a value for me outside of your niche...
      Bill, this will work for any niche where you can buy items in bulk and
      then break down the individual items from the bulk and sell them one piece
      at a time.

      By a collection of comics and then sell them individually.

      I don't know the profit margins on the other niches because I'm not into
      them, but yes, the principle is the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    Hi Steve,

    You know, I have been doing what you described for years... with sports cards! I have been an avid collector for a long time and the plan you outlined works well for any type of collectible cards.

    I once bought three packs of cards from a little shop on the Oregon coast. They were basketball cards and one of the cards I pulled was a dual autograph card signed by Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. I had the card professionally graded and it graded out at 8.5 out of 10. It sold on eBay for a little over $1,000 for that one card. The sad thing was that if I hadn't had it graded, I could have sold it for considerable more. Once graded, I was too scared to try to break it out of it's casing.

    Great information Steve!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Chris W. Sutton View Post

      Hi Steve,

      You know, I have been doing what you described for years... with sports cards! I have been an avid collector for a long time and the plan you outlined works well for any type of collectible cards.

      I once bought three packs of cards from a little shop on the Oregon coast. They were basketball cards and one of the cards I pulled was a dual autograph card signed by Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. I had the card professionally graded and it graded out at 8.5 out of 10. It sold on eBay for a little over $1,000 for that one card. The sad thing was that if I hadn't had it graded, I could have sold it for considerable more. Once graded, I was too scared to try to break it out of it's casing.

      Great information Steve!

      Yeah, my friend does this with sports cards too. He'll open a box of Topps
      or whatever and break everything down. I don't personally have the
      patience to do this anymore but if you've got time to kill, it's a great
      money maker with an almost guaranteed market.
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      • Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Yeah, my friend does this with sports cards too. He'll open a box of Topps
        or whatever and break everything down. I don't personally have the
        patience to do this anymore but if you've got time to kill, it's a great
        money maker with an almost guaranteed market.
        Yugioh is much like this in itself.

        Dark Armed Dragons wholesale going rate was $200 the last time I checked.

        The sad thing: Every single auction for this card ALWAYS went up above $200 Just imagine getting one of those
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    • Profile picture of the author weezee
      Originally Posted by Chris W. Sutton View Post

      Hi Steve,

      You know, I have been doing what you described for years... with sports cards! I have been an avid collector for a long time and the plan you outlined works well for any type of collectible cards.

      I once bought three packs of cards from a little shop on the Oregon coast. They were basketball cards and one of the cards I pulled was a dual autograph card signed by Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. I had the card professionally graded and it graded out at 8.5 out of 10. It sold on eBay for a little over $1,000 for that one card. The sad thing was that if I hadn't had it graded, I could have sold it for considerable more. Once graded, I was too scared to try to break it out of it's casing.

      Great information Steve!

      My daughters friend gave her a sports card collection and she gave them to me to sell on my website. I have been trying to find the value of
      The 1992 NBA Finals Michael Jordan MVP 6/14/92, it must be a rare card I cannot find it listed any where on the internet. I have searched and searched. I have ablums and ablumc and boxes and boxes of baseball cards.
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    • Profile picture of the author BayAreaSteve
      Originally Posted by Chris W. Sutton View Post

      Hi Steve,

      You know, I have been doing what you described for years... with sports cards! I have been an avid collector for a long time and the plan you outlined works well for any type of collectible cards.

      I once bought three packs of cards from a little shop on the Oregon coast. They were basketball cards and one of the cards I pulled was a dual autograph card signed by Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. I had the card professionally graded and it graded out at 8.5 out of 10. It sold on eBay for a little over $1,000 for that one card. The sad thing was that if I hadn't had it graded, I could have sold it for considerable more. Once graded, I was too scared to try to break it out of it's casing.

      Great information Steve!
      So "grading" involves putting the card in a plastic casing ?

      I don't quite understand how you could have gotten more if it had not been
      "graded" .
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      • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
        Originally Posted by BayAreaSteve View Post

        So "grading" involves putting the card in a plastic casing ?

        I don't quite understand how you could have gotten more if it had not been
        "graded" .
        To make a comparison, people will probably pay more for an antique chair that hasn't been graded and could be in great condition, versus one that has been deemed "good but not great". Grading involves a rating system.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayInOrlando
    Until the china sellers come in and flood the market.....
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    • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
      Originally Posted by JayInOrlando View Post

      Until the china sellers come in and flood the market.....
      Kinda hard to do w/ card games.
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    • Profile picture of the author BayAreaSteve
      Originally Posted by JayInOrlando View Post

      Until the china sellers come in and flood the market.....

      I don't think the leve of trust would be there.
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      Right now... This very second... You have everything you need to be successful. You have everything it takes , and more , to become everything you have ever dreamed ; and more than you can ever imagine.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    This works with Pokemon and any other current game. I spent a couple hundred to complete my Jyhad collection a few months ago. I was only 10 or so cards.

    Make sure you list the edition and that its an official print and the card quality.

    -
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  • Profile picture of the author tragictrip
    I checked out eBay for TCG Cards and Pokemon Cards, but most people are selling rare and holographic selling cards at $0.99.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by tragictrip View Post

      I checked out eBay for TCG Cards and Pokemon Cards, but most people are selling rare and holographic selling cards at $0.99.

      They're not selling them at 99 cents. They're starting the bidding at 99 cents.

      It's to get people interested. If you start the bidding too high, nobody will
      bid. That's why so many of the "buy now" bids end up getting pulled because
      nobody wants to pay those ridiculously inflated prices.

      If you know your cards and know how to price you can do very well.
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      • Profile picture of the author hometutor
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        They're not selling them at 99 cents. They're starting the bidding at 99 cents.

        It's to get people interested. If you start the bidding too high, nobody will
        bid. That's why so many of the "buy now" bids end up getting pulled because
        nobody wants to pay those ridiculously inflated prices.

        If you know your cards and know how to price you can do very well.
        Not being an avid ebayer, I seem to recall though you can set a low bid, but then set some kind of minimum as well. Can you do both or just one or the other?

        Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author cage73
    My wife used to do something similiar with Yu-Gi-Oh cards until the market became flooded with people selling the cards for pennies on the dollar. I just ran this plan by my wife and I can see the fire burning in her eyes. I'm thinking she will be looking for boxes of magic the gathering cards tomorrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Trainor
    I was doing this to pay my bills only a couple years ago. It's a pain to go through all the cards but, when you don't have a job will do anything to get by.

    Buying lots of classic video games on ebay, craigslist, yard sales then selling them worked well for me too.

    Sexy might get your head spinning with ideas but simple pays the rent.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Nice Steven.

    I have a friend who loves magic and has a wahzoo amount of cards. He's sold on ebay before but I don't think he's done this.

    I'm forwarding this post to him.

    Thanks!

    Rob
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

      Nice Steven.

      I have a friend who loves magic and has a wahzoo amount of cards. He's sold on ebay before but I don't think he's done this.

      I'm forwarding this post to him.

      Thanks!

      Rob
      Rob, if the cards have been played he won't get much for them. They
      have to be Mint or Near Mint to get a decent price.

      Just letting you know.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Rob, if the cards have been played he won't get much for them. They
        have to be Mint or Near Mint to get a decent price.

        Just letting you know.
        Yeah, I realize that.

        He wouldnt sell those - he plays a lot with them. Instead, he has a pretty vast array of card price knowledge, the dude reads up pretty heavy on all aspects of magic, so he would be pretty good at it.

        Also, quick question, you aren't referring to the box of booster packs, right? Not fat packs?

        I'm not sure what box you are referring too.

        Rob

        EDIT: Just went back and reread. I know what you are talking about! lol
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

          Yeah, I realize that.

          He wouldnt sell those - he plays a lot with them. Instead, he has a pretty vast array of card price knowledge, the dude reads up pretty heavy on all aspects of magic, so he would be pretty good at it.

          Also, quick question, you aren't referring to the box of booster packs, right? Not fat packs?

          I'm not sure what box you are referring too.

          Rob

          EDIT: Just went back and reread. I know what you are talking about! lol

          I'm referring to a regular box of booster packs. If you go to any comic
          or card store, you'll usually see them behind the counter. There is usually
          one box open where people can buy individual packs and the rest are all
          sealed.

          Years ago, it used to be cheaper to buy boxes retail than just buy
          individual packs, but now, with the value of some of these cards so high,
          you rarely get a discount on a whole box unless you buy in bulk wholesale.

          I just recently bought a whole box of WorldWake for $120 and pulled
          a Jace The Mind Sculptor, which is now going for about $80.

          When those boxes are no longer being sold, that card is going to really
          shoot up in price as it's a Mythic Rare.

          Moxes used to be $300 a few years ago. Now, they're over $1,000 each
          at least.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
    I have a foil 8th edition Shivan Dragon from when I was 13 years old for sale Steven. You want it?

    Yeah, check out the Black Lotus. $8k sound good to anyone? http://cgi.ebay.com/Black-Lotus-BETA...item45f46909bb

    Problem with that is there are only like 7 of them out there I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

      I have a foil 8th edition Shivan Dragon from when I was 13 years old for sale Steven. You want it?

      Yeah, check out the Black Lotus. $8k sound good to anyone? Black Lotus BETA POWER GRADED MTG MAGIC CARD MINT BGS 9 - eBay (item 300453267899 end time Nov-03-10 16:05:54 PDT)

      Problem with that is there are only like 7 of them out there I think.
      I just won a MTG CE (Classic Edition) Black Lotus for about $135. They're
      not tournament legal but I couldn't care less. I only play casually and my
      friends won't care if it's a CE card...since they play them all too.
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      • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I just won a MTG CE (Classic Edition) Black Lotus for about $135. They're
        not tournament legal but I couldn't care less. I only play casually and my
        friends won't care if it's a CE card...since they play them all too.
        Haha, I stopped playing when a was little (I started when I was littler), but I remember when I played a guy who had a bunch of Alpha cards like Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, Black Lotus, and stuff like that except they were all proxies ...just random cards with a slip of paper that said "Black Lotus".

        He'd then have to explain what each of them did and I (plus anyone else he played) took his word for it. Of course he'd beat all of us within a turn or two LOL.

        One downside I see to this "business model" is that it takes an upfront investment with no guarantee of return. Secondly, it would take a little experience (and passion for the game) to understand the value of all the cards.

        Aside from that those two things from off the top of my head, this could easily turn into a tidy side income (or more).

        However, it would make me a little sad to see people who care nothing for the cards taking part in this card flipping business. But that's just me... *shrugs*
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

          One downside I see to this "business model" is that it takes an upfront investment with no guarantee of return. Secondly, it would take a little experience (and passion for the game) to understand the value of all the cards.

          Aside from that those two things from off the top of my head, this could easily turn into a tidy side income (or more).

          However, it would make me a little sad to see people who care nothing for the cards taking part in this card flipping business. But that's just me... *shrugs*
          You're right. It DOES take an up front investment, but while there is never
          a guarantee of a return, this is such a hot market that I'd be shocked if
          you didn't sell a good part of your inventory...at least the rares and
          uncommons.

          As for people doing this who have no real love for the game, that's going
          to happen. It's human nature.

          Ironically, I do love the game and don't sell cards. I couldn't possibly
          part with my good cards...EVER.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    Steve, I know we don't see eye to eye too often but I can definitely see how this will work. Good job here man, I'll be doing research on this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    Here is a wholesale source for Magic the Gathering and Sportscards.

    Welcome to GTS Distribution Games Toys and Sports Wholesale
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    Steve, quick question - just what box do we start off buying, the 2011 set?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      Steve, quick question - just what box do we start off buying, the 2011 set?
      Go to the site I gave you and look through all the sets to see which ones
      have the higher priced cards.

      Unfortunately, unless you're buying lots of boxes, it's a crap shoot as to
      how likely you are to get the highest priced cards.

      For example, Jace, The Mind Sculptor, from WorldWake usually comes only
      1 in every 2 boxes. It's a very rare mythic rare, which is why it's so
      expensive right now. I just happen to luck out when I bought my box.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      Steve, quick question - just what box do we start off buying, the 2011 set?
      One thing about the 2011 and 2010 sets. I'd stay away from them because
      there are a lot of reprints of old cards or new cards with the same abilities
      as old cards.

      I'm not sure, but I think if you checked out the prices of the 2010 and 2011
      cards, they're very low.
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      • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        One thing about the 2011 and 2010 sets. I'd stay away from them because
        there are a lot of reprints of old cards or new cards with the same abilities
        as old cards.

        I'm not sure, but I think if you checked out the prices of the 2010 and 2011
        cards, they're very low.
        Okay. I'm still researching on this, but this will definitely be in my backpack. I'll decide later if this is an avenue I want to enter.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Steven, do people still build decks and sell them? I know years ago they did.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

      Steven, do people still build decks and sell them? I know years ago they did.
      There are 2 kinds of people who buy these cards.

      1. The collector...puts 'em in a hard plastic screw bolted sleeve and hangs
      em on a wall somewhere...never to dare even touch the card.

      2. The player (like me) who can't wait to get one of those bad boys in a
      deck.

      As far as the percentage of each, I have no idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
    I used to spend my lunch money in Middle School on Magic and all this talk really makes me want to play again. We used to have a shop in town with weekly tournaments and a good crew of people to play with.

    Nowadays though there is nothing of the sort for at least 60 miles. I do miss the excitement of buying a few booster packs and pulling out a nice card.

    Almost makes me want to go buy a deck and some booster packs just for the hell of it.

    Steven,

    What ever happened to the online version of MTG they were talking about releasing? That always seemed promising to me, but I never really heard much about it. It seems like thats the only way I'd be able to find someone to play with. My son is too young and all of my old card buddies are long gone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Jacob Martus View Post

      I used to spend my lunch money in Middle School on Magic and all this talk really makes me want to play again. We used to have a shop in town with weekly tournaments and a good crew of people to play with.

      Nowadays though there is nothing of the sort for at least 60 miles. I do miss the excitement of buying a few booster packs and pulling out a nice card.

      Almost makes me want to go buy a deck and some booster packs just for the hell of it.

      Steven,

      What ever happened to the online version of MTG they were talking about releasing? That always seemed promising to me, but I never really heard much about it. It seems like thats the only way I'd be able to find someone to play with. My son is too young and all of my old card buddies are long gone.

      You CAN play Magic online. Just go to the WOTC web site for details.
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
    Steven: Nice post! I've got a neighbor who does this with sports cards, and does great....so I've been interested for awhile.

    A quick question: In your original post you say to go out and buy a current box of cards. But then in another post you say to stay away from 2010 and 2011 sets. So what type of box set are you recommending?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by LegitIncomes View Post

      Steven: Nice post! I've got a neighbor who does this with sports cards, and does great....so I've been interested for awhile.

      A quick question: In your original post you say to go out and buy a current box of cards. But then in another post you say to stay away from 2010 and 2011 sets. So what type of box set are you recommending?
      The expansion sets.

      These are the most current:

      Alara Reborn
      Archenemy
      Conflux
      Eventide
      Planechase
      Rise of the Eldrazi
      Scars of Mirrodin
      Shards of Alara
      Worldwake
      Zendikar
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      • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        The expansion sets.

        These are the most current:

        Alara Reborn
        Archenemy
        Conflux
        Eventide
        Planechase
        Rise of the Eldrazi
        Scars of Mirrodin
        Shards of Alara
        Worldwake
        Zendikar
        Nice, thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    This makes me want to get back into MTG... both selling and playing. I'm pretty sure I still have my entire box of MTG cards stored away in my parents' house, and some are probably still mint. I should check them when I go home for my next visit.
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    Steven,

    Your post was a trip down memory lane for me (many years ago). I used to do the same thing with Pokemon cards when I was in middle school - and it worked great!

    How long do you think the market will be saturated on ebay for MTG cards? Maybe never considering there are so many different types of rares and uncommon?

    I'm thinking this might be a good venture for my wife to get into.

    Another question - what's the best way to ship the cards to ensure they don't get damaged? Is a hard plastic sleeve and a padded envelope enough?

    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by eiilers View Post


      How long do you think the market will be saturated on ebay for MTG cards? Maybe never considering there are so many different types of rares and uncommon?
      This has been going on for years. I seriously doubt the market will ever
      get saturated simply because WOTC puts out so many new expansions
      every year.

      I'm thinking this might be a good venture for my wife to get into.
      If she has the time and patience, yes.

      Another question - what's the best way to ship the cards to ensure they don't get damaged? Is a hard plastic sleeve and a padded envelope enough?
      That will be fine.
      Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      During my period of buying mini storage unit auctions and reselling the contents on eBay finding sports and other collectible cards and games were usually one of the sure sellers.

      It is a reasonably profitable enterprise but has it's frustrations just like any other business. The downside to doing this business model is that your home can become like a shipping and receiving warehouse very quickly. If I were to do it again on the same scale I'd rent a small office/warehouse and hire some teens to help with the shipping and other physical labor.
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    Thanks Steven for answering my questions. I do have a few more for you if you don't mind answering them.

    How long does it typically take go go through all 450 cards and sort them out (commons, uncommons, rares, etc) and then price them out?

    Realistically, how many different auctions do you think a box of cards would entice? If you group the commons into bundles of 50, and then sell the rares and uncommons separately, are we talking maybe 30-40 different auctions?

    Do you think a good goal would be 1 box per month? Any idea on how much time it would take to do a whole box, and list on ebay? I'm not worried about time it would take to Ship (I could streamline that) but are you thinking maybe 20 hours of work a month? Or perhaps more?

    Thanks so much in advance for answering my questions. I really appreciate it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by eiilers View Post

      Thanks Steven for answering my questions. I do have a few more for you if you don't mind answering them.
      My pleasure. Don't mind at all.

      How long does it typically take go go through all 450 cards and sort them out (commons, uncommons, rares, etc) and then price them out?
      Depends on how fast you are and how knowledgeable you are with the
      cards. For me, I can probably go through a whole box, sort and price in
      less than a day...maybe 8 hours. Somebody else could take days. I have
      no way of knowing.

      Realistically, how many different auctions do you think a box of cards would entice? If you group the commons into bundles of 50, and then sell the rares and uncommons separately, are we talking maybe 30-40 different auctions?
      Over 100 easily.

      30 rares
      90 uncommons
      5 or 6 groups of commons.

      Do you think a good goal would be 1 box per month? Any idea on how much time it would take to do a whole box, and list on ebay? I'm not worried about time it would take to Ship (I could streamline that) but are you thinking maybe 20 hours of work a month? Or perhaps more?
      Yeah, start with 1 box a month. Let's say you list 100 auctions. If you
      do this yourself, you can probably list about 4 an hour if you take your
      time. Working 8 hours, that's about 32 a day. In 3 to 4 days you should
      have the whole box out there.

      Thanks so much in advance for answering my questions. I really appreciate it.
      No problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    You know, Steve could've turned this into a $47 WSO and people would jump on it. However, he has listed it here for free. That's somebody who wants to genuinely help somebody else.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      You know, Steve could've turned this into a $47 WSO and people would jump on it. However, he has listed it here for free. That's somebody who wants to genuinely help somebody else.
      Neh, I have too much love for this niche to make money off of it.

      Besides, maybe somebody here will actually do this and they'll give me a
      great deal on some cards.
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      • Profile picture of the author eiilers
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Neh, I have too much love for this niche to make money off of it.

        Besides, maybe somebody here will actually do this and they'll give me a
        great deal on some cards.
        If I can get this going, I surely will! I would give you "first dibbs" on any rares I get in the lot
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    Steven,

    I can't think you enough for your help on this idea. Thank you again!

    I just found a source for these 4 booster sets: Some are in the $80 range, some $100-$120 range.

    Out of these 4, which one do you think would be the best one to "start with". I'm thinking about trying this out and ordering a box right now.

    Rise of Eldrazi
    Conflux
    Mirrodin
    Worldwake

    Also, from what I see all of the box sets have 36 packs (not 30) so it would be 540 cards, not 450. Is that right?

    I'm thinking I could list like 10 an hour, easily. I could streamline the process (in terms of taking pictures) and creating the listings, and basically create a "listing template" to work off of. Do you think that 10 an hour is unrealistic for listing them on ebay (if I already have the whole lot priced out, separated, and pictures taken).

    I'm really thinking I am going to give this is a try. Even if my time constraints only allow me to sell the 30 rares at first (and hold on to the uncommons and commons) it should bring in a profit. I might test the waters with that. If I could make $500 on the lot of 30 rares, I would be ecstatic.

    Yet another question (I'm sorry for bombarding you): Do you think there is a market for "bundles" of "uncommons"? Would someone pay, perhaps $45 for a bundle of 50 uncommons (unique, no duplicates). I am thinking that selling the uncommons individually could get messy because there is so many, plus the ebay listing fees would take a lot of the profit if they are only $1 a piece. Instead I had the idea of listing the uncommons in a lot as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by eiilers View Post

      Steven,

      I can't think you enough for your help on this idea. Thank you again!
      Make some money and then you can thank me.

      I just found a source for these 4 booster sets: Some are in the $80 range, some $100-$120 range.
      That sounds about right.

      Out of these 4, which one do you think would be the best one to "start with". I'm thinking about trying this out and ordering a box right now.
      You can't go wrong with any but start with Mirrodin as it's the most recent.

      Also, from what I see all of the box sets have 36 packs (not 30) so it would be 540 cards, not 450. Is that right?
      Now you can see why I dropped out of college as a math major and took
      up business. Yeah, that's right...36 in a box. That makes the distribution
      different too...36 rares, 108 uncommons, etc.

      I'm thinking I could list like 10 an hour, easily. I could streamline the process (in terms of taking pictures) and creating the listings, and basically create a "listing template" to work off of. Do you think that 10 an hour is unrealistic for listing them on ebay (if I already have the whole lot priced out, separated, and pictures taken).
      10 an hour seems a bit much, but like I said, it depends on how quick you
      are and how comfortable you are with the process. Everybody is going
      to work at a different speed.

      I'm really thinking I am going to give this is a try. Even if my time constraints only allow me to sell the 30 rares at first (and hold on to the uncommons and commons) it should bring in a profit. I might test the waters with that. If I could make $500 on the lot of 30 rares, I would be ecstatic.
      I see no reason why you can't achieve those goals.

      Yet another question (I'm sorry for bombarding you): Do you think there is a market for "bundles" of "uncommons"? Would someone pay, perhaps $45 for a bundle of 50 uncommons (unique, no duplicates). I am thinking that selling the uncommons individually could get messy because there is so many, plus the ebay listing fees would take a lot of the profit if they are only $1 a piece. Instead I had the idea of listing the uncommons in a lot as well.
      Depends on how in demand the uncommons are, For example, when Serra
      Angel came out many years ago, that card was more sought after than
      some rares. So it depends.
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      • Profile picture of the author eiilers
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Make some money and then you can thank me.

        10 an hour seems a bit much, but like I said, it depends on how quick you
        are and how comfortable you are with the process. Everybody is going
        to work at a different speed.
        I was thinking I could do 10 an hour no problem (big ebayer, and very familiar with the listing process). On the ebay listings, how much information do you need to provide? Is the title of the card, and a picture good enough (along with a small 2-3 sentence description explaining shipping options and the level of "rareness" of the card)? Or do you need to provide a lot of thorough info on the listings about each card? I was thinking just doing the information above and I could whip through 8-10 an hour. But if you think I'm missing something, please let me know.

        Thanks much!
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by eiilers View Post

          I was thinking I could do 10 an hour no problem (big ebayer, and very familiar with the listing process). On the ebay listings, how much information do you need to provide? Is the title of the card, and a picture good enough (along with a small 2-3 sentence description explaining shipping options and the level of "rareness" of the card)? Or do you need to provide a lot of thorough info on the listings about each card? I was thinking just doing the information above and I could whip through 8-10 an hour. But if you think I'm missing something, please let me know.

          Thanks much!
          The people looking for the cards already know everything they need to
          know about. Remember, this is a smart market. So you don't need to give
          much info about the card at all other than the condition. THAT is what
          they care most about.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Folks, let me just clarify something about the prices of these cards.

            They are NOT static.

            The prices will go up and down based on a number of factors.

            1. Availability of the set.
            2. Expansion eligibility list (older expansions are usually phased out)
            3. Demand of card itself.

            ! usually goes down with age as does 2. But 3 is an up and down thing
            depending on other cards that come out.

            Sometimes a so-so card becomes a great card because of a combo that
            you can use with another card that makes it better.

            This is not a static business and if you're looking for a static business,
            look elsewhere.

            It's almost like speculating on the stock market in some ways.
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    Nice read Steven. That's definitely a good business model. I used to do this exact thing back in college to make some extra cash.

    The cool thing is that there are plenty of other novelty items like this that can have just as much profit.

    Travis
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Interesting tips, if folks can find out where to get these magic cards wholesale at a bargain, there is money to be made, as long as it is not saturated too quickly
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    • Profile picture of the author Pradeep Bhagwat
      Hi, It is very interesting strategy and very cool discussion here. It will definitely help ebay marketers. The strategy is very old, but no one get it in mind often. Thanks for this post.

      - Pradeep
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Steven,

      Can you get these cards in England? I'm assuming this is an international thing and tell me to get out from under my rock but I'd never heard of MTG (waiting for impending abuse) sorry just never been into it. What I am into is making a dollar or two and this seems more than viable. I googled it but most seemed to ship to the US only. I'll keep searching, just wondered if you could give me a heads up.

      By the way, I got your affiliate marketing book a couple of weeks back. Followed it step by step and just made the price of your book back 4 times this week alone. Excellent investment, thanks a bunch.

      EDIT. Scrap that, just found a bunch of places here. I take it they're all the same?
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

        Steven,

        Can you get these cards in England? I'm assuming this is an international thing and tell me to get out from under my rock but I'd never heard of MTG (waiting for impending abuse) sorry just never been into it. What I am into is making a dollar or two and this seems more than viable. I googled it but most seemed to ship to the US only. I'll keep searching, just wondered if you could give me a heads up.

        By the way, I got your affiliate marketing book a couple of weeks back. Followed it step by step and just made the price of your book back 4 times this week alone. Excellent investment, thanks a bunch.

        EDIT. Scrap that, just found a bunch of places here. I take it they're all the same?

        Richard, MTG is worldwide and is still huge, though maybe not as big as it
        was in the early years after the first few sets. But WOTC has injected so
        much new life into the game with additional rules and abilities that I think
        right now it's the biggest it's been since the early years.

        Oh, and glad the book helped. Yeah, it's pretty simple stuff once you just
        go and use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    Steven, I just sent you a PM on this with one last question. Thanks so much in advance for the help!
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    There was a guy who owned a toy store and at night after the regular closing he would host card games. He would not charge the gamers. Instead he would sell candy and pepsi. Fact is there are a lot of ways to make money. I did learn from him that you get a big crowd with magic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      There was a guy who owned a toy store and at night after the regular closing he would host card games. He would not charge the gamers. Instead he would sell candy and pepsi. Fact is there are a lot of ways to make money. I did learn from him that you get a big crowd with magic.

      My friend didn't have to sell anything. He'd just host games after store
      hours and the people playing would almost inevitably end up buying several
      packs before the night ended.

      Sometimes we'd have a draft night and he'd sell packs that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
    This is a brilliant system. Can literally work with anything, I used to do this for dirt jumping bikes, buy a great bike with decent components then de-construct the bike into frame, forks, brakes etc. and a bike I'd bought for £200 became £250/350.
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    • Profile picture of the author hometutor
      This thread motivated me to place a software program I wrote on Ebay. May I give the link to it in this thread and get some advice or to avoid high-jacking this thread accidentally should I start a new thread?

      Rick
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by hometutor View Post

        This thread motivated me to place a software program I wrote on Ebay. May I give the link to it in this thread and get some advice or to avoid high-jacking this thread accidentally should I start a new thread?

        Rick
        You should probably start your own thread as it will give you the best chance
        of getting your questions answered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    That was a fun read I remember quietly envying the passion the magic players had for the game. but was never comfortable enough to join.

    The whole process just sounds so fun Its a pity that I don't think I could ship from South Africa and still be profitable.

    Steven the OP just makes me realize how many ways money can be made.
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  • Profile picture of the author txconx
    This is a trip down memory lane for me, as well. I never played, but my two sons were fanatics at one time. One of them still has probably 10K or so cards.
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  • Profile picture of the author bristol
    We used to play this game all the time! It was so addicting! Can't believe that it is still going strong!
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    The commons bundle together in groups of 50. Price them at around $25
    .
    Hi Steven i sold and traded in cards for some time / back in the days of vending machines during the craze with basketball cards down here.

    One trick i learned back then was this, with your commons (or sets / any combo), grab some cellophane (that clear scrunchy plastic stuff you wrap / gift wrap wine bottles in and presents etc)

    You cut it into a square / rectangle as if your about to wrap a present, then place your 50 cards face down on the cellophane then wrap them like your wrapping a birthday present / the folded ends are at the back of the pack.

    Here is the trick where the folds meet on the back lick the cellophane with your tongue (or use a lightly dampened piece of sponge to wet the cellophane.

    With each fold of the present so to speak wet the cellophane as above (this should be not all runny and stuff / just dampened), then when finished flip it over and slightly press it down on a few paper towels to soak any spits spots and then put it aside to dry. ( no other sticky tapes or glues needed )

    What will happen is the cellophane as the wet seals dry will shrink wrap the cellophane to form a very tight clear seal around your cards that is very strong / will not fall apart / the client can unwrap them when needed.

    Looks very professional / easy to do / cheap and effective.

    Pete
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    .

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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
      How can you say that the average for the rares will be $20 dollars a piece?

      I went to that site and out of all the sets you posted only about 11 or
      so of the few hundred rares and mythic rares are over $20 and only about
      4 of those were about $40 or more.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by Matthew Moyer View Post

        How can you say that the average for the rares will be $20 dollars a piece?

        I went to that site and out of all the sets you posted only about 11 or
        so of the few hundred rares and mythic rares are over $20 and only about
        4 of those were about $40 or more.
        Depends upon the set and other factors.

        Hey, if the model's not for you, don't do it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
          That's a cop out answer.

          Those other factors are what?

          If the rares that are worth the most are present in the
          set the box prices go way up making it even more difficult
          to product a profit.

          The same thing with any other type card out there.

          You can even attempt to do this in magic the gathering
          online.

          The problem is unless you are "lucky" enough to pull
          multiples of the most expensive cards you aren't going to
          even make your investment back on the box at retail or the
          going market price for whatever set.

          Also I think your telling a tall tale saying you can sell 50 commons
          for $25.

          I think unless someone has access to buy at wholesale - has a lot
          of luck - a lot of time - and a lot of patience they aren't going to be
          making money this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    I too did a lot of research on this. The average price of a rare was about 50 cents, not 20 bucks. And I checked every single set for the valuation. Looking on ebay also confirmed this. I was about to try the model, but I don't think there is any consistent income you could make with this. At the least, you could make your money back but I don't see how it can be profitable considering the cards are not worth enough (unless it's a mythical rare).

    I think the idea is good in theory, but the stats don't add up (at least not in this economy). This might be a good business model to visit in a year or so though to see if things have changed.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by eiilers View Post

      I too did a lot of research on this. The average price of a rare was about 50 cents, not 20 bucks. And I checked every single set for the valuation. Looking on ebay also confirmed this. I was about to try the model, but I don't think there is any consistent income you could make with this. At the least, you could make your money back but I don't see how it can be profitable considering the cards are not worth enough (unless it's a mythical rare).

      I think the idea is good in theory, but the stats don't add up (at least not in this economy). This might be a good business model to visit in a year or so though to see if things have changed.
      Well, like I said, if it's not for you don't do it. There are people making a
      mint doing this.

      And if anybody thinks I have a vested interest in this, I sell no products
      on this subject.

      My friend Steve, who owns a card and comic shop, does this. Yes, he
      gets his cards wholesale, but anybody can buy wholesale if they want.

      If you're serious about this model, you can make a lot of money.

      It's not for everybody.

      And no, that wasn't a cop out answer. It depends on many factors and
      I'm not going to get into them here.

      Try it, don't try it, whatever.

      I laid out the system. It is what it is and it works.

      Don't believe me? Go to Ebay and look at the hundreds, if not thousands
      of vendors selling cards.

      I'm done defending this model.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
      Heres some ideas that might make money keyword is might.

      Go to thepit dot com and look for graded cards that are listed
      on that site.

      Find a card say the 84 elway rookie card. Now you either can
      buy the card on there hold it and wait for a price increase then
      sell it for a profit taking into account the spread and fees associated
      with buying and selling to see what the price has to be to make that
      profit.

      Or using the same card example search for that exact card on ebay or
      amazon or the google using brackets and see if you can find a price difference.
      If you find a price gap and think you can sell it on a different medium then buy
      it. Example if you find it on amazon cheaper then on ebay buy it from amazon
      and then list it on ebay.

      Or you can gamble and in the example of the elway rookie buy some rack packs
      or boxes looking for that card - it's a gamble cause you might not get one unless
      it is actually showing in the case of the rack pack. If you were to find one or more
      of the cards have it graded and if it grades high you might be able to make money
      that way.

      Or lets say you find a card selling on thepit dot com cheaper then it is listed on
      someones site you could email that person seeing if they would be interested at
      obtaining more of that same card they are selling for a cheaper price they are selling
      it at.

      Or go to a site like etopps dot com and buy cards there and hold them and wait for
      a price increase or attempt to sell quickly and make a few bucks although I think etopps
      in hand cards might sell for more then they do in online portfolios.

      Or I did this for a short time before along time ago and I don't know if you still can
      in the case of magic the gathering online you could buy some packs and join a draft game
      and do what's known as rare drafting - it's where you pick one card from your pack and
      it gets passed to the next player and then you get someone elses pack minus their pick.
      If they also aren't rare drafting you might be able to pick up a whole bunch of rares.
      They might have made it so people can't do that anymore - I don't know check into it if you
      are interested.

      Or you could go to ebay or amazon and look for large collections of cards that are priced to
      just get rid of them - then you turn around and try and sell them off for more then you paid. This might work well with magic the gathering online accounts and maybe etopps online portfolios.

      Anyways those are just some ideas.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by Matthew Moyer View Post

        Heres some ideas that might make money keyword is might.

        Go to thepit dot com and look for graded cards that are listed
        on that site.

        Find a card say the 84 elway rookie card. Now you either can
        buy the card on there hold it and wait for a price increase then
        sell it for a profit taking into account the spread and fees associated
        with buying and selling to see what the price has to be to make that
        profit.

        Or using the same card example search for that exact card on ebay or
        amazon or the google using brackets and see if you can find a price difference.
        If you find a price gap and think you can sell it on a different medium then buy
        it. Example if you find it on amazon cheaper then on ebay buy it from amazon
        and then list it on ebay.

        Or you can gamble and in the example of the elway rookie buy some rack packs
        or boxes looking for that card - it's a gamble cause you might not get one unless
        it is actually showing in the case of the rack pack. If you were to find one or more
        of the cards have it graded and if it grades high you might be able to make money
        that way.

        Or lets say you find a card selling on thepit dot com cheaper then it is listed on
        someones site you could email that person seeing if they would be interested at
        obtaining more of that same card they are selling for a cheaper price they are selling
        it at.

        Or go to a site like etopps dot com and buy cards there and hold them and wait for
        a price increase or attempt to sell quickly and make a few bucks although I think etopps
        in hand cards might sell for more then they do in online portfolios.

        Or I did this for a short time before along time ago and I don't know if you still can
        in the case of magic the gathering online you could buy some packs and join a draft game
        and do what's known as rare drafting - it's where you pick one card from your pack and
        it gets passed to the next player and then you get someone elses pack minus their pick.
        If they also aren't rare drafting you might be able to pick up a whole bunch of rares.
        They might have made it so people can't do that anymore - I don't know check into it if you
        are interested.

        Or you could go to ebay or amazon and look for large collections of cards that are priced to
        just get rid of them - then you turn around and try and sell them off for more then you paid. This might work well with magic the gathering online accounts and maybe etopps online portfolios.

        Anyways those are just some ideas.

        Yeah, this works too. Nice model. Have to have patience with it and
        pick your spots.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Okay, here is what I mean by factors.

          Take a look at this card. I'm actually bidding on it now.

          http://findmagiccards.com/Cards/RE/C...Commander.html

          The going price for this card right now is $3.36.

          But look at the individual dealers at what they're selling them for.

          You'll notice one dealer with a feedback of 5,000 + is selling this thing for
          almost $9. Trust me, it'll sell. He knows HIS market.

          So you can't just go by the price that's on the card. It's what people are
          willing to pay for it.

          I lost my first 2 bids on this card bidding more than I thought I had to in
          order to win, but somebody wanted it more.

          This is one of those cards that will probably start to go way up in value
          because of the true power of this card. It hasn't yet caught on with the
          players yet, but it will in time.

          That's why I say, there are factors involved and they're beyond the scope
          of this thread.

          Here's the bottom line and take it for what it's worth to you.

          There are hundreds, if not thousands of vendors making bank off of this
          model.

          Do it, don't it, YOUR decision. I'm not bending anybody's arm. I've laid out
          the facts as they are.

          Do your research, do your homework, ask others and then make an
          informed decision.

          If this isn't for you, it isn't for you.

          Fair enough?
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          • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
            He's selling it for $9 cause it's the foil version.

            Is that site the actually site it's selling on or is it tracing what
            they are selling on ebay or another site?

            Here's another quick idea just looking at that assuming there isn't
            a fee associated with selling. Buy the other foil version that the
            guy is selling for $7 and then relist it for $8 or $8.50 undercutting
            that guy and if people are just looking to buy that card based on
            price they will take your first.
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          • Profile picture of the author eiilers
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Do it, don't it, YOUR decision. I'm not bending anybody's arm. I've laid out
            the facts as they are.
            I think my whole point was that the "facts" laid out do not make any sense after doing my own homework. I don't think you need to be a MTG expert to understand supply, demand, and price fluctuations. A card is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, not what FindMagicCards.com is quoting. And I understand that. However, looking at current "rares" on ebay and not seeing one (after seeking out about 30 of them) that comes even close to the $20 range, just seems like the post was a tad misleading. And I think the MTG market is a bit more saturated than you think. Maybe not for the "mythical rares" but for the other cards it seems to be.

            Thanks of course for the idea though. Got the wheels turning at least.
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            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Okay, this is my last post and then I'm getting to work. I actually have
              work to do today.

              Essentially, your argument is that there is no real money to be made here,
              as if the $600 profit per box insinuates that I'm claiming a fortune.

              If that is indeed the case, and there is no real money to be made with this
              model, answer me this question....

              Why are so many people doing it?

              Look at the number of auctions and then look at the number of actual
              completed auctions where the cards actually sold, because anybody can
              put up a card for sale. It doesn't mean it's going to sell.

              If I needed any extra $5,000 a year and had the time and patience to
              do this, I would...in a heartbeat.

              This is the reason why I've pretty much stopped starting threads in
              Main Discussion.

              I think I'll go back to doing just that.

              I'm out of here.
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              • Profile picture of the author eiilers
                To some, $600 a box is a lot of money... Not a fortune, but a lot of money.. And the difference between $200/mo and $600/mo is enough difference for someone to do this model model, or not do it...

                No one said that there is no money to be made here. I think we've all applauded the idea numerous times, but have been skeptical on the numbers you provided, as a number of us did our own research and they didn't "add up".

                I totally believe there is money to be made with this. But not the way you described.

                Thanks for the contribution and see you in the War Room.
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    I found that same card you just listed on ebay with tons of buy it nows. Probably 2 pages or so and the average price was about $3, which is just what FindMagicCards is resporting...

    How are you supposed to sell it for $9 on ebay if there are buy it nows selling it cheaper (3x less)? And surely you won't get $20 for it.

    No one is arguing that the system/idea "doesn't work". Just that the numbers have huge discrepancies.

    No need to argue your concept anymore. I think everyone appreciates the idea but was a little let down once we got our hands dirty and saw the numbers ourself. This is probably just a niche that is meant for the MTG folks as they know how the "market moves" for these types of cards.
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  • Profile picture of the author capstan88
    I'm sorry but a current edition box is not going to average $20 per rare.

    I have cards from editions that are 5 (edit:10) years old that average $5 apiece in value.

    If it was this easy, it would get flooded so fast it would no longer work.

    I suggest before anyone try this, they look at rares on the pricing site, then go look at 'completed listings' on eBay to see what they are selling for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Allen
    Steven,

    Thanks for an inspiring thread! This is a great idea - one of those, 'why didn't I think of that' kind of moments. Although I won't be using this method for the cards you mentioned I do see how it could be applied to other things. This may be a perfect way to get some of my family members interested in 'working online'.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    Would this work for comics? I saw a whole box of comics at the thrift store for 1.00 a comic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    While it's true the cards are only worth what someone is willing to pay, that is the same with just about every commodity that is sold. That's why it's important to have an interest in the market.

    You should be able to at least double your money on every box if you purchase them at wholesale, take the time to properly sort your cards, study the market, and price them accordingly.

    Wash rinse repeat.

    Heck, you can make decent money just by surfing ebay looking for undervalued auctions that weren't listed properly, lacked a good description or a photo, and for one reason or another didn't sell.

    There were times when I would purchase an undervalued auction, hold off on payment for 5 days or so while I properly relisted the item, and sold it before I even paid for it. Then I simply paid the original seller, and had him send it to my buyer.

    Never even touched the item and made a good profit.

    Look for auctions that end very early in the morning, or in the middle of the week, those will get less hits, and stand a better chance of slipping through the cracks.

    Between buying, sorting and listing the boxes you buy, and surfing ebay for undervalued card auctions, you could indeed create a decent income from doing this.

    If you don't think the idea works, I'm quite sure you're right.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
      Someone who has a store in a mall that's been doing it for years
      has nothing to do with someone getting $600 worth out of a box
      of magic cards.

      I'm telling you right now that there is no way your going to be pulling
      $600 worth of rares out of any box of magic cards that sell in the $120
      range unless you somehow pull some sort of miracle and pull 3 jace foils
      from a worldwake box which I don't even think is possible since its a mythic.

      I'm also telling you unless someone has no idea what they are buying is going
      to pay $25 for 50 commons. You might be able to sell all 300+ commons from
      a box for $25. They are called commons for a reason cause theres a lot of them.

      I'm not even going to comment on the ridiculous number of $750 to $1,000 from
      a box other then if that number was actually possible I don't think any dealer
      would be that stupid enough to sell a box of unopened cards for $120 if that kind
      of number was possible because they'd open every single box they could get their
      hands on and be pumping it themselves.

      Looking at it though it does look like people could profit. 30 rares a box if the price
      is $120 for it is only $4 average a rare. If you can get it for say $80 your looking at
      about $2.75 average per rare. If you buy enough your going to end up getting some
      of the more sought after rares. I think it would be quite possible to pull in $100 to
      $150 consistently.
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      • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
        I guess I could see where you are coming from if you are the occasional pack or box buyer.

        The people who make a living doing this will purchase 20 to 50 cases, not boxes, but cases.

        Bust them all open, create full sets, sell them, fill other peoples sets with their commons, fill subsets sell them, fill others subsets with the left over singles.

        So on and so forth until the product is gone. Wash rinse repeat.


        Originally Posted by Matthew Moyer View Post

        Someone who has a store in a mall that's been doing it for years
        has nothing to do with someone getting $600 worth out of a box
        of magic cards.

        I'm telling you right now that there is no way your going to be pulling
        $600 worth of rares out of any box of magic cards that sell in the $120
        range unless you somehow pull some sort of miracle and pull 3 jace foils
        from a worldwake box which I don't even think is possible since its a mythic.

        I'm also telling you unless someone has no idea what they are buying is going
        to pay $25 for 50 commons. You might be able to sell all 300+ commons from
        a box for $25. They are called commons for a reason cause theres a lot of them.

        I'm not even going to comment on the ridiculous number of $750 to $1,000 from
        a box other then if that number was actually possible I don't think any dealer
        would be that stupid enough to sell a box of unopened cards for $120 if that kind
        of number was possible because they'd open every single box they could get their
        hands on and be pumping it themselves.

        Looking at it though it does look like people could profit. 30 rares a box if the price
        is $120 for it is only $4 average a rare. If you can get it for say $80 your looking at
        about $2.75 average per rare. If you buy enough your going to end up getting some
        of the more sought after rares. I think it would be quite possible to pull in $100 to
        $150 consistently.
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        • Profile picture of the author eiilers
          Originally Posted by Digital Traffic View Post

          I guess I could see where you are coming from if you are the occasional pack or box buyer.

          The people who make a living doing this will purchase 20 to 50 cases, not boxes, but cases.
          I could totally see this model working.. But this was completely different than earlier described in the thread.

          As for the guy in the mall, I also can see why his model works. He is able to buy cards from people who come into the mall and then re-sell them online or in the store - or vice versa by buying cards cheaper online and selling them in the store. He's able to "hand-pick" some of the more rare cards and then re-sell them at a mark-up - either online or in the store. Makes complete sense. I'm not arguing that this doesn't work, nor that you can make money using MTG. I totally agree you can; but not by buying one box at wholesale and getting $20 a rare on ebay - that's ridiculous in my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author eiilers
      Originally Posted by Digital Traffic View Post

      For the gentleman from Grand Rapids, I would suggest you visit Sports Legends in Woodland Mall on any given Saturday to gain some insite on the potential for the market. The Guy that owns the place has been doing this for years.

      If you don't think the idea works, I'm quite sure you're right.
      I have been there plenty of times (in the Centerpointe mall, not woodland) but that has nothing to do with ebay in my opinion.

      Plus I never said that this "doesn't work" and isn't a sound model... I simply said that the figures that were recently quotes are nowhere near accurate.
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  • Profile picture of the author hh227
    nice model, but it's only short lived until the bandwagon arrives
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonboom
    Are you sure this market hasn't been "tapped". Yes, I went there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    The trick is to not get attached to your cards, and sell them when you have a buyer.

    Don't look at your cards as an investment, cherry pick them for your personal collection if you want to collect them, however, the value of them can turn on a dime.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayInOrlando
    Take into account your paypal and ebay fee's. Then also consider the first person who decides the item is "not sent in the condition listed" and watch the fun that happens.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by JayInOrlando View Post

      Then also consider the first person who decides the item is "not sent in the condition listed" and watch the fun that happens.
      Another reason I got out of selling products on eBay. They've really stacked the deck (pardon the pun) against sellers in the past 2 years or so.
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      • Profile picture of the author Evan Kanter
        Hi Steven,

        In this market, is the day of the week or time of day at which an auction begins or ends a worthwhile consideration?
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        • Profile picture of the author Matthew Moyer
          Sorry steve for shooting down your idea.

          Understand I'm a jealous and envious jerk.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Originally Posted by Matthew Moyer View Post

            Sorry steve for shooting down your idea.

            Understand I'm a jealous and envious jerk.
            I think you better read my update. I just met with my friend today and
            we discussed this model. I learned of some very interesting and recent
            developments.

            It's amazing how quickly this market changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author goldmedal
    Steve,
    Read your update, and it makes sense...things change and niches's like this one come and go. But don't apologize. You were 100% forthright and honest that it WAS a good approach, and also that you weren't making any $ off of this thread. It's not your fault if it isn't as good as it should be....you got people thinking. I'm still thinking about sportscards and how I can make a go of that niche. Perhaps someone else reading this thread came up with their own good ideas. It's never a bad thing to get people thinking. thanks, Roger
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by goldmedal View Post

      Steve,
      Read your update, and it makes sense...things change and niches's like this one come and go. But don't apologize. You were 100% forthright and honest that it WAS a good approach, and also that you weren't making any $ off of this thread. It's not your fault if it isn't as good as it should be....you got people thinking. I'm still thinking about sportscards and how I can make a go of that niche. Perhaps someone else reading this thread came up with their own good ideas. It's never a bad thing to get people thinking. thanks, Roger
      I just find it ironic that a model that was kick ass for over 15 years is now
      close to worthless and I pick now to open up my mouth about it.

      You can't make this stuff up.
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      • Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        I just find it ironic that a model that was kick ass for over 15 years is now
        close to worthless and I pick now to open up my mouth about it.
        Murphy says hello.

        No good deed...

        You can't make this stuff up.
        Deftly handled however - your stock still rose.
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    1. They no longer allow you to buy wholesale unless you show proof of a brick and mortar business.
    ---------
    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.
    This is very common in the hobby industry. I'm surprised it took them this long to do this. When I was looking at various hobby niches for physical product sales a few years ago this is something I ran into a lot when looking at buying wholesale. That's why I ended up gravitating toward mini-storage auctions and buying closeout and return lots to get product to sell before I got out of physical product sales entirely.

    The way things are today if you don't find just the right 'undiscovered' niche where you can buy in small quantities and resell without onerous conditions, you have to be prepared to buy in bulk (think about $5-25K upfront) either rent warehouse space or turn your home into one or, worse case, setup an actual retail location with attached shipping and receiving facilities.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Kudos Steven.

    I showed my friend this thread and the first thing he said was "bull####".

    My immediate reaction was "Steve would NEVER do anything to purposely persuade people to waste time and money if it didn't work."

    Anyway, I'm impressed that you're man enough to admit that you made a mistake and I hope other people don't think less of you.

    You've made very valuable contributions to this forum and helped countless others in many threads - something not many can boldly claim.

    Rob
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

      Kudos Steven.

      I showed my friend this thread and the first thing he said was "bull####".

      My immediate reaction was "Steve would NEVER do anything to purposely persuade people to waste time and money if it didn't work."

      Anyway, I'm impressed that you're man enough to admit that you made a mistake and I hope other people don't think less of you.

      You've made very valuable contributions to this forum and helped countless others in many threads - something not many can boldly claim.

      Rob
      Hey, what can I say? A 15 year goldmine dried up and became virtually
      useless to the little guy.

      If you told me 10 years ago this would happen, I would have told you that
      you were crazy.

      I f****d up. That's about the size of it.

      If anybody wants to hang me from the nearest tree, I'll bring the rope.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Hey, what can I say? A 15 year goldmine dried up and became virtually
        useless to the little guy.

        If you told me 10 years ago this would happen, I would have told you that
        you were crazy.

        I f****d up. That's about the size of it.

        If anybody wants to hang me from the nearest tree, I'll bring the rope.
        Yeah, that happens. It does suck and these sort of deal's can dry up overnight.

        This is why I believe in selling your own product. The idea in this thread is good, that is for sure and it may work in other niches, but as we can see, it can change way too fast.

        Having your own product is way more stable!

        Thanks again Steve,

        Rob
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      • Profile picture of the author Gary King
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Hey, what can I say? A 15 year goldmine dried up and became virtually
        useless to the little guy.

        If you told me 10 years ago this would happen, I would have told you that
        you were crazy.

        I f****d up. That's about the size of it.

        If anybody wants to hang me from the nearest tree, I'll bring the rope.
        You won't likely get many takers on the tall tree offer...

        The lessons here are:
        • Try new stuff
        • If it doesn't work, and you can't change it to work quickly, kill it and move on - fast
        • If it does work, always remember it won't likely work forever, so don't keep all your eggs in one basket
        • If you goof up, man up
        You showed your true colors Steven, first by trying to help as always and then, just by telling everyone that the playing field had changed, despite the potential for embarrassment (I don't personally feel there's any reason to be).
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  • Profile picture of the author eiilers
    Hi Steven - just read your 10.23 update - thanks for that!

    On a side note, you said the model does work with other cards. Do you have any in mind? I used to do this same thing with Pokemon cards (over 10 years ago) and it was extremely hot and profitable. However after doing some research myself, I don't see this being a viable business for those either. Do you have any other sets in mind?

    I think the idea itself is phenomenal - it's just finding the cards that are "hot" and carry a lot of value in the market right now - which MTG and Pokemon are definitely not them. But I would love it if anyone else has ideas of other cards sets that I can explore.

    Thanks again Steven for the update post!
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      Originally Posted by eiilers View Post

      Hi Steven - just read your 10.23 update - thanks for that!

      On a side note, you said the model does work with other cards. Do you have any in mind? I used to do this same thing with Pokemon cards (over 10 years ago) and it was extremely hot and profitable. However after doing some research myself, I don't see this being a viable business for those either. Do you have any other sets in mind?

      I think the idea itself is phenomenal - it's just finding the cards that are "hot" and carry a lot of value in the market right now - which MTG and Pokemon are definitely not them. But I would love it if anyone else has ideas of other cards sets that I can explore.

      Thanks again Steven for the update post!
      Well, I'm not exactly sure what his strategy is, or how he implements it....but one of my neighbors is always going to card shows, buying cards, buying sets of cards, and listing cards for sale on eBay. He usually has several cards for sale that are $100-$300 each. He's got a feedback of several thousand....so whatever he's doing, it's working. BTW, it's all basketball cards, usually cards that are either autographed, a hot rookie, or have a piece of a jersey on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    I wonder if my old LotR TCG cards will be worth more when The Hobbit is released. Perhaps...
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  • Profile picture of the author lukemeister
    Interesting thread - I dabbled into this a few years ago a made some small money but didn't have the time to do it consistently. But it was more as a hobbyist than as a money maker. I didn't realize people were also making major money probably at the same time.

    Either way - I'm thankful for this thread for one reason: You reminded me that I have a big box of Magic cards out in the garage, many old and worth money - I've also been trying to figure out a way to scrape up some extra cash to get a new drum kit. Thanks for helping me put 2 and 2 together!

    P.S. I can't believe Force of Will is selling for $40 on ebay right now. Wowza. I know I've got at least a few of those bad boys in my big box.
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  • Profile picture of the author goldmedal
    Here's a more general question for you ebayer's.... I've been reading a lot about the downfall of e bay and the hazards of selling there (fees, feedback and fraud). is anyone selling on eby now successfully, and would you still recommend getting a storefront if one has a lot to sell? thx
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    • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
      Steve...Thanks for the honesty. I was tempted to try this method after reading your original post. It sounded like a fun way to make some extra cash and reminded me of the fun my older brother and I had when he used to sell baseball cards at card shows a few years back. I'm glad to see you were honest enough to come back and post that this method doesn't work anymore. It may have saved some of us from wasting our time and money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben_R
    I m sure this is how gary vaynerchuck started to make money waay back - cards are a great idea - could this be transferred to anything old and valuable ?

    i think so
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug Wakefield
    This used to be an amazing business model to play with.

    I grew up playing this game competitively, and used a variant of this method to get the cards I needed for decks while selling off the excess to help pay for the hobby. When you add in tournament winnings you can easily play the game for free (sponsorship was better, but this was a great start.)

    That being said, it is much less viable now. I have connections that can reach me just outside wholesale pricing, but you really have to buy in volume to manage this now.

    This works with about any variety of card, though I would not work the system the way Steven rolls with it in the post. Instead I offer this variant.

    Collection buyer.

    You can still use the method above to supplement, but your primary business model will be based around buying collections.

    It is hard to really get into pricing, as every person is different, but in many cases you can buy the bulk for pennies on the dollar. You may have to buck up a bit higher to get the more desired cards, but the fact that you are taking everything off their hands will make this a bit easier.

    You can then sell them individually online (maybe using ebay with the better cards to help direct traffic to your website with lists?) If you end up with a huge collection you can start attending conventions to sell off your excess for the cost of a table (usually a few hundred bucks per, for the event.)

    OR......

    Another variant, more the type that a player would respect and use.

    Learn the game, the values of the cards to other players and such. I played in a multitude of venues when I was still playing the game. It didn't take much to realize that cards change values between stores. A card that trades at a value of ~$5 at one store could easily go for more or less at another.

    You want to keep away from the people that swear by pricing guide values, but these were few and far between. You may give up some good cards, but your overall goal is to end up with more than you trade off.

    This is a lot more hands on, and helps greatly when you actually have a reputation with the people you play with. These people are pretty smart and can notice a trading shark from a mile away, but if you come off as one of the guys... you can really make this work. Don't expect a full time income, but it could supplement things.

    There are really a ton of ways you could take this. Just because things aren't the same as before, doesn't mean there aren't ways to adapt. I spent time in the 90's selling off digital goods on Ultima Online for some really great money, while that method is a bit offline now... I do know a game that you can play and get paid to do so if you can set things up right. Same concept as in Ultima, but a different method.
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