What's the best venue for selling MTG cards?
May 7, 2005 6:42 PM   Subscribe

I have a big book of old Magic: The Gathering cards. I've been told they're worth a decent amount, but have been out of touch with the game for maybe 6 years. What's the best venue for selling these? Anything relatively painless? Do I need to buy a price index or something?
posted by sirion to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know what the authority on card prices is, but I remember that "InQuest" magazine (an off-shoot of "Wizard" magazine) runs price guides in the back of each issue featuring every M:TG set to date. It might be worth picking one of those up just to get a basic idea of how much each one is going for.
posted by jimmy at 7:10 PM on May 7, 2005

You can almost certainly get more for some rare cards, but a reseller like Card Kingdom will typically have a price list / sale page where you can see how much a retailer will purchase them for.
posted by j.edwards at 7:38 PM on May 7, 2005

You can check individual cards on eBay to get realistic prices (that you can actually sell them for), but you need to know the valuable ones first... which is where a price guide would be useful.
posted by smackfu at 7:43 PM on May 7, 2005

I sold mine a few weeks ago. Most of what I had was common, because I let my friends pick over the collection ahead of time (many MANY years ago), but just to get the space of that shoebox back ... I let them go for $40, and the woman who bought them got a screaming deal but I wasn't interested in them anymore at all, not even enough to go through them.
posted by SpecialK at 11:33 PM on May 7, 2005

odinsdream: Unless you're interested in keeping them, I'd sell them now while they still have some value and put the money in somewhere more secure, like the stock market. This would be an extremely speculative investment. You could make a lot of money or they could become totally worthless.
posted by grouse at 1:35 AM on May 8, 2005

I recommend taking them to a local card shop and letting the owner pick through your cards and buy whatever they are interested in. You might check out Oshkosh Magic for an idea for what singles are retailing for nowadays. I'm going to sell all my cards in the near future as well, and the plan I have described is one I intend to follow. But, then again, I'm also the kind of guy who eats fish sandwiches out of vending machines.
posted by sciurus at 3:51 AM on May 8, 2005

If you want a no-hassle route, just put them up on eBay as a set. Make sure you list the rares you have, and if you have any cards older than, say, 5th Edition, list the uncommons, too. (You can look up rarities at just about any Magic site.) The game has gotten more popular over the last 5 years or so, and there are tons of tournaments with surprisingly large money prizes, so odds are you have some cards that people want.
posted by Sibrax at 7:21 AM on May 8, 2005

Best answer: I've been involved in selling CCGs on eBay since about '96. In my experience, it's by far the best way to sell your cards. These days, you're pretty sure to get fair market value for all your decent cards. If you're looking for a quick influx of cash, go with selling it as a lot, even if it's worth thousands of dollars. (People are not afraid to lay down huge money, especially card shops and the like). If you're trying to extract maximum profit, download Mister Lister and get cracking - singles or playsets are your best way to go.

What I would suggest is selling all of your high to mid value cards as singles or set, then sell the rest as a lot. (Or just give them to some newbie kid at a game store) You won't be making the most money possible, but consider how uch time it'll take you to post playsets of $0.50 or less rares and ask yourself is your time is *really* worth it.

In case you're unsure what market value is, this is the absolute best price guide in the world. Here it is for foils.

As to what grouse said, I don't really think you need to worry about the bottom falling out of the market (not of M:tG at any rate. After 10 years, it's clearly not a pet rock anymore).
posted by absalom at 8:22 AM on May 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: absalom: Thanks! Quick question: How do values tend to change for cards that aren't in mint condition?
posted by sirion at 1:03 PM on May 8, 2005

if you have any non-foil fire/ice (listed right above fireball), I'll take up to 4 of em off you for the price listed in absalom's link.
posted by juv3nal at 2:30 PM on May 8, 2005

You might also want to check out CardShark, which is an auction site dedicated to CCGs.
posted by babar at 5:33 PM on May 8, 2005

Sirion: The prices will deviate probably by as much as 40% downward depending on condition. The price guide above is for NM condition, pretty much the gold standard of CCGs. "Near Mint" is plenty hazy, so there's a lot of leeway there. For the sake of CYOA, I always made sure to scan the card and include it with the auction. Just make sure you're honest about card condition - it'll help your feedback. 99% of the people buying are doing so to play with them, not hide them away somewhere. Here is a card condition guide that'll help you in figuring out what each of your cards is.
posted by absalom at 6:03 AM on May 9, 2005

Response by poster: Fantastic. Thank you.
posted by sirion at 9:03 PM on May 9, 2005

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