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 Post subject: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 5:09 am 
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What's your stance on "price correction?" Personally I think it is just an excuse for people to use this game as a mini wall street. I am getting really tired of all my casual staples going up and up and up. Most recent victim, reiterate $2 rare for the longest time, jumps up to $10 due to buyout. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if wizards actually took the time to reprint unique and fun cards in their commander sets. The Top and oblivion stone are great examples of cards that should have been in almost every commander deck, but weren't.

What am I supposed to do, preemptively buy 4 of every fun card I like, and then bank on their eventual rising in price? Or actually buy 8 and sell 4 down the road? I don't have that kind of money up front and don't want to contribute to the horrific hoarding that has become such a problem as of late.

Net decking and the internet have been such an enabler for buyouts as well :/

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 6:42 am 

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I doubt there's an effective way to avoid it. Magic cards are a commodity, for better or worse. They have price spikes just like any other commodity.

Do you know why Reiterate spiked? I find it hard to believe anyone could value it a $40, but that was the peak.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 6:57 am 

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It can't be an excuse, people will sell for what the market will pay.

I do agree Commander sets are great spots for 4-7 dollar cards to keep them circulating and not becoming 20 dollar cards.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 7:19 am 
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Regarding Reiterate ... I guess it's because of Mizzix.

Those two along with any mana ritual can generate huge amounts of mana. Just another possible combo in that deck.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 12:08 pm 
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My stance on "price correction" is "that's exactly how free market economies work." Commodities prices fluctuate. A factor you might not have considered is that there is an increasing number of Magic players on the market, but the supply of cards has stayed the same. No one is taking the time to rig the market so that you have to pay more for the cards you want, and even if they were, how would that be different from rigging the market so prices stay the same?

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 3:09 pm 

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There are certainly buyouts and speculation and hoarding. These will drive the prices on cards like Reiterate where there are not a ton in circulation and it's old enough that many copies are forgotten.

What you are seeing here is a spike because of Mizzix, though.

This is why people buy junk rares and even trade for them with stable, non-spec material staples.

-----------------------

edit: in hindsight, Reiterate is exactly something i should have picked up x20 when the decks came out. Cards like this are why i never unload unusual or unique cards. This card is pretty cool, and kind of solid, but what's most interesting about it is that's it's both unique and didn't have a home. This gives it an incredibly low buy-in risk with a huge potential later. For cards like this, if you like it, then yes you should go ahead an buy in like 4 copies for yourself. If it's already worth actual cash, then just buy what you need as you go or you can get burned by reprints. Unless it's reserve list material, then feel safe. I have tons of Survivals and they were pretty much free money because i picked them up for $18-22 in 2013 and early 2014. Also, pick up foils of whatever random things interest you, they sometimes have outrageous multipliers, especially from older sets like Urza's where foils were less common. And i mean all this outside of the financial game, just for yourself, in whatever price range you can stick with.


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-27 9:11 pm 
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My stance on price correction is that it's impossible to avoid. In its most extreme form there are about 1100 copies of Alpha rares worldwide, there are also millions of players. There simply aren't enough copies to go around and as a result prices are pretty crazy relative to what the cards do. Fortunately they have been reprinted and many extensively so.

Reiterate availability is obviously much greater than Alpha rares, I just brought it up because that's a set we know the numbers for and to illustrate how this might work. Time Spiral, while popular among tournament players, was a bit of a dud among casual players: many didn't get the nostalgia and just saw a set with way too many keywords (as claimed by MaRo). As such, it's likely that less was printed than more popular sets from that era (Wizards prints in waves, if there is still plenty on the shelves they won't print another wave). The further we get from a set's release the more copies of a card disappear for various reasons and it's been 9 years. Resellers simply can't suddenly drag out a huge supply of extra Reiterates, they just don't have them. Magic's popularity has been growing and as such the player base as well. Finally a card is released that makes everybody remember Reiterate and people start buying.

All of this combined means that a card that was previously unpopular, from an unpopular set, is being demanded by a player bases much greater than what it was printed for. Of course supplies will run low, resellers will have to scramble to find copies to list and have to buy higher than they previously did. Ultimately there is no way this does not result in a price increase. Yes, there was a crazy peak of $40 on November 29th, but you can pretty much ignore that, however a new price of $10 can hardly be considered strange when just about anything popular in the set sits at $8+.

I do preemptively get 4 copies of every non-restricted card to make sure I don't get hit by spikes like this. Sometimes you get hit a bit by reprints, but less so than by the sudden rises like happened here.

I am all in favor of preventing artificial price inflation due to people buying out cards to push up the price for the sole purpose of then reselling them at a profit, but I simply don't think that's what happened here. I'm on 2 mtg finance sites that have most content behind a paywall, I can tell you that on 1 of them the spike wasn't even noticed, while on the other people were simply in reactive mode scrambling for copies so they would have some to offer to their customers. An artificial buyout usually looks very different.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-28 2:41 am 
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pi wrote:
I do preemptively get 4 copies of every non-restricted card to make sure I don't get hit by spikes like this.


Every card? That seems like a bit of a risk. I've lost a lot of money on things like Simic Sky Swallower. Every non-creature on the reserve list? Might be a valid investment.

I'm not really following M:TG finance anymore, and I hardly do any trading as I don't have the time for it (I do buy singles though). I used to buy playsets of singles before release, but I stopped doing that when that became unprofitable (or pricey) when they started printing mythics. One of the last playsets I bought was a set of Tarmogoyfs. For 2,50 each. So, now you know how to rate my opinion ;) Anyway, my opinion: magic finance can be fun when you put in some effort, but otherwise it's not.

As for buyouts: interesting concept. It sucks when you're on the wrong side of the table.

Bruticus wrote:
The Top and oblivion stone are great examples of cards that should have been in almost every commander deck, but weren't.


Could, not should. I have multiples of those available, and I don't use them in every deck. Solid cards though, and if you meant that the format would be better if every player had these cards readily available... I'd agree with you on OStone. As for SDT, well, why'd Wizards reprint a card a lot of players want to see banned? OStone was in the Devour for Power precon btw.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-29 2:46 am 
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Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Shabbaman wrote:
pi wrote:
I do preemptively get 4 copies of every non-restricted card to make sure I don't get hit by spikes like this.


Every card? That seems like a bit of a risk. I've lost a lot of money on things like Simic Sky Swallower. Every non-creature on the reserve list? Might be a valid investment.

I'm not really following M:TG finance anymore, and I hardly do any trading as I don't have the time for it (I do buy singles though). I used to buy playsets of singles before release, but I stopped doing that when that became unprofitable (or pricey) when they started printing mythics. One of the last playsets I bought was a set of Tarmogoyfs. For 2,50 each. So, now you know how to rate my opinion ;) Anyway, my opinion: magic finance can be fun when you put in some effort, but otherwise it's not.

As for buyouts: interesting concept. It sucks when you're on the wrong side of the table.


I am going for a playset of every card first printing from Beta onward (restricted at least 1x). My spreadsheet tells me I am currently at 87%, while I have 93% of all unique cards out of those (and for everything but Beta I pretty much have the top cards already). This does not include cards that I have from the wrong set and it will be a long time before I am going to finish a Beta set of Duals and Power (possibly never). I have a standing deal with a shop for a playset of commons, uncommons and mythics of every new set based on the average of what these tend to be priced at after rotation (I trade for bulk rares very often, so most of the rares will come in eventually, the bulk rares from older sets also come in this way, making it very affordable to obtain them). I get in cheap and always have (while I have only recently decided to collect everything in Magic, I have been picking up cards I want to have playsets off since the early '00s), most of the time when a card drops due to a reprint it still remains above what I originally paid for them or traded them at, while jumps more than compensate for natural card price drops due to rotation for example (I also only actively start trading for cards I still need after their Standard rotation).

I'm one of the QuietSpeculation.com administrators, so I do sort of follow MTG Finance ;), though as I am mostly a collector these days my perspective is a little different from most on that site.

When a card like Reiterate makes a jump it's bad, but at least copies will eventually be found and the price should start approaching normality again. It's much worse for fans of the Old School format. I've been actively challenging MTG Finance writers when they make any suggestion regarding speculating on those cards both because they are way too optimistic about finding the people who want the cards at the new price, but also because it basically ruins the format when cards simply aren't available. Have you seen the craziness that is Jayemdae Tome? There is currently a single Unlimited MP copy on TCG Player at $37.47 while Alpha en Beta are both sold out. Reiterate is a small blip on the radar by comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-29 5:07 pm 
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I suppose from my point of view I want this game and all of its options to be accessible to all players no matter what their income is or when they started playing. The reality is that there will always be players who can just buy expensive cards and players who cannot since that is what Wizards deems profitable. In my view it is to the detriment to the players that Wizards is stingy on the reprints, but for now I guess proxies are a cumbersome out.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-29 11:51 pm 
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pi wrote:
I am going for a playset of every card first printing from Beta onward (restricted at least 1x).


From that perspective you can never make a loss... nice collection! I like QS (or at least: I liked, don't visit it anymore), I think that when sites like that exist (and earn money) it's a sign the game isn't a fad.

Bruticus wrote:
I suppose from my point of view I want this game and all of its options to be accessible to all players no matter what their income is or when they started playing.


I've made this point in the proxy debate (well, rather the proxy shoutfest), but for me, M:TG is a collectible card game. Where/when I started playing (before Ice Age) there was only 1 trader around, and no shops selling singles. Acquiring the cards to build a deck was part of the game. Even today I spend more time collecting and deckbuilding than playing. Besides that, I think EDH is a casual game. For me, casual means you have fun with what you have available (and as it happens, I own a lot of expensive cards because I started collecting them a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away). To each it's own, I guess...

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 1:39 am 
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Bruticus wrote:
I suppose from my point of view I want this game and all of its options to be accessible to all players no matter what their income is or when they started playing. The reality is that there will always be players who can just buy expensive cards and players who cannot since that is what Wizards deems profitable. In my view it is to the detriment to the players that Wizards is stingy on the reprints, but for now I guess proxies are a cumbersome out.


I'm curious (in an honest, and not snarky, fashion) as to why you think all the options should be available to everyone regardless of income. Do you feel the same about gloves, bats, and shoes for a recreational softball league? Stretching the analogy a bit, what about automobiles and homes? If not, what's the difference?

I'm even more curious at why you feel WotC has been stingy with reprints. Most of the reserve list stuff is either broken or unplayable. Nearly everything else from the olden days has either gotten reprinted or remade in an equivalent form. I suppose the question is what can't you enjoy the format without because you can't afford it? Assume the reserve list is gone. What good-for-the-format cards would you reprint?

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 2:26 am 
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Sheldon wrote:
Assume the reserve list is gone. What good-for-the-format cards would you reprint?


Dual Lands. That's it. I know we have shocks and pains and tangos and all other manner of ways to fix your manabase, but at the end of the day, these are still the best for basically any multicolored deck short of five colored commanders. Speaking from the perspective of a former legacy player, it would make that format more accessible and perhaps revitalize it a bit before it goes the way of vintage.

I know everyone is not entitled to play every card in every format, but it wouldn't hurt to give people access to the duals. Tabernacle, Cradle and all of those other reserved list goodies should stay on there. But when we get rehashed tapland after tapland, it's just a constant reminder of what could be if Wizards was not beholden to some smoky room agreement made with a nebulous cabal of litigious collectors. I own duals and would happily see their value get cut in half if it meant more people had access to them.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 3:06 am 
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I remember in 2010 when I started playing commander, before they announced the first precons, and hearing that Azusa was cool. So I went to my LGS and bought Azusa as a bulk rare, but Tooth and Nail was $2. I chatted with the storekeep at the time, and my position was that $2 was highway robbery, and his was that they were a brick and mortar store and couldn't compete with online prices.

I kind of agreed with them and bought it, even though I still thought $2 was ludicrous.

I cross the street to *another* LGS (I know, my city is blessed), and they have a Mana Crypt for $60. At the time, I entertain thoughts of playing vintage. Their black lotus is only 1k, which I think I can reach eventually. I buy the mana crypt, thinking I can play it in EDH in the meantime.

Later that year, I spy an unlimited Timetwister for $250. The condition is good, but not perfect. The LGS owner tells me that it was pulled by a kid in a zendikar expeditions pack. So cool. I call my wife, and she says 'yeah whatever', because we're both bad with money.

In 2012, I express interest in playing Rasputin Dreamweaver (an old list can still be found here). A good friend of mine sends me one via snail mail. It's $10, he's a great guy, I'm unemployed and it's a gift. En route from the US to Canada, Rasputin jumps in price to $50. I offer to send it back because 'wtf prices', he declines, saying it was freely given.

Fast forward to 2013. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is spoiled. There's one copy of Invoke Prejudice at my LGS for $30. It's English (I hate foreign language cards I can't read). I *bet*, that if I ever want to play Invoke Prejudice, I should buy it now because devotion to black is going to be a thing, and I'll bet devotion to blue will be. I'm wrong about the depth of the devotion mechanic, but the cynic in me is not wrong about pulling the trigger if I ever want to play IP.

I look at the prices now, of everything, and I wonder wtf happened to my game. I read a brilliant article about the economics of Magic, the reserved list, and why prices are the way they are. When you think about it, you really understand why they were able to reprint some reserved list cards (like Masticore and Reverberate as a near-functional reprint of Fork). It makes sense; Wizards is very concerned about the health of their secondary market. The conclusion is depressing though; Magic will continue to operate as an unregulated financial market, because the people in charge of producing this environment think that's the best way to do business.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 6:29 am 
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Sheldon wrote:
I'm curious (in an honest, and not snarky, fashion) as to why you think all the options should be available to everyone regardless of income.


When playing magic with people of varying income, it is a terrible feeling knowing that the only reason you won or lost is because player A had more money to spend and player B had less. Perhaps player B is just as good or even better, but cannot afford the cards that would push his/her deck over the edge. I want to play people at their best to maximize their fun and my own.

Sheldon wrote:
Do you feel the same about gloves, bats, and shoes for a recreational softball league? Stretching the analogy a bit, what about automobiles and homes? If not, what's the difference?


In your analogy, if one team is decked out with high grade materials that are proven to let them hit harder, run faster, and play better and the other team is using hand-me-downs, then that doesn't seem like a fun game to me. If the teams were evenly matched then the "richer" team would win a disproportionate amount of games. As for homes it would be nice if all people had the same access to a decent home in a decent neighborhood. Some people can't afford a house which has a good school district for their kids and thus, those children will not have the same opportunities compared to children that grew up in a good neighborhood.

Sheldon wrote:
I'm even more curious at why you feel WotC has been stingy with reprints. Most of the reserve list stuff is either broken or unplayable. Nearly everything else from the olden days has either gotten reprinted or remade in an equivalent form. I suppose the question is what can't you enjoy the format without because you can't afford it? Assume the reserve list is gone. What good-for-the-format cards would you reprint?


Most of the reprints I want to see are not on the reserve list, besides the original duals.
Basically anything that's $20 is already hard to trade for and buy, anything over $20 is much harder. (Damnation, Mana crypt, Maze of ith, Liliana of the Veil, Force of Will, Mana drain, Horizon Canopy, Sensei's Divining Top, Fetches, Crucible of Worlds, survival of the fittest, Cavern of Souls, sword of fire and ice, etc.) The list goes on and each card adds more and more options available to a magic player.

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Kuro, Pitlord (Life gain)
Derevi (Manlands)
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Ramses Overdark (Assassin Deck)


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