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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-27 5:56 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
NathanIW wrote:
Am I being unrealistic in expecting a local place not to charge me three times what a high volume online store does? Is it fair and reasonable for a store to have a $1 minimum on rares (which makes local bulk rare purchases for commander problematic)?


This might be more of an answer than you wanted, but there are a few different factors that affect card pricing in brick-and-mortar game stores...

- Overhead: Every physical store starts with higher overhead costs than an online retailer (I'm figuring a store in Winnipeg's gotta spend at least a few bucks on heat in the winter, right?), so there's always going to be some way that an LGS tries to catch-up with online retailers.

- Geography: A store's location makes a big difference in its expenses, which in turn can affect how much it has to charge for product. A place in New York City, for example, usually can't afford to charge the same prices as someplace in middle Georgia.

- Staffing: Usually not every employee at a store can be an expert on every product, so the "Commons for .15, Uncommons for .25, and Bulk Rares for $1" is an easy way to help Comic Book Guy sell Magic cards when Magic Card Guy has the day off. (Ideally a store would have a specialized point-of-sale system to inventory all their cards, but maintaining a POS system for 50,000 different items is a huge expense for a small store.) So standardized pricing for small money cards is usually the way to go (and by the way, the .15/.25/1.00 spread is fairly common).

- Online Pricing Variability: Most places try to get close to online prices, but once you dig into it, there's quite a bit of variability in online markets, and if the store checked a different website than you, it's gonna come out a bit different. If you look at an EDH staple like the Mirrodin Mind's Eye on TCG Player, you get prices ranging from $4.35 to $8.00. Check out a bulk rare like Vicious Shadows, and you get $0.15 to $1.65.

On top of that, if you jump online and just look at the cheapest prices you can find, it's easy to psych yourself out, especially if you're looking at the % difference instead of total dollar difference ("OMG, they're overcharging me by 1,000%!" SO WRONG!") There will always be someone online who's willing to undercut another seller.

It could also be that your LGS is run by flint-hearted schmucks who are trying to chisel every last dime out of your pocket. If that's the case, don't worry too much... they'll go out of business in another year or two.

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-27 6:37 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev wrote:
It could also be that your LGS is run by flint-hearted schmucks who are trying to chisel every last dime out of your pocket. If that's the case, don't worry too much... they'll go out of business in another year or two.

Depends; there's a store a couple hours from where I live who has somehow managed to hold a monopoly on Magic cards for the area, and therefore the store owners feel no shame in making players pay golden goose eggs for every card ($12 for Curse of Stalked Prey sometime between releases for Dark Ascension and Avacyn's Return, well after they'd plummeted to $0.50).

No new stores have managed to find a foothold, probably because all of the players in the area are so used to going to this store (I suppose I don't really know for certain, since I don't live there).

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-27 6:52 am 
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Joined: 2013-Nov-18 11:11 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Ukkmaster wrote:
There is a reason, here in Canada, I use facetoface games when buying singles. If it's within Canada, shipping is cheap cheap cheap. Recently got an order of 60+ singles and shipping, with tax, was like $1.27 and here the next week. This also often hinders my impulse control...


Since I got into commander, I've put way, way too many orders in with F2F. They really make dealing with the local stores seem bad. I noticed a lot of online stores use the same webstore software and I really like it.

I get that there's a return on labour issue with magic singles as well. A buddy of mine used to work at a store and he'd have tons of kids who'd come in and spend an hour looking through binders and asking him questions and the like and then buy 75 cents of commons. And if you can't price your cards and have to look them up on the computer, then every card is taking the time of a full lookup. A $1 minimum on rares can definitely help with ensuring that looking up prices on bulk rares isn't going to lose the store money just in employee wages.

And if you're building a standard deck and all the cards you want are going to be $1+ anyway, such a policy is irrelevant. But when it's all about bulk rares and uncommons for fun commander decks, that's when it doesn't work.

It seems like my solution to "pay where you play" will be to keep buying accessories and get my cards online.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-27 6:57 am 
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Joined: 2013-Nov-18 11:11 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Kemev wrote:
On top of that, if you jump online and just look at the cheapest prices you can find, it's easy to psych yourself out, especially if you're looking at the % difference instead of total dollar difference ("OMG, they're overcharging me by 1,000%!" SO WRONG!") There will always be someone online who's willing to undercut another seller.

It could also be that your LGS is run by flint-hearted schmucks who are trying to chisel every last dime out of your pocket. If that's the case, don't worry too much... they'll go out of business in another year or two.


I really don't know what they are looking at on their screens when they look up a card. It could be that they are not looking up the price per se, but simply confirming that it's not an expensive card so they can just say $1. Every local store that sells singles seems to have some in binders or behind the counter and the more expensive ones in display cabinets. So if all the over $1 cards go in the display cabinet, then a simple price check of each binder pull can keep things simple.

I used to be an accountant, so I know all about expenses that businesses have and shudder at some of the situations a magic store could get themselves into.

EDIT: From what I understand, most of the better known online stores are also local retail stores. So many have the overhead that my local stores do, but their expansion into online sales means they can price competitively by accessing a larger market and increasing their volume.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-27 7:44 pm 
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Joined: 2013-Sep-17 5:02 pm
Age: Drake
I generally always buy and sell my magic cards online. Buying 10-25 10 cent cards on tcgplayer.com is usually really easy since there is a lot of vendors who do free shipping. Buying expensive cards is ALWAYS 100% guaranteed better online since you can get lightly-played condition legacy staples way under the AVG price. Selling cards at 75-85% online is very gratifying compared to the 40-60% at brick & mortar.

Here in So Cal we have Frank and Sons too...basically a warehouse of 10+ MTG vendor booths so it's easy to get competitive pricing without the hassle of shipping.


If you must buy from an LGS, always haggle. Know what the "avg" price of the card is and don't let them ask for a higher price without asserting that you know what the real price is. A lot of vendors will be embarrassed/ashamed if the price difference is really big and lower it.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-28 1:36 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
I guess I'm lucky in that cardkingdom is a LGS for me. It being close to work makes it too easy to order in the morning, pick up at lunch, sleeved and playing in the afternoon.

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Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-28 2:14 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
I admit I'm an impulse buyer, though over the last few years the amount and size of my orders has dwindled to a manageable number. The problem is that I see (saw) a lot of purchases as "sound investments": for example, I bought two promo Natural Orders because they were almost as cheap as a regular Natural Order (guess that was a pricing error), figuring I could either trade these two for the four regular ones. I never trade anything though, so this basically means I'm only accumulating a lot of cards for which I have little use. But I'm not lying to myself when I say it's a sound investment, as the cards I get certainly increase in value. It had to stop though, so I stopped. Instead I'm "collecting promo's", which is basically the same thing ;)

Before there were mythics it was a lot worse though: at the release of new sets I bought playsets of rares on ebay to speculate on playability and price. As I haven't played standard after the rotation of Odyssey block this was pretty stupid (and costly) behaviour. So I'm glad that mythics made that obsolete.

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-28 7:31 am 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-23 12:56 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Finland
Well, I updated my perfectly functional Chainer list to foil out of an impulse in the beginning of this year. I just thought I might as well since I had like 10 cards in foil to begin with, plus all my basic swamps. Plus many of its key cards were available as FTV foils anyway. The list of cards I needed to buy includes things like a foil Liliana of the Veil. Boy, am I glad that I got it before its price skyrocketed?

Related but actually quite profitable impulse buys: I bought a set of Tarmogoyfs after a Modern tournament in which I had lost to a few Jund decks sporting them with my Junk. I only ever used them like once and they were sitting idly in my drawer. However, when I finally sold them, I received like 150% the price I bought them for. The same applies to my set of Dark Confidants. I had also bought a Chains of Mephistopheles since it is such a cool card, and I had used it in my Esper deck (Ertai the Corrupted). By the time I sold it, the price had more or less doubled.

Worse choices on my part involve buying a whole set of Planechase planes, including *all* the promos as well as a whole set of Archenemy schemes, including the promos. The latter have not been used once and the former mostly collect dust.

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-28 11:15 am 
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Joined: 2013-Jan-28 5:35 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Seattle
scatteredsun wrote:
I guess I'm lucky in that cardkingdom is a LGS for me. It being close to work makes it too easy to order in the morning, pick up at lunch, sleeved and playing in the afternoon.


Yeah having them around is really nice, so easy to get the cards I need. The only downside is that because it is so easy, I tend to buy more cards then I probably need. Maybe I just have bad impulse control?


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Nov-28 2:54 pm 

Joined: 2011-Apr-28 9:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Damidhol, Tuhel
As soon as I saw the thread title, 'Impulse Buying', I logged onto SCG and bought an FTV foil Impulse. Of course, I didn't stop there...I probably spend $200 a month on foils. I should probably start putting that extra dough into Bitcoins...since I last posted about them in this forum, they have increased from $3 to nearly $1000 in value :shock:

Now I'm depressed. Time for a fix... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Dec-13 8:05 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
I need to get out of the Facebook Group "High End magic stuff for sale"

just bought a judge foil Genesis and Overwhelming Forces on a whim.

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Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Dec-13 12:54 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jun-23 7:22 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Tokyo
Time to take stock of all my $10 and above purchases for 2013 (from most recent)! Oh my... :facepalm:

Extraplanar Lens foil
Overwhelming Forces DCI foil
Dark Confidant RAV
Snow-Covered Plains foil x29
Strip Mine ATQ (a, d) x2
Sensei's Divining Top
Cascade Bluffs
Maze of Ith FtV x2
Phyrexian Altar
Mirari's Wake
Master of the Wild Hunt
Doubling Season MMA
Scroll Rack
Replenish
Dragonmaster Outcast
Scalding Tarn
Bloodstained Mire
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Wooded Foothills
Misty Rainforest
Mox Jet 2ED
Tropical Island 3ED x2
Windswept Heath
Wilt-Leaf Liege
Verdant Catacombs
Charcoal Diamond 7ED foil
Mox Pearl 2ED
Demonic Tutor DDC
Erebos, God of the Dead foil
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx foil
Cabal Coffers TOR
Scrubland 3ED
Underground Sea 3ED x2
Phyrexian Arena APC foil
Sol Ring 3ED FBB x5
Archangel of Thune foil
Return to Dust TSP foil
Exploration
Taiga 3ED
Aether Vial DST foil
Birds of Paradise M11 BOX foil
Land Tax DCI foil
Mana Crypt DCI foil
Sol Ring DCI foil
Savannah 3ED
Volcanic Island 3ED
Cabal Coffers TOR foil
Replenish
Badlands 3ED
Tundra 3ED
Sword of War and Peace
Burgeoning
Argothian Enchantress
Bayou 3ED
Sword of Fire and Ice DST
Bitterblossom MOR
Path to Exile DCI foil x2
Angel's Grace TSP foil x2
Blood Baron of Vizkopa foil
Sacred Foundry GTC foil
Vindicate DCI foil
Sacred Foundry RAV foil
Plains UNH foil x2
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth PLC
Ethersworn Canonist
Rugged Prairie foil x2
Sorin Markov ZEN foil
Sol Ring FtV x4
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight foil x2
Isolated Chapel foil
Sanguine Bond M10 foil x2
Mountain UNH foil x2
Firemane Avenger GameDay foil

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Last edited by mordwyr on 2013-Dec-17 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Dec-13 1:31 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
scatteredsun wrote:
I need to get out of the Facebook Group "High End magic stuff for sale"

just bought a judge foil Genesis and Overwhelming Forces on a whim.

You want to buy any more? I think I have 8 of each and need maybe 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Dec-13 2:00 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Nope. But I do like judge foils. Got extras of others?

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Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Impulse buying
AgePosted: 2013-Dec-13 2:45 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Oh my, yes. PM me if you want anything from the last couple years. I probably have several for sale or trade.

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