Topic: Need advice on selling large collection with expensive cards

I live in Australia and I'm seeking advice on selling a large collection with an extensive number of expensive cards.

When I started playing MTG we were buying boosters from the unlimited set. There were alphas/betas also floating around, some of which are also in this collection due to trading (~35-40, some rares). I bought boosters from Arabians, Antiquities and so on right up until weatherlight/mirage when I stopped playing. I returned to the hobby around 2011, so there is also a decent amount of cards from the 2011/12 sets and the expansions released around that time.

Highlights include 4 complete sets of UL/revised multilands (so 40 cards - 4 of each land), 4 AN City of Brass, 4 x AQ Mishra's factory (1 of each season), lots of AQ Urza's towers, power plants and mines (with at least 1 of each artwork represented, but usually multiples of each), 2 x AQ Power Artifacts .. the list goes on like that for the really old cards .. also some slightly more contemporary cards - eg 6 x Alliances Force of Will, numerous Legends rares etc. In addition to the sets mentioned, there are also some oversized cards that were given out at events or obtained by purchasing other WotC products, as well as a handful of foreign language cards (a german Time Elemental from legends, for example), as well as a decent number of foil cards from the 2011/12 + expansions. Also, almost 100 Atogs, ~30 or so from AQ set - I started collecting them as a joke and before long people were just giving them to me since I was the 'Atog guy' smile

I catalogued all the cards here on deckbox.org so I could get an idea of numbers and value, and it comes to ~14,500 cards with a value of ~$30,300 - please note, this value is just the number arrived at using deckbox.org pricing for near-mint cards. While many of the cards are in excellent/near mint condition, some of the older cards (from the revised, 4th, 5th ed sets) are in played condition.

So, after all that, I'm seeking advice on the best way to sell this collection. I'd prefer to avoid selling them one or two at a time as that would take more time than I have to spare. I'm hoping to find a buyer who will just buy the whole lot. Any advice on how to proceed, or suggestions for shops/businesses that might be interested? I should also mention that there is no 'power 9' in this collection. I did have those, back in the day, but sold them to pay off some loans. That said, there are loads of other choice rares in the collection

Re: Need advice on selling large collection with expensive cards

Damn..... I wish I had $15k to just drop on a collection. This is the perfect collection for me! I sadly didn't start playing until around the 2011 era when you came back, so I've been slowly trying to collect past sets. How I wish I'd played as a kid when Magic was first coming out....

Anyways, enough daydreaming.  wink  On to some tips.

First, even though you said you don't want to sell singles, don't be surprised if that's still the main advice people give you. It's by far the best way to get maximum value from your collection. But I agree with you -- time is valuable and not replaceable, so sometimes just selling en masse is preferable. However, I might still recommend selling the top 1% of your collection as singles, then sell the rest as one lot. Not only will this get you better value for your high-end cards, it'll also reduce the overall cost of the large lot, making it much more accessible for others and easier for you to move.

But let's say you truly don't want to bother with any single sales and want to move the whole collection....

===================================

We need to be realistic about value. As you already hinted at, Deckbox pricing is not helpful. At most, it shows you the relative value of your cards, helping you pick out those high-end cards if you wanted to. But there's three main things to consider here:

  1. Deckbox values are almost always inflated compared to more competitive marketplaces like TCG Player and eBay. I have found that, as a general rule of thumb, if I subtract about 15% of the Deckbox-listed value, that's pretty close to a more realistic value. Obviously there's exceptions to this in both directions, and that's especially true once you're dealing with older cards. The ONLY reliable price source for old, high-end cards are eBay's sold listings. This is what people are actually paying for the particular card you have, including condition. But to get us in the ballpark, we can just apply my handy 15% rule across the board.

  2. No one pays retail value for bulk. Now, everyone's definition of bulk varies depending on what they deal in. People who deal in $50-$100 cards will probably consider anything under $2 bulk, whereas someone who deals in $500-$2000 cards may not look at anything less than $10-$20. But regardless of where you set the threshold, you have to consider that the majority of the "value" quoted by Deckbox is from bulk. Even if their average price is only 50 cents, 10,000 cards will still claim to be worth $5k!! In reality, most places are only going to pay a penny per card. Maybe if they know there's $2-$5 cards among them, they'll pay more like 5 cents per card. But you're still looking at only $100-$500 for those 10k cards, not $5000.

  3. Finally, if you plan to sell en masse, be prepared to accept only 50%-75% of the collection's value, depending on where you go and how you're paid (for instance, some stores offer higher percents if you get paid in store credit... though I'm guessing that's not something you want, as it seems you're cashing out of the game entirely). That's the price you pay for selling fast. Think of it as the time you didn't spend selling singles.

Given all that, I went through your collection and found the following:

Bulk              Value of
threshold  Cards  high-end    Bulk    Bulk value  Total Value
---------  -----  ----------  ------  ----------  -----------
>= $2      849    $22,018.30  13,732  $  274.64   $22,292.94 
>= $5      401    $20,611.78  14,180  $  709.00   $21,320.78 
>= $10     229    $19,374.62  14,352  $1,435.20   $20,809.82 
>= $20     121    $17,871.45  14,460  $2,892.00   $20,763.45 

So I first converted all prices to 85% of Deckbox, then used different thresholds to give you some guestimates for different routes you might take.

The way I handled bulk is I priced it per-card at a value equal to 1% of the threshold. So when your bulk threshold is $2, you're getting 0.02 per card, while when the threshold is $10, you're getting 0.10 per card.

Lastly, remember #3 from above. As you can see, your collection's value is somewhere around $21k to $22k, depending on how you proceed. But you're only going to get $11k to $16k, depending on who you're working with.

===================================

So assuming you're cool with getting ~$13k for your collection by selling it all at once, where should you go? Well, individual collectors are probably going to give you more value than stores (remember that stores then need to be able to turn around and make a profit), but they're also riskier to deal with.

The only specific recommendation I can make is Rudy from Alpha Investments (he has a large YouTube channel you can easily find). He has an established public record of being reputable and good to work with (despite a lot of early on hate he received). As one of his patrons, I can attest to the fact that he takes care of his people, no matter what. He'll be particularly interested in your vintage cards, as that's what he deals in (he doesn't have much interest in newer stuff, so you might just sell him your vintage and save the newer part of your collection for another buyer). And if you're game, he might even feature your collection on his channel. Email: AlphaInvestmentsLLC@gmail.com

Can't believe I'm actually recommending him. I'm kinda sick of all the vintage cards getting forever locked away in his vault! LoL. Can't he just let the rest of us have a few of those cards???

Anyways, he's a good guy. Fully support and recommend.

Re: Need advice on selling large collection with expensive cards

Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to pen such a detailed response. You make a few good points and I'm starting to think that selling cards individually might be the go, despite it being much costlier, timewise. I will say though, selling the top 1% of the collection as singles, will most likely make it harder to then sell the rest as one lot, as it's the really hard to find, expensive stuff that will entice people to shell out of the entire collection. I'll check out Rudy, as per your suggestion and see if there's any interest there.

I'll continue to seek a local purchaser, but as I mentioned, I'm in Australia and individuals and businesses with that kind of money to drop on a large collection are harder to find than in a larger market (like the US). That said, given the current covid19 situation, this is probably not the best time to be trying to sell something like this, as I realise that with some people losing their jobs etc there will be fewer people willing to spend money on non-essentials such as CCG's. Fortunately, I'm in no rush to sell, so I can afford to wait things out and see if new buyers emerge when things start to return to normal.

If I do decide to sell singles, I'll be sure to let you know.

Re: Need advice on selling large collection with expensive cards

I am going thru something similar but my collection is only valued at a little over $12k. I didn't really think about the value until I uploaded my inventory and I do not play near enough as I used to so I am debating on selling my collection as a whole. Then I started to think what could I do with an extra $10k+. I do not want to go down the road of having people cherry pick the best cards and leave me with who knows what for who knows how long. I get it when you sell to a shop they need to make money too but there is a difference between selling to a shop and giving the cards away to a shop. There is also a difference selling to an individual if the card(s) fair market value on tcg player or ebay is a set amount why go below it? I have started looking at it from the collector side now and going after the staples (I play(ed) legacy mostly) and improving my collection and when the time comes I will sell it all or nothing.

Re: Need advice on selling large collection with expensive cards

Don't know how to tag people on this forum, but the gentleman who goes by the name Traposse on this site occasionally purchases collections of this size.

Last edited by VietMoneys (2020-06-30 20:21:00)