Puca Pals: Week 7 and Week 8 – Patience

Puca Pals is a weekly/bi-weekly article I write to chronicle my adventures on Puca Trade, the online trading system where Magic Players around the world trade with each other. In the articles, I will be discussing what cards I’ve traded away, the total amount of shipping I’ve paid, the total profit I’ve made after shipping costs, and what cards I’ve received in return. If you have any questions regarding the website feel free to ask. If you want to make your own account there, click on this unique invite link of mine and get started!

 

Week 7 and 8: March 26th – April 8th

 

I’ve been so busy with Modern Masters 2015 articles and GP Chiba that I’ve developed quite a backlog of information on Puca Trade. In order to get back on schedule, I’ll be covering 2 weeks of data for the next few articles until I can get back into the same month I’m currently in. Going into weeks 7 and 8, Puca trading has slowed down considerably. Just as in week 6, Modern Masters 2015 was about 2 months away at this point, and nobody really knew what cards were going to be in set. People’s want lists contracted or disappeared entirely and only a few pushed on with trades. I think I traded less over these two weeks than I ever had while using the system. I don’t think this will be a one time phenomenon either. I expect Puca Trading to slow down whenever a mysterious set is on the horizon, and I can guarantee the same thing happens before MM3 in a few years.

 

Cards Sent

 

  • Cabal Coffers (x4)
  • Flickering Ward
  • Mikaeus, the Lunarch (FTV)
  • Cleric Token
  • Primal Crux
  • Atarka’s Command (JP foil)
  • Darksteel Plate
  • Olivia Voldaren
  • Evolving Wilds (JP Foil)
  • Chromatic Lantern
  • Congregation at Dawn
  • Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
  • Experiment One (JP FNM x2)
  • Consuming Aberration
  • Doubling Season
  • Scion of the Ur-Dragon
  • Reliquary Tower (JP FNM)
  • Mindstone (JP Promo)

 

I sent a total of 22 cards over 2 weeks, or 11 cards each week which I find to be pathetic. The only good thing about these two weeks was that the cards I did send out had rather high values and profit margins. As long as I was keeping the points coming in that’s all that matters.

 

Initial Costs and Total Shipping

 

Another bright spot in an otherwise dark two weeks of trading were the initial prices I paid for various cards I traded away. I had managed to find some great deals on Cabal Coffers around town and was able to make a good profit on all of them.

 

Other cards such as the Atarka’s Command foil or Primal Crux were pack opened, while Chromatic Lantern and Darksteel Plate were picked up for about 50 yen a piece. The Congregation at Dawns were also a pretty good deal.

 

 

Tamiyo had cost me 1000 yen  (about $9), but there is an almost guaranteed profit on her of at least $8-9 due to how easily she is traded. My biggest deals came from Doubling Season (bought for 1250 yen) and Scion of the Ur-Dragon (bought at 250 yen before the spike). I made good profits on both of those. As for shipping, I spent about 1870 to ship cards by regular international air mail. I didn’t send anything by registered mail this time and that saved me a lot. The cost per card was 85 yen which wasn’t bad at all (but not as good as the 83 yen from week 6).

 

Profit Made and How Long it Took to Ship Cards

 

Although I didn’t send as many cards as I usually do, there was a lot of profit making to have. As you can see in the picture above, I bought those Cabal Coffers for 150 yen, but managed to get about 1000 points ($10) profit on each one I traded away. The pack fresh Atarka’s Command foil also netted me a nice 2399 points after I negotiated a few bonus points on top of the regular foil price. Darksteel Plate and Chromatic Lantern are always good to get rid of as I bought a bunch at 50 yen and get 600+ points in profit each time I send one out. Tamiyo has been almost a sure thing for me as I can always get a guaranteed 800+ points in profit if I can buy one at 1000 yen ($9) here or lower. The biggest profit I got was probably on the Scion of Ur-Dragon that I bought at 250 yen and traded away for 1468 points, as well as the 1250 yen Doubling Season that I managed to get 3009 points for  (or about a $17 profit).

I made an overall profit of 14,454 on 22 cards after shipping is deducted, which is 657 points per card. Sure I didn’t move a lot of volume these two weeks, but I’ll take quality over quantity any day. If we divide it per week, I only made 7,227 points each week on 11 cards total but that’s still a good return on my side. I’ve slowly but surely been moving away from the nickel/dime cards that net me only 100 to 200 points in profit.

With total shipping at only 1870 yen of my 14,454 points in trade, I managed to reduce my losses to 13%. I’m starting to think that these sort of numbers are the new norm for me, or at least will be as long as I continue to focus more on high value cards instead of the small change. Sure there will be times where I don’t mind sending out a card for 200-300 points, but my strategy going forward will be to only get those cards that will give me 800+ points in profit.

There weren’t many problems with shipping as most of my cards arrived within 8-10 days, but I did have one card take 21 days to arrive in the USA. I sent cards to the USA, Austria, France, Finland, and Australia to name a few places. It seems as though sending cards to Europe is much quicker than sending them to other places. I’m guessing that the postal systems there are much more efficient. This is surprising since places like South East Asia (ie, Singapore) are closer but take a little bit longer to arrive.

 

What I Received/Learned

 

 

During weeks 7 and 8 my points had swollen to a pretty high level and I was ready to do some profit taking. I transferred a nice chunk of points into this Counterbalance and Dark Depths, and had planned to take them to GP Kyoto with me in the second week of April. I managed to trade the Dark Depths away for a SP Wasteland at that Grand Prix, so I feel like it was worth getting the card sent over.

 

 

I managed to pick up 2 more True-Name Nemesis for my Jeskai Delver deck, but it still remains unfinished since I’m having trouble getting 2 more Tundra for mana base. As for the Craterhoof Behemoths and Thoughtseizes, I picked them up cheaply (1200 and 2000 points respectively) not only to trade at a higher value here in Japan but also to store value for the long run. I expect Behemoths to appreciate nicely (they’ve hit 2200 yen in some places in Japan already).

 

 

During this time period I also received a Show and Tell in horrible condition. It was the worst card I had ever received on Puca Trade. It was cloudy all over, scratched, and bent in the corner. How anybody could say this was “mint when they sent it” is beyond me. What a douchebag. This was probably the turning point for me in my patience with the website. I love Pucatrade and most of the people on there, but some people are there to take advantage of you. I probably should have sent this card back, but I figured I could get some good money by selling it at the consignment shop in town. After my MP discount, I ended up paying 3800 pts for it. The NM versions are selling between 8000-9000 yen  ($63-$73), so I still think I can squeeze some value out of it.

If I can give you any advice this time, it would be to not put up with garbage members like these people anymore. Report them, ask for a refund, and send your cards back. If for any reason the person says “I didn’t get the card back” and tries to cheat you out of getting your points returned, don’t despair. I’ve come to trust the admins of Pucatrade so much that if something like that were to happen and you have the receipt from the post office when you sent it, you can count on them to give you your points back.

 

Patience

 

Once you’ve used Puca Trade for a while, you tend to become accustomed to small trades here, medium trades there. Everybody’s dream is to turn all of their bulk rares into something with more value, but usually that’s all it is, a dream. You can put all the dual lands, Moxes, and Black Lotus on your want list as you want, but it’s never gonna happen . . .

 

 

Well, let me be the first to give you some hope. After 4 months of trading, I finally have something to show for it: 2 NM Tropical Islands for my Legacy Infect/RUG Delver deck. I wasn’t expecting it at all. My points had reached a monumental high of 57000, and one day I suddenly signed on to see my account 40000 points lighter. Shocked, I checked out my point balance to see that 2 dual lands were being sent from Europe. I almost hyperventilated.

Of course, many things rushed through my mind before the cards even arrived. Is this guy the real deal? Are the cards going to be real? Why did he choose me? I’ve been approached by people with Duals before and they had all been shady individuals. One wanted me to gift him 3000 points before he would ship the cards, and another wanted me to pay for the shipping which he said was about $50. I said no way to both and put it behind me.

I checked out my trading partner’s previous trades and saw a lot of expensive, high level cards on his list. “Okay,”  I thought. “So good so far. He deals with a lot of pricey cards so that means he could have a pretty extensive trade binder”. The next thing I poured over was why me, and why didn’t he ask for any extra money? Well, PucaTrade’s guidelines state that it’s up to the sender to pay all shipping fees, so those that ask for something extra are just being greedy. As for why he would choose me to send the cards to, I think that was because I had 57000 points, but more importantly I had sent more than $1700 in cards at this point, and received $2000+. Big traders tend to like trustworthy partners, and nothing shows you are a good trader than a big wad of cash/value representing each card you shipped out. As for whether the cards were real or not, once they arrived a week later, I checked them myself using the light test, then took it to 3 different game stores in Nagoya who all said they were the real thing.

Thank goodness.

Puca Trade has become a lot more popular lately, with more players signing on from across Europe and the USA all the time. The number of trades per day has increased exponentially, and with it the number of rarer cards. I also think that many people have come to view Puca Points as cold,  hard cash. The trust the creators of the website have developed over the months has made it so 20,000 points = $200. While getting a super rare card like a Dual Land isn’t a sure thing, the website has been great for anybody playing standard or building an EDH deck. Hard to find legacy and modern cards have also appeared more frequently on Pucatrade than in “the wild”. Some traders might be trying to take advantage of this to give us low quality cards, but if we unite in our distaste for those types of traders and continue to hold both ourselves others at a high standard, we can rid ourselves of them and create a fair trading system for all MTG players across the world to take advantage of. 

 

If you have any other questions or commments about today’s article please feel free to leave them down below! If you enjoyed this article and are convinced to start a Puca trade account, feel free to thank me by using this link to give me a referral bonus! If you are already a member (and have a silver or gold account) and want to show your appreciation, I’m always willing to accept gifts of points ^_^. Just check out my profile and click the “SEND POINTS” button. Thanks again for reading and see you back here in a few weeks for my next update!