Puca Pals: Week 11 and 12 – Trust
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 11 and Week 12: April 24rd – May 8th
It’s been almost a month since my last Puca Pals article and that’s mostly due to the release of Magic Origins and my series of articles on the set regarding investment opportunities and how the set plays in limited. I’ve been pretty busy on the Puca Trade front these last few weeks to tell the truth, and I’m just now seeing the results of my labor.
Today’s article covers the two weeks after GP Kyoto, and how people responded to the market afterwards. Many people hold off on Puca trading cards during a big Legacy or Modern event because there is always the possibility that a card can break out and cause a sudden rush on the card. As my last article covered on “riding the wave”, this is common sense. Sell a card into a spike and get maximum profit. The week or two after big eternal events the Puca market tends to return to normal and trades pick up again.
- Unwinding Clock
- Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
- Volrath’s Stronghold
- Blood Artist
- Angel of Jubilation
- Inferno Titan (DotP promo)
- Whip of Erebos (foil)
- Eidolon of Blossoms (promo)
- Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker (foil)
- Parallel Lives (foil)
- Winding Canyons
- Ob Nixilis Unshackled (foil)
- Archfiend of Depravity (foil) x2
- Dictate of Erebos (foil) x2
- Tomb of the Spirit Dragon (foil)
- Rageblood Shaman (foil)
- Dark Deal (foil)
- Dragonlord’s Servant (foil)
- Soulflayer (foil)
- Mardu Charm (foil)
- Staff of Nin
- Adaptive Automaton
- Glimpse the Unthinkable
- Mind Grind (foil)
- Avacyn, Angel of Hope
- Zurgo, Bell Striker
- Nephalia Drownyard
- Increasing Confusion
- Mind Grind
- Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
As you can see, that’s a lot of shiny stuff in the two weeks after GP Kyoto. If you were to look at my trade history during these two weeks it would look pretty small, and that’s because everybody was saving up their points for the Modern Masters 2015 release. I had sent 35 cards during the week leading up to GP Kyoto, but only 9 the following week due to the Modern Masters spoiler not being release yet. In the last week of April I sent out only 11 cards, and in the first week of May I sent out 21. However, if I take away all of the Japanese foils I traded away from my profile, it would have only been 6 in the last week of April and 10 the following week. This just goes to show you how you can set up a different revenue stream on Puca trade to get you through hard times. I did it with Japanese foils, but perhaps you might be able to do it with playmats or other types of MTG accessories.
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
With most of the cards I traded during these 2 weeks coming from my binder of Japanese foils, there wasn’t a lot of of deals to be had. I had picked up many of them over the past few months here and there whenever I thought I had a good deal, but in reality a lot of them just weren’t moving so I was happy to get rid of them. I bought the Volrath’s Stronghold for 990 yen the other week, the Parallel Lives foil for 450, and the Winding Canyons was from my original collection I brought over with me to Japan from the USA.
The Dragonlord’s Servant and Dark Deal foils were both picked up for 100 yen and made me a nice little profit, as well as the pack opened Soulflayer foil. By far the biggest deal I found was on a Glimpse the Unthinkable that I had found sitting in my LGS random unsorted rare box for 200 yen.
I bought the Avacyn for 1800 yen and made a nice profit on that, and Tamiyo was a pretty good deal at 880 yen as well. The rest of my cards were a lot of nickel and dime stuff I had sitting around in my binders or stuff that I had speculated on but never panned out.
Aside from shipping out a lot of my foils from the list in my profile, another bright point from these two weeks was saving money on shipping. I sent a good amount of cards but spent almost nothing to send them since most were together in one shipment going to one person. I sent 10 packages at the regular international rate of 110 yen each, 1 to Asia for 90 yen, another one in Japan for 82 yen, 1 overweight package for 190, a card to Brazil for 130, and one package with tracking for 520.\
The total was 2112 yen for 32 cards, or an average of 66 yen per card. This was probably the most money I’d ever saved on shipping in one time period, and on top of all of the bonuses I made from trading JP foils, it should go a long way to help my bottom line.
Profit Made and How Long it took to Ship Cards
I was able do double my initial buy in on a lot of the foils I got rid of during this time (eg, bought Dictate of Erebos foil for 300, sold for about 1000), but my biggest profit probably came from the Glimpse the Unthinkable that I picked up at 200 yen. I ended up getting 2574 points for it, for a profit of 2300 points. Avacyn, Angel of Hope was another good source of profit as they sell for around 1500-1800 yen in Japan but go for double that overseas. The Volrath’s Stronghold I picked up for 990 yen also doubled my profit when I got rid of them for 2145 points.
During these two weeks I made a profit of 13270 points, which is paltry compared to what I’ve made in recent months, but considering the type of market I was in at the time I’ll take whatever profits I could get. 4058 of these points came between April 24th and May 1st, and the other 9212 came in the first week of May after the dust had settled from GP Kyoto and more spoilers had been released for Modern Masters 2015. The average points per card in week 11 were 369, and in week 12 it went up to 439.
My losses during this period were reduced from the previous two weeks to 16%. It wasn’t my lowest ever, but it was acceptable. I believe as I gain more experience on Puca Trade, the better choices I’ll make on buying cards and the more profit I stand to gain. I can realistically state that my losses will be down to less than 10% by the end of the year, and that the average profit of cards I send will be well above 500 points. There were very few problems shipping cards this time as well. Most cards took about 7-10 days to arrive at their destination, with the longest taking 16 days to get from Japan to Australia. I think this is mostly due to the card going to the countryside. I’ve noticed that cards going to places outside of major metropolitan areas take the longest.
What I Received/Learned
With tons of points coming in and no idea what to do with all of it, finally started to put those points back into standard. I picked up 4 Soulfire Grandmaster for my Mardu deck at the time when it hit about 1200 points (down from it’s high of 2200), and I also picked up 2 extra Fetch lands as a place to invest my points while the cards were still low. I could have gone for all 5 of the fetches, but I decided to stick with the blue version due to their heavy play in all formats.
The True Name Nemesis was for my Legacy Delver deck, but also a good way to transfer profit between the USA and Japan. TNN can easily be sold for double to triple in Japan still. During this time I also finished off my playset of Thunderbreak Regents. They had spiked a few weeks before due to various dragon’s decks popularity, but once they got back down to around 1000 pts I picked them up. I also got 2 Qasali Pridemage for the sideboard of the Abzan Company deck I was building.
Most of the cards I received were in good condition, but a few had spots on them which led me to ask for some refunds on cards. It was probably during this time that I started to become somewhat more lenient with what cards to accept at NM value and which ones to fight for a discount on. I learned that sometimes it’s just not worth your time and that its easier to just complete a trade and block the person instead of work for 50 points off. Speaking of which, that brings me to today’s theme . . .
Trust is a hard thing to earn from people, but it’s even harder to attain if you get off on the wrong foot with someone. The Puca Trade system is all about trust. We trust our trading partner to send cards on time. We trust our trading partners to communicate with us to make sure we’re on the same page and to send the correct card. And of course, we trust that we get the card in the condition discussed.
Puca Trade might seem like a place where you can dispose of all of your less than NM cards, and some people even say they don’t care on their profiles, but that’s not the case. Whenever you send a card on Puca trade, people are expecting to receive the card from their list in NEAR MINT condition. This means no scratches, scuffs, marks, bends, or anything else that would make the card less than NM.
When you try to slip anything but NM by somebody, you’re putting a lot on the line. Besides the obvious “feel bads” from the receiver who gave you their hard earned points for a damaged card, you’re also building a case against yourself. After a number of strikes or complaints from various traders, you could get your access restricted or even banned from using Puca Trade (worst case scenario). Sure you can just set up a new account and start all over again, but you run the risk of losing all the points you have in your account, and you also lose a lot of “goodwill” capital. Being somebody that trades a lot, trades on time, and trades the cards as they are advertised helps you to rise to the top of the community.
The Benefits of Trust
Why should you put so much effort into becoming a model “citizen” of this community when the bottom line is just to make some extra cash on a trade or to trade into Power or other expensive cards? Well, here’s what I think. Once you’ve built up a level of trust with trading partners, there are untold of benefits. Here are just a few that I’ve experienced, and that I hope you will be able to as well when you build up trust with traders on Puca Trade:
- Return Customers – I have a lot of Japanese foils to trade, and I’ve worked with a lot of people on trades. I always let people know when a card has a scratch or some other blemish on it and the transparency has been appreciated. I’ve had dozens of traders, both for foils and non-foil cards, come to me first before putting a card in their want list simply because they know what to expect from me.
- Card preference – When a past trading partner sees that you need a card and they have to choose between you or another person, more likely than not you’ll get the card due to your past relationship. Seeing that you’ve sent and received a lot of cards also looks good when somebody with an expensive card wants to send it your way. Knowing that you can be trusted to send a card and that you receive and complete trades quickly makes people want to send cards to you more quickly. Nobody likes a trader that makes you wait a week to get your points.
- Gifts and bonuses – This is something I’ve been recently doing. I’ve been adding nice throw ins with cards I send out to return “customers”, but there are also people who will give you nice bonuses such as extra points for cards knowing that you’re going to give them a good product.
- Forgiveness – we all mess up sometimes, but if you’ve always been a good trader and suddenly there’s a problem, being a trusted trader will give you a lot of leeway and the benefit of the doubt. Trusted trading partners might give you a few extra days to send a card if you forgot to do so, or if you missed a blemish on it, they’ll trust that you’ll work with them to make it right.
Simply put, without trust Puca Trade simply doesn’t work. It’s an incredibly complex system that relies on the honesty and truthfulness of strangers. Could you imagine what would happen if everybody started lying and saying “I didn’t get your card, I want my points back”? Puca Trade would cease to exist. It’s important that you and I work together to build a strong community full of trustworthy people. The more honest we are with one another, the more efficient the system will be and the larger it will grow. I hope you agree with me and seek to be transparent and honest in all your future dealings on Puca Trade.
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!