Puca Pals: Week 17 and 18 – Nickel and Diming
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 17 and 18: June 8th – June 22nd
As you can see, this series is nowhere near where I wanted it to be by the end of the year, but I’m still going to keep on going. Puca Trade has been a steady stream of both income, surprises, and a way to get rid of cards I don’t need, so I’ve been using whenever I can. Sadly, my work schedule for the last few months of the year hasn’t allowed me to scavenge for deals that much anymore, and I’ve also had less time to put into my blog. Hopefully things will slow down a bit after New Years. At the moment I’m finding more and more time for myself, and you can be sure some of that time will be devoted to updating my blog more often. Lets take a look at what happened in June after GP Chiba.
- Rift Bolt
- Searing Blaze x2
- Vapor Snag
- Lightning Bolt
- Heliod, God of the Sun
- Olivia Voldaren
- Kor Haven
- Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
- Wild Defiance x2
- Kruphix, God of Horizons
- Devil’s Play (promo) x3
- Righteous War
- Debt to the Deathless (foil)
- Scion of Ugin (foil)
- Shard Volley x3
- Lava Spike x4
- Boon Reflection
- Stromkirk Captain
- Curse of Echoes
- Venser’s Journal
- Thassa, God of the Sea
- Hurkyl’s Recall (MM2)
- Master of Cruelties
- Hyena Umbra (foil)
- Venser, the Soujourner
- Forced Fruition
- Darksteel Forge
- Hive Mind
- Sliver Queen
- Dragon Broodmother
- Worldspine Wurm x2
- Borborymos Enraged
- Desolate Lighthouse (foil)
- Glissa, the Traitor (promo)
As you can see from this list, I managed to send out 45 cards over a 2 week period which is a good number. This was around the time of GP Charlotte and I was able to get rid of a lot of cards that spiked over that weekend (such as Worldspine Wurm for the Grishoalbrand decks). You might also notice there are a quite a lot of burn cards in this list as well. That’s because I had tired of my modern burn deck and didn’t want to play it anymore. I managed to double or triple my initial buy in on most of the cards, but overall it wasn’t much. It was a good two weeks to get rid of chaff. I traded away 23 cards in the 17th week and 22 cards in the 18th week of Puca Trading.
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
Just as in the weeks before GP Chiba, I didn’t really get rid of anything substantial. I managed to pick up an Olivia Voldaren for 500 yen before she spiked, got a Kor Haven for 200 yen, a Venser for 400 yen, and a Dragon Broodmother for 750, but my biggest deal was the Sliver Queen I got for 2180 yen (roughly $20). I still had a lot of “penny” stocks to get rid of at this time, which meant that I had to nickel and dime for very little profit during these weeks. Some other good deals I found during GP Charlotte weekend here in Nagoya were 2 Worldspine Wurms for 80 and 100 yen respectively, and a 200 yen Japanese foil Desolate Lighthouse. Only about 8-10 of these cards were pack opened or received through past trades.
I did pretty good with shipping this time, putting most of those small orders into a big one to maximize my profit. Out of 24 shipments, 23 cost me only 110 yen each to send out, and only the Sliver Queen with tracking cost me more (520 yen). That makes it 3050 yen for 45 cards, or about 68 yen for shipping per card which matches the previous average from the 2 weeks prior. Considering what I got rid of it wasn’t that bad.
Profit and How Long it Took to Send Cards
In week 17, the 23 cards I sent out equaled 4550 points in profit after shipping and handling was taken out, and the 22 cards from week 18 equaled 8455 points for a total of 13,005 points. This is only 600 points higher than what I made from the other 2 weeks, but it’s still consistent. Getting around $60 in profit per week isn’t bad, but I definitely won’t be able to quit my day job for it. The average per card profit during week 17 was 198 points (which is kind of low but then again, I sent out a lot of untradeable stuff during this week), but in week 18 it was a much better 384 points per card.
The biggest profit I made was on Tamiyo (about 900 pts profit), Olivia Voldaren (1000 pts), Hyena Umbra foil (800 points), Dragon Broodmother (900 pts), Desolate Lighthouse foil (800 points), and Sliver Queen, which netted me a profit of about 2300 points. The others also netted me some profit, but nothing as substantial as these cards.
Although I sent out a lot of cards during this time, my profits were further impacted by high shipping costs for cards that were usually only netting me about 300-400 points in profit. The 3050 yen it cost for shipping ended up increasing my losses to around 23%. I’m more than happy to get rid of junk that will never move from my trade binders, but sometimes you have to weigh the trade off between getting rid of junk and paying to get rid of junk. I know that during these weeks before and after GP Chiba, nobody was really asking for much, and that I was happy to get rid of anything I could, but sometimes you need to practice restraint.
Most of my cards took the normal 7-10 days to arrive at their locations, but I again had problems with Australia. One shipment took 16 days to arrive which is strange when cards going to the USA or western Europe take half that time. Another shipment was sent to somebody that never ended up replying that the cards were received (I didn’t get payment for them until 28 days later), and yet another person took 23 days to okay their package because I think they were in the military and away. Overall, it wasn’t bad though. I’ve been rather surprised with the time it takes for cards to get to Europe. I had a few cards take as little as 4-5 days.
What I Received
During the start of summer, with Modern really starting to heat up due to all of the hype the triple Modern Masters tournaments created, I took it upon myself to work on another deck aside from Affinity. I really liked what I saw with the Abzan Collected Company builds and decided to get a lot of the pieces. With these last few cards, all I really needed was Noble Hiearch to complete the deck. other than that I really didn’t get much during these two weeks of trading. A playset of Whisperwood Elementals arrived for standard (thinking they had bottomed out before the duel deck reprint was announced), and a few other random cards like Gavony Township and Reveillark for the Abzan deck,but otherwise it was rather disappointing. No big money cards found their way to my doorstep.
Nickel and Diming
In the past I have talked about the merits of looking at a person’s want list before shipping off one card to see if you can add multiple cards to the shipment, thus increasing your profit for little to no cost. What I haven’t said yet, and what I’ve found out recently is that this works both ways. What I’m talking about is EXPOSURE.
Lets imagine for one moment that you want a singleton, 300-500 point card for your standard deck, a 2000+ point card for your modern deck, a dual land or two for your legacy deck, and a few cheap cards for your cube. You wait around weeks and weeks, and nobody sends you anything. Why is that?
There’s no profit to be had from your profile.
Even if you’re sitting on 50,000+ points (like I have been doing so for a while), there is very little incentive for people to send cards your way. Personally, if two people want a 500 point card, and one of those has a 50-100 point card in their wishlist that I have (but didn’t add to my HAVE list because its value was too low), I’m going to send the card to the person I can make the most profit from. So how do you get people to send you those higher demand staples? Make sending cards your way as profitable for the sender as you can.
Case in point, I had finished my 2 new modern decks (GR Shamans and Abzan Company), a Legacy deck (UG Infect), and picked up standard cards that had bottomed out from Battle for Zendikar and Origins, but there was very little activity coming my way. What’s a person to do? I had some cards I wanted for my cube, some Tarmogoyfs, and other odds and ends. Nobody was sending anything for a few weeks.
That’s actually what people complain about the most. Puca Trade users want to grab those high value cards like Dual Lands and format staples, but not many people want to part with them. Take a look how many people have those cards on their want lists and you’ll see how futile it is to ask for those cards.
Recently I decided to get into Pauper due to the very low cost and chose 4 decks to start with. Once I selected my deck lists, I went to Puca Trade and put them into my WANTS list and within a few days I had 90% of those cards on their way in the mail. Another side effect? Some of the cards I wanted for my cube also ended up being sent along with those cards. This same thing happened when I decided to build my Tempest block cube. I put dozens of cards into my want list and suddenly I had cards for my Cube on their way and a few of the other Modern/Legacy cards I needed for my decks.
Basically, what I’m saying is don’t be afraid to go low (especially if you’re looking for playsets of a card). The more cards you add to your WANTS list, the better chance you have of them sent to you. It helps to have a varying amount of values too I think, since it reaches not only the high rollers but also the newer members of Puca Trade. Try to get in to multiple formats if you can, and make sure you keep that want list of yours healthy. I just decided to get into EDH and have added another 20+ cards to my wants. It should go a long way in helping getting cards sent to me. Even if you’re just nickel and diming, getting small stuff, it helps you in the long run.
If you have any other questions or comments 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!