Puca Pals: Week 23 and 24 – Waste Not, Want Not
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 23 and 24: July 23rd – August 6th
Seeing as I didn’t have a topic to talk about for a while, I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get this next article out. However, an idea struck me and now I’m ready to move forward. But first, I’ll be covering the cards I traded during the peak summer times.
- Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
- Nissa Revane
- Timber Protector
- Vryn Wingmare (foil)
- Nissa’s Revelation (foil)
- Urza’s Incubator
- Mikaeus, the Unhallowed x2
- Abbot of Keral Keep (foil) x4
- Guttersnipe (foil)
- Cloudfin Raptor (foil)
- Dryad Militant (Game Day) x2
- Abbot of Keral Keep x4
- Phyrexian Altar x2
- Rhys the Redeemed
- Coffin Queen
- Celestial Colonnade (foil)
- Spirit Mantle
- Sliver Hive x3
I sent out a lot of multiples during this time and also managed to ship a lot of the cards together to one person to save on shipping. However, I only sent out 13 cards during week 23 and in week 24 I only sent out 17 for a total of 30 cards. This is 11 cards less than the previous time period, and I expect that the overall profit during this time will also be down compared to the previous record breaking one.
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
While I didn’t have a large number of trades during these two weeks, I did manage to get a lot of these cards for pennies on the dollar.
I did a pretty good job of calling Abbot of Keral keep when it first came out. I grabbed a bunch at about $1 each, and the Abbot foils I picked up were also gotten for pretty cheap. You can’t beat $3 each on those, even if one was a pre-release promo.
Other deals I found were Tamiyo for 1000 yen, Timber Protectors for 180, Mikaeus the Unhallowed for 350 and 580 yen respectively, Rhys the Redeemed for 550, Phyrexian Altar for 850, and Sliver Hives for 50 yen each. There weren’t any super amazing deals, but there was a lot of solid profit to be had from a lot of these transactions.
For shipping, I sent out 12 envelopes at the basic rate of 110 yen each, one to Brazil for 130 yen, one overweight envelope for 190 yen, and one registered mail envelope for 520 yen. This cost me 2160 yen total, and spread between 30 cards the average cost was 72 yen an envelope. Not bad considering the previous period had me spending 100 yen an envelope. When I’m not shipping multiple cards out with tracking, I can definitely maximize my profits. I said it before, but that sweet spot of under $30 where I don’t need tracking but can still get $10-$15 of profit is where I want to be.
Profit and How Long it Took to Send Cards
There were quite a few cards I sent for a decent profit in weeks 23 and 24. Tamiyo netted me 850 points, Nissa Revane about 700, and a Mikaeus/Abbot shipment provided almost 2000 yen in profit. The playset of Abbot of Keral Keep that I sent to one person was also rather nice to me. Since they had only cost 129 yen each to pick up, I was able to get a beefy 2200 points profit on all of them in one envelope. Phyrexian Altar was another good buy, as I made about 1000 points in profit on it in trade, and the Rhys the Redeemed I sent added 1200 points in profit.
These were all good trades, but the biggest profit I made was sending 3 foil Abbot of Keral keep. I managed to get a nice bonus on each of them since they were JP foils, and ended up getting about 1800 points in profit on each one. After shipping costs were included, my total profit for that ONE shipment was 4781 points. Sure, I only sent 30 cards during this 2 week period, but the profit margin was NICE.
After shipping, my profit was 6342 points in week 23 on 13 cards, and in week 24 it was 11690 points on 17 cards. That’s 18,032 points in profit in 2 weeks, and even though it’s 10,000 less points in profit from the previous 2 weeks, the profit margin was VERY nice. Week 23’s average profit per card was 488 points, but week 24’s was 688. While it doesn’t beat week 22’s 790 points per card profit, it is still good enough for second best. The 2 week overall average on each card was 601 point, also not bad. I’ve gone from making 200-300 points per card to more than double that in about 6 months. If I can keep this up, I should be sitting pretty by the end of the first year of Puca Trading (I’m actually coming up on that milestone pretty soon, but it’s going to be a while before I get caught up with the articles).
Losses from shipping were also much lower this time. I managed to get them down to about 11% of the total profit, which is an improvement from last period’s 15%. Shipping cards also had relatively few problems this time as well. The average delivery time was about 9-10 days, but I did have one card I sent to Canada that took 18 days. Up until this point, I had been pretty lucky with shipping. No lost cards in the mail, or damage. Hopefully that good karma will continue.
What I Received
I got a lot of standard stuff from Khans block during this period because they were cheap and undervalued (Winmage Roc for 288 points before it spiked, Shaman of Forgotten Ways for 268 before it spiked as well), but I also got a lot of good cards from a trading partner I had sent stuff to before.
I was pretty ecstatic to get the Karakas and Berserks, and the Copperline Gorges weren’t bad either. All of these cards came from Malaysia, which just goes to show you that you can find good cards all over the world. While I would have trouble trading for these cards in Japan, Puca Trade made it much easier to find somebody who had what I needed.
Waste Not, Want Not
At what point does a card become too expensive to be on your want list? Due to faster updates and harder spikes, I’m sure I’m not the only person who ended getting a card that was hundreds of points more than I was willing to use. What’s a person to do? For today’s topic I’d like to talk about managing your Puca Points efficiently. Sure we all know about how to trade for maximum value and to trade for a card when it’s at its low point, but if you end up throwing away a large chunk of your points to mismanagement, it’s the same as .
If you want to make sure that you’re using your points efficiently and not blowing them on an overpriced card, you need to take a few things into consideration.
- Watch for price spikes – When a card suddenly spikes and you decide you don’t want to trade for it at that price, you need to immediately take it off of your want list. Otherwise, you could end up losing a nice chunk of your points to a card that will probably return to its original price after a few weeks
- It’s okay to change your mind – If a card spikes and somebody locks in that trade before you can update your want list, don’t be afraid to send a message and to ask for a trade cancellation. Let your trading partner know that you simply aren’t willing to trade at that value and that you were late to update your profile. If you’re fast enough it shouldn’t be a problem, but some people are quick to send cards. In that case you will end up being stuck with that card.
- Be an active member on the website – This usually means checking your want list every day. Check to see what prices the cards you want are at. If you can’t always check it out, you should follow the major websites that have a lot of influence over card prices such as TCG Player’s marketplace so that you aren’t caught off guard. I use the iMTG application on my smartphone to track the price of cards I want, especially if they are popular staples.
- Be Patient – lots of us want to get cards as soon as they spike to get in before it hits its peak, but you’re only throwing away your points if you do so. If you absolutely need the card then by all means get it, but otherwise don’t be impatient. Take the card off of your want list and wait for the card to return closer to its original value. When you’re talking play sets of a certain card, this could end up saving you thousands of points on a single transaction. This is especially true of standard cards.
Well, that does it for today’s entry. 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!
Got into Pucatrade by reading some of your posts (forgot to use your referral link, sorry). I’ve been sending out cards across the globe and am sitting pretty at 66000 points and growing! One small problem though; the community is very location biased. Granted, my wants are mostly Legacy/Modern and living in Malaysia doesn’t make me an ideal person to send to. I do have an Uncommon Membership which I hope helps.
Pucatrade is a great system for sure but I don’t think it applies well for every country as I’m beginning to find out.
It really depends on the cards you want. Legacy and Modern cards are hard to get, but if you do things like want list the most expensive version people are more likely to send them. I send stuff out to Malayasia, Australia, and places like Brazil quite often. You’re right that lots of people tend to send stuff to Canada and the USA, but as you send out more cards and get your name out there, more people will consider sending cards to you.
If you’ve read all of my articles, then I would also recommend trying to be creative with your want lists. Try cards across different formats, add lots of stuff to your list so people can send multiple cards at once, and also try to promote the website around your country so more people around you can easily send you cards. Sometimes it’s a waiting game, but all that waiting does eventually pay off! (as you can see from the type of cards I’ve received over the last year).