Puca Pals: A World Without Puca Trade – Week 31 and 32
Puca Pals is a monthly/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 31 and 32: September 21st – October 5th (2015)
- Timber Protector
- Myr Propagator
- Heliod, God of the Sun
- Captain Sisay
- Plea of Guidance
- Bonescythe Sliver
- Sliver Hivelord
- Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
- Omen Machine
- No Mercy
- Black Market
- Nissa Revane
- Corpsejack Menace
- Asceticism x4
- Omnath, Locus of Mana
- Chromatic Lantern
- Scythe Leopard (foil) x2
- Slippery Bogle (foil)
- Avacyn, Angel of Hope (FTV)
- Balefire Dragon
- Mind Crank (foil)
- Oath of Druids x3
- Platinum Emperion
Thankfully, trading picked up for me at the end of September last year and at the start of October as Theros rotated out of standard and modern made some advances through various Grand Prix. I went through 30 cards during this time and sent out quite a lot of points. In week 31 I sent out a total of 13 cards, and in the following week I sent out a more robust 17 total cards.
Initial Costs and Total Shipping
At this point in my Puca Trade history, I was finally getting rid of a lot of cards I had scavenged from bulk boxes and forgotten folders. I had bought Timber Protector for 190 yen, Scarecrone for 300, No Mercy for 350, Black Market for 400, Nissa Revane for 476, Asceticisms for 150, Oath of Druids for 180, a Slippery Boggle Foil for 550, Chromatic Lanterns for 50 yen, and even a Platinum Emperion for 300. Keep in mind this was before the reprints and recent price gains, so these were absolute steals. There weren’t huge gains, but the shear number of trades I did with these healthy profits insured that I would end up on top of the points game. The FTV Avacyn I got was actually a prize so it was pure profit for me.
Shipping probably hit me the hardest during this time as I sent out a total of 18 shipments at 110 yen each. I had a lot of 1-3 card trades which meant I was paying a lot more to ship my cards out. While this ate into my profits a little, I think the volume more than made up for it. The only other cost I had was a 130 yen envelope to South America, which means I spent a total of 2110 yen to ship all of my cards out during this period. This is a cost of about 70 yen per card which is a little pricey, but it was only 111 yen per envelope which wasn’t too bad.
Profit and How Long it took to Ship Cards
From a quick glance, the average profit I made on each card was pretty good. After taking in shipping and handling charges, I made 850 points profit on the Scarecrone shipment, 660 on my Sliver Hivelord, 777 on Black Market, 867 on Nissa Revane, 1011 on my Omnath/Asceticism shipment, 1250 on a 3 Oath of Druids, another 1065 on 2 more Asceticisms, and a whopping 2260 points of profit on Avacyn, Angel of Hope.
The total profit for week 31 was 5012 points on 13 cards (385 points profit on each card), and week 32 netted me 8869 points on 17 cards (521 points on each card). While week 31’s average was a little anemic, week 32 was one of the best weekly averages I had had in a long time. This is mostly thanks to Avacyn, who really bolstered an otherwise so-so week of trading. The 2 weeks average comes out to 463 points for each card on 13881 points.
As for the profit margin, the lack of multiple card shipments really came back to bite me in the ass. At 15% of my total profits it was 3% higher than the previous period of time, but still better than the 21% I had paid a month ago at that time. Shipping seemed to be a little bit slower at this time, as the average delivery took about 8-10 days from my apartment in Japan. The slowest was 16 days to the UK, which was usually relatively fast but not this time.
What I Received
During this time I was picking up a lot of cards for standard. I was filling out my Origins set, and grabbing Languish while they were still cheap (440 compared to their top a 800 yen in town).
I also got a nice shipment of cards for my Tempest Cube. I was working on getting the rest of the Exodus and Stronghold cards and this was a solid pick up for sure. I especially like the Dream Halls that I got for 673 points before it’s recent spike.
This shipment in particular got me a lot of cards for standard and helped me to finish out my Dragons of Tarkir set before it rotated. Kind of sad nobody does this anymore when new sets come out.
The Thrun was nice in this package, as was the Kytheon, but most of this was just bulk to help finish my playsets of cards I might play with in the future.
A World Without Puca Trade
It’s been a while since the new Puca Trade website went up and there still seems to be no solution in sight to fix the absolutely glacial amount of trades happening every week. The website was almost unusable as the graphics heavy interface crashed older web browsers and people with slower internet connections. Hundreds of people were clamoring for refunds, people quit the website’s in large amounts, and the lack of trust is keeping many users away from the service. I’m still using the service, but I’ve only received about 3 small packages since the change happened, and nobody seems to want any cards that I have anymore. I went from being able to ship out 10-20 cards a week to 2-3. It’s quite sad.
There is a saying that trust takes a lifetime to build up, but it can be lost in an instant.
With Puca Trade I don’t think this is the case, but they do seem to be bleeding users and they are losing the trust of those who have remained little by little. What I would like to do in today’s article is talk about what the fallout would be if existence of Puca Trade suddenly ceased to be. Just how would it effect the MTG community as a whole?
- A Return to Trading – The biggest impact of a world without Puca Trade would be that players would go back to trading at their local game shop. While this works for some people, it simply isn’t an option for everyone. The people who live in the countryside, the people that live outside of the USA and in places where trading is banned (like at most stores in Japan), and the people who want to get into another format like EDH, Legacy, or Modern would be out of luck. There are so many value traders out there now, and they are going to take people looking to get rid of standard cards for as much as they can. The beauty of Puca Trade is that you can trade lots of bulk and end up with an expensive card like Fetch Lands, Tarmogoyf, or Force of Will. Not everybody has enough valueable cards to trade for a FoW. Puca did a good job of leveling the playing field so to speak.
- A Card Price Increase – If people are no longer getting their cards on Puca Trade, that means that everybody will be shopping at their LGS and online more. This will in turn stimulate the supply/demand curve and we’ll see a rise in the price of staple cards in various formats. While this is good for these businesses, players tend to have limited income and if it means playing a budget deck and going to tournaments or buying expensive cards and not being able to go to a SCG Open or Invitational, I think people will do the former. Puca Trade allowed people to put together powerful decks while not breaking the bank while balancing out what they need to buy from stores and keeping the price of cards manageable. I think not having Puca Trade to help balance out the prices would end to gradual lower turnouts for events.
- Damage to Casual formats – I used Puca Trade to build my EDH and Pauper decks. I also used it to put together my Tempest Block Cube. If I didn’t have access to the website, I don’t think I would have built any of these. Puca Trade made it incredibly easy and CHEAP to do all of these projects. Some stores simply don’t have the product to allow for these type of formats, and going to multiple stores to build them is more work than it’s worth. Without Puca Trade, I think the growth of these formats will be hampered in the future. There is a lot of potential in casual formats, and with Frontier picking up steam losing a outlet for trading/getting cards could really slow it down.
- Lower Buylist Prices – This kind of relates to the card price increase. If everybody is buying cards from local game stores and online businesses, then they are all selling their cards at the same places as well. As you you know about supply and demand, the more supply there is the lower the prices become. Without the outlet of Puca Trade to get rid of cards, everybody will be trying to move their cards through these other places, thus pushing the buylist value of cards down.
- Slower sales of MTG singles – With prices going up and the money in player’s pockets going down, I think it would be safe to say that while more people will have to get their cards at their LGS or online, less people would be able to do so. I believe there simply won’t be a lot of sales volume. If a person can save money and get 2 cards on Puca Trade then they are more likely to get the other 2 from their LGS or online to complete their play set instead of biting the bullet on 4 total. Which is going to happen more often? Someone buying 4 Gideons at $120 or 2 at $60?
While I’m unhappy with the current state of the Puca Trade website and its customer base, I do feel like it’s still a necessary service that we Magic players need. We’d be worse off without it. Trading has always been an integral part of Magic the Gathering, and Puca has been able to bring that joy to the masses. We must still hold them responsible for operating an efficient and easy to use website, but at the same time I urge those who have stopped using the service to start off slow and get back into it. Add cards back onto your want list, build those decks you’ve been meaning to put together, and if you can send out some cards from time to time. I have 24,000 points sitting in my account currently and I would like nothing more than for people to take that so I can start putting points back into my account by sending out more cards of my own. By making our trade binders more fluid, I believe everybody will win 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!