Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?

tl;dr How do you price your cards, specially Old School stuff? Also, what if you need to price a huge amount of stuff and don't want to do it card by card?

Options I checked: SCG, TCG, Deckbox, MTG Stocks


So, I have a huge Old School/Vintage collection to sell, but I have no idea how to price it right. Newer cards are easy enough, stuff that plays Modern/Legacy, etc. But I'm finding it very hard to price Old School stuff right, specially since it's such a huge collection that it would be very time consuming to do it card by card.

I'm looking for a way to price the cards and something that's easy enough to do "semi-automatically". For example, Starcity Games has an advanced search that lets me list a whole set. From there it's easy enough to copy everything to Excel and copy the prices. TCG has that too, etc.

The problem is that SCG and TCG prices seem way off. Starcity games feels waaaay too overpriced. Stuff like UNL Lotus at 15k seems off. TCG on the other hand can't keep up with Old School prices (it lists Unlimited Underground Sea at 500 dollars for example... https://shop.tcgplayer.com/price-guide/magic/unlimited-edition). To note: I'm using TCG's "Market Price", so I wonder if the "Listed Median" is more accurate (although they say in the site that "Listed Median" is not a good way to price stuff).

I also tried Deckbox.org, and their listing prices seem OK, but there are some cards that just seem off. LED is a good example: 210 in SCG, 225 in Deckbox, 195 in TCG). But overall if felt like the prices were more up to date than TCG and overall 20% cheaper than SCG.

Then I went to MTG Stocks and they seem to have the best grasp on card prices so far - in a way that I'm probably leaning towards their listings. (Ex.: UNL Lotus $7862.00; UNL Sea $1247.49, etc)

I just need a consistent way to understand prices. For example, if the conclusion is that Starcity actually updates their prices more thoroughly but they're all 30% more expensive than market prices, I could just do something like 30-35% off SCG or something like that.

So, how do you guys do it?

last edited by fsecco

Star City is pricing on a gem mint card for their (out of stock) prices, -if they actually had a gem mint card they would sell it for a lot more (A BGS 9.5 lotus is a lot more than 15k, -they would sell an 7 at 15kish).
Look at some of the power they have in stock as an example. They also have a lot of scans for some of those cards.
If your assuming EX- for all your cards the your going to have to factor that in. It will make a difference. I've seen damaged Unl underground sea's around $500, if that's all that TCG has in stock then that's a fine price.

I guess my advice is to factor in condition, people buy from all those sites everyday. Their prices can't be that far off.

last edited by John Cox

Another option is to look at completed sold listings on Ebay; I believe that gives the best indication of price versus the other websites; although TCG player market is also very good but only if there are enough data points to go off of. I would not use TCG mid. Prices across the board have dropped a good bit since the madness earlier in the year and IMO, I expect prices to further drop until the market stabilizes. Sent you a PM.

last edited by A1phaMale

I would recommend looking at completed Ebay listings and also MKM.

The best way to do it is look at your collection, come up with a number ($15K?$20K?), and then just stick to your guns until you get what you are happy with. Expecting to price individually and not get offers at only 50 to 60% of it will be tough, especially since the Old School market has cooled down and most likely wont pick up again until March/April/Tax Season in the US. I can quickly flip through my "brag book" and quote a number that I'd part with the cards for; it's all just cardboard anyways right? ๐Ÿ™‚

@mediumsteve said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

I would recommend looking at completed Ebay listings and also MKM.

MTG Stocks gets MKM and TCG prices, so that's why I thought they'd be a good choice.

@a1phamale said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

Another option is to look at completed sold listings on Ebay; I believe that gives the best indication of price versus the other websites; although TCG player market is also very good but only if there are enough data points to go off of. I would not use TCG mid. Prices across the board have dropped a good bit since the madness earlier in the year and IMO, I expect prices to further drop until the market stabilizes. Sent you a PM.

I can't look at prices for cards individually, at least not at this stage, when I want to have at least an estimate of the total value. It's really too many cards to search one by one... It'll eventually come to that, when I start selling, for sure.

@danl15243 said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

The best way to do it is look at your collection, come up with a number ($15K?$20K?), and then just stick to your guns until you get what you are happy with. Expecting to price individually and not get offers at only 50 to 60% of it will be tough, especially since the Old School market has cooled down and most likely wont pick up again until March/April/Tax Season in the US. I can quickly flip through my "brag book" and quote a number that I'd part with the cards for; it's all just cardboard anyways right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Exactly. But in order to have that ballpark I need to at least evaluate everything. Deckbox did that automatically for me, but I want to make sure they're not tripping in their prices. If it was a 10-20k collection it'd be way easier to do.

last edited by fsecco

Sorry, how do I see completed ebay listings?

@fsecco the option to view completed listing on eBay, is under filters. At least in the Android app.

mtgstocks doesn't show condition. MKM lets you see prices for multiple conditions. Since it's an old school collection I assume most of your cards aren't near mint.

So, TCG and ebay prices are WAY different. Like, sometimes hundreds of dollars off. Why is that and what do I follow?

@fsecco said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

So, TCG and ebay prices are WAY different. Like, sometimes hundreds of dollars off. Why is that and what do I follow?

I think most cards over $100 sell much more quickly and often on eBay than on tcg. Thatโ€™s my own experience as a buyer and seller.

Tcg is awesome for high supply cards, but if you look at the Alpha-Legends youโ€™ll see the supply is very thin on some cards, or priced well above eBay closing prices. I wouldnโ€™t pay much attention to any card that has less than 10-40 in stock.

(Not a slam on TCG, as I love them, just some thoughts regarding their sales and stock of older cards).

last edited by joshuabrooks

@joshuabrooks hum, interesting. For example, Moxen are around 1600 in ebay for a played one. On TCG they are over 2k for the same condition, sometimes even 2,5k or more. I don't know what to believe ๐Ÿ˜›

Since there's a big difference in selling 5 Moxen for 8k or 10k, I think I want to understand what are the margins.

last edited by fsecco

The only way is the manual labor of searching ebay completes to get an idea what people will pay. MKM and TCG are good too, but depends on product. TCG sellers are always overpriced compared the values people buy and sell at on a market like facebook when looking at power and such. Like what you already said, the high-volume cards are more 'accurately' priced. Similarly, TCG Median and TCG Market are different metrics which have pros and cons. A downside is that Market and Median on TCG are just bad metrics for power.

Taking SCG and reducing prices by 35% might give you good numbers. But maybe their particular item is well over 35% of what it can be had for on Ebay, and no one will buy from you. Maybe 35% off SCG on a particular item translates to under Card Kingdom buylist, and you definitely don't want to do that.

Depending on your time frame to sell, you will want to beat the market prices at different amounts. If you aren't beating market prices, you aren't incentivizing anyone who can get your product on TCG, Ebay, a major store, a GP, etc. But if you are really in no hurry whatsoever to sell, you don't have to cut off your price, you could just wait until it's worth your listed price or other supply dries up.

For example, many people on Facebook are accustomed to purchasing stuff at 10% under other options. Sellers on Ebay and TCG pay fees and have to contend with unhappy customers (refunds and chargebacks and what not). Selling for 10% under on Facebook gets you close to what you'd get after fees and also lets you dodge certain troubles you'd expose yourself to presenting as a 'real store'.

You can't easily use a spreadsheet from any site and get an accurate reading, there will be too much variance or the seller you get prices from will be higher priced than anyone is willing to pay from a random player.

I would wait a few months to sell if you can. Tax returns will change prices and there will be more buyers.

If you want to sell fast, just take a good inventory and pics and send it to a ton of vendors and resellers. I suppose you already know buylists exist so i assume this isn't what you're looking for.

I trade and sell a lot over faceook, including tons of high end stuff. Feel free to shoot me a message and i can answer questions or give you more ideas on how i price cards to sale, i can even help you sale if that is something you are into.

I just strongly suggest putting the labor hours into individually pricing it all for the best money. You could also just auction the whole entire lot but you will take a big hit overall.

@danl15243 said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

The best way to do it is look at your collection, come up with a number ($15K?$20K?), and then just stick to your guns until you get what you are happy with. Expecting to price individually and not get offers at only 50 to 60% of it will be tough, especially since the Old School market has cooled down and most likely wont pick up again until March/April/Tax Season in the US. I can quickly flip through my "brag book" and quote a number that I'd part with the cards for; it's all just cardboard anyways right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Exactly. But in order to have that ballpark I need to at least evaluate everything. Deckbox did that automatically for me, but I want to make sure they're not tripping in their prices. If it was a 10-20k collection it'd be way easier to do.

I don't see how what they said was in any way, shape, or form valuable advice. It won't help you sell cards in a timely manner if that's your goal.

@fsecco said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

@joshuabrooks hum, interesting. For example, Moxen are around 1600 in ebay for a played one. On TCG they are over 2k for the same condition, sometimes even 2,5k or more. I don't know what to believe ๐Ÿ˜›

Since there's a big difference in selling 5 Moxen for 8k or 10k, I think I want to understand what are the margins.

The discrepancy is that "auction" prices are almost always lower than Buy It Now prices, that's where the $1000 mox discrepancy will come from. If you are trying to realistically maximize profit, with the least amount of work, I would:

1.) List cards that are heavily traded (not thinly supplied) on TCG at an attractive price.
2.) Research past auctions for anything over $100/$500/$1000 and list them on ebay for competitive prices. Or you can toss the dice and do live auctions around tax time. Good photos and ending on a sunday night and you should be okay.

If you have more time, list them on some of the facebook groups at an attractive price and they will move semi-quickly, but will involve more back and forth with people. This can get tedious, but will maximize profit.

Or sell everything to a vendor/reseller and take a 35-50% hit, but have zero stress.

(If you go the TCG/Ebay route, sell off your big stuff last, or at least after you have established some reputation and feedback)

@joshuabrooks since I live in Mexico City and selling stuff will require at least some negotiating of shipping, I believe I'll try Facebook first. I'm not currently comfortable selling the more expensive stuff for ebay prices. They seem too low. Since it's a frigging huge collection, I can't price everything with caution. I'll probably announce the cards saying sรณ: that prices are highly negotiable, for less or for more, since what I announce today can change in weeks. Let's see how it goes.

Now, what is this tax season you guys keep talking? I have no idea ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

last edited by fsecco

I have another question for you guys ๐Ÿ™‚
I also have complete sets of Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Legends. I think these are better to sell as complete sets, right? Or should I sell card by card? I wonder if doing that wouldn't just leave me with a bunch of bulk.

Your best course of action might be to partner with somebody in the states if you have anybody you trust.

Shipping from Mexico city will greatly reduce your potential buyer pool especially if your name is not known in the community, Plus I donโ€™t know if you can sell on TCG internationally.

It might be worthwhile to test the waters with eBay as you can always put price as youโ€™re comfortable with and come down from there. But the old school community is also good once you have a few successful transactions and can get a reputation.

In America many people get tax refunds from the government January through May so they have โ€œextraโ€ cash to spend. This tends to be a good time for collectible sellers.

@joshuabrooks I can also go to events in the US to sell stuff. If there's a GP or big Vintage event I can travel, play, and sell cards (depending on the size of the purchase) ๐Ÿ˜„

@fsecco said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

@joshuabrooks since I live in Mexico City and selling stuff will require at least some negotiating of shipping, I believe I'll try Facebook first.

Shipping can be quite pricey, but your cards are pricey. The big thing is to include that in the cost of doing business and be aware of customs regulations and duties. Many (virtually all) sellers/buyers on facebook lie on customs and write something like 10$ so there is not a huge tax coming through country borders.

I'm not currently comfortable selling the more expensive stuff for ebay prices. They seem too low.

I would not list your starting prices at the lowest auctions values per ebay. But you have to consider:

  1. If your item is in a similar condition but more expensive, a buyer will spend their money at a reputable dealer.
  2. If your item is at a similar price, they will spend their money on a dealer inside their country.

Since it's a frigging huge collection, I can't price everything with caution.

I highly suggest it though. Based on your comments about Ebay being too low, it seems you want the most money possible. You have to do work to get the most.

I'll probably announce the cards saying sรณ: that prices are highly negotiable, for less or for more, since what I announce today can change in weeks.

I think this makes sense. List at a market price with a disclaimer that if your listing is out of date or if the item is currently spiking you may need to revise. I think your wording should be a little careful, if you say you may want more for it later, it might signal to people (whether you mean to or not) that you want to squablle over $25 on a $1200 item.

@fsecco said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

I have another question for you guys ๐Ÿ™‚
I also have complete sets of Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Legends. I think these are better to sell as complete sets, right? Or should I sell card by card? I wonder if doing that wouldn't just leave me with a bunch of bulk.

There are groups on facebook that specialize in all sorts of things. I think you could find a buyer for these at an appropriate price. In general there are less buyers so it may move slow.
Breaking up those sets does mean you end up with some bulk, but you might find buyers faster.

@fsecco said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

@joshuabrooks I can also go to events in the US to sell stuff. If there's a GP or big Vintage event I can travel, play, and sell cards (depending on the size of the purchase) ๐Ÿ˜„

Given how large your collection is, it might be well worth considering a plane ticket regardless of any events if you could find a large buyer. However, the people with $30k to spend are dealers so that would also be back to square one if you don't want to sell under Ebay.

I 100% think you won't get good deals for yourself if you won't research prices though.

@aeonsovarius said in Huge Old School collection for sale: how to price it right?:

I 100% think you won't get good deals for yourself if you won't research prices though.

Thanks, man. All great inputs ๐Ÿ™‚

The thing is that by the time I end up princing everything thoroughly, prices will have changed. I have already an idea of pricing for everything and will try it out to see how it goes - probably in january since right now I don't wanna deal with post offices (holidays...). But I am pricing the cards individually and taking a look at TCG, SCG, Deckbox, MKM and Ebay.

I guess I'll also sell in phases. I can't deal with selling everything at once, it's too much.

last edited by fsecco
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