What The Marketplace Can Do For You

Cliff Daigle • February 24, 2023

I have to admit, I’m one of the people who pushed for a faster horse, and now it has arrived.

Cardsphere, for me, has often been about ‘I want this card right now; but I have to be patient.’ Then I’d see how many people had it listed, and I would kick at the dirt and grumble. Eventually, for most of the things I wanted, I’d get my card.

Having the Marketplace represents something that hasn’t really been an option for most individuals: running your trade page like a buylist vendor.

Let me walk you through the steps, at least in the pre-launch viewpoint. After launch, some of the perspective might change, some of the features might be altered, and so on.

As an example, let’s go with a card I own a playset of for assorted Commander decks: Retro foil Scalding Tarn from Modern Horizons 2.

I’m choosing this card because quite frankly, I’m stunned at how cheap Tarns are, along with all the MH2 fetches. I think this is something you should stock up on, at least for your Commander decks, because pre-MH2, this was a $70 card. Max supply means time to buy!

I also want to take a moment and call your attention back to the list of options up there. Ted, Michael, and Efren have done an amazing job taking the horde of printings and making them manageable. You can select the version you want from one page, whereas TCG Player has made some less-than-helpful decisions on this. You need to know which version you want when you’re searching, and if you click the first one, and choose ‘see all versions’, you don’t actually see all versions!

Instead, you get all versions of one frame, and if you want to find the other frames, you have to start over knowing what they call that frame. Super frustrating, and a very unexpected decision.

Here on the Marketplace, though, everything is simple and easy when it comes to finding the version of the card you want. I’m tremendously appreciative of how simple things are here, especially with how complicated Wizards has made things in the modern era.

Remember, everything about the process is opt-in. If you don't want to deal with this, you don't have to! No one is getting dragged into anything, no one's experience has to change. This continues to be the most efficient way to turn a lot of small cards into a few big cards, or vice versa.

However, if you choose to participate, the advantages are very real. If I’m the one getting the card, I’m saving some real money. If you’re the one sending the card, now you have people knocking on your door to send you money. What a great arrangement!

To be honest, though, what I’m most likely to do is to put money in via PayPal and live it up on the decreased costs. TCGPlayer is generally cheaper than eBay, but again, my money goes farther here both because cards are priced at a better spread and the sender covers shipping here! It’s a marvelous setup for the buyer.

As a seller, here’s the rub: Your fees are lower here on Cardsphere than anywhere else. If you keep your Magic money separate from your day-to-day money, then you don’t have to do anything different. Keep on sending and receiving cards just as you’ve been doing. If you want to extract money, you know the deal: 10% or $10, whichever is more, is the fee that Cardsphere charges to move money to your PayPal account.

That is several percent less than TCGP or eBay, especially when you get into high-end cards.

The introduction of the ‘Buy Now’ feature is going to make it a lot easier for you to move the cards you list, and it’s also going to increase the speed at which you turn over those cards. I’m looking forward to trying it out from each end.

With that said, let me take a moment to talk about a few things I like picking up right now:

Surge Foils

The 40k decks contained a sweet foiling process, yes, but there’s also a LOT of cards that are difficult to reprint outside of a Secret Lair. You’re going to see assorted Surge foils grow from time to time, and if there’s a card you want in that treatment now, I strongly recommend you get it now. You don’t want to be thinking about getting it later, only to find out that it’s already shot up in price.

30th Anniversary Countdown

Another product with nice foiling, if you want a playset or a foil from this drop, now is the time to get it. Supply has maxed out, and clearly there were some quality control issues. A lot of people got imperfect versions, so getting copies that are actually NM are now a priority. I’m especially interested in foils of Shark Typhoon, because the splashy alternate frames tend to age well and the Typhoon has applications in multiple Constructed formats, not just Commander.

Everything Slivers, Eldrazi, and Dragon

Commander Masters is coming out in August, and we’re getting preconstructed decks focusing on those three groups of spells, plus a planeswalkers deck. Slivers have been getting borderless versions as Secret Lair bonuses, and those are appealing targets. I’d be much more interested in picking up special/promo versions of things when I can, but please remember that we don’t know anything of what’s in the actual set and what’s in the precons. Buy according to your tolerance for risk.