Growing up, were you as obsessed with Magic The Gathering as I was?
For many of us, including me, Magic The Gathering (often shortened to MTG) holds a special place in our hearts. My school days were filled with matches on the bus, challenges during recess, and friendly games with my cousin over the weekend.
However, times change. Maybe you’ve outgrown the game, or perhaps there’s a sudden need for cash. Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about parting ways with your MTG cards, you’re in the right place.
This article will guide you through the top places to sell your Magic cards and offer some handy tips on pricing and making the most out of your collection.
Ready to transform your MTG cards into cash? Let’s get started!
Best Places to Sell Magic the Gathering Cards
Let’s begin with one of the most known platforms, TCGPlayer. This platform offers a helpful “Buylist” feature allowing users to sell their cards. Additionally, they provide an option to operate like a virtual shop through their Seller accounts. In this explanation, I’ll focus on the Buylist feature.
TCGPlayer boasts perhaps the most extensive Buylist because it aggregates the demands of multiple stores looking for specific cards. This consolidation ensures that you can likely find a buyer for any card you possess since there’s a good chance someone wants it.
Navigating the Buylist is relatively simple. However, I find it somewhat tedious to go through every card type and its condition. It would be more user-friendly if they presented a concise list displaying each card’s version, allowing users to then pick the condition. There’s no need to view every card individually.
When it comes to pricing, TCGPlayer is hard to rival. Their rates typically hover around 55% to 60% of the TCGPlayer Market Price. For those residing in the U.S., shipping costs are generally reasonable. I couldn’t pinpoint specific fees without going through the buying process on the platform. Yet, from my interactions, their customer service is commendable. They’re swift in assisting with any inquiries or concerns.
- Website: TCGPlayer
At a quick look, one might think eBay is simple to use. And in many ways, you’d be right. Creating an account and listing items is a cinch, especially given eBay’s long-standing presence online. However, diving into eBay as a seller might be like opening Pandora’s box due to one big issue: scammers.
Sadly, not everyone online has good intentions. A good number of eBay users have perfected the art of exploiting eBay’s rules to the detriment of sellers. These savvy folks are adept at twisting eBay’s guidelines, sometimes leaving you without the safety nets eBay promises or even jeopardizing your PayPal account. If you’re not already well-versed in eBay’s ins and outs, I’d advise caution. It can work, but you need to know what you’re doing.
It’s also worth highlighting that both eBay and PayPal take a cut from your sales, which can noticeably dip into your profits. If you have rarer, high-value cards like a Black Lotus, you might find success here. But for cards with smaller price tags, it might not be the best route.
- Website: eBay
Card Kingdom might be familiar to many as a frequent sponsor on YouTube channels. Even though they’re relatively new to the scene, they’ve managed to build quite a name for themselves. It seems their visibility on YouTube isn’t just for show.
Using Card Kingdom’s Buylist is a breeze. The design is straightforward, letting you easily specify the exact card printing you want to sell. Unlike some other platforms, they don’t initially let you set the condition or grade of your card. Instead, they’ll assess the card’s condition themselves when they get it. They’re pretty flexible, accepting cards ranging from near mint down to what they label as “good” based on their grading criteria.
When it comes to their valuation, Card Kingdom is pretty competitive, holding its own against TCGPlayer. The rates they offered me were on the generous side, ranging from 50% to 60% for all the cards I considered selling. Plus, if you decide to opt for store credit instead of cash, they sweeten the deal by adding an extra 30%. Based on my experience, they’re right up there as one of the top places to consider selling your MTG cards.
- Website: Card Kingdom
Channel Fireball has established itself as a pioneer in the digital card-selling realm and dominates the West Coast in both events and sales. They have rightfully earned their reputation as a major player in the card market, boasting a vast card inventory and a reputation for swift service.
When you check out ChannelFireball’s Buylist, you’ll find that its design bears a resemblance to TCGPlayer’s interface. However, ChannelFireball’s version seems a bit more agile, updating more promptly. One handy feature they offer is the ability to specify the grade of the card you’re selling. Yet, when I created my Buylist, they seemed only interested in acquiring cards in near-mint condition.
In terms of their purchasing preferences, ChannelFireball appears a bit selective about older cards. The prices they offered for the cards they did want to buy felt somewhat modest, hovering between the mid $40 range for the majority of cards. However, the few cards they were interested in fetched a slightly higher price. Much like their counterparts, Star City Games and CoolStuffInc, ChannelFireball tends to be more generous with their valuations if you opt for store credit instead of cash—assuming they’re in the market for the cards you’re offering.
When it comes to selling contemporary cards or Standard staples, ChannelFireball seems to offer competitive rates compared to other platforms. However, if you have an older card collection, they might not be the best outlet. If you do decide to sell with them, especially if your collection leans heavily towards Standard cards, it might be a good idea to lean towards accepting store credit rather than cash.
- Website: Channel Fireball
CoolStuffInc (CSI) is a well-established platform, known for its extensive Buylist and ongoing promotional offers. A notable perk they offer is an additional 35% value if you opt for store credit instead of cash when selling your cards.
The Buylist on CSI is user-friendly, presenting a clean and straightforward list that helps you identify the correct version of the card you wish to sell. While the interface may seem basic, especially in comparison to TCGPlayer, it offers a cleaner look. However, do note that the pages might take a while to refresh when you add or remove items from your cart. This delay is generally not a significant issue unless you’re engaged in this process frequently.
It’s important to mention that CoolStuffInc exclusively lists prices for cards in near-mint condition. If your cards are played, they will adjust the price accordingly once they’ve received and assessed them. They also do not purchase heavily played or foreign language cards, so please keep this in mind.
In terms of pricing, CoolStuffInc offers average rates, generally valuing each card at about 50% of its retail price. This rate is standard and falls within the expected range. However, they tend to offer closer to 60% for popular Commander staples such as Cyclonic Rift and Mana Crypt, providing a better deal if you have such cards to sell.
Despite this, not every card from a collection is eligible for their Buylist, indicating a potentially lower demand compared to platforms like TCGPlayer. The significant advantage comes from the 35% bonus on store credit, which could add almost $20 extra to the value of Standard cards alone.
In summary, CoolStuffInc is a reliable option, especially if you are looking to sell format staples. However, I would not recommend selling exclusively Standard cards through this platform unless you are in urgent need of quick funds.
- Website: CoolStuffInc
Star City Games
Star City Games stands as one of the top retailers for Magic. Once you’ve set up an account, you can easily access their Buylist program and begin adding items to your cart.
Their platform is designed with simplicity in mind, displaying each card’s version as a distinct item, sans the card art. This allows for a smoother browsing experience. Notably, they give users the flexibility to choose various specifics about a card. You can pick the language of the card, its grade, such as near mint/mint, played, or heavily played, and as you make these selections, the displayed price updates in real time.
Frankly, among the platforms I’ve explored, Star City Games has one of the best user interfaces. It’s quick, straightforward, and provides diverse options, ensuring that you can sell precisely what you have. It’s also probably the most efficient site I’ve navigated.
However, there’s a catch. The pricing at Star City Games isn’t the most attractive. On average, they offer prices in the lower 40% range for most cards. Some cards, fare even worse, with offers sitting around a mere 15%~ of their retail value.
Given these low price points, I’d be hesitant to recommend selling your cards through this platform. You’d essentially be selling your cards at a substantial loss. No matter how impressive their website design and interface might be, the low pricing is a significant deterrent. It’s essential to ensure you get the most value for your cards, and unfortunately, Star City Games might not be the best place for that.
- Website: Star City Games
Another platform to think about is CardShark.
Having been around for almost two decades, CardShark provides a platform where you can connect with fellow MTG enthusiasts eager to buy your cards, whether they’re individual pieces or in bulk.
The process is uncomplicated: use their buylist to indicate the cards you’re looking to sell. Once done, CardShark displays your cards on their platform until someone buys them. You won’t be charged any listing fees upfront. Instead, CardShark deducts a 15% commission from each successful sale.
However, it’s essential to be aware of a few things when selling with CardShark. Firstly, you’ll be responsible for shipping the cards to the buyers. Additionally, you have a three-day window to confirm any orders made. Payments to sellers are done on a monthly basis. On the bright side, if you have a plethora of Magic cards to sell, CardShark can be an excellent platform since it usually has a continuous flow of buyers interested in expanding their collections.
- Website: CardShark
Dave and Adam’s
A popular choice for selling Magic cards online is Dave & Adam’s.
This platform doesn’t just focus on Magic cards; they also have a market for items like basketball cards and classic Magic collectibles. Selling with them is pretty straightforward.
Dave & Adam’s highlights the Magic singles they’re currently interested in through their buylist. After they receive your cards, you can expect your payment within 48 hours. They offer both PayPal cash and store credit as payment methods.
One of the perks here is their buylist – it gives you clarity on the amount you can expect based on the rarity and condition of your Magic cards. Before settling, it’s always a good idea to compare their buylist with other retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
- Website: Dave and Adam’s
Recently, Facebook has made strides with its Marketplace and numerous trading communities. Although I’ve kept my distance from Facebook for quite some years now, I can’t deny the bustling activity there for those willing to invest the effort.
Kicking things off might feel a tad challenging, especially as you seek the right groups and work to build your credibility. And a heads-up for those listing cards on the Marketplace: the platform’s automated filters might flag some card names. It seems even innocent cards like Birds of Paradise can’t escape Facebook’s watchful eye.
Local Game Stores
Remember to show some love to your neighborhood game store. They play an essential role in keeping our passion alive and thriving. Before you think of selling your cards elsewhere, why not give them a shot? They often provide store credit, which might be a tad more generous. This is their way of encouraging you to continue shopping with them and keeping their doors open.
If you’re located near a hotspot for card conventions or tournaments, consider selling your cards there. Several vendors usually set up stalls at these events, each with their unique offerings. One challenge here is that they rarely display their purchase list beforehand. That means you’re placing a good deal of trust in them, hoping the rates they offer are competitive.
Another thing you might stumble upon is fellow players eager to trade or buy cards. If the event permits cash trades beyond official vendors, you might have to negotiate a bit, keeping TCGPlayer average prices as a reference. This method isn’t the most consistent, but occasionally, it might just work in your favor.
Craigslist, Offerup, etc
Think of platforms like Craigslist and OfferUp as the tangible siblings of eBay. Each comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Personally, I’d suggest steering clear of these apps. They might not fetch you the deal you’re hoping for, and sometimes, they can be home to some tough customers to negotiate with. It’s something worth considering, however.
Factors Affecting the Price
Understanding where to sell your magic cards is only half the battle; grasping what determines their prices is crucial too. Take the Black Lotus card as an example; it can be worth a staggering $100,000 to $250,000+, depending on its condition, even though it’s barred from nearly every game edition.
So, what exactly drives the prices of your Magic The Gathering cards? Let’s see…
Rarity: The company pulling the strings behind MTG, Wizards of the Coast, determines how many copies of each card are printed. The number of cards in circulation influences their rarity. And as you might guess, the rarer a card, the heftier the price tag it can command.
Supply and Demand: The secondary market for Magic cards is majorly steered by supply and demand dynamics. A card in vogue can be highly sought after by players for their decks, and this spike in demand can hike up its price.
Vintage? Given the rich history of MTG, there are a myriad of game formats that enthusiasts play. Some formats, such as Vintage, permit the use of really old cards. These antiques from the early MTG days can command a premium price, especially when sold to those who are into Vintage play.
Tournament Traction: If certain cards are a hit in MTG tournaments and are often included in players’ decks, their prices can soar. It all ties back to the game’s meta and how popular a card is during competitions.
When you’re looking to sell your cards, your local game store might offer you buy list prices that hover around 50%~ of the card’s actual value. The upside is that it is low risk and you won’t have to do much legwork.
If you’re considering selling the cards on your own, sure, there’s potential for more profit. But bear in mind, there’s more risk involved and it’ll require a bit more effort on your part.
The platform you opt for largely hinges on the card’s worth.
For those prized cards valued at over $350, I’d nudge you towards eBay. The reason being, eBay vouches for the card’s authenticity and once the card passes their check, buyers can’t backtrack with returns.
Personally, I’m an eBay enthusiast when it comes to sales. However, everyone has their preference. Some folks lean towards Facebook groups, but there’s a catch: you’ll need to establish trust and credibility first, or potential buyers might give you the cold shoulder or undervalue your card. Using PayPal can soothe buyers’ nerves since they have the return option, but be wary, some might misuse this feature. While others might dabble with cash apps, the trade-off is often a lower value due to the higher risk and no return policy.
The value of your card dictates the level of caution you should exercise. Cards in the $5-10 bracket? Usually, they’re low risk and scams are rare. However, tread carefully when you’re in the $100 to $400 ballpark. And for those treasures over $400, eBay is your best bet, thanks to their rigorous authentication process.
For those of you with vintage cards, peruse the sold listings on eBay to gauge their price. On the other hand, if you’ve got contemporary, mint condition cards on your hands, TCGPlayer is a decent reference point, but cross-checking with eBay won’t hurt.
Keep in mind, my suggestions are tailored for sellers based in the US. Regrettably, eBay’s stellar services aren’t accessible outside the US.
That does it for now.
As always, if you want to comment on your experience, feel free to do so in the comments below.
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