Rags to Riches: Week Sixteen

Another week, another set of trades; we will examine all I’ve accomplished up to today. A few of this week’s trades did not pan out to be very profitable, so we will have to sit them out or simply trade the items away without profit to free the tickets for better deals.

First, a set of quick flips to get some capital since my ticket count was very low to start this week.

Followed by this one involving a foil Balance.

Then, I went ahead and bought a foil mythic from the new set. If you follow the price of foil mythics, you will notice that they rarely sell for less then 5 tickets (as they are sorely needed for redemption). Many of them actually sell for 10 tickets or more at some point even if they are not really in high tournament demand! The card I purchased is actually a pretty strong contender for tournament worthy decks, so let’s see how this works out…

After my shiny acquisition, I went ahead and sold a foil Goblin Guide for 4 tickets. As expressed during an earlier article, I think it is important to stay flexible with your sales and purchase decisions. It is much better to work with smaller profits if you can decrease your turnaround time!

One purchase that did not work out at all were my Scars of Mirrodin booster purchases… I was expecting a possible small profit during the first days of the draft events, but they actually dropped a bit and were selling for slightly less then 4 in many places at the time of trade. I was happy that I could sell two boosters at 4 each to regain my tickets and use them otherwise.

Finally, I sold two foil Arid Mesa for 7 each and made some profit! (Only the last of the two trades is shown. The same player bought both).

I think it is time to summarize our collection value again so we can see how far away we are from our goal – the foil Force of Will.

The current collection value is (bot buy prices)
457 Commons/Uncommons — 6.7 tickets
55 Rares/Mythics — 68.1 tickets
26 Event Tickets
3 Boosters — 9.5 tickets

Total: 113.3 tickets

So while we have come a long way, we still need around 60 tickets value to be able to purchase a foil FoW from a bot or a player. Let’s see how close we will come in the next few installments. Of course, it would go much faster of course if I would forget about the 1 hour time limit per week, but we don’t want to create the impression that you need to be glued to the computer to accomplish it!

Hope you are all well and till next time,


  1. you have to admit you are pretty lucky for the 1 hour per week time limit, all i can find in the classifieds is “BUYING Koth |5|, SELLING Triket Mage |10|”. the foil wurmcoil engine is a very nice finding. i like this articles a lot by the way.

  2. Yes another great article
    It is very influencing article
    I’m glad your writing it too :) i am getting much better
    at trading and not dumping a bunch of money into MTGO
    anyways thanks again and i look forward to the next

  3. i second bruno… while i don’t know prices for digital cards as much to profit from trading, all i can see is classified “spammed” by bot. Do you really read olla of the announcement? do you dive in “casual trade” and only then you apply your knowledge of prices and opportunity? to know the minimal buy price from bot i follow novabot.org, but then, am i supposed to watch out for someone that doesn’t and sell their cards for prices which are lower than suggested buy price (which is unlikely to me)? Need more input! number 5 wants to live! :D

  4. Hello all,

    the process I am using is really a mix of several things:

    1. I put up and ad with cards I am selling. Usually I try to go for quick sale rather then large profit as this gives me tickets I can use for more purchases.

    2. I check various bots that often have cards (especially foils) for good prices and resell them to foil collectors for small profit.

    3. I scan the classified from time to time for any deal that looks promising to me. This requires of course that you are pretty familiar with the market and the dynamic of it.

    4. I am casual trading with players and try to trade up even when giving up value to do so. It is easier to sell a few expensive cards then a bunch of cheap ones.

    5. Be friendly and don’t try to screw your fellow players. Fairness pays off because people return and you can deal with them over and over again.

    6. Make educated guesses what cards are going to go up. The best way to do this is to closely follow big tournaments. If a new decks appears in the top 8 of a big tournament you can be sure that the cards that are in the deck will go up.

    Hope that helps a bit,


  5. I appreciate your 1 hour/week approach. However, are there times that you feel are worth it put put more time into trading? For example, I would assume that the price volitility and increased demand during the period right after a release should probably provide a cagey (if time crunched) investor with the best return on their time in a tix/hour context.

  6. What about the fact that you have spent 16 hours now and are up 113.3? You could get a job almost anywhere and make $113.30 in 16 hours even after taxes. That’s less the minimum wage I think or close to it… and you are a very good trader. I doubt I could come close to your hourly rate. If I really wanted a foil force that badly, I’d just go do odd jobs and pay for the Force with cash money (which is cheaper than tix in most cases).

  7. Mitch: some of us find trading fun :)

    Andrea: you might want to type HUMAN in the classifieds search bar to bring down the number of ads that you need to browse through.

  8. I actually do trading for my personal entertainment purposes. In fact, after a somehow disappointing draft where you are eliminated early, I enjoy and relax while looking on the classifieds screen and trying to find arbitrage opportunities. When I started doing so I was surprised how much opportunity is there. You should assume that people that want to buy a primeval titan in fact have a look who in fact is selling one… well, some of them do not. And each night I find at least one situation where someone sells a card for X and another one is looking for that card for X plus Y tix. Zero risk, nice return.

    However you really have to like that – I work in finance, so it somehow is like my job :)


  9. I work in finance too but my time is limited. When I get a chance to play, I want to play. If you enjoy it, its a different story. To me it just seems like a waste of time trying to make a few bucks when you add it up to an hourly rate of return and the opportunity cost of it.

  10. There is of course no question that this would be a bad return if you see it as income. It was never intended as such, though. Many people trade during their free time as hobby and would not use this time for a job. Don’t forget that there are many people out there that do it for fun and if you can make a little profit out of it it doesn’t hurt I guess.
    You can also do other things during that hour because in many cases you are simply putting ads up on classified and you don’t need to be focusing on the interface at all.

    But again, it’s not ment to be income but rather entertainment with some financial benefits.

  11. It looks like you were right all along about the fetch lands going up in price after rotation.

  12. In your future articles could you do a screen shot or something of what the ads you post are and same with the ones you find. Also would like to know what you type into the search bar to find some of these awesome deals.

  13. I have a question: Where can I get the best deal for a Foil Molten-Tail Masticore I ripped off a draft. Non Foil ones typically go for 15 tix but nobody seems to be paying very high for the foil one, which puzzles me because I thought Foil Mythics are typically worth alot more than their regular counterparts.

  14. Hello alfree,

    the pricing of foils is often complicated and no general rule of thumb such as “twice the regular” will do you any good. In general you can say that the more the card is in demand by tournament players the less of a premium the foil will fetch compared to the price of the regular one. Cards that are not used in tournaments usually fetch a higher foil premium as the value is mostly a collectors one and not a play value one.