Magic the Gathering: Selling Commons and Other Crappy Cards

in gaming •  9 months ago 

Once upon a time, eBay had a handy tool named Turbo Lister.

Time went by and in 2017 sometime they decided to recall Turbo Lister and fuck everybody over who used it.

I used Turbo Lister. It was buggy as hell but a great way to prepare my Magic the Gathering card sales when I was working away.


eBay told everyone, ‘tough shit’ and to use third party offline listers all of which charged us a monthly fee.

So I started listing them singly using eBay’s new interface and got quite fast at doing so. When you are listing 50 items at a time, then you need to minimise your time per item unless you want to grow old listing things.

This article isn’t just about how to do that, but how to list potential crappy cards and make more than you might think.

Firstly get TWO eBay sessions going. One will do the listing, and the other will scope out the competition.

MTGStocks is very handy resource to check global prices. I use it to get ballpark figures.

You need to be the cheapest as buyers don’t give a shit about loyalty, this is the internet and cheapest wins.


Squadron Hawk is from the Eternal Masters set but the original printing was in the Core set 2011 unsurprisingly printed in the year 2011. It has also been reprinted in the Master 25 set as well as being an FNM Promo.


The latter has the greatest value as the promo would have been printed around 2011 or 2012, is foil (Gold to Splinterlands players) and thus more desirable.

I can see the card is used in Competitive decks. The more of these listed the better. If people need them they will pay.

Masters sets are generally more expensive and tend to have smaller print run that regular expansions. If Squadron Hawk had no reprints that would have been better but he has some demand to to the casual market.


The card has been holding it's value at around 25c but is less desirable in the EU. Is this bad for me? Not really, it's all a case of supply and demand.

Next I check, a Hong Kong based mass seller of Magic the Gathering cards for a price check. This one shows at 49c and has an upward trend.


Lastly I use one of my eBay sessions and search on the item, and Completed Items. If I find any sold items I can figure mine may sell at similar price.

...'you need to check the 'Completed listings' checkbox and then do another search with it unchecked'...

That is if the competition are not already listing the card in a similar combination to me.

In the case of this card, I have zero competition in the UK and the US listings of between £1.75 and £2 for a playset (4 cards) give me an idea of what I may be able to get.


Squadron Hawk is a card use in fours. The description and rules present me this information. If a card is used only as a single in perhaps Commander then trying to sell FOUR at a time may prove challenging.

You need to figure out what the customers wants. Despite the 'Competitive decks' section, the majority of cards are sold to casual players who care not about being competitive, going to Grand Prix events and being the serous player.

Find your target audience, create the sale item in the desired amount, do your homework undercutting the competition, and after all that list your card or cards.


The cards have been listed as playsets (4 cards) at £1.75. Will they sell? Probably but I can guarantee anything. If you have 400-500 of these types of listings then you can generate a small secondary income.


This is why I have TWO eBay sessions. When I list something, I can just hit Create Similar and be on the correct screen. Remember time is valuable.

The above scenario can be used for Rare and Uncommon cards and in the case of the former single cards are more prevalent.

Just remember you can't sell any old common card even in bundles if there is no demand for them.

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Should've bought gods unchained cards ;)

I have enough with the 40,000 or so MTG cards I have and then Splinterlands on top of that. If I had more time perhaps ;)

Damn, that's a lot of cards! Here I thought I over-invested into GU. :P

Damn, that's a lot of cards!

It is a lot, I don't play anymore and want to sell them but am in no hurry. Some are legacy from 1994 when I bought them.

I wrote this article as I was listing some on eBay. They used to sell a lot better but have tailed off a lot the last few years.

I have some of the older expensive cards and need to decide when to sell them. They can easily fetch £100 each.

I watched this recently, maybe it'll be helpful before you start selling them:

I watched this recently

I didn't know you are interested in Magic, I used to watch Rudy's feed all the time. He is entertaining and quite knowledgeable.

I would never sell all of them at once, that would be easy but you would get a lot less. I used to buy collections, sift the decent stuff out and dump the crap as bulk on ebay.

It's very time consuming but when you get gems, it can give you a real buzz. Having all that information going back to Arabian Nights and Alpha / Beta in your head is useful.

I was there in those days and so remember what it was like, and had all those big cards once.. including Moxen and several Black Lotus.

In that time I lived in the USA. What happened to them is a little sore to me, I'll write about it someday.

Looking forward to it! I actually starte watching him just because of my GU investment, trying to see what I've missed out on and how it could affect digital scarce items.

Looking forward to it!

Alright then, it may go on for a bit.. there's a big chunk of story.

Rudy has a horde of old stuff, many sealed boxes of old sets. There cant be many left in the world now.

He likes to show off talking with 40 boxes of sealed Ice Age as his backdrop. They went OOP in 1995. He is funny though.

I don't know whether he talks about anything other than MtG. He has a massive following on YT. If only we could get him onto STEEM.

is trading working properly on GU? I ve hear they had some problems.

I bought some cards a while ago maybe I should check on them but if I recall correctly I had no lucky pulls

Should be working, haven't been trading them much though.

I miss playing Magic... I can’t find my card I believe they were pitched.

I bought a lot of cards and played them in the 90's and gave them away. All of them.

It never occurred to me to sell them and trust me, they were worth a lot here.

Live and learn.


Ack, that sucks.. I sold almost all of mine and thought I was getting good deal.

Truly does. :(

Nice job! This was a pretty good overall look at your process. I don't understand a lot of it, but I am sure I could if I read it about five more times and gave it a go. I think this will be really helpful for a lot of people that are looking to sell their cards. I'll resteem it in case I know some fans of the game that aren't already following you.

Thanks @bozz!

very interesting read.

maybe we should form a community "cardinvestors" or so

I remember Turbo Lister! I started selling things on eBay 20 years ago at this point. I used to be able to go into basically any used record shop and find a dozen records to flip almost instantly.

The rest of the world got wise to that and now gems are hard to find. I mostly just sell old things I don't need now, so it's one at a time. I haven't had to try to list a bunch at once lately. I feel like their fees got goshdarn ridiculous.

Luckily I have PeakMonsters to help me with selling my Splinterlands cards. :)

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