Vendors of all sizes tend to build up a cardboard backlog, both of the bulk variety, but also of the saucier kind. Magic: The Gathering cards tend to hold their monetary value reasonably well, so when given a choice between putting time and resources into acquiring cards or selling cards, the natural decision is to buy. Cards you’ve already bought but haven’t processed aren’t going anywhere, whereas a buying opportunity today might not still be around tomorrow. Selling cards is monotonous, tedious work at times. But it is that very tedium that enables TCGplayer to codify and standardize the process, and now to provide it as a service.
And that’s what we’re here for today! For the past year or so I have been pioneering and personally utilizing an experimental element of the Direct program named “Sort” to help liquidate parts of my own collection. The bare bones idea of the system is to enable sellers like you and me to reduce our unsorted backlog.
It’s as easy as this:
- You ship a large quantity (2,000 or more) of unsorted Magic: The Gathering cards to TCGplayer.
- TCGplayer completes the most tedious part: conditioning and inventorying the cards.
- You price the cards.
- TCGplayer ships the cards on your behalf to customers once the cards sell.
Most of the effort you have to put into the Sort sales process is minimal, especially pricing your cards, as most sellers already have prices for their cards. But if you don’t, fear not, we’ve still got you covered. If you’re a Pro Seller, our tool MassPrice lets you set customized rules to update pricing with the push of a button. You can take advantage of a data-driven approach to selling by using different metrics in your calculation, such as Market Price, and lowest price available on Direct.
So what are the fees for this awesome service? Well, the selling fees are exactly the same as Direct fees, and the processing/sorting fees are designed to reward you based on the quality of your participation in the system. Sorting for everything with a market value over $5 is free! Aside from that, every card between $2 and $5 costs $.04 (1-2%) and everything between $0.25 (or $0.15 if it matches the pull sheet) and $2 is $.06. Cards processed under threshold are relinquished to TCGplayer or returned at seller's expense.
The Sort program is built on top of the existing infrastructure created by the Direct program. While most of you are familiar with it already, it is important to reiterate a few of the key advantages to selling through Direct. First, there is the cost savings on postage by combining multiple shipments in one package. By utilizing Direct, you send one shipment to TCGplayer. Second, there is the fact that a significant portion of repeat buyers strongly prefer the purchasing power of TCGplayer’s one-package-service, and the only way to reach those consumers is through Direct. And finally, and most significant for me, is the customer service aspect of going through Direct. TCGplayer’s awesome Customer Service team deals with buyer messages, mitigates any condition issues, and covers the refunds for you. This work from the Customer Service team represents a better buyer experience overall, as well as a cost and time savings for your business. Once a card you have listed via Direct or Sort has sold, that’s the end of the effort and worry of the transaction for you. You can go home, sip a frozen beverage, or perhaps take a quick dive in your Scrooge McDuck style vault.
I can’t stress the importance and value of that last pillar of the Direct program enough. One of the mistakes many small business owners make in any industry is not valuing their time. If you value your time at even $15 an hour, there’s an issue with a $5 order, and you spend 5 minutes of your time dealing with it, you’ve already spent most of the profit from that order. If that 5 minutes turns into 20 minutes, and then even if the 20 minutes DOESN’T turn into a return for a refund, you’ve already lost money on the transaction. Being able to churn cards in an almost touch-free and hassle-free environment will add certainty and profitability to your business. As the owner of far, far too many Magic cards, I can honestly say that the Sort program changed my life for the better.
So what comes next? The Sort program, alongside Buylist and the Marketplace itself, continue to fundamentally transform the landscape around the fungibility of collectibles, and how we transact, invest, and collect. TCGplayer will continue to innovate and lead in seller services, and provide dynamic solutions to help grow the marketplace.
Our team is dedicated to uploading your Sort inventory in a timely manner. To achieve this, it is imperative that sellers connect with our sales team before shipping any products to our fulfillment center. Thank you!