Each October a new set of cards comes out and an old set is no longer playable in the Standard format. Tim and I usually spend the summer months getting rid of the older cards before they start to lose value. (Since they won’t be playable in regular tournaments, the cards aren’t worth as much.)
This weekend, Tim and I went to a Pre-Release Tournament. That’s just what it’s called when you get a bunch of packs from the not-yet-released set and attempt to cobble together a deck that doesn’t suck. In 45 minutes.
It’s a good way to get a bunch of cards ahead of time. You get 6 packs for $25, and the packs normally retail for $4. If you win prizes, so much the better.
It probably goes without saying that I still have a lot to learn about this format. So I didn’t do all that well. But the cards I got made it worth our while.
I got two versions of the same card: one foil (holographic) and one regular. We were astounded to find out that the regular one was going for up to $25 on eBay. We were even more astounded to find out the foil was going for up to $85. Tim got a card that sells for up to $15.
We ended up selling my cards for $20 (regular) and $75 (foil). Tim’s card went for $13 and, when he got another copy in Sunday’s tournament, that went up on eBay, as well.
After eBay and PayPal fees and postage, we’ll come away with just over $100. That’s in addition to a slew of cards from this upcoming set. Also, Tim won 12 packs on Saturday. For reasons too complicated to get into, he could only get half now. The other six will be available on Friday. So perhaps there will be more money cards. At the very least, we should get some more useful cards that we’ll use for decks later on.
Of course, this particular weekend was a fluke. Usually, we’re lucky to come away with $20-30 in cards that we want to sell off. But it is nice when things work out.
On a similar track, Tim traded for a few cards so that he could make a deck to use these last two months before the old set rotated out. So we spent nothing to upgrade his deck, and he won quite a bit with it. When he got home, he’d open the packs and have me sell whatever cards stores were buying.
All of this isn’t to say that Magic is cheap. It’s not. If you’re new, you’ll put in money and you won’t get it back out. You might get a small amount if you sell off cards before they rotate out.
But Tim’s success does show that even expensive hobbies can be made cheaper — even if it’s never officially frugal.
Anyone else have an expensive pastime made cheaper by ingenuity and/or luck?