Thursday, March 15, 2007

Busy at The Sundry

Things have been extremely busy of late around here, but I figure as I'm now on Spring Break I don't have too much excuse for not at least getting a Blog entry up.

Since last I wrote, I've added hundreds (if not thousands) of cards to - despite the fact that I have, to date, had exactly one customer. To address this issue, I plan on starting some more marketing, to include some Blog entries aimed at drawing people in. Look for some product highlights in the days/weeks to come. Hopefully they will be educational/interesting as well as blatant attempts at getting hits off of search engines :-)

Also new has been the recent acquisition of a LOT of new cards. While Lot 6 is still a work in progress, Lot 7, Lot 8 and Lot 9 have been acquired. Lot 7 was actually several purchases from several different sources, but all had one thing in common. They all consisted of unopened, factory-sealed booster packs of Magic cards. This has two major advantages for me as a store-keep. First of all, I know they're going to be in great shape. Unless major trauma happened to the pack itself, I don't have to worry about scratches or whitening on the cards from play, or from just being handled a great deal. Secondly (and perhaps more importantly), I am guaranteed to get a "normal" distribution of Rare and Uncommon cards. For the last several years, a typical booster pack contains 11 common cards (10 + a basic land card for the Core Set packs), 3 uncommon cards and 1 rare. Randomly inserted in these packs are "premium" cards, more commonly called "foil" cards due to their shiny metallic highlights. These are augmented versions of normal cards in the set, and have odds of appearing in a pack ranging from 1 in 70 to 1 to 100 or so.

So, when I opened these packs, I got all sorts of goodies, including lots of foil cards, including some foil rares - the rarest of the beasts, as it were. These unopened packs included cards from the Core Sets of 7th Edition, 8th Edition, and 9th Edition, as well as the expansions Nemesis, Legions, Betrayers of Kamigawa, Saviors of Kamigawa, Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, Dissension, Coldsnap, Time Spiral, and Planar Chaos (the latter of which was just released in February, so they were brand new). Some of the cards I got in there sell on eBay for over $10 apiece (a few over $20), so if/when they sell, they should turn a handsome profit.

Lot 9 I am a little less pleased with - and I've only myself to blame. For some reason I got into a bit of a bidding frenzy for a while, and bid on this auction that in retrospect I probably shouldn't have. It included an unopened booster pack from every expansion from The Dark through Coldsnap, as well as every Core Set from Revised through 9th Edition, and also some unopened pre-constructed decks (decks consisting of 60-75 cards that are of a known distribution, not random - you can open the box and begin playing with the deck as is, without needing anything else). 59 items total (48 booster packs and 11 decks). Now, a Revised Edition unopened booster pack goes for around $20, as does a pack of The Dark. And the Urza's Saga, Urza's Legacy and Urza's Destiny packs all go for around $10. But most of the others go for, if you're lucky, around $5. I paid $290 + shipping for the whole batch. So, in theory, if I were to get $5 for each of these 59 items, I would come close to breaking even. I opened the packs that were valued under $5 hoping for great cards that would bring in more individually than as an unopened pack, and the higher valued ones I'll try to auction or sell unopened. Hopefully I'll not lose money on this one.

Finally, Lot 10 was from a wonderful guy in Louisiana who was selling a lot of 4 copies of each common card (except one) in the Unhinged set (a joke set like Unglued that I have mentioned in a previous post). I had not owned any Unhinged cards before, so this was a perfect way to get my feet wet, as it were.

As of about an hour ago I paid for what I promise will be the last of the new inventory for a while (with one possible exception I'm not ready to talk about as yet, suffice to say it may be as good as Lot 4 was). I haven't decided whether to lump these in with Lot 7, or dub them Lot 11. They are a whole bunch of brand new cards from a guy who, as far as I can tell, opened up several boxes of assorted booster packs, took out the cards he wanted (or could bring in a good price individually) and sold the rest as one big lot. So I won 444 common cards, 127 uncommon cards and 31 rare cards from the Mercadian Masques expansion, as well as 27 Stronghold rares and 20 Tempest rares. These are, reportedly, in fresh-out-of-the-pack, unplayed, mint condition - exactly what I would have gotten had I bought the booster packs myself. But these were a lot cheaper than buying the boosters would have been.

WHEW! Things just keep on hopping! Keep your fingers crossed for me, and hope that more traffic comes to my two stores ( for most of my common cards, and Don's Magic and Sundry at eBay for uncommons and rares, and a few commons). Subtle how I get those links in there, huh?

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