Monday, June 25, 2007

Magic Game Day Scavenger Hunt

All right - something odd. I have recently been editing many of my listings on eBay, because I had to update the shipping options (see my earlier rant on the USPS changes). One of the listings I updated was for the Legends Rules card. This was a card included in every single booster pack of Legends that explained some new rules introduced with that set. Because every pack had one, and both Alan and I had bought lots of Legends, I have well over 100 copies of this thing

Shortly after the listing was updated, I started getting several orders for it (I had only gotten 3 or 4 in the previous year). Several people bought just one copy, some bought four, some bought one copy of this plus another single card (Spanish Lord of the Pit or Stampeding Wildebeests). Almost 10 purchases within a week-and-a-half. I could not figure out what had suddenly made this card so popular.

So, off to Google, answerer of all that is mysterious. A quick search finally revealed the answer. As part of the celebration and kicking off of 10th Edition next month (July 14 to be exact), Wizards of the Coast is sponsoring a Magic Game Day Scavenger Hunt. The link takes you to the official rules page, but here's the short version: be the person to bring in the most of 30 items to a participating retailer on 7/14/07 and win a nifty Magic Backpack. And, of course, the Legends rules card is one of the 30 items!

So, mystery solved...and new worked created. Why? Because I have a LOT of the other items on the list, that's why! And many of them are things I had never thought to put up before. Empty booster packs, display boxes, starter deck boxes, rule books...all these things that I've had lying around, many from Alan's collection ("Lot 4" as it's known around here). So, quick scramble to get these up - after all I have to sell them immediately if they are going to have any chance to get into people's hands in time for the contest. I actually created a new Store category called Scavenger Hunt to highlight these items.

My (educated) guess is that any of the specific individual cards they ask for (like Nekrataal or Mogg Fanatic) are going to be reprinted in 10th Edition.

Here's the list of the 30, with comments and/or links to the items if I have them available:
  1. Arabian Nights Fishliver Oil card - I used to have several, but all have sold
  2. Empty booster display box of any expansion from Alpha to Mirage - I have ones from Legends, The Dark, Fallen Empires, Ice Age and Mirage available
  3. An Alpha, Beta, Unlimited or Revised Starter Pack deckbox - I have Alpha/Beta, Unlimited and Revised all available
  4. Booster pack wrapper of Arabian Nights, Revised, Unlimited, Beta or Alpha - unfortunately I have none of these
  5. Magic rulebook with Bog Wraith on the cover - up for auction at eBay
  6. Magic rulebook with Shivan Dragon on the cover - up for auction at eBay
  7. Arabian Nights Mountain card - none; bummer
  8. Legends Rules card - as mentioned, available at eBay
  9. Invasion Reya Dawnbringer card - I've never had one of these. I'd like one, though!
  10. Exodus Paladin en-Vec card - none :-(
  11. Onslaught Festering Goblin card - available at
  12. Visions Nekrataal card - up in eBay
  13. Lord of the Pit card illustrated by Mark Tedin - from Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Revised, Fourth Edition, or Fifth Edition. I have several up.
  14. Tempest Mogg Fanatic card - available at
  15. Alliances Guerrilla Tactics card - both versions available at (thus the two separate links)
  16. Scourge Siege-Gang Commander card -
  17. Giant Growth card illustrated by Sandra Everingham - from Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Revised, Fourth Edition, Anthologies, or as a DCI FNM Promo; I have several available at, including Chinese Fourth Edition
  18. Visions Stampeding Wildebeests card - up at eBay
  19. Mirrodin Platinum Angel card - never owned one :-(
  20. Fifth Dawn Crucible of Worlds card - I'm afraid not :-(
  21. Urza's Legacy Treetop Village card - don't have it :-(
  22. Ice Age Adarkar Wastes card - not this one either (I used to!) :-(
  23. Apocalypse Caves of Koilos card - one of the pain lands I've never owned :-(
  24. Largest collection of 1 single non-basic land card - this one's kind of up to the individual, I think
  25. Duelist Issue Number 1 - thanks to Alan I have this!
  26. Entrant with Lowest DCI Number - up to the individual
  27. An officially licensed Magic comic book - I've sold all of mine already!!!
  28. Clothing with Magic artwork on it - I don't have any myself, let alone some to sell
  29. Four different Friday Night Magic cards - I've never done FNM :-( I do, however, have a couple of promo cards that I've gotten in Lots!
  30. Three spin down Magic life counters with different expansion symbols on them - never owned any
Anyway, many of these are special auctions that end on this Saturday night (June 30, 2007) so they'll only be up for a limited time. Others are regular store inventory items, and will remain up if they don't sell soon.

Here's hoping people are actually interested, and I'm not going crazy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Goggle's number one hit...

Okay, time for a quick Store Update for those who care about such things.

The big cool news is this...try this out. Open a new browser window, go to, and then search for the words: magic ability flying. Go ahead. I'll wait....


This works for all sorts of Magic abilities: Flying, Flanking, Horsemanship, Banding, Defender... So nifty! How did I find this out? Because my Store "Abilities Page" is getting dozens of hits off of Google, so I tried it myself to see why. And now I know.

How did I get to be number 1? Well, best guess is that I:
  1. Used the proper keywords that a person might search for; and
  2. have literally thousands of links to this page via my listings on eBay and at as well.

You see (and I didn't know this when I started this - it's just a BIG added bonus), part of the formula Google uses to calculate how high to rank a page is how many other pages link to it. Since over 50% of my listings on eBay have at least one link to this abilities page, that's thousands of links there that the Goggle web robots pick up on. It makes my Abilities Page look all important and stuff.

Now if only those dozens of visitors would then go and buy something from the Store...

In other news, Lot 7 is complete (at the moment - I have bids on several auctions ending today that may net me some more unopened booster packs). I still have several thousand cards to process and get up, however.

The Lot from Canada (Lot 19 for those keeping score) had a bit of a strange tale. It never showed up even after five weeks, and assurances from the seller that it had been sent. I felt I had to file a claim with PayPal, since I only have 45 days in which to do so. The seller got back to me very quickly - turns out (according to her) that the package got returned to sender, and she had been gone for a few days for work. So, she shipped the cards by FedEx OVERNIGHT DELIVERY! I've never had an overnight package before. Very exciting. And it must have been expensive for her to whip - so kudos to the seller for getting the stuff to me. Unfortunately the shipment was a few cards shy of what was promised, so she's (supposedly) sending a few more by regular post.

And last night I had the very unfortunate discovery that I had misfiled 32 cards in my "Foil Cards" category on the eBay store, and included the word "Foil" in their description (this is the potential problem with copying a previous entry to make a new one). So I had someone buy a $12 card that he was expecting to be Foil [I could argue that he should have known better - no way would that card sell as a Foil for only $12, but I digress], and is disappointed that it is not. One piece of good news, though - the mistake was discovered before he sent payment, and therefore before I sent the card, so we just have to cancel the eBay transaction and all is well. But I had to spend a half-hour or so last night editing the remaining 31 files to correct them before someone else bought a "Foil" card that wasn't!

Otherwise, I just continue to chug along. Sales have indeed picked up since I started adding more inventory and have regular weekly auctions up. Yesterday the Alpha Edition Vesuvan Doppelganger finally sold just yesterday for $150 - it's been up since I got Lot 4 way back a year ago! Of course the buyer hasn't yet paid for it...