Friday, September 19, 2008

From the Vault: Dragons

There's a new special boxed set in town, and it's name is From the Vault: Dragons.

This set is a reprint (or in one case, pre-print) set, bringing back to life in special Foil format 15 of the best Dragon (or Dragon-related) cards ever printed over Magic's 15 year history. The "pre-print" is a card (Hellkite Overlord) from the new expansion, Shards of Alara, that won't be released until early October.

And this boxed set is DAMNED hard to get your hands on! I pre-ordered my set from my usual seller about two months ago. At the time the pre-order price was about $23 for the 15 cards set, a discount over the MSRP for the product.

Then the set was sold by Wizards of the Coast (before its official release date) at a large sci-fi/comic book convention, limited to 100 copies per day, first come, first served. And then the distributors were shorted on their orders. And suddenly the pre-order price from my usual source went to over $100!

I was glad I had bought when I did.

Too bad my usual source got slighted by their distributor and my order got cancelled and refunded. So much for my great deal!

Anyway, I finally managed to get my hands on a copy from my local comic book shop. $53 with tax - not too bad given that the lowest I'd seen sell on eBay was for $51, with $8 shipping. Still, I feel rather crazy paying $53 for 15 cards!

So, I've decided to run a rather strange little experiment. This week (starting tomorrow, Saturday September 20) I will be auctioning each of the 15 cards individually. I'll start the bidding at a mere $0.99 each, and each bears this special deal text:
  • If a single buyer wins 5 (or more) of the 15 From the Vault: Dragons cards I have available this week, that buyer will also win the special spin-down life counter that came in the box with the cards, at no additional shipping cost. In the event that more than one buyer wins 5+ of the cards, the buyer with the highest over-all $ total for their From the Vault: Dragons cards will win the counter.
  • If a single buyer wins 10 (or more) of the 15 From the Vault: Dragons cards I have available this week, that buyer will also win the special spin-down life counter AND the original box that the cards & counter came in (complete with inner plastic case and paper insert), at no additional shipping cost.
  • If a single buyer wins all 15 From the Vault: Dragons cards I have available this week, that buyer will also win the special spin-down life counter, the original box (with everything in it), and their total order will have FREE SHIPPING! Even if you then go on to buy more cards or booster packs from me. That's free shipping on YOUR ENTIRE ORDER if you win all 15 cards!

My hope, of course, is that this will encourage someone to bid like mad on the cards trying to get all 15 - and then go shopping at my store to maximize on the free shipping deal. We'll see how it goes, and I'll report back afterwards to let you know. If you want to follow the fun yourself, you can watch these items over the next week (this link won't produce any items until I list these cards after 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday 9/20). Hopefully I'll at least be able to recoup my $53!

In other news, the great relisting project (see my last post) continues. As of this writing I have completed all 10 Core Sets (Alpha Edition through 10th Edition), all 5 Starter Sets (Portal through Starter 2000) and 23 expansions (Arabian Nights through Exodus, and Coldsnap through Eventide). This does, however, still leave 24 regular expansions (Urza's Saga through Dissension) as well as the two Un-Sets (Unglued and Unhinged) and several boxed sets and the promo cards. I had hope to have this grand project finished before the next expansion, Shards of Alara, is released on October 3 - but as that is a mere two weeks away, things are looking grim. Therefore I still have over 2000 card listings (likely representing over 6000 cards) that still need to be made at the "branch store" at Oy!

Next time I report in, I'll let you know how the From the Vault: Dragons experiment went, and talk a little about the new set, Shards of Alara, and explain why Rare isn't the rarist kind of card any more.

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