Hey there, YGO Community
My name is Lyle and I'm a floor buyer in both Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering. I noticed that there are a fair number of MTG finance writers, but there are no real YGO finance writers, so I decided that I should bring some of my knowledge and insight to the rest of the Yu-Gi-Oh community. This is why I'm writing this series called “YGO Market Watch". In this series, I will be discussing current trends in the Yu-Gi-Oh secondary market along with what is causing said trends. I will also be discussing what cards I am picking up as speculation targets and what cards I am dumping to the hype train-following masses.
But before I go headfirst into what to buy/sell, I want to explain a few things about how the secondary market works. The TCG secondary market in general works the same way as any other market. There are suppliers, the people who make it their business to have the desirable items and to get them to their customers. There are the customers, the players and collectors, the people who keep the whole game going. But with a Trading Card Game, there are many other pieces of the equation:
There are the completely casual players, you know, what we all started as. They sit around their kitchen table with their unsleeved decks playing for the love of the game. These players keep the demand for cards like Blue-Eyes White Dragon high.
Then there are semi-competitive players, they play at local tournaments and win a few matches here and there, but at the end of the day, they'd rather play their gimmicky, fun, magical Christmas land decks or decks that were expensive when they first started playing than the new hotness. These players keep up the demand for wonky combo cards like Exodia pieces as well as past decks like Gladiator Beasts, X-Sabers, and Junk Doppel.
Then we have the competitive players, these are your players who travel for events, crush their locals, read articles, buy the newest decks, these are the primary customers of people like myself.
Then we have the different types of buyers/sellers:
Let's start with the small fish, these are the people, usually younger players, who are on a much more limited income and therefore buy or trade just to make a quick buck because the other guy/gal didn't know their card recently jumped in price. They then try to dump it immediately for any type of small come-up. These players are the type to make one huge juice, then once the other person finds out, they won't do business ever again.
Next we have the big fish, these players tend to have pretty nice binders filled with mid-tier and a few high-tier cards they juiced from small fish. These players tend to negotiate less on their prices because they think they're smarter than you are. This even applies when they're selling to a vendor.
Then there are the sharks, the players with the thick binders filled with high-tier cards. These players get a bad reputation with most of the smaller fish because they tend to only want the newest, shiniest cards. A lot of these players pay less than vendors so they can just ship to actual vendors for a profit. There are actually a fair number of “sharks" who are reputable because this is how they make their living and they know if they juice too often, people won't do business with them. They know that it's better to make $5 profit over 30 trades than to make $100 profit in one trade. One or two of these players at your local game store can actually be a good thing because they can bring an influx of cards back into the shop after bigger events because they have the means /connections to get the cards.
Lastly, we have the actual vendors, the people with booths at regionals buying cards to take back to their brick and mortar stores or online shops. Examples are: Face to Face Games, CoreTCG, Brothers Grim CCG, Alter Reality Games, Strikezone, and Hotsauce Games. These stores tend to have public buylists so they can try to guarantee the best prices for their customers. One of the best things you can do is to become friends with people working/running their booths at events. These people have a lot of say with players and other vendors and can open doors to a lot of opportunities for you if you treat them with respect.
I'm going to keep this first blog short and only talk about one card per section so that I don't overwhelm any people who are new to this aspect of the game.
1. Current Trends
Over the past few weeks, weird cards have spiked in price, most of them immediately dropped back down to around their original price, maybe a little higher. IE: Mischief of the Yokai
But there were a few bad apples who decided to lie about a card and hype it through the roof as what they're calling a “social experiment" when it was clearly an excuse to take advantage of a few unfortunate people. By now, you've probably guessed that I'm talking about the card Spell Chronicle.
2. Speculation Targets
I've been targeting copies of Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. This card has done nothing but drop since its release last month. You can get copies for roughly $15, and I'm a buyer at that price. This card has so much going for it that it's all but a sure bet.
It's a character card and unless they're reprinted ad infinitum, these kinds of cards stay expensive, especially if it's even borderline playable.
It's a secret from the first set of a new block. This card has so much time to grow in value.
It's the first real Pendulum support card.
It's a Dragon and we all know casual players love dragons.
It's level 7, which makes it relevant if Dragon Rulers make a resurgence. Plus it can be used for Sacred Sword of Seven Stars.
It fits into the first real Pendulum archetype, Qliphorts, which everyone is already proclaiming to be the best deck as soon as it drops.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, it facilitates a new strategy by letting you search for your specific need. Think about other Secret Rare cards that helped the newest decks: Tour Guide from the Underworld broke $200 and how could we omit Rescue Rabbit, another $100+ card. I feel like Odd-Eyes is just waiting to go through the roof, and when it does, I'll be ready.
3. What to Dump
Every Batteryman card. The deck hasn't put up any results despite the hype around it driving the prices of commons and rares to $5-10. This seems to be the height of their price, I'm a seller right now.
Thanks again for reading. If you liked this first report or have any ideas on cards you want me to address, just let me know.
Keep the juice flowing,