How To Make Money With Magic Cards
(Last update 8/12/16)
Everyone dreams of making money from a hobby. It’s usually possible if you find the right ideas. So let’s talk about how to make money with Magic cards! Having millions of players worldwide, Magic the Gathering is the biggest collectible card game in existence, and the magic cards market is going strong! If you look at some recent eBay auctions you will clearly see that people make money selling mtg cards nonstop every day.
With certain methods and the right entrepreneurial spirit you can make a nice extra income selling Magic cards online. You’ll get back what you put in, just like anything else, but like I said it all starts with the right idea – and that’s what I hope to spark for you here!
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method One: Open and Sell Booster Packs
Opening Booster Boxes for Profit
Magic: the Gathering – Liliana, the Last Hope (093/205) – Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering – Tamiyo, Field Researcher (190/205) – Eldritch MoonMagic: the Gathering – Gisela, the Broken Blade // Brisela, Voice of Nightmares (28/205) – Eldritch Moon
While this method is the easiest of all, it costs money to buy boxes, and it’s a bit of a gamble as you aren’t 100% guaranteed to open tons of value. However if you pick the right MTG set – one that contains a large amount of cards worth money, you could sell them off as singles for a profit. I’ve opened booster packs that cost $3.99 each and ended up with a $20 rare card on more than one occasion. Not too shabby!
My advice is to buy booster boxes of the most recent set containing “money” cards in order to get the most out of this method. To maximize your profit margin you should try to get those booster boxes as cheaply as possible. I find the best deals are usually through eBay or Amazon. You can’t open a million dollar card, but it’s possible to profit doing this as I have done this several times myself.
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Two: Buy Collections And Sell Singles
Purchase bulk MTG cards to resell
Every day there are people selling “lots” of cards on eBay, Craigslist and elsewhere. If you happen to catch someone at the right time you could end up with an amazing deal, and great cards worth more than you paid. Sometimes parents or people who just don’t know what the cards are worth will end up selling them for way under value. If you can spot deals like this, you can really make out! It’s similar to price arbitrage… buy low and sell high to profit. To sell the cards you may have to hold a bunch of MTG eBay auctions or find other ways, but it’s another tried and true method to consider. Another bonus to that is you could end up as an eBay “power seller” rather quickly from buying and selling MTG cards on eBay – which has its perks if you are big on using eBay.
A word of caution
Beware Craigslist sellers who are selling very rare or expensive cards. I personally have been burned by someone who sold me counterfeit Tarmogoyf and also Jace, the Mind Sculptor cards. They seemed legit at the time, they were high quality fakes – but fakes nonetheless! Craigslist is chock full of scammers, and I found out it’s hard to take action against them after the sale. I went to both Wizards and the police reporting this seller, who I later discovered was a convicted felon…and nobody would help me get my money back. My advice is to at all costs avoid buying expensive singles from Craigslist!
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Three: Know Your MTG Card Prices
Don’t sell yourself short!
While this technically isn’t a way to “make money” I consider saving money to be just as important. Or saving the value of your cards. Some people are blindly trading their valuable collectibles without really knowing the true values of their cards. They might end up selling them too cheap, or trading away a $20 rare card for say, a couple of $5 rares. Strive to not be one of those people! If you don’t know what your cards are worth, don’t sell or trade them until you find out. The easiest way to lose money on Magic the Gathering is simply not knowing your card prices! Search through the completed eBay auction listings for the most accurate and up to date going prices.
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Four: Become A Great Trader
Make better MTG trades with these tips!
Bring your trade binder with you everywhere you play. Try to trade with people in between games if possible. You can make out really well if you become a pro at trading and know the card prices. Especially trading at bigger tournaments with more people trading.
I’m not encouraging you to rip off your friends, but let’s say you have cards they want and they have a card for trade that can sell on eBay. An example would be to trade someone four cards worth $5 or so each for one card that you know will sell for $20 or more. Some cards may be listed as worth $5, but not in as high of demand as the one worth $20. So even if the trade is “fair” you basically made out because that $20 card is going to be a fast and easy sale on eBay while the cards you traded for it may have been harder to sell. Don’t be afraid to offer slightly advantageous trades, you may be surprised. I hope this is clear as it’s an important part of trading for profit. That said, I have managed to sell every card I’ve ever wanted to sell on eBay fairly easily and hassle free.
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Five: Become A Good Player
As you learn more about MTG strategies, you win more!
You don’t necessarily have to be a “pro”, if you get to that level then sure you will make some money by winning magic tournaments. However to make small profits you only need to become better than or as good as the kids at your local store(s). If you can beat them on a regular basis at Friday night magic tournaments and so forth you should end up profiting from winnings. Open your prize packs and sell off or trade the good cards. Learn what your DCI rating is and strive to make that number go up. If you do end up going to Pro Tour Qualifiers and winning the bigger tournaments, there is real money there. I know personally two guys who won several thousand dollars apiece in one tournament, and that wasn’t even for getting first place!
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Six: Don’t Be A Hoarder
If you don’t NEED a card…why not sell it?
Many magic players eventually end up with boxes upon boxes of cards just collecting dust in their closet. The MTG secondary market is thriving, and values on those cards are constantly going up and down. Some cards that are worth a lot now may go down to almost worthless when they leave Standard. What I’ve been doing is selling my cards that are valuable NOW, because it may change with the next set. If you’re looking to make money playing magic cards, you could sell off all the cards you don’t absolutely need for your decks. Sell those of and use the money to go infinite with MTG or MTGO!
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Seven: Paint And Sell Cards
Are you creative? Sell altered cards!
Are you artistically inclined? Well if you can learn how to do it right there is a growing market for well crafted altered magic cards. Some of these cards can sell for many times the actual card value. You see, you are creating more value by adding a unique twist on a card the players already know and love. Creating great looking one-of-a-kind cards for players is one way to make money from magic cards and your artistic skills.
For more about altered art mtg cards check out my article here: Magic: The Gathering Altered Art Cards
(“Tropical Island” altered card art (c) Marta Molina)
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Eight: Create An MTG Blog Or Website
Have passion for the game? Write about MTG!
People love to talk about Magic cards! If you’re one of those people, why not share some of your deck ideas, gameplay strategies, set opinions or have other related discussions? Make it a daily thing to give advice on MTG decks, card choices and more to your followers. Fill your site with a few ads, advertise your MTGO bot, or your eBay auctions. There are endless possibilities with this!
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Nine: Operate A Magic Online Bot
Start your own Magic Online shop!
If you play Magic Online there is special software you can write or purchase that enables you to run a mtgo shop. It’s quite challenging software to write yourself. So I highly suggest buying bot software or hiring a programmer to create a bot. For a while I used some software called “MTGO Library”. Which is probably the best way to get your feet wet botting on MTGO. I ran only one bot which didn’t make many sales. I think to be successful you would need several bots. Price updates and having the most up to date, accurate prices are extremely important when running a bot.
With a bot up and running you are able to buy and sell virtual cards 24/7 using your home computer. It’s basically a shop that works for you automatically while you are off doing other things. Some bot owners claim to make a good pile of “tix” (MTGO virtual currency) which of course can then be sold for real world money. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s another way people make money from magic cards.
Make Money With Magic Cards – Method Ten: Open A Gaming Store
Become a Magic the Gathering Retailer
If you have a large collection or can buy a large lot of cards, you might consider becoming a Magic the Gathering retailer and creating an eBay store to start selling cards at maximum profit. Or, if you’re really ambitious, open a brick and mortar gaming store – similar to the shops you probably play Friday night magic tournaments at. Magic, Dungeons and Dragons, and games like those are not going anywhere anytime soon! There will always be kids looking for stores like that to play their favorite games with their friends. Location is the most important part of this… there are definitely under served areas where you could set up a gaming store specializing in games like these. You could end up running the only store like that for miles around. A major benefit of opening a physical store is that you can then qualify as a retailer. So you can purchase the Magic products at wholesale prices. You could also hold your own regular Magic tournaments and attract paying, competitive players who will give you steady business.
Visit the store for new games and toys!