I am wanting to become a private Magic the Gathering dealer and, maybe some day, open my own shop. I plan to start distribution through TCGPlayer and then, if I am making a profit, slowly look for a place to lease.
I don't care about the feasibility of this. I am well aware that my odds of success are slim to none. The only thing I have going for me is my determination and the fact that the only shop in my city is poorly-run.
My question for you guys is this: What is the best way to pick up stock in terms of singles? Should I just buy from TCGPlayer and then resell at a slight profit? Should I crack boosters?
Any help, especially from people in this industry, is greatly appreciated.
I apologize if this is the wrong place for this. /tg/ sent me here.
Eh, I would tell you to go back to /tg/.
So you're saying you want to open a business catering to people who play a single niche hobby and you know will fail.
To answer your question, craigslist and I would ask around at pawnshops. Places where desperate people sell their hobby shit for below market value. Also where people sell other people's shit and do not know their actual value.
If you try to buy niche items from hobbyists you will not get a good deal.
As for advice, I'd do what this >>1062807
guy said. Also, in the summer time around here lot's of people have garage sales where you can pick up entire collections for $10 because Jr. went off to college.
The other thing to consider is that MTG is not going to last forever and even if it does, popularity of any one brand will ebb and flow. You should diversify, the two other major players by revenue in the TCG circuit are Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh, so I would try to figure out what cards are really worth it in the metagame for those as well and collect those.
>mtg not going to last forever
False, they currently have a patent stranglehold on the booster pack trading card game market. They also have had a linear growth for the past 20 years, which should be enough imperical evidence to say its unfortunately not just a fad.
An example of this being WOTC literally sold out of booster boxes for the second new set recently. They could not produce enough to keep up with the demand.
The problem op faces is that online distributors can justifiably undercut prices more than any store can handle. If he really wants to succeed with a brick and mortor store he needs to sell singles and expand his stock to include peripherals. Peripherals that WILL make you money will include sleaves and snacks and pop for tourneys, you also need to provide excellent customer service because most mtg stores are dicks and behave like they can't get you out fast enough which will give you an edge if you actually have social skills.
Finally remember that these people are addicts, prey on that addiction through an arbitrary points system. Keeps them coming back to support you, and also makes them think you're friends with them it's hilarious.
Also dont buy singles at more than half the price, look up a distrubutor in your area once you do have a brick and mortor store to begin product flow.
Then buy a case (6 booster boxes) and start cracking them open for bulk rares you can sell in store. It's actually cheaper for in print sets.
Theres a youtube channel of a bunch of guys running an mtg shop. No link for it but it's probably easy to find. They detail a lot of stuff that might interest you.
Good luck op
you have to immerse yourself in your local community and make yourself known as someone who wants to buy cards in bulk. you have to have a complete understanding of your market and be able to value thousands of cards at a glance and purchase them for a fraction of their actual worth. it is a lot of work.
I've known one person who was exceptionally talented at this. he spent a summer literally traveling across america with the goal of not spending a single penny of his savings and funding the entire trip by stopping at local card stores in every city and buying and selling from local players/dealers. he had a great summer and came back with a shitload of stock for his store.
You should probably look into the mtgo market, seems less of a hassle than paper, and the margins/price volatility of cards is about the same. You could start by dropping a thousand dollars on speculation cards and then another on setting up a botchain.
The market is very competitive and there are tons of people (arrogant neckbeard faggots) pricewatching cards all the time. If you don't even know the best way to build up stock then why would you get involved in it?
Maybe try to find a shop that's going out of business and see if they are offloading. We had one close nearby last year, I would imagine they sold their cards on the cheap, but I don't really know
Are you going to host tournaments and drafts and such?
Making a single niche item shop is a poor choice. You need to encompass a lot of "nerd" activities.
The model is all over the place.
You don't just sell MTG, you sell multiple trading cards, you sell D&D related shit, you offer some comics (but don't go full comic shop), you have nerd board games. If you're smart, you offer snacks, soda, and energy drinks.
Cross over into weeb shit some too, if only just snacks and drinks.
Offer loyalty programs. Offer a better price on trade-ins for store credit.
Partner with some local food truck to show up for events.
Actively cultivate an atmosphere that isn't entirely offensive to women.
Get lightning fast internet.
Offer severely limited wifi for free. Have a few nice desktops that people can pay for computer time on. Offer member of your loyalty program 10/15min a day free.
I'm a member of a community makerspace and some people pay $55/month just for some place they can sit and use wifi and talk to people.
Hire female talent to cosplay at events. Thanks to CL, you can get a decently cute girl for like $200 for an 8 hour event with nerds touching her.
Protip: Find a plane jane type, not an actual hot girl. Cheaper and nerds are less intimidated.
Get some exotic types of draws, shit like an icee machine will bring in a lot of extra cash. Popcorn machine is always good since it will keep people thinking about food. Basically copy a theater lobby.
If your store allows for it have some rental rooms. Not huge. Table and chairs. Maybe some speakers and fast internet. Rent out rooms to D&D groups. Make rates reasonable but get them to lock in a set time on a weekly basis. $25/hr $20/hr if you book 4 weeks. People might also rent them for small LAN parties.
Get some flat screen TVs and play some pirated movies on them.
Offer cult movie nights once a month.
Basically the entire recipe to any amount of success in this field is add-on selling and a genuine love for the community.
OP here, posting from my work computer (That's why the ID changed.)
I feel as though I should clarify as several people are asking about the brick and mortar store already.
That's a long time off. I'm looking to be an online dealer first. That's why I asked about getting stock. I've already got a storefront on TCGPlayer and, thanks to advice from here, I placed a free ad in my local paper with my email address, along with Craigslist.
I do very much appreciate the advice on running a brick and mortar store. I know a "just Magic: The Gathering" store would fail in no time flat unless it's huge like StarCityGames, but they offer tournaments and junk.
I am hoping to hear from people in my community and surrounding areas soon about buying collections in bulk.
Thanks again, you guys. I'll continue to lurk this thread for more advice on building stock to see if there's anything else you guys come up with.
That's why I say vending, you have to hussle it as an individual business. You keep up with the market of the yugioh card prices, you have to predict what the next big top tier decks will be, what will be hit on banlist etc, if you just know your shit very very well in the game you can do this. The market is very volatile and that's why it is so profitable. Also, going to events you can just hustle your cards away and create better relationships with other players if you give them discounts or freebies.
I'll give you an example. You buy an older card and you speculate that the next meta will have a great place for this versatile card. The rarity it will come in is higher than rare. It will be a short print, it will see more play than one format etc. you obtain it for 2 bucks and you buy 50 of them. A small price raise would multiply by 50 if you hussle well online and at big events, hell you can even discount cards with other cards you have. You could just buy a whole lot of packs and just vend individually and worthless cards as bulk for faggots that don't know how to play the game.
I've gotten ripped off when I first played the game for fun, it is only when I actually got into vending that I realised how much money if did not earn because of my stupidity.
Yugioh cards vending is the easiest way to make bucks to be honest, there are always stupid people buying worthless cards or failed plans, professional players that can't wait for certain cards and buy at high and you can trade with other stupid vendors. Heck if you want to get complicated, set up a deal with other smart vendors for price manipulations, trade deals, black lists or you can fuck them over by false investing to get rid of competition etc etc etc.
I've had my success with yugioh but it is very time consuming as there is so much hussling and keeping up. Also you're not really producing anything or contributing to society so your job is very very soul crushing and depressing.
This. Also sell deodorant and make the smelly patrons buy it to stay there.
I used to play DND at a games store and the weird mouthbreather Wh40k guys would always smell like straight BO.
>all stores like this are going out of business because you can just buy this shit online
>tabletop gaming has moved to the virtual world seamlessly and there is less need than ever to try to manage it in a real life environment
>Peripherals that WILL make you money will include sleaves and snacks and pop for tourneys, you also need to provide excellent customer service because most mtg stores are dicks and behave like they can't get you out fast enough which will give you an edge if you actually have social skills.
This so much
If you sell mtn dew and doritos or fucking hot pockets neckbeards will buy them