Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dealing with new sets, a lost cause?

Are new sets too risky to deal with?
Anyone that has been using MTGO Bots for a while has surely experienced that, many times, dealing with new sets can be stressful and quite tricky. Too often we bought a card worth $8 for just 6 Tix thinking we were "playing safe" to find out , a few hours later, that this same card was now worth $3 and we didn't sell it. I will try to my best explain this phenomena with all the questions and answers you might have about it.

Why does card value drop so quickly?
I could throw the old "Supply vs Demand" theory but on set releases is a little bit more complex than that. Although we start with a supply of 0 (zero), we will also have "humans" that are eager to try the new cards, and are up to pay twice or more of what a card is likely to be worth after one week which explains the high starting price.
The amount of cards generated in the pre-release events is huge, This has a much bigger impact in price drops than in paper Magic: the Gathering, not just because of how many copies of a certain card come out, but also, because how easily MTGO allows these cards to be traded.

Why does no one sell the new cards to my bot?
More than in any other time in MTGO, the number of "humans" dealing is very respectable, and while we leave a bot running for a few hours on the same prices, humans adjust their prices every 10/15 minutes. This is likely to be the only time where most humans in fact offer better deals than most bots, because these, tend to play a bit more safe with new sets.

What should I do then?
There are a few options:
  • Don't buy the new set for the first couple of days and let the market calm down
  • Buy it low enough to allow you undercutting humans and sell quickly
  • Buy only bulk with Lite bots on the first days (so you wont be buying junk uncommons for 0.200 a piece) so when you start fully buying the set, you only need the few expensive rares.
My Choice was a mixture between the second and third, yet there was a few trades where I've ended up in loss (few hours without updating prices is all it takes).

Feel free to add your feelings and strategies on how to deal with new sets in the comment section below.

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