Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Your store on Magic Online

We host the first of a series of articles from our friends blog http://www.mtgeconomist.com , a top blog dealing with mtg and mtgo economics.
You can read the original article here: 

In the previous chapter I showed the three main profiles for the Magic Online users: the drafters, constructed players and collectors. Besides, I finished saying that all profiles had a common goal: trading cards for a profit without effort. This process can be achieved by creating a Magic Online store, which can be managed personally or by a bot, a tireless worker which makes trades at any time of the day.

What is a Magic Online store?

A Magic Online store can be as simple as a user which offers buying and selling cards. Unlike the official store, you may open a store at Magic Online to trade your own cards and get your profit. Any user can create a store but it should have at least the following elements:
  • A Magic Online account
  • A card stock and/or sealed product
  • An ad on the classifieds section
  • Time and a dedicated computer

The first requirement has no discussion. The second one is essential if you want to attract customers interested in your cards. The third one is needed if you want visibility and let people know that you offer cards for buy/sell. Finally, the computer seems obvious but in following chapters of this seres you’ll notice that this element requires an special attention.

The main advantage of having a store at Magic Online is that you can make a profit from every transaction. Each time you buy a card to the purchase price and then sell it to its selling you get a profit percentage. If you repeat this process you can go on infinite profit. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

You may ask yourself why people would sell you a card at a cheaper price that you could sell it. The main reason is because you are offering a service: to be continuously present at Magic Online and accumulate a stock that you offer to the public.

However, there is another even more important reason. Drafters open boosters with cards that they usually don’t want because they prefer to play another draft, so they try to sell them as soon as possible. You, as a store at Magic Online, buy them those cards at a lower price because you know they have the urge to sell. On the other hand, constructed players search cards for their decks, so you can sell them at a slightly higher rate than you bought because you are saving them time to search those cards.

This way, the loop of buy/sell a card is closed and now you know where the profit comes from. However, there are still some problems we have to solve. Let’s see how.

The problem of payments

The first problem that appears when you open a store at Magic Online is how to charge your customers. As I said in a previous article, the currency of the game is the Event Ticket. However, this coin is indivisible, so you could not buy a card with a value, for example, of 0.4 tickets. Therefore it is necessary to track the credit of each client. Thus, if you sell a card of 0.4 tickets to a customer, he would give you 1 ticket and you should record him 0.6 credits for future trades.

The second big problem relies on the necessity to be in front of your computer at all times if you want to get customers. As you can imagine, this would be a huge amount of work for only one person who owns a store at Magic Online. This way, it is not strange that your store is not directly managed by you, but by a bot.

What is a bot?

A bot is a sophisticated special software that manages all purchases and sales of your store at Magic Online. You may think of it as a tireless shopkeeper which replaces you when doing all the tasks required by your store, works 2
4 hours a day and asks you nothing in return. To give you an idea, I introduce you a list of tasks managed by a bot:

  • Continuous update of your inventory status, after each buy/sell or whenever you personally change your inventory.
  • Track credit of each customer.
  • Check the status of the Magic Online client.
  • Automatic update of your ad with latest prices, state of the bot (open/busy)
  • Notify customers the prices of the cards selected by them for purchase.
  • Refresh the price list of all cards on your store inventory.

Although you can add more tasks, the previous list summarizes the most relevant ones. For many of them, the robot needs to move the mouse, send clicks and keyboard commands. For this reason, an operating system that uses a robot should not be used for any other task and must be only running your store at Magic Online. Fortunately, this problem has a solution that will be discuss in a future article of this series.

Which bot should I use?

Although there are some bots for Magic Online over the net, undoubtedly the most famous is MTGO Library. This software has the advantage of allowing you to customize almost any behavior you want for your store at Magic Online. Therefore, I would suggest you this software as the best choice to start with your first store. In the next chapter I will explain how this application works and what chances you have to create your store on Magic Online.


  1. The author of the article is Enrique. Good work Enrique!

  2. Thank you very much Albert :)