Sunday, September 14, 2014

Speculating the Magic Online Vintage community

Hi Everyone!

The past couple weeks have been really interesting regarding Vintage Masters. I wrote last week about when to sell Vintage Masters cards and basically, the pointer was to keep until another “Masters” set comes out, other than Modern Masters 2.

There is one other thing that’s important to point out that I have been encountering a lot lately. I am an avid Magic player. In fact, I changed to online because it’s convenient to open a program and be able to play a game within a minute. Vintage is my favorite format because games are never the same and there are a lot of interesting decisions. Vintage is the most played format by me, and I noticed that most of the time, the maximum number of players in the Vintage room is 10. That’s 10 at the popular times of day. When I log on at 2am Pacific time I usually don’t get an opponent before I decide to do something else instead of play Magic. 

The thing I want to say is that it appears that there are very few avid Vintage players online. So, why are cards skyrocketing online when there seems to be less and less people playing Vintage? It’s certainly not because there are more people collecting the cards they need to play, it’s because everyone seems to be speculating that the “good” cards will keep going up. This phenomenon happened once before in the stock market….it was happening rampantly when the stock market collapsed in 2008 and caused “the great recession”. People speculated that prices will go up, the same thing is happening online. Online is a different animal, I’m not saying they are the same, but some parts of the strategies for effective investing can transfer from one to the other.

So, there’s not a lot of Vintage players who want (or can afford to) play Vintage online. What’s making the prices go up? Speculators are making the prices go up. Since Vintage is still expensive, is it possible that speculators will only be selling to other speculators? I think that’s possible until there is a point when the cards are reprinted again. It’s like the dual lands, they were really expensive even though the online community of Legacy players was really small the speculators drove the price up to over $50 for Underground Sea. When Vintage Masters was released, the price dropped very low. The price was around $15 the entire time Vintage Masters was released. The price stayed low mostly because the speculators sat back and waited for the “right time” to buy their cards. It appears now is the time.

I just wanted to take this week to talk about how speculators can change the market and make investing more challenging. It’s really something worth talking about because there’s a lot of speculating right now that seems to be driving the prices up even though the number of Vintage players are dropping (or at most, maintaining) and the popular vintage cards that aren’t in Vintage Masters are dropping.

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