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Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling Cards

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Deusanautica

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Post Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:04 pm

Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling Cards

Following a request made by a moderator on the forums, I decided to try writing up this article in an effort to teach people about the etiquettes of buying and selling cards. I shall cover as much as I can with this article, and I expect anyone who reads this article to the end to be able to become a more refined card trader.

First of all, when it comes to the idea of selling cards, at least within the local community, one can post a selling list on a forum, or one can display his wares at any location where there's a crowd gathered. I'll first talk about posting a selling list on a forum. Thus far, I've seen many people post their list on a forum without stating a price for their cards, while there are those who do state prices for their cards, like myself. I'm not an advocate of having buyers state their offer for particular cards, since it's pretty much holding out for the one who states the best offer, then milking the buyer for that much money. Let's put forth this scenario, Buyers A and B both want the same card that a seller has only 1 copy of, both buyers are communicating with the seller through SMS. Buyer A offers 10 dollars, and the seller tells Buyer B as such, Buyer B responds with a 12 dollar bid, and this is relayed in turn to A, who bids 14. This cycle can easily go on until someone gives, and our big winner will be the seller who sold a card for upwards of 14 dollars when it would otherwise have gone for 10. I'm not saying that this will definitely happen if sellers wanted buyers to state their offers, but its a definite possibility. Stating your price would make things much fairer for buyers.

Even in cases where prices are stated, I have once seen buyers who attempted to outbid each other for one of my cards. While a 15 dollar bid for an 8 dollar card was highly tempting, accepting the 15 dollar bid would be very wrong. The first buyer had agreed to the 8 dollar price tag that the seller came up with, once the seller is committed to selling the card to the buyer at an agreed price, there's no room for new bids, no matter how high the new offer might be, unless the first buyer backs out of course.

Setting your prices obscenely low is also a detriment to the trading community, try this out, gengar prime are all going for 40-50 dollars, then one guy says he bought one for 10 dollars, what happens next is that no one in the world will buy gengar prime for 40-50 dollars, they'll just wait around for the 10 dollar seller to pop up again. Way to obliterate the market.

Whether it's the weekly league gatherings, or sanctioned events, where there's a crowd, there's bound to be merchants looking to sell some of their cards. More often than not at large events, there'll be multiple merchants, and it wouldn't be a surprise if some of the cards they were selling were the same as each other's. Thing now is, if one person sells a poke turn at 4 dollars each, while someone else sells at 3 dollars each, there's competition. If each of them were to find their own buyers for their cards, then there's no problem, but if the 4 dollar seller were to find a customer who has committed to buy, only to have that customer snatched away by the 3 dollar seller, on the account that his cards are going for 3 dollars, then we have a problem. That problem is called undercutting. Undercutting is very much frowned upon by sellers, as it is highly disrespectful to other sellers, and there are people who do not tolerate such behaviour.

When it comes to buying cards, everyone obviously looks for the cheapest available. Again, when it comes to buying etiquettes, first thing to note is that, when you find a price you're satisfied with, and are willing to meet, most importantly, if you've committed to buying at that price, going round looking for someone else to buy cheaper from is not good. Committing to buy from a person, only to back out of the deal simply because the buyer found someone else who's selling the same card cheaper, shows that the buyer is an unreliable person.

Another issue about buyers would be the fact that they commit to buy certain cards, with the deal set for a later date. When that date arrives and the seller goes to wherever the buyer agrees to meet, only for the buyer to say they aren't buying anymore, as they need to reconsider. This kind of attitude is as wrong as wrong gets, I've seen a number of such people myself, and I have since made sure they never buy a thing from me again. Before making a commitment to buy, one should have fully thought things out first. Committing to buy a card, only to back out at the last minute to reconsider not only shows that the buyer is unreliable, but it's a definite indicator of their idiocy in rashly committing without even thinking first. Apart from this, such buyers tend to not give notification whatsoever to the seller about the fact that they're not buying the card anymore. This is highly irresponsible of the buyer, having no decency to even tell the seller anything in advance, waiting till the seller has traveled a distance away just to meet the buyer. I've seen such people myself, like last year, when a I called a person on a sunday, negotiated a deal with him for the following saturday at E2max, where I would be selling him a Giratina Lv. X for 18 dollars, he told me in so many words, "sure, I can meet your price." following which he said nothing about the cancellation until saturday came and i spent 1 hour travelling to E2Max to look for him, but I shall display some composure by not telling the world who that person was, if he reads this post, he'll know very well who I'm talking about.

Key thing about being a reliable seller or buyer, and to earn mutual trust, is to fulfill the commitments, and at least speak up in advance if things have to be canceled. I've had numerous buyers coming back to me for many of my cards, even if they aren't the cheapest in the world, because I fulfill my commitments. I too am willing to sell to them again and again, because they fulfill their commitments. Buying and selling cards requires mutual responsibility, fulfill your commitments, and never do things the dirty way, and you'll find yourself a much better trader.
Last edited by Deusanautica on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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purelyxc

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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:39 am

Re: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling Cards

Ah, i've wanted to do this a while ago, because sometimes it gets really irritating when people back out on you, or when people just dont inform you they're not buying after a week or so of guarantee and you just hold on to the cards telling other buyers that you're sorry because someone has already reserved it.

And in the end he's not buying. Happened so many a times i've lost count.

And there have been many times where i've made confirmed indications of my purchases to sellers, whom suddenly back out or up their prices because someone was offering more. A particular incident i can never forget was that of a confirmed purchase of a seller's reverse holo pokemon collector which he was selling at 8, however the day before i was supposed to collect it from him, i texted him for confirmation and price. And he replied me yeah our deal was reverse holo full heal for 8 right? And i told him i never said i wanted a full heal, and i had posted what i wanted to buy from him via post (not private message) so it was clear of what my purchase was. He didnt reply me after that. And after another text to him, he said it's 12 now and someone has already reserved it and i had to outbid him. I was unwilling to pay more and i told him off.

But as much as I advocate your article, I would have to debunk your hard work of etiquette adjustment and tell you that, it is really really difficult to set a straight tone for this. Maybe in time soon to come, maybe. Here's why:

Good deals, are good deals, and our community consists of a majority of students. Some might not have as much income as others, and most too have other commitments besides pokemon cards. So nabbing the best deals are simply ideal.

Aside from that, we also have newcomers to the game. They buy what they need, some irregardless of price because they dont know prices of cards. And in fact, most who do back out last minute, are newcomers. MOST. (im referring to the ones who still do)

Not to mention, there are some newcomers who become wary to the pokemon trading scene, and having already been ripped off for their first purchase (i was a victim once) they do not want to make the same mistake. And scout high and low for the cheapest of prices. (and yes i admit being a victim to this too before)

Also, most people would see "The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling Cards" on the card trading centre forum, and wouldnt even read it a second time. Even card shops are trying to sell themselves out here in the forum saying they have promotion this for so and so, and promotion that for so and so, there simply isnt any room for etiquette to the buying and selling of products.

Lastly, prices of cards rise and fluctuate all the time.
Uxie went from 12, to 10, to 8, to 10 again..
Smeargle went from 5, to 15, to 7-9..

And my personal favourite, poke turn from 12, to 10, to 8, to 5, to 3..
and all the SP card prices drop drastically as new decks are always on the move!
Now sableye exploded in prices, and everyone wouldnt want to sell theirs at 5 anymore..

I think i have made a bit of my point here, but i do believe the community could change and improve, but there would be some people here and there messing with the quota, and the pricing systems especially when they decide to quit or so, when they are in desperate need of money, or if they're just trying to spoil the market.
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:54 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

Hmm, while i agree with xavier that it is alright to scout for the best deal, i believe what wallace is trying to say is that once you commit to buying or selling a card, you should not back out of the agreement regardless of what other offers you received. For example, lets say you are looking for a nidoqueen RR. You post enquires in a few threads and the sellers each quote you their price. As of this point in time, you are free to choose the best deal you can get, lets say 6 dollars for a nidoqueen. Then, you pm the seller to agree on the price and location of the exchange. Now, you are commited to buying this card and as such, even if someone else offers you 5 dollars for the nidoqueen, i feel that it is only right to turn down the offer and purchase the card from the seller that you have already commited to buy from.

Yes, i understand that the general population might find the need to keep their expenditure as limited as possible. However, the thing is, is that one dollar that you save really worth upsetting the other party and causing yourself to be blacklisted by the sellers? I believe that buying and selling still requires etiquette on both parties to ensure that they both walk out satisfied with the deal.
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:58 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

hi wallace, i think i've a very good idea who some parts of your article refer to. i would suggest that instead of dancing around this issue, we should set up a blacklist to expose such 'unrefined' traders. this would not only protect unknowing victims, but also serve as a deterrent to those guilty of such practices. ideally, this will achieve the reliable trading atmosphere that the community deserves
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:09 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

Well you see huang pei, what people (not everyone) do, is they scout around for the best prices, and when they think this price is good, they go in and reserve the card.
A few days later someone decides to sell his cards cheaper, and he just cancels to go for the other deal. And not everyone communicates via posts, in fact i think most communicate via PM, so sometimes you don't really know what goes on behind what you have no control of.

A black list seems really interesting and really ideal, it would make people think twice about the way they conduct their purchases and sales.
but, i dont really see it happening.. its complicated and people would shoot random names in over small misunderstandings or small details.
Furthermore, people could start having multiple accounts just so they could go by their "offence".

I think disabling PM could be ideal, nothingto hide if you're a gracious dealer. But then again, there would definitely be backlash if something like this is imposed.
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

Do you guys want a trade rating system built into the forum??
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:28 pm

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

soon wrote:Do you guys want a trade rating system built into the forum??


Oh yes please, that would be great, assuming the system would work well.

I've had this certain guy with forum name starting with "O" offer me a Tyranitar Prime and 3 Warp Energy for $22. When he wanted to meet me on that following Saturday, I told him that I would be joining a prerelease and would not be able to deal on that day. When I contact him later, he told me that he "assumed that I didn't want to buy anymore" and that someone else already reserved the cards. I told him off, stating that I never told him that I wanted to cancel the deal, and expressed a desire for him to reconsider, to which he did not reply. This is a really irresponsible action and I do hope it would not happen to any forum user here.

There is also a certain user here who once tried to deal with me, and although his thread stated "we can discuss meeting place", he was adamant on meeting at Ang Mo Kio Station only. Despite my many explanations telling him that I wasn't free and was unable to travel that far, he refused to give in and even told me off saying that "if you cannot agree on my meeting place then don't deal with me".

I really like the idea of a blacklist like what faintingspell stated, however on second thoughts having a blacklist could cause many conflicts between players. As Xavier stated, people could just create new accounts to erase their bad record and cause more inconveniences for buyers all over again. Also, yes, people always look for cheap prices thus they usually wouldn't give a second thought about "courtesy" and instead just go with the best offer. Lastly, personal feuds between some people may cause them to report false information on the blacklist, attempting to defame another buyer/seller just to make them lose publicity.

Overall, I think that this article would really help in letting newcomers understand certain social rules of trading cards, and also let existing buyers/sellers understand certain others' standards to avoid offending them while trading. Oh and also, if we are to have a trader rating system, I propose that it not be as simple as a "click and rate" system, rather we make comments mandatory so the ratings do not look like they come from some immature kid that doesn't pass judgment fairly.
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Deusanautica

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Post Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

I do agree that younger players who are new to the game need to be protected, as they might be easier targets for dishonest people. New and returning players are easier people to market to, given that they would be in need of many staple cards in today's game. At the same time, if multiple sellers are going after the same buyer, undercutting might happen. A certain person tried doing this to me in my gym, in my face, and he knows who he is.

Blacklisting dishonest and underhanded people would certainly prove to be helpful, but apart from people making new accounts to get around things, there's the question of who is qualified enough to be the one to blacklist people and update the list. If simply anyone is allowed to blacklist people, there'll be lots of revenge listings, just to get back at others.
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Post Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

IMO, undercutting is not totally negative.
It can help to lower prices when prices are booming uncontrollably.

Undercutting brings out healthy competition between sellers, however too much isn't good either.
Fortunately undercutting doesn't happen all the time, and cannot be prevented.

However, i get the main point of what u are trying to convey.
That all buyers and sellers should not back out on sales/purchase that they have agreed on.

Deusanautica wrote: A certain person tried doing this to me in my gym, in my face, and he knows who he is.

opps? was it me? lol
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Post Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:04 am

Re: Featured Article: The Etiquettes of Buying and Selling C

I agree with you Wallace, that maintaining good buyer-seller etiquette will make things much more cohesive and definately promote a friendlier environment.

But what can we do? Like you've mentioned, the black list thingie can be worked around rather easily, and honestly if I can still sell my unwanted cards to these blacklisted sellers nobody can stop me. Unless we have like... a PokePolice or something.

I too have had my fair share of buys being pulled out ON THE DAY ITSELF IN FRONT OF ME. To make matters worst, I had to get those cards from a friend in hopes of being a better seller to that particular buyer. Things didn't turn out so well, but I still gave him a smile and sold him what he needed, because ultimately this isn't a market game, its supposed to be focused on the fun instead of making $$$ out of it. I just feel glad that the cards I don't need will help another player make his game.

Sellers, please sell responsibly. Don't employ ruthless tactics JUST so you can steal customers. Unless you need the money to take the bus home or buy your only meal for the day.

Buyers, please buy responsibly. When you commit to a deal, most sellers will commit and keep the cards for you. Respect that basic level of commitment and fulfill the deal. If you want to back out, like Wallace has said, do give early notice.

@abc: I feel your pain... I'm going to make a trip to Lakeside to fulfill a deal soon, and its super out of the way for me, but the seller is unable to meet elsewhere so... Yea. What to do, if the other person is unable to compromise in any way, it then boils then to how much the other party wants to sell/buy the cards =\
Having just exit from the shower, I turned to pick up my deck to do a final check before the big day, and lo and behold a gym leader dropped me an epic comment: You smell nice. T-T FML...
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