If you’re a Magic player that hasn’t used Pucatrade, you’re missing out.
For those that don’t know, Pucatrade is a trading site (click here) where users are able to trade across the globe. While it may seem intimidating at first, Pucatrade is pretty easy to use.
The first step to getting set up on Puca is to create an account. From there, you need to decide what type of account you want.
Pucatrade accounts are set up on levels. At the Common level, members can trade any card but can’t receive foils. Also, members are not able to send points to other membersSending points comes in handy when you are offering bounties on hard to get cards.
At the uncommon level, a member can receive foils and send points. The cost for uncommon is $5/month. You also receive some limited data, number of times traded in a week, month, or year. Plus, you get all the other features.
At the Gold level, you get all the above-listed benefits plus you get data trends, you can send cards as gifts, priority visibility, and price limiting. To find out the full benefits of each level, go here.
So you have an account set up and you have chosen your level. Now what?
Now you want to build your “Haves” list. This is the list of cards you currently own and are willing to trade. Each card you list is given a point value. For those who are curious, pucapoints are roughly $.01. So, a card like Reality Smasher (current value $3.96) is worth 396 pucapoints.
Once you have done this, it’s usually helpful to create a “Wants” list. These are the cards you’re currently searching for. If you don’t have any you are looking for, that’s ok. Your pucapoints never expire.
Now you’re all set up! You are ready to make your first trade. So how do you do that?
Mailing cards – becoming a pucatrader
After you get everything set up, you will see a blue button at the top right-hand corner of the Pucatrade site. Click on this and you will see what people are looking for. Want to refine the search to only cards you own? No problem, there is a button that auto syncs to your “Haves” list.
Once you have selected who you want to send your cards to, simply package them up and put them in the mail (we will cover that later). The point value of the card(s) is deducted from their account and put into an escrow-type account. Once they confirm they have received the card(s) the points will be released to you and added to your account.
Seem simple? It really is.
So how do you get cards? Just as simple. Once you have enough points for a card on your want list it becomes visible to other traders. If they have it and want to send it to you, they click send and… well, you know the rest.
Since you have access to traders all over the globe, you can truly go after just about any card you want. Holiday promos, Black Lotus, and even your favorite basic land is available. The staff at Pucatrade has created an excellent database of cards for you to chose from.
So how do you get those hard to get cards like dual lands or other highly sought after staples? I use bounties. When I am trying to get a card, I change my profile name to something like 10%bns4CityofTraitors. This lets traders know that I will give them a bonus of 10% of the value of the card City of Traitors (btw, I am indeed looking for City of Traitors!).
While all trade initiated should be for cards of NM (near mint) quality, you can let your trading partners know you’re willing to accept less than NM. I tend to do this in my profile description. I am also willing to accept foreign languages. As an example, I wanted a Lion’s Eye Diamond but found it difficult to get. A trader contacted me saying they had one in Portuguese. I know own a Portuguese Lion’s Eye Diamond. I know some people dislike foreign cards, but hey, they all play the same!
For the most part, that’s it. Well… sort of. Let’s talk some dos and don’ts.
- When you agree to send a card do not send anything that’s less than NM unless you contact your trader first.
- Do ship the card you agreed to send within 24 hours. You should not be waiting any longer than 24 hours unless you have worked out an agreement with your trader first.
- Do put the card in a top loader. It seems silly to say this but, your card should absolutely go in a top loader. Do not just throw it in a sleeve and stick it in an envelope. Yes, people have done this, and yes cards get destroyed.
- Do not use excessive tape. Seriously, don’t. Most traders recycle the top loaders. When you muck it up with a lot of tape, it makes it difficult to re-use. A sticky note works best.
- Do put the pucatrade number on your trade. If you’re using a sticky note, you can simply write it there. Some traders receive a lot of trades in a month, this will make it easier for them to confirm they received your card quickly.
- Speaking of receiving cards. Confirm you received the card when you get it. You should take no more than 24 hours to confirm a trade. Traders who send high dollar cards get a little nervous when you take more than a day to confirm.
- When you are sending a card worth more than $50, send it with tracking. Truthfully, I prefer using priority shipping when I send an expensive card. I also prefer insuring the cards, but that’s a personal preference thing.
- There is some debate on how many stamps you should use when sending a card. If you are sending in the United States, I suggest using two stamps. I know people who are getting charged extra postage when they receive a card with only one stamp. If you’re sending out of the country, I suggest using four stamps.
And that’s it, folks. In my opinion, Pucatrade is hands down, the best way to trade. I have been able to move cards that sat in my binder for months. By the same token, I have received cards that I would never have been able to trade for in my local community. So go ahead, give it a try! Use this link to sign up to give me a referral bonus!
Patrick Cossel is the publisher of The Forge Herald. Patrick is a writer, gamer, father, husband, and even a L1 Magic Judge. Professionally he is the Operations Manager for a newspaper organization. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.