Last updated on August 30, 2021
White Sale | Illustration by Quinton Hoover
Well, I’ve got your back! No need to think about where to sell your MTG stuff. I did some digging and came up with ten places — including five online marketplaces — that I think are the best (or just the easiest) places to sell your cardboard and get the cold hard cash you deserve.
Ready? Let’s go!
How I Decided
Decision Paralysis | Illustration by Vincent Proce
There are a lot of different options when it comes to selling your cards, and that means there are a few factors involved to determine whether you should use a particular method.
Are the prices they’re using equal to market value? Most vendors like your local game store or a Grand Prix will typically buy your cards for between 40% to 60% of the card’s “retail” value.
Are they even looking to buy the cards you’re selling? Some places have excess stock and won’t be buying as much Standard stuff, or they might not be interested in buying older cards if their clientele is mostly Standard players.
Ease of Use
How many hoops do you have to jump through to make a sale? Do you need to send in a million different kinds of ID? How long does it take to upload your list of cards?
I’m going to be using two lists to review all the selling options I’ll be presenting to you: one with Standard staples and another with Commander staples. This way we can compare prices between formats as well as vendors. I’ll also be including any fees including shipping.
- Winota, Joiner of Forces (IKO)
- Cragcrown Pathway (ZNR)
- Riverglide Pathway (ZNR)
- Fabled Passage (ELD)
- Expressive Iteration (STX)
- Iymrith, Desert Doom (AFR)
- Goldspan Dragon (KLD)
- Alrund’s Epiphany (KLD)
- Rhystic Study (PCY)
- Cyclonic Rift (2XM)
- Smothering Tithe (RNA)
- Dockside Extortionist (C19)
- Vandalblast (TSR)
- Phyrexian Arena (MB1)
- Mana Crypt (MB1)
- Animate Dead (MB1)
Let’s get the most popular one out of the way first. TCGPlayer has a super nifty “Buylist” option to sell your cards. You can also use their Seller accounts to sell as if you’re a digital storefront. I’ll cover just their Buylist option for now.
They probably have the largest Buylist since they combine all of the stores that are looking for those specific cards. This means that you can almost definitely sell any card in your collection because someone out there might want it.
The Buylist page is pretty straightforward but I’m not a huge fan of having to sift through each card variety and condition. I’d rather have a small list that shows each printing and select the condition because you don’t really need to see each card.
They’re hard to beat when it comes to price. Most of their prices are between 55% to 60% of the TCGPlayer Market Price, and shipping isn’t usually very expensive if you live in the U.S. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any details about any specific fees without actually submitting a buy to the platform. In my experience with them, though, they’re fantastic with customer service and are quick to help if you have any questions.
CSI has been around the block for a while now. They offer a pretty large Buylist and usually have some special promotions going on. As a kicker, they almost always offer an extra 35% if you choose store credit over cash.
Their Buylist is easy to navigate and shows a nice, clean list to figure out the correct printing for the card you want to sell. It’s a little basic, but I think it looks much neater compared to TCGPlayer’s page. Sometimes the pages are a little slow to update when you add or remove items in your cart, but it’s nothing that would frustrate me unless I did this a lot.
I’d also like to mention that CoolStuffInc only lists prices for near mint cards and deducts the price after they’ve received the cards if they’re played. They won’t purchase any heavily played or foreign language cards either, so be aware of that.
Their prices are average. Each card was worth about 50% of what CoolStuffInc was selling it for, which falls right in the range you should be looking for. They paid closer to 60% for Commander staples like Cyclonic Rift and Mana Crypt, which is a much better deal if you’re selling those kinds of cards.
Not all of the cards in my cart were on their Buylist, though, so there seems to be less demand than sites like TCGPlayer. The real kicker comes with the 35% bonus if you choose to get store credit, which earns us almost $20 extra for our Standard cards alone.
Overall I think they’re a safe option if you’re looking to cash out format staples, but I wouldn’t sell exclusively Standard cards unless you were in real need of some quick cash.
One of the largest retailers for Magic out there, Star City Games is probably the second biggest name mostly thanks to their fantastic events. Once you make an account, you can check out their Buylist program and start making your cart.
They offer a simpler interface, showing each printing as its own item without card art. There’s also a ton more options for each card including picking the language of the printing as well as the card grade with near mint/mint, played, and heavily played. The price also updates in real-time as you change these values.
Honestly, this was probably the best interface I got to play with. It’s fast, easy to use, and has a variety of options to make sure you sell exactly what you have. It’s probably the fastest site I’ve used so far.
The downside? Star City Games’ prices are rough. They average in the low 40% range for almost every card in both carts. Animate Dead and Vandalblast were even less, only around 15% compared to the prices Star City Games sells them for.
I wouldn’t recommend selling cards through these guys. Prices being that low means that you aren’t getting the bang for your buck, and you want to maximize your value here. Regardless of how fantastic their interface is, these prices can’t bring me to recommend them.
The original digital storefront and the king of the West Coast for both events and sales, ChannelFireball is also a huge contender, for good reason. They offer another huge inventory of cards and are well known for their fast service.
The interface is very similar to TCGPlayer’s Buylist but it’s more responsive and quicker to update. It also offers the ability to pick the grading of the card you’re selling, but they weren’t buying any copies of cards that weren’t near mint when I made my Buylist.
Speaking of options, ChannelFireball doesn’t seem to be all that keen on buying older cards. Out of the eight cards in my Commander list, they were only buying three of them. And out of what they were buying, the prices seemed a little on the low side. Ranging between the mid-’40s to 50 for most cards, with the few Commander cards being on the higher end. Just like Star City Games and CoolStuffInc, they offer more if you choose to do it store credit. If they’re even buying the cards that you’re selling.
ChannelFireball is pretty fair when selling more recent cards and Standard staples compared to the other options, but much less reliable for older cards. I’d sell cards here if you’re selling exclusively Standard cards, but take store credit over cash.
Everyone’s favorite YouTube channel sponsor is here! Boasting another wide selection of cards, Card Kingdom is somewhat of a newcomer but still has an impressive reputation. I guess all those YouTube sponsorships are true.
Card Kingdom’s Buylist page is simple and quick, allowing you to input the correct card printing without any hassle. Unlike other options, they don’t allow you to select the grade of the card you’re going to sell but they do grade the card when they receive it and accept anything from near mint to “good” according to their grading guide.
Pricewise, Card Kingdom ranks up there with TCGPlayer. Most of the cards we’re selling are on the higher side between 55% to 62% across both of my carts. And just like most other vendors, they also offer 30% more if you choose store credit, making them the best place to sell MTG in my opinion.
While the most popular options may be vendors that I already covered, there are other avenues if they aren’t available to you. Or whatever other reason you might have against them.
At first glance you’d think eBay would be pretty straightforward, and I’d be inclined to agree with you. It’s not hard to make an account and start listing products, and it’s been around since the dawn of the internet. Using eBay opens you up to a huge can of worms that most sellers aren’t prepared for: eBay scammers.
Yup, that’s it. People on the internet suck, and unfortunately that includes many of those who peruse eBay. Most of these people try to game the system with eBay’s policies just to put you in harm’s way. They’re extremely crafty at manipulating eBay’s Terms of Service, often locking you out of any seller’s protections or even your PayPal account. I would not recommend it unless you’re already a seasoned eBay veteran.
I’d also like to give an honorable mention to eBay and PayPal processing fees, which can also severely cut into the price of what you’re selling. If you’re trying to sell single, more expensive cards (like that Black Lotus you’ve got lying around), you’ll have more success here than trying to sell cards that are only worth a few bucks each.
Facebook has also become a prominent figure in the last few years with its own Marketplace as well as some popular trading groups. While I’ve been Facebook-free for the better part of the last decade, there’s plenty of activity on the platform for those who want to put the time in.
Starting off may be a bit of a struggle as you try to find the right groups and try to establish yourself as trustworthy. It’s also important to note that listing cards on the actual Marketplace may be difficult because of their auto-filters for things like animals and weapons. Sorry Birds of Paradise.
Selling Your Cards In the Physical World
Jaded Sell-Sword | Illustration by Randy Vargas
Alongside the digital world, you can always opt to sell your carboard in person, which usually leads to much faster results overall. However, this does come with its own sets of issues and problems to deal with.
Support your local game store! These are the true cornerstones of our hobby and they deserve our praise (and business). Always check with them to see what they might be interested in purchasing, and make sure it’s a fair deal. They might offer store credit for a bigger bonus because that means you stay shopping with them and support their business.
Depending on where you are, you might have the option to sell your cards to various vendors that populate the venue. They’re typically set up with their own booths and teams and don’t often have a public Buylist to view before you sit down with them, so you’ll have to trust them that the prices are fair.
You may also happen across other players who are looking to buy or trade, which is pretty normal. If the venue allows cash trades (some don’t allow them outside of vendors), you’ll probably have to haggle around TCGPlayer mid prices or lower. It’s not always a safe bet and it’s not very frequent, but it can happen.
The physical versions of eBay with their own pros and cons to each platform. I’d stay as far away from these platforms as possible. You probably won’t get as good a deal as you’d think and they’re notorious for having difficult people to deal with.
Selling your entire collection is a very different beast compared to the traditional Buylist process. Most platforms that do offer to buy collections all operate with similar rules as to how you can best accomplish this. It’s as simple as contacting them, mailing your collection, and waiting for them to send you an offer.
Different platforms have their own rules as to how long it takes to process, how many cards at a minimum you can send them, and how they’ll price bulk vs. non-bulk cards. For example, Star City Games doesn’t seem to have a minimum number of cards, but CoolStuffInc is only interested if it’s over 100,000 cards.
End Hostilities | Illustration by Jason Rainville
There are a lot of different platforms where you can sell your MTG cards. Whether you want to sell through a marketplace or your local game store, there are a variety of options to make the most bang for your buck if you do the research.
Between all of the methods I talked about today, I personally recommend Card Kingdom as the best overall place to sell MTG cards. They offer the best prices (with both cash or store credit), the largest Buylist, and one of the best interfaces to get your cart set up.
If you’ve stuck around with me this long, I wanna thank you for reading and I hope you found it informative! You can keep up with more content from Draftsim by following us on Twitter or joining our Discord. Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep slingin’ cardboard.
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