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GeneralZorpa on Yugioh
Getting Back In the Game: Trading

October 7, 2008

Always Look A Gift Horse In the Mouth

Well here is probably the most enigmatic part to the game, trading. Trading is both a pleasure and a curse, as many people get ripped, stuff stolen or worse. I myself have gotten several rare cards stolen from both online traders as well as people looking through my binder and such. As people come into the game again, trading begins to take on a new form of importance. Their cards are no longer top dog, and they either need to spend an outrageous amount of money in order to get the cards (I'm looking at you Joey and Keenith), or trade their cards in order to get the new stuff.

The article will be divided up into sections, where I will talk about prices, where to trade, how to protect your cards, how to trade online and whatever else I think you need to know to get into the wide world of Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading.

Know Your Cards

I have always advocated this, both to my friends and to anyone who has asked me about trading. It is ALWAYS the most important thing in trading to know the value of your cards as well as which cards you have with you. There is nobody more popular at a Regional than a little 11 year old with a binder full of Dark Armed Dragons trading them off for SDK Blue Eyes White Dragons because it has higher attack points.

Point Number One: You should always know the value of your cards. I know it is a hard thing to do, as prices fluctuate very rapidly and it is incredibly hard to know which prices are correct. However, we are blessed with ebay.com, the greatest online marketplace on earth or cyberspace. This is where you can find what the prices of cards are the moment you log in. Generally, the "Best Offer" or "Buy It Now" prices are the least accurate as they are fixed at the time the auction was put up. You want to look at completed transactions, as that will show you what the most recent bids were. The worst place to look for prices are the online stores. As far as I am concerned, unless you are picking up unpopular cards, those stores are a bad way to go. Their prices are often 25-40% higher than ebay prices. Your friends also might be a reliable source of info, but be sure to check on ebay prices before you do any sort of trading.

There are 3 levels of card prices generally accepted by most people I have traded with. The first and most expensive are the online store prices. Most people will not use these prices unless they are trying to inflate the prices of their valuable cards. The second is the most popular price level, ebay. Most everyone will use this price level as it is rational, reliable and generally won't change much if you check it the night before a Regional. The third level is street price. This is what you can usually actually get for your cards. I don't like this level as much as ebay, as it is very subjective and is often used to bring the value of your cards lower than your trading partner's.

Point Number Two: You should always know what is in your binder at any given time. This is incredibly difficult, especially if you have a bajillion cards like me. You can usually keep track of your cards very easily by organizing them in your binder. You can organize them by ATK, card type, holo rarity or whatever you want. This makes it extremely easy for you to see if anything is missing. It also makes it easier for people to find what they need and makes the whole trading process a little bit easier. I like to organize my binder by rarity, with the best cards up front where everyone can see them and you can keep an eye on them.

Keeping multiple binders is a sure fire way to lose one. In the excitement and shuffle, binders often get passed around and you can easily lose track of one, especially when you are engrossed in another binder. The more binders you have, the easier it is for your stuff to end up as somebody else's stuff. It is also a good idea to keep your deck (which usually has your rarest cards) out of the trading circle, as it is small and esasy to steal.

Trading Places

The best places to trade are by far Regional Tournaments. They are local, often as big as Shonen Jumps and are a great way for you to network with otherplayers in your area. I met up with Tomas Mijares because he wanted to trade me for my spare Heraklinos. i have also met all of my Yugi-friends while trading at mostly Regionals.

The next best places are local tournaments. These are smaller places where you can often keep a better eye on your stuff as well as you know that someone is not going to jack your stuff and end up 100 miles away with it. This is also a great networking oppotunity as youc an meet up with people that you will often see every week for tournaments.

I find that trading online is a risky business. Yes you can get some hard to find cards very easily, but you can also oh, so easily be taken advantage of, especially if you have a low reference score. My best advice when trading online is to never trade with anyone with below a ref score of 20 unless you are doing a moderator trade. Details on trading rules, regulations and hints can be found on the Pojo Trading Forum, where I have done ALL of my online trading. Also, here is a word of advice, if they scram the minute they here mod trade, they are rippers, so be careful. And AS ALWAYS in trading and life, if it sounds to good to be true, it actually is. Do not send out a trade of your couple of rare things for their 100 Dark Armed Dragons.

Trading with your friends is probably the most reliable way to trade, they are unlikely to steal your stuff, and they are just as unlikely to rip you. You can also get to hang out with your friends a lot more. Yu-Gi-Oh! is a social activity and the more social you are the more successful you are going to be at this game.

We Will Protect This House!

Here are some general tips for protecting your cards from thieves, rippers and damage while trading.

1) Only trade with one person at a time. You may lose some potential trades, but you won't lose your cards.
2) Be organized. Know where everything is at all times.
3) Use only one binder.
4) Hide your deck.
5) Bring a backpack. So many people don't do this, then they complain when their stuff is stolen.
6) Do not allow food or drinks near your cards. A wet Crush Card Virus is soooo not worth 200 bucks any more.
7) Use card sleeves for your cards, even in your binder pages.
8) Use binder pages in your binder and use a binder. Your rare holos don't do so well in those nifty tins.
9) Make sure that both people know both sides of the trade and you BOTH understand EVERYTHING.
10) Have Fun!

On that note this wraps up this installment of Getting Back In the Game. I will be writing a few more, but they are draining my time and energy needed for school, so they will probably be less frequent. You can email me at raptor1k@hotmail.com if you have any ideas or questions. I love emails, but I might not get back to you immediately, I am a busy guy!

Thanx for reading!

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