I do not (and will not) maintain an e-mail distribution list for these price lists, so please don't ask.
I will attempt to generate and post these lists once per week, probably on Wednsdays (historical accident; I created the first of these lists on a Wednsday).
I would appreciate if you would send me e-mail about any oddities you find in this list. In particular, please look for:
Will I start again if that situation changes? Probably not. If a whole lot of people start asking that I do, then I may reconsider, but I'm quite unlikely to make lists for those games (or any other games) unless there is a sudden outpouring of demand for them. And even if there is, I don't promise anything.
225. Card of Doom 4.00 12.00 20.00 email@example.com
Make sure to use one of the following three types of auction progress reporting:
card name current_bid
card name minimum_bid current_bid
card name minimum_bid current_bid buyout_bid
So long as you stick to one card name per line, you can have those pieces of information in any order. Any other text on the line is ignored.
Make sure to spell card names correctly. While the program is pretty good at matching misspelled cards with the proper names, having correct names does result in better data. It doesn't matter how you capitalize the names, however.
Repeat the card name on each line, even for multiples of the same card. If you have to differentiate between artwork variations, repeat the actual card name before the differentiating string. Like this:
Urza's Tower (in the forest) $5.00
Urza's Tower (in the mountains) $5.00
Urza's Tower (by the ocean) $5.00
Not (repeat, not) like this:
(in the forest) $5.00
(in the mountains) $5.00
(by the ocean) $5.00
Don't try to claim that this is too much effort, either, because any text editor makes doing it right easy enough with cut-and-paste features, from good old DOS' "edit" all the way to Unix's "emacs".
If you don't do that, my program won't know which version of the card your data is for. Data that isn't identifiable in that way is all aggregated together into a separate, non-version-specified price. Sadly, so few people actually take the bother to use these tags to properly advertize the cards they're selling that most of the entries in my pricelists end up being non-version-specified prices.
|Card of Doom||1.93||0.42||1.93||2.50||1.50||-.32||11|
|Card of Greater Doom||4.54||1.12||4.55||9.00||1.00||1.06||104|
As a point of interest, average/stddev is the signal-to-noise ratio for the data; I have not made a column for it since it doesn't seem all that interesting and can be generated easily enough by anyone who wants to know it.
These statistics help compensate for the fact that the program doesn't distinguish very well between print runs (mostly because people don't reliably tag the cards in their sales/auctions as to what printing a card is from) by giving you an idea of the distribution of prices. As always, use your best judgement when using this list to bid on cards or to help conduct an auction.
I have noticed that adding the one-standard-deviation filter typically lowers the prices. This is because errant data points tend to be on the high side rather than the low side. I'm not sure why that is, but be aware of it.
Probably the most important thing to be aware of when reading this list is to note that the program makes no attempt to differentiate between print runs or different versions of a card except by means of the version labels discussed earlier. This is because there is no reliable way of determing what print run a card is from just by looking at the line of text that has the card name and price on it. So if you're looking for an Alpha or Beta printing of some card, expect to pay more for it than the price in this list. Conversely, if you're looking for the same card from a more recent printing, such as 6th edition, you can generally expect to pay a little less.
Such values typically represent one of two things. First, it could be bad data. My software is imperfect, and does sometimes let bad data through. However, take heart in knowing that the "high" data points themselves are outside what my software considers the "normal" range of prices for the cards, and so the "high" (and the "low", for that matter) values are generally not included in the calculation of the "price" column itself. The exception to that is when there isn't very much data for a particular card, in which case sometimes the "high" price does fit within the criteria for data that is used to calculate the price. See What do the columns mean? for specifics on how the high, low, average, and standard deviation columns relate to the price column.
Second, unusually large "high" values often represent individual specimins of a card which have some special quality that makes them more valuable than they would otherwise be. For example, a mint-condition Fireball from the Alpha edition might, to a collector, be worth much much more than a 6th edition Fireball. Or, perhaps the card is signed by the artist, or has some type of unusual printing error. All those sorts of factors can work to increase the value of individual specimins of a card far beyond more ordinary copies of that card.Relatedly, if you find that a sale or auction quotes prices from my lists, but when you check for yourself you find that the seller or auctioneer has quoted the number from the "high" column rather than the "price" column, you should stop to ask yourself why. Common explanations include:
The second reason has to do with rarity. As time goes on, Alpha and Beta prints of lands are actually starting to become worth something. Some weeks there are a fair number of these on the market, and that will push the average price up. Other weeks there aren't, and the price is lower.
The third reason (and, IMHO, the most annoying) is that sometimes basic land names are used to differentiate between artwork variations on wholly unrelated cards. For example, I often see things like:
Urza's Tower (Forest)
That in itself isn't so bad, because I've programmed around it. But couple that phenomenon with people who like to put the main card name on one line, and the differentiation and prices on following lines, like this:
and it's pretty obvious why my software gets confused. If you're running an auction, please don't do that. See How do I make my sale or auction work with your list? It's really not hard to do, so please do.
also, people occasionally sell several lands for a combined price, as in:
Island (lot of 10) 2.00
I try to catch those cases and edit them down to a per-card price, but I don't always catch them all.
Finally, and by far the more influental, is that alpha and beta lands are starting to command respectable prices. Especially for cards in mint or near mint condition, prices of one to three dollars are not unusual.
This list is in no way official. It represents the current state of what people on the rec.games.trading-cards.* newsgroups are willing to pay for these cards, and nothing else. Neither Wizards of the Coast nor any other trading card game manufacturers sanction this list (yet, anyway). I do not expect anyone to rigorously adhere to the prices in this list; they are here just as a guideline. As with everything that is bought and sold, its value is nothing more than what the buyer is willing to pay for it.