» Join the League
» Reference Checker
Browse the Member List
Edit Your Membership Profile
View the MOTL FAQ
» Ultimate Bulletin Board
» Price Guides
Search the Bulletin Board
3 Steps to Trading Online
Tips for Trading Online
Confirmed Bad Traders List
Links to Other Sites
Magic Download Section
Tips for Trading Online
This is complilation of some common sense tips that will help to make your online trading experience much more enjoyable.
First, some general tips for trading online:
Always, always ask for and check references.
It seems so simple and yet so few people actually do it. All it takes is a simple e-mail
messages out to each of the references the person your trading with supplies. If the person
you're trading with is a member of MOTL, be sure to check out their references list on the
site. This is THE MOST important thing to do when trading online.
If you do nothing else, at least do this.
Save your e-mail messages.
The best thing to do is to create a folder with the e-mail program you use and store all your
trade-related e-mail messages there. I keep hearing "I lost your address" from people I've
just given my address to only a day ago. This will also help you out in the unfortunate event
that you get ripped off, as it's a almost impossible to track rippers down without detailed
information such as an address.
If it's too good to be true, it is.
This may seem like a tired phrase, but trust me, it's true. If someone seems very eager to
give you an incredibly good deal for your cards, be wary. A lot of problems in life can be
avoided if you stop and take a moment to analyze your possible risk vs. your possible gain
in a given situation. If you can't risk losing your cards, find another person to trade
with, which brings me to my next point.
There are lots of people to trade with.
Don't feel pressured into a deal because you don't think you'll be able to trade your cards
to anyone else. You will. The Internet is not your local card shop, there are millions of
people on the Net and a couple thousand on this site alone. Don't worry, other people
will want your cards.
Don't assume every card is in mint condition.
Always be sure to describe the conditions of the cards you're trading and ask the person
you're trading with to do the same. You wouldn't do a trade at a card shop or convention
blindfolded, so don't do it on the Net.
Nothing upsets people more than to deal with someone who never contacts them, and nothing
pleases them more than to deal with someone who does. If the person you're trading with sends
you an e-mail message, e-mail them back promptly. Make sure to send an e-mail message out when
you send your cards and when you receive theirs.
Ask permission for references.
Don't just assume that the person you just traded with wants you to use them as a reference.
When you receive their cards, make sure you tell them whether or not they may use you as a
reference. There's nothing worse than having someone check on your references and having one
of them respond negatively.
Don't force people to send first.
If you have a well-established online reputation, you may ask that the person you're
trading with send first, but if you act arrogantly about it, they'll probably just break off
the trade. Don't assume that since you belong to such-and-such organization, including this
one, that it makes you better than everyone else, it doesn't. Also, if the person you're
trading with does end up sending first, throw in some extra cards with what you send. It
doesn't have to be anything big, just maybe a couple uncommons to thank them for trusting you.
Sometimes the mail is fast, sometimes it's slow. If the person you're trading with is in
another country, even Canada, expect the trade to take considerably longer. Don't go crying
"ripper!" if their cards didn't arrive in a week, no one will listen to you. Also consider
that some people also can't afford to drop everything and go to the post office when your
cards arrive. If you haven't heard anything from the person you're trading with a week after
sending your cards, send them a polite e-mail messages asking if they got your cards, whether
you received theirs or not. Remember, the cards you send are your responsibility until they
reach the hands of the person you're trading with, so make sure that they got to their destination.
Take steps to safely ship your cards.
Using a hard sleeve and a bubble mailer can go a long way to insuring that your cards get to
their destination safely. The post office typically pays more attention to these type of
packages, and they'll actually honor the "Do Not Bend" markings. It only costs a dollar, on
average, to send your cards like this. Look at it this way, the stamp you'd normally use +
the price of a candy bar = great happiness for the person you're trading with.
Things don't get lost in the mail (at least in the U.S.).
Face it, it just doesn't happen anymore. You could label a package with just a name and a zip
code and it would still probably get to it's destination. If someone trys to give you the
excuse that the cards got lost in the mail, they're probably full of it, plus, they are still
responsible for making sure you get your cards. If you think something may have been lost, go
to your local post office and have them do a trace on your package. If you want to be absolutely
sure that your cards get to their destination, send them by certified mail and the person you're
trading with will have to sign for them when they arrive.
Ripping someone off is mail fraud.
This is another reason to save your e-mail messages. Any documented deal in which you agreed to
send a certain item in exchange for another by mail, is under the jurisdiction of laws pertaining
to mail fraud. If you don't believe me, read
Title 18, Section 1341 of
the US Code. Those found guilty of mail fraud can be fined and sent to jail for up to 5
years. Contact your local postmaster if you seriously believe you've been ripped off, and he
or she will tell you what you can do.
Finally, most people are honest.
Although there are some rippers out there, online trading wouldn't exist if most people weren't
honest. If you just use some common sense and try to follow these guidelines, you should have
many successful trades.
© 1996-2012 Magic Online Trading League