To Sell or Not To Sell, That Is the MAGIC Question!

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If you didn’t know, I play a card game called Magic the Gathering. I started playing it back in the early to mid-90’s and then pretty much stopped for about 20 years. A former co-worker got me back into it and now I’m back in. A very casual player mind you. I play what is called Kitchen Table Magic, ie, just sitting around playing when I get a chance with a friend or two. I don’t do tournaments or anything competitive.

The thing with Magic is that not only is it a game, it is also a Collectible card game. This means that not all the cards have the same quantity being released during each set, so the more powerful a card is and the rarer it is, the more money people are willing to pay for it.

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The company that produces Magic, Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), also sells specialty boxes of reprints so that certain cards don’t get too out of control.  Most cards from 2003 and on have a decent chance of getting reprinted if they run above $100 or become super popular due to being used in a winning deck by one of the pro’s.  These reprint boxes have a limited supply run but WOTC tends to print things into the ground ever since they were bought out by Hasbro. So “limited” tends to mean they won’t just keep on printing that particular set for a year.  11 months and 30 days, but NOT a full year, thus garnering that feared “limited” title.

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I’ve been buying some of these specialty boxes since 2015 with an eye to either opening them and getting some of those expensive cards for myself or to resell the boxes once the price starts to rise. I paid under $200 for each of those 3 boxes when they came out. Now, all 3 are selling for around $300 or so on Ebay.  The problem is that a LOT of other people all think the same way I did, plus some scum (who’ll I’ll call magic investors) who buy these things up by the hundreds to induce scarcity, thus raising the price and then said scum sell for a quick profit. So Ebay tends to be flooded with a LOT of options. Realistically speaking, there isn’t much selling going on at that price point.

I’ve tried to sell on Craigslist, but once prices go above the $150 mark, most things don’t sell real well there. People are leery of dealing with cash and meeting up and all that stuff. I don’t blame them, but still, it is discouraging.

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My question thus is this:

1 ) Do I list my 3 boxes separately on Ebay starting at 99cents, to avoid the insertion fee and hope the bidding goes up high enough to make me a profit AND to cover Ebay’s final sale fee (usually 10-15 percent, yeah, that much)

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Modern Masters 2015

 

2 ) Open the boxes and hope I get the cards I want (I have REALLY bad luck in this regard. Almost all boxes I’ve opened through the years have not done me good) and a few foil money cards I can sell individually so as to not lose too much money

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Modern Masters 2017

 

3 ) OR keep sitting on these boxes?

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Eternal Masters

 

This has all been brought to a head by the final Masters Set being released this Friday. Even though the average price for a box is running around $290, it has been selling like gangbusters in a speakeasy with Elliot Ness & his Untouchables knocking the doors down with their specialty sledgehammers. In other words, on Ebay, 1 seller sold upwards of 4000 boxes in a matter of hours. A lot of the cards in the Ultimate Masters box are also available in these 3 boxes. Which means that the price of the boxes I own might start dropping as the high priced cards in them start dropping in value.

This type of situation is exactly why I am a land survey tech and not an investment consultant.

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Ok, all good now. Just needed to write and do a little venting to get that off my chest. Cheerio…

bookstooge (Custom)

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PSA: The Oxford Comma – An Abomination Before Bookstooge

PSA

 

The Oxford Comma, the Oxford comma, and the oxford comma. Oh where to begin on this horrible travesty that has infested the purity of English grammar?

First off, a small grammar lesson so you know WHAT the oxford comma is, just in case you weren’t aware of this filthy betrayal.  When writing a list of 3 or more items, you put a comma between items and then an “and” between the final items. Example:  Bookstooge loves alcohol, cigarettes and pork.  The disgusting perps who use the oxford comma would write that sentence as thus: Bookstooge loves alcohol, cigarettes, and pork.

The communists who love this abomination will trot out example after example of why the oxford comma is so superior. Here are a couple of funny cartoons to show their propaganda.

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Now why would I have a problem with making something more clear and easy to understand? BECAUSE THERE ARE ALREADY GRAMMAR RULES DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE AND IT ENCOURAGES LAZY AND BAD WRITING.

 

If you can not communicate clearly what you are trying to get across and need an extra comma, then you are a terrible writer and I’m going to guess a pretty bad person too. The reason it frustrates me so much is because all it takes is a little bit of grammar skill to avoid such “pitfalls” as the Oxford Comma Collaborators put forth. It encourages bad, sloppy and lazy writing and dumbs down the rules for the idiots who shouldn’t be writing in the first place!

With the advent, and continued rise, of the indie writers, we as readers should not be accepting of anything that allows them to continue to be bad writers. We should be expecting them to improve as they write and to learn the rules and the skills they need.

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The mindset of the typical oxford comma user

 

So when you are writing and are tempted to use the oxford comma to get out of re-writing your sentence, just remember, Demon Goat will be waiting for you.

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bookstooge (Custom)

 

Culling – An Exercise in Futility

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The Cull Master is Tired

 

I have been in the habit of culling, on a regular basis, all the “people” who follow me here on WordPress.  It’s a habit I’ve had to get rid of all the dead wood and scum bags that accumulate. Recently, I’ve been getting flippity flopping tired of it.  I am especially tired of dirtbag writers who follow me but who have nothing in common with my blog. And when I remove them and they follow me AGAIN within 24hrs, well, that tells me they’re just looking for attention because of what awful people they are.

And don’t even get me started on those “companies”, like Hastings Services. I removed those miserable sad sacks 15 times before they stopped trying.

But I’m done with that now. It is like counting the sands on a beach, never ending. So follow away you pieces of algorithms, you attention whores, you scammers. I simply don’t care any more.

 

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Ranty Ravey McRantyPants!!!!!!!!!!

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Please don’t spoil books for people. Ever. Like, even if the book is 200 years old and everyone else has read it. Respect your fellow bookworms  A Re-Tweet

I saw this re-tweet. I wanted to take this little brat over my knee and paddle some sense into their head through their butt. What an arrogant little piece of trash. Who do they think they are to dictate to me, or others, how we can, or cannot review a book that we read?

It has nothing to do with respect. It has everything to do with a sense of self-entitlement and a self-centred view of the universe where that person is god and everyone else must bow down to their wishes and fulfill their desires. The attitude shown by the above tweet shows a breathtaking lack of thought and intellectual fortitude.

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All Because King Georgey Porgy tried to tell George Washington how to write his book review!

DON’T YOU DARE DICTATE TO ME HOW I MAY OR MAY NOT REVIEW A BOOK.

I am so pissed off right now that I can’t even think.

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Every single part of the above sentence is incorrect, IF you know your anime. And if that tweeter knew what free speech actually was and what it cost, they’d commit seppuku in shame AND they’d convince their parents to commit seppuku for raising such a dumb ass.

/rant

 

 

bookstooge

Bookstooge & the Invisible Reader

 

RANT AHEAD

 

2 1/2 years ago I wrote a post on Booklikes where I lamented the Invisible Reader. Said post was entitled “Why Do You Follow Me?”. Moving over to WordPress this year hasn’t really changed those questions very much.

I mentally understand that there exist people who follow others but don’t like or comment. But I don’t know why they do it. Just like I mentally understand that pressing a button on my magic box allow me to talk to my folks who are 1000miles away, but I sure as heck don’t know the mechanics of how my phone actually works. It is that gap between knowing and understanding that continues to fascinate me.

Personally, when I follow someone, I don’t expect them to follow me back. I am following them because I am interested in what they are writing AND how they are writing it. I won’t follow someone who regularly posts things that I am against. Also, if I find out something about someone I follow that I don’t really care for, I have no compunctions about not following them. I also try to give the same liberties to anyone who follows me. That is one reason why I really recommend people read the About Me section. I have no problems if people stop following me because of things I write. That is their choice and since they’re adults, I give them the right to make up their own minds. I just expect the same in return 🙂

Back to the Invisible Reader.  The whole idea fascinates me, mainly because on a place like WordPress, where everything worthwhile is expressed through Words [gifs aren’t worthwhile but that is another whole post unto itself], I would have thought that the very process of being on here would weed out people who make up the Invisible Reader.  My blog isn’t a magazine with 10,000 faceless people who read it. It is followed by fellow bloggers who also write their own blogs. In other words, by people who know how to use their words. I certainly don’t expect every person who follows me to comment on every post. Not even I do that on the people who I follow.

But that gap between the Likes and the number of Views per post is big enough that I can’t get over it. It comes down to the fact that there are people who follow me, read what I post but don’t interact with me. I have to admit, I simply do not Understand it.  It really bugs me when I can’t understand people.  It isn’t about a numbers game, a popularity conquest, even while it may sound like that.  A blog is not a forum. I don’t write my posts JUST for you to read them. But that is what people DO.

I am writing all this because I’m just frustrated about not really understanding. The other thing is that I’ve recently had a couple of followers who blatantly followed me and commented on a post just to try to get me to follow them to boost their numbers. THAT pisses me off. Those kind of lowlifes I can actually understand. I despise them, would gladly consign them to a death in an arena with hungry jackalopes, heck I’d probably be ok with kneecapping them, but I understand them. They are the shallow, vacuous pond scum floating on the top of the ocean with no depth to them. But the Invisible Reader is the deep strong current running through the ocean that you don’t see and you don’t see their presence except in a small area, ie, views.

All right, got that out of my system. I should be ok for a year or two now. Thank you for reading. Thankfully, Grumpy Cat is my Co-pilot * wink *

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I Will Make Them Cry – Indie Rant

Comment I recently read online:

“As an author of *redacted* book, I really appreciate your thoughts in this post. I wrote a post once entitled “Tips for writing fair book reviews that don’t make the author cry.” I’m fine with kind, diplomatic, constructive criticism – but some seem unable to write a critical review that is also kind and diplomatic. In can be done.
One review of my book crushed me and upset me for months. (Yeah, I need a thicker skin!) But the reason I was upset was that the reviewer expected my book to be something that I NEVER intended it to be, therefore I found the review unfair. Now, it could be I failed to properly describe my book on the back cover or my title wasn’t ideal, and it gave a wrong impression. It can be hard to “capture” a book with a proper title and back cover description, especially with minimal funds with a self or hybrid published book! But the reviewer could have noted that. Another reviewer, in fact, did such. They wrote that they expected “x” and instead found the book to be “y” and then wrote a positive and glowing review. I was appreciative.
I once read this: “A good book review appreciates and critiques the book that is written, not the book that the reviewer thinks should have been written.” Keeping an authors credentials and experience in mind can also help a review be kinder. Is this their first book? C’mon, it may be quite good for a first attempt and the author’s future capabilities evident. A new author with genuine potential could be crushed and not try again, if they only receive harsh reviews that failed to see the quality of their first attempt. Etc.”

 

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Folks, you are never going to get a review from me that is dictated by a Special Snowflake. I’ll write what I want and if it makes someone cry, boohoo. That just goes to show the wisdom of writers NOT reading reviews of their books. That is a special kind of Narcissism and I’ll not be party to it. I’ll hack and cut and slash and put that book out of its misery.

 

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“What is Wrong with People?” Rant

A website that I’ve been having issues with  has recently started trying to turn things around. Not sure if it will work or be permanent, but after a year of nothing, anything is good. They put up a post about Christmas books and reviews and you know what the bulk of the comments were?

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas, why aren’t you being more inclusive?” blah, blah, blah.

Not being grateful that someone was actually posting again, not being thankful for links to reviews and other reviewers, not glad to see some actual forward progress. Nope, nothing but whines and complaints. I’m sure that made the poster really glad they took all that time to create the post. It was like watching a spoiled brat kick an old person who had fallen down on the ice and was trying to get back up.

Just had to get that off my chest. Now I can have a nice weekend. Hope yours is full of good books.

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