Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by Scott Thorne on November 19, 2017 @ 7:16 pm CT
Partially thanks to Wizards of the Coast, it looks like November will prove a pretty good month in terms of sales. Unfortunately, not due to the release of Magic: The Gathering--Iconic Masters, I fear. We cut back on our orders from the quantities we requested for Eternal Masters and Modern Masters and I heard a number of other stores doing the same, primarily due to those age-old laws of supply and demand.
Of course, without a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) in place from WOTC, nothing stops sellers on the web from dropping the price lower and lower in order to move product. After all, if you sell the same thing everyone else is, and have lots of it, the only thing you have to compete on is price, which means dropping the price in the hope the consumer will choose your commoditized box of Magic over someone else’s commoditized box of Magic.
In addition, when you have "experts" on YouTube posting videos talking about the Expected Value of a box of boosters as if the buyer was making an investment, it gets hard to convince the customer that they should pay $229 for a box when the "experts" say the buyer should only expect to get a value of $154. After all, why would I pay $75 more dollars for something only worth $154? Likely the only way for a store to do well with Iconic Masters is to sit on their purchase, wait until the pricing frenzy dies down and then sell the set for closer to MSRP. Unfortunately, many stores do not have the cash cushion to sit on their order until that happens.
Unlike Iconic Masters, perceived scarcity has driven asking prices for copies of the hobby market cover significantly higher than MSRP, hitting $70 to $90, making customers view the MSRP at which most stores sell the book a comparative bargain and leading to steady sales at cover price.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.