Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by Scott Thorne on February 12, 2024 @ 3:48 am CT
I've seen box prices going online for only about $10 to $15 above cost; booster box sales at most brick-and-mortar stores are nearly extinct. Pre-Set Boosters, we could reliably expect presales of 6 to 12 booster boxes. After the introduction of Set Boosters, we reasonably expected to sell 1 to 4 boxes of Collector Boosters, a case of Set Boosters and one or maybe two boxes of Draft Boosters. With Lost Caverns of Ixalan, we presold two boxes of Set Boosters, with pre-sales of zero on everything else. That figure dropped to zero with Murders at Karlov Manor.
I cannot really blame customers, given the prevalence of Play Booster box prices at $15 or so over cost. Keystoning a Play Booster box puts the price at over $200. Currently, I can easily find booster boxes at $118 on eBay.
I'm glad that Wizards of the Coast got rid of MSRP for Magic: The Gathering as our store would rather set its own price on Magic products. If there was an MSRP and keystone price, or some price allowing stores to make a reasonable profit, reached a point higher than MSRP, explaining that to customers could prove problematic. Setting an MSRP allows discounters to show how much the customer saves by purchasing from them.
The only way I see to have a reasonably useful MSRP is if the company accompanies it with an enforced MAPP. Generally, most companies with a MAPP find it very hard to enforce them as doing so requires they to constantly monitor the internet for violations. The only company (of which I know) that actively maintains and monitors a MAPP is Games Workshop. Other companies have said they have a MAPP on their products, but I'm not sure how actively they enforce it. If you are a company that has and enforces MAPP, please let me know as I would be interested in learning what your policy is and how you enforce it.
Closes Up Shop") caught most of the industry, their customers, and me by surprise. From what I have heard, the company had not shipped any preordered product since sometime last fall. The Hello Kitty set was originally promoted as a premium product with an MSRP of $150 (see "Hello Kitty Crossover Set"), and sold on the company’s website over Black Friday weekend for $30, an 80% discount. Hello Kitty cards and boxes still sell briskly on eBay at least through this past weekend, with several items selling each day, so apparently players and collectors still want it. I doubt we will ever see the release of the Secure Contain Protect Hobby Box though (see "Metazoo TCG: Secure Contain Protect Hobby Box Incoming"). Rather an ignominious end for a game that, at its peak, funded its Kickstarter campaign in 15 seconds, and sold-out releases immediately with booster boxes commanding premiums of $100 or more.
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