The Magic community has a lot of different definitions for the word bulk. Bulk rares are the [card]Conjured Currency[/card] and [card]Whims of the Fates[/card] of the world, the dregs of Magic cards that most often sit collecting dust until they’re shipped off to a dealer for $.10 or $.13 a piece. Bulk commons and uncommons are generally sold as collections of 1,000 cards that have been picked clean of all of the [card]Go for the Throat[/card]s and [card]Young Pyromancer[/card]s. The bulk rate for commons and uncommons is somewhere around $5.00 per thousand. These labels were attached because of the volume at which these types of cards normally move. There’s little point in sending 100 bulk rares to a dealer to get your $10.00 minus shipping costs. However, it makes more sense to get rid of 10,000 at once. In Magic, just like everywhere else, prices decrease as volume increases. But do we take advantage of bulk pricing as often as we should when the items aren’t trading cards?
Today I want to share several websites with you where I buy my shipping and organizational supplies in bulk. I cringe when I look at some of the selling advertisements on Facebook and see people request $4 for shipping with tracking in a bubble mailer. When questioned, they defensively tell you that a bubble mailer costs at least a dollar and that the box of 50 toploaders they bought cost $5. These guys even go to the post office to pay for shipping, which is more expensive than the alternative. I’ll show you where I buy my own bubble mailers, toploaders, and 1,000 boxes. If you’re an FNM trader who doesn’t do a large volume of selling or trading online, this won’t be as useful as for someone who just opened up her TCGplayer store and wants to hit Level 4 ASAP.
I currently use BCW for any of my orders of “long boxes” of varying sizes. There’s a decent probability that your LGS buys its boxes from the same company. The listing says 800 count, but they’ll comfortably hold 1,000 Magic cards. I use the smaller-count boxes to organize my various specs, lands, and tokens. I often fill the 1Ks with bulk commons and uncommons and sell them on Craigslist for $6 to $7 per thousand. That’s more than you can get from a dealer, and casual players love getting tons of cards for not tons of money. BCW offers free shipping on most orders of $100 or more, so I’d only place an order if you have a lot of sorting to do, because the free shipping takes a huge chunk off of the cost. I particularly enjoy the 3×4 card house storage boxes that hold 12 of the 1K long boxes, but I’ve never ordered one from this site. They’re one of the items that aren’t free shipping eligible, and I haven’t needed to buy this many additional card houses in bulk. Still, once you get free shipping on the 1K boxes, the cost ends up being $.66 per box.
So far, this is the best deal I’ve found on mass bubble mailers. They’re large enough that you should be able to ship any normal singles order, and a Paypal shipping label fits nicely on the front. Five hundred envelopes at $32.95 with free shipping equals approximately 6.5 cents per envelope. That’s certainly a huge mark down from picking them up from the drug store for $1.
If you do a lot of sending out cards and not a whole lot of buying cards, you’ll notice that you run out of these little guys fairly quickly. You can find them in almost every hobby shop, and even among the ripped-open packs of Pokemon cards in your local Walmart’s TCG aisle. However, we can do better than that. Buying in bulk from Cardboard Gold lets us find these for 4.7 cents each, and even less if we need 3,000 of them. Eating the initial cost sucks, but if you know you’ll still be using these months and years down the road, it’s financially smarter to bite the bullet now and enjoy not having to pay recurring costs down the road.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of sources to obtain bulk shipping supplies. I have not scoured the internet for weeks looking for these websites and prices, and I’m not guaranteeing you that they are the absolute, 100% best option for your situation. If you read this and know where to find a better deal than what I’ve provided, please mention it in the comments below, or send me a link on Reddit, Twitter, or Facebook so I can share it. That way we can all ship and store our products cheaper. I hope I managed to help a few people cut down their shipping costs today!
A Post-Script on Temples
I recently read a post on r/mtgfinance claiming that Temples from the Theros block were not very strong investments going into next year. The argument was that they are weaker than any of our previous recent dual-land friends, like the shock lands ([card]Hallowed Fountain[/card], check lands [card]Glacial Fortress[/card], or fast lands [card]Seachrome Coast[/card]. While Temples aren’t the strongest weapon in a hyperaggressive deck, I can’t remember the last time that a rare cycle of lands didn’t average out at around $10 during their second year in Standard (assuming a first printing). I don’t think Temples are any different, and I expect to see the $3 to $5 Temples join their brethren of [card]Temple of Enlightment[/card] and [card]Temple of Malady[/card] soon enough. Real estate is the golden egg of MTG finance, and I don’t see that changing this season.