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DjJoe's Rants

Trading Online Properly

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Let me start by saying my experiences.

I began my online trading experience in July of 2003, on a website I was an avid Yugioh Player at the time, and began my trading on their forum. Within 5 months, I was on the Moderating Staff there. Some people remember me, as I was on the staff up until two years ago, and I am currently still a behind-the-scenes person on their Trade-staff. I was a major contributor to the Trading Staff for the better part of 3-4 years, and contributed to the Yugioh, Entertainment, Magic:TheGathering, and Pokemon forum Moderating. My time there has earned me 126 of their references, and many experiences.

Now let me start with the simple guide to online trading.

#1- Know what you are doing. The toughest thing about trading is the beginning. Get past the offers, and you're smooth sailing. I feel the biggest problem people have is knowing what they have. When you go to a Trading List, you see 3 parts- Rules, Haves, Wants. In my opinion, each of the three should be read CAREFULLY. Why? Well let me break it down.

Rules are there to describe the Trader's terms. These include thoughts, feelings, where they are, how they are, sometimes what they are looking for, who's sending when, etc. It's good to know a person and you can generally tell how a trade will go JUST BY READING THEIR RULES.

Haves are what you are looking for in their list. The Haves list can be extensive, but let me say this- if you know what you are looking for, the average list-looking time is between 30 seconds and 4 minutes, depending on your needs. Alls you need to do is hit the "CTRL" and "F" keys on your keyboard simultaneously, and type the card name you are looking for. If it's on their list, they have it, and you can begin negotiations.

Wants are what they are looking for in your list. Most people, and it's terrible, bypass this part entirely. Many traders go down, find the things they need, then go to Quick Reply and type something like "I NEED <Cardname>, CML plz!" or some variation. Personally, when I see these posts, I go to their lists, and I look for my wants, and get frustrated when I see them. I'll get into this later.

#2- Know what you WANT. It's silly just to trade for the sake of trading. Granted, you can get have fun with it, but in today's economy, is it really wise to spend money on the postage to break even? Get what you Need first, then what you Want. You want to be specific as possible, include numbers, and rarity if possible. For Pokemon, for example, it's not going to help when you want "Primes", "LVX's", or "EXs". It's too vague. You can get a lot of offers of those you don't want, and depending on the trader you can turn them off with such vagueness. It'll be discouraging to get a trader excited to trade their cards you said you wanted, only to find out you're not.

#3- Know what you HAVE- Conditions, Rarity, Quantity, Quality; all are qualities you want to know before you begin making offers or sealing deals. You want to know exactly what you have and before you confirm a deal, pull the cards out of your stock. What's the worst that can happen, you put them back? The same idea follows through from the Wants- Don't tell people you have something when in actuality you don't!

#4- Use some EFFORT. This means that Lists are two fold- you have a list, and so does the person you're trying to trade with. They took the time to type a list, show some respect and look through it. Nothing discourages me more than when people ask for something that is clearly either NOT or definately on my list. The other way works too- "Unlisted" is a term you want to steer away from. If you have something unlisted, then list it! You're either willing to trade it, or your not. If you're waiting for the golden offer on it, make it an auto-trade. There's no reason to go around telling people you have things unlisted, you might as well as not made a list at all. When you ask people to Check your list, make sure there's a list worth checking.

#5- Use some THOUGHT. Let's say I want Card A from your list, and I have some of your minor wants. The proper way to conduct my trade is to say which of your wants I am willing to trade for Card A, and to check my list for Filler. This refers to the point I was making before- If there's a Wants list, use it- Why should any trader be subjected to looking through a list and picking out all of their wants anyway? It's tiresome and a complete lack of effort and thought for someone to suggest such a thing. "CML" or "Check my list" should be used when a trader either has NONE of that persons wants, or is asking for that person to find filler for an offer made that doesn't seem to even.

#6- Know your VALUES. Nothing discourages people more than disagreement. If you go by eBay, TrollNToad, Strikezoneonline, or any other online reference, make sure you make it known. If you don't, at least make sure you make it clear why you're trading what your trading for. Not everyone has a similar mindset or desires- be ready to explain yourself if your item is only worth $1 when you value it at $10. Lastly, make sure you're consistent with your values. Don't go in one thread saying an item is worth X, while two posts later you're telling someone else it's worth Y, but on your own thread you've declared it at value Z. I envy those who have taken time out to come up with a chart for bulk, or plaed values next to both haves and wants. There's no mistakes and people know exactly how to trade with the person.

#7- Prepare for SHIPPING. If you can't afford stamps or envelopes, don't trade online. Period, end of story. Don't tell someone you can trade when you can't. Before you confirm a deal, confirm your postage. Can you send Worldwide AND Afford to? Can you send at all? Before you make a deal, think- is this going to be a Box deal or will envelopes suffice? Do you have Sleeves, Toploaders, Cases, Boxes, etc? If you don't, get some. If you can't, don't trade. Biggest mistake people make is making a trade to find they can't ship for an extended period of time. Personally, I find that if I can't afford Delivery Confirmation on EVERYTHING, I won't trade. I want to make sure my package gets where it needs to. Ask your local Post Office for details, always send from the Post Office, and always leave with a receipt.

#8- Make sure you are ORGANIZED. When I get somebody's address through PM confirmation, I take out a little black book, write down the username, my end of the deal, their end of the deal, who is sending first, and their address. I rip that page out and thumbtack it to a bulliten board. When I send, I attach the Delivery Confirmation to it. When the trade is finished, I take both pieces down, Staple them together, and file them in a box. My older method consisted of Index Cards with the trade on the front and the address on the back. I would put those cards in an Index Card Box with the cards being traded behind the index card, and when it's time to ship out I would put the cards and the index card together in the envelope. It let the person I was trading with know what the trade was, incase they forgot. There are other methods to organization, but the point is clear- always have a backup. The Forums went down in the start of July; if you were unlucky to have a trade going, wouldn't it have helped to know what your trades were?

#9- Make sure you FOLLOW THROUGH. When you're done, leave a reference. If you're waiting for one, PM the person and ask for it. Make sure they even got your end of the dea l(Although Delivery Confirmation should ensure that ). Make sure that the deal is done and that you can wash your hands of the worry.

#10- Keep yourself UPDATED. when the trade is over, or whenever you got your end of the deal, go to your list and update it. Make sure you take things off of your wants (based on what you recieved) or add things to your haves if you're willing to trade them off. Take things off of your haves if you just got rid of them!

That's all for my Guidelines to Online trading. If everyone took the time to read these guidelines and committed themselves to be respectful to each other and keep themselves cool, calm, collected, and organized, Trading would go much smoother

Updated 07/29/2011 at 09:31 AM by djjoe227