I’m not much for drawing things out, so here’s the short of it:
Power 9 Pro will no longer produce the Dragon’s Eggs.
The decision was not reached easily, and I recognize that a number of people will be disappointed to hear this news. We are contacted daily by individual players, stores looking to stock the Dragon’s Eggs and distributors all over the world.
The short of it is, I cannot scale the business profitably. I have sought to make partnerships that could solve this problem, but alas, I was not able to finalize anything that would solve the issue of scale.
I extend a massive thank you to everyone involved with the Dragon’s Eggs, especially Adria Mooney and Archawir Istanbulian. You both were immensely helpful, and without both of you there certainly would never have been a Dragon’s Egg.
Second, a sincere thank you to each of the gamers who purchased the Dragon’s Eggs over the years. Each of you were also instrumental in the success of the Dragon’s Eggs — I always loved receiving emails from you about how much you loved your Dragon’s Egg. Those memories will always be a trophy I can carry with me. More than that, I know that your word-of-mouth praise is what made it possible for me to continue making the Dragon’s Eggs for nearly five years, despite the headwinds we all experience as entrepreneurs. There are few words to express how much I appreciate your support and enthusiasm.
In the last month since we sent out an update, we've made a series of amazing updates to Magpie. What makes me particularly excited is this is truly just the beginning.
As I have discussed with many of you personally, reports are a necessary tool for any business to properly analyze their inventories. This is equally important for a personal collector such as myself. This past week, we released a newly dedicated section in Magpie for reporting. The Reports page, denoted by the line-graph icon, currently includes two reports we believe you'll find very interesting.
Inventory Change Summary — Use this report to see how cards have changed in price over time. This report is for taking a macro-level look at your inventory. You can look at all cards your monitoring, or select a specific Group to examine. You can also choose the date range of your preference. The default is the last week.
Inventory Margin Change — If you just want to see how cards in your groups have changed according to the Margin Threshold you set in your groups, the Inventory Margin Change report provides a summary version of the larger Inventory Change Summary. If you're unsure of your Margin Thresholds, remember this is set on a group-by-group basis when you are creating or editing a group.
For both reports, you'll see we are also presenting the Suggested Group information on these reports. The goal is to help you have a single place where you can identify whether there are cards incorrectly grouped based on price. This is particularly important if you have groups dedicated to "dollar-bulk rares" and minimum card values for display cases. Both reports can be downloaded for viewing and analysis in your favorite spreadsheet software.
The reports Magpie released this past weekend will help provide you with the insight you need to properly value your inventory and collections. I encourage you to access both and explore your data. You'll find both tools are excellent for identifying trends and keeping your prices updated.
Custom Pricing — Smart Pricing and Minimum Prices
I have sent a few updates about Smart Pricing and Minimum Prices. We want everyone to be aware these tools are available for use. We consider both of these pricing tools as "advanced pricing" tools, so I encourage you to experiment with both on Private groups before you sharing them with your players via Public groups.
When creating or editing a group, you will now see an option labeled “Enable Custom Pricing.”
Enabling Custom Pricing will provide you two options: Smart Pricing and Minimum Prices.
Smart Pricing will allow you to optionally set card prices so they are more customer friendly. Minimum Prices allows you to set a price-floor for any card within a group. Minimum Prices are controlled by rarity, so that you can set a different minimum for mythics or uncommons.
To reduce the impact of small price fluctuations and to normalize for non-standard prices, Smart Pricing is based on two sets of price scenarios: card prices with denominations greater than $0.50 and prices with denominations less than $0.50. This means Magpie looks at $3.19 and $3.56 as two different situations.
A couple of examples will help illustrate this system.
Example 1: card price = $3.19 Magpie sees that the card price ends with $0.19. It looks at the setting (“Less than $0.50”) and sees the price should be set to the closest $0.45. Magpie then changes the sell price from $3.19 to $3.45.
Example 2: card price = $3.63 Magpie determines this is a “Greater than $0.50” scenario and uses the setting to change the price to the nearest $0.95, making the price $3.95. If you want to round prices to the nearest dollar, then simply use a '1'. In this example, the price would be rounded from $3.63 to $4.
Example setup options for Smart Pricing and Minimum Prices
Before enabling Smart Pricing:
After enabling Smart Pricing:
Many Magpie subscribers tell us it isn’t worth selling cards for less than a specific amount. To help with this problem, Magpie allows you, on a per group basis, to set minimum prices. Minimum prices are controlled on a per-rarity basis.
If you have any questions or ideas for further improvements, please let us know. We welcome your feedback and look forward to continuing to improve Magpie to make you more successful.
We’ve been busy pushing forward on Magpie over the last few weeks, battling off our families through the holidays so we could keep making Magpie better.
In addition to an extensive set of updates, we wanted to make sure you were aware that we’re addressing smaller enhancements that can make life easier. If you did miss our update about Store Front and Pro account tools, here is the setup video, and here is the general update.
New This Week
Earlier this week, we released a set of “quick inventory” tools for single-click inventory management.
To add a card to your inventory, all you have to do now is click the plus sign. The cards will be added to that group at your current buy price. No need to open the inventory manager, click buy, enter a price, etc.
If you would like to provide a custom buy/sell price, you can still do so by clicking the middle button. Note that this button still shows your current inventory for each card.
In the last two weeks, we’ve also addressed mobile formatting, so accessing Magpie on your phone or tablet will be as great of an experience as through a traditional browser.
New Team Member
Late last fall, we grew our team by one, welcoming Josh to the Magpie development team. Josh’s expertise is primarily in backend services — stuff you won’t typically encounter unless something breaks! Josh’s work is already helping to prevent that from happening, and we’re excited to have him on the team.
Coming Up Next
Smart Pricing: Through very popular demand, Smart Pricing is going to make it easy for you to normalize card prices (charge $4.95 instead of $4.81) while also setting minimum sell prices. Minimum prices will be really useful for bulk rares, uncommons, etc.
Smart Pricing will be available next week, so please keep an eye out for our update on this important enhancement.
As a quick preview, Smart Pricing will be a group-based setting, allowing you to set different pricing strategies for different groups. For example, Smart Pricing will allow you to set prices for bulk rare and uncommon groups while also creating different settings for hot Standard and Modern rares. So useful!
Promos: Expect promo cards to be available next week. We’re finishing up a final audit before making the data public. The addition of promos to Magpie will complete our tracking of all English MTG cards. w00t!
Going to GP Sacramento?
Friday through Sunday, I will accompany a small army of friends and fellow players from San Francisco to GP Sacramento. If you’re attending, I’d love to meet you, hear your ideas for Magpie and just talk Magic. Look for the guy wearing a t-shirt with a big Magpie.
We hope the fall weather hasn’t been too cool for you. We’ve been keeping warm by staying super busy with Magpie.
If you haven’t noticed, we introduced the Storefront module for Magpie.
With this update, players can now create carts for purchasing or trading in cards.*
We put together this video to help explain the setup process for Magpie:
In addition to the Video Tutorial, you can find additional help in the Magpie FAQ. There are a few steps involved with setting up your Storefront, so please let us know if you have any questions. We are happy to help. (Please note that the Storefront tools are reserved for Pro and Storefront account holders only.
What's up next?
The next major enhancement focused on making life easier for stores is a top request. We're calling it "Smart Rounding."
Smart Rounding will allow stores to round prices and to set minimum price floors—for example, all cards worth less than $0.25 are sold for a quarter or charging $1.95 instead of $1.87.
During the first part of 2014, you'll also see us add a few more tools to help players. We will be particularly focused on helping players keep their collections updated as they buy and trade cards.
Our goal is to give you and your customers an excellent shopping (or trading) experience that makes life easier for everyone involved.
Aside from major enhancements, we'll also be polishing parts of Magpie to account for the major leaps we've made over the past six months. If you have any ideas you'd like to share, please let us know. We'd love to hear from you.
Holiday Thank You
Magpie is growing quickly, and it wouldn't be with you and your support. Thank you.
We hope that this potentially frigid winter is spent with family and friends in warm homes.
*Please note that the Storefront tools are available to Pro and Storefront accounts only.
It’s been five years since Power 9 Pro first started offering the Dragon’s Eggs.
In that time, we’ve received a lot of feedback from players on why they love the Dragon’s Eggs as well as how we can make improvements.
The single most popular request from players is a way to carry their playmats with them.
By your request, an upgrade for the Dragon’s Eggs is now available: the SideKit.
The SideKit contains a dice bag and an attachment for playmats.
The playmat attachment was designed specifically for the Dragon’s Egg but may also be used on most backpacks.
The SideKit is meant to make your life easier at the tournament tables or as you make your way to MTG/CCG events. It’s unbelievably useful. ☺
The SideKit is a great deal at $4.95—comparable prices for dice bags alone are typically between $4.95 and $8.95. The SideKits are available on Power9Pro.com and at local retailers across the US, Canada and Australia.
Dragon’s Eggs — Now With SideKit
All new Dragon’s Eggs include the SideKit at no additional charge. The Dragon’s Eggs are available at local gaming retailers across the US, Canada and Australia.
As we've done since RTR through M14, Theros cards are tracked by Magpie and have been available since the Monday after the Pre-Release. This is a pattern we look forward to continuing so that you know you always have the most accurate prices possible.
Store credit or cash for singles? No problem
This week, we released an extension to our automated pricing which supports Store Credit. This has been a very common request and we are thrilled to meet your need.
To turn on Store Credit, you will need to visit your Settings page. You'll notice an option for 'Buy Price – Cash' and 'Buy Price – Store Credit.'
Store Credit is set in the same manner as the cash offering: Use the slider to determine the difference between market price and your sell price. For example, if you prefer to offer players 70% of market value for cards in store credit and 50% for cash, then you'd set the slider to the 70-mark for "Buy Price – Store Credit" and to the 50-mark for "Buy Price – Cash."
You can have a separate setting for both cash and store credit.
Just offer Store Credit? We've got you covered
A few customers mentioned that they don't offer players cash for cards at all, only store credit. In order to make Magpie fit your business better than a set of worn leather gloves, you can now choose which price types to show. We also have it set up so you can hide the "Sell Price" if you wanted to create a standalone buylist.
The show/hide options are also available on your Settings page.
Did we mention the automated buylists?
The last major enhancement we released this week is support for a "number desired" field that will help you communicate the number of cards you're looking for.
Rather than time-consuming and always out of date buylists, Magpie now automates buylists by allowing you to set a default "number desired."
For example, if you like to keep playsets of each card on hand, you can set the number desired to four. This means that as you acquire or sell cards, players who access your buylists will know exactly what you will and won't buy.
The number desired is also controlled on your Settings page. Note that you can override this default for any card by accessing it through the Inventory Manager, which is available on search results, within your personal groups or on individual card pages:
We have quite a bit planned for the remainder of this month, so keep an eye out for some seriously impressive extensions to Magpie in the next few weeks. We're so excited we were tempted to show a sneak-preview but we'll just let the prospect of easier, better sales tantalize and tease your imagination.
As always, we really appreciate your business and support.
If you have any questions, feedback or general ideas for us, please let us know. We welcome the feedback and are here to help.
Over the last month, we’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback on Magpie. It’s extremely exciting to see Magpie adopted so quickly and to hear the awed reactions personally as people use Magpie for the first time.
In our relentless pursuit of providing the best experience when using Magpie, we have continued to make consistent, meaningful progress.
This month we focused largely on tuning the email reports, enhancing search and squeezing out any frustrating (and at times embarrassing) browser quirks — we hate you Internet Explorer, Safari too for that matter.
The first major change to emails is the inclusion of a Top-10 list of cards trending across all of Magic. Whether you’re monitoring the cards or not, this is a report to help give you a snapshot of which cards are seriously changing prices. (Didgeridoo anyone?)
Next, you’ll notice that we condensed the inventory change report to encapsulate the changes in value, rather than a list of cards.
Last, to provide you a quick way to monitor singles and to reduce potential redundancy in information, email reports are now weekly rather than daily.
We will continue to make improvements to the emails, such as expanding the reporting that leverages Magpie’s unique data monitoring as well as providing you an opportunity to customize the contents and frequency of the email updates.
If you have thoughts or burning requests, please let us know. We’re happy to hear your ideas on how to improve Magpie.
Better, Faster Searches
We’ve long felt the basic search could be a bit faster and we’ve received a lot of intersecting requests on how to improve our search tools.
The next time you search for a card, you’ll see a list appear that is very similar to a group or set page.
Here’s an example:
Note that you will have the set name listed with the search results (long overdue) as well as the ability to add the card to a group as well as add/remove inventory.
This means one page for searches, rather than two. The advantages are clear and hopefully you find them as exciting as we do.
Automated Price Off Sets
To help make using Magpie more intuitive, we dropped the confusing text boxes for setting automatic prices (more on this here) for a set of sliders that better help communicate the concept of an automated market offset.
Look at this beautiful improvement. Great work, Nick!
Some customers have mentioned that page load time can vary depending on the speed of their network / internet connection. This is an issue we take seriously particularly for our mobile users who are accessing their inventory pages (via a QR code or direct link) or using a tethered phone for their primary internet access.
To help make Magpie zippier in slower internet conditions, you can now set your view to “hide images” on your settings page. You can expect even more performance improvements over the next couple of weeks.
Average Buy Price vs Buy Price
We’ve made a clear separation between your average buy price (imagine getting one card for $20 and another for $10) and your buy price. There was a little bit of confusion caused by our previous presentation of this information.
Moving forward, you’ll see that there is a column for your buy price and one for your sell price. Your average buy price is included within the margin column.
Minor Tweaks and Improvements
If you missed last month’s exciting update email (covering remote access, QR codes and better margin tracking), you can review that here.
Again, if you have ideas on how we can improve Magpie, please let us know.
From the initial launch of Magpie to a trip to GP Vegas to the creation of completely new features, the last few weeks have been extremely busy for the Magpie team.
In a continued effort to improve Magpie, below is a run-down of the notable updates to Magpie for June (and part of July), 2013.
The Big Stuff
Inventory Management — New prompts for collecting buy/sell prices
Previously, your actual inventory was simply an editable number. Not too fancy and easy to mess up. To improve this, when adding or removing cards from your inventory, Magpie now prompts you for the price and quantity. This small change means that your margins will always be automatically calculated while ensuring better accuracy over time.
Note that you can still add or remove cards en masse to groups on the “Browse by Set” page:
Automated Buy/Sell Market Offsets — This is fancy talk for allowing you to set defaults for calculating buy and sell prices for cards
For example, if you want to purchase cards from players at 30% below market, then you can set that as a default on your settings page. After doing so, when a card is presented to you, the buy price is automatically set by Magpie. This means you don’t have to pull the calculator out or do any mental-math when players want to sell you cards.
Just like on the “buy-side,” you can set defaults for sell prices. We’re serious about saving you oodles of time.
Both buy and sell price defaults are controlled on your settings page:
QR and Direct Link Support — This is a total game changer and will be the jumping off point for a lot of future development
Rather than having to watch players’ every move when they go through binders, you can now print out a QR code that when “read” will pull up your inventory and prices for that group right on the person’s phone. (All modern cell phones support QR-reading.)
This one simple tool means you won’t have to devote your full attention to players shopping (or trading) for Magic cards. No more questions like “do you have this? that? that other one? how much is this? what about that?” You can spend more time helping other customers, running tournaments or just taking a break.
Also, each group has a direct link which will allow you to share your groups and prices easily with website visitors, Twitter followers or Facebook pages.
The QR and Direct Links are located under each group.
The Small Stuff
Tracking of Modern Masters — Magpie actually started monitoring this set within 3 days of its release, so it’s likely you already know we’re tracking Modern Masters.
Addition of Foils — With a few small exceptions you can expect to have full coverage on all foil cards ever printed
Addition of Limited-Run Sets — Like Modern Masters, Magpie is also tracking sets like Planechase and the From the Vault series.
At this point, we can say that Magpie enables you to properly price and track all English cards ever published for Magic: the Gathering without having to research cards or lift a finger.
Email Notification Improvements
Reporting and Analytical Tools
If you have feedback, questions or just general thoughts for us, please feel free to share. Magpie and all Power9Pro products are for you, our fellow Magic enthusiast.
Power9Pro has focused on player needs since 2008. Our first product the Dragon’s Egg is still the premier Magic/CCG carrying case, and we’re quite proud of its continued success in the market.
But carrying cards to/from tournaments and friends’ houses isn’t the end-point for Magic players.
Playing the game is only half of the picture: Many of us spend a tremendous amount of time monitoring the value of our cards–the “Collectible” aspect of our favorite Collectible Card Game.
From my own personal experience, monitoring card prices and trying to make sure I get the most value from my collection is a tremendous and unbelievably time-consuming challenge.
From talking with hundreds–if not thousands–of players over the years, I know this is a problem shared by nearly everyone in the Magic community. There are entire collections of articles written on the tedious, time-consuming techniques for trading, value-collecting and just getting the most from our cards. Talk about a dizzyingly complex game environment to find yourself in!
With that said, Power9Pro is thrilled to announce the release of Magpie, a web-based service to help players track the value of their collections and maximize trade value relative to their collection.
There are plenty of free services that players can use to look up prices, but there are none that will tell at what price a player acquired a card. There’s no service that lets players track card value customized to their collection. (As we’d expect. Free is typically fairly limited in value.)
For example, say I was able to trade a foil Vendilion Clique for a Bob and some other things (true story)…was that a good trade?
If we look at straight card prices, maybe, maybe not—”clearly depends on what the other cards are,” you might argue.
Turns out that is generally irrelevant. What actually maters most is the acquisition cost for my Vendilion Clique. If I got the Clique for $10, then the trade is phenomenal. If I got the Clique for $60, then the deal starts looking a bit more break-even. As with stocks/equities, the only thing that matters is the marginal gain in value.
Magpie helps players eliminate the ambiguity in card pricing by providing players with the tools they need to protect and maximize the value of their collections.
I like to think of myself as a fairly informed consumer but the complexities and ever-shifting ground of card value makes staying informed a very difficult challenge. Magpie simplifies all this and does the heavy analysis and tracking for you. Magpie will even tell you what cards in your collection have gone from $1 to $10. Magpie will even suggest ways to optimize your trade binders. No more lugging around unwanted cards in your trade binder!
In a world where none of us have copious amounts any free time, freeing up just an extra hour or two per week can make a tremendous difference. For me, an extra two hours per week actually means that I can play in a draft, workout or go on a date with my wife. Perhaps equally important is that I won’t have to worry about whether I’m entering a bad trade. Magpie provides all the information I need: acquisition cost, current appreciation/depreciation on a card-specific levee, and trend information. Plus it’s all relevant to me and not some unknown “market price” (set by one or two online stores I might add…).
Think about it:
How would you use an extra two hours per week?
How does an extra dollar or two gained (or avoided loss) on each trade affect your wallet or your ability to play in competitive tournaments?
For me and the hundreds of players I’ve personally spoken with about this problem, I know it can make a big difference.
Magpie has three plans available to meet the needs of each player: Limited, Basic and Pro.
I’m a perfect example of someone who would need/use the Basic Plan. I don’t trade frequently but do want to keep an eye on specific value cards and tournament staples. The Basic Plan allows me to track and monitor up to 100 cards—and to change the monitored cards at any time to suit my needs. Additionally, I can do an unlimited number of searches when I am trading.
Other players may be more suited toward the Pro account which allows for unlimited monitoring. I think of a few “power-traders” I know who would fall into this category.
For those of you who haven’t heard yet, popular streaming site www.justin.tv has just launched a streaming service called TwitchTV, targetted especially towards competitive gamers. I think that Magic has a lot to learn from other games such as starcraft 2, where many players stream their games live. AJ Sacher has already started his version of the Day Daily, a popular SC2 commentary show, and I hope that many Magic players will start to stream Magic Online live in addition to producing Videos-On-Demand (VODs).
I’m here to announce that every Monday – including tonight, I will be streaming at least an hour of Magic: Online content. Whether it be drafts, pauper, momir basic, or something else, I’ll be there. Obviously everything will be recorded with commentary and posted to my youtube channel youtube.com/zturchan.
My stream is available at TwitchTV.com/zturchan and you’ll know whenever I’m going live from my twitter: Twitter.com/zturchan.. I’ll be streaming Mondays at 5:00 PM Mountain/ 7:00 Eastern / 4:00 Pacific, in addition to random other times throughout the week.