Over the years my MTG friends and I have slowly drifted apart. Some of us got married, many have changed jobs, some have dramatically shifted locations. But on the whole, the group has come together time and again whenever I’ve got the time and energy to send out the call, meticulously working each one to give up the details of their schedules so I can plan for the best gatherings and then prying them to to attend the events. To date, the events have been awesome, with so many fond memories over the years. Some with sealed, some with Commander, but pretty universally a great time.
For the past several years, I’ve had to let the group drift further than I wanted. School and family matters have eaten away so much of my time and energy that I had to give up attending FNM’s just when I started regularly making more money than they were costing me. But, this simply meant putting in more effort into the next get together. With the release of Commander 2016 I had an idea: buy a complete set of them and gift each deck, leveling the playing field between those who have continued to play over the years and those of us returning once again.
Life has a funny way of getting in the way of one’s plans. I started to send teasers out for a glorious return, with plans to book a room at Cafe Mox and intentions of an awesome holiday get-together that would let me spoil the news of my return from exile in Oregon. The first replies to my messages ended that plan. So it was time to work out details of the back-up plan, and after another reply, that plan was out the window. At this point, I was debating getting an eBay account again or selling the 5 decks on Amazon. As luck would have it, holding onto them a few days allowed for a new feature on PucaTrade to launch.
It launched, quietly, and to no fanfare. Sealed product trading. But, being part of the PucaTrade community (which, so far as I can tell the best parts reside on the Discord App) despite it’s limited tie-in these days with the website I found out and added many things to my wants and went about debating how best to go about sending the decks. Since the decks are so fragile and bulky, the cheapest method would be to take the box I got them in, brown paper the outside and ship it either USPS or UPS.
Something worth noting, I might never have considered the idea except I had a previous dealings with another PucaTrade member who traded me some KMC perfect fit sleeves for PucaPoints. The experience was awesome, and inspiring.
So, revisiting what I could with the C16 decks, since my original intent was to get them to people who will enjoy them; the best way I could do that was to spread them out to members of the PucaTrade community. I opened the box, I took some photos, and stuffed them back in. When I posted my photos on Discord, I got a staggering number of messages. I was able to work out two of the trades and head to the post office before they closed for the weekend.
I found that sealed C16 fit almost perfectly in a padded mailer. I was fairly concerned about shipping durability but figured that on the whole the cards inside were likely to survive well enough and there was always PucaShield in case of any snags. Home again, I headed back to Discord and agreed to send the other three decks. Monday, as I prepared to ship them, I found that the first had made it’s way to a new home. Points were in my account, and already a swipe at my new pile of points had been made. In all, while it was a fairly nervous experience since I had never shipped sealed product before, and rarely ship so much value at once, I’m glad I did it and look forward to a time in the new year when I can do so again.
All five decks made it to their new homes and I've even gotten trades from the people I sent them to. As for my old-school MTG friends, I’m sad that we won’t be having a massive get-together. But that doesn’t mean I won’t get to see them, one or two at a time for smaller gatherings. A little give and let give goes a long way.
What does all of this mean for your own shipping of sealed product? Plenty of people are happy to get packs and are happy to discuss shipping techniques on Discord. I received a ton of advice from and I expect the total cost of it all would be a fair bit easier to swallow for a booster box as it should fit nicely within a flat rate box when mailed within the USA. What about internationally? Only time will tell.
About the author
Kevin has been playing MTG since Ice Age, with a few active periods and a few complete disappearances from the game over the years. Trading online via PucaTrade has been successful in turning cardboard into other cardboard with over 130k points traded to date.