So you're out there, at the local watering hole of convention, armed with your trade binders in the one hand and a list in the other...
But what is on that list? Price values and trends? Cards you need for playing your current deck concoction? Or a list of cards you want the shiny versions from?
In order for that, you have to make up for yourself what kind of person you are in a trader point of view, as well as be able to identify what kind of person, again from a trade point of view, you have in front of you.
But the bottomline will be, we all want each others scalp. Though the goals may differ... I`ll be talking for these from a Magic POV as those are the people I tend to come into contact with the most in case of trades, in a face to face setting. Other cardgames and trading cards tend to go online, so those are basically `out of tempo` and can take a few days as e-mails and forumposts are exchanged.
The Moneymaker or Shark
This is the kind of person looking to always trade in his favour for a few cents more. He doesn`t necessarily take out the cards he needs compared to the cards he can sell quickly, even though that might mean his actual win percentage might suffer.
They often tend to trade aggressively, and try to force an exchange through your throat before you can get the chance to get the smartphone out to check prices.
Are they bad people? Not per se, but they are looking more for extra income and `money rares` in a draft for example then actually stand the chance of winning that one promo and handfull of Plainswalker Points at the local FNM event.
Unfortunatly, `sharking` has been on the rise lately as the Magic community has been growing exponentially, and there are always those looking for an extra buck in whatever goes on in the world. It`s human nature, and I don`t judge them, I just try to avoid them to trade with unless they have a card I really want, and I don`t care then if I trade in my disfavor.
Which brings us to...
This is the guy that frequents events, be they either large ones like GP`s or small ones like a kitchentable tournament amongst friends. The setting doesn`t matter, these are the people that tend to play in Constructed formats and either are on the lookout for staples to copy `the next big deck` on the internet, or because they want to build a Type 2 deck around Kraken of the Straits for their friendly games (I plead guilty on this, I didn`t get it to work, but that is for another post). They know the staples of the format they like, but are indifferent or unknowing to other cards around, and have no clue of their value. Unfortunatly, this also makes them prone to shark attacks.
I belong to this category. My list usually contains the current Standard format cards I need or want (though that doesn`t mean they will actually be played during the cycle), and care less for the rest of the cards in my binders. Since I tend to play Mono Red, this means I`ll gladly trade away even `good` other color rares that might rise in price after rotation for red ones I need now that will sink once the set cycles to bulk rare levels.
Red is the most `Hot now` colour in Magic, and always has been traditionally. And it suits the colour...
And then there is the thirds kind of person,
These are the people that go wild for Foils. They want to complete their casual decks or even full set collections all shiny and nice. They are the people that often trade for those common and uncommon foils you have (I always keep them in my binder just for them) at a fair rate, and can help you get deals like two playable commons for a single unplayable, crap uncommon but that is shiny.
They also tend to trade at times for those cards you didn`t expect, crap rares from older series they just tend to happen to have. While the Competitor vs Collector trades are not the spectacular ones that go on in the community, they are often amongst those giving the best `feeling` after the trade. Your trading partner has some shiny you can`t imagine even why he wanted that, and you usually have a card you `need` for `a deck you`re thinking about` and an open space in your binder that was held by a foil common or bad bulk rare.
Of course, these are stereotypes, and you have crossbreeding and all going on, like a collector looking to play a tournament or a competitor looking to augment his income, everyone is different after all. Personally, I like to avoid the Moneymakers the most, but at times... they just have that one card... I need for my... all shiny deck.
And so this second part on speculating ends, and the two parter of posts on this subject for now. I`m off to try and unload some cards now, as I`m out with my binders to try and grab those new M15 cards I might get to play in the future like Stoke the Flames, Altac Bloodseeker and Frenzied Goblin as I`ll be slowly needing to rotate out half my red critter deck being made up of Ravnica cards...