Card Conduit Review: Easiest way to sell your collection?
Card Conduit is a new service to sell your Magic cards easily and fast. It was created by the fine people from CardHoarder and plays into the needs of people who want to sell their cards but are simply lacking the will or time to spend hours and hours sorting through, buylisting, and listing each individual card on eBay or TCGplayer. The concept is relatively simple: you ship them your cards, and they will sort them out, buylist them to the highest vendors, ship the cards to these vendors, take a fee for their services, and pay you the rest of the proceeds.
Before we continue with this review we feel it is only fair to mention that Card Conduit is sponsoring MTGStocks, but they do not pay us separately for this review. This is our own opinion and objective opinion of their service. However, all links in this article to Card Conduit are sponsored affiliate links, meaning if you place an order through these links we will receive a small fee. Card Conduit has also provided us with the (anonymised) data from several orders completed with them for us to review. You will see these orders later on in this review.
How much are the fees?
The fees Card Conduit charges is pretty straightforward. First they will keep 10% of the total assessed value of the cards you shipped them. This is means that if the cards you ship them are worth $100, they will keep $10 in fees. Second they charge a processing fee of $0.03 per card you shipped them. This last part is really important to keep in mind. If all cards you ship them are worth a few dollars each, it doesn't add up that quickly compared to the total amount. In short: if you ship them 100 cards you pay $3 extra in fees.
How much will you get for your cards?
When Card Conduit receives your cards they start sorting, sifting and cataloging what you sent them, but then what? They look at the best buylist prices with the (largest) retailers and get the best price possible for your card. If you have the time to do this yourself and get the maximum value out of your cards, you can probably squeeze out a little more, but keep in mind that buylisting does not get you "retail value" for your cards, and selling on TCGplayer or eBay also costs fees.
We have to make a little distinction here between bulk cards and non-bulk cards though. Lets start with non-bulk cards: Card Conduit will pay you what they were able to fetch for each card, minus 10% and $0.03. They, and you, will have to keep in mind that cards are also at the discretion of the place they buylist. If a card is only slightly played, it will be marked as such, getting you less for the card. However, if you buylist yourself, you will have this exact same problem.
When we look at the orders Card Conduit has provided us, we can see they can buylist non-bulk cards for about 80%-90% of the TCGplayer low value. When we take the fees from TCGplayer into consideration Card Conduit can come out at about the same value.
Now let us talk a bit about bulk cards. The definition is pretty simple: cards that sell for less than $0.10 to buylists. Card Conduit will pay you a flat fee for these cards based on the rarity, whether it is foil, and or a special art.
|Full-Art Basic Land||$0.04|
|Foil Basic Land||$0.10|
This is where it becomes more interesting for you and where the $0.03 fee per card can really add up. If you decided to just pack up your collection and ship them to Card Conduit, all these basic lands, commons and uncommons will cost you more in fees than they will net you. Each 100 cards you send will always cost you $3, no matter what, even if they are all bulk since they will get you less than the $0.03 fee or even nothing at all. Sending in worthless commons or uncommons will increase the fees while netting you (nearly) nothing, and even reducing the total payout of your order. Bulk rares, at $0.03, are basically "throw-ins" from you to Card Conduit.
So what does this mean? It means you should sift through your order anyway before shipping it off. Having a few accidental bulk cards in your order won't break the bank, but when you send a box of several thousand cards and 20% of them are bulk, it can really harm your profit margin.
But fortunately Card Conduit figured this out themselves and offer a service so you can donate all commons, uncommons, and/or basic lands in your shipment to charity. When you register your shipment, you can select whether you would like to donate one, or more, of these categories. When you do, Card Conduit will not charge any processing fees for these cards. When you opt to use this option, you have to make sure that you do not ship
As mentioned earlier Card Conduit has provided us with some actual completed sample orders. These can be used for you to determine whether the service they offer is suitable for you.
|Total Proceeds||Fees||Discount||Net Payout||Fee as %||Number of cards||Number of bulk||Contents|
|#1||$1.183,86||$120.25||$0.00||$1,063.61||11.3%||62||0||30 M, 31 R|
|#2||$346,45||$47,06||$4,71||$304,10||15.48%||415||137||32 M, 348 R, 19 U, 12 C, 3 L|
|#3||$106,45||$44,72||$4,47||$66,20||67.55%||1135||984||4 M, 171 R, 242 U, 672 C, 47 L|
|#4||$1.160,30||$175,97||$17,60||$1.001,93||17.56%||1998||1236||183 M, 748 R, 714 U, 299 C, 54 L|
|#5||$492,08||$66,94||$6,69||$431,83||15.50%||591||185||34 M, 398 R, 88 U, 71 C|
|#6||$660,43||$84,73||$8,47||$584,17||14.50%||623||158||67 M, 496 R, 51 U, 9 C|
|#7||$1.131,49||$152,93||$15,29||$993,85||15.39%||1326||344||190 M, 1103 R, 24 U, 9 C|
|#9||$579,52||$93,86||$0.00||$485,66||19.33%||1197||498||86 M, 1103 R, 6 U, 2 C|
|#10||$5,58||$3,86||$0.00||$2,11||182.94%||111||98||9 M, 100 R, 2 U|
When we look at the orders with a high number of bulk cards, we indeed see what we already predicted: it really drags down the net payout. Orders #3 and #10 are, by far, the highest fees compared to the total proceeds where most of the cards sent in are bulk. When we look at the other orders, we notice that order #9, for example, has nearly 20% in fees but also over 40% of the sent in cards are bulk.
Unsurprisingly, order #1, with 0 bulk, and order #8 with only 2 bulk cards, have the lowest fees compared to the net payment. For these orders the percent in fees added by the $0.03 per card is only (respectively) 1,31% and 2,25% because the sender made sure there wasn't any bulk within the order.
Notable cards found in the orders
I wanted to take a bit of time and find some sample cards that stuck out in the orders listed above. This will give you an indication of the value you can get for certain cards. I tried to exclude any cards that are currently Standard legal as, with all the bannings, these are pretty volatile.
|Total Proceeds||Buylist price||TCGplayer Low||% of TCGlow|
* Market price was used, because there is no reliable low price for this card
Should I use this service?
Seeing as Card Conduit buylists cards we can apply the same logic as to when you would buylist cards yourself. When sending your cards to Card Conduit it seems like you should take out two types of cards from your order:
Really expensive cards
Buylisting really expensive cards like Power 9 or other Legacy and Vintage staples, you may be better off selling them privately through high-end Facebook groups, or even through TCGplayer or eBay. This will probably get your a far higher price than through a buylist. As we saw in the section above, a copy of
Really cheap cards
Because of the $0.03 fee per card you really have to be careful when sending your draft chaff in. As we have seen through our sample orders, this could result in really taking away chunks of your net payout.
The beauty of Card Conduit is that they will take the time to sift through your cards and try to get as much for them as possible, but you are definitely better off by doing some light sifting through the cards yourself beforehand to really maximise your return. When you are going to send them all your worthless commons and uncommons in a big box you will be paying the $30 per thousand card fee. You can however choose to let Card Conduit donate your commons, uncommons, and/or basic lands to charity. But in that case you still have to make sure you haven't included any expensive commons or uncommons with them.
If you have a collection or boxes with hundreds or thousands of semi-valuable cards you want to get rid of, you may as well ship them off to Card Conduit and turn them into cash. Since Card Conduit will probably get decent buylist prices for them it pays off not to having to sift through them yourself and buylist them to multiple stores or other marketplaces. Managing your cards, going through them, and looking up prices takes a lot of time which could be spent on other things. For most people I think the fees are worth your time, especially if you can manage to filter out the lion-share of worthless cards beforehand.
But don't ship your cards off just yet. Please consider what you want to do with the payout. If you need the money to buy other Magic cards it may be more worthwhile for you to buylist them yourself, since most stores with buylists offer a trade-in bonus for store credit, sometimes as high as 30%. So if you want to buy other Magic cards you may be better off selling your cards yourself to a vendor's buylist. If you need cash, then Card Conduit may be a very suitable service for you.
When Card Conduit reached out I had heard of them earlier, and was a bit skeptical. It seemed like I would rather keep the 10%-plus-some in fees myself. However, after having seen the example orders, it seems like they are not that far off from TCGplayer low prices and may be a very suitable option for a lot of people looking to get cash for their cards without spending hours and hours going through them.
Writing this article I had to think of when, some years back, I wanted to sort my collection differently. I went through thousands of cards, and for older ones, the rarity is not printed on the card yet, I had to look up the rarity. This would be very similar to looking up prices of cards. If I could have just paid someone to sort and order my collection, I may have very well done it. It feels like that may have a parallel to a service like Card Conduit. Buylisting cards takes a lot of time and effort, and not everyone has that kind of time available.
That being said, I would advise you to filter out the real cheap cards. Paying $0.03 per card can really hurt your net payment when you send in thousands of cards and half of it is bulk. Putting in this little bit of work can really increase the value gained from your cards. Many of us have a bunch of cards stockpiled somewhere we are "meaning to sell at some point", but never get around to This may be a very suitable service for you to get rid of them and get some cash.