eli5 : How does the card trading work?



I head about trading playing cards for money but what makes them so valuable? Do the companies can’t print more cards? How is a card considered rare and who possesses these cards first? How do we verify it’s authenticity. Also I’ve come to know that there is digital card trading too, How does that work?

In: Other

1. The valuable cards are valuable because people choose to pay money for them.

2. The company can print more of the rare cards, but they usually don’t, as that would make them not rare.

3. They’re rare because not many people have them, and whoever is lucky enough to pull the rare card first.

4. We can verify them as authentic because not many fakers have access to the exact manufacturing processes as the real company, so you can look at the details.

5. Digital card trading is the same, people like it for the collection, and it’s more convenient than physical cards.

Cards are usually valuable simply because they stopped producing them and there are collectors that still want them. In some cases a reprint is promised not to happen by the manufacturer, or the reprint would look different and have less value to collectors.

The value simply comes from people wanting them, so it’s hard to predict wich cards become valuable when you’re not an insider.

Authenticity verification is a service offered by some experts or websites, usually rather expensive unless you plan to order that for a whole bulk of cards.

Prices can also harshly fluctuate based on similar reprints, or players having a sudden demand for certain cards.

For digital mostly the players matter, and the platform they play with digital cards on. The collector aspect is a lot weaker, so prices are mostly about wich cards are in demand to play the game.

Some cards contain artwork where the company only had license to print a certain number of them. Other times the company just refuses to print more of the cards for various reasons. The copyright issues with the artwork may still apply to digital cards making even digital cards valuable and transferable. But even then the card company often want to limit the number of digital cards of a certain type and force players to buy card packs in the hope of getting the more valuable cards. It is a way for them to make more money.

* Companies can make however many of their cards they would like to.
* But they are in the business of selling cards.
* If they create some cards that are very rare, they know collectors will seek out those cards.
* However most cards are sold in sealed packs.
* Collectors have to buy lots of packs in the hopes of finding a rare card.
* So this drives sales of packs of cards.