MassPrice is an incredibly powerful tool. By following the recommendations here, you’ll find yourself making more effective rules that will drive more profitable sales to your business.
Here at TCGplayer, we strive to provide you with the best avenue to support your businesses through online sales. One of the best ways for you to unlock value from your portfolios of trading cards is by developing your own prices for all of your products. Having prices that you manage in an intentional and informed manner will increase the chances that buyers will select your products. In other words, it’s not necessarily having the lowest price that will lead you to have a sale. It’s about having the right price at the moment when demand changes, and when the buyer is ready to pay that price. When you choose strategic prices, you will increase the chance that your products will sell at prices that provide you more margin, a fundamental focus that we all need to keep in mind, in order to be profitable. Successful sellers spend significant attention to this work.
Keeping hundreds or thousands of prices up to date manually takes a lot of work. To improve pricing efficiency, we developed MassPrice so sellers could price their inventory, in accordance with customized rules, with the push of a button. Today, I’m here to talk about best practices with MassPrice.
We’ll go through each step of creating a rule and figure out how to use MassPrice to fit your needs.
1: Define Products
The first step of creating your MassPrice rule is figuring out what products you want to be pricing. There are a few things here that you should pay close attention to.
- Rarity: Create different rules for the different rarities in your inventory. Prices among higher rarities can tend to be a bit more volatile than those for lower rarities. Having different rules for each rarity will allow you to fine tune the pricing for rarities that tend to vary more in pricing.
- Printings/Languages: Create different rules for your foil/holo cards and for your non-English cards. Due to these cards selling less frequently than their non-foil/holo or English equivalents, their Market Price tends to update less frequently.
- Price Filter: If you want to price your high and lower end inventory differently, utilize the Price Filter to gain even more control of your prices. This can be particularly helpful if you want to utilize different price points for different price bands within your inventory. This will also allow you to exclude higher end inventory from your rules, giving you the opportunity to manually price them to get the best return on your investment.
2: Defining My Selling Prices
Once you’ve defined your products, you then get to set how those products get priced. We’ll touch on how these prices can impact your rule.
Base prices on:
- TCG Market Price: Using data from sales of each card, we are able to determine what the going rate for each card is. This is a great price point to use when pricing fast-moving products (i.e. new sets or format staples). This price also works well with the MassPrice scheduler because you’ll know your prices are being compared to the going rate of the cards, rather than an individual price. Market price can be less useful for slower-moving, higher-value items, such as dual lands or other items that reflect fewer sales per month.
- TCG Low Price without Shipping: Using this price will match you to the lowest card price on the marketplace. This can be helpful if you want to ensure your product shows up on the first page of prices for buyers. When using this price point, make sure that your new prices make sense for your business. Not every seller on the site has the same costs; some can afford to price lower. Make sure your sales are profitable. Always check your prices before applying this to make sure you didn’t match to an unusually low price. Also, make sure you have your shipping costs appropriately set up.
- TCG Low Price+Shipping: Using this price will match you to the lowest combined price+shipping option. This can be helpful if you offer free shipping. One thing to keep in mind: for your products under $5.00, you will still have the automatic $0.78 shipping cost added (assuming your shipping cost is less than that). So, if you match Low Price+Shipping on a $0.50 product that has $0.78 shipping, your listing would be for $1.28+$.078. As mentioned above, make sure that your sales remain profitable when you utilize this price point and make sure you check your prices before applying them to avoid pricing to an outlier. If you are using the MassPrice scheduler with either of the Low Price price points, use rules that focus on a section of your inventory that has a similar price point throughout. Then set a price minimum in the next step to prevent your prices from dropping too low.
- TCG Direct Low: This price point can be helpful for Direct sellers to make sure they are pricing competitively within the world of Direct by TCGplayer. This will only consider cards listed by other Direct sellers and price according to those. Like with the other Low Price options, it is best to review these prices before applying changes.
- My Current Price: Both of the “My Current Price” options can be used to either compare your prices to the opposite channel (this can be helpful if you want to offer lower prices on the Marketplace vs. your Pro website) or to lower or raise your prices in one go. If you are going to be using these price points to raise or lower your prices, always review the rule before running it to make sure it has the desired effect. This price point works best when you are running your MassPrice rules manually.
The “Modify by” option allows you to adjust your new price by a percentage or a dollar amount. If your rule contains a wide range of prices, using a percentage adjustment may be more helpful as it will scale better from lower to higher prices than a flat dollar amount will. If you are only pricing a small range of prices (if you used a Price Filter when defining your prices for example), then modifying your rule by a dollar amount might be more impactful.
3: Defining Your Minimum
After determining how your products get priced, you will likely want to set a minimum price for them as well. This will help prevent you from selling cards at a loss.
Make sure my prices are no lower than:
- TCG Market Price: Using Market Price as your minimum will ensure you are not selling cards for less than it is worth, as defined by the market. Like using it when defining your prices, this pairs well with the MassPrice scheduler because you are not comparing your prices to a single price, rather to the going rate of a card. Combining this with a price modifier will give you even more control over your prices.
- TCG Low Price without Shipping: Using this price point as your minimum will make sure you never drop below the lowest card price on the Marketplace. Using this can prevent you from dropping your prices too low and losing out on potential profits. You will want to make sure you have your shipping set up appropriately before using this.
- TCG Low Price + Shipping: This will prevent your prices from dropping below the lowest combined price and shipping option on the Marketplace, and can be helpful if you have chosen to have a free shipping option.
- TCG Direct Low: This should be used only by Direct sellers who want to make sure their prices are competitive and fair within the scope of our Direct by TCGplayer program.
- My Current Price: Combined with a price modifier, My Current Price will give you more control over how much you lower your prices based on the price points you chose.
- Fixed Amount: This is an effective minimum to use if you know the price at which you stop making money on a sale. This is most effectively used in rules that are focused on a set part of your inventory (such as a certain rarity). If this is used in a rule that encompasses too much of your inventory, your fixed amount might not make sense for every card.
Similar to the “Modify by” option when defining your prices, you can modify any of the price points provided by a dollar amount or a percentage. Which option is best will vary between businesses and rules, and digging into your costs of goods should help you figure out how you want to modify your minimum prices.
The last thing you’ll notice on this page is an option to skip price updates that will drop your price by more than a set percentage. We highly recommend utilizing this safeguard feature to prevent unwanted price drops to your inventory, even for items that you do not currently have quantities for, if you plan on adding inventory for them in the near future. This is especially helpful if you use one of the ‘low’ price points, where one price on the Marketplace can impact your pricing strategy.
After your rule is defined, you get a chance to review your rule prior to running it. Take the time to make sure the products and pricing methods are what you want them to be. The best of the best practices with MassPrices is this: always preview your rule before running it the first time. This will allow you to view your upcoming price changes before applying them. This will let you know if your rule is running as anticipated.
On the rule confirmation page, you will also have the option to add your rule to a schedule. This is a powerful feature of MassPrice allowing you to update your prices automatically. However, when you schedule a rule, make sure it is one you are comfortable running without reviewing price changes first. As mentioned earlier, the scheduler works very well with rules that price to Market Price.
MassPrice is a great way to keep your prices up to date efficiently. However, we do recommend that you check on your inventory periodically to make sure everything is priced the way you want it.