Many Magic The Gathering players and collectors eventually morph their MTG hobby into a part time business or even just a side hustle to make a few extra bucks. And one of the things that helps that venture is buying wholesale MTG booster boxes.
I know many collectors who buy MTG booster boxes at really low wholesale prices, rip open the boxes and sell the singles to make decent profits. This helps them make enough money to support their own hobby and build their Magic collections. But how do you find low enough prices to make this a worthwhile venture?
Let’s dive into the business side of Magic The Gathering and explore how you might be able to buy MTG booster boxes at wholesale prices yourself and profit from the game we love to play.
My Personal Wholesale Buying Experience
Coming from a background of once owning a sports card business and retail brick and mortar store back in the 1990’s, I have some experience in the area of buying at wholesale.
Not only did I have business relationships with many regional distributors, I also purchased hobby boxes and cases directly from the manufacturers like Topps, Upper Deck, and many others. Check out my store in the newspaper below!
In the mid-90’s I was able to buy and sell trading card game products at wholesale and remember filling my store with some of the early Magic set booster boxes like Fallen Empires, Ice Age and many other sets that were popular at the time.
I even remember buying directly from Decipher Inc., the makers of the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, and stocking the shelves with that very popular collectible card game too.
One of the most difficult things about running a store and traveling the country doing regional and national conventions was buying enough product at wholesale prices to make a decent profit. It was an issue back in the 90’s and for many that is an issue even today.
So for a small business or side hustle like we’re talking about here, buying wholesale MTG booster boxes is definitely not an easy task.
Buying directly from Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro) is not an option as they do not sell directly to retailers. And getting an account with a distributor involves jumping through many hoops and abiding by requirements that many small one-man operations just cannot comply with.
Best Ways to Buy Wholesale MTG Booster Boxes
So how do you buy wholesale Magic The Gathering Booster Boxes at prices low enough to make some money? Here are 5 creative ways to find the lowest box prices followed by some INSIDE INFORMATION I was able to find out about what your local game store is paying for boxes.
1. Partner with a Local Gaming Store
One of the easiest ways to get a good wholesale deal on MTG Booster Boxes is to swing deals with your local gaming store (LGS.) You would be surprised to see some of the deals you can get by partnering with them on certain products.
Often the LGS is presented with buying opportunities from their distributors and the more they buy, the better the deal.
Many times the LGS is forced to purchase a lot of the lower end booster boxes to ensure they get allocated a good quantity of the higher end booster boxes.
It’s those times where partnering with the LGS makes the most sense and gives you a great opportunity to buy at or very near the LGS’ cost.
If they have to buy 10-20 cases of the lower end product to ensure they get 5 cases of the higher end cases, you could probably buy a few cases of the lower end booster boxes off of them and help the LGS out at the same time.
Last year my LGS had an absolute glut of MetaZoo Cryptid Nation 2nd Edition Booster Box cases and they needed to sell them as quickly as possible to build up the funds to purchase the next upcoming (and better) set.
I was able to purchase a case right at wholesale and stash it away for my personal collection. That to me was a win-win!
The next time you stop into your LGS, ask them if they have any opportunities like that and if they would be willing to work with you. Most times you’ll have to pay them a slight profit and even pay up front, but the deal you’ll get is worth it. The worst they could say is no, right?
2. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk or by the case is another technique to improve your overall cost on Magic Booster Boxes. If you have the funds to purchase 6-12 boxes of a product (or more), you can often negotiate a better price with your LGS.
If you don’t have a store or means to resell the booster boxes, buying in bulk can be risky. However, buying 1-2 boxes at $125 each as opposed to 6-12 boxes at $90 saves you some significant money and makes the deal that much more worth it.
Do your homework and figure out how much you are willing to purchase. If you approach the LGS and tell them you can buy a few cases of MTG booster boxes, that bulk sale will definitely be very enticing to the LGS. And if you can save 25-30% off the regular retail price, that makes it easier for you to make some profit on your side hustle.
Have you ever heard “it takes money to make money”? In this case, that quote rings true. The more money you have to purchase in bulk, the better the deal and the better the odds that the deal will be profitable for you.
So where can you buy MTG Booster Boxes in bulk? I would again start with the LGS first and see if they would be willing to let you in on some deals. They often have connections that the collector or player does not so check with them first.
3. The Rudy – Alpha Investments Patreon
For those of you who don’t know Rudy from Alpha Investments, you can visit his Youtube channel here. I’ve been following Rudy for years as he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Magic and many other trading card games. Not only are his videos entertaining, he provides a lot of really good advice on both vintage and new sets.
In addition to his Youtube channel, Rudy also has an exclusive Patreon membership that gets you access to more trading card game news and information as well as opportunities to purchase booster boxes at very low wholesale-like prices.
Now keep in mind that Rudy does not sell wholesale to members, but the prices he offers are very low and that is subsidized by the membership cost.
I have been a member of Rudy’s Patreon for the past couple of years now (since September 2020) and the pledge level I’m on is the $15/month tier. For this particular tier level, called the Monthly Wholesale Trading Card Program, members have the option of purchasing from 1-6 Booster Boxes of Standard Magic each month for $89 per box with free shipping.
Rudy normally offers a handful of recent Draft Booster Boxes at this level and you can mix and match your purchase of up to 6-boxes each month at this price.
This past month, the $89 box list included DRAFT BOOSTER BOXES for the following sets: Jumpstart 2022, Dominaria United, Brothers War, Phyrexia All Will Be One, Unfinity, Kamigawa, Crimson Vow, Streets of New Capenna, Commander Legends 2 Baldur’s Gate and March of the Machine.
In addition, Rudy also provides frequent posts about the industry, multiple weekly sales just for Patrons on the newest Magic, MetaZoo, Force of Will, Weiss, and Flesh and Blood sets (to name a few) and occasionally will provide members the opportunity to purchase rare and exclusive cards with Rudy’s likeness. The membership, in my opinion, is definitely worth the price of admission.
The opportunity to purchase at very low ‘wholesale’ levels on Rudy’s Patreon is the main draw for many members. His prices are very much below normal retail and you get access to products that many online sites just do not have.
However, getting onto Rudy’s Patreon is easier said than done. The biggest issue is getting access to becoming a member as it’s usually sold out.
The good news is that it’s definitely possible to get on board as people enter and leave the group all the time. You just have to watch the site and refresh the page often though to get a chance.
The best time to catch an opening is late Friday nights or right after his weekly sales. Sometimes members get upset that they missed out on a sale (because it’s first come first serve) and they end up canceling their membership. That’s the best time to snag an opening and become a member!
I honestly think the Rudy Patreon is one of the best options when it comes to buying MTG booster boxes at wholesale prices. Most local game stores and even online sellers don’t offer boxes for $89 delivered, nor do they offer frequent opportunities to purchase booster boxes by the case like he does on a monthly basis. Check it out and consider joining.
This might sound like a not-so-great option to buy booster boxes at wholesale, however eBay does offer opportunities to get good deals if you know where to look.
I have purchased a lot of Magic singles and booster boxes on eBay over the years and I tend to stick with only a few specific sellers.
I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but I look for sellers with great feedback and who are within a short distance of my home in Pennsylvania. Anything in the PA/NJ/NY/CT/MD/VA region tends to be a 1-2 day shipping timeframe so that works for me.
I like to search for sold items and I narrow down the search parameters to find “booster boxes” sold in 100-200 miles of my zip code. From there I normally look for sellers who have lots of feedback with the majority of the feedback being positive.
I want to see 98% or higher when it comes to feedback. Anything lower and I steer clear.
Most of those sellers with lots of good positive feedback rely on selling in volume. That’s the only way they make money in the long run is lots of sales and great feedback.
Their booster box prices tend to be lower than most others (even by a few dollars) and you can sometimes get better deals the more you buy. Looks for “bulk savings” on certain items when you pull up listings for booster boxes to save more money on quantity purchases.
I would recommend that you be careful when it comes to buying sealed cases of booster boxes on eBay. It’s rare that I find a better deal purchasing booster boxes by the case as opposed to buying multiple boxes at a time.
For instance, look at the two listings below for Magic Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle-Earth Draft Booster Boxes. If you bought the case thinking you were getting a good deal, think again.
The case has 6 booster boxes with an average cost of $197 each. But you can buy as many booster boxes as you want from the individual box seller for $165 each. That’s a savings of $32 per box!
Do your homework and search for the best deals. eBay definitely has some wholesale type deals, you just have to find them.
5. Other Online Sources
There are plenty of online resources for wholesale prices on MTG booster boxes, some of which will save you tons of money. A few of those have business requirements so this option may or may not be what you’re looking for.
One such option is Hill’s Wholesale Gaming. Their website is not the prettiest thing to look at, but what they lack in website aesthetics they make up for in great wholesale deals.
You can often find listings for MTG booster boxes that are pretty close to whole prices (sometimes even lower.) I would check them out if you’re looking for good prices.
If you have ambitions to open up your own brick and mortar game store, you might want to reach out to Southern Hobby Distribution. They have warehouses located in Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Long Island and Reno so they’re located in every corner of the US.
They do not sell directly to hobbyists or those with a side hustle so you have to own a legit physical store and have all of the necessary business paperwork (i.e. sales tax license, etc.)
How Much Do Local Games Stores Pay For Booster Boxes?
When it comes to Standard Booster Boxes, local game stores will normally pay around $86-89 per booster box when they buy in bulk. That is for standard Draft Booster Boxes of sets like The Brothers’ War, Phyrexia: All Will Be One and March of the Machine.
For the more limited higher end sets, prices go up quite a bit. As an example, for Commander Masters, Draft Booster Boxes will wholesale for $232, Set Boosters will wholesale for $316, and Collector Boosters will wholesale for $171.
It’s definitely a shame that your Local Game Store doesn’t make very much profit on these boxes, but that’s the current state of the industry right now. High Booster Box profits are definitely had by Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast and not so much by the LGS.
How Much Does a Local Game Store Make On Booster Boxes?
A Local Game Store that buys directly from an authorized Wizards of the Coast distributor (like Southern Hobby, Peachstate Hobby, Alliance and GTS to name a few) will normally look to make a profit of 25-30% on the sale of booster boxes.
Many times that percentage is much lower, depending on competition and how well received the set is by collectors and players. It’s not uncommon for booster box profit margins to be closer to 10-15% on unpopular sets.
A Local Game Store’s profits tend to come from the sale of single cards, packs and supplies. So if you’re looking to haggle on the price of a box looking to get wholesale pricing, most game stores are not able to do much better as they already have low profit margins on those boxes.
Wholesale MTG Boosters – Final Tip
One final tip I have is something to avoid when looking for wholesale MTG booster boxes and that is ALIBABA. I know there are people that recommend buying Magic The Gathering from Alibaba.com but I don’t think it’s a site that you can trust.
With all of the counterfiet merch hitting lately, I would tend to avoid anything to do with Magic booster boxes on Alibaba. Look at the listings below I found.
Do you think there’s any way that someone is selling Double Masters 2022 Collector Booster Boxes for $30/box or Commander Legends Booster Boxes for $40/box? It’s fake and that’s why I would avoid the temptation of these fraudulent listings.
I hope this helped you understand some of the ways you can buy MTG Booster Boxes at wholesale prices. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do, but if you know the right people or have a good relationship with your local game store, buying at wholesale is definitely a possibility.
If you have any questions about buying booster boxes, whether for Magic or any other trading card game, let me know and I’ll certainly do what I can to help out.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the next awesome post here at Magic Card Investor and I hope to see you back here soon. And remember, keep investing in Magic!
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