Tag Archives: PucaTrade

PucaTrade Launches IndieGoGo Campaign for New Features

2 Mar PucaTrade

If you remember I love Magic: the Gathering, you may remember the last time I wrote about PucaTrade, the crowdsourcing-powered website for trading Magic cards.

PucaTrade

I’m back today to announce the launch of PucaTrade’s second IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to add new features to the site. The campaign, which launches on March 2nd and runs for 30 days, will raise money for five upcoming features:

  • A mobile version of the PucaTrade website
  • The ability to trade non-English cards
  • The ability to trade digital Magic: the Gathering Online cards for real-life paper ones, and vice-versa
  • The ability to trade cards of any condition, not just mint/near-mint
  • Support for trading more than one of the same card at a time

Some of these features represent truly unique services, in particular the ability to trade between Magic Online and real-life Magic cards. Currently, a simple way to do this just does not exist. “The reality is that no one is really excited about how MTGO currently handles trading,” says Eric Freytag, PucaTrade’s founder. “We’re really offering something that nobody has seen before: the elegance you’ve come to expect from the PucaTrade experience combined with the MTGO ecosystem.” Personally, I think it could be a great way to help more players get their hands on older cards, many of whose digital versions are affordable but paper forms require a second mortgage.

The idea of support for foreign-language cards is also exciting. Freytag is very enthusiastic about it, calling the opportunity for PucaTrade to go global “a huge deal. In America, we tend to think of non-English cards as unique oddities that are fun to collect, but for a huge percentage of Magic players worldwide, ‘non-English cards’ are just ‘Magic cards.’” He’s absolutely right, and increasing PucaTrade’s potential user base by this much will be an enormous boon for the site’s popularity.

I was initially a little skeptical of the ability to trade cards of any condition. A staple of any good crowdsourcing system is its ability to compartmentalize a project into small tasks that are easily managed by an individual with little to no oversight. Asking your average Magic player to be able to accurately grade their cards’ quality seems like a tall order, but Freytag has confidence in his user base: “Mostly we plan on going really deep on our condition guide, to leave little question about what the card is worth.” He goes on to say that PucaTrade will also add features to upload photos of cards and transfer “PucaPoints” mid-trade, giving traders the tools needed to solve many disputes by themselves.

With Freytag behind the wheel, a user base more than 45,000 strong, and almost half a million dollars’ worth of trades completed each month, PucaTrade looks like it’s on track to knock this campaign out of the park. Adding these features will add a ton of flexibility in terms of how users dictate their trades and help cement PucaTrade as the #1 place to trade cards easily and profitably. If you’d like to donate to the campaign, swing on over to the IndieGoGo page and show your support!

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PucaTrade is a Collaborative Way To Trade Magic Cards

15 Apr

Image © 2013 PucaTrade

It’s been well-established by this point that I am a fan of Magic: The Gathering. There’s just something about shuffling up your deck and launching a barrage of monsters, weapons, and sorcery at an opponent’s tender, innocent face. The only downside is that the cards themselves, the fundamental building blocks of the entire game, are not cheap. It’s not uncommon to see highly-played cards for some formats valued at $100 each.

PucaTrade.com aims to change the game by making the process of trading cards between players crazy simple, and it’s doing it through crowdsourcing. The driving concept is that of Collaborative Consumption, where people share things they own instead of maintaining permanent ownership. Zipcar has used this concept to great success with their car-sharing service, and PucaTrade extends the concept to Magic cards.

With PucaTrade, users mail out cards they own that other users also happen to want. In return, they receive some amount of “PucaPoints”, which in turn can be spent on cards the user wants. It’s dead simple, and PucaTrade plays fair by keeping a constant eye on card values and making sure no users are getting ripped off by uneven trades. In another act of crowdsourcing, the site developers have teamed up with the users to create PucaBot. The site-owned “user” identifies and buys surplus cards in order to even out the economy and make a little money to keep the site running.

It’s a solid concept. People who play Magic often have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of unplayed and unwanted cards in their collections that would be better off in the hands of someone who’d actually appreciate them. PucaTrade also circumvents the entire economy of online card shopping, where prices can vary drastically and shipping snafus can prevent cards from arriving for days. With PucaTrade, the grassroots approach means its users can send and receive a steady stream of cards to each other at no cost except postage. Brilliant.

PucaTrade is growing quickly, and has already traded over $80,000 worth of cards between its users. They are currently doing an Indiegogo project to get out of beta and add some really great features to the site, including a redesigned interface and more tools for user interaction. If you’re as into Magic as I am, or if you just think these cards are getting crazy stupid expensive, donate to the campaign and/or register on the website and start trading. You get free PucaPoints if you share the campaign on Facebook or Twitter, too!

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