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  1. Trading Tips
  2.  
  3. >About this guide
  4. This guide is aimed at new players understanding trading so they can generate packs and increase their collection. Some of these tips are more advanced.
  5. I am not the ultimate trader but I do have a fair amount of experience.
  6. I make about 50 packs in net profit per week if I go hard at it (I think my record is 120). It's not rocket science, I assure you.
  7.  
  8. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  9.  
  10. Intro
  11.  
  12. You can only trade things that are not trade locked. there can't be a lock symbol at the bottom of your card. Only cards opened from packs that came from card codes can be traded. The only way in game to earn tradable packs is from tournaments (you can also occasionally earn packs once you are LVL 16, this will take 2-3 months if you are doing your challenges).
  13.  
  14. Tradelines are a series of specific repeatable trades (ANY TRADELINE MENTIONED BELOW IS USED AS AN EXAMPLE AND IS NOT CURRENTLY VIABLE)
  15.  
  16. pctgo's currency is packs. Of all those packs there is a single pack that every other pack has its value tied to.
  17. As of now Lost Thunder is that pack so its value is one. Burning Shadows is worth half a Lost Thunder so its value is .5.
  18. When I mention something going for one pack I am referring to what pack has their value at 1 so keep that in mind as you read on.
  19.  
  20. Trades cost 8 coins to post which you get back if your trade goes through. Never post a trade for longer than 8 hours
  21.  
  22. Playability. I am going to mention this word a lot going forward. The meaning of this in the guide is that a card sees play in some decks or has potential in some decks. It does not mean the a playable card is in a tier 1 or even tier 2 tournament winning deck. For example Hoppip has playabilty. There will not be a tournament winning deck featuring Hoppips all the time but there is a niche deck that uses Jumpluff - Lost March, so it has some value, even if it's low.
  23.  
  24. This entire guide is based around standard. New traders should avoid expanded for making profit.
  25.  
  26. The over arching strategy of this guide is to make small profits but repeatable profits. I aim to make at most 2 packs profit for a trade and I very rarely go that high. Most of my trades I make .5 to 1 packs in profit. Get a card below market cost and sell at cost.
  27.  
  28. Market value. It will take time to learn the market. http://www.ou7c4st.com/card-values.html will give you a rough idea and as you get more experienced you will learn the market and you will see gaps.
  29.  
  30.  
  31.  
  32. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  33.  
  34. Guide
  35.  
  36.  
  37. >The tried and true method
  38. common -> uncommon -> rare -> holo rare -> low GX -> mid tier GX -> packs
  39.  
  40. The bread and butter trade line. You trade a common for an uncommon and then that for a rare and so forth.
  41. This is the main focus you should have especially as a new trader but even some veteran traders forget this method. The biggest advice I would give here are if you can trade into playable cards. for example as of now alolan vulpix into gabite into dhelmise. If a card has playability even if its a niche deck, trades will go through despite the fact you are getting the better deal. Your ultimate goal should be finding profitable and repeatable tradelinesines.
  42.  
  43. >post trades of cards you want to buy
  44. I have spent way too much time trading in this game , however despite how much a spend doing it I only rarley go through with another persons trade. The general pattern I see is everyone is at least over charging by at least one pack. This is a good thing because you have very little in competition as trading goes, the bad thing is you really have to post a trade for everything you want to buy.
  45.  
  46. >refreshing the trade selection
  47. This one isn't very intuitive. The best trades and the best way to flip packs is to buy low and sell high, simple. But by the time its anywhere close to expiring thousands of people would have seen it and sniped it. This combined with how long it takes to get to the top every time with scrolling is a pain.
  48.  
  49. So here is what you do. You form a want list of cards, for me I have every secret rare tagged as wanted.You need to have a set of cards that are tagged as wanted that aren't overly common so when your filtering its not loading 80% of those trades. For me every secret rare as wanted works fantastic.
  50. I set the filter at the public trades for cards on my wanted list then I type guzma into the search and MOST important let a few trades load then click unacceptable trades (if you don't do this you might get an error saying there are no trades). This will load the entire list of trades much faster as its filtered. Once I see trades have loaded past 8 hours I remove all filters and scroll to 7:59. These are trades that have just been posted and have had less eyes on them to be sniped. The vast majority of trades that were posted longer than 8 hours are terrible value. Idiots seem to over value their cards rather than undervalue them.
  51.  
  52. >What kind of cards should I look into trading?
  53. First I would Avoid big ticket items. Anything like Jirachi or Zeraora, or full art supporters. Think about it this way, people buying their first car are very careful as its a huge investment so they do their research. With big purchases people look carefully over every trade before choosing the cheapest one they can find. Small margin for profit. I have made most of my profit in the 1-4 pack range kind of cards.
  54. Cards that are in new player friendly (budget decks) decks also trade very well. Staple trainer cards that go in every deck etc
  55. Once a card goes over 5 packs in value exercise caution.
  56.  
  57. >packs packs packs
  58. There are many different packs but they are not all of equal value. You will never get a good trade exchanging packs for packs. So to convert your packs from one to the other you have to do trades with cards as the converter. A lot of profit can be made with packs that have a value below 1 as people are more wiling to trade them as they see them as less desirable. So you buy a card for 1.5 worth of packs and sell for 2.0 worth of packs. For example I buy a ho-oh gx for 3 burning shadow and sell for 2 guardians rising. The downside is that these kinds of trades take a long time to go through so always aim for higher valued packs.
  59.  
  60. >expanded woes
  61. Pokemon is focused on the standard format. ptcgo even more so. Cards drop in value massively as they approach rotation from standard to expanded. The expanded packs also drop until they are basically worthless (there are exceptions but newer traders should still avoid).
  62. DO NOT TRADE FOR EXPANDED PACKS!
  63.  
  64. >One mans trash
  65. I have flipped so many greninja-gx around celestial storm's release, it was one of my bread and butter trades. People sold it low and paid high. Why?
  66. Despite the fact it wasn't a tier 1 deck, greninja is a lot of peoples favorite pokemon and the deck was quite playable. So some people would get a greninja from a pack a just throw it away essentially. I would trade for it and add some other cards were part of that deck and made a profit every time. Don't underestimate non top tier cards, some people might love those cards and be willing to trade for them. Use your head.
  67.  
  68. >theme bonus
  69. This is why trading will be so easy if you follow these steps. People will make a trade and just throw any garbage with it jack up the price and hope it goes through or just hope people will click their trade because it has "+5 more" next to it. People will click your trade but not go through with it. Look at all the trades that will expire, need I say more? Before I used the example of greninja-gx and what did I add? Obviously froakie, frogadier, super scoop etc or other parts of that deck. Seems simple but so many people get it wrong.
  70. I then added to the price and people paid. Are they over paying? Yes but people still paid because I'm adding convenience of them not needing to trade for the other parts of the deck and most importantly the extra cards have VALUE.
  71.  
  72. >How to know what cards trade well
  73. The obvious is of course Tournament winning decks and any cards that go into them. If a big tournament is won by a deck expect those cards to be sought after. The top 8 of every decent sized tournament are always posted in the general thread. Take note of those decks.
  74. However
  75.  There is a huge divide between them and fun decks people like to play. Check out youtube channels particularly of rogue builders like ''omnipoke'', ''dark integral gaming'' and ''yellowswellow'' among others (you don't need to watch the vids just the deck description although dark integral might grow on you despite being autismal). Reddit can very occasionally be useful but not often.
  76. Once you are familiar enough you should start to recognize what kind of card might spawn a rogue deck and then capitalize on it. Of the most recent expansion (Lost Thunder) vespiquen instantly caught my eye and has been trading well. I'm finding it hard to put fringe cards into more words as so much of it is instinct and for that reason I suggest caution in buying, experiment in selling.
  77.  
  78. >Shinies
  79. Secret rare, rainbow rare, full arts and anything of their ilk I would suggest avoiding entirely. I collect them, its my primary reason for trading. The entire trade is filled with people who think because they; (A) unpacked a SR or (B) think they bought one below cost (but probably at cost), can now charge twice the price because its shiny. Here's the major issue, collectors want the whole set, that's going to take a lot of packs (200+ packs for 12 SR fairy energy), we are cautious. If I see below market price I might trade but beyond that even I avoid them at all costs. Also to get a rainbow rare trade to go through (even at cost or 1 pack below) takes many many trades, not worth in the long term, people prioritize playable version of a card before bling.
  80. Cosmetic avatar items, card sleeves and deck boxes are a complete crap shoot don't bother.
  81.  
  82. >Ever wonder why someone will trade for uncommon chests?
  83. If you learn to trade, coins will become your biggest bottle neck. The reason I am very profitable is because I saw a gap in the market. Everyone is trying to get 1000% profit on every trade. So I do almost all my trades for packs at market cost value. Still only 25-30% of trades go through. that's a lot of coins being lost. I can't remember the last time I bought a pack with coins, just way too much of a waste. Be very aware of this bottleneck and try not to post trades that have no hope going through, too many coins wasted. Uncommon chests are very bad value opened but big time traders depend on them to post 50+ trades per day. Be aware of this. They are generally worth 1/4 of a pack.  
  84.  
  85. >opening tradable packs
  86. never worth. The only possible case that it might have value is to open a pack and try to trade every single card in that pack for practice.
  87.  
  88. >Buying pack codes
  89. Ebay. Aim for 50 cents per pack. Filter worldwide and free postage and ending soon to get good deals (Be aware that some sets may be way below 50 cent of value per code, for example sun & moon base set worth about 10 cent). Beware sellers without much feedback and if the seller has included postage fees. Many sellers forgot to make it free postage even if they are emailing you the codes. Avoid buying packs that they send you in game, this is technically against terms of service. I doubt fuck all will be done by Admins but what I fear is someone else knowing my IGN. There have been cases of people being hacked.
  90. Your money goes a lot further here than the other major games like hearthstone or MTGA but I understand some people refuse to put any money in a free to play game. Everyone has a different level of disposable income but if you find yourself playing a lot its not a terrible idea to boost your collection. Trading takes time its up to you to decide how much yours is worth.
  91.  
  92. >Tickets
  93. Here's the rough part. Standard tournaments are by a massive margin the best. 50 coins even if you lose first round is massive. That is 6 free trades. But you won't stand any chance of winning your first match and getting 2 packs plus 100 coins unless you have some competitive standard deck, people here don't fuck around. Theme is also our best place to get tradable packs if you just started as every other guide has advised you, but the instant you have a standard deck save all those tickets for this format. Theme has one advantage of being a very fast format because those decks have fuck all come back or consistency cards so people concede the instant you have an advantage. This allows you to blow through a lot of tickets.
  94.  
  95. >trainers are the best goldmine
  96. pctgo has a massive influx of new players. just look at how much theme is discussed. So? New players need staples. Guzma, cynthia, lillie, choice bands, rare candy etc
  97. 4 of these for one pack is generally the going rate.
  98. Make small trades to accrue playsets of trainers. I generally go for decent uncommon, niche rare or shit holo rare for one. one mans trash.
  99.  
  100. >Yard sale
  101. people get some codes either by buying on ebay or from physical packs. They try to resist temptation but end up picking at their packs like some buzzard or in froth of lustful desire open all at once hoping for that big hit. Then inevitably don't get fuck all but this janky set of cards. What they do next is bundle everything they don't want in a trade for 1-2 packs and call it a day. This is a win for us. We can turn those unwanted cards into infinite packs. Trade those cards for playable cards of the same rarity or into trainers then into packs or gx's. When you look at a trade the symbols at the bottom will tell you how many cards of a particular rarity are in the trade, useful for quickly estimating the value of the trade. Use those profits to buy another bundle and repeat.
  102.  
  103. >trading down
  104. common -> uncommon -> rare -> holo rare -> low GX -> mid tier GX -> packs
  105. The basis of all trading
  106.  
  107. but always remember that a playable card has a lot of value. Rare into highly sought after uncommon can be a very valid trade. Before mewtwo rotated I traded many crappy 1 pack gx's for 2 mewtwos and then would sell the mewtwos for one pack each. Unfortunately there is just too much for me to un-pack here. Trial and experimentation, I don't even know all the tradelines that might exist.
  108.  
  109. >Trade timing
  110. Pokemon is one of the largest franchise of all time. However the online client leaves a lot to be desired and is not advertised well. There's no bones about we are a small community (compared to other card games) and will remain so. Well that means there are only so many people to see your trades even if you aren't way over charging (again about 25-30% of my trades go through). Most people don't know about the refresh trick previously mentioned so your trades are most visible one hour before they expire. I have personally found the best results for my trades expiring about 7-8pm american and European times (remember japan doesn't count, not sure about the rest of Asia). We want to be efficient with our coins so we always post them for 8 hours and be mindful when they are expiring. Most of your trades will go through and hour or so before they expire. I generally do 2 batches of trade a day, once in the morning and later at night.
  111. this has been very very hard for me to nail down so please experiment on this one topic.
  112.  
  113. >The general rule of thumb of ptcgo is as follows;
  114. 1 pack= 4 common 4 uncommon AT MOST (same line)
  115. More often than not
  116. 1 Staple triner eg; guzma = 4 common 4 uncommon (of the same line)
  117. 1 pack = 2-3 playable rare
  118. 1 pack = 4 of a STAPLE trainer (As to say non niche trainers, see; Volkner, Apricorn Maker etc)
  119. 1 pack = niche Gx (see Kartana-Gx, Tapu fini-gx, Turtonator-gx)
  120. 2 pack = most Gx
  121.  
  122. Full Art Gx worth 1-2 more than Regular Art
  123. Rainbow Rare worth 1-3 more the Full Art
  124.  
  125. Variations do occur of course but these trades are more likely to go through, again please remember coins will be the biggest bottle neck and we want as many trades as possible to go through
  126.  
  127. >Bad habits
  128. As much as I have preached selling as close to cost as possible we all do occasionally throw that trade up we will think will never happen and go to bed. We then wake up to our stupefied astonishment to find it has actually gone through! So what do we do? Put that trade up twenty more times it hopes it goes through again and it just doesn't. We can't waste coins. Remember we are trading every common, uncommon, rare etc in our collection and with 25-30% return of our coins that means we will have to actually play the game, sweet Allah have mercy! There are a thousand and one trades where someone is trying to buy Jirachi for one-two packs. Don't fall into their mentality. The reason I am writing this guide for you, is that you have a massive edge on the market and can easily generate infinite packs. You are going to make a profit because of these trades by posting reasonable ones.
  129.  
  130. >New set bears & Bulls
  131. When a new set comes out, every playable card will be way over costed. As more people put in codes and trades the cards will retrace to what their value should be. If you are not buying codes or physical packs this shouldn't affect you and might have to avoid the new cards as they could crash before you can flip them leaving you chasing the wave. If you do open packs, TRADE. Use your common sense but almost all cards (especially pokemon) will decrease in value as time goes on. That lets you rebuy your cards with a few extra packs in your pocket. New set releases bring a lot of casual players who play in real life to put in their codes, it is a great time to be trading. Scan new posted trades a lot during this time.
  132.  
  133. >Market research
  134. So you caved in and opened a pack a now you have a full art gx that have no idea what the market value is what do you do? You mark that card for want put those filters on the search and see what everyone else is trading for it. If you are unsure then side trade.
  135.  
  136. >Side trading
  137. People are so much more likely to trade a card of equal rarity for another card of that same rarity. I really don't understand it fully and again can only limply say "another mans trash". In this aspect focus on playable but don't be greedy or it will never go through. Don't try trade a dialga-gx for tapu lele-gx. However I have traded countless dialga-gx for glaceon-gx, ho-oh-gx, decideye-gx and greninja-gx which is a one pack profit. Look at what decks are being played and use common sense.
  138.  
  139. >Investing
  140. There is not a lot to invest in if your even an experienced trainer. Pokemon cards go down massively in value, FA trainers might get featured as the ladder reward. Secret rare energies should hold their value but don't go up in value much. So if your getting deployed to IRAQ for a year and want your collection to be worth the same amount of packs when you get back then turn all your cards into SR energies but apart from that avoid entirely.
  141.  
  142. >Out trading the traders
  143. I think this might be the last point I make but do not under estimate it. Traders (like me can) sometimes only see the rarity. I have a shitty holo rare 4 energy 100 damage card that only hits the least playable type in standard for weakness and I trade it for a playable rare. The trader thinks wow! Of course I am Getting the better deal! I am up scaling in rarity!
  144. Don't ever forget that play ability is of a rarity on its own. Truth be told it is vague and nebulous and only your own knowledge will lead you to true value. But through trading and not wasting your coins on lotto tickets from the store (which might reduce your deck building expenses but which would never earn you more than trading) you will grow your collection.
  145.  
  146. Become the predator of predators and your packs will flow.
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