Over the years I’ve done a lot of trading online. I started with EssentialMagic and eventually made the move to Magictraders (MOTL) which I’ve used up until recently. For me, trading online offered a way to pick up cards not easily found in the binders of players at my LGS.  Not only could I pick up non-Standard cards but I could do it without the awkwardness that comes with real life trading. In other words, if I wasn’t keen to make a trade for whatever reason, there was no pressure to continue trying to work it out. I didn’t have to look through binders only to have the owner repeatedly hem and haw over whether a card was actually for trade. I could ctrl+F to see if they had the cards I needed and if they didn’t, I could just hit the back button and check the next list.


Uhhh I don’t see anything. Wait…are those Pokemon cards?


Of course there were problems with online trading as well. Online trading may give you more opportunities to trade for stuff you need but it also costs more money than IRL trading and takes longer to receive cards. While a few stamps and toploaders aren’t very expensive, bubble mailers for more expensive cards are somewhere around $10 for a package. Furthermore, if you want to add delivery  confirmation or send cards priority, that adds up. Not only are you shelling out money to trade, sometimes it takes a while for cards to actually arrive which can be a drag if you need a card for a specific tournament. It’s especially bad when you first start out trading and always have to send your cards first and you have to wait until the recipient gets your cards and mails the ones they owe you. Sometimes this process takes a couple weeks. Don’t even get me started on the wait time from international trades.

Eventually, the cons of online trading started to wear on me. I found it a bit cumbersome to constantly update my have/want list and the whole process of looking through cards, messaging a proposal, confirming a proposal, mailing cards, and waiting to receive them wore on me. I wanted something easier.

Just recently, I started using PucaTrade and have a lot of positive things to say about it.


For those unfamiliar, PucaTrade works differently than other trading sites. Instead of trying to come up with a deal with another user where you send each other cards, you can just send another user a card they want. Each card has a point value, a point is roughly the equivalent of one cent, and whenever a person receives a card you sent, you are credited points for it. With those points, you can request cards you want and people will send them to you. So for example, if I am new to the site, I go on and send a user a Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy which is worth 2883 points. When the user receives the card, they will click on a box that says “received card” and then my account is credited. I could start getting the cards on my want list up to 2883 points.

The Pucatrade process helps cut out some of the idiosyncrasies of trading. PucaTrade allows you to send people cards they want without having to barter with them. Think about this, with PucaTrade you don’t ever have to worry about equalizing values in a trade. You don’t ever have to worry about someone being difficult over trading their Modern cards for your Standard ones. Most importantly you don’t have to worry about the “that’s not really for trade” uncertainties while trading with another person.

For my purposes, PucaTrade has been an excellent vessel for foiling out my Pauper Cube. Before PucaTrade, I didn’t have an efficient way to trade for all the common foils I wanted. I had a list of cards I needed, but found that people don’t often keep low value foils in their trading binders. I could buy these cards of course, but found that most LGS’ don’t have a good selection of low value foils and that if I want to buy online, I’m forced to shop at a bunch of different retailers in order to find the best price. With PucaTrade, I sent out a couple cards that had been sitting in my binder and started getting a bunch of the foils that had eluded me for a long time. I finally got my foil Chittering Rats, Coalition Honor Guard, and Recumbent Bliss I’ve been looking for and the people who sent them to me got to turn some rarely played foils into points.


I got seven envelopes today!


Stuff that came in recently

PucaTrade is also fantastic for players and collectors who don’t have a cube to foil out. The site seems to work especially well for finding stuff for EDH, especially low value cards people don’t tend to carry with them in their binders. Sometimes you need a Commander’s Sphere and don’t want to order a twenty-five cent card online, but wouldn’t mind receiving one in the mail (especially if you are not paying for shipping). The site is certainly still serviceable for folks looking to pick up staples, but isn’t great if you need something right away. For example, there are hundreds of listings for people wanting fetch lands, so if you need a Flooded Strand for a deck, it’s probably best to find it elsewhere.


I continued to scroll for a solid minute before reaching the end.

Using PucaTrade has saved me money on buying cards, made my cube shinier, and filled up my mailbox with non-bill items (which is awesome). The trading process is really easy and has saved me a lot of aggravation. Instead of scouring through junk binders and dealing with difficult people, I just throw a toploader in an envelope with a stamp. I would recommend the site to anyone who is sick of inefficient trading and is looking for cards for longer term decks. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the site for people looking to finish up their Standard deck by that week’s FNM, though if you list a Standard card on your want list, someone will send it to you pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for further reading about PucaTrade, the way it works, and some more personal experiences, check out these links:

Also, if you read this article and want to sign up, you can use me as a referral link and PucaTrade will send some points my way:



At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). When he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities and plays guitar in an indie-pop band.

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