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Etiquette In The Trading World

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Stop me if this has happened to sent a PM and didn't get...

OK, so it has happened to you.

Stop me if this has happened to contact someone in regards to a card and they want something in return that throws the value scale...

OK, so it has happened to you.

Stop me if this has happened to you...someone is selling a card and you inquire on a price and they tell you to make...

OK, so it has happened to you.

Notice the trend...

Whatever happened to good old fashioned trading etiquette? Remember when you could contact someone and within a couple of minute of hassle free PMs, you had a trade posted and you were happy to go ahead and package up that bubble mailer knowing that in a couple of days, you would be getting something you want? Yeah, those were good times.

Now, I'm not saying that t still does not happen anymore as it does. Heck, recently, I had a trader just send me a card I could use for a collection with a note to just get me back when you can. I've got another trader where we just send each other cards without worrying about trade managers, feedback and definitely not values. Not everyone should be like that, but you don't need to be rude either.

If someone takes the time to contact you via PM about your trade/sell list, you should respond...politely. It's very easy to simply say I'm not interested. It's much better than just ignoring the PM. Sure, some of us get really busy at times and don't respond immediately...but along the way, if you can take the time to post on the on the in the arcade, then you've got enough time to spend the 10 seconds necessary to quickly reply to someone.

However, there is a flip side. There are those that get upset when you don't respond right away. What do they do? Fire off another PM. Folks, once you sent a PM, let it go. The member should respond back as soon as they can. If not, give them some time. If it's been a day or two, then send another PM to check and see if the previous one was received. Don't go crazy and PM someone every five minutes. All you are doing is alienating the other person.

I find it difficult at times to post a trade list on sites because when you do, you normally get three letters in reply..."CMB" (Check My Bucket). Now there are some who are just looking to pick up something new for a collection, but most are not. Most traders are looking for teams/players/drivers/etc. that they collect. Traders tend to even state in a sig or a post who/what they are looking for in return. You know what cards you have. Do the trader a favor and take the time to see what they want and if you have something, post that you have it. It saves a lot of time and the thread starter will appreciate it. Just common courtesy. Don't make the poster do all the work. Trading is about working together.

Then there's those great for sale posts/lists. You know, there's a saying that a card is only worth what a person will spend on it, so you have sellers with this mentality that will say those dreaded three words, "Make An Offer." Now, I'm confused. You are the seller, but I need to make an offer on your items? If you have a price in mind, then just state it. If I like it, I'll gladly pay it. If I think it's a bit steep, I'll say so and make a counter proposal. Is it hard to reveal what you want for a card? Are you that ashamed of your asking price? You are not going to sell the card if the offer is lower than what you want for the card, so what does it hurt? Are you hoping for the person who will come along and actually offer higher than what you want? Do you know how rare that is in these times? Be courteous to prospective buyers and list a price, you are more likely to get a deal done when the buyer can see where you are coming from instead of hiding everything.

Another thing with trading is you should never belittle other traders in any way. Some will think that just means don't outright pick on someone's collection or trading habits, but it goes deeper than that. Did you realize how belittling it is when you tell a trader that is only interest in a $8 book value card that they need for their collection that it is not worth the time and stamps to send the card and you only do bigger trades? That's a slap in the face of any player/team/low-end collector out there. How about the people who can't afford to bust numerous boxes and packs? How do you think that makes them feel? Make your intentions known right away so potential traders already know information like this before getting excited about finding a card on your list.

And how about the new traders? Yes, new traders have a stigma about them. You find some with attitudes, improper etiquette and sometimes clueless. And what do others sometimes do, chastise them. Instead, try to remember when you were the new trader. Did you know the protocol for everything? Probably not. Well, there you go. Keep that in mind the next time you deal with someone new.

As for those new traders, it is really best to observe how to do things before jumping in with both feet. Don't assume you know everything. Being a top-notch trader doesn't happen overnight. It comes down to building trust and acquaintances. The more the traders feel they can trust you and enjoy having you trade with them, the easier it will be to trade. Take the time to learn from veteran members.

So in the end, trading online is all about etiquette. It's about how you treat others as much as how you want to be treated. Don't fall victim to becoming the members mentioned previously. Enjoy the site and enjoy trading...after all, it's just a hobby...


  1. WilyWestbrook0's Avatar
    This is a great guide. It's too bad more traders aren't aware of some of these etiquette pointers.
  2. Karl cloney's Avatar
    yes indeed
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