Millennial Musings — How I Value Cards On Quidd
With all the hype in NFT at the moment, rather than FOMO I wanted to get involved, But How? Rather than work out the completely new platforms like OpenSea or Wax and the crypto bros that go along with them, I played a digital card game YEARS AGO called Quidd. This worked out brilliantly for me, I already had a large stack of coins (in-game currency) and cards that I can use to trade with (Trade in the loosest sense of the word as Quidd has gotten a lot of backlash for removing trading). I also am getting back in at a good time with cash trading being introduced and the first “Mintables” being added to the game. These “Mintables” are sort of promises that the collectable will be made into an NFT at a later date. These might just be promises at the moment but we have a couple of reasons to believe them, The game has been around a while, They hold licences with top brands (that are going to do way more Due Diligence than any blogger can do) and have successful sales on the aforementioned NFT platforms. But one of the things that get’s me about the platform (and judging by the use of the “appraisals” part of the official discord lots of other users!) is how do we actually value our collectables on Quidd?
To answer that question we need to put certain assumptions in place so we can be consistent while exploring the different methods people use,
Coins to Cash conversion rate:
o In the app Quidd allows coins to be bought using real-world money at the following rates :
o However, they also have fairly frequent sales such as :
o And also have a deal with “Fyber” [https://www.fyber.com/] where you can earn coins by joining (and often paying with real money) partnered sites. The issue with using this as a conversion rate is that Fyber often changes the multiplier you get for rewards so it is not consistent :
o Finally, they also have random drops of coins (often substantial amounts) that cause inflation, devalue coins and in some ways creates a disincentive to use real money. Most recently they dropped a 4.2 million coin bundle for a “Bob’s Burgers” event. Then you could use these coins to buy cards and translate them into real cash to come up with a rate.
We could write a whole article on what should be the coin to cash exchange rate but for this article, I am going to assume the cheapest possible rate that Quidd always provides, as TBH that’s what people are going to be comfortable spending without thinking. Namely $5.00 for 100,000 coins or $1.00 per 20,000. (Anyone else fed up with using the dollar for everything!)
At the time of writing the article, the minimum coin listing is set to 626 coins. I could provide a deep explanation of how this is a truly magnificent number (rather than a number that is leftover from a Lilo and Stitch event months ago) but I don’t have time. The principle is that the minimum listing value will be equivalent to any other minimum listed value in the past or the future.
Method One — Quidd Surgested Valuations
So when we want to list a card on Quidd for coins Quidd in their eternal wisdom provide us with lower and upper bounds of the value of the item we are looking to sell (or liquidate if we are talking in fancy business terms!). The issue with this is Quidd doesn’t do a good job of explaining where these values come from, The tooltip to get the explanation is hidden and the information given if you can find the tooltip is vague at best (and it’s still in Beta since I left the game years ago!).
In addition to this, the numbers that Quidd puts out are often really wrong! Generally, anything that has added value due to its print number underestimates such as this #1 base card being valued the same as a normal base card.
Really old / rarely listed cards it also underestimates such as this very old Scream Queen’s card. At the time only a few packs were dropped at a time with very poor odds and this was the “set completion card” (the hardest to pull the card that completes the set). 1st editions have sold for up to $10.00 (So with our proxies around 200,000 coins) so even the high value is vastly under its real value! Or a “Why they call a ship a she” potentially the pinnacle of in-game items when I was playing originally valued at 47,000–70,000 coins (the cheapest currently on the market being $10 or 200,000 coins by our proxies)
Quidd also gets it wrong the other way and overestimates the value of items such as this Jean Grey card that I picked up for $1.11 rather than ¢80 due to its card number is valued at 150,000 to 230,000 coins (or $7.50 — $11.50)
So realistically you can’t use this method to assess card values. The numbers can’t be relied upon and they don’t skew only in one direction to provide a consistent under/overestimate. The other glaring flaw in this system is only the seller can see the card. If you are looking to buy a card you are unlikely to have it already to look up the suggested value (and even if you did it’s such a convoluted process are you going to bother?). About the only value, it serves to me at least is a second pair of eyes that this item I am about to min list isn’t secretly rare and shows a 600–900. So for that reason, I’ll give it a 1/5.
Method Two — Past Sales And Current Listings
Past sales on the other hand are a far better way to assess the value of in-game items. Firstly they show real prices paid that other people have been prepared to pay. For instance, if all the listings sell for 626 coins (or whatever the minimum price currently is!) then it doesn’t make sense to list up the item for more than this (unless it’s a special print number!). In addition to the really solid sold prices on the history, they also provide an additional piece of information, how often the item is being sold. This in combination with the number of listings on the market can help you work out how long the card is likely to sit on the market and how competitive you need to be when listing a card up. For instance, if a card has only a few listings but is regularly being bought, you don’t need to be the cheapest on the market. On the flip side if there are plenty of cards on the market, and sales are slow on an item it might be best to undercut the lowest current price so yours is the one that is bought next time someone is looking for it!
So onto a couple of worked examples, firstly a really quick sales but lots of listings card. For this, we are looking at the “Ghost Rider” card of the “2021 Invincible Base”. As you can see below there are lots of cards on the market but lots seem to be bought, pretty much anything under 1000 coins. So to me, this makes the Method two valuation about 1000 coins.
On the flip side a sticker like “Asteroids” there are far more listed so I needed to ensure that my sticker was the lowest on the market to capture the sale. This is due to the sticker being bought more infrequently especially after the award has dropped. I didn’t need to sell cheap, I still got a fair market price for the sticker and the Monday ¢80 sales would have been a good flip if you were online!
Finally, a card that is rarely listed, cards that fall into this camp in particular are the set completion cards that we looked at earlier. In this case, I could wait for the real value of the card rather than listing cheap. The sale is going to be slow due to the infrequency of the cards being bought but the value is there. Don’t get impatient and sell cheap like some of the coin sales!
As good as this method is when you get used to getting a gut feeling of balancing price and patience with your currently 140 sale slots there are a few drawbacks you need to be aware of with the current implementation. Firstly the sale history is not a true reflection of the value of the item. In every sale, there is a winner the person who got more value out of the exchange and a loser who lost some value. Sometimes it’s marginal such as the “Ghost Rider” seller missing out on getting 999 coins rather than 626 coins. On the flip side in the final example, people listing “Addition” for a few coins are losing out on the actual value of the card just by looking at the sale price in isolation. You just want to make sure you are on the right side of the deal!
Secondly, the current implementation of the sale history does not have any filtering or searching. As a result of really fast-selling cards like the “2021 Invincible Base”, the higher sales might have already moved off the bottom of the table. As a result, there might be buyers at say 2000 coins. You can take advantage of this too, when you are mass buying an item, start with the maximum amount you want to pay and then buy down to the cheapest. This will keep the cheapest sales on the table for longer and hopefully, the next listings will follow the cheaper guide price rather than the maximum you are willing to pay.
Thirdly (I did say there were a few downsides!) the price history doesn’t include highlighting when the item was sold during a chase, was pre-award or was shiny. All of these would increase the demand for the item and thus the prices that people were willing to pay. When you are trying to compare old prices you need to have this in mind as not to overprice your item. This is where you need to look at the current listings carefully to see what prices are hanging around (Either that or remember every card used in a chase… But that doesn’t seem possible!). The other thing that you need to consider is this method is really bad for low numbers, they are likely not on the sales history or even if there is a 25 print number this doesn’t help you at all assess the value of the print number 1 card. What you need is a print number sales history for each channel which will list all the prices paid for number ones or top 10% print numbers etc. Maybe Quidd are already working on this?
The final thing you need to be aware of with using this method is that occasionally sales in history are not market buys but are transferred from one account to an alt or part of a bigger trade. In this case, you might see a single entry (or multiple with the same buyer and seller) on the table. Just ignore them, they serve us no value. If it’s obvious like a dollar card being sold for a grand (which has happened) post it to the discord. But overall this is a really solid method for quickly evaluating buy prices. The flip side is none of this information is displayed when you list up an item! What gives Quidd! So I tend to look at the listings settle on a price then list it. All things considered, I’ll score this method a solid 3.5/5, with a few tweaks it could be a 4/5, maybe the next update will already be addressing the feedback from the discord and it will be even better in the future!
Method Three — Cost To Pull
This method is really in here for completeness rather than being to be used in lots of situations. This is due to Quidd doing such a bad job of providing any of the information we need for the method to work. So for old cards, all you can find is the pack cost (assuming the item has not been traded too much) on the history of the cards:
The issue is that if you pulled it in your free pack you don’t get to see the pack cost (yes, you probably pulled more packs from the set but who has the time to cross-reference everything particularly with Quidds UI!), and even if you can see the pack cost it tells you nothing about the type of pack that you pulled nor even how many cards were in the pack. In the example pics, you don’t see the odds for the card nor that the Scream Queen’s set was only dropped in limited batches of packs at different times of the day making it harder to chase. On the flip side, this method can work for new cards where the pack (of the correct edition) is yet to sell out. So if we take the “Bad Luck Omens Spooky Fog Pack” :
So in this set, we can see that it costs 8500 coins for a pack with three cards. So for the sake of argument, a sticker from the pack is worth 2800. To get any card in the pack is a 2.91% odds, so the implied value would be (2800/2.91)*100 or approximately 96200 coins (about $5). But when you are working on the set, pulling away, with only one card left that particular item has odds of 0.21%. The implied value would be over 1.3 million ((2800/0.21)*100)! So really hard to pull the whole set for this example! So someone who is one card away is much better buying from you at say 1 million than to keep pulling. The issue is, on the market, the card is listed much cheaper than this so it doesn’t work so let’s do a second example!
So in this example, the spider man stickers are going for more than the cost to pull for the common stickers (mostly due to the minimum listing price) so you are better pulling for these stickers. However rather than chase the harder to pull stickers you are much better off waiting for them to be listed.
This method helps to assess when to pull and when to buy. It’s more of a benefit when buying than selling but has big limitations when tried to be applied to old sets! It’s also complex, the table above comes from excel. I am not going to do 8% of 999 coin pack with 9 stickers in my head, the non-round numbers make it more tricky. So I have an excuse for overpaying for cards three and four. As a result, I will score it 2/5, it’s more useful than Quidds suggested values but not as powerful as the past sales when used correctly.
Method Four — Ask Discord
Another method I was debating whether to include or not (not literally though I couldn’t find anyone to take the other point of view, So I had to do more typing) but due to Quidd pushing everyone to their Discord, it makes sense to mention. Basically, there is a channel (if that is the correct verbiage!) where you can ask people how much you should list your items for. This doesn’t really make sense to me for many reasons. Firstly what is the incentives for the other user to provide a realistic value, they are not rewarded on Discord or Quidd for providing this information, and this non-existent reward is not linked to the accuracy of the appraisal. So the only incentive for a user is to either get your card cheap and undervalue it so they can buy it, or to overestimate the price if they have also listed the item so theirs looks cheap and will more likely be bought. These could be rectified simply by Quidd providing a reward/recognition for providing accurate information and by blocking people from providing estimates for cards they have listed and stopping them from buying it after they provide an estimate. The issue is that I don’t see Quidd doing any of these things that make the feature more accurate, for two reasons. Firstly, the amount of effort to integrate enough with Discord to provide these features far outways the benefits to us users and secondly it would reduce the number of people providing appraisals! The latter is something that is already a challenge in the Discord, with lots of the asks for an appraisal being left un-answered! So, let’s assume that the incentives were there and lots of people are willing to provide estimates, would they have all the information that they need to provide a more accurate estimate than any of the methods that we talked about above and would they explain which method they used? I think not they are likely just to provide a price.
As a result, in its current form, it’s unfair to give a score, are there people who can provide accurate appraisals (on their niche channel knowledge) on the discord, yes. Do you know if the appraisal is from these guys, nope.
Method Five — The “If I Ever Have Too Much Time On My Hands And I Have Already Watch Paint Dry So I Have Created An Over The Top Complex Value Assessment” Method
Note: — Long section with lots of information but I am still working on how you can translate all of this to a single value, So use the advice to more accurately refine other approaches at the moment!
The traditional economic approach to working out a price is to work out where the demand and supply meet. The supply side should be really easy, we have two types of items, ones that have in effect unlimited supply (granted with different edition numbers but they have the same art) and ones that are limited in supply such as collectors’ editions or awards. But even this is slightly more complex due to print numbers, in effect the supply of each card is unique with a supply of one. Sometimes this uniqueness matters such as one count print numbers for several people chasing leader board positions (or the perfect 200/200 to some collectors and the Jersey number cards for Panini items), but sometimes it doesn’t matter such as random high print numbers for sets long forgotten. Another complication is that each item has a different card count it stands to reason that this is the amount of supply of each edition but also the refresh rate between editions will affect the supply to users and the market.
As a result, we can sort of creating the below supply groupings:
Please note this is just the supply rather than the demand for one count nor the ease to pull the one count.
The demand side is a lot more complex. So in order to create the most perfect method to assess the demand of a Quidd card it needs to take into account a number of different things:
1. How Popular the channel is.
To assess how popular the channel is Quidd gives us the sales figures in the “Top Brands” section of the website. My initial thought would be that this evolves, this 24 hours Atari might be the most popular the next during the Bob’s Burgers chase would be Bob’s Burgers. So, I was going to use the 24-hour figures.
The issue is at first glance Atari would be the most in-demand, but this is not the case as a single card sold for $2,000 so just $38 of actual sales took place!
As a result, the best metric would be the number of cards sold over 24 hours would be the best way to have a current view of the demand. You see that tiny ‘See All’ greyed out hyperlink, that provides this information. (The full table is really big so I have put it at the end)
So, from this information, we can see that Marvel is the most popular set in the last 24 hours, not Panini and that Bob’s Burgers is 5th by value but low down for the number of actual sales. We can use this to create a scoring scale for the most popular channels. If we were refining this model further, we could also take into account how many sets a channel has and which sets have been released which might impact the number of cards being sold in 24 hours.
2. How popular the art or character on the item is.
Take the most popular channel in the previous step, Marvel and let’s think about who springs to mind when we think about the universe. Is it Spiderman? Captain America? Thor? That’s the issue its very hard to rank the different characters in the channel, but we can agree that it falls into two main groups, Main characters and Side characters. This logic can be applied to any channel. But how much more value should we place on a nice art version of a main character v.s an awful art version of a side character? My first instinct was to look at the top sales in 24 hours of the marvel channel. The issue is this contains cards of different CC and are pretty much all Main Characters. We need a set that has main and side characters with everything as similar as possible, Thankfully Quidd has sets like that, Base Sets. So, if we look at the ratio of buys of a main character in an active set such as the Invincible and compare it to an undesirable character, we can have an approximation of demand. Now as this is a chase set people are going to buy lots, what we want to see is the number of unique buyers, and as I am doing this manually, I will just look at the amount of “Today” and “yesterday” buyers.
So, if I was to attach a number to this difference before doing a deep dive and different tiers of character and art styles, we can give a side character about ½ the value of a main character.
3. Position in the set
I think that one of the big things that aren’t often considered when valuing an item on Quidd is the position of the card in the set. The low card (Which is often referred to as the set completer) has vastly more demand whereas the high cards in the set act like filler. When people are trying to pull the set completer, they are going to get lots of the filler cards and will list them cheap, but will stop pulling when they get just one of the hard to pull the card. Other than this being a great way to swap coins into cash, The low cards will have vastly more demand than the rest of the set. It’s almost an Exponential Scale where the lower and harder to pull the set completer is the more value it has over the rest of the set. But how to assess the value of this? I have no idea! Suggestions in the comments on how to make a formula for this? I would be looking for some kind of formula that maps (Card Count of Set low)/(Card Count of Highest filler card) to a value.
4. The desirability of the print number
The print number is an interesting one! Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all, such as an old set that one (or many) retired player has the majority of the lows and so it’s impossible for anyone to get rank one. But sometimes it’s very desirable such as when a 1cc award is up for grabs. Given that a 1cc has sold for $12,200 this can make #1 very valuable! A general approximate scale I have put together in the chart below.
The other thing that you need to take into account is how hard it is to pull a #1. Let’s take the Blockchain Heroes Series one, you get 5 cards in a pack for 6,500 coins. There are 10 possible cards to get (All at level odds, thank God this is hard enough for me to work out already!) So, 10 possible #1! But each card has 500,000 cards. So, the chance of getting any #1 is (10/5,000,000)*5 is 0.00001% Interesting this (https://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~aldous/Real-World/million.html) shows similarly likely events.
5. Whether its pre-award or linked to another set or chase
I touched on this in the previous section if the item you are looking to sell is part of a chase or an award it has the value of that award incorporated into its value. For instance, in a hold em chase with level odds, you can just take the expected award value and divide it by the number of cards in the set. However, in a ranking event, you can’t do that, if you put a two count on the market someone could pull the one card and then your card is worthless to a top one chase. So, you have to consider the certainty that the card that you are offering will lead to the award. For instance, in the previous example, a #1 out of 500,000 is extremely unlikely to be pulled so you can attribute more of the award value to a #10 as the buyer will be more certain it will not be beaten before the deadline.
6. Likelihood to be mintable
I think currently this has the biggest impact on value. When a card is mintable it opening up to off app sales and thus A LOT more potential buyers! We widely have four tiers that we can group cards into shown in the table below.
Over time the in-app items will move between these groups and their value will change. It is also possible to have a massive shakeup or explosion in value if a set or channel that people perceive will not be mintable suddenly is. This is why no item can be seen as having no mintable value.
7. Type of item
I was debating including this as its own section as we have already touched on it. Award cards are a single representation of a sets value, and so a fair value of these would be the difference in the cost to collect a set before the deadline and after the deadline. Collectors’ editions have a certain price premium due to the fact that they are the only released in a given art style followed by first editions. Finally, non-first edition cards have a vast reduction in their demand mostly as buyers just waiting for a first edition to be available.
In addition to this, the type of the item can matter as well. I would argue that a “Sticker” item has more utility than a “Figure” or “Card” due to the Keyboard functionality and its use outside the app. I don’t know how many people still use this feature but it’s getting more exposure for the design and more use out of your items. The “Figures” and “Cards” it’s more difficult to define which is more desirable, “Figures” tend to be more expensive but are they any better than a similarly expensive “Card”? You will have to make your own mind up but I would argue that they given current uses are the same demand level.
The final Type of Item that we have not explored is “Shines”. The issue is Quidd post these items in lots of different ways. Some sets are kept with the normal cards so are hidden on the market and in your account, So the desirability to acquire them is diminished somewhat. This has been raised multiple times in the discord and Quidd have promised that something is coming to address this so potentially their demand may later arise. The other solution to Showing Shines is by making them their own, much lower CC set. This makes them more obvious on the market and have a lower CC (and potentially earlier mintable eligibility) but are they any more desirable than a similarly low CC card? I would argue not, So I would not overpay for them just because they are shiny, Instead, be looking to pay their “Card” value.
There are lots of things to consider when evaluating the value of a card and as a result, two people can come to different conclusions about the price of a given item. What you are looking to do is pick up cards that are undervalued and sell them overvalued, either by waiting for them to be involved in a chase or for their mint-ability ranking to increase. There are lots of ways to use the current market inefficiencies to make coins and cash if you keep everything in mind! When I revisit this topic I want to expand on my approach to valuing the items potentially create a bot to extract information from the Quidd site and have ever-changing weighting between demand categories to create very accurate valuation guides. But I guess I have to add that to the long list of ideas to get around to.
I think another important thing to mention in this conclusion is to have patience, The market doesn’t have a lot of liquidity so it can take time for things to sell. The issue is there are lots of things that are trying our patience, such as 50/30 cent offers from events staying on the market that have to sell before your cards will sell or influencers trying to get old users back in-app just to cash out cheap. This is somewhat limited by the finite number of slots we can have on the market at once, But once this is opened up further even more patience is needed.