You probably received a link to this page because you offered me, or someone like me, a reciprocal trade on PucaTrade.com.There’s been some ambiguity around the word “recip” so I’d like to get us on the same page with two definitions:
Recip — Short for reciprocal trade.This is trading cards for cards. It’s based on a negotiation and the terms agreed upon by all parties.
Return — Short for return send. This is when you check someone’s list and send them a package, after they have committed you a trade on PucaTrade.
The main difference between these two things is that there’s no expectation or obligation for a return send. This is because there’s no agreement beyond the typical user agreement on PucaTrade.
Recips Are Not Evil
Before I go any deeper, I just want to say that I don’t think reciprocal trades are bad. I myself have done over thousands of hours of traditional trading. Anytime you gather a bunch of Magic players together, they’re going to swap cardboard—that’s what we do! That being said, while in the PucaTrade community, I choose not to do reciprocal trades. Here are my reasons, with the most important reason last:
1) Recips are a hassle.
I don’t really want to spend a lot of time haggling over Magic cards. One of the strokes of brilliance in the PucaTrade system is the ability to check the haggling and negotiations at the door. One has points, one has card. Hit send. Done.
2) There are other places to recip.
Your local store, deckbox.org, and the list goes on. I find it a little bit strange when someone comes to PucaTrade with the sole intention of doing reciprocal trades. The whole system is built on a currency that eliminates the need for reciprocal trades. My philosophy is: Why not enjoy the unique aspects of this platform instead of trying to force a different model? I feel like the more you embrace the model, the more you actually benefit from it.
3) I don’t need to recip.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been through about 100,000 points, with no reciprocal trades. I’m a patient man, and my card wants are not critical to my happiness. I’ve lived a long time without obtaining the cards on my list, and another month isn’t going to kill me.
4) There’s more value in sending for points.
When you arrange a reciprocal trade, you don’t get to take advantage of the promotions feature on PucaTrade. There are many cards that are promoted at 100% or more. If I send one of these cards out, then I get more value for my card. It’s true, that I may have to promote one of my wants (if the card is highly sought after) at 100% to get it. If I do this then it’s a wash, like in a reciprocal trade, but any card that I get at face value, I essentially pay half price for it!
5) It’s better for the community if I don’t recip.
Think about it. If I keep all of my good cards in hopes that I can trade them for some other card that I want, then the community suffers because I’m not fulfilling needs in the community. Worse yet, think about if everyone withholds staple cards until the opportunity for a recip comes. Then staples would be incredible hard to get, and this would reinforce and perpetuate the cycle making them even harder to get. Sound familiar?
I get that it’s a “risk” to send out your trade bait in hopes that someone in the community will have your back when you need it. What if you don’t get what you need? For me, it’s simple: There’s only one kind of community that I want to believe in and be part of. I put my energy into building that, instead of hedging against the community that I’m a part of. As long as there’s people like me in the PucaTrade community (there are many right now), I’ll continue to ship my cards for points as a vote of confidence in them.
I hope this post at least gives you an idea of why I trade the way I do on PucaTrade, and at best makes you think a little bit about other ways to trade. Thanks for reading.