Okay! I didn't think it was necessary, but evidently, this place could use a post on trading etiquette. What follows are some good guidelines on how to create a pleasant trading environment. 1. POST A HAVE/WANT LIST Don't just say 'I have such-and-such cards, if you want them, just tell me what you have'. A lot of people have a fairly large number of cards, and typing out the entire list every time you want to trade can be excruciating, especially if you go to all that work only to get a reply of 'sorry, don't want anything'. Know what you want before you post. 2. BE FLEXIBLE ON SENDING ARRANGEMENTS Speaking for myself and myself only, nothing turns me off of a trade more than a flat-out 'you send first'. How do you know? I may have a hundred trading references, and you may have none. In that case, it's unfair to expect the other person to send first. Be flexible! It's my practice to simulsend to anyone with as many or more refs than I have (or who I can find easily, like Multani, who lives a few miles away), and to ask that anyone with less refs than me send first. I've had no complaints. 3. OFFER REASONABLE TRADES Nobody wants to trade their 3x Rishadan Ports for your 3x Brands. No matter how many times you ask, nobody will go for it. Having a trade a *little* bit in your favor might be okay, but stupid offers are a waste of both your time in sending them and the other person's time in receiving them. 4. PROTECT YOUR CARDS On this point, someone who uses this board is guilty of a minor infraction. In general, if you're sending cards through the mail, there's a good chance they'll get dropped, thrown around, twisted, crunched, and otherwise messed up. Your cards need protection to make it through the process. Go to your local card shop and invest a few bucks in a package of top-loaders. You can safely send two cards in a sleeve in a top-loader without worrying about it. For larger trades, tape the top-loaders together. If you're poor and can't afford even a few top-loaders, sleeve the cards and tape two pieces of cardboard together. 5. COMMUNICATION IS KEY Never assume that the other person has sent until they say so. Never assume that they're ripping you off unless they refuse to reply to you. In fact, just never assume. Communication is how trades get started, and communication should continue until the trade is completed and everyone is satisfied. That includes telling your trading partner when you're going to send, telling him you sent, telling him you got his cards, and making sure he does the same for you. Only if you're dissatisfied and the other person is refusing to speak to you (or is being belligerent and refuses to cooperate) should you take it to a public forum, and even then, only if you're *certain* it's not a misunderstanding. Blotches on a reputation are indelible. 6. MUTUAL SATISFACTION If your trading partner isn't satisfied with the cards you sent them, offer to return them, in exchange for your own cards back. If you sold cards, offer a refund. The chance is a lot better than you'll be able to make futures trades/sales if the other guy knows that you meant well and simply made a mistake, than if you simply tell them to go to hell. 7. NEVER DO A TRADE YOU'RE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH Does it seem like the other guy is offering a ridiculous value for your cards? Is he being belligerent or is he hard to get a hold of? Does something else about him leave a bad taste in your mouth? Then don't do the trade. You're far better off searching elsewhere for a trading partner (or at least making the other guy send first) than doing a trade that gives you the creeps and finding out that your instincts were right. 8. DON'T CRY WOLF Remember that a *very* small percentage of trades turn sour. For every one trade that's gone sour, I've done fifty that have gone off without a hitch. Remember that our postal service can be excruciatingly slow at times, and that if you're waiting for that crucial card for your deck, a day can seem like a week. In general, two weeks is a good minimum. In two weeks, I can get mail internationally, meaning that if it was going to get there, it would have by that time. Never accuse anyone of being a ripper until you're certain that they are; that's a pretty nasty thing to say about anyone, and you'd better be sure, or you'll look like a real jerk. 9. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, DON'T GET MAD, GET EVEN There WILL be a time, if you trade long enough, that you get ripped off. The other guy got you to send your cards before you got his, and now you haven't gotten his. He won't respond to e-mails or in any other way, and has totally cut you off. In this situation, post a calm message to the forum that originated the trade stating the facts of the trade. I sent such-and-such to this guy, he promised such-and-such in return. I sent my cards, never got his, and he won't respond to e-mail. Beware. Do *not* become overemotional, just let his reputation do the work for you. 10. TRADE WITH ME You should trade with Istanbul. Because I said so.