Arthur Halavais📎 Profile picture
Jun 6, 2018 24 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
On #MTG and safety and security, because it's topically relevant today: First and foremost, Magic cards are easily negotiated certificates of value. They're not quite stacks of cash, but they're close. If you wouldn't do something with a stack of cash, don't do it with cards.
At events, that means:
Don't leave cards or decks unattended. "Just for a moment" is the catchphrase of the forlorn gamer. You wouldn't leave a stack of cash alone with hundreds of strangers for just a moment. Don't do it with cards. #MTG
At events, that means:
Don't leave cards in your car. In the trunk/boot is better than the cab, but it's still not good. Parking in a lit area under a camera is better, but still not good. Yes, it's obnoxious to carry cards everywhere. Less obnoxious than replacing them. #MTG
The "Just for a moment" trap applies here too. Once upon a time I left cards in my car to run inside and check in for an event. Car was parked less than 200 feet away. I was inside for less that 2 minutes. I lost a few thousand dollars in a smash and grab. #MTG
At events, that means:
Do not rely upon other attendees for your security. They may be strangers. They may be friends. Even if they don't intend malice, they won't be as diligent as you are with your cards. Would you leave a pile of cash, even if that person was watching? #MTG
At events, that means:
Do not check bags with your expensive cards; carry them on. Stuff goes missing at airports; sometimes whole bags, and sometimes just contents. And some crooks make a point of lifting off baggage claim before you arrive. #MTG
At events, that means:
Do stay stay at shoddy motels. It's very very easy to break into a hotel room, either physically or via social engineering. It's easier at shoddy motels where employees often don't care. (Plus, your back will thank you for the comfortable beds.) #MTG
At events, that means:
If your room has an inroom safe, use it. Do not use 1234 for passcode. If it does not, store cards that you brought somewhere folks are unlikely to look. If your value is high enough, ask the front desk for maid service only while you're present. #MTG
At events, that means:
Do not chat or brag about the value of the cards you brought, in the venue or at local food places. Do not flash cards. (You wouldn't flash stacks of cash around, right?) Be aware of surrounding and potential followers when heading back to your room. #MTG
Look at insurance options. Make sure you talk to a real person about it. Make sure they understand what you want. (It helps if they play #MTG.) Read the contract twice and have someone else read it too before you sign and start to rely on it. #MTG
Possible pitfalls for insurance include:
Lack of coverage for Fire/Flood/Theft/Earthquake
Lack of coverage if cards are taken out of the house
Lack of coverage without individual pictures
Reimbursing "fair value" (if cards increase in price, or if cards are unique some way). #MTG
If you send or receive high ends cards regularly, consider a PO box. They're cheap. They're more secure than a personal mail box (both from people and from the elements). And they don't advertise your home address to potential ne'erdowells. #MTG
Consider a home safe. They're cheap. In addition to protection from theft and a potential discount on insurance premiums, they can also protect cards from environmental damage.
Lock. Your. Doors. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
Choose a public place. Choose a place that is in a population center (no back roads). Choose a place with security and cameras. Police station parking lots are a great choice. Do not meet in the middle of the night. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
Consider ways of securing your value before meeting. Wait to withdraw cash from an ATM until after meeting and seeing cards. Consider digital transfer options. If the other person protests your safety, LEAVE. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
If one person unexpectedly turns into multiple at your meet, leave.
If they try to get you to follow them, leave.
If anything makes you uncomfortable, follow your gut instinct and LEAVE. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
After you leave, especially if you left because of feeling uncomfortable, do not go directly home. Stay in well lit populated areas. If you have cash, go to a bank and deposit it. If you believe they are following you, call 911. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
Consider setting up a dead man's switch. Let a friend or roommate know WHERE you're meeting and WHEN you'll be finished. Tell them that if you don't check in by that time, to call 911 and provide that information. #MTG
If you're going to meet someone for a sale:
If they pull a knife or gun, give them any items they want. Your life is worth more than cards. Follow directions unless those would incapacitate you (eg cuffs, get into a car), in which case run towards security while yelling. #MTG
I'm sure that some folks reading think this is over the top and doesn't apply to them. It does. People have lost collections. People have been injured. People have died over this. It is better to be overly cautious than to be dead over this. #MTG
At events, make sure your name and some form of contact info is with your cards. Business cards in your deck or binder. Sharpie on the covers. Whatever. Every show, a deck ends up unclaimed at lost and found. Every. Show. #MTG
Consider a way to confirm that contested belongings are yours. A specific order, detail, or unique card (like alter) is good. Pictures of the cards are better, and a easy way to also have a complete list to share around. #MTG
If you want a DIY project and you're a nerd (yeah you, I know you are. We all are here), feel free to copy my personal recovery scheme: A unique UV marking on containers and binders and inner sleeves, and a UV pen on my keychain. #MTG
If you have advice, input, or any other relevant data to add, at me and I'll throw it onto this thread as well. #MTG

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More from @ahalavais

May 11, 2018
On the Reserved List: A large percent of the recent change in prices ("large" being enough to begin the spikes) is a result of grey or black market activity. Money laundering is a serious business, and collectibles are a great option for vector. #MTGFinance
Money laundering has ramped up in terms of volume a noticeable amount recently because of active attempts at decriminalization of some goods, most notably marijuana. Lots of growers trying to go legit, and the Venn diagram of Stoners and Nerds overlaps a lot. #MTGFinance
The boom in Crypto currencies this past year has also resulted in a lot of money laundering, be it by "trading" directly between crypto and cards, or be it buy looking to offset tax liabilities by establishing an "investment" for more than a year. #MTGFinance
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