Back in the day, I would check Scrye magazine to figure out how much my Magic cards should sell for, but they folded two years ago. Where's a good place to price my collection these days?
If you want to know what you can actually sell individual cards for, I think you can't do better than ebay. If you look at price indices like Scrye used to have, you run into the problem that what a shop can sell a card for is typically much higher than what you, a private individual, can achieve.
Bear in mind as well that prices for individual cards are much higher than buying in bulk. In other words, you might work out that your collection is worth thousands of dollars, if you were to sell each rare individually. But if you tried to sell the same thing to a shop, or in a single lot on ebay, it would sell for only a small fraction of this.
The only other caveat is if you have many extremely rare old cards from the first days of Magic. In this case, the wear and tear of the card has a very large impact on the potential price. Again, ebay will give you an excellent guide to how much these can vary (try doing a search for "Black Lotus" for example).
Another great and reliable source is http://sales.starcitygames.com/spoiler/spoiler.php which has a nice search engine and rather stable prices.
Just reduce the prices by something like 20 or 30% to account for the money they want to make on the cards. The important thing is the relative value of the cards.
magiccards.info has a very nice price chart that compares prices at various conditions across many online retailers for every card. It's also 1000x more useful than Gatherer for searching for and browsing through Magic cards.
While you can search for only 10 cards at a time, the Apathy House Trade Evaluator is a nice way to find reasonable prices.
When I've traded in the past, others have requested I use Apathy House to value my cards, and when I've sold on eBay, the prices I have received have been close to what Apathy House suggests.
Another concept is magiccardmarket.eu (also known as magickartenmarkt.de in Germany), which is a user-to-user trading site. Anyone can sell their cards at a self-defined price, which has the interesting side effect that you can see what cards actually sell for very well. It features both private and professional sellers, and will indicate the difference.
To give a quick example, let's assume I wanted to find out a "fair" price for Vigor, I could look on its product page on magiccardmarket to see the following information (this is for the Lorwyn printing):
You can see a number of prices, which I'll explain due to the lack of official documentation on the site:
- From gives you the cheapest price of availability of this card, with at least Excellent condition
- Foils from does the same, only counting Foils
- Price Trend is a fictional number, calculated from recent average selling prices per day
- the graph on the right illustrates recent prices and also shows the Price Trend, which is helpful to see recent developments - this will also let you gauge whether you can trust the previous figures
Now, all of these values need to be taken with a grain of salt, as so far, this includes all sellers registered on the site. Most of the time, the cheapest card prices will be from Spain or Italy (as they are in this case), which of course is fine if you're from those countries, but might mean that if you'll mail-order them, you'll have to pay more shipping or even toll costs than is reflected in the price numbers here.
In addition, different regions may affect how valueable a certain language will be. Japanese cards, for example, sell exceptionally well in Europe, even among people not familiar with the language.
Now, depending on what you would consider a "fair" price, your method of determining it may vary, but here's a method I use when looking for a value I can use for buying or trading:
- select the card and printing (edition) of the card you want to gauge through the search function
- set the condition, language and other applicable values through the filters
- if you're a registered member, you'll also get the option to only show sellers from your country. If you're not, you'll have to take a little more effort, but nothing will be "hidden"
- look at the result list for prices, keeping in mind that some entries may stray from the average (or have comments further explaining in what ways this card differs from what you would expect) and may need to be discarded in the interest of a truly representative result
Following this method, you should have a good idea of how this card is being traded, and apply your individual judgement of fairness to it. For example, I would go about it like this...
The cheapest seller from my country happens to sell their Near-Mint Lorwyn Vigor for €8,98, which is fairly true to the price average. The next closest prices scale pretty much linear upwards to the highest price - €14,90.
Looking at the selling prices, the card hasn't been often sold for more than €10,00 and since that seems to be a price slightly above the Price Trend (a rising figure, as of right now), selling it for that amount or a little more may be a good idea.
This appears to be a better method for me that searching on ebay, considering you might also find the self-drawn Vigor playmat, Amulet of Vigor because it's close enough of a search result, or in general don't have to mess around with a whole lot of other stuff due to the system being designed specifically for card trading, along with having no idea where that price comes from, and whether it's justified.
Most people, and stores, that I know use reputable online sellers or mass resellers to price their cards. In the case of my LGS, here in Canada, that's Face to Face Games. For US prices, Star City Games is pretty popular, and as a mass reseller indexing site, I see TCGPlayer used a lot for pricing. For Euro pricing I believe CardMarket is a popular one. A more recent site, newer perhaps than many of the other answers is Scryfall, which uses some aggregate data from TCGPlayer and CardMarket to show prices for each different version of the card on the results page.
You are not going to get list price for your cards, no store buys at scg prices. If you want a reasonable indication of what price your cards will fetch you should look at the buylist prices of major retailers, that is what you are going to get for your cards. The list price is for trading not buying.
Scg is a decent buying partner, they are always very fair with there grading and if you have cards they want they give reasonable prices. They also have a very attractive 50% trade bonus if you want to trade up instead of just selling cards for cash.