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I need cards for my new EDH decks and I want to buy them on cardmarket.com. They have this neat feature called the Shopping Wizard, which does all of the work for you. Last time I needed around 60 cards and I ended up buying from four different sellers to get all the cards in the most cost-efficient way.

The way the Shopping Wizard works is to try to combine low-cost cards in a way that minimizes both card cost and shipping costs. Since shipping costs tend to be fixed per seller, it is typically beneficial to have as few sellers/packages as possible.

Problem is, the Shopping Wizard can only handle lists of up to 150 cards. And I need 250. So I will have to use the power of the Shopping Wizard algorithm at least twice. But I don’t know how to proceed. I sorted the cards by price, with the most expensive card on the list at about 15€ and the cheapest one just 0,06€. My goal is to minimize the overall cost of this purchases (including shipping). So now I don’t know if I should start with the 150 most expensive or cheapest cards. (Or some other combination).

Buying lots of really cheap cards usually results in few (or even just one) recommended sellers. Maybe I could get those cheap cards from someone else even cheaper, but less sellers means smaller shipping costs. A list with more expensive cards usually gets divvied up between multiple sellers. This obviously increases shipping costs, but if someone sells a card for way less than everyone else, it might sometimes be best to buy just one card from them.

In an ideal situation, all 250 cards would be split into groups for cheapest total cost, and then I would just have 2 orders based on those groups. But since I can't know the groups, I want to minimize breaking up the groups and causing more packages & shipping cost.

So my question is: What’s the cheapest way to buy more than 150 cards of varying price levels on cardmarket.com?

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    Why are y'all treating this like spam? Sure it might ping our spam radar for a moment, but it's not spam, and we should assess it as such. Cardmarket doesn't even need the advertising. It's already the primary card marketplace in Europe with basically no real competition out here. And because it's the primary card marketplace in Europe, people in Europe are going to have questions about how to operate it—and we should be able to facilitate those questions without responding to it with hostility as spam. – doppelgreener Oct 9 '20 at 17:17
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    I could see the case for it being off topic, in that it's about how to use a shopping site and not about the game itself. It's not definitively off topic, but I'd say there's like an 80% chance it is. But it definitely isn't spam - I'm convinced it's a real problem faced by a real person, not some weird astro-turfing attempt by CardMarket. I mean, if I was going to astro-turf, I wouldn't do it by highlighting a deficiency in my product. – corsiKa Oct 9 '20 at 17:30
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    @Andrew I agree that there are many reasons why it can differ but explaining that in the question would help – Joe W Oct 9 '20 at 17:45
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    There's a reason they limit the number of cards per batch - (price) optimization is one of the most complicated and time consuming things in computers, every thing you add to it makes the system recheck (nearly) every possible combination to find the best price, and the time it takes to do that is exponential. so eventually adding one more time would be the difference between seconds and minutes, or minutes and hours to re-calculate. 150 each is already a lot of items. – Andrew Oct 9 '20 at 19:27
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    I've reopened this and cleared spam flags. If you think you have evidence this is spam (i.e. that the primary purpose is advertisement and not to ask a question, or that the author has an undisclosed affiliation), feel free to raise an additional flag, or ask for clarification on Board & Card Games Meta. But simply mentioning a retailer does not constitute spam, and treating questions of that sort as spam is hostile. We do not do that here. – Cascabel Oct 10 '20 at 22:13
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There is no definitive answer to this. I've come across this problem myself and thought about it for quite a while to try to come up with a heuristic and/or reasoning.

In the end it depends how much time you want to spend. I believe I ended up using the 150 most expensive cards (or rather the cards above the ~0.10€ to 0.20€ threshold because below that everything is irrelevant) and sent those to the Shopping Wizard. Then I went through those five sellers and checked every one for the other missing cards (saved in a second Wants list of course). Here you have to cross-check etc but sorting by price and name worked for me.

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  • Exactly. The highest price volatility is with the most expensive cards, grab those as efficiently as possible, and toss in the low cost cards from any of the sellers in your order that have them. You might pay a couple of extra Euro, but your time has value as well.... – John Nov 9 '20 at 23:27
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The shopping wizard optimises your order, and it may sound simple but the way a computer handles that can be really complicated, and gets much more complicated the more items it needs to consider. There's a few things you can do that might help, but they won't guarantee the absolute lowest price (the way optimising all 250 through the system at once would). I also am not European and have not used card market for buying cards, I do not know the system so some of these may not be possible.

  • Don't split piles of the same card - If you need say 20 copies of Sol Ring, don't buy 10 in one order and 10 in the other. The only time you should split them is when they fall into tip 2, and that seller doesn't have enough inventory to fill your whole need.
  • Make a single order out of the few most common sellers returned by the wizard. (if it tells you what you're buying from who)
    1. Make a full order of 150 cards, and if you can group by seller.
    2. Write down all cards being sold by the top few sellers (hopefully ~100 cards) then remove them from the order.
    3. Add the rest of your buylist, noting any cards that come from the same sellers
    4. Make an order out of ONLY those cards you noted in 2 and 3.
    5. Let the system optimise the other 100-150 cards on your second order as best it can
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  • "Write down all cards" If OP can get a scraping tool, and feed the data into a computer program, that will make things a lot easier. – Acccumulation Nov 12 '20 at 1:39
  • @Acccumulation true, i was going for low tech basic tips, you could screensgot tge lists too, how you pull the data from the results set isnt as important – Andrew Nov 12 '20 at 3:08
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A little far fetched, but if a lot of the cheap cards are for example commons or uncommon from the same set. You could buy the whole common set from it, even when not needing/wanting some cards from that. If this is the case you can get a lot of the cards for a low price and with that shorten your list.

Another way (and a bit time consuming) is to shuffle the list a few times, (throw some in and out) and see if there is a seller which comes forward most of the time. Then you can go to this seller specifically and handpick the cards there. This way it will be bundled in one sell/postorder.

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