I am currently enrolled in an MBA class on entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My group's class project is raising money for the Niner Nation Unites campaign. All donations go to supporting the victims and their families of the April 30, 2019 shooting on UNCC's campus. We are giving away handmade bracelets for any donation of $5 or more. If you would like to contribute a donation, you can send me a message details. I will mail bracelets to anyone in the continental United States who does not live in Charlotte, North Carolina.
TCGPlayer is an online platform for buying and selling products from trading card games. The website also serves as a pricing reference for individual Magic: The Gathering cards. One of the biggest draws for players eager to purchase trading cards is TCGPlayer's bonus bucks promotion. Periodically, TCGPlayer offers bonus bucks as a percentage of total purchases. The bonus bucks turn into store credit a few days after the promotion ends. The store credit has historically varied between 5% and 15%. The promotional events are commonly advertised just before an event start date and occur for a limited period of time.
I have compiled a list of previous TCGPlayer bonus bucks events from January 1, 2018 through October 8th, 2019. This list was created based on saved email announcements from TCGPlayer. While I may have missed a few promotional days, I believe the list is over 90% accurate.
2018 TCGPlayer Bonus Bucks Days
In 2018, TCGPlayer ran bonus bucks promotions on 59 different days throughout the year. The discounts per bonus bucks promotion varied between 5% and 15%. On average, the bonus bucks percentage offered was 5%. In addition, there were restrictions on earning bonus bucks for 22 of the days. These restrictions were either direct orders only or photo listings only. The chart below illustrates bonus bucks promotion dates and discounts during 2018.
In 2018, only 8 of the 59 promotional days offered more than 5%. The highest bonus bucks discounts were offered on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the release week of Commander 2018. One commonality of the bonus bucks days is that they all fell on release weekends for Standard sets. They also fell on the release weekend for Masters 25 and Battlebond.
2019 TCGPlayer Bonus Bucks Days
As of October 8th, 2019, TCGPlayer has offered a bonus bucks promotion on 46 different days. This is 4 less days over the same time period in 2018. The average bonus bucks discount throughout 2019 is 7%. An interesting fact is that the bonus bucks percentage has already reached 10% on 7 different days. The only days bonus bucks were 10% or higher in 2018 were around Black Friday. It appears that TCGPlayer is getting more aggressive with bonus bucks percentages. None of the bonus bucks days in 2019 have had restrictions regarding direct orders or photo listings. Additionally, the Standard set releases, as well as Modern Horizons' release, have featured a bonus bucks promotion. There are 8 other days that anniversary a bonus bucks promotion from 2018. The chart below highlights bonus bucks promotions and discounts during 2019.
Future Bonus Bucks Promotions
The historical information contains 105 different bonus bucks promotion days over the span of 646 days. During this time period, bonus bucks promotions occurred on 16.2% of the days. The average bonus bucks percentage was 6%, a 1% increase over the 2018 average. All of the Standard set releases during the historical time period have had a bonus bucks promotion. In addition, 3 specialty sets have had a bonus bucks promotion.
One assumption from the data suggests that TCGPlayer will offer bonus bucks promotions on future set release weekends. They have offered a promotion for each Standard set and specialty set release since the beginning of 2018. If you are planning to pre-order individual cards, it may be advisable to wait until release weekend before purchasing them.
Looking at the 2018 data, there were 9 additional bonus bucks days from October 9th, 2018 to December 31st, 2018. Another assumption is that TCGPlayer will have 9 additional bonus bucks promotion days between now and the end of the year. If this happened, there would be 4 less promotional days in 2019 than in 2018. There is a high probability TCGPlayer would anniversary Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The chance for another promotional day on December 31st, 2019 is not too farfetched. The 5 remaining days could potentially occur in November.
There is a possibility for TCGPlayer to offer 13 additional promotional days in 2019 to equal 2018. However, the increased bonus bucks percentage in 2019 could mean that TCGPlayer offers less discount days going forward. As a business, it is likely that TCGPlayer budgets the amount of store credit distributed for each promotional day. In theory, 3 days offering 5% in bonus bucks could equal the distributed amount of store credit for 2 days offering 8% bonus bucks. Offering less frequent, but more impactful events is a strategy TCGPlayer could execute moving forward.
Other online trading card vendors, such as Channel Fireball, have offered similar promotions to bonus bucks this year. To stay competitive, TCGPlayer is likely encouraged to continue offering bonus bucks with a percentage greater than 5%. This assumption would also increase the probability that the 2019 average bonus bucks percentage of 7% will continue or increase in the future.
*The information in this article is of my own knowledge and opinion. It is meant for informational purposes only. I am not a registered financial professional or trying to act as one.*
For any home project, you need the right tools for a specific job. Making sushi at home is not much different. It is important to have the appropriate tools for creating beautiful sushi rolls. This article will cover the supplies required for making sushi rolls at home.
Essential Tools You May Already Own
Some of the required instruments for making sushi may already be in your kitchen. If you own any large wooden bowls or utensils, then you are one step in the right direction. Sushi rice gets very sticky after adding rice vinegar to it. The rice is less likely to stick to wood-made products than other materials. I highly recommend using a large wooden bowl and wooden spatula or rice paddle for cooling and seasoning sushi rice. A wooden spoon can be used instead of a spatula, but it is not preferable for spreading rice on a seaweed sheet. Another common tool required for making sushi is a sharp knife. I recommend sharpening a good knife prior to using it for sushi. You need a sharp knife to cut rolls, pieces of fish, and other fillings. You will need a large bowl with water to wash the knife periodically. Any kitchen bowl will work as long as the blade of the knife can be submerged in it.
Essential Tools to Buy
The worst thing that can happen to sushi rice is burning it while cooking. Any burnt rice is not edible. To help avoid this issue, I recommend using an electric rice cooker or Instant Pot. These machines will cook the rice perfectly. If I had to purchase one, I would buy the Instant Pot due to its versatility. While you can cook the rice in a pot on the stove, I would avoid this method. Another essential tool for making sushi is a bamboo mat. This tool is used to create sushi rolls. I recommend buying two of them so another person can help roll. These are inexpensive items available at an oriental market or in a sushi essentials kit.
Inexpensive Sushi Kits to Buy
I recommend purchasing an inexpensive sushi making kit. There are many kits available at multiple price points. Amazon.com has a few affordable kits that have everything you need to get started. You can buy items individually, but I believe these two kits are a great value for less than $10.00:
BambooWorx Sushi Making Kit - $6.99 with two bamboo mats, rice paddle, rice spreader, and five pairs of chopsticks.
Delamu Sushi Making Kit - $9.99 with two bamboo mats, rice paddle, rice spreader, and five pairs of chopsticks. This one also comes with a link to a Beginner's Guide PDF document.
The Essential Tools List
Here is a quick reference list of the tools highlighted: