Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through this list of frequently asked questions about the Magic Online Trading League, and their answers, before e-mailing the League. For more information on how MOTL’s Bulletin Board works, please see the Bulletin Board FAQ. If you still have questions after reading both FAQs, please e-mail us and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

What’s a have/want list and how do I post mine?

A have/want list is a list of cards you have for trade and cards you want to trade for. To post your list, all you have to do is join the MOTL and post in the “Have/Want Lists” forum with the cards you have and want.

What does “God rules apply” mean?

This usually applies to sales and auctions. God rules means that the person posting the auction or sale is not obligated to sell anything if they don’t feel they’ve been offered a good enough price for their item. This also means that the person selling or auctioning can withdraw any item up for bid/sale for any reason and without notice.

What’s an “up” post?

Whenever a reply is posted to a topic on the bulletin board, it moves to the top of the list of topics. An “up” post is a reply that is posted for the sole reason of moving the topic to the top of the list. You may not post more than one “up” post per day.

How do I delete my own posts?

Easy, just click on the “Edit” icon found on your post and you can edit or delete it.

So how does trading over the Internet work, anyway?

This is a pretty involved question, but the short answer is this: Basically, you arrange a trade with another person through e-mail, check each other’s references, and send your cards to one another through the mail.

What’s a “ref,” or reference?

A reference is the e-mail address, and sometimes name, of a previous trading partner. When you successfully complete a trade it’s customary to become a reference, or “ref” for the person you just traded with and for that person to become one of your refs. As a ref, you might be sent e-mail regarding the honesty and trading habits of people you’ve previously traded with. Gaining refs is how people establish themselves as honest traders on the Internet. MOTL provides you with a free and effective way to track your references online via the Reference Checker.

Why is the number MOTL References on my list less than the number of references I have who are MOTL members?

A reference gets counted as an “MOTL Reference” when the e-mail address on your list belongs to an active MOTL member who has posted at least once. If a reference of yours is a member, but has not posted or has been banned, they will not be counted towards the number of MOTL References you have.

Why are my number of confirmed references different on different parts of the site?

There are two possible reasons for this. One is that you may have banned members on your list, which means while they still will be listed as a reference, they won’t be counted towards the numerical “Confirmed References” total. The second is that one or more of the pages you’re looking at hasn’t been updated since your reference list was. In order to keep load on the server processor low, MOTL uses a lot of static pages that are only updated when something major has changed, like a reference being added (in the case of your list), or a reply or edit being made (in the case of a thread). Usually this should be cleared up within a day or two, so please be patient.

How do I change my e-mail address (or other information) on MOTL?

Just click on one of the profile links or log in and you’ll be able to update any of the profile information you submitted to MOTL.

I can’t post auctions or bid on anything on the Auction Board. Why is that?

You have to register for the Auction Board. The Auction Board requires that you submit your mailing address, which is why its registration is independent of joining MOTL.

How do I go from being a “New Member” to a “Member?”

Once you’ve posted 30 or more times, your status will change. There are no rankings associated with your references or the date your joined.

I’m getting “Internal Server Error” messages. What’s going on, did I break something?

Not to worry, you didn’t break anything. Although almost all possible situations for generating an error on a CGI script on this site have been accounted for, there’s always some new way to manipulate data into giving an error message. You probably just filled out a form field incorrectly and the script doesn’t know what to do with what you gave it. Just hit the “Back” button on your browser and recheck all the information you entered. If you keep getting this message when you know you shouldn’t be, please e-mail us and describe in detail the problem you’re having.

What are those Karma symbols for? What’s Karma all about?

Those symbols are used by moderators to alter a poster’s Karma rating. Increases and deductions in a member’s Karma rating reflect praises and warnings for posts, respectively. Moderators issue warnings to violators of the Posting Rules using this system. Depending on the severity of the violation, different levels of warnings are issued, but most are level 1. Members whose Karma ratings drop to -5 (everyone starts at 0) are automatically banned. Conversely, if you do something good, like help other members, your Karma rating will go up. If your Karma rating gets high enough, you may get something good sent to you from MOTL.

How can I become a moderator?

One of the golden rules of message board and chat room communities is “Never ask to become a moderator.” and that holds true here as well. If we need a new moderator and you’ve proven yourself to be a positive influence on MOTL, we’ll come to you.