Bazaar of Magic is founded by Ralf
. Today, Bazaar of Magic is the place to be for everything Magic, and we work daily with a big team to fulfill the Magic wishes of Magicers from all over Europe, but how did it come to be and where did it start? On this page, Jan tells the story of how Bazaar of Magic turned into how we know it today.
On the coldest evening since years, in the end of 2004, I cycled to my good friend Ralf. Generally I wouldn't go through -15 °C for three-quarters of an hour, but we had a very important meeting: that evening we would brainstorm for the first time about a project we wanted to start, a webshop for Magic cards!
I'm glad I didn't stay home that night, because in the spring of 2005, the very first test version of Bazaar of Magic went online. Business went well from the beginning on and we received a lot of positive feedback. We decided that Bazaar of Magic wasn't just a fun hobby, but also a project with a lot of potential that we wanted to go at with full conviction. We closed the website, and started to work hard on all of the expansions and updates that we had in mind. Because we were still studying and we both had side jobs, this took much longer than we hoped. Weeks became months, months became years, but in 2009 it was finally time, a completely renewed webshop was born!
The beginning of the Bazaar of Magic era
A lot of you will not have known Bazaar of Magic before 2009. Because of that, we keep track of Bazaar of Magic's age from this year on. And ever since, Bazaar of Magic has grown explosively. At the end of 2009 we were ready for a thorough update. Most of the basic structure of the website we have thanks to this update, even though you cannot see much of that back, because we never stopped renewing and the website has seen a lot of changes over the years.
The dark middle ages
The beginning of 2010 was a good time. Business kept on going better and everything kept on getting busier. How couldn't we be happy about that? Yet, slowly but steadily, a problem started to rear its head: we were still running the shop from home. The boxes were piling up high and less and less daylight was able to get inside. This dark situation had only one solution: in June that year, we made the step to an external office space.
The move was just a couple of trips up and down with a van, laying out the laminate flooring was over in a jiffy, and painting the walls orange was one big party. From this time on we became full-time Bazaar Traders. And that was very much necessary too, because, if bussiness was going well earlier, it all went fantastic now! At first this was a lot of fun, but sooner or later you find the limits of your abilities. We automated a lot of processes, started working more efficiently, but this was all to no avail, for at the end of 2010 our office was filled to the brim again.
May it be clear that not even half a year after our first move, we were already ready for the next one! No sooner said than done. I have to admit that the whole moving business was starting to get a little annoying, but the result was extra satisfactory. We traded in our office for a building with its own front door, and thus, since January first 2011, we were not only an online Magic shop, but also a physical store!
The rediscovery of the Magic world
Then, what more could you want? Was the Bazaar done? Occasionally we find ourselves tempted by this thought, but it's a simple fact that it can always be better. Something that we had wanted for a long time was for the Bazaar to be more than just a store. Magic is a game, and thus also a social matter. We wanted to explore all corners of the Magic scene and to plant the Bazaar flag everywhere, we wanted to become an online community!
This is what we worked on until the summer of 2011. Since then, Bazaar of Magic is not just the place with the widest range, sharpest prizes and best service, but also the place to be to read the latest Magic news, discuss new sets, show off your coolest decks, or to trade for those last few cards you were looking for.
This last evolution of the Bazaar is extra special, because this one included not just an expansion and improvement of the Bazaar, but also a reinforcement of the Bazaar team. Our expeditions in the online Magic community would have certainly hit the rocks if it weren't for the visonary and tireless effort of the big hero of our online community, MagnusMagicus
The modern time
Some problems are of all times. And so we found ourselves, not even a year after our previous move, in the all-too-familiar situation that there were boxes of Magic products stacked to the ceiling and that many of desks almost gave way unders the many stacks of cards. It was time to move again! We decided to handle this well, and when we found a large corner building with a lot of windows and four times the surface area, at a five minutes walk from Delft Central station, we thought we had suceeded for ever. This also gave us the opportunity to do something about the one thing we were missing in the world of the Bazaar.
It was around this time that Wizards of the Coast introduced a new tournament format, Modern. On our forum, people were busy discussing about the new possibilities and everyone's fingers were itching to build and try out new decks. Our move made it possible to play into this in a fantastic way: a significant part of our new building was transformed into a play area, so that we could not just sell magic and offer a platform for the online community, but so that there was also space to play Magic!
This is Bazaar of Magic as most of you would know it. You can find everything Magic related on our website. For Magic shoppers we offer the widest range of Magic products in the Netherlands and surroundings, the latest Magic news is being discussed extensively on the forum, and in the deck section you can easily and clearly keep track of all of you decks. And if you just want to play a game of Magic? Then you can come by the Bazaar for some casual Magic, or you can visit one of our Standard, Modern, Boosterdraft, Sealed or Commander events!
This is the formula for success that we have used for a couple years, and it has been a fantastic time. Slowly but surely, everything that went well started going better: the selection of the Bazaar became wider, the Bazaar team became bigger, the forum became more sociable, our events became busier and the store kept on becoming more beautiful. A crowning moment in this evolution might have been the installation of our airconditioning system in early 2015. Apart from all earlier mentioned superlatives we were certainly the coolest Magic store in Europe now, weren't we? Now the Bazaar was done, right? Perhaps, but stagnation means decline. If you want to go with the times, you have to work for it, and that's what 2015 was all about.
In the fall of 2015, Bazaar of Magic moved again. The Bazaar became three times as large, 600 square meters of Magic, that's unimaginable, isn't it? More space for more Magic, and now accessible by car too! Have you ever been at the Magic Valhalla that is the new Bazaar?
A new coat for the store, then the website cannot stay behind, of course! Since summer 2015, the department of web development has worked hard on a new and improved version of the website, of which the public test version went online at the end of the year. A fantastic begin, but it's nothing compared to the extra functionalities that are yet to come, so stay tuned. At Bazaar of Magic, we trust in the future, because the future is magical, and the future starts now!