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Old 04-21-2014, 10:55 AM   #1
tiki4mvp
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Default Do Case Breakers Make Enough Money to Live Off and Is it good for the hobby?

So about 2011 I started getting back into the hobby and at that time that was at Sportscard Forum. While I was there I made a ton of trades over 300 and got into group breaks. There the group breaks would be 1 case national treasures, 1 case ____ etc.....

Fast forward to about 2 years later when I come back blowout is dead and I come here. Guys who I used to buy and sell with "boomo" for one doesn't do singles at all anymore or lots everything is all breaks. There are like 50 different guys who do it popping up everywhere. There own websites, youtube channels etc...

So being an Engineer I want to dissect the anatomy of this business. The few things I realize is this: guys breaking 10 cases get a better price than guys breaking 1 case, how much better? Even the sponsored ones here theese guys have to be making something on the case (considering the 100 case break going down, thats gotta be about 100 hours of work!)

so a few of my key questions are this:

1. How much money do they make ? I know the one that sell team slots definitely make money like 9.99 Atlanta Hawks, 59.99 Heat or something like that... However, if its not randomized they need to wait for someone to buy out every crappy team slot so it takes a while. Also the ones who do it say here on 100 case, they must get a discount and places like blowout offer those for if you do it on youtube and mention them.

2. Do the guys who do these cases get better cases from blowout or the distributors etc? I always wonder this because my cases can be weak, just because they know it will be publicized, and all the cases have serial numbers etc, do the companies etc know?

3. Is this good for the hobby? I say it is horrible for the hobby in some ways. Here's how: it promotes these companies make crap product and these guys are getting greedy making money off ripping 100s of cases etc, driving the price up for a guy like me who wants to rip an individual case. The other way is it gives these manufacturers money for making crap product, I'm thinking UD football stuff, Topps Valor, Panini Baseball for example national treasures over $600 a box and that is complete dump. I say it is good for the hobby because a)it keeps the hobby going, b) it allows people to have fun and gamble on big time cases without having to risk case money c) it gets big hits out there which would sit in boxes of unopened packs of whatever people collect. However I also think it is bad because instead of the price dropping after hitting the market for wax it usually stays up too high and even when after ay ear its discounted 40% its worth like 10%.

Thanks let me hear yoru feedback
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #2
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Some do, the one's who have been at it since the beginning. New guys will have trouble as case breakers have an established account and can afford mass quantaties at the cheapest prices. Thus their prices will always be more attractive than any new case breakers.

I think it's good for the hobby for those who cannot afford boxes or cases and like to buy into breaks at discounts and potentially pull great cards. I think it's bad because case breakers are driving up prices for collectors.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Depends on how many cases and what they're breaking. Some can clear a hundred pr 2 but most times make the amount for the cases and supplies and shipping.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
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I believe that group breaking as a whole is at or over its peak. It has a terrible ROI and the market has become over-saturated with sellers. Everyone wants to be a breaker now. The fad won't go away, but it can't continue like this economically. Not-for-profit case breaks like you see here on Blowout can be worth every dime for buyers, but these websites featuring single box breaks won't last.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
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Define "make enough to live off of"

That number is different for everyone.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #6
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That's tough to call, back when I started doing group breaks I didn't think about how much they were making. Then I actually checked and the guys breaks I was joining was pocketing between 200-300 per break and he would host 3-4 mixed breaks a night so I am sure he was aiming for 1k per day.

So I started getting involved with another breaker that was priced a little lower but he was still making 150-200 per break and his breaks would fill instantly, I believe he has since quit his job and does group breaks as a living.



Yes you can make enough to live off if you have a following.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Case breakers are both good and bad for the hobby. It's nice to be able to have a chance at a high end hit for an expensive product or be able to pick a specific team to hit for the PC. If you can afford it and have self control, then it's fun.

The ugly side is that it turns too many people into degenerate gamblers. If people had self control, they wouldn't be spending all this money on breaks and then dumping all their cards for nothing just so they can buy more spots on top of their boxes/cases they are already buying. As if gambling on boxes and cases wasn't risky enough. I am guilty myself at times. How many times did you buy a ton of spots only to hit nothing and realize that you could have just bought a case instead without a markup per team and been guaranteed to hit at least something? Whether that something is good or bad, at least it's guaranteed.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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Simple answer: Yes.

More complex: Group case breaks are a (relatively) simple and have very minimal barriers of entry, meaning anyone could start up a group break today and go. The true differentiators between starting-up and having a long-run profitability are their core sources of purchasing, managerial, financial, marketing and technological. Economies of scale come into play with each of these core sources. Due to the rather large competition that is currently out there, price points are established and if a consumer can't buy from you at particular point, chances are, another breaker will have the price they are looking for.

So, to make yourself stand out, you are forced to do larger breaks, which require a greater financial and purchasing core source. The larger the break, the greater the resourcing that will be required to help sort/package/ship the items. Doing things more efficiently with increasing size or speed of operation will directly impact your bottom line.

I don't think the market can handle multiple people breaking 100 cases of a new product at each release. Both production and market saturation would limit this from occurring.

So, in the long run, I don't believe it can be profitable for others, unless you have a competitive advantage in one of the 5 core sources.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Some do, the one's who have been at it since the beginning. New guys will have trouble as case breakers have an established account and can afford mass quantaties at the cheapest prices. Thus their prices will always be more attractive than any new case breakers.

I think it's good for the hobby for those who cannot afford boxes or cases and like to buy into breaks at discounts and potentially pull great cards. I think it's bad because case breakers are driving up prices for collectors.
It seems we have similar sentiments.

Quote:
That's tough to call, back when I started doing group breaks I didn't think about how much they were making. Then I actually checked and the guys breaks I was joining was pocketing between 200-300 per break and he would host 3-4 mixed breaks a night so I am sure he was aiming for 1k per day.

So I started getting involved with another breaker that was priced a little lower but he was still making 150-200 per break and his breaks would fill instantly, I believe he has since quit his job and does group breaks as a living.



Yes you can make enough to live off if you have a following.
I'd like more information on this guy.

Quote:
I believe that group breaking as a whole is at or over its peak. It has a terrible ROI and the market has become over-saturated with sellers. Everyone wants to be a breaker now. The fad won't go away, but it can't continue like this economically. Not-for-profit case breaks like you see here on Blowout can be worth every dime for buyers, but these websites featuring single box breaks won't last.
I hope you're right.

@LaPlace - Ya I think that is a good question so lets say self-sustaining full time job not incurring debt.

@fisherman - Not really the questions or issues I was targeting but I do agree, this hobby is all about gambling I used to be much more intelligent never rip wax etc... now im a bit addicted to it again, and back then 2010-2012 i made a lot more money on it! so I think I may read this through and think about it...


Anyone know about the question I was raising about cases being sent to certain breakers etc...
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #10
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@Bradical... i like that response sounded like an economist
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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I think it's more of a fun/hobby thing, you can probably make decent money off it, but you definately won't get rich, i'm not sure you could make enough to live off of...... unless you live very modestly.

I break cases just for fun, chasing big cards etc..... I typically lose money, i've never done the case break and sell by team thing I just do singles.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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I do believe upper deck is implementing an "authorized" group breaker program.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
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If you're a buyer, they're great. Everyone is suddenly a seller of high end cards, often just trying to recoup cost and get into another break.

If you're a seller, they're terrible because it drives down secondary market prices and floods the market with sellers.




If you broke your own case and you pulled $250 card from a $1400 break, you'll work to sell it for $250. If you got a $250 card in a group break with a spot that cost you $50, you'll probably take less than market value just to unload it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #14
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this thread title could produce about a dozen thread offspring in the f1 generation.
I work during the "school year" and have often thought of breaking a case for one of my "summer jobs"...doubt the wife would get on board, and I make a lot more money buying/reconditioning/selling air jordans. ALOT more.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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interesting sentiments so far.. that's true definitely better for singles buyers..

@timelovesahero... that's cool i think it's an interesting discussion that's why I posted it... also curious, how much can you charge to re-condition a shoe and how do you know that's a lot more? Not a challenge more just ifnromation.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndySportsCards View Post
I do believe upper deck is implementing an "authorized" group breaker program.
Will they have to build a brick-and-mortar facility in which to conduct the breaks?
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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it isn't even complicated.
a little light sanding to erase oxidation,
extremely limited supplys of "retro Jordans"
a consumer base that has more money than sense and is plenty willing to shell out over $200 for a pair of used shoes.(I work with high school kids and this is not a shot at them)
It was easier 5yrs back, smaller market, less sellers
I used to take advantage of improper/poorly worded listings and blurry cellphone pics
It consistently blew me away that I would buy a pair, take new pics and sell for 50-100 more. This is no exaggeration. Due to the amount of counterfeits available, most people would not take the chance (or the time to learn how to spot them)

I still think of ebay as my 3rd job. but with the changes there and with the USPS since 2011, I am quickly running out of patience.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #18
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Will they have to build a brick-and-mortar facility in which to conduct the breaks?
i will picket this location to bring back SP Authentic and exquisite.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timelovesahero View Post
it isn't even complicated.
a little light sanding to erase oxidation,
extremely limited supplys of "retro Jordans"
a consumer base that has more money than sense and is plenty willing to shell out over $200 for a pair of used shoes.(I work with high school kids and this is not a shot at them)
It was easier 5yrs back, smaller market, less sellers
I used to take advantage of improper/poorly worded listings and blurry cellphone pics
It consistently blew me away that I would buy a pair, take new pics and sell for 50-100 more. This is no exaggeration. Due to the amount of counterfeits available, most people would not take the chance (or the time to learn how to spot them)

I still think of ebay as my 3rd job. but with the changes there and with the USPS since 2011, I am quickly running out of patience.

ebay is definately a buy & resell dream situation, especially in other markets like shoes, cards aren't really that great to do it with but alot of other hobby's and items are undersold all the time.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:35 PM   #20
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@tim/qwasian - that's really what we are all trying to do in a way find someone who doesnt know how or want to deal with selling something and selling it for what its actually worth.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:39 PM   #21
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Ask houdini. He does a lot of big breaks.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:47 PM   #22
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I'm not sure it is good for the hobby at all.

Massive amounts of cases getting ripped that typically would not. It artificially inflates the wax market and about 90% of the time the participants get crushed.

I've joined a decent amount here and elsewhere and have stopped for a handful of reasons.

Seeing these mass cases ripped is also killing the singles market. Participants buy in cheap yet still lose their butt in smaller breaks.

I look now at some of the prices in the 100 case Bowman break and I am shocked how high some are. People are going to get crushed and considering the amount of time to break and sort all those it may take 3-4 weeks to see the pulls. I'd estimate a 20-30% drop in value on that alone. It is great for the likes of Blowout and other large distributors but in my opinion the collectors loses the positive in a player draft like the 100 caser is the fact you can't get who you like and get out. But how much is one willing to overpay?
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:58 PM   #23
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Think about it..
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
. If it was enough to make a living off of, wouldn't EVERYONE in the hobby be doing it and not busting their butt EVERYDAY at work? I did one case break couple months back. I factored the cost of supplies/shipping/case of cards and thought I would make some money off it. When it all was said and done I made a small profit, Wasnt worth my time doing it..
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cross4444 View Post
I believe that group breaking as a whole is at or over its peak. It has a terrible ROI and the market has become over-saturated with sellers. Everyone wants to be a breaker now. The fad won't go away, but it can't continue like this economically. Not-for-profit case breaks like you see here on Blowout can be worth every dime for buyers, but these websites featuring single box breaks won't last.
Not-for-profit doesn't apply to Blowout group breaks anymore. People can and do profit quite a bit.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcbraun View Post
Not-for-profit doesn't apply to Blowout group breaks anymore. People can and do profit quite a bit.
That's news to me.

Time for a 200-case 2014 Bowman Break everybody! lol

Joking aside, I bet Houdini would ascribe to a theory mentioned earlier in a thread about it's about fun as much it is about making money from the group break host's view.

Think about it. For many of us, the experience of just ripping wax is why we do it. Yeah, we're chasing high-money cards but we know the odds are stacked against us. Same goes with slot machines. The sounds and lights are the attraction as much as the potential prizes.

A case breaker gets to open cases without cost. Sure, if they pull something good they don't get to keep it, but just the experience of pulling a cool card and holding it would stand for something IMO.

That being said, hosting a group break has interested me in the past but it just seems like too much work. And a smaller break won't attract people most likely so you gotta go big or go home it seems.
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