Originally Posted by hairysasquatch
This is the exact thing I started to do this year - breaking a single case of products that I wanted to make a master set of and then selling off the rest (incl. nearly all hits unless really of PC interest). It really depends on your hits - in 2012 so far I have had an OK BB Ser.1 case, a meh Heritage case, a crap Bowman case, a decent Ser.2 BB case, an awesome Topps FB case, and a pretty-much-crap Update case. I would say that has averaged out to just about the 50-60% return you mention. For the last few months my income from sales has outpaced my expenditures on cards/supplies/shipping, but it is a fair bit of work (sometimes 2-3 hrs. per night on eBay, 6-7 nights per week to keep up with shipping), and I would agree with Brent's assessment that breaking BB after July is mostly a financial loser. Right now all I have left on the calendar for this year is a high-end hockey group break, but that will likely pay for itself by the time the final payments are due. One thing I have learned is never, never try to compensate from a crummy hobby/Jumbo case by going all-out on retail - take your lumps and move on. But threads like this are great and help make sense of the bewildering changes in the hobby over the past decade for those of us who grew up in the mass-produced era of now all but worthless cards.
Thanks for the insight!! Don't worry about me though, I cant even stomach buying a $20 blaster at Target when I'm bored. All retail is to me is a blown $20 to get base. Rather just spend it on eBay for singles.
I dont think I will do cases for Topps just because I'm not so interested in "master" sets from base Topps. Except for Calculus' stories of missing base, for the most part I have been lucky getting whole sets out of jumbo boxes. But Heritage is number one cause I like having those complete. I may go the case route only for sets that need more than one box i.e. A&G, Heritage, Archives. Should be fun next year, I'm working on organizing so I'm ready for a Heritage case.