Originally Posted by Dacubs
For the bolded part above....Isn't that any sports box that is available???
Yes. And that's exactly the problem I'm trying to highlight. Very few products out there right now provide a good price/value ratio on a single box basis because the hobby is not targeting real collectors, i.e. people who might want to buy 2-3 boxes of a product just for fun.
Instead, manufacturers (Sportkings included, I would argue) are constructing their products to target the middlemen (i.e. people who spend thousands of dollars buying large numbers of boxes/cases will the sole purpose of ripping everything and selling the contents back to people like me via Ebay for a profit).
Sportkings for example, is selling at $90/box. At 250 master cases, each containing 48 boxes, you're looking at 12,000 boxes total, and therefore 12,000 "hits". Now given that the four base cards in each box are worth roughly $10-20, the next question is what percentage of those "hits" are going to be worth the $50-75 necessary to make taking the risk of buying a single box or two a reasonable financial proposition. My guess is only 10-20% (probably only the big-name autos, special inserts, and 1/1s).
End point being that the only way it makes financial sense to buy a product structured like this is to buy in high enough volume so as to be able to beat the odds just often enough to break even or make a small profit, something that few individual collectors can afford to do because of the size of the bankroll required. So who ends up buying most of the product? Middlemen. Because they're the only ones who can take the risk and have the bankroll to do so. As much as I'd love to, I certainly can't take the risk of spending $200-300 dollars on a few boxes and getting only $100 worth of cards back (especially when doing so would only get me a small way towards my ultimate goal of completing the set). And I don't think too many other collectors can either.
If you drive away all the collectors, what happens to the hobby when all the gamblers get bored and decide to go gamble on something else?