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Old 06-06-2011, 09:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default baseball - 2011 Bowman 12 Box Hobby Case Break - 10 cases

I thought I'd post my 2011 Bowman break/sales results here, in case anyone is interested. It shows that one can make a profit on a break.
  • Paid $750 per case, 10 cases, $7500 total investment
  • I choose hobby cases because I went into this break from very early on knowing I was going to try to do it as a primarily set building break. I really enjoy building sets.
  • I presold 89 sets in the 25-1 days prior to release: 26 base, 36 prospects, 27 chrome prospects (total pre-sale gross profit was $2291.50, I was one one of two sellers doing sets, most of the big guys were waiting to sell in lots)

Busting open cases:
  • 10 cases arrived at 10:30am 5/18, starting busting immediately
  • Case #1 – busted 5/18, Harper non-chrome prospects auto (no serial number)
  • Case #2 – busted 5/18, No Harper Auto’s
  • Case #3 – busted 5/18, Another Harper Auto (no serial number)
  • Case #4 – busted 1/2 on 5/18, 2nd half on 5/19, No Harper Auto’s, weird case with base collation problems. Yet it was the most colorful case yet.
  • Case #5 – busted 5/19, finished @Noon Thursday 5/19, pulled a /250 blue Harper Auto, helz yeah biatch!
  • Case #6 – starting at Noon Thursday 5/19. Done 3:30PM 5/19. Taking a break, will try to bust 2 more cases tonight. (5/19), 4th Harper auto (base no serial number), unbelievable
  • Case #7 – started at 4:30PM 5/19, working slow because I’m exhausted, Harper Gold Chrome 15/50 (no auto, but still what an amazing hit), no Harper auto’s, but real close to getting all the sets I need, 1 more case should do it
  • Case #8 – started at 9PM 5/19 – will keep opening until I pull the 3 Harper base BP1 I need, then it’s time to start sorting!, pulled some nice stuff, stopped after 7 boxes because I’ve hit the 36 Harper base cards needed to build all the sets
  • I have two cases left at this point, but I need to start building sets ASAP, so I stopped busting.
Of course the big news is I pulled 5 very cool Harper cards:
  • 3 x base auto
  • 1 x blue auto /250
  • 1 x gold chrome refractor /50

Sorting:
  • started prospects base @ 7AM 5/20, need 36 sets, went slow, but finished sorting all 36 sets by 6PM 5/20
  • starting prospects chrome @7PM 5/20, need 27 sets, half way done sorting the chrome prospects @ 10:30PM, will finish tomorrow… resumed chrome sorting at 6AM 5/21. (the world didn’t end) Finished sorting the 27 chrome sets at 11AM 5/21. Will take a break and start on the base by 2PM
  • starting base 1-220 @12:30PM 5/21. Need to build 26 sets. This is turning out to be the hardest sort, I probably shouldn’t have saved it for last. I should still be able to finish and get the sets shipped Monday. Might need to take that day off from work. Got a good 8-9 hours of sleep last night, starting sorting again at 6AM 5/22. 45% done @ 6:23AM.
  • took a break from the base sorting to build the complete master set (inserts sorting), and I was able to build it easy, should be able to build a couple more master sets too. Nice! Resuming base sorting at 7:30AM 5/22.
  • Finished sort all base/prospects/chrome sets at 2PM on 5/22. It’s MILLER TIME!!!!

Sales:
  • Pre-release: $2,291.50 (sold 25-1 day before release)
  • Post-release: $7,770.71
  • I did two rounds of post-release sales: 1st round May 26th -> May 29th: big low #'d hits and a few lots. 2nd round May 29th -> June 5th most of the base auto's, auto lots, many other lots, colored chrome, etc.
  • I did sell the last two cases sealed and unopened. At this point I'm done with 2011 Bowman, and I'm ready for Gold Standard...
  • Total gross sales: $10,062.21
  • The above figures do NOT include shipping and fees. I did free USA on all shipping. It's not as bad as one would think though, I had many repeat buyers, or buyers that bought multiple items, so the shipping cost was spread out nicely. I do get 20% FvF discount so that helps reduce fees as well.
Warning: the most time consuming part of case breaking, for me anyway, is not the opening, or the sorting. But it's the packaging of all these sets that takes a TON of time. I spent a solid 8-10 straight time packing up these sets from Sunday evening to Monday morning.

As you can see, 2011 Bowman was a profitable break for me. After selling everything I should come out 2-3K ahead. That is awesome. I did best when I sold ASAP. With 2011 Bowman, selling within the 1st week is the way to go, even if they are 1 day auctions. Next time I may need to sell less pre-sell sets, and concentrate more on selling the hits ASAP. Or better yet, don’t promise delivery in the first few days, maybe promise delivery after 1 week? But prices of 2011 Bowman have fallen, and I'm not sure they'll come back up, a lot depends on how Harper does of course. But with 2011 Bowman Platinum coming out soon, there will be more, cooler auto's of his on the market. I had stated on some threads that holding Harper auto's was probably the way to go. I changed my opinion on that once I saw some serious lower prices for his base auto, at that point I started selling what I had left ASAP. I could be wrong, but that's what I choose.

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome to see you make a profit, i like following up on your blog.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the breakdown.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Happy to hear of your successful break! I really enjoy reading your breakdowns on your blog. I check it out on a regular basis.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is great.

Congrats on break
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great work and have to give you a big for all that ripping and sorting
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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At $750 a case, you would have made about $100 per case without busting anything BTW, did you hear back from the other 2 cases whether they have Harper autos? From your break, it seems to be 1 in every other case.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks for the awesome breakdown and congrats on a 33% +/- profit.
you crushed the odds on your big Harpers.

good to see where we stand at todays (approx. $900 per case) price point

looks like unless you hit a Harper auto in every third case its tough to make a profit at $900 a case ($75 a box).

i was thinking about a three case investment for breaking, but now i will probably wait to see if it goes to $840 a case (where i think you should make a slight to moderate profit at a minimum).
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do you factor your labor into the equation at all or is your time free?
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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very nice job...!!! thanks for sharing too !
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndySportsCards View Post
Do you factor your labor into the equation at all or is your time free?
Some folks do this for fun still??? Granted he put a financial spin on it, but you could still feel the excitement in his words of " helz yeah biatch!" LMAO

VERY NICE WRITE UP! I love reading this stuff thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice break Alex! I hear you on the packaging sets thing. That is a pain.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great job Alex!
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndySportsCards View Post
Do you factor your labor into the equation at all or is your time free?
Good question. I did mention this in the post, but those numbers are gross profit, not net profit. No labor, shipping or fees are factored in at all. So the numbers, of course, look better than they really are.

But two things: one, I still have stuff left to sell. Two, I really could have sold things smarter and made more of a profit. I spent so much time sorting sets and packaging sets in the first few days, that I didn't list the lots, auto's and most of the single hits until a week AFTER release. That hurt me. If I had listed those right away, and took care of sorting the sets a week later, I would have done better.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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you could really maximize your profit by doing buy it now or best offer auctions, and charging for shipping, you gave away most of those auto's, they all sell higher. your driving down the prices on the product for no reason. people see your low completed sales and then figure that's all the cards are worth when really that's not the case, you should really consider re-structuring the sales of your bigger hits and you could really maximize your profit and not have to work yourself to death, selling auto's for $4-5 with free shipping is almost completely useless. I respect the fact that your having fun, but your method and the people using that method are whats driving your own prices down and making it difficult for you to sell your own items for the actual profit it should be sold at.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwasian View Post
you could really maximize your profit by doing buy it now or best offer auctions, and charging for shipping, you gave away most of those auto's, they all sell higher. your driving down the prices on the product for no reason. people see your low completed sales and then figure that's all the cards are worth when really that's not the case, you should really consider re-structuring the sales of your bigger hits and you could really maximize your profit and not have to work yourself to death, selling auto's for $4-5 with free shipping is almost completely useless. I respect the fact that your having fun, but your method and the people using that method are whats driving your own prices down and making it difficult for you to sell your own items for the actual profit it should be sold at.
Although this is fun for me, it has become a business, so I appreciate your advice. And I'm spending so much now that I HAVE to be concerned with the bottom line or else I will end up deep in debt. So yeah, this is fun, but I also take it very seriously.

Some auto's did sell for $4-$5, and there was free shipping. I ended the auctions Sunday night hoping I'd pick up more action. But obviously that plan didn't work well.

But I've been hurt by BIN's before. I've listed BIN's and then I end up sitting on cards for weeks and months, until no one wants the card even for $0.99. Maybe I need to be more patient? What would you suggest? A BIN of $8-$10 min per a no name auto? If I start doing that I need to open an eBay store. But I think it's time I do that, an eBay store and then do more BIN, and a lot more auctions with a higher starting bid. That way I can still offer free shipping.

You gotta remember, I have the 20% FvF discount, so that makes up for a lot of those free shipping costs. My last eBay monthly bill was $1200, and it got knocked down to $960 with the 20% discount. That discount paid for almost all my shipping costs right there. I'm not yet convinced charging for shipping is the way to go. But I may be in time.

If I start holding inventory over to next year, that really complicates taxes as well. But I suppose dealing with inventory is better than selling a $10 card for $4 w/free shipping.

You see, this is still a learning experience for me, so I appreciate all the advice I can get.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I really enjoyed reading this. You really do know your stuff and any profit loss due to hours spent working or shipping can be made up with the enjoyment you had busting the stuff (assuming you have some fun pulling Harpers ).

What was your reasoning for 10 cases instead of some other number?
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Just dont forget to have fun while doing it.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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your getting too paranoid, these cards sell all year long, when you rip & flip like this, your driving your own price down because your putting too many things on the market for too cheap and it makes people not want to buy it anymore for the regular price. when you say the prices are dropping, they are dropping because you & other people who rip & flip massive quantities, DROPPED THEM. nobody buys "LOT'S" except other card dealers & sellers, and they buy those lots to resell because your price was too low and they know it. most actual collectors buy they favorite player or team, not massive lots of stuff. and they don't even know if they player or team is in the lot half the time so they bypass it

selling an auto for $4/$5 makes no sense, they are all worth more. easily, all of these could be placed on BIN/BO and sell easily...... especially the guys that are popular, even the ones you got more money for could have made more because they are popular....

not sure why you'd have to wait on BIN's to sell for months, all my bowman bin's sold pretty much immediately. you feel like these are no name auto's but they are not, these guys are popular in they own city, every last one of them. people are searching for these guys. the same auto's some people sold for $4 with free shipping I sold for $20. zach wheeler for the giants is one that comes to mind from people talking about it on the board.

20% FVF discount doesn't save you anything at all on shipping, it just prevents you from having to pay as many fee's to ebay, it doesn't add to your profit at all.

if charging for shipping is not your preference, then you should absolutely raise the reserves on the cards.

you won't have to hold any inventory over till next year, not sure why you would even think you would have to. it's like your extremely nervous that your going to have to hold something so you sell as fast as possible reguardless of what it sells for...... and if that's the case it would make more sense to buy less volume, and make the correct profit. your getting overwhelmed with amount of cards and just letting them go at will.

anytime you have a business plan, and no idea what you actually want to sell your product for, you have a bad business plan, if you let the customers dictate the price they will beat you to death, you will never get any money for your product, the auctions may seem good, but they are really just a way for people to get things cheap for no reason.

your moving fast, overwhelming yourself, and not thinking clearly about setting price points & profit. which you are welcome to do, it's a free country, if that's your method, and it works for you, cool

but people who do that create a situation for themselves where next year they don't make any money..... the rip & flip your doing will even itself out in the market because you won't be able to make money next year and will stop doing it.......

last year on bowman you probably could have made 5-10k profit, this year? maybe only 3, next year? zero..... because it will be overproduced from people buyin cases and letting the cards go at zero value.

do some research from last years sales numbers and this years and you will see, this rip & flip won't be available soon, it is, it's own worst enemy in the market/sales division of cards.

just curious if your in so deep that you have to worry about the bottom line, why go in that deep cash wise? why not get less cases and sell everything for the proper amount?

you said yourself your getting ahead of yourself and can't get all the cards sorted fast enough, why are you doing that many then?

you should really break it down by box..... and by case, and see what you can make per case when setting your price point and then see you can make the same amount without even doing as much work or breaking as much.

unless your just chasing big named superfractors and low numbered big name stuff, which I can understand, but then it's a gamble either way.

you gotta think about what sets the price..... if you sell jeremy hellickson auto for $30, the next guy sells his for $25, the next guy sells his for $20... if you have 5 of them next year, you only get $10-$15 for yours. because you set the market value LOW.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with a lot of what Qwasian is saying especially when it comes to pricing your items and auction styles, however there is something to be said for not holding on to inventory.
Alex has generally picked winners in his bulk case buying and flipping and made decent profits especially when he presells sets. he needs to recoop as much as possible to buy his next multi case break quickly. if you can make 20-35% on a shorter timeline that would outwork a 50-60% gain over the long run. also, most refractors and parallels generally do not sell nearly as well after the first few weeks of new release sales.

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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only thing is, he's going to put himself out of business very quickly doing this, because for 1 he's teaching people how to do it and advertising it to be done, so if you get 2 or 3 more people doing it right along with you each time, you crush your own profit, and each person who does it will lower the prices more, people do not care if your bryce harper auto sells for $1, they are still going to buy it....


I noticed people sell chrome rookie lots...... of 20 or more at a time same player, you might as well just throw the other 18 in the trash, because 2 singles of the cards sell for the same price.......

it's no use in even selling things like that, you just drive your own price down and don't make anything while doing it, and increase your own shipping costs as well

none of this stuff has to be held, all this stuff sells....
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:54 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Big Up Alex

Glad you made a good profitable break to forget about your last one who was terrible.

Great stuff as always.

And I sorted 2 cases myself and I feel your pain of sorting and making the boxes for the way out. 10 cases, you are INSANE
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:03 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Man great post, great pictures, great story. Love it.

I would say that with the Harper autos and gold you got, made it pretty easy to make money on the break.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:11 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Care4Card View Post
Glad you made a good profitable break to forget about your last one who was terrible.

this comment really makes me not understand this concept of business, if you get hosed on one break and make only a minimal amount on good breaks whats the point of that?
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:16 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Great work as always Alex. You bring so much positive things to these boards!

I, Myself, and i am sure everyone else, appreciates your hard work. Thanks alot sir.
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