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Old 10-08-2012, 04:13 PM   #51 (permalink)
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lol, totally
besides, the other breakers get onto me for sharing info and tips as it brings more guys in and causes all of us to end up losing $ and time
I just try to be helpful and if you are already breaking why not discuss it so it can help us all in the end is the thought...like you & I discussed via phone

and yep, not all things pre-sell as well as after, plus you never know when Topps will throw a curve and have base be SP or set sizes change etc (Heritage has been the worse over the years at that)
Case breaking in 10+ cases is such a huge undertaking, I can see many trying it, but failing miserably.

Just think of all the shipping supplies needed. You have to have stock of bubble mailers, team bags, sleeves, top loaders, paper, ink for printer, labels if you use a thermal printer which you MUST USE if you ship 100+ items in a week, card boxes which hold sets (presuming you puts sets into card boxes), etc. etc. And you need to have purchased all those supplies in bulk, or you are going to blow all your profit away on supplies.

Also, I think a lot of buyers are aware of case breakers who have experience, and those that don't. Buyers are willing to pay more for a card if it's coming from a case breaker they can trust and know it will get delivered quickly and safely. I know that is true, because some buyers tell me this strait up. They don't want to risk buying from a case breaker who is new to it, maybe they get the card in a week, maybe it's damaged because they didn't use a team bag or tape, etc.

Plus, you have to have OCD to sort 20,000+ cards. No way in heck can a non-OCD person do it. My brother is a normal person. Said he'd help me. He loved opening the packs. Once we were done opening, we started sorting. He sorted for 10 minutes and said "this sucks ass", he got up, grabbed a beer, turn on the TV and watched reruns of South Park. At that point I was stuck sorting twice as many cards as I thought I was going to sort. I knew it might happen so I was ready for it. But normal people won't sort. They just won't.

I don't think there's any problem sharing any of this info. Most people, if they really tried to bust 10+ cases, would do it once, lose thousands, and never do it again.

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Case breaking in 10+ cases is such a huge undertaking, I can see many trying it, but failing miserably.

Just think of all the shipping supplies needed. You have to have stock of bubble mailers, team bags, sleeves, top loaders, paper, ink for printer, labels if you use a thermal printer which you MUST USE if you ship 100+ items in a week, card boxes which hold sets (presuming you puts sets into card boxes), etc. etc. And you need to have purchased all those supplies in bulk, or you are going to blow all your profit away on supplies.

Plus, you have to have OCD to sort 20,000+ cards. No way in heck can a non-OCD person do it. My brother is a normal person. Said he'd help me. He loved opening the packs. Once we were done opening, we started sorting. He sorted for 10 minutes and said "this sucks ass", he got up, grabbed a beer, turn on the TV and watched reruns of South Park. At that point I was stuck sorting twice as many cards as I thought I was going to sort. I knew it might happen so I was ready for it. But normal people won't sort. They just won't.

I don't think there's any problem sharing any of this info. Most people, if they really tried to bust 10+ cases, would do it once, lose thousands, and never do it again.
Minus the beer, South Park, and the swearing, this was my wife.

Your last point ... you are exactly right. Most people won't have the stomach to bust more than 6 or so cases, not more than once anyway. That's why Brent is not afraid to share and give out information ... the market has a way of correcting itself so that profits are right where they ought to be for those that are willing to do the work.

My saving grace, and the only reason I'll seriously consider doing this again, is that I have an equally-OCD best friend who will help with the next break. He was out of town for this one.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Minus the beer, South Park, and the swearing, this was my wife.

Your last point ... you are exactly right. Most people won't have the stomach to bust more than 6 or so cases, not more than once anyway. That's why Brent is not afraid to share and give out information ... the market has a way of correcting itself so that profits are right where they ought to be for those that are willing to do the work.

My saving grace, and the only reason I'll seriously consider doing this again, is that I have an equally-OCD best friend who will help with the next break. He was out of town for this one.
man I need to get my-self an OCD friend because all mine have no problem busting open packs but when it comes to listing, sorting, or shipping they disappear. lol
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #54 (permalink)
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man I need to get my-self an OCD friend because all mine have no problem busting open packs but when it comes to listing, sorting, or shipping they disappear. lol
Consider this ... if a friend helps me get out 2 extra sets per hour, and I consider that (1) I want to break cases, and (2) I want to not go crazy, then I might be willing to part with a little bit of my profit to have some help sorting sets. Say, $10/hour? If I were him, and I needed some part time work and had a flexible schedule, I would take $10/hour to sit with a friend and drink a little of his beer over $12-$13 per hour delivering pizzas any day.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Consider this ... if a friend helps me get out 2 extra sets per hour, and I consider that (1) I want to break cases, and (2) I want to not go crazy, then I might be willing to part with a little bit of my profit to have some help sorting sets. Say, $10/hour? If I were him, and I needed some part time work and had a flexible schedule, I would take $10/hour to sit with a friend and drink a little of his beer over $12-$13 per hour delivering pizzas any day.
I think I'm a bit OCD, cause I'd do this for free, well, taking payment in beer would suffice.

I need to get a casebreaking crew started out here.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Plus, you have to have OCD to sort 20,000+ cards. No way in heck can a non-OCD person do it. My brother is a normal person. Said he'd help me. He loved opening the packs. Once we were done opening, we started sorting. He sorted for 10 minutes and said "this sucks ass", he got up, grabbed a beer, turn on the TV and watched reruns of South Park. At that point I was stuck sorting twice as many cards as I thought I was going to sort. I knew it might happen so I was ready for it. But normal people won't sort. They just won't.
Not sure OCD is as big a deal as having the attention span.

Doing more than five cases at any given time is rough on me. Had thoughts of hiring the youth group at church and paying $2 per completed set. On a 50 case break that would be a $700-800 fund raiser for them and save me aggravation.

I actually went as far as to go to a local machine shop to see if there were a way to make a collator work for this. I figure Topps uses a collator for their factory sets so maybe they knew something.

No dice.


Which begs the question, what would a sorting service be worth to a case-breaker. $3 a set + cost of shipping?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #57 (permalink)
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yes, sorting is no fun lol

and forgot the hours of book keeping especially if you do it as detailed as myself and others down to last penny in every area imaginable especially for taxes but also to know what is profitable & not
and divide by case & then by hours worked

thankfully I love most all of this and am very efficient

and Alex is right. I have many folks bid more or pay more direct because of experience and rep...takes time to build and does help in the end and everyone is happy all-around that way
plus it is like a one-stop shop for all card needs each release & throughout the calendar year
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #58 (permalink)
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I think I'm a bit OCD, cause I'd do this for free, well, taking payment in beer would suffice.

I need to get a casebreaking crew started out here.
If we met in Redding, it might work
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Not sure OCD is as big a deal as having the attention span.

Doing more than five cases at any given time is rough on me. Had thoughts of hiring the youth group at church and paying $2 per completed set. On a 50 case break that would be a $700-800 fund raiser for them and save me aggravation.


I actually went as far as to go to a local machine shop to see if there were a way to make a collator work for this. I figure Topps uses a collator for their factory sets so maybe they knew something.

No dice.


Which begs the question, what would a sorting service be worth to a case-breaker. $3 a set + cost of shipping?

This is a brilliant idea!! I might use this for me doing group breaks.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #60 (permalink)
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If we met in Redding, it might work
Then we could both use the mileage as a deduction!
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:06 PM   #61 (permalink)
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I think I'm a bit OCD, cause I'd do this for free, well, taking payment in beer would suffice.

I need to get a casebreaking crew started out here.
I'm in!!!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Not sure OCD is as big a deal as having the attention span.

Doing more than five cases at any given time is rough on me. Had thoughts of hiring the youth group at church and paying $2 per completed set. On a 50 case break that would be a $700-800 fund raiser for them and save me aggravation.

I actually went as far as to go to a local machine shop to see if there were a way to make a collator work for this. I figure Topps uses a collator for their factory sets so maybe they knew something.

No dice.


Which begs the question, what would a sorting service be worth to a case-breaker. $3 a set + cost of shipping?
It took me about 5 sets to begin thinking in great detail about how this might work. But I'm not skilled at all in that area.

I thought about listing eBay auctions like so: "2012 Topps Update - All Base Cards from Jumbo Box - Sort Your Own F****** Set!" I could hold back a few extras for those folks who find they are a card or two short, or have other issues. If base sets sell for $25 each, wonder if you could get $17-$18 for all base cards in a box (400 as opposed to 330)?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:08 PM   #63 (permalink)
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When you guys sell your base sets, are you sleeving all of those cards or do you just ship them "naked" ?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #64 (permalink)
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paying someone to sort sets takes all $ direct from profits IMO

I get what I get on sets sorted because I do all the leg work as any case breaker does, they are basically paying you $15 a set PLUS extra $ for you to sort it, box it, ship it, stand by it

I have plenty of buyers that will pay $15 per UNSORTED SETS PRIOR to a release (not after as prices drop), but always ask myself why I would do that, some do, yes it saves time, but when the same guy will pay $22 per if sorted (and some guys only wanted them sorted by 1s...1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, etc...), I think shoot on 100 sets that is $700, and on 400 sets that is $2800

of course it is not always that way, but I realize on sets at least I get paid for doing the work so i don't want to pay someone to do that and what if they make mistakes and it costs you more in the end, or what if they steal, who knows

I am thankful for my wife and friend, they get all the food, drinks, and tv they can stand LOL, oh and cards
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #65 (permalink)
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This is a brilliant idea!! I might use this for me doing group breaks.
As long as the people in my town continue to shell out too much money for our youth kids to do a mediocre job washing cars, no way our kids would sort for that cheap. Not without a whooooole lot of whining anyway.

My ultimate goal: Have my boys help me. They are young and incapable at this time, but they love cards ... in a few years they will be ready to help.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #66 (permalink)
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It took me about 5 sets to begin thinking in great detail about how this might work. But I'm not skilled at all in that area.

I thought about listing eBay auctions like so: "2012 Topps Update - All Base Cards from Jumbo Box - Sort Your Own F****** Set!" I could hold back a few extras for those folks who find they are a card or two short, or have other issues. If base sets sell for $25 each, wonder if you could get $17-$18 for all base cards in a box (400 as opposed to 330)?
people sell their case breaks like this all the time...there were many update listings like this and many buyers that will buy base unsorted, of course you may leave $ on table if sp or something in there which I have heard of numerous times and $ on table from not sorting, and that may be fine for you, but run the numbers and see if you will still be profitable at that, sure it saves time, but if you lose $ or break even was it worth it to you, it may be, don't know, for some it is
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #67 (permalink)
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I think shoot on 100 sets that is $700, and on 400 sets that is $2800
But how much labor does that involve?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #68 (permalink)
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As long as the people in my town continue to shell out too much money for our youth kids to do a mediocre job washing cars, no way our kids would sort for that cheap. Not without a whooooole lot of whining anyway.

My ultimate goal: Have my boys help me. They are young and incapable at this time, but they love cards ... in a few years they will be ready to help.
here is just one such auction, this is the only way this breaker sells his stuff, he sells to 3 guys direct and puts the rest on ebay as such
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #69 (permalink)
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It took me about 5 sets to begin thinking in great detail about how this might work. But I'm not skilled at all in that area.

I thought about listing eBay auctions like so: "2012 Topps Update - All Base Cards from Jumbo Box - Sort Your Own F****** Set!" I could hold back a few extras for those folks who find they are a card or two short, or have other issues. If base sets sell for $25 each, wonder if you could get $17-$18 for all base cards in a box (400 as opposed to 330)?
That is hilarious. You should try it. And your title is honest as can be so no issues there.

But I think a lot of collectors are buying sets because they don't want to sort them. I remember a thread about a transaction where the seller sent a complete set, all cards out of order, and the buyer was real pissed, and the seller was upset over the negative feedback. Thing is, a complete set 1-xxx, to 99% of the collectors, that means a sorted set, ascending order.

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Also, it is so key to sort sets FACE UP, not card back with number down. This has cut out 99.5% of mistakes. You can visual see the wrong card AND you can find any MISSED SP this way. This was how I first found the 2011 Heritage ARod reverse negative that sold for $400...no one even knew about it for a couple days at that point.
I think this is a great point, wanted to confirm what he is saying. My real job is working at the Beckman Institute. Other than having really clean toilets which makes taking a dump really nice, the place is filled with scientists doing all kinds of nutty research. Some of them are trying to build optical sensors that can recognize visual patterns as well as humans can. The trick is, our human eye/brain is so freaking good at visual pattern recognition, it is amazingly difficult to get a computer to do it. Knowing this fact, and using it to help speed up sorting, well, that's just genius. There's so much built-in power in our eyes/brain, and a lot of that power we just don't realize we have, or may overlook it. But that power can really mean the difference between a 20 hour sort with 2 mistakes and a 40 hour sort with 100 mistakes. That difference can mean happy customers and thus repeat customers.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #70 (permalink)
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But how much labor does that involve?
tons, days/weeks

but how much labor do most jobs involve

look at the crab guys on deadliest catch
some make tons of money in small time period although not always, and how much labor and sleep/family time is lost

many jobs can say that. If I am going to lose $2-$3k on a break for not sorting 300-400 sets, then not sure I would break, that is where most of the profits come and why there is profit outside of a rare lucky pull which in big qty does not matter as much... I mean sure a $300-$500+ card is nice, but when compared to $25k+ is a smaller amount then say $2-$3k of base card sorting
just my opinion
PLUS not sure I could move all the cases that way, unsorted that is, most, but not all, and definitely not on ebay, these guys are direct buyers
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #71 (permalink)
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tons, days/weeks

but how much labor do most jobs involve

look at the crab guys on deadliest catch
some make tons of money in small time period although not always, and how much labor and sleep/family time is lost

many jobs can say that. If I am going to lose $2-$3k on a break for not sorting 300-400 sets, then not sure I would break, that is where most of the profits come and why there is profit outside of a rare lucky pull which in big qty does not matter as much... I mean sure a $300-$500+ card is nice, but when compared to $25k+ is a smaller amount then say $2-$3k of base card sorting
just my opinion
PLUS not sure I could move all the cases that way, unsorted that is, most, but not all, and definitely not on ebay, these guys are direct buyers
I think you're exactly right, just wanted to get your perspective.

At this point in the game, almost all of the profit is tied up in selling the sets. It's the Pareto principle at work, except instead of 80/20 it's more like 90/10 or 95/5. You will spend very little time making most of your money back (i.e. selling singles and big hits) compared to the amount of time required to sort those sets. But without the sorting, most of the profit disappears.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:44 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I'm available to sort!
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #73 (permalink)
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couple things. if doing this for fun, then $150 is success, agree, BUT don't forget you have all the time it takes to factor in and then you have taxes at year's end, which so many overlook

series 1 is has been twice as produced as update and yes hearing the production again is very high, they always do it as it is biggest volume mover
Yea, it's more of a for fun thing for me, don't want to do it on the volume of 10-20 cases and rely on the profit. I see it as hopefully I break even (I stick to the lower end releases usually, Gypsy Queen I think was my biggest 3 case purchase money wise) and if I make money its a bonus. It's awesome breaking cases, but I'm smart about it too so I can keep doing it.

Also have a great system for keeping track of taxes, so I got that all covered.

Hopefully Series 1 is just as fun, hopefully the added parallels will add some value, and the golds being back for Series 1 will add some value that wasnt there this year.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:02 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Yea, it's more of a for fun thing for me, don't want to do it on the volume of 10-20 cases and rely on the profit. I see it as hopefully I break even (I stick to the lower end releases usually, Gypsy Queen I think was my biggest 3 case purchase money wise) and if I make money its a bonus. It's awesome breaking cases, but I'm smart about it too so I can keep doing it.

Also have a great system for keeping track of taxes, so I got that all covered.

Hopefully Series 1 is just as fun, hopefully the added parallels will add some value, and the golds being back for Series 1 will add some value that wasnt there this year.
Agreed but don't be tricked by added parallels, they will be tougher to pull than blacks if you read, as blacks are hobby only /62 and these are /50 and /99 right and not hobby only, plus code cards do not appear they will be that strong and without a wrapper redemption and with SP being up in air, who knows, we shall see, but I am adjusting expectations if I continue on
the emerald replaces the gold sparkles, so I hope it is strong, but also have to really study it
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:05 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Agreed but don't be tricked by added parallels, they will be tougher to pull than blacks if you read, as blacks are hobby only /62 and these are /50 and /99 right and not hobby only, plus code cards do not appear they will be that strong and without a wrapper redemption and with SP being up in air, who knows, we shall see, but I am adjusting expectations if I continue on
the emerald replaces the gold sparkles, so I hope it is strong, but also have to really study it
Same, I am still doing my 4 cases, but I am not counting it as a slam dunk this year. I'm just saying that in 4 cases, say you pull 4-5 extra of the parallels than usual (say one per case of the ones either /99 or /50) then it might make up somewhat for losses in other areas.

HOPEFULLY they bring back Legend SPs, I think they would have added value because of the fact they were omitted in 2012. OR do a mix of both, like they kinda did in Series 2.

And all of this is hoping the manufactured relics stay hot, they sold very well this year.

When do you think we would know about the wrapper redemption btw, if there is one? I would assume there will be a pack limit too, which means more selling of empty wrappers.
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