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Old 10-09-2012, 03:59 PM   #126 (permalink)
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By far my favorite post of the year

Brent, do you use one of those fast scanners like Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500?

Grant, thanks again for the personal note. I have hundreds of update base if there are any singles you need to fill your sets let me know.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #127 (permalink)
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This may be a naive question, so bear with me. But I am more interested in breaking cases for fun and keeping what I want out of them, and then unloading stuff I don't want or need. I am a real big Heritage collector, so I want to buy a 2013 case for around what BO has it at presell ~725. If I keep a master set and just sold off any extra base sets, sp's and hits, how much would I expect to recoup? Obviously not trying to profit since I want to keep some stuff, but I think it would be cool to start doing cases if I can recoup say 50-60% each time.
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.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by edclay View Post
By far my favorite post of the year

Brent, do you use one of those fast scanners like Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500?
IMO, not recommended. I have one of those scanners for documents. I sent some TC base through there just to test and it's not good for the card surface. Even more forgiving cards like Update are still too rigid and you risk doing a lot of damage to them. Also because they're rigid, the scans sometimes get warped.

I did use them for code cards, worked fine since I trashed the actual cards after emailing PDFs of them.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:43 PM   #129 (permalink)
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IMO, not recommended. I have one of those scanners for documents. I sent some TC base through there just to test and it's not good for the card surface. Even more forgiving cards like Update are still too rigid and you risk doing a lot of damage to them. Also because they're rigid, the scans sometimes get warped.

I did use them for code cards, worked fine since I trashed the actual cards after emailing PDFs of them.
Good to know, thanks.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #130 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:56 PM   #131 (permalink)
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IMO, not recommended. I have one of those scanners for documents. I sent some TC base through there just to test and it's not good for the card surface. Even more forgiving cards like Update are still too rigid and you risk doing a lot of damage to them. Also because they're rigid, the scans sometimes get warped.

I did use them for code cards, worked fine since I trashed the actual cards after emailing PDFs of them.
I agree. Some use them for bulk listings of base cards, but can cause surface issues, plus cards like Chrome, Finest, etc don't show up well, and then thick cards tend to have issues especially the relic cards, it is more for a stack of base cards or parallels but you do run risk (even if small risk) of damage or dings or jams

most 'hit's would not work in it especially the thick ones which is like all these days, and would you want to risk a high $ card in it?
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #132 (permalink)
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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.

you would be very lucky to get 1 master set from 1 case of heritage
and it would cost you 2x at least what the set will run you
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:19 PM   #133 (permalink)
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you would be very lucky to get 1 master set from 1 case of heritage
and it would cost you 2x at least what the set will run you
Brent,
Do you mean that the amount of profit return from keeping a master set, as opposed to selling it, would double what it would cost to just buy it outright?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I spent $725 on the case and I kept the master set but sold extra base sets and hits, that my return would only be say $300, but then that means I spent the other $425 to make the set, which I could buy for around $200?

That is really something to think about, but my thing is I just love to open boxes and I really haven't been doing so lately, so I don't know if the loss I would take would be worth it or not because I think it would be really fun to open a case.

Brent, do you rip Heritage and sell master sets? I know some people hate Heritage.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:24 PM   #134 (permalink)
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you would be very lucky to get 1 master set from 1 case of heritage
and it would cost you 2x at least what the set will run you
That is a good point - I never get an entire master set from a single case but I use the proceeds from sales to pick up the bits and pieces that I need and can usually recoup at least 30-40%, usually 50-60%, and occasionally pure profit. I have 3 kids and will never have the scratch to do 5-6 cases at once. Like Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations."
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #135 (permalink)
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That is a good point - I never get an entire master set from a single case but I use the proceeds from sales to pick up the bits and pieces that I need and can usually recoup at least 30-40%, usually 50-60%, and occasionally pure profit. I have 3 kids and will never have the scratch to do 5-6 cases at once. Like Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations."
After doing 6 cases, now I know my limitations. And my wife's.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:48 AM   #136 (permalink)
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I do open Heritage...if you are are opening for the fun of building your own set and whatnot it is worth it, if you care more about the set, then yes, wait and buy a set

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Brent,
Do you mean that the amount of profit return from keeping a master set, as opposed to selling it, would double what it would cost to just buy it outright?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I spent $725 on the case and I kept the master set but sold extra base sets and hits, that my return would only be say $300, but then that means I spent the other $425 to make the set, which I could buy for around $200?

That is really something to think about, but my thing is I just love to open boxes and I really haven't been doing so lately, so I don't know if the loss I would take would be worth it or not because I think it would be really fun to open a case.

Brent, do you rip Heritage and sell master sets? I know some people hate Heritage.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #137 (permalink)
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I have been wanting to post, but have been busy doing the whole sort, ship, repeat exercise. Looks like you had a good time and learned a lot. The main thing is that you enjoyed it though (other than sorting). I remember how overwhelming it was the first time I broke a large amount of a base Topps product. It really can take over your life and make you think "what was I thinking"? Even with all of the work involved, I still really enjoy it and like the challange.

I will add one piece of perspective. I know everyone has different opionions on sorting, but here is how I like to do it. When I break boxes, I put all cards into 3200 count boxes and stack them to the sky. When sorting, I pull out 2 rows and only do that much at a time. This is exactly 4 boxes the way I do it (comes out to 4 sets usually). The time averages out to 25-30 minutes per set on average. I have tried sorting 1 set, and I have tried sorting all of them at a time. This seems to be the happy medium, atleast for me. This way I am getting sets made and shipped regularly instead of all at a time days later. Again, just a personal preference.

I have enjoyed watching your progress with this project and I hope you keep the "bug" and keep breaking. It is nice seeing enthusiastic collectors trying something new. It reminds me of how excited I was as a kid when opening a pack of cards. This really is a fun hobby and it can be enjoyed in many, many different ways.

Also, as a side note. I want to give props to Brent for helping everyone out with his advice and opinions. I do not know him personally, but it is great to see un-selfish collectors willing to help others out.

This thread is what this hobby should be all about. Friends and collectors helping each other out. There are too many threads floating around calling people out for shilling, stealing, fake patches, grammar errors, etc. We need a lot less of those threads and lot more like this.

Isn't this hobby great? :-)
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #138 (permalink)
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I broke 2 jumbos and 1 retail case. I do team sets, not complete sets. I divide mine into divisions (NL East, NL Central, etc) then break down further. Works for me, but I'm not really in that big of a rush.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:10 PM   #139 (permalink)
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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.
I think I've gotten complete sets from every jumbo box I've every bought...although S2 this year I bought 2 boxes and am 2 cards short due to damage.

Heritage is a PITA to build a set by ripping. I still need 16 cards (14SP's) and I've been trading/buying singles and that doesnt even count the insert sets.

I try not to break more than I want to keep because I really dont sell much. My mistake this year was going with hobby boxes instead of jumbo's for S1, I'm ~63 cards short of a second set of Topps and only 2 are S2.

This reminds me, I ought to start preordering my jumbos to lock in, they are a lot cheaper now than they will be locally on release day.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #140 (permalink)
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True Didn't think about that, but usually the sets are the last thing I get done, just seems to happen that way, I hate sorting.
The best use of your time is selling the hits, the sets will sell and get sorted in due course.


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After doing 6 cases, now I know my limitations. And my wife's.
Absolutely know your limitations.


Please don't take this the wrong way, but for the love of all that is good don't think you can take Brent's system exactly and make it work for you. His system is good... for him. You have to do it your way. You need to do your own math. You need to be sure you know your product.

Case and point. In 2006 I started doing football because everyone was. I took a beating because I don't know much about football (other than God must love the Giants more than the Jets).

I do know hockey. I make money selling hockey. I have a clientele. I don't want to underestimate or dare Brent to jump into hockey because the last thing I need is someone ripping sixty cases of Upper Deck Series 1, but I suspect that I'd have a higher ROI because its been my market for 20 years.

Please do your own homework and do what you know, because if not you'll be selling a lot more to the case-break leftover guy (me) than you care to.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #141 (permalink)
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Absolutely know your limitations.


Please don't take this the wrong way, but for the love of all that is good don't think you can take Brent's system exactly and make it work for you. His system is good... for him. You have to do it your way. You need to do your own math. You need to be sure you know your product.

Case and point. In 2006 I started doing football because everyone was. I took a beating because I don't know much about football (other than God must love the Giants more than the Jets).

I do know hockey. I make money selling hockey. I have a clientele. I don't want to underestimate or dare Brent to jump into hockey because the last thing I need is someone ripping sixty cases of Upper Deck Series 1, but I suspect that I'd have a higher ROI because its been my market for 20 years.

Please do your own homework and do what you know, because if not you'll be selling a lot more to the case-break leftover guy (me) than you care to.

I think you make some good points. I think Brent actually mentioned earlier about the need for people to find their own nitch. There are areas that I would absolutely love to get into because I think there would be a pretty nice ROI if done right. The problem is that I do not have the knowledge currently to do it, so I am staying away. I think a lot of people think that there is no way you can go wrong by going big. After someone takes a big bath on one of the bad products they learn otherwise. I think the main thing here is to determine if you want to do it for fun or for profit. You can do both, but you need to have one of those as your priority. I don't think you can make smart decisions until that one has been made.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Please don't take this the wrong way, but for the love of all that is good don't think you can take Brent's system exactly and make it work for you.
Definitely agree with this, and I know Brent would agree as well. I used his advice greatly for my first break, because I had no idea what I was getting into and needed a template. Even he is adjusting constantly, I think a big part of the reason he's been so successful.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Definitely agree with this, and I know Brent would agree as well. I used his advice greatly for my first break, because I had no idea what I was getting into and needed a template. Even he is adjusting constantly, I think a big part of the reason he's been so successful.
I agree completely.

Plus this is a market it has ups and downs. Much of the bigger collectors (at least of BB and the sets) are older, and have heard from many that they are stopping after this year or soon as they are getting older and priorities changing.

Next year looks like some new challenges may come with different ebay policies, possible taxes, possible PO changes, and changes in product content/players coming up...the past few years have been hot for the most part, but will it continue? We shall see.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:10 PM   #144 (permalink)
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I agree completely.

Plus this is a market it has ups and downs. Much of the bigger collectors (at least of BB and the sets) are older, and have heard from many that they are stopping after this year or soon as they are getting older and priorities changing.

Next year looks like some new challenges may come with different ebay policies, possible taxes, possible PO changes, and changes in product content/players coming up...the past few years have been hot for the most part, but will it continue? We shall see.
Yeah, seems like a lot of new constraints are about to squeeze the market tightly. These things will have a very tangible impact. My guess is that the smarter, more dedicated small-time breakers will find ways to continue to bust cases, but it's really going to strangle a lot of the bigger breakers that are relying on flipping to produce a profit. What's the difference for the guy who breaks one case? His $200 profit might go to $100 or $125, and he still has fun busting the case. But what about the guy whose $50,000 annual breaking income suddenly drops to $30,000? That's a big hit.

There is also the longer-term concern that most set collectors are indeed older. Most of the buyers I sold to mentioned to me in our conversations that they had been "collecting sets for X years". And X was usually bigger than 25. Most of the younger collectors either prospect or chase hits. So what will happen with base cards and base sets? Surely the card companies will adjust to their market, and they will have to if their sales decline dramatically.

It will be interesting to watch this situation unfold.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #145 (permalink)
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Just an update on the profitability ... looks like when it's all said and done, I am going to clear a minimum of $100 profit per case. Still got a lot of stuff on eBay, and a lot of other stuff to assemble and sell strategically, but I projected low on everything I've got remaining and still came out just over $600 for 6 cases. This is profit, after fees.

Not bad for the first crack at it, and I think I can do better next time.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #146 (permalink)
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It looks like you broke even on the main stuff, and your big hits put you over the top. Is that a fair generalization? If so, you could break even on everything, and then keep the really good stuff... in theory.

Are you selling every card off, or keeping some for self?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #147 (permalink)
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Just an update on the profitability ... looks like when it's all said and done, I am going to clear a minimum of $100 profit per case. Still got a lot of stuff on eBay, and a lot of other stuff to assemble and sell strategically, but I projected low on everything I've got remaining and still came out just over $600 for 6 cases. This is profit, after fees.

Not bad for the first crack at it, and I think I can do better next time.
Not bad at all
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:29 PM   #148 (permalink)
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It looks like you broke even on the main stuff, and your big hits put you over the top. Is that a fair generalization? If so, you could break even on everything, and then keep the really good stuff... in theory.

Are you selling every card off, or keeping some for self?
Pretty much true, except I haven't even accounted for finished my remaining master set and handful of base sets, or selling off all my extra insert cards, or the presidential predictors. Could easily be another $225 right there.

Selling everything off except my David Price jersey relic.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Pretty much true, except I haven't even accounted for finished my remaining master set and handful of base sets, or selling off all my extra insert cards, or the presidential predictors. Could easily be another $225 right there.

Selling everything off except my David Price jersey relic.
Awesome. Great job on your first run.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #150 (permalink)
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Awesome. Great job on your first run.
Thanks, I definitely feel like I lucked out on the big hits, some skill and some luck involved in selling them early and big. I've definitely made some mistakes, so I feel fortunate just to come out even.
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