We are less than three months away from the start of baseball season, but we are only three weeks away from the release of Topps Series One. As always, the “flagship” set will kick off the 2018 product releases and will be followed by approximately 11 more sets through the end of June, with even more to come through the rest of the year.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the challenges I wanted to undertake when I re-entered the sports card world was to try and add to my personal collection at a net cost of $0. I have an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through me, and I enjoy buying and selling stuff. Using cards as an outlet for that seemed like a perfect fit. I want to try to buy and sell enough stuff to offset the cost of the cards I keep.
Throughout 2016 and 2017 I got my feet wet. I mainly bought boxes and collections in 2016, and added on a couple cases in 2017. I gained experience selling on three different online sites, set up at my first shows, and even experimented with “going live” to sell on Facebook a few times. That has been going very well, so I wanted to try something a bit bigger for 2018.
I came up with what I’m calling the “Two Case Plan.” As you can tell, I could use some help with creative naming.
There are eight products that I will be buying two cases of this year with the goal of at least breaking even after keeping a set for myself and selling the rest. I chose these eight based on both my enjoyment of opening prior releases and because of the resale value track record they have. The products are also spread throughout the year which benefits both the time commitment needed and the budget.
- Topps Series 1 (January)
- Topps Heritage (February)
- Bowman (April)
- Topps Series 2 (June)
- Topps Heritage High Number (around August)
- Topps Heritage Minor League (around September)
- Topps Update (around October)
- Bowman Draft (December)
What strategy am I going to be using to try and accomplish this goal? I’m glad you asked!
1. Buy Right (aka preorder, preorder, preorder)
They say repeat something three times to signify importance. For this to work, I need to buy these cases at the lowest possible price. I cannot pay full market price at the release date if I want to have the best chance of breaking even. Preordering this product is foundational to achieving this goal.
I will be ordering everything through my local shop, The Collectible Corner, as soon as preorders are available so I can lock in the best price. That means I have to make a financial commitment months in advance of having the cards in hand, but it also guarantees me a purchase price which is often well below the market price at release.
2) Sell Stuff
Now comes the fun part! I’m not locked in to the details of this yet, and I can see specifics being different from set to set. My strategy will involve selling a combination of sets, singles, and unopened boxes(maybe even unopened cases) via both online and “in person” channels. Generally, I should be able to move the sets and more valuable cards via Ebay and COMC, while selling a lot of base cards and inserts on Sportlots. I will use local shows to sell sets and the cards of local players.
The excitement of opening new packs comes from the anticipation of the chance a big card could be hidden inside. The frustration comes if you don’t get enough perceived value out of your packs. By preordering, and by preordering cases, I limit my downside through getting a good price and by opening enough boxes to increase the likelihood of getting some valuable cards to sell. Hopefully this will lead to my sales covering the costs.
There are a variety of things that could come up over the course of the year that could require me to adjust the plan.
First, there is a chance I may not be able to get two cases of each product in hand. Even though I have preordered these cases, sometimes the LCS gets their initial order cut by their distributor. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but it is a possibility depending on the popularity of the product and how much the manufacturer actually prints. If a preorder falls through and I am dependent on paying the full retail price after release to buy from another party, I will just pass.
Second, I will be using sales from some of the year’s early releases to pay for the cases which come out at the end of the year. If some of these cases just completely bomb out for me, I may not be able to cover the full cost of two cases for products at the end of the year.
Third, I won’t know the preorder price for most of the later products for at least a few months. If the preorder price is at a level higher than I am comfortable with, I may just pass on that product all together.
That being said......
I am really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Ideally it will provide the perfect combination of the fun of opening packs and the fulfillment of my entrepreneurial drive, all with a profit to show at the end of the year.
This is the first time I have attempted something like this, and with the money already committed for these first several products, I’m a bit nervous to be honest!
Have any of you done something similar?
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on my goals or strategy in the comments below or in the Facebook page!
I plan to write future posts documenting the progress of this strategy, so make sure you don’t miss an update by signing up for the WaxPackHero newsletter below. You’ll get a link to all future posts delivered right to your inbox!
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Less than three weeks until the fun begins!