Okay, I’ll admit… this task of turning a POSITIVE ROI has been a huge challenge for me (Ty). I’ve tried to squeeze “random” breaks into my schedule and have sacrificed good deals. The results have been less than stellar…if not totally disappointing. But… there is some silver lining. Shani is demonstrating how to ACTUALLY TURN a positive ROI! Keep reading!
Let’s rehash our objective for this challenge. We want to demonstrate how those joining group breaks can potentially make some money by being strategic. Although it shouldn’t be the core objective, it’s interesting to see how value can be generated. I haven’t joined a group break in over a year…and frankly have never done so to turn a profit. So I’m coming at this from a fresh and somewhat naive point-of-view.
Over the next 6 weeks, we are going to document the breaks we’ve joined, the hits we received, the revenue we generated, and the overall ROI collected. In addition, we are going to provide thoughts on our breaker experience, overall transaction review, and much more.
Update #2 Summary
Since this is a competition…and Shani and I (Ty) are coming at this from different angles…we will each provide our thoughts.
Tyler’s Update 2 Results:
I participated in 6 different breaks over the last 3 weeks. I’ve stayed focused on baseball products, mainly the new releases. My strategy going in was to keep to RANDOM teams with AT LEAST a 1/2 case. I stuck to my guns and held that strategy. Here are my raw #’s
|May 31st, 2017||34.99||MojoBreak||2017 Topps Archives||1 Team||10||5/31 @ 9pm||Angels||A few Trout Mini’s||$15||$0|
|June 1st, 2017||$28.50||BH35||2017 Topps Inception Baseball||1 Team||Case||6/1/2017||Phillies||Nothing||$0|
|June 2nd, 2017||28.95||Steel City Collectibles||2016 Topps High Tek||1 Team||Case||6/2 @ 8pm||Rays||Nothing||$0|
|June 2nd, 2017||36.95||Steel City Collectibles||2016 Topps Finest Case||1 Team||Case||6/21/17 @ 8pm||Blue Jays||Nothing||$0|
|June 7th, 2017||167.99||MojoBreak||16/17 Finest, Inception, Bowman||1 Team||3 Case||6/7/17||Phillies||Vince Velasquez 1/1 Plate, 2x Jorge Alfaro Auto (/50 + /99), Medina /5 Red, 2x Nola Auto’s||$125||$63.00|
|June 22nd, 2017||44.99||Firehand||2017 Museum Collection||1 Team||1/2 Case||6/22/17||Blue Jays||Nothing||$0|
|June 21st. 2017||$87.95||Firehand||2017 Museum||1 Team||1 Case||6/21/2017||Rays||Nothing||$0|
On the $430 investment, my EXPECTED ROI will be be between -65% to -80%. Yes, you are reading that correctly… I’m absolutely getting crushed.
My top hits were all from the Phillies 3-Case Mixer with MojoBreak. Here they are:
The silver lining from all of my breaks is that I’ve seen some MONSTER’S get pulled in my breaks. Across the board I’ve seen multiple Judge Auto’s + Bryant /5 Framed Auto (from Firehand), 5x Corey Seager Autos, 2-3x Bellinger Auto’s, etc… I’ve been involved in the “right” breaks, but have had bad luck with my randoms.
But, aside from my terrible performances let me provide my take on break experiences from the past few weeks.
Tyler’s Update 2 Thoughts:
I mixed it up again for my breaks this time around. Again, I wanted to get some new perspectives and also provide more data for the breaker review pages.
Firehand (Breaker Page) – Okay, consider me hooked. I absolutely love Chad’s approach to the group break. You feel like you are entering his life for the night and it’s kind of refreshing. He’s laid back just about the entire evening, keeps things moving, and has a unique way of entertaining.
I’m a stickler for the little things like PRONOUNCING names correctly. Thank you Chad for showing all of us that you are a SPORTS FAN like your buyers. It keeps me engaged and excited when you talk about current players/games, use their nicknames, and even pronounce their names correctly.
Finally, I LOVE the fact that you send out an email before the break begins. The break buyers usually are fitting this into a schedule, so blocking off a 3-hour break window, not possible. The email before the break was icing on the cake. Seriously…SO SIMPLE…but SO HELPFUL
BH35 (Breaker Page) – I’ve probably watched more BH35 breaks than any others over the past couple years, mainly because he’s the easiest to keep on in the background. Very enjoyable time with Bryan last week. He carries himself very well and runs a high quality break. He’s one of the only breakers that can sit there for 3-4min IN SILENCE and some how have people’s attention.
I’ll keep going back to Bryan – he’s one of the best in the bunch.
Steel City Collectibles (Breaker Page) – Okay, so I’m usually lean toward the positive side of everything. You’ve probably noticed that in how I write reviews. But…. I had one of my worst break experiences over the past couple years w/SCC this month.
Over 3 weeks ago I purchased teams in a Finest Case Break and a High Tek Case Break. Almost immediately after purchasing the case breaks I realized that the High Tek was scheduled 2 weeks out. This was in addition to the Finest being a few days out. So, I wrote SCC customer service and asked for a refund so I could jump in a break that was sooner. 2 days….and nothing.
So 2 days later, I write them again and ask for a refund. Another couple days go by….and nothing. At that point I’m busy with life and frankly decided I would just deal with the delay.
Well, the Finest gets kicked back almost 2 WEEKS the day of the break… so now I have two breaks that are a couple weeks out. Extremely frustrating.
I wait 2 weeks…and guess what. The day of the Finest break it gets moved AGAIN. But, I only find out because I happen to go to the break page and find a date change. It gets moved to the next night. So… I jump on the next night and I hang around for awhile and wait for the break to start (still not even filled). ** Twiddling thumbs **
After a couple hours, the breaker for the night jumps on (around 10pm CST). I ask about the Finest break… he types back “sorry, moved it to tomorrow night!”…. Seriously, what a joke.
If you are going to take buyers money for a break 2+ weeks out… you better the heck make sure it fills. But, IF IT DOESN’T you need to let buyers know what’s happening. A simple email would have gone a long way to helping me plan my schedule and feel okay about the delays.
After 3+ weeks, asking for a refund twice, getting a break moved 3x, and sitting through a break full of mispronounced player names… I struck out. I’m okay with going hitless… but sheesh… SCC is better than this.
I’m okay with losing money. Each purchase is a calculated risk. But if I have to scratch and claw to enjoy my purchase, it’s NOT worth it. I’m glad I got to enjoy some great breaks from Firehand, Mojo, and BH35 the past couple weeks. Really looking forward to participating more with them.
But, I learned my lesson with trying to purchase breaks that are multiple weeks out.
Overall Expected ROI after Update 2 = -65%
Shani’s Update 2 Opening Remarks & Results:
This was an extremely busy week, so as much as I learned from last week, with every intention to take a more cerebral and analytical approach to this competition moving forward – I just flew by the seat of my pants! I bought into breaks that either seemed like a good price when I became aware of them, or reverted to my homer ways, and purchased several Pittsburgh teams. I will review the results by sport this week.
I did have a bit of luck on my side, especially in the new 2017 Panini Studio, 8 box inner case break I bought into with MojoBreak (Breaker Page). For $32 I grabbed the Bucks on a discount, and had easily the best ROI of the week. Dan & Doug pulled me several hits, as the Bucks were definitely the “winners” of this break. Doug opened the first 4 boxes, and the best hit was a Thon Maker Rookie auto SP #/30, to go along with a Thon Maker SP Rookie parallel #/15. Dan then pulled me a Malcolm Brogdon Rookie auto #/299.
I liked Studio enough to grab the Bulls via an eBay auction with Hitmen Sports Cards (Breaker Page), for an 8 box inner case, and I was fortunate to land them for $21 shipped. I was hoping for either a Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman legend auto, neither of which surfaced. However, I did end up with a Jimmy Butler “From Downtown” case hit insert. These are interesting cards, in the vain of the ultra rare cartoony Kaboom inserts from Excalibur. Hopefully they command the same kind of attention and return that the Kabooms do, which will save me from what was otherwise a pretty weak result, as it was the only non-base card I ended up with.
With the Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals it’s been extremely expensive to buy them in any PYT break. So I went back to the well hoping to strike lightning twice, with HobbyBox604 (Breaker Page), and bought into two different 5 box mixers for $22 each. I got the Bruins in one and landed a Danton Heinen Future Watch Rookie auto, and the Flames in the other, but got skunked. I’m not complaining though, as Sunday evening brought us back to the Promised Land with back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships!!!
I hesitate to even mention baseball as the Pirates have almost nothing in most products this year, as was the case last year, and it’s become pretty frustrating. I recognize that baseball is loaded this year, and that this is where I need to break away from my usual ways. I do intend to buy into some random breaks of Finest for starters, and I will take a closer look at other new releases that are coming up. I bought the Pirates in a case of Archives for $20, and was fortunate to land a John Smiley Fan Favorites auto. The ROI is negligible at best, but at least the buy in was cheap.
Finally, the football breaks I bought into were a lot of fun. In part because I did well in Prestige with KJTorris (Breaker Page Here). Additionally because I am very happy with the Steelers draft class, with 5 Rookie subjects who all seem to be signing a lot. Especially James Conner, the hometown Pitt alum, who I will be chasing after pretty hard this year. I do recognize that the use of college uniforms has not gained a string hobby following and that definitely has an effect on ROI. However, I happen to like it, as I tend to focus on fellow Pitt alum.
I didn’t land a James Conner auto in any breaks so far this year. But for $30 in a half case 6 box break of Prestige, KJTorris pulled me a JuJu Smith-Schuster on card SP auto, as well as a Cameron Sutton base auto, to go along with a few #’ed Parallel Rookies.
Week 2 Results
This week I spent $95 on 5 breaks, here is a breakdown…
•2016-17 Panini Studio – Bucks – MojoBreak – 2 autos + 1 SP Rookie – cost $32 – expected ROI +40%
•2016-17 Panini Studio – Bulls – RipKings – Case Hit Jimmy Butler from Downtown – cost $21 – expected ROI +150%
•5 Box Hockey Mixer – Bruins – HobbyBox604 – cost $20 – expected ROI -75%
•2017 Topps Archives – Pirates (PC team) – KJTorris – John Smiley auto – cost $20 – expected ROI -85%
•2017 Panini Prestige – Steelers (PC team) – KJTorris – JuJu Draft Day SP auto – cost $30 – expected ROI +50%
Overall not too bad, however I think after all is said and done I essentially break even or maybe make a few dollars that doesn’t even cover my time, but who can put a price on the entertainment value of the breaks themselves?
Overall Expected ROI after Update 2 = +10%
Both of us are enjoying the challenge to be STRATEGIC in our breaks. But if you’ve noticed, even being strategic doesn’t remove the importance of enjoying the experience. This is the ultimate goal in this hobby…even with the possibility of making $$…you need to enjoy the experience.
Advice to leave you with: Support breakers you enjoy. They are a rare breed.
See you for our next update.