BREAKER ROI BATTLE | May 30th Update | 50% to -7%

BREAKER ROI BATTLE | May 30th Update | 50% to -7%

It’s funny how certain events open your eyes to different perspectives.  This specific challenge – after only a week – has given me some interesting ideas to the way we approach group breaks. I’m excited to dig deeper into some discoveries…and also share lots of new thoughts with you over the coming weeks. But….before we get all emotional and mushy – let’s get to our Week 1 update!

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 8 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.

Week 1 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 Week 1 Results:

I participated in 3 different breaks over the last week. I’m looking for good value within baseball products — so I was very selective on availability + product. Here is what I ended up choosing.

Date of Purchase Total Breaker Product # of Teams Purchased # of Boxes Time of Break Teams/Division Cards Received
May 25th, 2017 $21.99 MojoBreak 2016 Bowman’s Best 1 Team 4 5/25 @ 5pm Royals/Tigers Matt Manning Refractor Auto
May 25th, 2017 $57.98 Top Shelf Breaks 2017 Topps Pro Debut Divisional Half Case 5/25 @ 7pm Yankees/D-backs A couple of high numbered parallesl
May 26th, 2017 $44.95 Steel City Collectibles 2017 Topps Tribute Case 1 Team Case 5/26 @ 9pm Rangers Nolan Ryan Shadowbox Auto


I spent about $125 this week – half of my available balance. I decided to pull back on some possible entries this weekend and save some available funds for Archives + Finest.

On the $125 investment, my EXPECTED ROI will be between -7% to -10%. I was saved by a Nolan Ryan Shadowbox Auto (/25).


Tyler’s Week 1 Thoughts:


After week 1, I was able to participate with 3 different breakers. Some initial reactions from each are below.

MojoBreak –  I was quickly reminded why these guys have been around for so long. The entire transaction was EXTREMELY easy. The website was flawless, ordering was simple, & filtering was intuitive. I loved being able to open up the calendar, find a time that works and buy into that break. That’s the way busy people want to shop.

I was also impressed with the transaction AFTER the break. I got value-added notifications even up to the point of a shipping tracking # – THE NEXT DAY!

The actual break experience was simple. Stream was flawless, not a lot of fluff, and got me in-and-out…ready for the next purchase. Overall top-notch.

Top Shelf Breaks – Selection of breaks is definitely more limited with TSB. I didn’t have a ton of options, but Chris was helpful in pointing me to a break that made sense. I jumped in on a Pro Debut break and like Mojo was impressed with all of the email communication before the actual break. I haven’t seen a shipping notification yet…but I’m guessing one will come.

The break experience was a bit more difficult to sit through. I showed up but jumped in and out because other breaks were filling/ending/etc… I waited around and finally caught some of my break late into the evening. The product is a bit more difficult to break (more commons) so it made for a less efficient break experience. Chris is entertaining and does a good job of balancing conversation about the cards + what’s being said in the chat room.

Steel City Collectibles – I’ve mentioned how much a love their website (Top Ranked Here) – it’s very very nice. Ordering was a piece of cake. I was also sucked into a Tribute break (not a fan of product) because of Reggie Jackson jersey…which is an awesome value-added bonus.

Within a few minutes of the break ending the video was up to watch. I couldn’t join this break live…so having it available so quickly was great. The entertainment factor was limited, mainly because I wasn’t live… but I wasn’t annoyed watching the video. I was locked-in for all 15-min and really enjoyed the break style.

Parting Thoughts:

I have a few strategies in the way I’m approach this challenge.

First, I want to leverage tools that are already in place to help with selection. So I’m using internal “Value” tools that we create at BreakerCulture (some are public, some aren’t).

Second, I’m diversifying in my selection of breakers. My goal is to spread out investments across many breakers…hopefully not going back to any single breaker more than a couple of times.

Third, I’m sticking to RANDOM team breaks only. This may change, but I have found the most value in random breaks.

With these in mind, I don’t expect this challenge to be “easy.” Taking the heart out of the decisions makes it more calculated…but slightly less risky. It’s an approach I’ve been wanting to put into practice…so the next few weeks will be telling.

Overall Expected ROI after Week 1 = -7%

Shani’s Week 1 Opening Remarks & Results:

I have to state up front that I am a huge homer! I collect all things Pittsburgh, but very little outside of that, with the exception of some basketball, focused primarily on rookies and the Celtics. That said, I found it extremely difficult to change my typical approach to joining breaks, as I pretty much just look for the best deal for any of my teams. Steelers, Penguins, Pirates in that order. I can easily make an argument that there is significant ROI in specific products with the Steelers and Penguins, but definitely much less so with the Pirates sadly. So this first week I found myself stressing out over what to buy into, ultimately choosing a hockey random mixer, and succumbing to my own PC desires with the Pirates in a 6 box/half case via eBay auction, and the Steelers in the latest football release, which was a BOGO.

Date of Purchase Total Breaker Product # of Teams Purchased # of Boxes Time of Break Teams/Division Cards Received
May 2017 $35.00 RipKings 2017 Panini Classics BOGO 10 5/25 @ 5pm Steelers/Bucs 2 Steelers Relics
May 2017 $15.00 702Breakers 2017 Topps Pro Debut 1 Team Half Case 5/25 @ 7pm Pirates Squat
May 2017 $22.99 HobbyBox604 Multi-Product Hockey Mixer 1 Team 5 Box 5/26 @ 9pm Maple Leafs Dual Patch #/15 Matthews/Marner


I spent about $75 this week – @25% of my available balance. I forced myself to hold back a bit, in order to learn from the process and not make any big mistakes. I can share one insight definitively is that for me to approach this primarily from an ROI perspective, not only do I need to just get over my PC desires, but more importantly to utilize the available analytics. This will help me make more cold and calculated decisions – something I suspect my competition is far better at than I am!

On the $75 investment, my EXPECTED ROI will be @ +50%. Like Ty I was saved by a 2016/17 Upper Deck SPX Double XL Duos (two piece multi colored) patch of Toronto Maple Leafs Rookies Auston Mathews & Mitch Marner.

Shani’s Week 1 Thoughts:


As I generally have in the past, I spread my breaking experience and dollars across several breakers. Some initial reactions from each are below.

RipKings –  I’ve been breaking with Tom for a few years now. I even had the opportunity to meet him and his lovely wife Staci (the brains of the operation) at the 2015 National in Chicago. They send out an email newsletter which periodically includes a discount code. Actually it’s a tiered discount based on first come first serve, usually ranging from 25-10% off. Therefore, myb2 teams in Classics cost me far less than it would have otherwise, essentially mitigating the loss slightly. What I like most about RipKings is that they are quick to push a break that hasn’t completely filled toward a random, and generally it breaks on schedule or at worse a day later. I’m sure many of you feel similarly that waiting for a break to fill, after you’ve already committed your money, is a huge pet peeve. Tom is entertaining enough as a breaker without making it all about him. Sometimes I wish there was a bit more participation in chat. There are a few regulars, who in my opinion are above average in terms of respect and maturity, which sometimes equates to less conversation than you might find in other rooms. Overall, above average experience, which is a telling statement considering my ROI in this break!

HobbyBox604 – Canadian breaker focused almost entirely on hockey products. They generate the majority of their business while live on Breakers.TV, although they do have a website that is pretty well done. What I like most is that they run several cheap micro breaks each week. Usually between $10-20 CAD for 5-7 box random mixers. I especially like that they will feather in the odd and older products in these mixers, along with new releases, and the staples like Series 1/2, OPC, etc.

They have a solid albeit small but growing base of regulars, who are generally pretty good guys, who respectfully participate in chat. This adds to my enjoyment, considering that it does take some time for breaks to fill. Although I suspect that they are on the cusp of the next level of popularity, and I may find myself having to buy into their cheaper micro breaks earlier. I should mention that they also run your typical case, and half case, pick your team and random breaks.

702Breakers – I am not sure what their breakdown is but I would guess that the vast majority of breaks that 702 runs are through eBay. Speaking for myself I have only once purchased a team via their website, which took quite a while to fill. They list @5+ partial case breaks per night, across all sports except hockey. What I am drawn to with 702 is the availability of their nightly auctions, when I haven’t planned ahead and want to get into something last minute. eBay auctions for group breaks can be quite a conundrum however, and one must know what the prices are for the respective products/teams they are bidding on. Without that information one could fall Into the trap of just wanting to “win” an auction, and paying far more than they should have. I mention this here as I have noticed 702 gaining in popularity, and auctions for the teams that I tend to follow going for the higher end of the scale or often more. I’m happy for them for their success, but I won’t be the one you’ll find overpaying in an auction of any kind, with a group breaker, or on a single card, or for lawn darts. I’m trying to make the best decision I can make, and I won’t win this completion otherwise!!!

Parting Thoughts:

I tend to agree with Ty that there is potentially greater ROI in random group breaks, however at what I consider to be far greater risk as well. I do consider myself more risk averse than the average break customer. I did end up having my best results through a random, which may prove Ty’s point, however I do think there may be a significant opportunity in eBay auctions. I intend to pay close attention to some auction trends, and potentially buy teams in products that are not the newest releases and/or auctions that end at times that aren’t as popular for prime breaking hours. As a tangent I also intend to take advantage of being a night owl and find the odd late night break, not only for the sake of this competition, but also to investigate the value of these breaks. Finally, I will participate in EBay auction Player breaks, if I find the right product/player/price mix. This will take some time, however they can be low risk/high reward in moderation. Or at least in theory! I will definitely report back on that idea, as I have observed the Player Break become a more popular trend lately, therefore it begs further scrutiny.
Overall Expected ROI after Week 1 = 50%

Next week we should start seeing ACTUAL ROI #’s — if we get shipments soon enough. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on expectations.

Thanks for reading through our thoughts. Please post feedback below!

BreakerCulture Team

Administrator for Big fan of strong families & hard work. Email: Twitter: @breakerculture


  1. Interesting read on the first week. I’ve broken with Hobbybox604/sandbagger and my only issue with them and all Canadian hockey breakers is the shipment time, which is completely out of their control. It takes on average 16-21 days for me to receive any cards from Canada, which can sometime affect the return in terms of trade/sale value on new products. If I were in this competition, I would not be purchasing Canadian break products purely because of the time constraint.

    • I’ll be noting some of the “issues” that have already come up…and shipment time is definitely going to be covered. :-/

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