30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What's your take on "group breaks"?

We all know that busting wax similar to playing the lottery. Every now and then you pull something decent... or maybe something for your PC... or worse case scenario... something you can give to your students.

These days, I'm not much of a gambler... and I don't play the lottery... which means that I don't open wax on a regular basis.

The last packs I opened were over two months ago... and they were 80's rack packs of all things.

But last month, I had the opportunity to get in on a group break of 2007 & 2008 Bowman Chrome football, and a box of 2011 Topps Inception football for $13.

I typically don't jump at these offers, but I wanted a shot at some AP or Megatron rookie cards.

Well... I ended up with the 49ers and the Chiefs. Here are the three cards worth mentioning:

2007 Bowman Chrome #BC93 Patrick Willis RC

2008 Bowman Chrome "Refractor" #BC78 Jamaal Charles RC

2008 Bowman Chrome "Bronze" #BC78 Jamaal Charles RC (304/329)

It wasn't a complete wash... but I didn't make my money back either. But... how often do collectors truly make their money back?

I'll probably sell the Willis rookie card at the flea market along with the other 49er singles I received... and end up keeping the two Jamaal Charles parallels.

If anything... it's a nice reminder of why I typically don't bust packs... and why I should stay away from group breaks too. Instead... I'll stick to picking up singles I want off of COMC.

I'm interested in hearing your opinion on "group breaks"...

Do you join them?

Why or why not?

Happy Saturday everyone... and sayonara!

P.S. Thanks Schwang17 for putting this group break together and allowing me to join.

NaBlo WriMo Daily Total: 283 Words
November Total: 4,729 Words


  1. I love group breaks because of the gamble. I also enjoy the rush of not knowing if I will hit it big.

  2. I haven't gotten overly lucky, but I've enjoyed the ones I've joined.

  3. Not worth the gamble to me... it's better to buy the cards you want than hope you get lucky with unopened product.

  4. Besides being low on cash most group breaks are geared around team collecting. Right now I'm not excited about Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano cards to name a few Cubs (which would be the team I'd choose). I don't think I'd buy in trying to make money off a big hit.

  5. No interest in group breaks. If I'm spending money on boxes of cards, I want all of them... not some small fraction of them.

  6. I'm a singles guy like yourself. COMC for me! That said I've had decent luck in group breaks...my very first one I got the two best cards (it was a real cheap break though so it was a scrub auto and a nice Griffey card haha) and my second one went well though I forget what I got. My wants are too specific for me to break often though.

  7. I've had some luck with box breaks an I love the thrill. But they can get expensive and I end up with plenty of extra cards, so I've turned to COMC and sportlots for singles and set building, respectively.

  8. some are okay... unfortunately, most of them now aren't done very well. The breaker should NOT be making money on them, but all too often they do.

  9. I love joining group breaks, it's a great way of seeing new product for cheap, and who knows there's hits for every team available.

    I've had some good breaks & some bad, but it's awesome just being involved.

    PS Was it the schwang17 break you got those cards in?

  10. As a team collector, group breaks are a great way to pick up a lot of needed cards. That being said, as a Rockies collector, usually I end up regretting my purchase because of not enough cards.

    It also adds to the treasure hunt mystique that got me involved in card collecting to begin with. Sure you can almost always buy the cards cheaper, but the thrill of actually setting your card free is worth the gamble. I do prefer breaks involving older sets rather than the latest offerings due to price.

    I have ran several breaks myself and I do have to agree with Captain Canuck about hosts that shouldn't profit off hosting. In my breaks, I priced the break based on selling 17 teams with $3 per person added for shipping. If I sold more, I added more product as a bonus. Simple as that.

  11. I love group breaks.I do consider the the price and products before I jump in.Mid to late '90's products are better for me as there were more Indian cards then.I usually avoid most of the high end breaks. If I wasn't a team collector they would probably suck !

  12. I enjoy group breaks as well, but have been in your position where I've come out disappointed. But for the most part, I try to participate when I can, especially to try and get cards from sets that I never collected/don't intend to buy packs of.

  13. It is just not me - I 2nd Captain Canuck - I think some people use it for profit

  14. Group breaks, when done properly, can be great, but most of the time this isn't the case. If someone is running a case break of 2011 Chrome Baseball, are letting people pick their teams and is charging the same amount for each team then they aren't doing it right at all. That product is so Braves heavy that anyone landing the Braves for the same price as everyone else is potentially getting a huge steal. Many teams don't even have any autographed cards available.

    If the teams are all going to be the same price then you have to randomly assign the teams. When you do random, it can be tougher to fill a break because you lose the people just looking for their team. I feel that those breaks are more fair to the participants though.

    Group breaks really aren't made for lower end product to begin with. The majority of the cards can usually be picked up for what people are paying to enter the break. Slotted, high-end breaks are like playing the lotto, but it gives people a chance at hitting a big card for a fraction of the price of the box.

    Something that I've always wanted to do a slotted break with is 2007 UD Future Stars. There's 4 autos per box, there are some big names to possibly hit and it's a fairly cheap product. The entry fee would be a little less than the cost of a box, but you'd get the added benefit of being able to trade autos with other people before they're sent out. Everyone could get a complete set as well. It's definitely something that I'm going to look into again once the new year rolls around.

  15. I join them if the price is right and I like the product. Its great for an overseas collector like me since it allows me to open new or high end product at a fraction of what it would cost me to get it sent to the UK.
    I've done very well in my last few group breaks that I joined, two seperate Bryce Harper rookie autos in two differnt breaks but in other breaks I've walked away with nothing more than a few base cards.

  16. I've entered a few. It helps that I've done pretty well for the most part, but I enjoy partaking every now & again.

    Sweet Jamaals, btw.

  17. I've only participated in one group break, but probably won't bother with a second. Focusing mainly on my player collections, I though this particular break might land me a Winfield card or two I needed, so I dropped someting like $27-30 for a spot. The process was new to me, and overall it was fairly exciting to watch the break, and by any objective measure, it was a hugely successful case with possibly double the "hits" we expected.

    However, as a Winfield collector, it was hugely disappointing and nearly a total wash. In the lottery for spots, I was stuck firmly in the lower middle, guarateeing nothing great on either round of picks. So not only did the case not hold even a single #'d card of Winnie, my slots ended up being something like #18 on the first time through (the hits round) and #12 on the second (the team round). So I got what was a decidedly 2nd or 3rd tier hit and a team I don't even care about (just to get the 4th tier hit that happened to be in that team lot).

    So it was fun at the time, but ultimately very unsatisfying.

  18. Eh people seemed to like the group breaks I used to run. Depends on how they are done etc.

  19. I like the ones I've been involved with so far...

  20. Thanks for all of your feedback... this was crazy. Didn't realize so many people took the time to read my posts and questions. Anyways... I decided to post a summary of your comments in my newest blog post, instead of addressing you individually, like I normally would.

    Thanks again for the awesome feedback!