Call it “no fuss, no muss” breaking.
A newcomer to the game has launched a new way for collectors to sell cards pulled from its daily box and case breaks within minutes—without ever touching them.
The concept is the brainchild of Maine Sports Cards owner Dan DeCosta, a long-time collector and former shop owner who launched his site in May of this year.
While there is no shortage of breakers selling spots by the thousands online every week, DeCosta wanted to stand out by streamlining the process.
“Our goal was to give people access to their cards right away,” he told Sports Collectors Daily. “Often products and players are volatile and waiting for four to five days for cards to ship out and another three to four days to receive them made it impossible to sell anything right away.”
A software developer by trade and already a high-volume eBay seller, he went to work incorporating technology into his new breaking business.
“In 2012 I developed a piece of software that allowed me to post cards to eBay at a rate of 300 per hour,” he stated. “And that included pictures of both sides, full identification and descriptions including card number and book value and an inventory and shipping system that could ship them out at the same rate. Because of that we have developed a very well-established eBay account which, on average, commands a much higher price per card than average. In the breaking industry I saw a need for making the whole process quicker as well as knowing that people would enjoy instant access to their cards, so we used our eBay software technology to help us with that. Because of our state of the art inventory and shipping system we can ship out an entire week’s worth of cards in just a couple of hours, and that includes full team sorting, with zero chance of mistakes.”
Once break spots are sold in the nightly breaks, the process begins.
“Every single non-base card gets posted to our customers’ accounts the same night as the breaks. In their account they can very quickly choose which cards they want shipped, posted to our store, sent to our eBay account, graded or simply saved in their portfolio.”
Collectors who decide to sell their cards in MSC’s online store pay a 10% consignment fee but beyond that, the buying and selling platform is free.
“You can also use the credit you have to purchase more breaks or other cards for sale in the store,” DeCosta explained. “Currently there are members seeing cards come out of breaks, searching to see if they’re in the store, buying them and reselling them. Buyers can also make offers on cards in the store.”
Maine Sports Cards gave away 1,000 free break spots last spring as a promotion in preparation for the website’s launch. Having proceeded somewhat cautiously with the number of nightly breaks since then, he’s hoping the inventory system will attract more customers.
“Our software is so sophisticated that we can do back to back breaks with almost no pause or prep in between. However, being new to a very competitive market means it’ll take a little longer than we hoped to develop trust in us and get the word out. We have the ability to sell ten to twenty-plus breaks per day, and still get every single card posted and identified online for our customers, we just need to keep growing our customer base.”
On Wednesday afternoon, DeCosta was preparing for a new round of breaks that included Panini Pantheon Football, Grand Reserve Basketball and National Treasures Baseball. Higher end products should mean more opportunities for collectors to take advantage of the option to buy, sell or grade what comes out of the boxes later in the evening.
“So far it has been great,” he said. “Customers have loved the technology and the ability to see all their cards online, not to mention sell them even while they’re barely an hour out of the pack. Our statistics show, in the last two months since we launched, that only 30% of the cards are shipping home. The rest of being posted for sale in our store. That, to me, is a clear sign that people have been wanting this type of technology and instant access, and they didn’t even know it until now.”