As often as I can, I like to pull back the curtain and share insight with our readers as far as what goes on behind the scenes at a sports card shop in current times.
A few months back, we had the opportunity to purchase 2020 Prizm Football T-Mall from one of our generous vendors.
Well, in the current market nearly every sports card release sells well. Also, the current state of the market with allocations as they are, they are a lot of times we simply can’t get certain boxes so we jump at the chance anytime we’re offered the chance–even at a much higher cost than we’d normally hope to pay. In a worst case scenario, we can at least make a few percent profit and collectors appreciate the fact that we have as wide a selection as possible. Couple that with the chance to add something from the iconic Prizm brand and you would think it would be a no-brainer to order as much as we could get our hands on.
In what may be our only loss of the year, we are taking a beating on this one. In fact, that maybe an understatement. Now, before I get too dramatic, let me elaborate. We got two cases in with a cost around $500 per box. We are currently the lowest price on eBay at just north of $300 per box and we have them in the store for about the same price– and we can’t give them away.
For reference, the T-Mall version is a specific release for the overseas market. Formerly known as Taobao Mall, T-Mall is, generally speaking, a Chinese language website for online retailers operated in China by Alibaba Group. It’s an online platform and place for commerce for local Chinese and international businesses to sell goods to customers in China. You can find all kinds of listings for TMall boxes on eBay.
The T-Mall Prizm box typically holds one red and yellow Prizm, two rookie cards, a rookie silver Prizm parallel and an insert. The veteran red and yellows are numbered out of 49 and the red and yellow rookies, from what we hear, are numbered out of eight.
We’ve been sitting on more than ten boxes and continually lower the price. This week we decided to crack a few boxes in hopes of getting some of our money back that we’re losing if we sell the boxes as a whole. We all know that this usually not a good idea but desperate times call for desperate measures. I tell customers all the time that buying current packs and boxes of cards, especially at current prices, is simply like scratching the lottery ticket with the hopes of finding your favorite player’s face on it.
Well let’s just say we decided to play the lottery and we lost. With each of the four boxes ripped being worse than the last in terms of profitable content, we pulled three very average veteran red and yellow inserts and a fourth being a decent Lamar Jackson. The silver rookies in each box were nothing to write home about either with Antonio Gandy-Golden being the most notable pull. The base rookies in each box were uninspiring. Last but not least, the veteran cards in each pack were, well, just that- veteran base cards.
As you might imagine, as we are opening these boxes one by one you’re just becoming more and more depressed at the results and we quickly realize why these have been a dud not only for us but for others who’ve bought online. Ouch.
For as tough as that situation was, there were some really great moments this week. We managed to buy a few nice modern basketball card collections that we are in the process of piecing out and on Friday we scored a beautiful 2015 Panini Black Gold Tom Brady Jersey Auto card numbered to just 10 copies.
We also managed to latch onto one case (literally, it’s in a metal briefcase) of 2020 Panini Flawless football. It sold for $5,000 before we actually had it in our possession.
Whatever you choose to believe about the bubble bursting or impending doom or at least softening of the hobby, there’s still plenty of action in the market.