I’m sitting down a bit later than I should be to offer up what’s been hot at my shop over the past month (and ten days) after breaking a case of 2022 Panini Certified NFL (which took three hours from start to finish).
The overwhelming amount of collectors in our breaks are regulars from the shop who I see each time they sign up and then pick up their singles. It means a ton to me that anyone would trust me to break a box for them on our You Call It nights and even more when a whole case is involved. I take pride in never having been accused of stealing a card off camera, not weighing the boxes I open or doing some of the terrible things that you hear of in the industry. Really, though, I believe the vast majority of breakers are great and honest businesspeople who have established trust with their collectors, offer popular products and competitive pricing and don’t get called out for “shenanigans.”
My shop is rapidly approaching its 30th year (12/11/2022 in case you care to send some Fireball or Leinenkugel Summer Shandy) and I hope our legacy is that I offered collectors a safe and fun place to cultivate their collections, to create memories with their children and to become part of the shop family.
When people ask me if I’ve been successful in business, it’s those moments that mean more than my bottom line or bank account. Sure, it’s nice to flip a case, but knowing that collectors who could shop at another local store or buy online, sometimes drive over an hour to visit means more to me.
Sorry to get all nostalgic here, but since I have owned a shop for 30 of my 53 years, it’s been hitting me a bit more lately. I hope when you all visit your LCS, you enjoy the same sentiment from the owner and if you don’t, I hope you have other options.
Apparently I earned the trust and support from my collectors for another month since we sold a box or two. Here’s some insight as to what was enjoyed most in the past month (and 10 days).
1) 2022 Topps Update MLB
When Bobby and Julio were both SPs instead of rookies in Topps 2, I had a feeling that their true rookies in Update would generate some more buzz. In spite of that, I still underestimated the response to both hobby and jumbo boxes. On day one of release, we had hobby at $89 and jumbos at $199 when the market was well above that. Having a direct account and (currently) having multiple distributors supplying my shop with Topps releases allowed me to take less than what the market was allowing. It’s my hope that the months and years ahead still allow me to do so with their releases.
2) 2022 Panini Origins NFL
It’s taking a little longer than usual for the current year’s rookies to become household names with collectors. While we don’t have a Murray, Herbert or Jones to carry the class, enough of the key position players have at least become known the point where they are at least collectible. Kenny Pickett hasn’t made anyone forget about Roethlisberger and if you watched Malik Willis vs the Chiefs, you know he hasn’t made anyone forget about…Josh Rosen.
At least they are playing and I don’t have to explain where they came from or how good they might be.
As for Origins, collectors are loving the killer patches and we took pride the other day during a live break, when a multiple box buyer landed a clearly heavier box that had a dual rookie patch in it. One collector asked me after why I don’t search product and I shared that “it means more to me when a collector enjoys that moment, then when I do.” It was sad that they had to ask that question and I refer to some of what I shared earlier about reputations.
3) Panini Three and Two MLB
One of the things I don’t understand is the contempt some collectors have towards Panini MLB products. We all are well aware of the limitations Panini has with them holding onto a MLBPA license and not an MLB one.
When Three and Two was solicited, I had concerns that the naysayers would far exceed those who liked it. It took some time and a few breaks for collectors to see the value. We have seen a great amount of HOF autos and sweet swatches from rookies emerge from the two cases that have been ripped in the shop. We’re well into a third and might be looking for more soon.
4) 2022 Panini Black NFL
Please insert most of what I shard about Origins here. You get 3 hits in each with it typically delivering 1 relic, 1 auto and 1 RPA. If I could change 1 thing about Black, I would make the box bigger. Full disclosure, I went to the University of Colorado in Boulder and recycling is a big part of my life. For over a decade, I have a running ad on Craigslist offering up empty boxes to people who need them to move or anything else, rather than throwing them away. Part of me should delight in the practicality of the lack of waste those boxes offer. However, those small boxes are flying off the shelf and if you see too many at your LCS, please LMK 🙂
5) Panini One On One NBA
We have recently seen some give back in the values of higher end releases and I was really interested in seeing how One On One was received. Would collectors flee another high-end release? Would they avoid this product with an incredible track record because there was no Ja or Luka to propel it? Turns out every box I sold on the first day for $800 would have been better staying on the shelf. Boxes are now rolling for over $1,000 per and with some other higher-end products around the corner, it’s a great sign.