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2020-2021 PANINI PRIZM Basketball Cards Worth YOUR $$$?

May 03, 2021 11 min read

2020-2021 PANINI PRIZM Basketball Cards Worth YOUR $$$?

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March 31st of 2021 we've got a new release of Prizm basketball, and this is the first release of Prizm basketball since I guess you could say the sports card craze of March of 2020. So it is a fairly sought-after product and the price is definitely reflected on that. This draft class isn't necessarily as hot as last year's when we've got Zion Williamson and John Morant. Today I'm going to be giving you a breakdown numbers-wise of this new product, and give you the information that you need to decide whether or not you want to buy this product.

Alright, it's a fairly expensive one. We definitely need to be doing our research before making that decision. At the end, of course, I will share with you my opinion on it and also give you a strategy to follow if you decide not to buy this product. Again these are just my own thoughts here, always do your own research before buying any product, and always do what's best for your collection regardless of what somebody on YouTube or Instagram tells you. So always do what's best for you alright.

First off before we start talking about the numbers here, let's talk about the hobby box breakdown on the 2020-2021 Prizm basketball hobby box. This set has 300 base cards. That's a lot of base cards! 12 packs, and you get 12 cards per pack so you get 144 cards in a hobby box. On average you get two autographs, 22 prisms, and 10 inserts. The key is on average.It’s not guaranteed. Sometimes you get those damn Panini points that you just end up throwing away.

There is something really cool about this set though. I was actually this is one of the things that actually maybe separates this from all the other different Prizm boxes that they've done, is you're going to get 15 players that come in this entire set here. Not guaranteeing each box, but there are 15 players that are going to come in the throwback 2012 design. That's the first year of prism and that's actually very cool. So you have a potential of getting some of those cards in your hobby box, and those I can see definitely having some very good value. Very cool Panini, nice job on doing those.

Then of course you got some chance of getting some cards that you'll never ever get here including like a one-on-one black parallel. That's great, you're not gonna get it, the numbers just aren't in your favor on that one.

So what are we hoping to hit in this box? If I was buying this, what would I be looking for? Well I'm a big LaMelo ball guy. I think he's going to have a fairly good NBA career so of course he's the big rookie target in my opinion. We're looking for his base card, any numbered cards, auto cards, silver prisms. You got Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Immanuel Quickley. I mean those are some of the other kind of big rookie targets of course, and then some numbered cards or auto cards of the superstars, you know LeBron, Luka, Zion, et cetera.

So that's what we're looking for right? Okay, let's talk about the numbers breakdown on this product. As of the making this video, the cheapest I could find this product was for $2,200 on eBay. Looks like blowout cards has it for about $2,500. So let's assume you're going to be paying about $2,200 for this box, maybe a little higher, a little less, but that's probably going to be what the average is going to be all right. $200 divided by 144 cards, that means you are paying $15.27 cents per card. This stuff gets up there, that's absolutely crazy, but all right. So let's take out the two autos, take out the 22 Prizms, and let's take out the 10 inserts. That means you're going to be getting on average about 110 base cards per hobby box.

So let's go back to the cards that we were hoping to hit for just a second. LaMelo Ball Prizm in my estimation is probably going to be about a $200 card. Initially, you know, it's probably going to be offered way up there, but I think on average it's probably going to be about a $200 card. That's about what Zion was selling for last year. Cheapest I could find for Zion right now is about $150 for his ungraded 2019 Prizm, that's card number 248, and you know Zion was probably the biggest name to be drafted since LeBron James, and Zion is still having a great year. This year he had a good year, last year, and you know Zion is probably kind of the bar I guess we could set right now for what rookie cards should sell for in basketball.

As far as the recent Prizm stuff and his PSA 10 right now sells for about $700. So initially again people are going to be listing the LaMelo Ball cards when they pull them for probably $400 or so. Don't be a dummy and buy it for that price all right. They will come down in price as more and more people open up this product. Always wait at least two weeks before you start buying any ungraded cards. Let new stuff come on, let the price drop a little bit, don't get all excited. You'll have plenty of time to buy those cards, there is no rush to do it right away.

So on average you're gonna have probably about a 36.6% chance of hitting a LaMelo Ball rookie. So you got 110 base cards per box, you got a 300 base card set, and that's a 36.6% chance, assuming every base card was printed in the same quantity. Even less of a chance of hitting a LaMelo silver and about zero chance of hitting the LaMelo auto. You're just not gonna pull one with those numbers. They just aren't in your favor here okay. So we spent $2,200 on this box. I still can't believe I’m saying that.

Let's see if we can get our money back now. Just keep in mind I’m going to be pretty generous with these values on these cards. So typically they're probably going to be a little bit less than this but I’m going to be very generous for this example. Let's say we were lucky enough and we pulled a LaMelo Ball base card all right. We're valuing that at $200. We spent $2,200 on a box. Take $200 away. Now we've got $2,000 left that we've got to recoup out of this box. Let's say we get super lucky, super, super, lucky and we pull a LaMelo Ball silver card. Just based off what Zion sells for, Zion’s about a $930 ungraded silver. Let's just say LaMelo’s $1,000. So that puts us down to another $1,000 that we got to get recouped out of this box. We got 21 more Prizms to go, and let's say we average ten dollars each on those. That's going to put us at $210 okay, so now we're down to $790 that we got to recoup out of this box still. Let's say the 110 base cards that we get, on average, those are $5 each. That's probably pretty high but that'll add another $550 in value so that puts us down to $240 that we still got to recoup out of this box. Autos, let's say we get two fairly decent ones okay. Again, most of the autos are gonna be junk, but let's say we get two decent autos and let's say those are worth $50 each. Okay now that puts us down to another $140 that we got to recoup out of the box. We've got our inserts, there are 10 of those, and let's say those are $10 each. That's $100. Now we're down to $40. So we just about broke even in that example, but just to break even we had to hit a LaMelo Ball base and we had to hit a LaMelo silver. What are the chances of that happening in a box? Plus, we had to be on the super high end of pretty much every average card in there. That seems pretty difficult!

So given all that information that we have, should you be buying this box? Again, always do what's best for you and your collection! These are just my own thoughts here, but unless you're a big time gambler and you've got an extra 2k floating around, this box is probably not for you. To give you some context, 2019 Prizm hobby box, that's Zion’s year, cheapest I could find for that was for $3,200 on eBay. That's 144 cards, and coming with two autos in that box, what would you rather spend your money on? Zion’s year for $3,200 or a relatively unknown draft class for $2,200? That's something you're gonna have to determine for yourself, but both seem like really expensive options to me.

Is this a good long-term hold? Meaning you don't open the box. Keep it sealed. I mean possibly, it just obviously depends on how well LaMelo Ball plays and what other rookies come out of this class that end up being fairly good. Obviously, we're going to need a little bit of time to decide who that's going to be. I do like the fact that they do have those kind of 2012 Prizm throwback cards in there. I think as those come out you're going to start seeing those come up in value a little bit, especially like the LeBron James ones, and anyone that is potentially a rookie from that year. It's kind of like a secondary non-real rookie card I guess you could say. Those I think are going to have some value to them. So it definitely makes this box a little interesting, adds a unique angle to it, but if you're throwing 2k at this box and your plan is to hold it onto that box for a few years, I'm guessing money probably isn't that much of an issue for you.

So if you've got that extra cash thrown in there you can sell it in a couple years and it's not going to be taking food off your plate right. However if you're scrapping together you know 2k plus to put together to buy this box to hold on to it. That probably might not be the best plan to put all your money into one box. If you're gonna plan on holding this for a seal product, just make sure that you can afford to sit on this product for three to five years, maybe even longer.

So what should you do and instead if you choose not to buy this box? Well, if you've watched any of my videos you know I am all about a targeted approach. I hate wasting money and time on guys I don't believe in. So let's just take for example LaMelo Ball is your guy right? You believe in him. You think he's going to be one of the best players in the next five or 10 years, and you're willing to pay $200 for his Prizm, which I think is going to be probably where he ends up. I think that's a fair price for him, it may be less, maybe lower, but that's just kind of what I’m thinking.

So for $2,200 you could buy 11 of his base cards. That's 11 guaranteed ones remember, we're not guaranteeing any LaMelo Ball by opening up that hobby box. We only have a 36% chance of hitting that. So for $2,200 you could buy, assuming they're going to be $200, 11 guaranteed LaMelo Ball cards. So let's say for example, given the typical percentages for Prizm on the PSA 10 rate, let's say out of those 11, that you get five PSA 10’s and you get six PSA 9’s. They end up selling for about what Zion does. Just use that as the example. So $700 times 5, that's $3,500 in sales. Six PSA 9’s. Let's say you get $225 a pop on those that's $13.50. So you got $4,850 in value right there for your $2,200 that you put into the cards plus the grading. I think that's pretty good. I mean that's a lot less stressful than buying the box and hoping you get something big.

Yeah it's not as exciting, it's not as sexy as opening up the box, but it's way more financially rewarding and I think a heck of a lot less stressful because you’re buying into a guy that you actually believe in. You're getting those cards graded on somebody that you believe in. Imagine when you get that PSA submission back from whichever grading company that you choose. Now you can be like “Wow, I really did my homework on these cards. I bought quality cards. I did the best I could and I’m getting back cards that I believe in.” You're not just grading all these random cards that you got from opening up the hobby box.

So listen, if he's not your guy and you want to go buy Quickley or whoever else you want to buy, just know that everybody else is into those cards for about $15.27 per card. So if you can go find cards that you believe in that are at that value or less, maybe a little above there, you know you're gonna have the same cost of goods as that person that opened that box up and you didn't have to spend all that $2,200 opening it. So go find cards that are right around that $15 mark, buy those, get them graded, and again same process with a LaMelo. You know that you’re buying cards that you believe in and ones that you want to get graded so when you get that submission back, hey you're stoked about it. You've got guys that you actually believe in, and again I really like this targeted approach because 99% of us in the hobby are on a budget. There's just one percent of us out there that are buying 10k, 20k a month in cards. There's just not that many people out there. I know Instagram lies to you and would make you believe differently but 99% of us, trust me on this one, are on a strict budget. We are the hobby, all right. So again, I like that targeted approach. You can follow a strict budget and buy the cards that you want.

Also on a side note here, I know a lot of you were really looking forward to buying this product here. Many of you came into the hobby in 2020, and you know you started buying Prizm hobby boxes or Prizm cards for Zion’s year, and you were looking forward to this year because you know LaMelo Ball is kind of a big player. You're probably a little sticker shocked on the price of this box, I mean this is what happens when you have a monopoly right?

Panini's got a monopoly on basketball cards, it's just the way it is right now, and the only way to defeat monopolies is to not buy their products. Now that's easier said than done. You want to collect their stuff, their stuff sells, and they've got a lot of players on this box that you would like to collect and have in your collection. But if you're truly upset about these prices which I’m in agreement with you, I think they're a little steep, then the only way to not support Panini, is just don't buy their cards. That's the way to do it. That's the only choice you have. It's a free market you know, and if you really believe in that message then stand behind your words and don't buy the product. Last thing to remember, Panini doesn’t care about your pocketbook. They are an excellent marketing company. They really know how to entice you with their product. They make a very quality product for the most part. Prizm is one of the most sought-after brands I guess you could say in all of the trading card industry.

So they know what they're doing when it comes to marketing and the final sales price of some of those cards as PSA 10’s definitely reflect that. I mean people definitely believe in their brand, and again that's why you know their job is always to sell you cards. Never forget that Panini's job is to sell you cards. That's why I always recommend you slow down, take your time. You don't need to rush into buying any of these products. There's this perception out there that you're gonna miss out on some guys if you don't buy in right now. That's false. You're not gonna miss out on anything. Take your time, crunch your numbers okay, and always come to your own conclusion. Take all the information that you can get from all these sources. Combine it all into your own thoughts and then do what is best for you and your collection. Take a deep breath man, there's no rush to any of this.

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