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BOX BREAKS - What Are They and Should YOU Be Doing Them? The RISKS and REWARDS

May 11, 2021 6 min read

BOX BREAKS - What Are They and Should YOU Be Doing Them? The RISKS and REWARDS

Box breaks have become extremely popular in the hobby, not just for sports cards, but also memorabilia as well. Should you be taking part in these box breaks? That's what today's video is going to be all about. We're going to talk about what box breaks are, why do people do these, should you be doing them, I think my answer on that one, and also what should you possibly do instead of doing box breaks. So let's jump right into it.

What are box breaks? Box breaks are when you take a particular product, for example like the 2020 Panini Prizm hobby box and a breaker or the person who owns the box opens it live on Instagram or YouTube, and you can buy into this break. You're either picking spots at random or you're going to pick a particular team. For example you can choose a particular team such as the Los Angeles Chargers. You pay for that spot ahead of the breaker opening that product, and after they open all that product up you get all the cards for that particular team that you picked.

So since there's 32 teams, there's going to be 32 spots. You can pick multiple teams, but typically people only probably pick the team that has the best card options or their favorite team. Some teams may cost more than others. For example, the Chargers might be one of the more expensive teams just simply because they have the Justin Herbert rookie card that's in this box. Then again, you only know the cards after everything has already been opened. So it's a complete gamble and you how I feel about gambling. There are many other ways to run a box break, but this is just one typical way of doing it.

Why do people do these? Well first off entertainment value. It's just like when you go to Las Vegas it's extremely exciting to see cards getting put down the table, you're doing the roulette wheel, whatever it is that you are doing. Gambling is a rush. People get excited about it and that's why people do it. Sometimes you're gonna hit nothing sometimes you're gonna hit the mother lode, but that's one of the main reasons why people do it, is entertainment value.

Another reason is you're hoping to hit a big card on the cheap. Let's say for example you bought into that Panini Prizm hobby break and you had the Los Angeles Chargers and you paid let's just say $100 for that particular spot, and you got a Justin Herbert rookie card, and you got an autographed one right. Boom, okay, you're way up there. You've only into that card for $100. Huge hit, you're winning big, but let's say you picked the Los Angeles Chargers and nothing came. You didn't get any Herbert rookie cards. You basically just wasted $100.

Another reason is people only want cards from a particular team. Let's say you're a big Chargers fan and you only want cards for that, and that's all you want. Go ahead and buy into that break and you will get those cards. You don't want to waste your time with any other teams that's your favorite particular team. Another reason is you don't have the funds to maybe buy the entire box. So let's say you're searching for a Herbert rookie or you just want all those Chargers cards, it's an easy way to do that on the cheap.

Should you be doing them? Like I said, this is a straight gamble, and we all know who wins when you're gambling. The house wins every single time. In this case the house is the breaker. They win regardless if you win or not, every single time. There's only one or maybe two people that actually hit a fairly decent card in a box, and again it depends on which box you get. You may have a string of everybody's hitting great cards. You may have some duds, but the averages say that you're probably going to have maybe one, maybe two good cards in a particular box okay. It's not going to be worth the time of most people that are doing this particular break. The odds are just simply not in your favor. The numbers don't work.

Let's take for example the Panini Prizm hobby box again. On average it has two autographs per box. So there's 32 teams, let's say there's 32 spots which means you've got a 1 in 16 shot to get an autographed card, and that's assuming it's of somebody of any value. So that's 6.25%. Not great odds. Quick little story here. I once saw a guy trying to buy a not a very expensive Dwayne Wade 2003 Topps. Not the Chrome, just the base tops, PSA 9, which is about $150 retail card. He bought into five breaks. So he was doing one and then he'd do another one. He did that five times spending $25 each time. He spent $125 trying to get $150 card. Does that make any financial sense? No. He should have just gone out and bought the card himself or maybe bid on one. He would have had a better chance of getting a better price on that one than just throwing money at this particular thing. I think he actually ended up doing a couple more times and maybe ended up spending close to $200 or something like that, and he way overspent what this card was worth. This is absolutely insane. It doesn't make any financial sense to do that. Your odds are not in your favor.

Another downside is you really have no idea what condition these cards are going to be in. So let's take for example you get a Justin Herbert rookie card. What if the centering is off? What if it's got a scratch on it? What if the corners are soft? You just don't know when you're buying into these breaks the condition of the cards. If you're going to be doing breaks, I would only do it for pure entertainment value. So you've got all your bills paid, kids college funds taken care of for that month, house is paid for. You've got some extra cash at the end of the month that you want to just have a little bit of fun with ,that I've got no problem with, but if your strategy is “Hey I'm trying to hit a big card. Trying to hit a big card and I'm going to be doing box breaks after box break, after a box breaks, trying to hit this big card.” You're just not going to be able to hit that card. The odds are not in your favor. That is a terrible strategy. You will not win with that strategy.

Last thought is most breakers are not really advising you up front on these breaks, as far as what your odds are. Some have actually started doing that, but just note that it's not really in their best interest to tell you that the odds are terrible for you to hit a decent card. So have all your information going into these breaks beforehand. Know what your odds are, and if you're comfortable with those odds. By all means, feel free to do it, it's your money, but again like I said the only people that win are the breakers.

Side note, big brother's always watching and big brother probably knows about this and big brother's probably gonna regulate these at some point. So that's just something to keep in mind. Not fun by any means, but something to keep in mind next time you do a break.

So what should you be doing instead? If you've watched any of these videos, I'm all about not just saving money but allocating resources appropriately in the best possible way to get the best possible odds and have the most amount of fun in the hobby. I'm a big fan of just going on buying the card that you want.  Take for example you want that Justin Herbert rookie card. Take the funds that you're going to spend on these breaks and go out and find one that's nicely centered, that's got really good condition, or buy a graded one if you want to, but go out and buy that card. It's not as fun or exciting as gambling and doing a box break, but you're not wasting resources. Go out and get that card. You can enjoy it and you're not wasting a whole bunch of time and money going ahead and doing all these box breaks.

So in my opinion box breaks are a complete waste of time and money. You're better off just doing something else, and again you're only making the breaker rich. He's the only one that wins every single time.

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