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Would you rather 4 OK autos or 1 Great Auto per box
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Picture of AWR
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Just opened a box of Star Trek Next Generation: Heroes and Villains and pulled 3 Common and 1 limited Auto. This got me thinking, would I rather have 4 autos / box (with a lot of OK Autos), or 1 auto / box but it being a more desirable auto.

Same with chase cards - Do I like a lot of different chase cards, or less but more desirable chase.

Personally I like more common autos / chase per box than less (but higher) autos / chase.

Makes opening every pack a bit different and interesting than just pack after pack of base and then 1 or 2 hits per box. Also gives you a bunch of subsets to chase (and makes me want to buy another box because I will have the opportunity to pull some new cards instead of another base set and 1 or 2 new cards.)
 
Posts: 324 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If the buyer was really a card collector who was interested in the title and the box carried an average cost, getting 4 common autographs would probably be fine. Figuring a modest $10 a card price on a $70 box, you have made over 50% of the value back without considering any other cards. And of course 4 autograph cards are really 4 tries at a bigger autograph. When Twilight Zone and TNG had 4 autographs per box they were a lot better values than they are now in terms of how much money you could potentially lose when your 2 hits were nothing special.

Most boxes will not guarantee you a great autograph or, if they do, its the manufacturer's idea of great. That may mean a limited card, but not an especially desirable one to you. It may also mean that its in a premium product with a higher box cost. The more you are paying upfront, the more pressure is on the typically 2 hits to make up the value.

Sometimes the great guaranteed hit is really a case hit. Fine for the one box that has it, not so good for the other boxes in the case that don't. I don't think that there is any one answer beyond just buy card boxes because you like the title and enjoy busting packs, not because you think you can beat the odds.
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Because I collect for film casts that often don't have card sets I don't mind the common autos.

Plus you never know if or when that actors career will take off and then all of a sudden you come off looking like a smart and insightful collector. Smokin'
 
Posts: 3320 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The more the better.

Everyone’s idea of a “great” auto may differ so I’d rather have more chances at multiple names rather than hedging my bets on one card I may not care for.
For me quantity can give a better feeling of value. Same with chase cards.

One auto per box would probably mean a smaller auto list for that set as well, and some common autos can be just as cool as the big names.
 
Posts: 3025 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, more autographs is better. When I want to collect the set, I buy at least one box because opening packs transports me back to the 70's. That's been generally enough to build a base set plus get a sample of the chase cards with a shot at something rare. After that, check out the best deals online for another box and/or the chase cards I'm missing.

I was happy to pull a Richard Kiel autograph out of my Topps 75th box. His card is common but he created a great, memorable character that ranged from menacing to comical - heroic in the end.

Jess
 
Posts: 1510 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was talking with someone a few months back about the same subject. For me, the prime time for collecting was the end of the skybox age to the end of Inkworks (1996 to 2008). A standard box was between 35 and 50 dollars. Usually you got 1 to 2 autographs or costume cards a box. You usually got around 6 insert cards on top of that in a 36 pack count box. You could take a bit of time and build a complete set fairly easily because the autograph list was usually under 20 a set. When a set had 80 signers and 5 insert sets limited to 1 each a box at 60
To 100+ retail (and let’s pretend the insane Upperdeck and Topps productions) and I would like to go back to a format where one could put a full master set together over time if you are not the super rich.
 
Posts: 5664 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For me it really depends on how good the 'ok' autos are vs how good the 'great' autos are.

I think in most cases I'd rather pull a 'great' autograph because typically the gap between what I consider to be great and OK is massive.
 
Posts: 4577 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

typically the gap between what I consider to be great and OK is massive.



Agreed but the manufacturer of the cards will at times deem an ok autograph to be a great pull, massivly limited etc.

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Posts: 28231 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't collect autos. I collect cards. How about a decently designed base set?

Also when is this forum's name going to be changed to "non sports autotraph collector's forum" ?

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Posts: 554 | Location: AZ | Registered: December 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The trading card hobby has been painted into a corner. Card makers will blame card collectors and card collectors will blame card makers. The problem is money.

The problem is cost compared to value. The problem is too many middlemen and amateurs and con artists getting cemented into the business model of selling sport and non-sport trading cards, be it in the manufacturing process, the retail and/or hobby distribution systems or on the various platforms that carry the secondary market in all its glory.

I could rattle on, but I won't because I'm preaching to the choir. We all know it. When the SRP on a box of 24 packs of cards is North of $80, and that's regarded as merely an average product, a decently designed base set won't be enough. Neither will half of a decently designed base set, which is another genius idea to sell multiple boxes. The "hits" are what provide the value and drives the demand. Without those hits no one opens the box. When no one opens the box, new card products cease to be made.

Thankfully a pure card collector, if that's what you aspire to be without hits and autographs and gimmicks, can spend the rest of his/her life chasing cards that are already out there and never find them all. Smile
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Funny you should mention nobody opens the box. I was just looking at an auction for unopened packs of Twin Peaks, the new set that has just come out.
The dealer ( and i have to assume it is a dealer ) has over a thousand unopened packs for sale stating there are no autographs in the packs. He does not deem it worth bothering to open them.

Sad really as i'm sure the cards are very nice but of no use to him.

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Posts: 28231 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
Funny you should mention nobody opens the box. I was just looking at an auction for unopened packs of Twin Peaks, the new set that has just come out.
The dealer ( and i have to assume it is a dealer ) has over a thousand unopened packs for sale stating there are no autographs in the packs. He does not deem it worth bothering to open them.

Sad really as i'm sure the cards are very nice but of no use to him.


He/She possibly went for the 18 cases bonus buy with all the incentives. He/She probably did open all the boxes, or at least most of them, to get those thousand hitless packs left over. He/She made enough on the hits and incentives and completed sets sold, or at least as much as possible, and the rest of the cards can be dumped for chump change.

That kind of activity does keep the products coming because at least someone is buying it in bulk and breaking. It also serves to satisfy that pure collector out there who rejects the idea of autographs, but he/she can pick up cheap packs to make the base set or completed cheap sets if they want it. However its when the base cards get dumped and the hits don't cover the cost of purchase for breakers that sales of future products are negatively effected.

The bigger question for me is how does the seller know that all those packs are hitless? Did he/she bust the packs until they got the number of guaranteed hits in the box? Sometimes there are more hits hiding, sometimes less. Wouldn't there be more loose cards left over to dump than untouched sealed packs? Or did he/she know which packs had the hits without opening the others? Eek Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Raven,
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
The bigger question for me is how does the seller know that all those packs are hitless? Did he/she bust the packs until they got the number of guaranteed hits in the box? Sometimes there are more hits hiding, sometimes less. Wouldn't there be more loose cards left over to dump than untouched sealed packs? Or did he/she know which packs had the hits without opening the others? Eek Big Grin


Years ago I bought a lot of Artbox Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hobby packs on eBay very cheap. They were advertised as having nothing in them but base cards and minor inserts - no hits. Before I purchased them I messaged the seller and asked them if there was any chance at all that an autograph could be in there and they said no and that if I was looking for any hits, then look elsewhere and don't buy these packs. At least they were honest, though ultimately incorrect. I'm actually not sure why in the world I asked the seller that question since there was no way for them to know. I was just looking for any sign of a chance. So I ended up buying them anyway. I believe it was something like 200 or 250 hobby packs for $30. I ended up pulling one hit - a Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop autograph card. Not one of the biggies but still - it just goes to show that sellers that sell packs this way aren't always correct about what they think is or isn't in them.
 
Posts: 1982 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Logan:
So I ended up buying them anyway. I believe it was something like 200 or 250 hobby packs for $30. I ended up pulling one hit - a Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop autograph card. Not one of the biggies but still - it just goes to show that sellers that sell packs this way aren't always correct about what they think is or isn't in them.


It could be a lot worse. We've all heard stories about resealed packs and shrink wrapping open boxes in the past. I think the packaging has gotten much better to try to prevent such abuses, but if the sequence of seeding the packs follows a pattern and is not totally random, or there is some other obvious tip off such as by weigh or by feel or by box number, then it becomes easy to cherry pick hits, especially when you have cases of it.

If you see that there are many hitless unopened packs from the same product for sale in different places, chances are there is a way to tell exactly when the hit comes up. Which I don't like to hear, since not all people are honest enough to tell you that the hits have already been pulled.
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For the new Twin Peaks Archive set - Say you open all 18 cases (@ 12 boxes / case; 24 packs /box) - That's 5184 packs of cards. At 2 Autos / Box that's 432 Autos - So you start opening packs and stop after you pulled all the autos. How many pack would you have left that you could then sell as unopened packs? Also besides the Autos you probably also pulled a few decent chase cards unless you know exactly what packs the autos were in. Now as long as the seller states this than there is nothing really wrong or illegal.

In the US we have scratch-off lottery where the grand prize is say 1 million dollars. The lottery buy law is supposed to let everybody know when the grand prize has been won so that people don't keep buying tickets when they have no chance of winning the million dollars. While they may still win some smaller prizes, at least they know what there getting into.
 
Posts: 324 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by AWR:
Now as long as the seller states this than there is nothing really wrong or illegal.


Agreed, nothing at all.
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes just to be clear here i was not suggesting the seller was doing anything wrong i was thinking more of how sad it was that unless there was an autograph in the pack the person could see no point in opening it and thinking of all the time and money that had gone into making them.

Rittenhouse would have been better off just selling the person a couple of autograph cards for $40 and saving all the trouble.

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Posts: 28231 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
The trading card hobby has been painted into a corner.


Johnny Castle: No one puts trading card hobby in a corner.
 
Posts: 1409 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
if the sequence of seeding the packs follows a pattern and is not totally random, or there is some other obvious tip off such as by weigh or by feel or by box number, then it becomes easy to cherry pick hits, especially when you have cases of it.

If you see that there are many hitless unopened packs from the same product for sale in different places, chances are there is a way to tell exactly when the hit comes up. Which I don't like to hear, since not all people are honest enough to tell you that the hits have already been pulled.


I've seen a seller who listed unopened packs, sealed boxes, and hits of the same product, and I was willing to pay more for my sealed boxes elsewhere. I had to assume the odds were pretty good that the packs were left after hits were pulled, which makes me distrust that they aren't also selling the boxes left after case hits are pulled.

Re: 4 okay vs. 1 great autograph, if there is no chance for me to pull something exciting, I will not bother to buy the product. Okay autographs sell for low prices on eBay every day of the week.
 
Posts: 6 | Location: USA | Registered: May 18, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You must either trust your source or not invest too much in them until you do. Known sellers with good reputations don't want to risk their returning buyers by playing short sighted games.

I wish I could tell you that spending more for sealed boxes guarantees you a better or more random box, but I don't think it does. Large dealers do get better prices and can give deeper discounts to regular buyers. They may be getting lots of case incentives or even be breaking Archive Boxes. Someone selling packs, boxes and hits might be just as honest or just as dishonest as the guy who only sells one of those groups. Big Grin

It's like I say with autographs, if its too cheap its probably a fake or a non-certifiable signature. However a high price and a COA won't make a fake any more authentic. Wink You have to know that your source is honest and will stand behind the purchase, any purchase.
 
Posts: 7998 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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