It was funny to see all the stories about how Chris Paul got traded twice last week to a Los Angeles team ... he ended up in the Clippers. Speaking of the Clippers, they had a total team makeover from last season when they relied heavily on Eric Gordon (when healthy) and Blake Griffin to do much of the scoring. The addition of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and some other pieces should make the 'other' team in LA pretty exciting.
I put up a year end piece that shows the prices of Topps & Bowman baseball case prices and how they are selling on eBay at the current time. It kind of got me thinking about the rip & flip idea (instead of selling the boxes un-opened) so we'll talk about that strategy a bit.
The keys to the rip & flip seem to be:
Get the case(s) within the first few days of release. Ideally, you'd like to get the cards on eBay (or for sale anywhere) within a few days of release. While the rare autograph cards & inserts always sell for big money, you'd be shocked to see what people pay for Derek Jeter insert cards (that aren't that rare) the moment the set goes live. Typically there is a decent premium the first week - as once the market gets saturated with cards, the price falls pretty quickly.
The next thing to keep in mind is that you want to try and open as many cases as possible. If you're only opening 1 or 2 cases, don't expect to make a big profit (hopefully you get your money back) If you open 10 - 20 cases, you probably have a better shot at actually making a meaningful profit, however this does mean you need to plop down $5,000++ in most cases.
The other thing about the rip/flip is that Panini and Upper Deck have a 1 week window where only hobby shops can offer the product. If you are buying at wholesale and selling the cards online - you might be able to see a nice window where not as many people have the cards, therefore leading to better profits on UD and Panini products.
One other thing to keep in mind, if you regularly purchase 6+ boxes of a product to keep, to set build, or just for fun; I would recommend buying an entire case (usually 8 - 12 boxes). What you could do is sell the extra or duplicate cards, and maybe a couple hits you don't want to keep - and probably have a good chance at getting some of your money back. This way you guarantee yourself a case hit & if you sell some cards, you're probably in for the same amount you would have spent for a couple of boxes. Ripping/Flipping is not just for profit seekers, you could use it to create a nice collection.
Panini finally announced some information on 2011/12 NBA products. It appears the first set will be NBA hoops, but it won't come out until February. So basketball fans will have to wait until then to see the new stuff. However, some exciting news is that NBA redemption cards for 2012/13 (next years draft) will be inserted - a-la Topps Finest from years past. These cards will be pretty exciting to have, and the top couple of picks should sell for some decent money.
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