Random Thoughts on Group Breaking Part II
The business could use a Priceline, Kayak style website where a potential buyer can browse spots for sale from MANY breakers. So many times I see Breakers in their “room” trying to hawk spots that are still left in a break. “15 spots left guys!” Yet, usually the breakers only have 25 people in the room. That break has no chance of filling up.
It would be next to impossible to set up a third party affiliate site because Breakers don’t use a standardized ordering system on their own websites. A big percentage of hotel rooms and flights are ordered off Expedia, Priceline, Bookings, Hotels Tonight etc. All of these work the same way. The webmaster gets a percentage of the sale of the hotel room/flight. I haven’t met very many people in the sports card world who would be capable of pulling off a site like this, but it is badly needed for Group Breakers.
Revenue vs Profit
These Breakers don’t make real profits for themselves. Period. Sure, many of them have million dollar accounts with wholesalers such as GTS, Peach State and Gold River. Think about how expensive these products are and you can see how revenue gets into the seven figures fairly easily. But at the end of the day, I bet if you saw the tax returns of ALL BREAKERS they would appear more lower/middle class. Don’t confuse revenue with profit.
Take a look at the Revenue/Profit chart for online giant Amazon. For the entire history of the company, Amazon loses money or barely edges out a couple bucks profit per quarter. Public stock of Amazon has shot through the roof because if they can improve the operating margins by just a percent or two the profit could soar. In addition, Amazon stock holders typically believe in the leadership of CEO Jeff Bezos.
Chart From: International Business Times
Panini & Your Distributor: My Buddy & Me
Your distributor and Panini are bending you guys over backwards. That’s why you’re not making any money. They wine and dine you with VIP Parties at the National, but behind the scenes they are scheming how to dump all this unwanted product on you. This comes in the form of Black Friday, Fathers Day and VIP parties where they require you to buy countless junk products to get a few promo packs and hang out with some (paid) models. They even try and get some of you to open card stores to fully take advantage of these promos. Is opening a store a good idea? I wonder how many distributors or Panini employees would open a card store right now.
On the rare chance a product is good, you get hit with allocations that are just a way to preserve the profit for Panini and their real “buddy”, the distributor. Trust me, Panini is just trying to make their distributors “whole”. They do this by buttering you guys up enough to buy this crappy product. The distributor and Panini know there will be some other group breaker who will come along if you go broke. You really mean next to nothing to them.
If Panini just spent all this money on making better products maybe your margins would improve? Besides, don’t most you breakers make most of your money on Topps products? Do you even know what percentage Topps and Panini is to your business? Doubt it.
I want to make something very clear. I would trust Doug & Dan from MojoBreak WITH MY LIFE. Let that sink in for a second. WITH MY LIFE. In my “normal” life outside of sports cards there might be a small handful of people who I would say that about. I would do anything for Doug & Dan. I’ve never heard one bad word about them. Ever. Period.
Me thinking so high of Doug & Dan is nothing new to them. I’ve hung out with them at events like the Las Vegas Industry Summit & National Shows. I’ve hung out with their friends and employees Mike, Shane, and Carlos. They recently brought on two people to help with breaks, Lori and Billy. I would bend over backwards for Lori, Billy, Mike, Shane, Carlos, Doug, and Dan. I’ve hung out with all of them. I’m 100% certain they know how I feel about them.
I DO A 2 HOUR PODCAST WITH DOUG & DAN A FEW TIMES A MONTH. I freely admit (brag) that I don’t have a “real” job, you think doing a 2 hour scheduled podcast is appealing to me? Heck no. Funny thing is, I can’t wait until Tuesday to talk to Doug & Dan. It’s fun. If anyone else in the industry asked me to do a regular podcast with them? The answer would be heck no.
I Love (Card) Business Like You Love National Treasures
I’m interested in the business of sports cards. Period. I’m FASCINATED BY IT. If there were 1,000 new sports card stores that (for some reason) opened across the U.S. you can bet I would hit the road and check them out. And Tweet about them. And make videos about them. I’ve bought & re-sold (flipped) 55,885 cards on COMC because I AM FASCINATED BY HIS INNOVATIVE WEBSITE WHERE I CAN BUY AND RE-SELL CARDS BY JUST CLICKING BUTTONS.
The first time I started paying close attention to Group Breakers, it seemed like a good many of them were involved in illegal online raffles. CLEARLY ILLEGAL RAFFLES (sue me). So from the start, I’m alarmed at how “shady” some of the business was. And you can bet your *** I was now REALLY INTERESTED in what was going on. Seems like some bad apples still exist in the Group Breaking world too.
I spend countless hours researching scandals in the online poker world such as Lock, Full Tilt and Absolute/Ultimate Bet. Countless hours and I DON’T EVEN PLAY POKER. If something shady is happening in the sports card world, I will be interested and I sure as hell might say something about it. That won’t change.
- Random Thoughts on Group Breaking: Part 1
- 2014 NSCC: Group Breaker Pavilion
- Worst Jobs: Baseball Card Store Owner
Interview with Brian Gray
The licensing game is changing and Breakers will be directly impacted. More than most in the industry to be honest. Better start paying attention, and unfortunately Gray doesn’t have good news for you.