Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do You Think Retail Value Packs are “Searcher’s” Left Overs?

Having only 1 card shop in the area and only one trade show every 2 to 3 months puts a serious crimp on my hobby box buying capabilities. Most of the time I’m stuck in that “one” aisle at Wal-Mart. Occasionally, the powers that be will open that aisle for business which makes it even more frustrating. Soccer mom’s have a great “go to hell” look when a grown man is in the middle of the lane looking at baseball cards.

Most of the time, I’ll buy a $20 blaster box. Although, I’ve gotten a few good pulls, it should be noted that these boxes are more for base set building than anything. To Upper Deck’s credit, they have inserted one guaranteed hit per blaster box this year. So far that has been the case with UD Series 1 and Spectrum. We’ll see if they follow suit for the rest of their product line. That’s definitely a step in the right direction. How long will it take Topps to get on board?

Some days I head to Wal-Mart even though I don’t have the $19.97 on me that I need (it’s actually $21.37 with tax for anyone curious…I have the amount memorized.) It’s on these days that I’m relegated to buying what I call “bulk packs”. Maybe there is a better name, I don’t know.

Inside these mini packs are 3 to 4 individual packs (retail or hobby, I’m not sure which) from random manufacturers. Mostly it’s a pretty good single pack on top with some pathetic 2006 Fleer underneath and hidden. I’m a sucker for pack bustin’ so I can’t help myself sometimes. I just dig in.

I have no clue who the company is that packages these products. I don’t know how someone can sell random packs from different manufacturers consolidated into one product to a retail chain with the intent of resell. I equate that to me buying 3 Pepsi’s and 3 Cokes, selling them to Wal-Mart consolidated as a 6 pack, and then you walking in and purchasing it from them. I’m sorry, maybe I should have paid more attention in Economics.

Long story short, my concern is that I’ve begun to wonder if these packs are being ravaged by “pack searchers” before being repackaged. I have NEVER had a hit other than a parallel or an occasional insert from any of these packs. Never an auto. Never a game-used. 95% of the time, it’s all base cards.

Have any of you had better luck than I have with these packs? If so, what’s your best pull so far?


tastelikedirt said...

May 28, 2008 at 7:07 pm e

I’ve often wondered that same thing I guess that’s why I’m afraid to buy them.

Dave said...

May 28, 2008 at 8:38 pm e

I’ve never purchased one of these bulk packs, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the packs were all ravaged by pack searchers. When I go to Target and Wal Mart, I only buy blasters and not individual packs because I’ve seen pack searchers in action at these stores. One exception is that at my local Wal Mart, they actually sell packs of Topps Heritage in secure packaging that hangs from a rack. I figure that these packs are safe from the pack searchers. Ultimately, I think that the card companies need to create a new type of pack that is not vulnerable to pack searching…

Anonymous said...

May 28, 2008 at 10:32 pm e

Dave, thanks for reminding me about the Heritage Packs! That’s the way I should have explained it to begin with. That’s the “type” of packaging that I’m talking about. The local Wal-Mart’s around Jackson sell the Heritage Single Packs in the rack hanging packs. If you look at the back of the packaging you’ll find that these are produced by Topps themselves.

The “three pack packs” I’m talking about are in a rack hanging pack as well but do not appear to be produced by a card company rather by a “middle man”. I don’t know why I’m having so much trouble explaining this…lol. I think I’m using the word pack too much…

If I can, I’ll go to Wal-Mart tonight and buy one to show some pics. I won’t be able to tomorrow. My entire focus will be on the Lost season finale…I CAN’T WAIT!

Beppo said...

May 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm e

If I’m thinking of the same thing (various older packs all together), I call them repackaged packs. I’ve also wondered who puts these together. Sometimes I enjoy buying them, too, because I’ll get some packs from a series that I’ve never seen before, so it’s something new.

I suspect there are people who search through the single packs, looking for one that is thicker or weighs more. I suppose it’s not legally wrong for them to do it, but I don’t like it. So I usually don’t buy individual packs anymore. I don’t know why manufacturers haven’t figured out a way around it.

dayf said...

May 29, 2008 at 2:51 am e

It’s not likely to pull something, but not impossible either. I just pulled a jersey card from one of the 8 packs for 10 bucks boxes that Wal-Mart sells. I’m not sure searchers ever got to those packs though. I’m pretty sure a lot of the left over ’searched’ packs end up on the repacks though. I pulled this pack one out of one of the loose old pack for a buck fifty boxes if you can believe it.

Patricia said...

May 31, 2008 at 12:31 am e

Yes, we think those Fairfield repacks have already been searched, and you run about a twenty percent chance of finding something that has been missed…something that’s good. Although that’s better than the zero percent chance you run when buying a loose pack at Target or Wal-Mart!

jv said...

May 31, 2008 at 12:35 am e

I actually went and bought a pack tonight. I’m going to do a blog about it soon with more details about the company that produced it (if it all possible) and the pulls from it as well as some pictures of the packaging.