Don't forget to blame the leagues and the players associations. Their licensing fees are likely behind Panini's decision to do what they can to help their profit margin.
I like the one guy who implies Blowout and DA (which has 2 hobby shops, nice ones) cull the cases for the case hits... Meanwhile, I've pulled case hits from both companies. Many times I think these are people who A. own a card shop, or B. bought once from either place and got 'crap.'
I have bought 2 masterpieces football cases from DA and missed out on 6 of the 8 promised case hits, yet I have purchased multiple 1/4 - 1/2 case box lots from DA and pulled multiple case hits. Same for things from all the other online retailers.
The hobby has been a mess for a while now. Things started going downhill when the first exclusive took place between the NHL and Upper Deck. Now exclusives are the standard and things are changing due to less releases. We went from one extreme to the other. There were far too many releases and now there are too few.I'm willing to wait and see how this plays out for Panini though As well as collectors and the hobby.) I'd much rather have them around then a company that only cares about themselves and does things such as devalue their cards by printing up more to use to pay off debts, use forged autographs in their sets and use what's basically a small step away from fake patches in their sets. Panini could end up being wrong, but at least they are trying something. I think the exclusives themselves are a much bigger problem than anything that Panini is doing. Card companies would be stupid not to take advantage of them and the leagues don't care about collectors. Flash them enough money and they'll reward you with your very own exclusive deal.
I am concerned that Panini is actively trying to falsely inflate card values and prices as well as box prices and values
If the product is junk, it won't sell no matter what the price is. A good example is any flavor of Masterpieces. This stuff sat and sat on shelves at the original price and didn't really catch on with most collectors until the price dropped. That's an example of a beautiful product that didn't sell and eventually led to the cancellation of the brand.On the other end of the spectrum you've got the Topps jumbo boxes of 2009-10 basketball and 2010 baseball. They loaded those things with value and that has led to perceived scarcity and increased box prices.I think that all of those boxes originally sold for around the same price, but their values since then have increased or decreased due to the content. People decided that $70 was too much to pay for a box with one auto and one relic with 4 cards per pack. Meanwhile, the hoops chrome cards, hat relics and Million Card Giveaway cards have been some of the more popular things in the hobby over the past year.If Panini tries to keep retailers from selling their product for less and they don't put out quality product then they soon won't have many people placing orders and the hobby shops will be in even worse shape than they were before Panini tried to help since they'll have nothing to sell.
I generally defend Panini quite a lot, but I have to say that I have major concernce with some of what they are proposing. While there may be some problems with how things currently are (for example wholesalers who have purchased products at the initial wholesale price jacking it up the price when it does well on the secondary market, like 2009 Ultimate baseball), what they suggest seems likely to cause more problems than it will solve. While helping "bricks and mortar" stores may be good in some ways, the reality is that people puchase a lot of products, including boxes of cards, online these days for any number of reasons. Anything that restricts these sales, even inadvertantly, is not a good thing.
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