This somewhat secretive club has been known for years. The question has always been, How does one become a member?
From the video I have linked to above, you become a member by spending a shit ton of money on overpriced wax. At one point early in the video, Chris Carlin states that they basically wanted to reward customers and alleviate concerns of shops. Shops don't want to lose those customers that come in and bust case after case of product at their LCS. Well no shit.
Some of you out there purchase quite a bit of product from your LCS and that is great if that's what you choose to do. I am not one of those people. When you consider the latest Panini shenanigans of essentially attempting to artificially inflate and/or keep prices on wax high, this does not bode well for us collectors.
If you haven't noticed, since MLB bent UD over the hood of their Bentley, there has been a glaring lack of products out there. We have had Topps base, Heritage, Finest and a dearth ie a smattering very few shitty bowman products are slated as well. The general lack of product has moved us into a dead zone in the collecting world. I personally have noticed not so much a lack of enthusiasm, but no enthusiasm at all. What does this all mean?
Greed, money green, greed. Blah blah blah. Why do I say that? Its obvious. Card shops often charge twice the price for wax as online retailers. I know what you are saying, but they have to make money. Sure they do, but its a lemonade stand problem. You can sell one box of Panini Elite lemonade at $100 bucks and make $40 or you can sell 10 at $70 and make $10 a box and $100 overall. Yeah, that's how that works. But think about the children!. Personally, I don't give a damn about cardshops surviving when they rely on greed to do so.
"A fool and his money are soon parted"
That's really the point here. Essentially what card shops are trying to do is convince you to pay more money than you need to for their benefit. How do they do that? Through obligation. "You have to keep us in business" "It's good for the Hobby" Is it good for the hobby when I can only afford 2 boxes instead of 5. The singles aren't going to be worth any more. The Rhett Bomar RPA's are still only going to be worth $5-$20 even if it is an Exquisite.
Obviously the fact that the card came out of a $100-$500 means little. The exquisite goes for a little more but given the price difference in the boxes, its immaterial.
In my opinion Panini, MLB, NFL, and NBA are putting us back to the 90's. Way way way over priced wax, singles that really aren't worth anything, and no product choice at all. Keep in mind, my opinion of there being too many products on the market is still there. There is no diversity. What I mean is there are too many products at the same price point aimed at the same market. Topps is shit at high end, Upper Deck is brilliant at high end, and Panini is still eating sticker ass. With UD out of the game we have no high end.
Maybe Panini products are ok, but what I have seen thus far I have no compelling reason to give their boxes a try.