Thursday, November 13, 2008

High End to No End

With the reported layoff of UD employees, the obvious crapfest that is the current economy, and the seemingly growing downward trend in this once recession-proof industry, its going to be a long haul until things start perking up. High end products seem to be suffering the most, as expected, mainly because many of the shops that buy the boxes to sell end up selling them at a loss or extremely minimal gain due to the lack of whales that can now waste their money on cardboard. Yet, the companies keep churning out low quality, high cost products like Topps/Bowman Sterling FB and BB, Eschelon BKB, even Premier FB and BB in some circles, among others.

So, if the shops are getting killed, why are these products being created at an alarming rate? Hell, Razor has even created the first $1000+ product, and though its ridiculously limited to 99 boxes, its still happening. I think its time to look at inserting something that makes these products valuable again, and make it less than one per one million cases. UD is revamping Exquisite to include 1 more card that is a guaranteed "gold edition" auto, plus adding many new features including a guaranteed pull from the A List per case. Will it help? Maybe for the select people that can afford a case these days, but not the rest of us. Job security is low in many industries, and 40% of Americans say they will spend less this Christmas season.

Here is what I would do:

-If you are going to charge more than $200 dollars for a product, there better be autos on every jersey card.
-If you are including non-autoed hits, they better be of valuable or dead players.
-Encase all the cards. I dont need a chipped card when I spend more than $200.
-Give me a guaranteed list per case
-Photo database of cards needs to be available, I know this may be tough with the people who do this living in different states than where the cards are boxed, but it needs to be figured out.
-More contrived scarcity instead of larger numbers of needless parallels. Why would my card be a 1/1 when there are 4 parallels of the 1/1 itself? Keep the numbering low.
-No base cards. I dont need to pay 100 dollars a card and see a base card in there.
-More colors in higher end product patch cards. I know you have 1 color parts of the jersey, but save those for the lower end product.
- Better boxing a la National Treasures. Make the box look as nice as the set.
- Not a single sticker. If you want me to shell out the dough, get the athelete to sign. Redemptions are fine if you can fufill them properly or replace them nicely if it is impossible for the athelte to sign.
- Keep the checklist to people that matter, RCs and Stars only. No more Brodie Croyle, Charlie Frye, and company in these sets.
- Keep the checklist to skill position players and important defenders if they are not retired.
- Put more than one box hit in a box. Products like Sterling will not work in todays market because no one wants to spend $350 on a box where the hit is a jersey card. Even worse when it is obvious the jersey is "event used" from an old timers game rather than game used.

There are others, and yes, this is a pipe dream, but it should be happening. If the manufacturers actually produced better products or products with tons of value, then people will buy, thats the way it has always been.


  1. I have seen no dip in price for high end at Dave and Adams stores in Buffalo. Their brand new location is doing great too

  2. The price has definitely not dipped, im talking about sales of the products. Every store here in LA is telling me that High end doesnt sell anymore.

  3. I think the price of cards all together needs to go down while we are still getting the same stuff for our money. The value of the "aftermarket" for cards is way too low to motivate the prices they are charging for boxes.

  4. The card industry needs to establish a trading market that works, for the buyers and sellers on all levels.

    Dealers need to start buying older cards from collectors not just from the card makers.

    Wouldn't it be nice to see the price of cardboard started going up in value. lol