While collecting cards is often considered among the most timeless hobbies, recently with the explosion in popularity and therefore prices, breaks have become an easier pathway to entry for many hobbyists. Box breaks are generally easy and convenient to get into but may end up being confusing to those new to the hobby, or new to collecting cards in general.
What is a Box/Case Break?
A Box or Case Break is simply a term used when a retailer or breaker will be opening an amount of product, a box break is where the breaker will open some number of boxes of product, a case break normally includes an entire case of product. Often breaks are split from case breaks as there are a lot of cards, and the breaker tries to limit the amount of time they are spending on the break.
How will I know what cards I get?
It’s simple once you figure out what type of break, you’re in. There are a few common types of breaks including:
PYT (Pick Your Team):
One of the more common styles of breaks is where you select a team or individual to buy and go for that team or individual. You can generally find these on a store's website and on eBay.
These are more often found on store websites as they can set a single price, the breaker will at the beginning of the break then randomize the list of people in the break and randomize the list of teams then match them, and you’ll get all of the cards from the particular team/division.
One of the less common break types, this will typically go off of the player's first or last name if by Alphabet, or by the collector number of the card if done by numbers (for some products that only have serial numbered cards, those will typically go off of the serial number on the card).
You may find other types of card breaks, but it is always best to reach out to the breaker for more details. Understanding what you’re getting yourself into is the most important part of breaks so if you have questions always just ask.
What Happens Next?
Typically, if the breaker is selling on their website, breaks will go as soon as they are full, while if they list them on eBay, they will typically have the date and time of the break in the Item Specifics portion of the listing. Once it is time for the break, the breaker will go live on their channel (or will already be live), and will start the process of opening the cards, they will open all of the boxes listed, and all of the pack and show off all of the cards.
Some breakers will spend time reading and looking at base cards, and some will just skip past them, depending on the set. At the end of the break, you will often find the “Hit Parade” where the breaker will show off all of the ‘biggest’ hits from the break. Afterward, the breaker will sort, then ship the cards to you!
What else should I know?
One major thing about breaks is that you are taking a chance at what you’re getting, so I would make sure that you are having fun with what you are doing. If watching a breaker open a product and talk about it is fun, I encourage you to join breaks.
If you’re chasing very specific cards, it’s often better to just buy the singles when they appear at the store or on eBay. Breaks should be fun and entertaining for you, so always make sure to check in with yourself after a break to see how you’re feeling.
Breaks are a great and interesting way to get into the hobby of Sports Card Collecting, there are many ways to enter the hobby, and I hope this will help lead you in a beneficial direction. If you’re looking for specific team cards or specific player cards, these breaks can often be helpful. Breaks can also be entertaining if you just want to see cool cards get opened, and maybe get something for yourself from a potentially cheaper team.