Finding the Best Group Break Experience
Now that you’ve read the Group Breaking and Case Breaking Newcomer’s Guide, and found our list of Online Case Breakers, how do you know which group break to choose? This is more of a personal choice depending on your end-goal. Nonetheless, let’s look through the assortment of options to help find the best group break experience for you.
Which Group Break is for Me?
There are three common Team Break types: Pick Your Team (PYT), Random Team and Team Draft. Each of them gives an opportunity to collect a favorite team at various price points.
If your preference is team-specific, the PYT option is a safe route to take. This is a guaranteed way to get all your team’s cards from that break. Generally, this is the only break where teams are individually priced as opposed to the random breaks where each team is purchased at the same price.
That doesn’t seem fair! Why I am paying more for my New England Patriots than the Cleveland Browns fan? (Yes, they’re out there!) Basically, it boils down to the checklist. If the product contains a higher chance of the breaker pulling hits for Team X than for Team Y, then Team X is priced higher. Now, it should be noted that this is not how every case breaker prices their group breaks, this is just a basic way to explain it.
Random Team Breaks
For a completist, the team chosen has no bearing on your collection. In this case, Random Team or Division and Team or Division Draft breaks are right up your alley. Although each break type is slightly different, the end result is the same: you may or may not walk away with wanted cards. That said, these are also the breaks where each team is equally priced and they can be quite fun to participate in.
Generally, most hosts will conduct Random Team and Random Division group breaks the same way. Again, the product price is equally split among the spots available for purchase. When it’s time for the break, collectors head over to a forum-style room to see all the action and chat with fellow trading card enthusiasts. Here, you’ll see the breaker go to random.org (this is the preferred site of breakers) and input all of the team or division names for randomization. Each team is given a number, then the same procedure is used for those collectors who purchased a spot. Once numbers are determined, you will be the proud owner of corresponding team or division. Easy enough! But, the fun usually continues as some sites allow collectors to buy, trade and even sell within the chat forum.
Draft breaks work the same as Random group breaks with one slight difference: you get to pick the team or division! Of course, this is after each purchaser’s name(s) have been randomized. It’s as if you were a partial team owner! Another popular draft-style break is for heavy-hitters. If your personal collection is geared to big hits but you’d prefer not to pay thousands of dollars for a hobby box/case, I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy the Hit Draft Break. This is the go-to method for premium products, as collectors pay the same price per slot. After the draft order is decided, every participant picks what they want.
Always Understand What Break You Are Buying Into
Now that you know the type of case break that best suits your wants and/or needs, it's time to read the fine print to help make your decision.
Read the Fine Print
As we mentioned in the Newcomer’s Guide, not all Case Breakers are alike. Yes, most break methods are similar, however, it’s in the small, and not-so-small details that can make or break (pun not intended) what you decide to spend your time and money on. If this is your first group break experience, I highly recommend making a list of what you want. I know it sounds silly, but truth be told, the experience is very exciting and you may forget to look for a few things before it’s too late.
For example, do you prefer to have all of the cards pulled from the break? If so, you will need to read the FAQ section as some breakers only ship hits, while others mail everything except base cards.
Make Sure Hits are Clearly Explained
This is a perfect lead into the next big question: does your definition of a hit and their definition of a hit mean the same thing? Naturally, cards such as autographs and relics are hits, but do you consider a parallel or any serial numbered card a hit? If so, you agree with most breakers. And what about shipping? I don’t know about you, but I’m quite particular on how my cards are handled. As a rule, autographs, relics, and sometimes those numbered parallels, are placed in top loaders, while the other cards are placed in a single team bag rather than individual sleeves.
Another thing to keep in mind, which is why I wanted to warn you about hits, is that there are plenty of case breakers who offer a return if you go hitless in a break. This isn’t always a given, but some sites will offer a certain dollar amount of credit, or if base cards are not normally shipped, then they’ll make an exception and send those to you.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, find a breaker whose personality is enjoyable. It might sound strange, but the last thing you want to happen is to purchase a spot, be excited about the break, and then tune in to find out you don't care for the host. Maybe it's the way the cards are handled, or perhaps the host opens and shows the cards too quickly (or the opposite!). No matter the reason, you don't want to find yourself miserable in what should be an enjoyable group break experience.
But how will you know before the break and before you buy your favorite team's spot? Easy. Every Case Breaking site uploads their live-streams, usually on YouTube, for those who couldn't watch the initial stream but still want to see their pulls before they arrive in the mail, giving you the perfect opportunity to review the breaker's style and personality.
What do you look for in a Case Breaker? Let us know in the comments below!
Related Topics: Group Breaking