If you could order the exact trading cards you wanted from every product released, direct from the manufacturer, would you spend more or less on cards than you currently do?
Many collectors have abandoned box purchasing in favor of waiting for the cards they want to appear on the secondary market through a source like eBay or Check Out My Cards. While the manufacturers may have already made their money on the boxes purchased from whence these cards were pulled, are they leaving money on the table by not offering singles direct? Is it just the fact that fulfillment would be a logistical nightmare or are they afraid of loss of box sales in doing so?
The formula for any given product consists of a ratio between big hits from star players to the worthless jerseys and scrub autos to produce enough boxes to meet a desired print run and therefore gross margin. However, what if manufactures in “hit” oriented products simply eliminated base cards, parallels and inserts and sold the hits direct to the collector?
Manufacturing costs would drop in terms of labor, packaging and materials, albeit costs would potentially increase on customer service due to fulfillment but certainly not to the excess that you wouldn’t save any money in doing so.
So the question is, could a manufacturer make enough money to meet their revenue goals on the hits alone to employee this model? I don’t know but I’d sure like to see someone give it a try.
How nice would it be to look at a sell sheet and/or checklist identify the auto, patch, or other cards you want and purchase them direct with no waiting for their availability or middleman. I have no problem going from the concept that “this card is limited to just 10 copies” to “we will make this card for whoever wants it at x price”.
I might be crazy but who knows. What do you think?