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Unpacking Thoughts on Repacks

Repacks have become a hot button debate recently in the hobby. So I thought I'd put in my two cents. 

First off a confession.. I'm a repacker, well not anymore, Let me explain. In the early 90’s when I had my store and was doing shows.  I made what I called “starter kits”. I filled 400 count card boxes with an assortment of cards, stars, base, commons, semi-stars and inserts. I made them for different sports to accommodate different people's tastes or collecting interests. I priced them at $5 a box and frankly they were a big hit. I sold a lot, One of the reasons why was I was generous with what I packed in those boxes. People were happy with their small hauls. Word of mouth began to spread. I would randomly put a $40 to $80 card in a few of the boxes and not even advertise that fact. I even remember one circumstance where one gentleman came back to the store with one of those expensive cards thinking I made a mistake and wanting to give it back to me. Talk about honesty! Obviously I told him I purposedly did that and congratulated him. While the store is gone, I still do shows but I no longer do those starter kits.

Comparing my '90’s repack product to repacks today are “apples to oranges”. Today repack products of any significance will cost you more than the $5. I've seen high-end repack products in the four figure price point but generally most are priced from around $50 to $250. Let's state the obvious: buying a repack is essentially buying a lottery ticket but worse. Lottery tickets are regulated by the individual states, They stand behind the sales and guarantee a certain amount of prize winners, sometimes even including odds. Buying a hobby repack leaves you at the mercy of the seller. Is he or she legitimately making repacks worth your money or more?  Sure everyone can't hit an extreme payday but is the repack a sincere attempt to create a steady product that draws consistent sales for him or her and overall make buyers happy with their purchases and making them more likely to return to purchase again or is it an attempt to make a quick buck and unload some unwanted less desirable inventory? Do they care less if you are dissatisfied & never buy another, and therein lies the rub. I've heard people wanting them outlawed or painting all repackers with the same broad brush that they are all shady and frankly that's unfair to those who do it above board and legitimately.

While I don't participate as a buyer or seller of repacks, I also don't feel they should be illegalized. Like a lot of things in the hobby and life itself, it's buyer beware. Do your research, ask questions of the seller, watch YouTube openings of said repack product. Are there unscrupulous sellers selling crappy repacks to make a quick buck and unload less desirable cards? No doubt but we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. You alone have to decide if a repack is an activity you want to partake in, and then if so, where will you make your purchase from. For me it's that simple. Being in America we should have that choice, both to make them and whether to purchase them. 


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