Why are Cards So Expensive?

It’s a bit baffling to understand how base cards in high end sets (really all sets) are virtually worthless. When boxes of flawless, impeccable, national treasures, etc. go for thousands and thousands of dollars, it’s a shame to see how devalued the base cards are and even some of the serial numbered cards. It turns the purchase of a box too much about the chase and gamble for a card in a short print run (a 1/1 for example) and less about collecting. You may as well be buying lottery tickets instead of trading cards the way it’s operating right now. Let’s take the recent “IT card” the Lebron Triple Logoman for example. I’m sure Drake sunk millions in the chase for the Triple Logoman, the collector community memed all about it. I’m willing to bet he pulled some amazing cards along the way and he can afford to take the hit, but that’s not the point. He probably also pulled some cards that would sell for dirt cheap in comparison to the $30,000 price tag for a box that only has 10 cards in it. So, you’re paying $3,000 dollars per card for cards that may not be worth $3,000 just because a couple cards may be worth more? It takes a bit of the fun away for the hardcore collectors and purists in the hobby, and the hobbyists that break boxes and flip cards. It may also encourage gambling type behavior and addiction. We’ve become accustomed to the fact that most of their cards won’t be worth much, hoping for the chance to pull a rare card. And when we do, we bounce around the room like a pinball in a pinball machine. It takes the value out of all the cards when only one or two cards matter in a set of cards that has thousands of collectibles in it. For every Triple Logoman, there’s thousands of essentially worthless cards. It’s not right. Why print all those if it’s not worth anything? Just print the valuable cards and cut your costs, right? Just to sell more boxes to us in the community and spend more money chasing? Selling largely worthless boxes with some valuable cards interspersed in the mix is tantamount to gambling. A racket or a con. It also robs the companies of buyers that may want to purchase. As a collector myself, I don’t want to lose out almost every time I buy a box. I also don’t want to see that for others either. I don’t enjoy seeing people lose money on their purchases, pulling cards that are duds, or have the fun taken out of it. I really wouldn’t feel good selling someone a box for thousands of dollars and it doesn’t bring them anything of value to them. Something has got to give in the imbalance between the box and the cards. Either the value of the individual cards go up to give actual value to paying customers, or the cost of the box should go down to match the market for individual cards of that same set. They’re charging too much for the “chance to pull a rare card”, to the extent that it can be compared to gambling. Gambling is the worst vice because people can lose everything they’ve worked for their whole lives in a roll of the dice. And I, for one, don’t want to see our beloved hobby become a kind of casino that can hurt children and families.
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