After a long pre-sell period allocations for 2012 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects were given from The Topps Company to big online retailers like Blowout cards and Atlanta Sports Cards. The scrambling began almost immediately to see what they could and couldn’t fill based on the reported 1 to 6 allocation that customers are being given. Wax rippers will be allowed to buy one case of jumbo for every 6 cases of hobby that they purchase making the jumbo really rare.
Hobby message boards had several threads pop up today with disappointment that their orders would not be filled by Atlanta Sports Cards. Collector reactions ranged from a casual “well what did you expect?” to the more aggravated cry of “BS! They should have planned ahead”. Josh Pankow of Atlanta Sports cards had this to say when I contacted him today about these allocations. “I think the biggest thing to take from this is that I feel very badly about ever having to cut people. It certainly wasn’t my intention to get their hopes up. And it’s not as if I’m doing this to sell the jumbos for more. I simply don’t have them.”
Blowout Cards is honoring all preorders for this product. They also quit preselling the product today as they are probably at the top of what they were allocated as well. It should be noted that Blowouts price was consistently $200 more per case than Atlanta Sports Cards. This would explain why Atlanta can’t fill and Blowout can. ATL probably has many more orders for this product than competitors that had a higher price. Blowout certainly had the more responsible angle and took a more conservative approach as they saw the allocations were a bit screwy.
Thomas Fish of Blowout Cards was contacted today and said “All Topps direct retailers were aware that bowman draft jumbos would be allocated. Anyone taking preorders should have should have either made their customers aware of the possibility of not being able to fulfill the orders or not offer the products on a presell basis. Blowoutcards.com did take preorders and is filling all of their preorders for 2012 Bowman Draft jumbos. It is unfortunate that some retailers took orders for product they will not be able to honor frustrating and disappointing many collectors.”
Of the cases that actually make it to the post release secondary market, expect to pay a hefty premium to get your hands on one. You could see them get to $250-$300 a box if the first few cases appear to be loaded with extra content. Tom Fish went on to say “2012 Bowman draft jumbos as well as the regular hobby product will be very very desirable. Secondary market pricing for those products will reflect that demand for the bowman draft brand continues to be one of the strongest in the hobby. Blowout Cards did receive our allocations on 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Jumbos yesterday. Since the announcement of the product a few months ago, Topps made is VERY clear that the item would be highly allocated.
Over the past several months we’ve received many requests for Jumbos as well as Bowman Draft Hobby. We will be honoring every single order we have on 2012 Bowman Draft Jumbo even with the allocation ratio. We feel that it is our responsibility to deliver on any pre-orders we take. That is part of the pre-ordering process and the integrity of our business. Topps made everyone aware that the product would be allocated, therefore any seller should make good on orders they took knowing the conditions. I am pleased that customers that placed orders with us will be receiving their orders and appreciate their support and confidence in Blowoutcards.com”
Bowman Draft release day is already one of the most celebrated release days in the entire hobby calendar, and now we have an additional twist to look forward to on release day. Although perhaps I should say the Monday before release day as it never fails that a few jerks get the product early and flaunt it in front of the rest of us.
Collectors should also keep in mind that this is a weak draft class, and without key minor leaguers without a chrome autograph added to the product it can’t be a 2008 repeat. Add in players like Joe Terdoslavich, Jake Marisnick, Leonys Martin, and probably the most important name out there is fresh Cuban defector Jorge Soler, and you could see box prices go through the roof like we haven’t seen since 2010 Bowman. And while we are on the subject, hey Topps, if you wanna blow the lid off this joint throw in Will Middlebrooks, Billy Hamilton and Hak Ju Lee as well.
After the jump, I will be posting some of the better user comments on the situation as this story is still developing.
When I hear customers complain about sellers backing out, it bothers me because they are under no pressure whatsoever. Sellers are under the thumb of Topps, and if Topps decides the ratios for purchasing, there is nothing they can do. As far back as I can remember, products with Jumbos were under a 3 box to 1 box ratio for hobby. Since hobby cases are 12 boxes and Jumbo cases are 8 boxes, that comes out to a 2 case to 1 ratio. It has never been any more than that. I am sure that all sellers presell based on this history, so to hear that it went to three times that ratio is unfortunate, but holding a seller’s feet to the fire is unfair. Trust me, if they had any idea that the ratios were going to be so ridiculous, they would have sold them accordingly. Buyers haven’t lost a damn thing because of this unfortunate situation that Topps created. The sellers are the only ones who lose out in this situation, so complaining about them not honoring their commitments is nothing more than an emotional response to a situation that is out of the seller’s control. Don’t like it? Then get a business license and preorder directly from a distributor, and let me know how that works out for you when they tell you that the ratio is now 6:1.
As Andrew stated, even the big rippers, myself and BrentandBecca included were contacted either by email or phone call and were handed the same allocation of 6:1.
I contacted Brent and he indicated that he would most likely be passing on Bowman Draft. It has not been a solid profit maker for him and with the typical release falling around the holidays it has cost him valuable time with his family so why bother with too little profit at risk.
I have not yet decided what I will do.
I do think there is one point that has not been brought up that is sadly missing. Topps makes to order, so it is imperative that dealers like Blowout and ATL pre-sell so that they know what to order from Topps (obviously adding a percentage on top for non-preorders) and then Topps knows how much to make. In this case Topps clearly had a breakdown in mind of how many hobby v. jumbo cases they wanted to make or needed to based upon the added content in Jumbo and the serial numbering of that content. When all the pre-orders came in and presumably overwhelmingly Jumbo, Topps had to dictate back to these dealers that the rate of 6:1 was needed to meet their production needs. The 6:1 ratio was clearly as a result of preorders being so heavily weighted towards jumbo.
Clearly the only thing for Topps to do here is to figure out how to add significant value to Hobby so that we don’t see the horrific disparity that resulted with 2012 Bowman. I’m not sure how they are going to do it, but they should be releasing an announcement to explain how otherwise if every one of ATL’s customers cancel then the total production of BDP will be incredibly small.
I was attracted to Jumbo obviously for the added content, but when you’re ripping big, having less boxes to open and less packs to rip is a HUGE benefit. I busted 40 2011 BDP hobby cases last year. By the end I was darn near in tears from my finger hurting and the shear lack of sleep and I had help from Carl. I was thrilled to have the jumbo option this year to save my hands, and save me time opening and especially sorting.
Brent Williams of brentandbecca wrote
so much to say on this topic that may or may not have been missed
1) Josh is a standup guy and he is losing out just like we all are. He won’t be able to make the money either. I ordered 60 jumbo cases and I am not upset because Josh told me along with everyone else in email or phone call form that he did not know the allocations and he may not be able to fulfill all the orders since this was anew way of Topps doing this and he had no idea until he heard from Topps.
2) VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Topps made the distributors put in their hobby numbers FIRST…NOT LETTING THE DISTRIBUTORS KNOW the allocations first. So if Josh puts in for 150 hobby (less desirable cases, which he had almost 0 pre-orders on, so why would he order lots of hobby?). Then Topps comes back and say ok, you are getting 30 jumbo cases only as it is 6:1. So, how can he fill them? He is not able to go back now and order more hobby to get more jumbo…does not work that way.
3) Nothing against BO at all, but they are larger and ask yourself why they are standing by their orders? They did not have near the pre-orders that Josh did because their prices were $200-$300 a case higher from the get-go, plus they do have more wiggle room to buy cases elsewhere if they can find them (that is how they get most of their cases, unless Topps makes much more and offers a closeout or direct deal to BO).
4) Funny thing, is before jumbos were announced hardly anyone was too excited as the class was weaker and the product continues to underperform simply due to the structure of repeat players or the fact the guys with autos also have base cards making those even in 20ct lots worth much less than past years.
5) This is a first for Josh. Some have aid Topps normally do 2:1 on jumbo cases for Bowman and Topps; however, that has never been the case for the larger distributors liek Josh. That is why I ahve been able to order 60 jumbo cases and no hobby of those products. Josh does not make anyone buy hobby to get jumbo. Topps has always allowed them to order hobby & jumbo at the same time and at any ratio. This was the exception, and Josh expected 2:1 or 3:1 at worst.
Anyhow, it does stink,,,,but it is just cards, and just one release. There is always more than we know, but thought I would share some things.
PS) I am not saying this is good, but I do applaud Josh for not raising the prices on the cases early on. He sold them far cheaper as he did not want to rip people off way above cost from the beginning. That should be remembered. Even though he expected some allocation he did not kill everyone on the prices, plus would we all have bought it at $200-$300 more per case as a pre-sell? Probably not or we could have elsewhere. Plus, Josh took Jumbo cases off his website the day after the info came out to play it safe. The orders he rec’d were via direct contact with him saying he would try to get all they ordered but would know once allocations were out. Just a thought.