WHAT IS A GROUP BREAK?
If you don’t want to read my long-winded description, here’s a good video to explain group breaks.
In a group break, collectors share entire sealed boxes or cases sports cards. The boxes or cases are opened and all cards are shown on camera during a live-streamed video.
Each person receives a player, team, division, etc., with the price of each spot based on the quantity, value, and odds of the spot's cards that could be pulled from the case/boxes as well as the market price of the product. The cards are unpackaged during a live-streamed video broadcast, which allows all participants to view and share the experience together while interacting with each other as part of a collecting community.
The benefits of a Group Break are:
You receive all of your selected team's cards from an entire case while paying only a fraction of the cost of an entire case and, in most cases, less than the price of a single box.
Your odds of getting a big "hit" (autograph, relic, or limited-production card) or valuable card for your team are much higher than buying smaller quantities to open on your own.
You get to share the collecting experience as part of a community with like-minded individuals. When you become a part of a good group-break community, you'll share in the thrill of a big hit when someone else receives one, and when you get a big hit you'll have a group to share the excitement with.
It's fun and exciting!
The detriments of a Group Break are:
The products are sealed with no guarantee that any specific cards will be inside. Any time you join a group break (or open boxes on your own), sometimes your investment will pay off, sometimes it won't.
Just like anything that's fun and exciting, group breaking can be addictive. Break responsibly, using only discretionary income. Please don't spend the money that should be making your car payment on picture cards of sportspeople, because even if it pays off this month with a big hit, you might end up walking. If you're spending money that should be used to manage your financial responsibilities, or if you consistently find that you're not enjoying the experience, it might be time to take a break from the breaks or stop altogether.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
During a group break, the breaker live-streams the opening of a sealed card product. The cards contained inside the case are sorted, packaged, and shipped to the customers following the break. Some breaks include all cards, including "base" cards (cards which are part of the product's main set which are not autographed or serial-numbered and do not contain pieces of memorabilia), while some do not. Make sure you know if all cards ship before you purchase a spot in a break.
There are several different ways to conduct group breaks. We will describe the three most common types of breaks:
Pick Your Team
In a Pick Your Team (PYT) format break, you select a team which is priced based on the market value of the team spot. Factors such as the demand, availability, and projected market value of the team's available cards in the product determine the price. The benefit to this format is that you determine which team you will receive, so you will not get stuck with a team whose cards you don't want.
Random Team format is just what its name implies: you purchase a spot at a fixed price and receive a random team. Most breakers use Random.org to determine team assignments. The benefits to a Random Team break are: you have a chance to receive more expensive teams at a lower cost and you receive cards for a team you might not necessarily select in a Pick Your Team format (great for trade bait and reselling).
A Random Hit break will usually only be done for higher-end products with a low number of cards inside the sealed product. The hits are entered into Random.org and randomized; names of participants may also be randomized before both lists are copied and pasted on a spreadsheet to match the participant with their hit. The benefit to this is you are guaranteed a hit; the detriment is that you will usually be paying a higher per-spot fee.
Other formats exist which are perfectly legal, such as Random Division or Pick Your Division, Random Player or Pick Your Player, Random Letter or Pick Your Letter, and Random or Pick Your Serial Number. While these formats are legal, some others might not be legal, such as razzes, lines, and minis. Cardboard Treasures will never host or be party to breaks which are not clearly as legal as buying your own sealed packs, boxes, or cases from Walmart or a card shop.
Want to learn more? Check out our YouTube channel to watch some of our previous breaks.