Sports Card Breakers: The State Of Breaking

Giant Sports Cards break table with unopened boxes of baseball, basketball, and football cards

Sports card fans deal with many difficulties, like the high cost of some cards and lack of availability. Box breakers use the power of group buying to solve some of these problems. Baseball card breakers, for example, may make it easier for baseball card fans to grow their collection.

Let’s dive into the state of breaking to learn how breaking works, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and if it is worth it.

How Does Breaking Work?

Breaking works pretty much the same no matter what sport. With baseball card breakers, for example, the seller purchases sealed sports card boxes or cases to open online in front of an audience. The buyers split the items found inside. Exactly how this is done varies depending on the style of the break. For example, in breaks like Draft Style, buyers get the chance to pick cards after they are shown. Other breaks may assign items to buyers randomly or give buyers a chance to purchase all of the cards of a certain team, or division, that is found in the case.

Why Are Sports Card Breakers Popular?

Sports cards can be expensive. Prices are higher for premium products, and a sealed case of cards can sell for thousands of dollars. Purchasing this kind of high-ticket item is out of the question for many collectors. But, sports card breaks let a person purchase a sports card box, then sell individual cards from this box to other collectors, allowing them to buy into the box.

Group buying lets budget-conscious NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC, and other sports fans participate in ripping new boxes without purchasing a whole case.

Depending on the style of break, savvy buyers may find sales on sports cards they want, so they don’t have to waste money accumulating junk cards.

Another reason for the surge in breaking is availability. Breakers and breaking companies may get access to card collections that other hobby shops lack.

Are There Disadvantages?

Sports card breaking does have some disadvantages. Breaking lacks the thrill of ripping new wax in person. While group breaks are usually streamed live, this process may not give all fans the same experience. Plus, splitting the cards leaves buyers feeling unsatisfied if they feel they did not get a good card, or someone else in the break got a card that they really wanted.

Slots & Spots

In most breaks, sports card breakers sell or auction spots in a variety of ways. The number of spots and the price of each slot is determined by the value of the products, the number of items in the box, and the style of the break. The buyer receives all cards they randomly drew or purchased.

Four typical breaks are described below, but keep in mind there are countless variations.

Team Break

In a team break, or Pick Your Team (PYT), the number of slots is determined by the number of teams. If a box contains cards from 30 teams, the breaker will sell 30 slots. When buyers purchase a slot, they get all the cards for that team.

Sports card breakers set slot prices differently depending on factors like the team and the collection. For example, in a recent case break of Panini Immaculate 2021-22 NBA cards, the Detroit Pistons were priced at $999, the LA Clippers slot was priced at $299, and the Golden State Warriors were priced at $1299.


The division method is similar to PYT and is used by many sports card breakers.

The number of slots is determined by the number of divisions in the league. Buyers select a division and get all the items in that division. Expect to pay a higher price per slot if you want to buy into this style break because you’re getting more cards.

Set Breaks

A set breaks style uses randomization and is common among many baseball card breakers and other sports card breakers.

The number of slots matches the number of items available. After the break or before it, depending on the seller, each slot is randomly assigned to an item in the break. All slots are priced the same, and buyers may purchase multiple slots.

Draft Style

The draft style operates like the draft in NFL or MLB sports. After the break, buyers pick the items they want. Who gets the first pick, second, third, and so forth may be determined randomly, or by using some other method. Sports card breakers may use many different variations of this style.

Do Sellers Make Money?

While breakers can make money, the amount of profit in this industry is hard to determine accurately due to the newness of this activity and the lack of data. According to some estimates, a typical break results in 10-20% profit for the seller and may be nearer to the low end.

Recognizing & Avoiding Bad Breaks

Buyers can avoid many problems with sports and baseball card breakers—like poor shipping that ruins your card before you get a chance to put it in a protective sports card Toploader—by researching the breaker. Look up the breaker on social media to see their style and if there are any comments left about their service. A quick check into their social accounts could save you from a bad break!

Packages arriving in the mail

The most common problem buyers experience may be paying too much for a spot. While hard to avoid, this risk can be minimized by researching the value of a collection and your odds to pull a good hit.

Thinking Of Breaking?

Whether you love them or hate them, sports card breakers aren’t going away in the foreseeable future. If you decide to participate in a break, exercise due diligence to avoid a poor experience.

If you are interested in doing a personal box break or breaking for others, the low prices at our sports card store can help you get started. Get the hottest sealed boxes and cases here and save time hunting around. Check out our pre-release calendar for sports card release dates to stay on top of the latest drops, and make sure to protect your collections with quality supplies. Giant Sports Cards has many ways to help make your card-collecting journey fun and easy.