As a rule of thumb, when the headline is a question, the answer is no. Are ‘Mystery Packs’ worth the risk? In the vast majority of scenarios, you’re likely to lose money, and you’re going to end up with a selection of cards that aren’t particularly collectible.
Here are our thoughts about mystery packs, which have become increasingly popular within the hobby in recent years.
What are Mystery Packs and Boxes
Whether it’s Whatnot, eBay, or another platform, it’s easy to find mystery boxes claiming to contain expensive cards which are available for a fraction of the normal price.
It’s a simple business model. The seller fills most packs with bulk and junk cards, and there are a few expensive hits contained in lucky envelopes. As long as the packs are sold for a high enough average price, the seller makes money, and a few buyers get valuable cards for a low fee.
That’s how it works in theory. However, given there’s no real regulation in the sector, it’s easy for unscrupulous sellers to scam buyers.
Issues with Mystery Packs and Boxes
For example, who’s to say if the mystery packs actually contain any valuable cards? It’s possible to send ‘winning’ packs to friends or family, or to another account owned by the seller. Scammers are always going to try and game the system, and will aim to find workarounds to any rules put in place.
It’s not unheard of for mystery pack buyers to claim they’ve been scammed on social media, especially if the cards they’ve bought retail for less than the alleged floor price.
The floor is the lowest value you’d expect to find in a pack, giving mystery pack buyers more of an inkling as to the overall value.
Mystery Packs and Boxes: Final Thoughts
If you’re going to buy mystery packs, you’ll probably be throwing money away. If you’re determined to get some packs, look out for transparent sellers, who are committed to being open and honest about the process, and what you can expect to find. Some sellers will use a spreadsheet, or other methods to show how they arrived at valuations for the floor price.
It’s always tempting to dream of packing the bigger hits, but it’s smart to be aware of the various scams that have plagued platforms like eBay and Whatnot in the past. Personally, I haven’t sold any mystery boxes, but it would be a good way to get rid of bulk cards. Breaks tend to be better if you’d like to roll the dice and hope for a major hit. At least you’ll be able to watch the break, and there’s less chance of being ripped off.
On the other hand, mystery packs are ideal for new collectors, or anyone who wants to spend less to get in on the action. Make sure to only buy from people that you trust, and make sure to chase refunds if you feel like the value of packs have been misrepresented.