I'm asking this in seriousness - because I don't know the answer.
In my job, I work with some component and cost variances - and the more you study those numbers, the more you realize that successful companies have EVERYTHING accounted for and built into some sort of cost matrix.
How does that relate to cards?
I actually got to thinking this morning about the cost to the consumers for redemptions - because they are EVERYWHERE.
I watched two box breaks this morning on youtube - both Panini products - and both had redemption cards.
And that's nothing surprising. It just isn't anymore, is it?
So I did some more digging and went on blowout forums to browse a few case breaks.
A case break of Panini Prizm had 6 redemptions. Two case breaks of Contenders had 5 and 6 redemptions respectively.
Does this mean I'm picking on Panini and not Topps? No, not at all. Topps has redemptions as well. But the eyeball test seems to skew to a heavier load on the Panini side. I could be wrong.
For example, on ebay if you type "Panini Redemption" - you get 1036 search results. And if you type "Topps Redemption" - you get 2444 search results. BUT, scrolling though the results on the Topps side you see that there's more wrapper redemptions than anything else now that 2013 Series 1 has landed.
Even my new blogger buddy at Cardboard Hogs just busted a box and got a redemption.
These things are rampant.
And what bothers most people is the waiting for a hit. And I get that.
But what about the cost? Do we think that these companies will just ship us these cards for free - out of their profit margins? If somebody redeems those thousand plus redemptions from Panini on ebay they have to ship the card ($2-$3) and pack the card with protection and a bubble mailer ($1). I guess we always did just assume that they did that out of their pocket. But knowing business, I doubt it.
I would venture to guess that we pay for future 'redeemed card expenses' with each and every box we purchase. So even if you get a box with no redemptions, the price is built into that box to cover the other redemptions in that case. That's how business keeps their profit margins - they make the consumer pay for it all.
And now I'm starting to see why they don't release total cases produced to the public (unless it's an advertised short print run) - and why they don't release the total number of redemptions that were packed out in that product. After all, every redemption has a code - so the manufacturer knows EXACTLY how many redemptions they put out in each product. And by the look of things, certain products probably have thousands of redemptions that we're not only having to wait for - but we pay to have to wait. How much sense does that make?
I'm just one blogger after all. But I feel that more people should be asking the hard questions.
And how bad is it? Look at these listing for "hot packs".
We have now moved past the hot pack scandals of autos and relics and have just decided to make redemption hot packs.
Somebody needs to take this hobby back from people who don't give a shit about their consumers.
Part of the problem with cutting out children from the hobby is that you've made your consumer base into a group of adults who have a mind to think.
So I was just wondering - does anybody know how much they're charging us for their lazy practice? Where can we find the print runs and the redemption quantities? How long will we let this be the status quo?
Is it corny to say this hobby needs to be redeemed?