Don’t Buy Repacks – Card Game Rant

Collectible Card “Repacks” are marginally less garbage then people who sell them. Which is to say they’re still pretty garbage.

Time for another card based rant, because nothing fills the content drought like rage and fluff. But it’s not like anyone is going stop me, so I’m posting anyway. Today we’re gonna talk about the absolute garbage that is a repack.

I’ve spent a non-zero portion of time browsing stuff on various sales apps recently, and there’s something that appears a lot of that drives me absolutely insane: repacks masquerading as either singles or actual packs.

Let me say something very simple: REPACKS ARE WORTHLESS. NEVER BUY THEM. If you think that someone is actually going to repack a very expensive chase card into one of their boosters and then sell it under its market value, you have a far more charitable view of human nature then I do.

There are other reasons that repacks are worthless as well. They tend to offer a very low number of cards, and it’s better value to buy singles, or if you really want that lottery ticket experience, to buy actual sealed boosters.

Now, ignoring everything else about why repacks are garbage, there’s something important to understand about why buying repacks from your fellow players is a bad idea. It has to do with the price to buy cards, either sealed, or as singles.

Brick and mortar game stores generally buy products for 50% of the retail price that they sell it to you for. This means that if a booster box is selling for about 130-140 in a game store, the store selling it to you bought it for likely around $70 from the publisher.

The absolute cheapest I have ever seen a booster box sell for is $80. This was a somewhat under the table deal the store had with an individual who supported the store extensively and helped to run events for the game
the box was for. That still had a bit of margin built in, as small as it was (LGSs are businesses after all).

In any case, when you buy a repack, you’re likely buying it from one of two places:

  1. A fellow player/collector of the game who bought so much shit they’re trying to make money back by selling all the chaff and other things that they don’t want.
  2. A LGS that cracked boosters, took all the good stuff out to sell to their customers, and was left with a bunch of loose commons no one will ever buy.

In short, you are paying money for the trash someone else doesn’t want, and is now trying to offload.

Now, there’s one other group of folks who might look at these repacks, and potentially see them as a good deal: parents buying cards for their kids. This is the group that’s being taken advantage of here.

I don’t have kids, so I’m not going to make any statement on the difficultly of trying to raise children. Most parents probably have better things to do with their time than to try to understand the minutiae of cardboard cutouts with magic animals on them.

The thing is, if these folks did understand what they were buying, they could still get a better deal for their money. Based on my experience, I cared about two things about a card when I was a kid.

  1. Card is shiny.
  2. Having as many different cards as possible.

If these parents wanted to get the most value for their cash, they could just go onto TCG player, buy a bunch of jank GX/EX/V’s, find a bunch of cards at about a 1$, buy two copies of 10 of those cards, and bam, 20 Ultra Rares for $20. 1 copy for the kid to keep, 1 copy to trade.

Of course, they don’t do this, because they’re more concerned with things like food, shelter, and the ongoing worldwide disaster we’ve been living in for the last two years than cardboard animals.

So when their kid asks for Pokemon cards, and they can’t find any at the store, they go on to whatever digital marketplace they happen to use, search for Pokemon Cards, see these shitty repacks, and go “Alright,” buy them, and then go back to other far more important things.

Anyway. The point is that repacks are scummy, people who sell them are scummy, the “Target audience” is folks who don’t know better, and repackers are bad and should feel bad.

Screw repacks.