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Hobby vs Retail: What's The Difference?

Why is there a price difference? Where can you find hits & the BIGGEST hits?

In the infographic below we have used 202-21 Hoops Basketball as an example to explain the distinct differences between Hobby & Retail products. The disparity in Hoops products is somewhat smaller than in later season products like Donruss Hobby & Retail, Prizm Hobby & Retail and Mosaic Hobby & Retail, which all have very big gaps between the two types of products.

What's the difference between Hobby & Retail?

What is a Hobby product?
Hobby products can be found at your local Trading Card & Collectibles stores and won’t be found in EB Games, K-Mart and Target (if you are from the states Wal-mart too). Hobby boxes contain Autographs &/or Memorabilia, numbered, short print (SP) and super short print (SSP) cards + inserts and parallels are a lot more common than in a retail product (on average 1+ per pack). With the increased hits, comes an increased price and you will find Hobby boxes & packs costing more than Retail products.

What is a Retail product?
Retail products are generally entry level products for new collectors to get a taste of collecting. Retail products can be found at all your local retail stores like EB Games, K-Mart and Target (if you are from the states Wal-mart too). It isn’t common to see retail products in your local Trading Card & Collectibles store but is possible via the re-sale market. Generally Retail products do not guarantee autographs or memorabilia hits. They can still be found in the product but it’s just generally a lot harder to hit than in Hobby. Inserts and parallels are also a lot more uncommon than Hobby and generally you won’t find an insert or parallel in every pack. Retail products sometimes offer retail exclusive parallels or inserts to entice people over to the retail products.

Retail Products:
- Pack: 5-10 cards (10% chance of an auto/memorabilia hit)
- Blister-Packs: Cardboard hanger that contains 1 x 5-10 Card Pack (10% chance of an auto/memorabilia hit)
- Rack-Packs or Hanger-Packs: Cardboard box that contains 30-40 (25% chance of an auto/memorabilia hit)
- Blaster Box: 20-100 cards, which sometimes guarantee a hit, but usually the hits are low (40% chance of an auto/memorabilia hit)
- Box: Up to 24 packs per box. Can guarantee an auto/memorabilia hit, but this changes depending on the set. 

An example of when misunderstanding Hobby vs Retail can go extremely wrong:
(Allen & Ginter Blaster Boxes are a Topps Baseball Retail product)

via Reddit.com

Hobby

Average Guaranteed Hits

Hobby Box Break Average
2 Autographs
22 Prizms Parallels

First Off The Line Premium Edition Box Break Average
3 Exclusive Shimmer Autographs
4 Silver Prizms Parallels
3 Exclusive Shimmer Prizms Parallels

Retail

Average Guaranteed Hits

Retail Box Break Average
1 Autograph
12 Prizms Parallels

Blaster Box Break Average
1 Autograph or Memorabilia

Multi-Pack Break Average
1 Red, White and Blue Pack (3 cards)

Hobby

Average Guaranteed Hits

Hobby Box Break Average
1 Autograph
5 Silvers and 15 Mosaics Parallels
20 Inserts

First Off The Line (FOTL) Box Break Average
1 Autograph
2 Mosaic Swirl Parallel (Green or Pink)
5 Silvers and 13 Mosaics Parallels
20 Inserts

Fast Break Box Break Average
1 Autograph
3 Silvers and 10 Fast Break Parallels
5 Inserts

Choice Box Break Average
1 Autograph
3 Exclusive Mosaic Parallels and 2 Choice Red/Green Rookies
1 Silver and 1 Mosaic Parallel

Retail

Average Guaranteed Hits

Mega Box Break
1 Silver and 1 Mosaic Parallel
10 Exclusive Mosaic Parallels
7 Inserts

Blaster Box Break
4 Mosaic Parallels
3 Inserts

Cello Multi-Pack Break
1 Mosaic Parallel
3 Mosaic Camo Pink Parallels
1 Insert

in summary

Hobby is more expensive, has the most inserts/parallels, guaranteed hits, the big hits and case hit cards.
Retail is more cost friendly, but has less hits, less guaranteed hits, smaller chance at a bigger hit and no chance at any case hit cards.

Depending on what type of collector you are will determine what products you buy. Hobby is great for people chasing hits, Retail is great for people wanting to bust packs and have some fun. There are no rights or wrongs, the products fulfil different needs and wants for different people.

I hope this helped and if you still have any questions, please don't hesitate to hit us up via our instagram @luckycatpawnshop or via email team@luckycatpawnshop.com

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