Jeff_Hong_Kong.JPG

Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I use data to help collectors make informed decisions about buying and selling sports cards. I hope you find the analysis presented on this blog entertaining and useful!

How is this possible?  2018-19 Optic Basketball Edition

How is this possible? 2018-19 Optic Basketball Edition

Have you ever had buyers remorse? I know I have. It has happened almost every time I’ve ever bought a new car. It generally passes with time and things aren’t as dire as I might have imagined. Or are they? Generally, people strive to make good decisions. But sometimes emotions creep in that tell us we’ve made a huge mistake.

In the case of buying a new car, almost every time I have convinced myself that a new car is necessary for some reason. This could be because my old one has become unreliable or that it didn’t suit my needs anymore. On the other hand, I like to believe that I’m in control of my choices and that I wouldn’t needlessly waste money and in the process become indebted. How could someone who is trying so hard to make good decision end up having selected such an undesirable path? The way that makes us feel is a result of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance makes us really uncomfortable. What we believe to be true about ourselves, or the world in general, is challenged with conflicting information and we just can’t resolve how it can be so.

Speaking of uncomfortable, that video succeeded in making me pretty uncomfortable. It’s ironic that a video about cognitive dissonance could bring about some cognitive dissonance. Is that Albert Einstein? Why is he teaching psychology? Wasn’t he a mathematician and physicist? Why would a brilliant scientist waste his time talking to two dolts about cognitive dissonance? Did someone mistakenly think that was supposed to be Sigmund Freud? Make it stop!

To ease our discomfort we generally follow one of four paths.

  1. We change one of the thoughts or beliefs that is causing the disagreement.

  2. We change our behavior.

  3. We add a thought or belief to the mix to help us rationalize things.

  4. We choose to trivialize some part of the disagreement

One of those four usually works to make us feel better. But, does following one of these four paths actually help or change the situation? Unlikely, although a behavior change might. Regardless, one thing that each path does is bring the things in conflict back into alignment and that feels good.

Anyway, I bring this up because today I signed a purchase agreement for a new house. I feel really good about it. At least for right now. Will I feel the same at 2:13 am when I wake up in a cold sweat in a state of panic? Who knows. It’s the largest purchase I’ve ever made with my own money and quite possibly the largest I ever will make. Was it the right choice? Should I have waited? What if house prices drop? Maybe that’s what a smart person would have done. Seriously though, I’m glad that there are some positive signs that i’ll be planting roots in my new city. See, I just added a thought to rationalize things and make me feel better. Number 3 at work.

In an effort to distract myself, though, I decided to do a short analysis on 2018-19 Optic Basketball. I had a reader ask me how the print run for hobby cases of 2018-19 Optic Basketball compared to 2017-18. Truth is I didn’t know before tonight. I didn’t think to look. Anecdotally it sounds like people are happy with Optic so far this year and that boxes seem to feel ‘loaded.’ Let’s take a look:

The number of hobby cases this year seems to be reduced by about 13%. But, not only is the print run reduced, the data I have indicates that, on average, 2018-19 Optic hobby boxes yielded around 5 non-autographed serial numbered cards. In 2017-18 Optic the number of non-autographed serial numbered insert cards per box appears to be closer to 4.5. That’s an 11% bump in frequency. It may not seem like much on the surface, but it is a bit more added value per box on average. Fewer boxes and more serial numbered hits per box are generally welcomed by collectors and might bode well for the future value of unopened product.

When you look at the parallels offered in 2017-18 and 2018-19, you’ll notice the Lime Green parallel has a lower print run in 2018-19 (149 vs 175). In addition, Lime Green was eliminated as a parallel for the insert cards in the 2018-19 set. Otherwise, the serial numbers all look pretty much the same between the two years.

But isn’t this the year of Luka and the big jump in production numbers for Prizm? It sure is. Why would Panini decide to reduce the print run on Optic? That’s probably money left on the table and SO NOT what we would have expected. What don’t we know? Is that cognitive dissonance knocking at the door again?

Till next time - Jeff

Cuts Like a Knife - Part 1

Cuts Like a Knife - Part 1

2018-19 Donruss Optic Basketball Hobby Print Run Analysis

2018-19 Donruss Optic Basketball Hobby Print Run Analysis