A number of years ago, Panini started a program for Black Friday that has since been rolled out to a number of different other avenues. Father’s Day, along with the upcoming national convention in Atlantic City will all use a similar approach to moving product that no one can move. This begs the question for collectors – should you buy a box you wouldnt normally buy just because you get a pack or packs of cards?
There are bigger hits to be had in the packs, but good luck trying to pull them:
2016 Panini Father's Day Cristiano Ronaldo Auto
2016 Panini Father's Day Stephen Curry Auto
2016 Panini Father's Day Karl Anthony Towns Auto
2016 Panini Father's Day Cam Newton Plaid 1/1
Believe it or not, and I say this every year, this promotion isnt about Panini giving you free packs. Its about relieving the pressure for distributors who have taken on shitty unsellable product after shitty unsellable product, and now they cant sell it. Wow, who would have thunk?
Basically, Panini overprints a good portion of their print run above demand with the understanding that someone will eventually buy it if they mark it down enough on the dealer side. In fact, from what it looks like, many of the 2016 products that have been released are not sold out according to the distributors I talk to, and that means a program like Father’s Day becomes doubly important. Bottom line, with the garbage that Panini consistently puts on the market, seemingly every week, the prospect of selling as much as they are printing is becoming a daunting task. So daunting that Father’s Day exists.
Your shop just didnt get the packs for free. Far from it. They had to buy extra cases of product they likely already have a ton of just to get the packs. They know that if they get the packs, customers will come to buy product they wouldnt normally buy just to get the cards.
Funny thing is, the packs have gotten substantially weaker by the year, as Panini knows that free is free and why stack the deck more than you have to. It looks so sparse in terms of content that it has made the question I asked as the title of this post even more interesting. If you get crap in the boxes you buy to get the free packs and you get even less in the free packs themselves, why buy?
The answer is that most of us, myself included, are addicted to opening and though singles are CLEARLY the better play, we just have too much fun ripping through packs, even if the result has gotten more and more harrowing as the years progress.
It doesnt help that the cards in the program are some of the most hilariously ugly cards I have seen this year so far, including the ever entertaining "players in Panini shirts" set, hoards of Manupatch autos that were collecting dust in the warehouse, and a poorly executed blatant rip off of Topps Fire. In fact, Im pretty sure the Panini logo on those cards has to be the size it is just to prevent the Topps Fire logo from showing behind it.
I have said on a number of occasions that the practices employed by all the companies to keep the industry afloat are not sustainable long term. This promotion, though it works for enormous shops who still have a large base of customers, wont work for most. There are just not that many shops out there left that can sustain a big enough base of customers to participate in a way that is beneficial to them or to the customer. If you cant move shitty sets in week one, is it really worth taking on more shitty sets that you cant sell in week 19? Probably not. I guess the allure of being highlighted on Panini’s adver-blog is worth that agony.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if Panini used their resources to invest in better products, better content, and better loyalty programs for customers who inexplicably still buy their junk, this type of thing wouldnt be necessary. I would say the most obvious thing is to adjust print run to demand, but we all know that the deals they signed with all the leagues are such an overpayment and overstatement of their brand potential, that wont happen.