Pack Searchers Are One Thing…

Ever since the advent of jersey cards in products, people have been there to beat the system when opening packs to make money. These morally deceptive people have camped out at retailers across the country with their system, all with the goal of finding jersey and auto cards without ever opening the pack. These “pack searchers” have become some of the most hated people in the hobby, and have made buying loose retail packs for hits an unwinnable venture.

After obtaining these searched packs, they often sell them on eBay as “hot packs,” or packs of product for sale with guaranteed hits inside. Collectors often buy the packs expecting a chance at a nice card, but usually end up with nothing more than a plain jersey card. It’s unethical, damaging, and underhanded, despite the fact that manufacturers have used decoy cards to try and fend them off. As the companies have started to clearly label their retail packs, coupled with the decreasing value of plain jersey cards, pack searchers have diminished in numbers. It doesn’t stop people from trying their hand at it, but really, it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be.

There is one thing I saw recently that made me cringe, and that is the number of sellers out there who flat out cheat buyers who don’t know the logistics of the practice. Recently, an auction was posted, featuring the claim that the hot pack for sale contained a 1 of 1 superfractor out of 2009 Topps Chrome Football. Superfractors are extremely valuable for top tier rookies and players, and are some of the most sought after cards in the hobby. Every red flag I had in place started to go off in my head, rightfully so.

For those of you who have opened the packs of this product, its no surprise that this is a completely impossible claim to make. A superfractor is physically impossible to search out in an unopened pack, as the card features no discernable difference from the regular cards. They are not thicker, they don’t weigh more, and they are not a guaranteed hit in any box. Therefore, any claim that any unopened pack contains one, is 100% false.

Of course, because not everyone is familiar with these facts, there are bidders on the pack, which should end upwards of 100 dollars. I feel horrible for the winning bidder, because whoever buys the pack will end up with a superfractor that isn’t worth anything, out of a pack that has been opened and resealed. The seller has opened the pack, saw that the superfractor was probably a cheerleader card or lower tier player, glued the pack shut, and is selling it under the suspicion that the sale will get him more money.


The easiest way to punish any scam artist is to not buy into the scam, especially when there are very few avenues to take corrective action on this person. The seller’s pack will deliver what it says, but only because the person has advanced knowledge of what is going to come out of the pack. It’s completely unethical and unfair to the buyer, and I recommend never trusting anything you can’t verify with 100% certainty.

Personally, I would avoid hot packs all together, even if the sale seems legit. It encourages cheating, and provides funds for people who do not deserve them. You will NEVER make back your money, and the risk will never be worth the reward.

2 thoughts on “Pack Searchers Are One Thing…

  1. (2009 topps chrome) RETAIL ! “WALLY WORLD”

    slide all of the cards to the top of the pack , then one by one with your thumb nail
    slide the cards to the bottom of the pack,
    it will be easy to find any card’s serial number-player name-set number-1/1-123/999 or ANYTHING !
    the packs are see thru …. the stamping of any serial number will be clearly visible and (feelable).
    do the prosess backwards and use the clairity of the packs to see the player and set number…
    so thus never opening the pack of (2009 topps chrome football). any retail non hobby pack of
    this product is 100% fully detectable.

    ive been a card collector for my entire life, but i only really purchased cards of players of my team
    via ebay. but i happen to be a self-tought “hotpacker” or “packsearcher” whatever you want to call it
    but dont do it all of the time and have only known about this for the last couple of years.
    i can search any thing and tell you almost exactly what is in it. (with no pack obstruction)
    but for me, this info is not too tempting, cuz if it aint a vikings card i dont want it lol,
    i have sold hot packs that i have found in stores, and honestly the “profit” aint really there.
    i have opened countless packs hopeing for a 2009 brett favre patch and or auto and have not hit it.
    i usually just sell the baisic hits for a basic fair price and so on and so forth.

    what if you could walk up to any unopened box of cards and not be able to tell the difference between ALL the packs? i know how to do this.

    i would love to hear back from you on this whole matter….
    please feel free to send me an email or reply of some kind,
    i have never spoken to anyone about this so please entertain me …..


  2. Obviously, if it was say a Superfractor and autographed, no one would ever reseal it unless it was a common base un-signed superfractor, the best thing to do is the store to lock them up where if they want to buy one, they have to ask a rep or another is put it behind the counter. Decoys don’t work.

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