One of the things that some collector friends ask me is why I've been leaning more towards group breaks than buying individual boxes lately.
There are actually a few reasons for this. The first one to me is the convenience factor. I only have two LCS's within a half hour of my house along with a couple of big box stores. With group breaks, I'm able to get the latest products without leaving the house.
The second is cost effectiveness. Instead of spending $100 on a new box, I can get a spot in the break for four or five bucks most of the time. And while I may not end up with a team that I collect, it does give me the opportunity to network with people who collect the teams I end up with and find new trading partners.
Group breaks also allow me to buy into a product that I normally couldn't afford. For example, it is extremely unlikely that I'd walk into a LCS and lay down $400 for a box of National Treasures. But, group breaking ends up allowing me the opportunity to buy a single team spot for about $15. I did this last night and ended up with the Yankees. And while I didn't get a Mantle or a DiMaggio or Ruth; I did end up with a couple of hits, including a Curtis Granderson booklet (the first booklet I've ever owned).
To further exemplify this last point, I splurged and took place in a Heroes of Sport Baseball break last night also. While my hit was lackluster (a BGS 9.5 2011 Bowman Strasburg), one of my fellow breakers received a T-206 Cy Young card! Now that's the thrill of a group break to me. For a quarter of the cost of the box, he ended up with a century old card of the greatest pitcher of all time.
Group breaks have added some great cards to my collection over the last month including a 2012 Topps 14K Gold Pablo Sandoval 1/1 (from a code card received in a break), a 12-13 Elite Passing the Torch dual auto of Dennis Rodman and Kevin Love, an ITG Motown Madness Terry Sawchuk jersey with a print run of 9, and a Triple Threads Russell Wilson autographed jersey rookie numbered to 50.
Without group breaks, these hits came from products that I normally wouldn't even buy at full retail.
Even if I don't have the money to buy in to every product, it's still fun to hang out with some of the great collectors I've gotten to know through these sites and see what they end up with on any particular night.
So if you're looking for a fun and relatively inexpensive way to get some new products, I highly suggest you check out a group break or two and see if it's right for you.