This week Topps rolled out another one of its online exclusive releases: Topps Chrome Sapphire. Sapphire is not a fly-by night release like others as it’s been around a few years now and has gained a bit of popularity over the years.
Topps first released the Sapphire line in 2016, and it has changed immensely in both distribution and price in five years. The launch year was priced at a whopping $1,500, but you received the complete set of 700 cards plus 13 parallels numbered /5, AND two superfractors. There were only 250 sets made available.
The following year, Sapphire still carried a price tag of $1,500, but some value was added in the form of rookie autographs. Once again Sapphire was sold in complete sets of 700 cards limited to 250 available with 2 superfractors and 13 parallels. Additionally, you received FIVE rookie autographs.
Changes were made to Topps Chrome Sapphire for the 2018 release. It became much more affordable, and it changed drastically from the first two years selling as complete sets.
In 2018, Topps Chrome Sapphire was sold in boxes for $200. Each box came with 100 base cards, three rookie autographs, and three parallels.
Another big change occurred in the set the following year. For 2019, Topps issued Chrome Sapphire in packs. For just $50 you received four packs of eight cards with a guaranteed rookie autograph.
It’s amazing to see the changes in both how Sapphire has been released as a product, as well as the pricing that accompanies it. Take a look at the below chart for Topps Chrome Sapphire from 2017 to 2020.
This year the big change occurred in the price tag. You still receive four packs of eight cards with a rookie autograph…at a price tag of $300. A six times markup from the year prior. The only added value this year is in addition to a guaranteed rookie autograph, you get a parallel as well. The price per card for essentially the same product rose from $1.56 to $9.38.
But, that’s not the reason I didn’t buy 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire. Just like the Ben Baller Chrome boxes, I was looking at Sapphire strictly to flip. My target for net profit on a flip like this is in the neighborhood of $125. That is because there is some risk involved selling sealed wax on eBay. You open yourself up to returns and cancellations if the market drops from your sale price, or potentially scammed by someone that wasn’t happy with the contents upon opening. To take that risk, I need there to be enough profit.
Initial listings on eBay were priced as low as $470 per box and that was just from Montgomery Club members ahead of the general public raffle. Once the general public received notifications and confirmed orders, more listings were posted. In the near term I feel that box prices will settle around $400, maybe lower. Of course, the long term value remains to be seen dependent on the performance of the players in the 2020 rookie class. And for that reason, I’m out.