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Panini America Announces Authorized Case Breaker Designation, Other Enhancements

October 18, 2013

Internet_Retailer_Final

Panini America officials on Friday announced several enhancements to the company’s internet retail policies designed to support both online and brick-and-mortar marketplaces. In addition, the company also detailed enhancements to support collector participation with online Group and Case Breaks. The changes come on the heels of the company’s new Panini Roundtable hobby shop program introduced in August.

The major enhancement is designed to support the growing Case Breaking segment of the market and the collectors that participate in them. Panini America is creating a separate category class in its distribution model for Authorized Case Breakers. Those interested in becoming an Authorized Case Breaker can submit an application through Panini America master distributors for evaluation by Panini America. A complete list of Authorized Case Breakers will be released by mid-November.

“The introduction of an Authorized Case Breaker class within our distribution model was one we seriously considered and reviewed over a period of months,” said D.J. Kazmierczak, Panini America’s Vice President of Sales. “By creating an Authorized Case Breaker category, we feel it will provide a level of comfort to collectors who are looking to get involved with case breaking, knowing that Panini has deemed those Authorized Case Breakers as a trustworthy source. Panini has been an ardent supporter of case breaking and we feel by creating this level of classification, it not only further legitimizes this segment but will grow the overall category.”

Panini America also has updated several elements of its Internet Retail Policy.

All of the company’s Authorized Internet Retailers and Case Breakers must maintain an advertised price that is 20 percent above direct cost in the 15 days following a product’s release. The same holds true for any pre-sells. In addition, any Authorized Internet Retailer found to be selling below the stated price will immediately become unauthorized.

“The policy has been updated to coincide with our new Panini Roundtable program and our continued commitment to support the brick-and-mortar hobby shops as much as we possibly can,” Kazmierczak said. “With a full compliment of people now on the Panini sales team, we have the ability to administer to the policing of this policy.

“Internet retailers are very important to us. There still are many places in this country where online is the only means of distribution available. At the same time, we recognize that sometimes these retailers do not operate with the same overhead costs involved with brick-and-mortar stores. We want to make sure that all channels of distribution continue to operate in the best interest of Panini brands and in the best interest of the overall sports trading card category.”

A reminder of other Panini America distribution policies:

  • Unauthorized internet retailers and case breakers may NOT be supplied by Panini America master distributors or direct accounts.
  • Authorized Panini accounts may not sell below direct wholesale price on the internet for 30 days after a product’s release.
  • There will be no U.S.-Canada cross border selling for 120 days after a product’s release.

Internet retailers, show dealers and online case breakers must submit an application through Panini America Master Distributors and will be approved by Panini.

Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional updates and a complete list of Authorized Case Breakers.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2013 11:34 am

    I dig your products. I really enjoy being an internet reseller / case breaker on the side of my full time job. I bust cases and sell everything in singles/lots/sets on eBay. Collectors gobble up Panini NBA cards fast and furious. There are a ton of collectors buying singles on the internet, no doubt. I hope to one day open a card shop locally in the Champaign-Urbana area. (University of Illinois Fighting Illini)

    The only complaint I have is your current release schedule. You are scheduled to release 4 products within a 3 week time period:

    10/23 – 2013-14 Hoops
    10/25 – 2012-13 Flawless
    11/06 – 2013-14 Prestige
    11/13 – 2012-13 Immaculate

    Yikes! You know it takes time to sort through 20,000 cards and build sets don’t you? (Hoops) What are you trying to do, give me carpel tunnel syndrome along with no sleep?

  2. October 18, 2013 11:55 am

    So anyone can become an Internet seller/case breaker and buy product direct from Panini at wholesale cost? You no longer need to have a brick-and-mortar store? You no longer need to pay “overhead” to run a business? You no longer need to put in years of sweat equity to build a supportive base? You no longer have to collect sales tax to support your community? Anyone who Panini approves can buy product direct without having any investment at all in the hobby for resale purposes? If this is correct, and if other companies adopt this policy, then this could very well be the final deathblow to the hobby store. If you own a hobby store, please reply and give your thoughts.

  3. timcardaway permalink
    October 18, 2013 12:42 pm

    Jerry – not anyone can become a Panini Authorized Internet retailer or case breaker. If you currently own a hobby shop, have a website and are an authorized brick and mortar store (directly through us or your preferred distributor), you can sell Panini products on your website provided your follow the policies as outlined above. Otherwise, we currently have only 10 authorized internet retailers (as indiciated by our logo). To be completely transparent, we reject more applications than we approve. Our new policies are in place to protect hobby stores and the Panini Roundtable progam will further illustrate our commitment to brick mortar stores.

    • October 18, 2013 12:47 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. I am glad that you have controls in place to prevent misuse of this program.

  4. Peter permalink
    October 18, 2013 1:18 pm

    Does this move help the collector at all?

  5. Jamey Feuer permalink
    October 18, 2013 2:49 pm

    It will be very interesting to see how the inclusion of…and Panini’s support for, group breaks impacts the hobby. It’s certainly forward thinking… but as Jerry so capably stated, the effect upon the LHS may be more profound then anticipated.

  6. October 18, 2013 3:01 pm

    Will this be available to Canadians as well? Already have the Roundtable designation but we’d like to an Authorized case breaker as well.

  7. October 18, 2013 5:57 pm

    Just a business thought … Overhead does not = legitimate or successful business. Overhead is a choice you make within your business model. To each his own, no one is has to be wrong…

  8. October 19, 2013 9:04 am

    I’ve been a big supporter of group breaks for many years on YouTube, I haven’t always had the time or money to do them myself but I’ve participated and promoted in quite a few along the way. I believe this is the model for more younger collectors who are both internet savvy and unable to afford high end products individually to have access to them. This is the sort of smaller, incremental income that can really help a small business establish repeat customers, move stagnant products in conjunction with other new releases when needed and network themselves globally using Panini as a platform. I honestly can’t see any downside to this whatsoever and praise Panini for being the first to openly embrace this practice at this level which many of my friends and I have been waiting on for years now. Thanks Tracy!

    • Jamey Feuer permalink
      October 19, 2013 10:12 am

      Hudson, this dialogue underscores the real strength of The Knight’s Lance; a forum that encourages an open exchange of information and opinion.
      The hobby has undergone an astounding revolution encompassing production and design, the inclusion of memorabilia and autographs, limited print runs, etc.
      The development of Panini sponsored group breaks, however, is especially noteworthy. As online auctions have afforded collectors the opportunity to purchase product and singles they otherwise would never have laid eyes upon, so too will group breaks afford the same collectors with the opportunity to build their collections with cards they could never have afforded otherwise.
      I have not participated in a group break. Yet. But I feel better about the prospects….& the effect it will have upon our friend who have brick & mortar shops.
      The expansion of online breaks is inevitable. Having Panini vett and exert control over those who sponsor these breaks is clearly beneficial.

  9. EddieK HK permalink
    October 26, 2013 1:22 am

    Then let me ask you something, how do you control shops overseas that do not follow your rules? I know a shop in Hong Kong who charges big spenders near direct cost, but overcharges the other people. And they still release products earlier that street date? I mean look at Flawless, people in Asia were getting their cases way before release date? There is even one big buyer from Singapore, who got nearly 40 cases from various sources, and resold at a profit to shops in the US/distributor who wanted more stock of flawless…And he got most of his stock from those shops in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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