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Flipping Clearance Packs at Walmart & Target for Profit

Flipping Clearance Packs at Walmart & Target for Profit


This guest post came through our Article Submission Program. Thoughts and opinions are those of the author.

A lot of sports card collectors like myself are stepping back into the hobby after years of absence. It is very easy for new investors to be overwhelmed with all of the different brands of packs, card variations and players.

Here is one trick I’ve used to make profit from packs at my local Walmart and Target store.

Last Year’s Packs can be This Year’s Treasures 

Once packs have been out on the shelves for a prolonged amount of time, Walmart puts these packs packs on clearance. This is where many card collectors/investors make the common mistake of either overlooking them because the packs are “old” or ripping the packs because they were cheap.

Some of these packs are quick, easy, and safe flips. Unlike investing in players, which takes time to research stats, watch them play in games, only to hope they perform and gain value, flipping clearance packs is just one eBay search away to check the sold/completed listings to know if it is a good buy. Just because they are old, it doesn’t always mean they’re not worth buying.

Topps Baseball 2018 Update Series

Although they are becoming harder and harder to come by, Topps 2018 Update is a must buy if you can find the packs at your local retailer. These packs may be on clearance for $3.95 each. Each pack sells for around $15-18 + buyer pays shipping.

This is a great example of the potential profit you can gain from flipping clearance packs:

12 2018 Topps Update Fat Packs @ $3.95 

12 x $3.95 = $47.40 + Sales Tax (6.35% for me)

$47.40 + $3.01= $50.41 (Your original investment)

(Each pack sells for around $17) 

12 (packs) x $17 (money from each pack) = $204

$204 (total after packs sold) x .13 (eBay fee) = $26.52

$204 – $26.52 = $177.48 – $50.41 (initial investment)


I don’t think anyone would be complaining about an extra $127 in their paypal for just listing on eBay then shipping!

2018 Topps Update is just one of many packs you can flip for profit. Some other good packs are: 2018 Topps Series 2, 2018 Optic Football Blaster Boxes and 2018 Optic Basketball hangers, cellos, or blasters.

Do note, sometimes the items from last year are not always on clearance. This is typically because a Walmart employee missed the boxes or packs. If you ask a manager you can most likely get a price match to the clearance amount. If you buy packs not on clearance there’s still the potential to make money but paying double the initial investment will only further reduce your final figure of profit. 

Good Luck! 

With everyone in the basketball hobby driving around looking for 2019 Prizm, people seem to have become tunnel visioned on Prizm and have become blinded to other opportunities to make money. I have picked up at least 20 packs of 2018 Update while looking for Prizm Basketball. I can only imagine the countless amount of people that have looked over these packs before me!

Next time you are Walmart and Target be sure to check the clearance bins! 

I know a lot of us “hunt” at out local stores like Target and Walmart – can you provide any further guidance or tips for the community? Tell us in the Comments below.

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View Comments (15)
      • So yea this seems to be a big secret. I have asked every store and they are clueless. Does the vendor person get a kick back to let select people know when they are stocking a store?

        • A few things, they know either the vendor, store manager or employee… it’s unfortunate, but most people have an inside to retail or at least know the day the will be stocked and are there early. Ultimately they probably buy it all at once and put it up on eBay for double or triple. Sucks, I wish retail was more fun

    • I work at Target in Electronics – the new policy since May for our area has been to keep mum for the privacy and safety of our card vendors. We had several incidents where collectors would stalk or follow these guys home, try to impersonate them to access the backroom area, or would destroy the boxes to get to the products while the vendor was stocking the shelves, so the company (Excell in my area) decided to keep their schedules secret. They vendor at my store shows up at 6am, 2 hrs before the store opens to avoid being seen. Most of the people that work in the area (Electronics or Checkouts, depending on your Target) don’t come in until 8 or 9, when the guy is probably gone. So they probably genuinely don’t know, or do but due to new policy can’t divulge that information.

      • I think that is great for everyone! It has become a real problem in the hobby. While I am happy there is more interest from other people, it is really tragic that folks can’t go buy a couple of packs for their kids and get them interested in sports cards. There are a lot of GOOD lessons to be learned by collecting and it’s fun. I saw a huge change in the ability to buy retail cards at the end of 2018 until now. Collectors just have to stop paying $60 a blaster box on Ebay to stop this nonsense. It’s as simple as that but I am not seeing that happening any time soon. Keep up the anonymity of when they are stocked and maybe the rest of us can have a blaster box or 2.

    • Look for an empty box. Ask an employee if they have any extra stock in the back. Usually ends up telling you when their vendor will be back to restock. They don’t want to miss the sale!

  • Friends,
    It’s a fraught practice, end it doesn’t really help kids.
    My son has recently become obsessed with sports cards. Right now it seems the only way that we can make “math“ fun for our seven-year-old, during at home learning. But this practice makes it actually impossible for us to afford yes hobby. I am glad it helps people make ends meet, but at what cost?
    Sports cards are supposed to be available for kids of all economic means. Not only those with enough discretionary income to buy at “resold resale.”
    Durham, NC

    • Waaahhhhhhhh That’s life. They are only worth anything because they are scarce. And whether or not this guy posts this article, the prices are still on Ebay. If you need to read this article to know the packs are worth more on ebay (Which takes all of 10 seconds for me to look up) then you have already failed.

      • You flippers suck get a life. Y’all are not in it like us collectors are just for money. Don’t know anything about the hobby or collecting in general. No one buy the packs off eBay. Time will catch up with them when they buy all of em and no one will buy them. Karma will come it’s nonsense. I have seen guys and even women’prolly there girlfriend come in and take from kids. That is so not right. I’m asking the stores in my area to put a limit on the packs you buy. People from the outside that buy all of the boxes if they were smart they wouldn’t be doing it cause all they are doing is driving the price Down. Cause us in the hobby and for the kids aren’t going to buy them. Oh yes them idiots on the internet doing card breaks it’s all a scam. DONT DO IT. Weighing packs, and taking from kids. Freakin idiots.

  • I was in a Target yesterday and happened to see the vendor stocking the shelves. I went over and there were two older guys just standing there watching him. They weren’t even talking it was really creepy. I walked over to see what he had and he said he only had the Panini Baseball. Drafts. I asked about basketball and football and said he didn’t have any. He then sat down near the aisle and started looking on his phone. I could tell he was stalling and trying to get me to leave. I walked around for about 10 more minutes and then circled back and the guys were still standing there and waiting. I’m pretty sure they were waiting for no one to be around so they could get the Panini Basketball cards. I also asked him something else and he pointed to the one guy and said he would know he’s here every time I stock. I’m gonna talk to the manager who I know and see if they will put a limit on them.

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