For the last several years I have worked on a pretty strict hobby budget, put in place by my wife and I once I looked back over my spending for a few months and discovered I was a bit (or more than a bit) out of control. Back then, almost all my spending was focused on picking up cards on eBay. I had searches set up for my major player collections and would try and get every card I needed for all my players.
Over the last couple years, I have noticed my outlets for picking up cards for my collection have greatly expanded. I buy and sell on Sportlots. Occasionally I grab come cards off beckett.com. More recently I have attended a couple of estate sales and auctions looking to add cards to my collection. COMC had surpassed eBay as the place I spend the majority of my hobby funds. I have picked up a collection on Craig's List and bought cards off sellers in Facebook groups. I have watched a bunch of case breaks on Youtube but have yet to take the plunge there. One plunge I have taken has been getting into a few breaks with Burl's Sportcards.
Burl's primarily offers vintage set breaks but has also offered some Mixer breaks where cards from various sets and years are offered. You buy a spot and the cards are randomed off. You are guaranteed a card and usually there are one or two key cards.
I have participated in the last 2 Post-WWII Mega Mixers with mixed results. The first one, right before the end of 2018 had a 1962 Topps Lou Brock PSA 5 and a 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle as the top 2 cards. Entry into the break was $35, there were only 20 slots and here is what I brought home:
I scored this 1963 Topps Ernie Banks. While I didn't win one of the key prized I do think this was one of the better cards. Looking at comps on eBay and COMC I think I did pretty well from a price perspective of course. This isn't the best conditioned card but I think if I chose to resell it (which I won't) I could get more than I paid for the slot. I have very few 1963 cards in my collection and even fewer of stars so this Banks is staying in my collection and I consider this mixer entry a nice win.
I second Post-WWII Mega Mixer was offered in late January, with one with 100 slots with the same $35 price point. The key card was a 1963 Topps Pete Rose PSA 6 RC. There were some other killer cards like a 1954 Topps Mays, 1955 Bowman Mays and 1956 Topps Aaron, Koufax, Williams, Clemente and Jackie. Lots of great cards, all from 1969 or earlier. Here is what I scored in this mixer:
Ouch. Not only is this a card that sells for less that $10, it is one I already have in my collection, in my completed 1969 set. I love the design of these All-Star cards and while I would have loved to pick up some of the top cards, these mixers are a gamble and I knew the risks. You win some and you lose some.
There was a 10 card Mini-Mixer that I passed on recently as I had most of the top cards already in my collection. There is a Pre-WWII Mega Mixer coming up soon that I am eager to hear the details of and hope to enter and a few other 50s and 60s set breaks I am considering entering coming up. I have really enjoyed expanding the outlets to secure cards for my collection.