By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor
Group-breaking is a force in today’s hobby, combining various technology and social media platforms to transform opening boxes of cards into an interactive experience and an event — whether you land something cool or not.
It’s the new virtual card shop, the new eBay, the new game-changer, in that it’s perhaps helping change the hobby as we know it today by drawing in collectors and allowing them to shred wax boxes like never before while connecting with other collectors and dealers to find what they need.
We’ve let collectors speak here at Beckett.com/news about which group-breakers they use and trust to help compile The List — 50 Breakers to Know.
Note: This list is far from comprehensive — and breakers are listed in no particular order. Some are larger and established, some might not be there just yet. Explore The List and see if you think there’s one that’s right for you.
See them all … after the jump.
Layton Sports Cards
Location: North Cape May, N.J.
Customer Endorsement: “I love breaking with Layton Sports Cards. I like to break there because Rich is a really fun breaker who really gets into each break. He’s always honest about products and is wiling to throw in some bonuses if you get a really bad beat. I also love the excitement of a BOOM! when one gets pulled. He has a very quick shipping time and is extremely reasonable to work with.” — Nate
Location: Encino, Calif.
Customer Endorsement: “Chad is a very honest and reliable guy. He is entertaining while he does his breaks and tries to be on a first-name basis with his customers — even his non-regulars. He has high-end breaks and he mixes in inexpensive breaks for breakers with a limited budget. Some breaks come with” Hitless” packs or cards when available. All in all, one of the top breakers if not the top breaker.” — David
Location: Santa Clara, Calif.
Customer Endorsement: “Doug, Dan, Billy, and Shane at mojobreaks.com are the best hands down. Great prices and even better customer service. I have never had a complaint with anything and they do whatever is needed to keep your business and trust.” — Tim
Twitter: @ LiveCaseBreak
Location: New York/Florida
Customer Endorsement: “Tim and Larry have always been so kind to me, they always make me feel welcome as they do to anyone who joins the room. … They also bring in Arizona Diamondback reliever Brad Ziegler to break for them on occasion, I don’t see any other breaker bringing in the pros.” — Zack W
Location: Downers Grove, Ill.
Customer Endorsement: “I have been breaking with Ripkings.com for about two years. Great folks. They interact with the breakers really well and have great pulling luck. They know your teams and respond to any emails quickly. I just have fun. I have tried other sites and had some fun but I always stand by Ripkings.” — Brad
Twitter: @BlowoutTV, @CheapFunBreaks
Location: Sterling, Va.
Customer Endorsement: “Awesome guy that nowadays runs huge breaks of 50-plus cases, but still does small ones as well almost every night. He’s also a moderator on blowoutcards forums so newcomers automatically should know he’s very trustworthy. Want your PC player in upcoming 2014 Bowman Draft? You can bid on him in a break and get 100 CASES worth of cards. No other breaker offers this or comes close to it.” — Nicholas L.
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Customer Endorsement: “Super-fun breaks, good prices and great customer service. I’ve watched a lot of breakers but these are the only guys that I buy from.” — Angelsfan07
Customer Endorsement: “I have been breaking for a few years and have been in breaks with many different breakers but I have to say without a doubt that CardCollectorX is the best of the best. Great pricing, great knowledge, handles cards with care, and fantastic shipping.” — Adam Brouwer
Steel City Collectibles
Location: McKeesport, Pa.
Customer Endorsement: “I’ve used Layton Sports Cards and Steel City Collectibles. Both were very enjoyable.” — Justin
Minera Sports Cards
Location: Inglewood, Calif.
Customer Endorsement: “He has the best prices I’ve seen on the stuff he does sell – probably just to generate traffic at this point. He ships quickly, but unfortunately, only breaks on Mondays, and generally runs a lot of low-end mixers.” — John
Location: Miami, Fla.
Customer Endorsement: “I always break with Bateson at RippingWax. He knows baseball, football and basketball inside and out. No one pulls more hits than Bates. Its not even close.” — Justin R.
Customer Endorsement: “Bateson is by far the best breaker around. I have broken with many different breakers and once I started breaking with Bateson I never left. He has the best prices and the best shipping department by far.” — Samtollen
Twitter: @ big_hurt35
Customer Endorsement: “Bryan (BH35) is always respectful, and has a clean, fun, and family-friendly set up. He treats the cards with kid gloves, as if they were his own.” — Joel Mortenson
Location: Dallas, Texas
The official breaks option from Beckett Media’s auctions division.
Big Texas Breaks
Customer Endorsement: “Big Texas Breaks has been my first online break experience. The best I have been apart of, too. Always a good time, looking forward to more. Solid breaker.” — JHarris
Big Hit Breaks
Customer Endorsement: “The ones I find myself going to first nowadays are Bateson and FriendlyBoxBreaks from breakers.com and BigHitBreaks and CCX from cardworldtv.com. These guys all seem to be very trustworthy and reliable.” — Jeff Akers
Location: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Customer Endorsement: “I only break with Crackin’ Wax. Fun guy, enjoyable and affordable breaks. He also mixes in quite a few charity breaks, in which a portion of payments go to great organizations. Just a fun, fair, and personable breaker that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know over the past year or two. Other places really didn’t bring the personal touch that he brings.” — Kirk
Breakaway Sports Cards
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Customer Endorsement: “Chuck and Matt from Breakaway Sports Cards are always my first choice. Not only do they have a great selection of breaks and great prices, they are also great guys. I’ve never had any issues with them and know that I can always trust them. I highly recommend them to any hockey fan.” — Emma K
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Customer Endorsement: “I go with Bomber Breaks. They’re a blast to watch, fast shipping and easy to work with.” — Michael
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Customer Endorsement: “I break with Cloutsnchara always! The best in the hobby!” — C.J.
A&N Sports Cards
Location: Chadwicks, N.Y.
Customer Endorsement: “A&N Sports Cards is my favorite and the No. 1 spot for UFC Breaks!” — Levi
Top Shelf Breaks
Customer Endorsement: “Top Shelf Breaks is a blast to break with. Super friendly and knowledgeable. You never go hitless, which is nice. I love that they have McFarlane figure breaks, which no one else does. … They truly have fun thinking outside the box. Great guys! Check them out!” — Mark DeBarge
Out of the Box
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Customer Endorsement: “The only place to break hockey online is with Out of the Box Breaks. The breakers are honest, solid guys and their shipping is top-notch. If you are breaking cards online and especially hockey, there is no one better than Out of the Box” — Daniel
All In Cards
Location: Baltimore, Md.
Customer Endorsement: “Best small group/team breaker is @AllInCards over at Freedom Cardboard.” — Waxtopia
Platinum Card Breaks
Location: New York
Customer Endorsement: “I break with these guys for multiple reasons, they’re very friendly and accommodating. They always try their very best to please their customers. Nobody handles or ships cards better than them, always wearing gloves and cards go directly into top loaders, one-touches available if wanted. Free shipping to Canada and the U.S. … NOBODY does it better than Platinum!” — Nick
Customer Endorsement: “Breaker that also specializes in authenticated memorabilia and other collectibles. Very professional and a calm attitude, so doesn’t really get involved in the drama that others might. Mostly a football guy I’d say.” — Nicholas L.
Location: Tonawanda, N.Y.
Customer Endorsement: “I use DACW Live. Fast, free and safe shipping.” — Stephane St-Pierre
The Case Breakers
Location: New York
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
KennFudd Sports Cards
Location: North Carolina
Customer Endorsement: “Fastest shipper on the planet and it’s not even close.” — Amichai
Sports Box Breaks
Location: Cheyenne, Wyo.
Customer Endorsement: “They’re still building a community but have great deals and a pretty good variety considering how new they are. Also very good at involving my kid and even gave him a card from his PC when we went hitless recently.” — Shani Pelled
Live Box Breaks
Location: North Carolina
Customer Endorsement: “I haven’t done group breaks in months, but I always used Liveboxbreaks.net. I had decent success and always enjoyed the breaks with Hawk.” — Lou
Supreme Card Breakers
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Customer Endorsement: “Great, friendly and fast shipping.” — Joe Hensel
Customer Endorsement: “Great prices, cool guy, and a fun room. He’s usually on very late until even the morning sometimes. He’ll do the regular run-of-the-mill team breaks but make one up if you ask for it. The room is flexible like that. If you watch him he’ll randomly start opening packs for himself off camera. A true addictive collector that needs his own fix.” — Nicholas L.
RyneM Case Breaks
Location: Clive, Iowa
Customer Endorsement: “I always break with them. Cards protected and shipped immediately. Caring. Does giveaways and throws in extra. Once saw a case come up short on autos from Topps, and he threw in an extra box to make up for it. Never seen it before and will never forget it.” — Bob J
Six Eight Cards
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Customer Endorsement: “Six Eight Cards and all the breakers at Card World TV are my go-to spots for breaking. Both sites have the perfect blend of professional service and fun environment that I enjoy.” — Kale
K2 Sports Cards
Customer Endorsement: “Another great breaker on breakers.tv that comes on two-to-three times per week with mainly basketball and football breaks at great prices. Friendly service, fast shipping and always helpful to his customers.” — Alan C
Customer Endorsement: “Totally recommended! I always do my group break with George. I always end up getting the best price with George. I’ve dealt with other sites but always end up with George. He is trustworthy and excellent top-notch service!” — Brian
STL Sports Cards
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Customer Endorsement: “I go with Mike Hodges at STLSportsCards. He breaks three times a week, with all four sports but a heavy hockey rotation. The breaks are the best prices on the net and he throws in all kinds of promos, contests and incentives. Makes for a fun night. Best part is I never go more than a few days before my cards arrive as he ships every Monday.” — James
Jonesy’s Sports Cards
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Customer Endorsement: “I like Jonesy’s Sports cards. Eric always puts the customer first. … These guys ship well and appreciate my business. I have tried many others, some good and some bad. But this is where I spend my money.” — Miguel S.
One of One Box Breaks
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Customer Endorsement: “One of one box breaks is the best around! Done many breaks with lots of different breakers and Derrick at one of one is really great. Lots of giveaways and very professional.” — Cody
Top Cut Breaks
Customer Endorsement: “I believe whole-heartedly the top breaker is Top Cut Breaks. Mr. Brad Parvin handles his business in a professional manner that can never be questioned. Providing fast, free shipping with only the best stuff to break.” — Bradley Phillips
Box Cutter Sports Cards
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Customer Endorsement: “Although he is not on every day he does pop up two-to-three times a week with great prices on his breaks. He is one of the most-honest and friendly breakers on breakers.tv. Covers all sports with the current products on the market. Great Service and goes above and beyond for his customers. Absolute gentleman.” — Alan C
Ultimate Box Breaks
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Customer Endorsement: “I started getting into breaking about two years ago. Did a couple sites and landed at UltimateBoxBreaks.com. Was instantly hooked. Bryan has the easiest and most advanced breaking site I have seen.” — Jason S
Friendly Box Breaks
Customer Endorsement: “I randomly jump in Breaks with Finest Box Breaks and Friendly Box Breaks. They have always had great service.” — Matthew Rivers
The Break King
Location: Austin, Texas
Customer Endorsement: “Platinum Card Breaks, KJTorris Sports Breaks, The Break King. The three best around.” — Joe
Finest Box Breaks
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Customer Endorsement: “When I break its always with finestboxbreaks.com. Very trustworthy reliable breaker. He’s been my favorite for almost two years now.” — Mark
Location: Wilmington, N.C.
Customer Endorsement: “When I started getting into the hobby he was one of the main guys I watched on YouTube. Has every major sport in stock, other sports and non-sports. If the product is released, he likely has it the day of. Probably the best shop out there right now with competitive pricing because unlike others he has adjusted to the hobby environment and integrated online into his walk-in hobby shop.” — Nicholas L.
Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Customer Endorsement: “Extremely well-organized. Broke 25 cases of Chrome in a single day. Just a couple guys going pack by pack, box by box! And they were creating recap videos and uploading them to YouTube as they went, while still answering tweets and emails. They have their stuff down.” — Ark_Keeper
Location: Bismarck, N.D.
Customer Endorsement: “Quickest shipper in the breaking game as it’s always out the next day. All cards ship no matter what not many breakers like sorting all cards from their breaks to ship. Very entertaining makes the breaks fun. All around the best breaker on breaker.tv.” — Brandon
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.