Panini to eliminate MAPP pricing policy

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Collectors may see a difference in the price of hobby boxes soon.

Panini America announced the elimination of its MAPP (minimum advertised pricing policy) program, which will begin with the February 27 release of National Treasures baseball.

“The biggest benefit will be market liquidity,” said Panini’s Vice President of Sales D.J. Kazmierczak on Panini’s blog. “That approach will benefit everyone involved because it helps with inventory turns. In addition, this different approach will create more demand for pre-ordering product. That is something that we all prefer.”

With Panini’s MAPP policy, card shops and Internet dealers would have to sell hobby products for the same price. That price would remain fixed for a little while before prices could be changed by dealers.

Panini started the policy in March of 2011.

“Obviously, there are merits to a retail MAPP policy and those merits were the reason that our company went in that direction a couple of years ago,” Kazmierczak said. “But this is a very fluid category and the time has come for a fundamental shift in philosophy. The ultimate goal at the end of the day is to provide the marketplace the opportunity to pull a product through in a reasonable amount of time.”

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook.


  1. Kingbudd
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s about time; now the market will dictate the price of Panini’s products. Since MAPP was put into effect few products were worth the required selling price. Watch TT Absolute, and several recent releases drop drastically after MAPP goes away.

  2. Ken Anderson
    Posted January 26, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    HOORAY! Perhaps now the price of Panini products will swing back to what they are actually worth, as opposed to being artificially inflated, as has been the case the past couple of years! Look how much releases such as Elite, Limited, and Crown Royale have gone up with MAPP, while the quality of the products has gone down!

  3. Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I sorry to say this but…. Not A Good Idea! This deletion of MAPP will hurt Brick & Mortar Store’s. Internet seller’s do not have the factor in the cost of their rent. Internet store’s can be anywhere. They can be in in the middle of nowhere or an industrial park without a retail store front. Panini’s decision to end MAPP will cause collectors to begin to look at internet sellers as giving them a better deal. In the long run it may cause the closing of large numbers of Brick & Mortar Retailers.

  4. Posted January 26, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    First Turn hit the nail right on the head. Brick & Mortar stores already have a disadvantage if they aren’t big shops like DAC, CnC and so on who get several advantages from the card companies and distributors that the small guys don’t get. The distributors dictate the price they sell at and they decide when to increase prices and the big guys get the breaks from them while the smaller guys get nothing except inflated prices. If everything was on a level playing field this wouldn’t be a big deal but when preferential treatment is given to some and others are excluded it makes things very unfair.

  5. chaz B23
    Posted January 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    i wish all card companies would do this. i’d love to get my hands on some sportkings products for 4.99 a box

  6. Joe
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    MAP should apply only to Internet Retailers for the first 30 Days of a release. B&M stores should have the ability to undercut Internet Retailers since they don’t move the same volume of product and the margins are significantly thinner.

  7. Posted January 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    all MAPP did for Panini was force the low end stuff, and crap product on the market so they could make there profit off it, look at Baseball most was crap and over priced but they put it out and with all other company if you wanted the better product you have to order the overpriced crap,Topps does it Upperdeck use to do it, they all did it, or do it. B&M shops are becoming a thing of the past, with U-tube and all the Case and Box breaking, auction on E-bay for the same, profit don’t have to be big, just sell in volumn at a cheaper price . Just saying not hating.

  8. Ryan
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Who cares, nobody buys their garbage in the first place.

  9. card store owner
    Posted January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    What I find funny is the first 7 posts on here……1 and 2 are your typical online card buyers….3 and 4 are your guys that really knows the business…5th is your typical obnoxious person that would come into a card store and ask you if you could do that $200 box for $50……6th was pretty close to the truth….7th is the smartest guy in the room syndrome. The idea was for the brick and mortar stores be able to compete with the big Internet retailers and the morons on ebay that like to blowout boxes at $5 over cost the day they were live and think they were making money. the idea would work if 2 things would have happened, Rodney was not a complete egotistical idiot and the whole program was policed properly. It was done so the Blowouts and the D&A’s of the world wouldn’t have the advantage over what real stores that actually are left. They get the sweetheart back door deals, the special cards and the goodies that are NEVER offered to the excising card stores that are actually left. Now that Rodney is gone does that mean all the stores that he screwed over will be corrected by his false allegations ??? who knows. One thing I do know for sure is 90% of their products were under cost after the 30 days were up, so now it just won’t take that long and we will now be asked the magic question once again “I can buy than on line for $70 can you match or beat that”…..god help us all!

  10. Posted January 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    There is still the other shoe to fall from this announcement. It will be interesting to see what policies are created for internet sellers. While consumers love being able to buy $70 direct boxes for $74, that is not a healthy model for this industry and will only lead to the demise of more card stores.

    Interesting timing going into the 2013 NFL season where some mock drafts have no QBs, RBs or WRs going in the top ten picks.

    TBD I guess,

  11. don davis
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Under the old regine, I would order just about everything put out. the case size was smaller and no restrictions on my priceing. I have a small store and it is hard to sell cases that have 15 to 20 boxes. I have say , my customers really dont miss the product . The return for what they paid was never there. The Baseball without logos is plain and boring. Topps Football far outdose their product. Upper Deck still shines with Hockey. Paninis Basketball is tiresome and lacks any creativity. I just havent found a reason to order their product.

  12. Posted January 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    wow Mr card store owner, you so put me in my place, please point out where i am wrong, because i got these fact from a store owner with a name, and if you look on places like U-tube you would see that i am not wrong, it like in any business if you have the cilient base and the money you will get the better deals, volumn sell, just look at Chris Justice in NC, the guy bust his butt to bring something a little different to his customer, this guy goes thur more boxes and cases in a week than most B&M Shops in 3 months, hes doing nothing wrong he’s not in with some tight with any card company except to relay concerns from his shop and customers, and i can’t belive you think that 1 guy was doing all this buy himself, my dad always said you have to sell yourself in business to get ahead and stay ahead, this means hard work, customer first, and be inovative, but honest, he always strested honesty. you sound smart, But Angry!

  13. card opinionator
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Price controls and manipulation never work in a free economy, especially collectibles! Panini needs to focus on making products the public wants, for the price they are willing to pay. There is a reason its called the secondary market. Its not theirs to control. Trying to grow your business by controlling the secondary market is backwards.

  14. card store owner
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Charles, the 1st thing in your 1st post that was a tip off to being a novice was “just sell in volumn at a cheaper price ” other than the spelling being wrong that only works in theory if you have a few million to spend on product then you can make $5 a box and make some money but in the real would with real people that doesn’t work. B&M stores are becoming a thing of the past because of people that sell boxes for $5 over cost with no over head, have you ever owned a store? there are tons of expenses to just “sell more and make it up in volume” U- tube and box and case busting is not anything close to operating a store, that’s child’s play. I have been collecting for over 40 years and have owned a store for over 20 so I don’t need the hard work speech, no one works harder when you own your own business. And yes I am angry because I like an equal playing field, not the one’s with all the money get the sweet heart deals! And whoever this Chris is in NC, I would bet he doesn’t go thru more boxes and cases in a week than I do in 3 months…LOL and yes listen to your father because he is very smart! and correct..that’s why I have been able to stay in this crazy business for that long while 100’s of stores have opened and closed in that time!…The Panini program did 1 thing correct, it kept the online dumpers at bay for 30 days so people would have the choice of buying from your local card store for the same price instead of selling them out for a few bucks!

  15. kevin hurt
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    cards are dead kids now days collect video games gaming cards something they can actually play with. if there not worth any thing in a few years so what they still play. I quit collecting yet I still like to come here and check out whats going on. thanks for reminding how sorry cards are I was tempted to buy a box or two today. I’ll stick to my new collecting habit the all mighty dollar.

  16. Dealer
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    another option would have been for Panini to upgrade the quality of their products so they merited the MAPP. Now all the dealers that have been carrying water for them (so to speak) will turn into bad guy over-chargers if they want to carry Panini products. Here’s the thing: Topps makes good value products and manages distribution so their products stay strong through most of their initial time in the market. Upper Deck makes great products (although limited by ridiculous licensing monopolies), and their AIR program and controls work great. Panini is so arrogant to go back to the biggest problem in the modern era, –namely the policy of not controlling the pricing on mediocre products.

    My guess: the reason for this change is that the distributors (always Panini’s best buddy) were getting shellacked trying to sell weak product at a premium price and either had copious returns, or had to dump at a loss, etc. Now distributors can once again unload the crap stuff through the internet which will kill product value.

    I encourage everyone (collectors and dealers) to email the NBA at and demand that they open up the licensing to Upper Deck.

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