Topshot Update: My First Big Sale!

An update on my experience with NBA Topshot

Last week, I wrote about my first experience with NBA Topshot, an NFT “trading card” experience, where you can buy and sell NBA highlights. It has been a little over a week, and I am loving my experience.

Sure, there have been some hiccups along the way, but that is to be expected for a product which (unexpectedly) increased its sale volume over 100x in the last 30 days. I can understand these issues being turn-offs for consumers, but I believe in the product enough to stay the course.

Tuesday was a huge day for me in the marketplace. Previously, I had mostly been buying moments either through packs or the marketplace. But yesterday was the first time I made some major sales.

Cool Cats

The newest series in Topshot is Cool Cats, and it comes with a challenge that results in a limited edition Luka Doncic moment. Here is what you need to complete the challenge:

The most difficult part of the challenge is collecting all five Cool Cats, which are only released into the market via special packs. Anyone who has been on Topshot the last week knows how difficult obtaining a Cool Cats pack has been. Fortunately, I was able to get two packs early as part of a special drop.

After getting one more pack through another drop later Friday night, I was already three Cool Cats in to completing the challenge.

But you’ll notice that in my screenshot, I do not have any Cool Cats checked off. That’s because I sold them early Tuesday after Topshot announced how they would be distributing the remaining Cool Cats packs (~19,000).

  • Roughly 9,000 people who previously tried to obtain a Cool Cats pack would be given the chance to get one with no competition

  • The remaining packs will be distributed via a lottery system, max one per account

Based on this, it seemed fair to assume that the Cool Cats market is about to come crashing down. With three times as many moments about to be released within a 48 hour period, supply will be high enough to lower prices in the marketplace. Furthermore, most people will only be receiving one pack, making it more likely that they are sellers before the end of the challenge.

My three Cool Cats (Derrick Jones, Rui Hachimura, and John Collins) went for a combined $1,332, leaving me with $1265.40 after the 5% marketplace fee. Those three moments combine for $1,100 in low asks as of this morning — with the marketplace still down for maintenance, and minimal additional Cool Cats packs released.

My hope is that I can buy all of the necessary Cool Cats for what I got paid out for three (an even easier task if I can get a pack through the lottery), basically obtaining the Luka card for what I paid in packs. If I get priced out of Cool Cats, then that likely means I would not have been able to afford completing the challenge anyway and/or that the EV of the Luka card will be lower than I initially expected, since presumably more people will be completing the challenge.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this. With the additional Cool Cats being released intermittently throughout the next couple of days, it won’t provide the same market surge as a simultaneous pack drop, and prices may not drop as much as I would like — or maybe they level off completely.

But even if that happens, I like the positioning I’ve given myself. My floor is raised because I’ve already added a nice sum to my Dapper wallet. I have the optionality to put that money towards the Luka challenge, or invest it in any other moment I see as a value in the marketplace. Or I could just wait to cash it out, and cover my entire initial investment into Topshot.

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Brantley Pays Off

You’ll recall from the initial post that one of my more speculative purchases was a Jarrell Brantley layup, which I bought for $98. It was a play on cheap Metallic Golds, and I thought I could eventually turn it for a decent profit.

Turns out getting really lucky helps.

The current Metallic Gold challenge includes the Brantley card, which means people will likely be looking to buy to complete it. Unlike mega-sharp Justin Herzig, I was unable to figure this out ahead of time. Stay tuned for what he has cooking on that front.

Anyway, back to me running pure. The Brantley market immediately started popping, with eight sales, including a high of $1,375. This presented me with a decision. I could post Brantley as soon as possible, looking to hit this initial surge in sales. Or I could wait until the end of the challenge, and try to gain even more profit.

Ultimately I went with the first option. Brantley is not a player that has any real long-term value on his name, and I took a look at how prices fluctuate in these challenges using similar players. There really wasn’t a player as nameless as Brantley from the previous MGLE challenge, but here’s a look at Bismack Biyombo’s sales

We can’t see sales from the entire week of the challenge, but we can see that the highest sale was barely higher than the Brantley high, and that prices collapsed immediately following the challenge. So I would almost certainly be losing more to fail to flip Brantley than I would if I flipped him a little low.

I also considered that the reward in this challenge was Dwight Howard, whereas the previous challenge netted users a Steph Curry moment. 201 users completed the Steph challenge, which is an absurd rate considering the MGLE series is out of 299. Howard is presumably a less appealing reward, which means less folks completing the challenge, and less potential buyers for Brantley.

I posted him at $1,299, undercutting the current market by a bit (which I felt was necessary given that I owned a higher serial number), and it sold within a couple of hours. This turned out to be good timing, as the market on him dipped back under $1,000, and the low ask now has settled in at $1,055. Even if a couple of Brantleys come off for some more than what I sold for, I’m happy with the move.

The great thing about this for me is that it completely covers my portfolio regardless of what I do with the Cool Cats money, and the rest of my collection. Here is how a few of my top moments are now doing.

I can feel a little more comfortable hodling my more attractive moments with a solid floor already established, and won’t feel rushed to flip for a quick buck. I can also re-invest if I find an attractive moment worth purchasing.

I’m excited for what is to come on the Topshot platform!