When I go out and pack search, sometimes I'll keep notes in my phone about how much product a store has on its shelves. I do this to keep track of how much product is being purchased by other card collectors in between my visits to each particular store. It also helps me know if any restocks have occurred since my last visit. Yes, this is completely nutty. It's a product of my pack searching obsession and my psychotic desire for having as much information at my fingertips as possible.
So this year I kept an approximate count of how much 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter packs I've searched. Based on my estimates, I think I've searched approximately 625 retail packs of 2014 Allen & Ginter.
Is that a lot? I don't know. For the regular collectors it probably seems like some crazy amount. But for any other pack searchers reading this blog maybe they don't think it's a lot. Maybe they have searched even more packs.
Based on the retail print run of 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter, 625 retail packs is approximately 0.35% of the entire retail stock that Topps made. Maybe some year I'll try to search a whole 1% of the retail stock. While that is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, it would be an amazing feat to accomplish.
I think that had I had more time on my hands, the number of 625 retail packs could have actually been bigger. Sometimes when I was in stores I just didn't have the time to search all the product there. If I didn't have a job and had more time to drive to all the Targets and Walmarts within a 2 hours drive of me, I probably could have doubled that number.
So what should I have found in those 625 packs? Well, based on the retail odds I should have found approximately 26 full sized hits (either full sized relics, framed mini relics, or autographs). Of those 26 hits, 4 of the hits should have been autographs.
I actually found 15 full sized hits, and of those only 1 of the hits was an autograph.
So what gives? Why is there this disparity?
Most of it is due to me searching a lot of retail gravity feed packs which have already been searched, and didn't have a hit because other pack searchers had been there before me. This is typical, and to be expected. Unfortunately, it also skews my results.
If I ignore the retail gravity feed packs which I know had been searched before me (and I can safely know and assume this because I didn't find any hits in those packs) then I think the actual number of unsearched retail packs that I had searched was approximately 481 packs.
What should I have found in 481 packs? I should have found approximately 20 hits, and 3 of the hits should have been autographs. That leaves me about five total hits short, and two of which should have been autographs.
What does this all mean? Most likely I missed some hits. Hey, it happens. Sometimes I searched some products and I wasn't 100% sure there was a hit in it so I didn't buy it. A couple of times there might have been hits there that I ended up missing because I didn't make the purchase, i.e. a false negative. On the other hand, I had very few false positives this year - meaning times when I purchased packs which I thought had hits in them but didn't. I think out of all the Ginter I bought this year it only happened to me twice. The first time I was in a rush and mistakenly thought I had a hit when I didn't. The second time was a packing error by Topps so that's not entirely my fault.
How many Ginter packs do you guys think you've searched? What is the most packs you've searched of any product?