This past week I had the pleasure of chatting with Doug (co-founder of MojoBreak). Despite the windy conditions in Missouri (while I walked outside) he was patient enough to discuss their history and some insights into the hobby. It was refreshing to chat about the transformation of the hobby and where Doug believes things are headed. Hope you enjoy the interview!
Ty: How did you get started into breaking?
Doug: “Me and Dan rediscovered the hobby in 2009 after being childhood collectors. We basically got obsessed with cards real quick after seeing prospects and patches and 1/1’s. We were trying to figure out a way to be involved and turn our passion for the hobby and sports into a business. We stumbled upon a few YouTube breakers and decided to start it as a part time gig. We started with just a $480 investment and some computer equipment that we already had. We started listing breaks on eBay and then later became one of the first standalone websites to sell team style breaks.”
Ty: That’s interesting. What was the significance of $480?
Doug: “That was the cost of a 2010 Topps Series 1 case”
Ty: What did you find most appealing about the business?
Doug: “We love sports. The chase and the hunt and the excitement of what could come out of the box really got us into the hobby. Along with following our favorite players and collecting and building sets. The community aspect of it was awesome and of course meeting great friends while trading. Overall we liked sharing our common interests and being able to talk about the latest buzz with sports.”
Ty: It started as a Part-Time gig. Is this now a Full-Time gig for you?
Doug: “Yes, it’s a Full time gig. Part time up until 2012. Remember, Mojobreak Launched in 2010”
Ty: How has growth changed the way you provide breaks?
Doug: “Its led to more innovation and volume. Competitors have fresh ideas that help us learn and grow and provide a better experience for everyone.”
Ty: Has competition made it difficult for you? How so?
Doug: “No, competition has led to the whole hobby growing. Not one particular site can appeal to everyone. There is people that dislike the way we sell our breaks but like other breakers. But, the more stuff that is opened creates more buzz for everyone in the hobby. More cards on eBay creates more people looking for boxes and breaks. All of this puts pressure on manufactures to deliver a product that people want.”
Ty: Outside of competition, what has you worried about the breaking marketplace?
Doug: “The manufacturer’s and distributors ability to make a terrible product and still have an outlet to sell them. A lot of us are forced to take bad product to be able to buy good product. This lets the manufactures skate by with bad product(s) knowing ultimately they will have an outlet to sell it to someone.”
Ty: I can understand that hobby concern. Tell me about how have card manufacturers made breaking easier for you? More difficult?
Doug: “Some products they have made are more breaker friendly (less packs) . They have made things more difficult by not releasing checklists till last minute and excluding certain teams with no hits.”
Ty: In regards to your breaks, what are the rules that you absolutely WON’T break?
Doug: “We will always allow people to receive refunds 24 hours before break. We pre-sell products in advance so without a checklist we may sometimes sell a team without a hit. We never force people to keep spots. We understand that this a hobby and its supposed to be fun and fair”
Ty: How do you typically handle customer issues and/or breaks that don’t fill?
Doug: “The customers always come first. We (Dan and I) both come from a customer service background. We will go above and beyond to make our customers happy . We have the “customer’s are always right” mentality. Without our great group of friends (customers) we wouldn’t be able to continue doing what we love. So we try to show our appreciation as much as we can. In terms of not filling breaks we’ve never had a break that doesn’t fill. We’ve been fortunate with our great group to fill all breaks we post.”
Ty: What makes you different than any other breaker?
Doug: “Longevity, Innovation, and Personality. Very few breakers have been doing this for as long as we have and with as much history. We have developed great breaks, great following, and we know what works and what people want to see . We have broken cards live with top athletes such as : Kris Bryant (see picture), Corey Seager, Kyle Schwarber, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, and MORE. We have innovated ideas that are being used by all breakers and we are continuing to push envelope with new fresh unique ideas every day.”
Ty: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time (not-breaking)?
Doug: “Hanging out with my family, spending time with my 2 year old daughter, going to concerts, going to games, doing the mojobreak.com podcast, and playing sports.
Ty: I’m interested in the concerts – What was you favorite concert?
Doug: “Metallica the night before the Super Bowl at ATT comes to mind.”
Ty: Do you PC any player/team?
Doug: “I’m a homer, SF Giants, SF 49ers, Sharks, Warriors. I collect Barry Bonds, Posey, Sean Mannion and build sets I like.”
Ty: What is your favorite product of the year?
Doug: “Flawless Soccer so far this year. All time it might be 2009 UD exquisite NFL or 2012 Tribute”
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Thank you Doug for the time…and for your contributions to the hobby!
You can find out more about them on their website (www.Mojobreak.com)
Follow them on Twitter (@mojobreak)
Review them here @ BreakerCulture right here