The NYC Daily Post interviewed Tamas Zsakai, from PimpMyCard Sports Cards LTD, a trading card business based in Europe. His business mostly sells sports cards like basketball, football, some baseball, soccer, UFC, WWE and F1. But he has also carries Star Wars cards and sports memorabilia like helmets and jerseys. In his interview, Tamas (Thomas in English) explains the community and daily life behind the trading card business.
Q: What is a card break?
A break is when you open a box (of trading cards) with others. You will get 1 team from the box and you will get cards from that team you have. And the break is LIVE, so you can interact with the breaker and also other collectors and fans from all over the world.
Q: How would you describe the trading card community you have?
It’s amazing, great, fun, and friendly. Everyone is there for the same reason, because we love this hobby and love sports. Whether it’s basketball or football or any other sport we love it.
And we feel lucky because we can get nice cards from our favorite players, including autographs and game-used pieces. So, all together it’s a nice time when we get together and speak about it.
Q: Can you tell us about the process of a card break? How do people sign up to participate?
It’s simple. You just buy a spot for a random team or if that team is already picked, then you just pick another team. You will get your team’s cards from the box or boxes which are in that break.
That’s all. Then, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. After the break we store the cards and ship them to you when you request. You even have an opportunity for free shipping after participating in multiple breaks.
Box of soccer trading cards. Photo courtesy of Tamas Zsakai.
Q: What is the average cost to join a card break with you?
It’s hard to put a cost on it because it really depends on how much anyone would like to spend. There are boxes for $30 but there are also boxes for $1200 or more. But usually break nowadays are from like $10 to $100 mostly.
Q: What types of trading card breaks do you offer?
All of it, random, pick-your-team (PYT), and personal breaks.
Sometimes groups of collectors request personal breaks where they choose the teams for themselves and just send me the list to watch the break together. And this is a good form of entertainment for them too.
Q: What are some of the best trading cards pulled from your breaks?
Mostly every year the best cards include autographs from rookies or super stars and/or low numbered cards. Recently we have pulled a Paolo Banchero autograph card in a basketball card break, but we also pulled a Purdy autograph in a football card break. There are many great names and autographs over the years and a chances to get cards that are 1 of 1’s, which means only one copy of that card exists.
Paolo Banchero basketball trading card. Photo courtesy of Tamas Zsakai.
Q: Do you have any fun or memorable stories from your trading card breaks?
Yes, all the time. When we pull some great cards there are all good memories because when we do it it’s a great feeling. But there is also a funny story which happens all the time. It’s kind of weird but we refer to it as “calling” for a specific card.
That’s when we are live and someone says something like: I have no luck and no good cards have been pulled for me. And they say, “Okay, this card would be good to pull, Thomas.” I just say, “Yeah that’s true.”, and the next moment we pull that card.
Of course, we don’t pull specific cards all the time because I am not a magician, but when it does happen it’s funny.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport or athlete?
When I was a kid, I liked soccer obviously here in Europe and my favorite was David Beckham when he was playing for Manchester United. Unfortunately, I never saw him playing live. But I did write a letter to the team and got a kind of fan package like photos and an autograph picture. It’s still framed, and I got it still with me.
When I grew up and visited the US , my first time Miami, I went to an NBA Game Miami vs Portland, when Dwyane Wade was still playing. And the game was like “Woooo!” when he stepped on the court the atmosphere and crowd was crazy. And it was even crazier when he scored. So, all together the full environment and experience because of him was amazing. That is why I have collected him.
Q: Do you collect trading cards for yourself? If so, what do you collect?
I work a lot, so collecting for myself is kind of hard because you have to monitor a lot of platforms, what card you would need, and the prices, but I am Dwayne Wade collector (only Miami cards). I collect mostly autographs, but it’s hard to keep up with collecting and the business together. The reason is above, the first NBA game ever for me was a Miami game.
Dwayne Wayde basketball trading card. Photo courtesy of Tamas Szakai.
Q: How many hours do you work in a day? How do you keep trading cards for people and prepare the cards for shipping? Can you describe a regular workday for you?
To be honest, the simple answer is all day. The live breaks that people see is just 10-20% of the job. We sort a lot of cards, even if it’s 100 cards or a 1000 it has to be sorted for the next day because the next day there are again new breaks coming and if you stop working, it will just pile up.
Just like everything nowadays, you have to be fast. If someone requests shipping, it’s not acceptable to ship the cards three days later. It needs to be the same day or the next day the cards are shipped. We store the cards under your name, and we package them with care and safety first!
Also, lot of trades occur between the customers. If two people break with us and they make a deal to change one of their cards, we just switch the cards for them, so they don’t have to request shipping and then care about shipping the cards to each other. It can happen here and no additional effort or money is needed from their side.
There is a lot of logistical work, and I am always thinking about the next break or the next product release. But it’s all right, I love working with cards and in this hobby.
Q: You’re in Europe. Do you send cards to trading card collectors outside of Europe?
Yes of course. We ship worldwide to 230 countries and we have partnered with one of the best companies so in Europe you will get your cards in like 1-3 days maximum and outside of Europe it’s like 4-5 days maximum.
Box of Formula 1 trading cards. Photo courtesy of Tamas Szakai.
Q: How did you choose the name for your business?
I always think about how to make the hobby better and better and it just popped up in my head “PIMPMYCARD”. It’s a good name because I want to make the trading card hobby better for every customer. I want them to enjoy a good experience when they break with us, because it’s also about interacting with customers and entertaining them. It’s a show also when we break, not just a simple live video.
Q: Do you offer any bonuses or special events for your customers?
Yes, currently we offer some free breaks for new products – for example, the new Prizm Football hobby box break or the Donruss Basketball break. And there are also giveaways of course. We try to give back to the community every time we have the opportunity. And usually a lot of cards are given out for free for kids and sometimes we just put some free cards into shipments.
Q: Can a person buy a box of trading cards from you if they don’t want to join a break?
Of course. We have our website where you can check what is in stock or also contact us if you have any questions. We can help with any related topic in the hobby.
Boxes of baseball trading cards. Photo courtesy of Tamas Szakai.
Q: Can you teach us something in the Hungarian language (and what it means)?
Jó Reggelt! It means Good Morning! Or, the word Szia means Hi, and the pronunciation for Szia is like “see you”. So, native English speakers are always confused about that because we say it when we greet someone but we also say this when we say goodbye to someone.
Q: Where can we find your trading card business online?
You can find our website at: www.pimpmycardsc.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pimpmycard_sportscards/, or search: pimpmycard_sportscards
Facebook group (where the breaks happen nowadays mostly): https://www.facebook.com/groups/pimpmycardsc/
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@pimpmycard
This channel is kind of new, because we start to make videos for YouTube not long ago. But in our Facebook page we have posted videos for years now, like the card break videos.
Featured Image: Photo courtesy of Tamas Zsakai.
Edited by: Steven London
Editor’s note: The updated version of this article corrects a spelling error in Mr. Tamas Zsakai’s name.