Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that packs of cards from the 2009 season have been popping up in the Dollar Trees around the Durham area.  I can only assume that means that all over America these cards are popping up in Dollar Trees.  From what I have seen it’s just Upper Deck and Donini.  I decided to challenge Dollar Tree and purchase 36 packs of cards ($36 + tax), and see a) whether I could put together a set and b) will there be any inserts.  I actually read on other blogs that inserts were popping up so I figured what the heck.

The card rack at Dollar Tree

36 packs of 2009 Donini Elite

So 36 packs of 2009 Donini Elite were purchased, the woman looked at me and my wife and asked if I was looking for a particular card, I answered no, but really I was looking for a slew of inserts.  I figured that game used and autographs were probably picked through so I was getting just parallels and base cards.  I like the set so base cards are fine with me.

We brought them home, set up shop on the kitchen table and began to open the packs one by one.  First thing we noticed was that there were no inserts, none, not even a rookie card.  With only 100 cards in the base set, we knew we were going to get a ton of doubles.  What we didn’t expect was the repetetive collation where the same cards were packed with each other over and over.   Finally all the packs were opened and sorted and here is what we got:

  • Set 1: 99/100 for 99% complete
  • Set 2: 75/100 for 75% complete
  • Set 3:6/100 for 6% complete

The only card we were missing from the first set was card number 89, so if you have it from this set, let me know and I will get an autographed card out to you.  I have to admit, the fact they were at the Dollar Tree, my wife and I assumed that the packs would contian only base so really we weren’t really disappointed.  I would say that this is definitely the way to go for set builders.  If you are just interested in the base cards, you should give it a whirl.  My final rating on this:

  • Value – 4 / 5 – throw us a bone, parallels wouldn’t hurt the bottom line.
  • Base Set Building – 5/5 – if that’s all you are interested in then this is heaven in mylar form.
  • Inserts – 0/5 – None, nada, zilch
  • Overall – 9/15 – not awful, but if you are looking for more than base cards forget about it.

Please leave some comments if you are going to take the Dollar Tree challenge!  Better yet link it to your blog!


15 responses »

  1. Merlinsleeve says:

    What do you mean by,”I figured that game used and autographs were probably picked through.” IS there a way for a new card collector to know “how to buy packs of cards?” Is there something I should be looking for/not looking for when buying single packs? Is there a way to increase your chances of buying packs with inserts or autographs?

  2. dayf says:

    They have cards at Dollar Tree??? Dammit, I need to move to NC.

    Merlinsleeve: It’s called pack searching and you don’t want to go there. Not on the internet. You know that crazy uncle you only see at Thanksgiving and Christmas who is really into politics and as soon as someone slips and accidentally mentions George Bush or Obama he goes into a 3 hour foaming at the mouth rant? Well there’s a whole bunch of people on the internet who do the same thing when anyone mentions pack searching. Trust me, you just want to back away slowly on this one.

  3. John Bateman says:

    At least you almost got 2 complete sets out of it.

  4. The Gooch says:

    Great pictures. I thought pack searchers only hung out in Walmart and Target. Now they’re coming to Dollar Tree.

  5. MattR says:

    I went to my local Dollar Tree today. After looking around all over the store I didn’t see any packs. Right when I swiped my card for a purchase of some candy and a roll of gift wrap I saw the boxes of packs hanging from a basket of junk next to the checkout line. All they had was Upper Deck football and hockey so I passed. It was still nice to see packs of cards sold locally. It’s the first time in several years that I’ve seen packs of cards anywhere up here (besides at Wal Mart).

  6. Shaun says:

    I guess I won’t be so grumpy now when my mother wants me to drive her to the Dollar Tree!

  7. Shane says:

    Lately iv been buying 2007 Udates and highlights retail packs for 39 cents each. real fun to rip open, and sometimes u get a good rookie card.

  8. howard says:

    My GF called me one day to tell me about Dollar Tree having cards. I hate going in that store. But, I had to look for myself. So, I spent $20 or so and don’t recall getting anything great. I do not think those gravity boxes are supposed to have anything of great value in them. Its like a retail box. Your lucky to get a GU from a Gravity box. I would be shocked to hear of someone pulling a Auto from a box at Dollar Tree.

    • chemgod says:

      OK the Panini stuff is is base only, packs were made for Dollar Stores. The UD stuff is overstock from Target and has autographs and game used.

  9. jl says:

    they are here in Morrisville pa dollar tree, there is only for the cheap collectors at heart. All they are are base no inserts of any kind. Each pack states collect 100 cards. Bought some Americana, elite, and classic, just another way to have collectors come in at a cheap price. can’t turn down cards for a buck.

  10. VintageHeros says:

    I never heard of Dollar Tree until this post so I checked to see if there are any in my city/state…Lo and Behold, there is one less than a mile from my house, LOL!

  11. Paul says:

    Wait, so Dollar Tree has those cards for a buck a pack? Even with just base cards, that’s not a bad deal. I’ve bought blasters of products that had just one one insert which meants tons of base and those weren’t that cheap.

  12. Chris C. says:

    My local Dollar Tree locations in Orange County CA have tons of common Upper Deck card for the NHL, MLB and NFL from 2008 and early editions of 2009. The best card I’ve gotten is uniform insert card of Lecavlier of the Lighting. Some stores have a nice neat displays, like the one you photographed, others locations just have them stuffed on a rack next to the registers slopply done.

  13. Jay says:

    For 15.00 more you could have had a hobby box.

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