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How To Navigate The Exorbitant Prices Of 2022-23 Flawless Basketball

Flawless Basketball continues to arrive in an elegant briefcase, this year releasing for about $10,000 and delivering 1 pack of 10 cards. It’s expected out on March 1.

But if you’re curious about what makes a product so distinctive (and pricey), then read on for our 2022-23 Flawless Review.

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An introduction to 2022-23 Panini Flawless Basketball

Flawless made its debut in 2014 as Panini expanded its basketball product lineup. Surprisingly, it predates Optic and many other mainstream brands.

Flawless stands as the crown jewel of Panini’s annual releases, and the term “jewel” is quite literal here: this product is renowned for including genuine gems within the cards themselves.

It may not have the same mass appeal as some opti-chrome brands, but that’s because it’s exceptionally rare and expensive. The staggering five-figure price tag for a box (or should we say, briefcase) of these cards puts it out of reach for most collectors. Additionally, its print run is significantly smaller.

Every Flawless card is meticulously numbered, underscoring the rarity of this product.

Flawless is not for everyone due to its price, but for those delving into the high-end card market, Flawless represents the pinnacle.

And, we must note that this autograph-driven product will not have the autographs of Victor Wembanyama, as he’s signing exclusively with Fanatics. That alone significantly hurts the long-term potential of this brand. 

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What you can expect from 2022-23 Flawless Basketball

Flawless 2022-23 continues the tradition of excellence, building upon its super-premium history and being the single-biggest risk for any sports card collector looking to open a box. 

Each box has 8 on-card auto and one memorabilia card, and no cards are numbered to anything more than 20. 

On top of that, all the patches are game-worn and this product notes that it’s the first “game worn jersey cards from the 2022 rookies,” and that’s last year’s rookie crew since this product is a half-season behind. So, real note: have these jerseys been unwashed and sitting around for a year? 

2023 Flawless checklist information

Flawless doesn’t boast an extensive range of sets, so we can explore each of them in detail.

First up is the base set, although it’s not quite a typical base set as every card features a gemstone. The 2022-23 Panini Flawless Basketball Gems constitute the base set, and each card showcases a different rare material based on its rarity.

The cards begin at /20 and include the following tiers:

  • Base Ruby – #/20
  • Base Sapphire – #/15
  • Base Diamond – #/10
  • Base Emerald – #/5
  • Base Platinum – 1/1

The sets Legends, Flawless Champions and Flawless Drafts are autograph-driven sets signed, on-card, by the respective group of people described.  They each include a diamond embedded in the card.

The sets Star Swatch Signatures, Flawless Finished and Excellent Signatures seem to be more veteran or Hall-of-Fame based, some of which include game-used memorabilia. 

Finally, the big boys. Triple Logomman and Logoman autographs are the crazy-expensive 1-of-1s that can be life-changing money if you pull one. 

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Investing in Flawless Basketball

Investing in Flawless unquestionably falls into the high-end category of basketball investments. Let’s explore the different strategies for investing in Flawless.

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Investing in Sealed Boxes

Determining the resale value of Flawless can be somewhat challenging because there are relatively few boxes available on the market.

You can reference the asking prices from resellers for previous years, but keep in mind that there’s often a substantial gap between the asking price and the actual resale price.

For instance, the most recent sale (as of 2/7) was a 2017-18 box, which sold for $5,200. Next up was a 2015-16 box for $4,200. Both of those boxes have asking prices around $10K on most resellers that still have them in stock. With that in mind, I’d pass entirely on buying these as sealed investments

While it’s an exceptional brand with many high-value cards, its price point acts as a significant barrier, limiting the potential pool of second-hand buyers and potentially affecting the resale price.

In short, not many people can afford to buy Flawless.

Check prices on Flawless Basketball boxes on eBay

Investing in Rookies

When it comes to rookie investing, I have a general rule: focus on numbered parallels (preferably graded) or low-numbered autographs.

Flawless is mainly comprised of both.

With every card numbered and autographs featured on-card, Flawless rookie autographs generally meet the criteria for solid sports card investments.

However, it’s worth emphasizing that a premium rookie autograph from Flawless can cost five figures or more. Again, it’s crucial to align your investment decisions with your budget and exercise prudence before making a substantial investment.

In conclusion: Should You Rip, Hold, or Pass on Panini Flawless 2022-23 Basketball?

Flawless stands as the pinnacle of high-end cards. These star-studded (pun intended) cards come packaged in a briefcase, with each card numbered to 20 or fewer. The product offers a diverse array of cards, spanning rookies, veterans, and even retired legends.

While Flawless cards may not be the best long-term hold due to the limited buyer market and inherent risks, if your budget allows, investing in a Flawless autograph or Rookie Patch Autograph (RPA) could become a valuable addition to your collection, possibly serving as the crown jewel.

As for its worth in five years, that’s a challenging prediction to make, as it largely depends on the performance of featured players, the continued interest in high-end sports cards, and the availability of Flawless boxes on the market.

It’s a unique and exclusive product that could hold or appreciate in value, but it also carries inherent market risks.

What are your thoughts on this product? Where do you think its value will stand in five years? Share your insights with us on Twitter @card_lines.

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Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.

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