The whole week was a mess. The market continued to slide, the number of buyers dropped and never quite overtook the amount of sellers on the market, and the marketplace even closed.
My own portfolio endured a difficult week, dropping to nearly $300 in the red. This was indicative of the entire market as Moments dropped in value throughout the community.
The mood on Discord was one of anger, frustration and then general apathy: a circle that I myself also experienced. There was a pre-order pack due to drop by April 7th – this failed to happen with relatively poor communication from the Top Shot team, and also the Marketplace was down for a period.
Alas, the market (I hope) is cyclical and the dip presented an opportunity to snag a Moment at a relatively good value.
Using my Dapper Balance, I splashed out on a Jayson Tatum Base Set (Series 2) Limited Edition for $27. Although it’s a 1200+ serial number, the market sales history has shown it could fetch anything from $50 to $500 in the medium term.
Again, I stuck to my new tactic of only purchasing Limited Edition Moments. The sales history of this particular Jayson Tatum Moment paints a pretty picture moving forward.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Having bottomed out a swing of almost $450 and a low of $-295, my portfolio is starting to show some life again.
Although it very much remains in the Intensive Care Unit wing of NBA Top Shot, the portfolio prognosis is a positive one.
While the big red $-245 profit is alarming, the improvement in the last twenty-four hours of 6% bodes well for the coming weeks.
I have been vocal in how bullish I am on the future of NBA Top Shot, and still believe it is only operating at about 20% of its full potential. As such, I expect to see my portfolio breakeven again within two weeks (particularly with the rescheduled April 14th pre-pack drop).
The Rookie Badges dropped and had very little positive impact on my Moments. In all honesty, the RJ Barrett moment I bought was the wrong one, and his badges were linked to another moment.
A mistake on my part, but all part of the learning curve and hopefully something you can avoid as further badges are released.
Monday (March 29th) – Launch of Pre-Order Packs
On Monday, the Top Shot team announced the launch of Base Set (Series 2, Release 24). what made this interesting is that it was a 48-hour signup window, meaning that users could sign up at any time over the next two days.
Presumably, this was to avoid the server issues that had befallen previous drops, but I was still too paranoid to not log on at the launch time: along with over 150,000 others.
My place in the queue was in the low 100,000s, meaning after three hours I was still 60,000 people away from my slot. Although the drop was almost guaranteed for everyone, and cost just $9, I did my best to stay online but ultimately succumbed to sleep and awoke to see that my place in the queue had expired.
Tuesday (March 30th) – 21 People in the queue
Waking to the news that I had missed my spot left me with that gut-wrenching frustration related to any missed drop, however the 48-hour window offered me a lot of hope.
I quickly logged onto the site and to my amazement, there were now just 21 (!) people in the queue ahead of me. Sixty seconds later, I had purchased my pack and was on my merry way again. Was this set to be the future of drops?
I liked this new process from the NBA Top Shot Team, but also part of me worried that with so many packs flooding the market that some of my other cards may depreciate in value. This, combined with the continued market slide, meant that the usual excitement associated with acquiring a pack just never materialised.
Expected delivery of the pre-order pack is some time within the next two weeks: a lifetime in the current declining Top Shot marketplace.
The funding round is interesting for a number of reasons:
– It includes a a whole roster of celebrities, further enhancing the relationship between the triumvirate of NBA-tech-culture.
– 2Chainz and Will Smith being named on the press release along with KD and MJ. These ‘influencer’ types will no doubt form part of ‘smart money’, i.e. investors that can add more than just finances. Each high-profile investor is its own marketing tool, with its own audience that they can leverage to further enhance NBA Top Shot’s popularity.
– This funding will no doubt be focused on two things: scalability and expansion. Dapper Labs has endured countless tech issues with NBA Top Shot drops and this is something they’ve clearly been trying to rectify with some of its latest stress tests and pre-order drops. Expect massive engineering and development hires. Additionally, Flow (Dapper Labs’ blockchain) will need to be able to scale if, as expected, a date for expansion to the UFC is announced in the next couple of months. Proof of concept in the NBA and UFC opens up Dapper Labs for the global markets of football and of course, the NFL.
All of the above, one would like to believe, can only be good news for Top Shot users.
Wednesday (March 31st) -Profit Jumps Off A Cliff
While the great news about Dapper Labs’ funding round continued to swirl amongst the Top Shot Community, my profit numbers went down the drain.
– Series 1: As more series are released, this moment should appreciate in value. – Rarity: It’s a rare card, one of just 750 limited edition. – That LBJ assist: It’s a clip from the 2020 Finals with LeBron dishing a tasty dime.
The Harden moment, however, I’m less attached to. The plan is to let it sit for another two weeks and then make a decision about whether to cut my losses and list it at the lowest asking price.
Regardless, I’m still of the believe that a bull market is just around the corner so my dream of turning $1500 into $15,000 on Top Shot just isn’t over yet.
It’s an interesting moment because it’s the three-pointer for the Bucks that set the NBA team record for threes in a game. Merrill’s was their 29th in the game against the Miami Heat, writing his name into the record books.
Merrill’s moment was selling for $30 the day before but doubled in the past twenty-four hours. Why? Because NBA Top Shot are releasing new badges before the end of the month and Merrill qualifies for three of them. No one knows if the release of the badges will lead to a knee-jerk rise in Moment value, but for $64, It’s worth the risk.
After initially listing it on the Marketplace for $69 dollars to test a new strategy that would see me increase activity and but lower net profit per Moment, I removed it in the hope that the badge release would yield higher profits.
I also decided to reduce the asking price of my Joel Embiid from 850 to 495 to see if I could get a bite. The low serial number is valuable certainly, but as it’s all profit given that it came from a pack, I’ve decided to get what I can take in order to use it to buy more.
With the upcoming release of the eagerly anticipated Rookie Badges, I decided to buy duplicate RJ Barrett Moments for $34 dollars and $35. Both were 15,000 Limited Editions and although my profit dropped to $94, I was confident that the launch of the badges would see RJ’s value spike.
Selling OG for a healthy profit
The slide in the marketplace continued so I decided to scroll the Discord to see if I could drum up a sale. After buying an OG Anunoby moment for £20 just five days beforehand, I talked him up and someone bought him instantly for $32, a net profit of 60%.
This, combined with the additions of RJ Barrett and an increase in value, saw my profit shoot back up to $194.
As the Market continued to tumble, I decide to reevaluate the prices of my listings on the Marketplace. Additionally, I had yet to make a single sale and I needed to experience that proof of concept moment.
Wednesday (March 24th) – Battling The Market Slide
I focused on employing a ‘Lowest Ask’ pricing method for three of my moments:
– Porzingis ($14) – Sexton ($10) – Boucher ($18).
I even reduced the RJ Barrett Cool Cats Moment from $190 to $95: a big reduction, but this was all profit if it could get the sale across the line.
My thinking was that I would get some liquidity and leverage it to eventually acquire a higher value Limited Edition.
The RJ Barrett pack sold in less than an hour after listing for $95. The rest sold even quicker and my balance sheet was in the black again.
– RJ Barrett sold for $95 – Kristaps Porzingis for $14 – Chris Boucher for $18 – Collin Sexton for $10 (sold on Thursday morning)
Total: $137 Cost: $12 Profit: $125 + still holding the Joel Embiid low serial #52.
Thursday (March 25th) – Liquid
I started the day by listening to The First Mint speak about liquidity in the market. Everyone in the Marketplace is talking about it being a bear one and that the dips are affecting everyone. I’m feeling pretty good though that I’ve been able to flip my $12 pack into $125 of profit.
My position on Moment Ranks reduced slightly overnight, but I was still in a positive position of +$186.
Meanwhile, the Joel Embiid moment has been dropping dramatically from its value of circa $1000 to $249 so I’ve decided to hold onto it until the market returns to a stronger position. While a sale still represents pure profit, a medium term outlook on the #52 serial could prove to be a lot more fruitful.
Hopefully, it’s a tactic that will pay off.
My current collection looks like this:
– Joe Ingles S2 Common CC @ $5 – Markieff Morris S1 Rare LE @ $645 – James Harden S2 Common LE @ $265 – Karl-Anthony Towns S2 @ $74 – Josh Okogie S2 @ $13 – Bradley Beal S2 @ $16 – Joel Embiid (Pack)
As the week started, the slide in the market continued for everyone, and my overall position maintained its drop in value and sat at -$150.
Luckily, it wasn’t all bad news. There was a new drop announced, titled ‘Cool Cats Drop 3’. The Cool Cats Series 2 Drop could not have come at a better time on my NBA Top Shot journey as I was beginning to lack motivation and needed a boost.
The waiting room for the drop opened around 45 minutes before the drop time so I got in line and hoped for a good number. As the drop time approached, there were over 272,000 people in the waiting list, all vying for a piece of the 67,500 $12 releases.
After swinging and missing on my first three queues, I was overjoyed when I hit a winner with this one and was assigned spot 4867 out of the 272,000.
Note: If a drop is due to start on the hour, you will not get access to your pack on the hour. There is often a long wait as the Top Shot team work their way through the queue. People pull out last-minute, others cannot complete transactions and no doubt many others run out of phone or laptop battery and lose their spot in the queue. If you’re roughly 5000-10000 above the allotted number of packs, it’s often worth biding your time in the queue just in case.
My position was 4867 so I was well within the 67,500 allotment. The queue took about 25 minutes to get through to my number, and by then I was getting excited and anxious.
What if my internet dropped? Did I have enough battery on my laptop?
Thankfully, when the time came it was a smooth transition from the queue to a ‘Buy Now’ screen. I immediately clicked the button, paid my $12, and awaited my first ever drop.
The screen shot to my release and I unveiled by five moments one-by-one to the background of one of a most aesthetically pleasing user interface.
My release were as follows:
– RJ Barrett Dunk – Common – LE #12187/15000 ($100) – Joel Embiid – Jump Shot – CC #53/35000+ (circa $1000) – Kristaps Porzingis – Dunk – Common #14293/35000+ ($50) – Chris Boucher – Dunk – Common – #20457/35000+ (circa $30) – Collin Sexton – 3-Pointer – #21852/35000+ ($20)
Tuesday (March 23rd) – Analysing My New Moments
On the whole, I had done well. Really well.
After following some of the strategies shared by my podcast friends, I decided to wait until the next day to list all of the Moments for a good chunk above Market Value (I used Moment Ranks to cross-reference with others).
My pack fell into two categories:
– High Value (Barrett Cool Cats & Embiid Low Serial #53) – Average (Porzingis, Boucher, Sexton)
As my interest in NBA Top Shot continues to rise, the chasm between my investment and the holy grail of $15,000 grows ever wider. Maybe Top Shot isn’t as easy I first thought and the timing of a bear market has not been kind to me.
As a result, I decided to commit to the analytical aspect of the market to see if I could gain a deeper understanding of the the market. Markets are cyclical and this isn’t the first time NBA Top Shot has seen a drop.
After some initial research, I decided to start using the following tools:
After analysing the Market Moves on Evaluate Market, I settled on a Josh Okogie assist for $13. According to Evaluate Market, his value was trending upwards at a ferocious pace, hitting +44% in the twenty-four hour period.
That acquisition brought my total spend from $989 to $1002.
Bradley Beal, a player that I always enjoyed watching purely for his aggression and stubbornness, experienced a boost of +53% in value over the same twenty-four hour period so I bought him at $16, bringing my total to $1018.
As can be seen above, his price quickly dropped to $13, meaning a $3 loss.
My total Moments at this point was 6, but I was feeling good about my collection, despite my rare Markieff Morris continuing his slide.
Saturday (March 20th) – Podcast Overload
On Saturday morning, I went for a walk accompanied by the usual NBA Top Shot podcasts:
– The First Mint – NBA Top Shot Insider – Beyond The Arc
The Top Shot Insider listen was of most benefit this week, not just because his pods are bite-size pieces at six minutes each, but because he outlined three mistakes people are making and how to avoid them. They certainly resonated with my own strategy. Here they are for your benefit:
3. Do not buy for the fear of missing out (FOMO). If you miss out on a pack, do not just buy a moment immediately.
2. Stick to buying top tier players. Do not buy a random moment that forms part of a challenge.
1. Fees. You are charged a 5% transaction fee when buying a moment with your card, and another 5% when you try to sell it. If you buy using a Dapper account, there is no fee. You will save 10% using just your Dapper balance.
NBA Top Shot Insider Podcast
Sunday (March 21st) – Market Tank Continues
After the high of buying some new Moments on Saturday, unfortunately the slide in my portfolio value continued. From a position of profit, I was now down $164.
After scouring the Discord and some podcasts for answers, it appeared I was not alone. The entire market was down. Even CryptoSlam’s daily sales trend was down from a peak of $42 million almost thirty days ago to $8 million today, with the slump affecting everyone.
Altbae is a seller I follow with a particularly strong portfolio. His Lifetime Profit, according to MomentRanks, and I could see his profit had slipped from roughly $240,000 a week ago to $198,000.
This was not an isolated drop. The market was in freefall.
However, it was not all bad news. The Top Shot gods announced that a drop was due to take place on Monday, so I remained bullish about my Top Shot future and held my breath for a good drop.
As it stands, nearly two weeks, I’ve invested the following
– Joe Ingles S2 Common CC @ $5 – Markieff Morris S1 Rare LE @ $645 – James Harden S2 Common LE @ $265 – Karl-Anthony Towns S2 @ $74 – Josh Okogie S2 @ $13 – Bradley Beal S2 @ $16 Total Expenditure: $1018
My portfolio is currently valued, according to MomentRanks, at $854. That’s a whopping loss of $164.
NFTs. Non-Fungible Tokens. NBA Top Shot. What does it all mean? Opportunity.
My goal over the next three months is simple: attempt to flip $1500 into a $15,000 simply by trading on Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot.
How am I going to do it?
Sign up for an NBA Top Shot account
Deposit $1500 into my Dapper Labs account
Buy cards low, attempt to trade them high
Follow the trends on Discord
Note: I am comfortable with losing this $1000. Do not attempt to replicate my tactics if you’re not in a position to lose the amount you stake. This remains a volatile market.
What tactics am I going to employ?
Initially, there doesn’t seem to be a clear strategy that’s warranted the most success for NBA Top Shot account users. After scouring Google for various articles, there seems to be a lot of guesswork. The general consensus seems to be that Series 1 cards will rise in value if you’re willing to hold onto them in the longer term. An additional strategy is to acquire cards that are needed to complete the various challenges posted by Top Shot. My initial research sends me to Spotify and a quick search uncovers a world of Top Shot podcasts, all centring on the future value of the market and numerous ‘get rich quick’ bros.
After a couple of hours of listening to pre-pubescent podcast hosts wax lyrical about how much money they’ve made, all while remaining in what seems to be their parents homes, I am sceptical. However, this particular ‘dude’ has a whopping 400 YouTube subscribers so I guess I can’t be the only one taking financial advice from him.
I decide the best thing to do is to jump right into the Marketplace and test the waters with my first purchase.
Packs vs Marketplaces
Packs are the Golden Goose of NBA Top Shot. Drops are announced sporadically, following what appears to be a random pattern. People get in line and are assigned a number in the queue, and then you just hope there are enough packs left by the time your number comes up. More on this later, but as there were no open packs, my only option to get in the game is to enter the Marketplace and buy Moments from other Top Shot users.
My First Purchase
In order to qualify for some of the NBA Top Shot drops, you need to have at least one Moment. I decided to dip my toes in the water with a $5 purchase of the Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles. The moment is a three-ball from Ingles, but the important details are as follows and they determine its value:
– It’s a Base Set Series 2 (worth less than a Series 1) – It’s also one of 35,000 editions of this particular Joe Ingles moment, meaning it’s ‘Common’. – I bought it from the ‘Lowest Ask’ seller for $5
The lowest ask now sits at $22, meaning Ingles’ value has risen four-fold in the five days since I bought him. You can see the Ingles Moment here.
My First Drop
Purchasing my first Moment enabled me to get in line for my first Pack drop. Drops occur randomly and are a fantastic opportunity to pick up some high-value cards for a fraction of the price. It usually occurs like this:
– A drop is announced for a certain time – You log on to the portal ten minutes beforehand and get in line – You’re randomly assigned a number in the queue and then wait – Some drops might only have 5000 releases – If you’re number 7000+, you have a slim chance of getting the cards.
This was a Base Set (Series 2) pack for $9 and containing three moments. This low cost, coupled with the low barrier of entry (you needed just one moment) meant this was always going to be a drop in high demand.
As well as that, the fact that just 5000 were being released certainly put me at a disadvantage,
After entering the queue, I was assigned my number and, unfortunately, it was not good news.
Alas, it was not to be and my search for a maiden Pack wasn’t going to end with this current release.
After delving deeper into the world of poorly produced teenage Top Shot podcasts, I decided the best strategy to get my profit show on the road would be to invest in a higher calibre of card (no disrespect to Joe Ingles).
My mind was made up:
– The card had to be a Series 1 – It has to be Limited Edition – It had to be within my budget of $1500
I spent the bones of two days on the same hamster wheel:
– Check the Marketplace – Review a player’s season so far and potential upside – Search his name in the Top Shot Discord to understand the value of the card.
Oh yeah, and some guy called LeBron James is the one dishing the assist to Morris. In the NBA Finals. For the Lakers. Money!
Here’s the NBA Top Shot description:
“From the corner! Markieff Morris of the Los Angeles Lakers catches the feed from teammate LeBron James and nails the deep corner three ball in a 19-point performance against the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on October 4, 2020.”
While the inclusion of LeBron James cannot as of yet be proven to correlate with an appreciation in value, his presence certainly cannot be a negative.
Additionally, the card was valued at just $250 back on January 25th before rising to $300 on February 20th. The Lowest Ask is currently at $685, meaning the card’s value has risen by $40 in two days. My belief is that the card will hit $900 within ten days, as more releases come to market and all Series 1 cards experience a spike in value.
I also decided to purchase two other cards in the low-medium price range: