Buying The Dip With NBA Top Shot

Jared Johnson
·8 min read


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Did you miss out on the pack drop? Well, fear not my Top Shot Brethren, for there is another way to come up on pack drop day, a method I like to refer to as, buying the dip.

What is “buying the dip,” you ask? Well, on any non-Base Set pack drop – meaning the pack has an actual name associated with it such as Cool Cats, Seeing Stars, etc. – there will be a Challenge attached to it that if completed will net you a Rare LE Moment that will not be released in any future packs. The Moments associated with the Challenge will be revealed at the pack drop, and from that point, you’ll know what Moments to target once the drop is completed and the marketplace opens back up. And it’s within those hours immediately following the competition of a pack drop when you can make a killing by taking advantage of The Casuals.

Let’s use the Cool Cats 3 Challenge as an example, so we can see the entire cycle of a Challenge Moment, from the pack drop to the end date of the Challenge.

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Cool Carts 3

Kristaps Porzingis

Dump: ~$20 (40 minutes after market re-opening)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: ~$80

High: ~$110 (three days after pack drop)

Average: ~$95

Mid-point Dip: $75 (one week after pack drop)

Final surge: $120

KP Cool Cats 3
KP Cool Cats 3

Domantas Sabonis

Dump: ~20 (40 minutes after market re-opening)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: ~$65

High: ~100 (three days after pack drop)

Average: ~$85

Mid-point Dip: $70 (one week after pack drop)

Final surge: ~100

Sabonis Cool Cats 3
Sabonis Cool Cats 3

Goran Dragic

Dump: ~16 (30 minutes after market re-opening)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: ~$60

High: $100 (three days after pack drop)
Average: ~$80

Mid-point dip: $60 (one week after pack drop)

Final surge: $100

Dragon Cool Cats 3
Dragon Cool Cats 3

RJ Barrett

Dump: $20 (30 minutes after market re-opening)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: ~$85

High: $150 (three days after pack drop)

Average: ~$115

Mid-point dip: $80 (one week after pack drop)

Final surge: $150

RJ Cool Cats 3
RJ Cool Cats 3

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Dump: ~25 (40 minutes after market re-opening)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: ~$90

High: $130 (three days after pack drop)

Average: ~$95

Mid-point dip: $85 (one week after pack drop)

Final surge: ~120

SGA Cool Cats 3
SGA Cool Cats 3

There were other Moments involved in the Challenge that weren’t Cool Cats, but for this exercise, I want to focus purely on the LE Cool Cats. As you can see, even if you’re not able to secure a pack, you can still turn a profit by snagging up the Challenge Moments when The Casuals start dumping them. There seems to be a large contingent of people within the Top Shot community that will sell all their Moments immediately upon securing a pack, probably because they have no idea what they have – nor are they interested – they just want to turn a quick profit, however marginal. This period where you can grab an LE Challenge Moment at a massive discount only lasts a few hours immediately following a pack drop, so you need to be aware once the drop is completed to take advantage. A good way to do this is using the function that allows you to enter your email to receive a link to your place in line upon joining the queue – even if you have no chance of securing a pack – that email will let you know once the drop is complete; meaning the market is about to open. You also shouldn’t buy immediately upon the market re-opening, you want to wait about 20 minutes, or enough time for a lot of Casuals to start unloading.

As a general rule of thumb, if you see any LE Challenge Moment hit the market in the $20-range following a pack drop, you should scoop it up immediately, as they will almost always be far more valuable than that. Now, before we get any further, I want to take a moment to call out some influencers within the Top Shot community, or as I prefer to call them, grifters.

There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there that will speculate, or as I like to say, lie about what Moments they know (they don’t) will be in upcoming Challenges, and they’re usually wrong, so I wouldn’t recommend listening to them. Trying to guess what Moments might be in an upcoming Challenge really lends itself to conspiratorial thinking, as it forces people to try and identify patterns that aren’t really there (apophenia), and a single successful guess can build a false sense of authority amongst their audience. It doesn’t matter that their 50 other guesses were wrong, because they got this one thing right, and they will point to it forever. There is no way of knowing what Moments will be associated with the Challenge that accompanies a pack drop, and if someone tells you differently, then you know you’re being lied to.

However, you can use these grifters’ influence on the market to your advantage. The prices of the non-Challenge-related Moments will tank as soon as the actual Moments are revealed, but you can sell your lame Moments right before a pack drop at an artificially high price, because some YouTuber thinks he’s identified a pattern that he hasn’t. As an example, I sold my Alex Caruso and Danny Green CC Moments that were being speculated on at $10 and $13 before the Cool Cats 4 pack drop, and once the real Challenge Moments were revealed, those CC Moments tanked to $6 and $4, respectively. Anytime I’m able to sell a CC Moment for $10 – I’m happy – anything over that is just a bonus.

Now, let’s take a look at what happened with the most recent Cool Cats 4 pack drop. Again, we’re only going to focus on the LE Cool Cats Moments associated with the Challenge, as those are the safest bet to spike in value.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Dump: $10 (20 minutes after market opens)

First hour average: ~$25

Feeding frenzy ends two hours after market re-opening

Peak: $55 (five hours after pack drop)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: $37

Bogdan Cool Cats 4
Bogdan Cool Cats 4

Gordon Hayward

Dump: $11 (30 minutes after market opens)

First hour average: ~$25

Feeding frenzy ends two hours after market re-opening

Peak: $60 (five hours after pack drop)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: $38

Hayward Cool Cats 4
Hayward Cool Cats 4

Christian Wood

Dump: $15 (20 minutes after market opens)

First hour average: ~$25

Feeding frenzy ends two hours after market re-opening

Peak: $55 (five hours after pack drop)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: $38

Wood Cool Cats 4
Wood Cool Cats 4

Jrue Holiday

Dump: $11 (30 minutes after market opens)

First hour average: ~$25

Feeding frenzy ends two hours after market re-opening

Peak: $60 (five hours after pack drop)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: $38

Holiday Cool Cats 4
Holiday Cool Cats 4

Chris Paul

Dump: $18 (40 minutes after market opens)

First hour average: 30-35

Feeding frenzy ends two hours after market re-opening

Peak: $72 (five hours after pack drop)

Lowest ask morning after pack drop: $50

CP3 Cool Cats 4
CP3 Cool Cats 4

Now, aside from Chris Paul, these Cool Cats aren’t hitting the same highs that we saw with the Cool Cats 3 release, but it’s worth acknowledging that these guys don’t have quite the same name recognition, and it’s still early on in the process. The Cool Cats 3 Moments didn’t reach their peak until three days after being released, and they also saw a similar trajectory where they dipped on the morning after the release, and then it was a steady climb to the $100-range.

If the Cool Cats 4 Moments follow the same trend line as their predecessors, then we should see a steady rise over the next few days, but I think the time to buy is over. The point of this column is to prepare you for future pack drops, although I will note that the buying the dip strategy doesn’t work as well with Legendary pack drops. That’s because the Legendary drops have a lot of prerequisites that weed out the casuals, so the folks that do gets those packs don’t dump ‘em at dumb prices. But for the $14 packs, this strategy can pay dividends. Be there for the market re-opening, wait about 20 minutes, and then: Buy. The. Dip.

Lastly, I want to just touch on the upcoming Master Challenge. Once the Cool Cats 4 Challenge concludes, Top Shot will introduce a Master Challenge that will involve collecting every single Cool Cats Moments including all the Challenge reward Moments to unlock an ultra-rare Moment. It will be insanely expensive to complete this Challenge, so I wouldn’t recommend it, but we might be able to squeeze the collectors that are trying to complete it. What do I mean by this? Well, as you saw with the Cool Cats 3 Moments, the prices saw a final surge right before the time ran out to complete the Challenge, and then absolutely tanked immediately following its completion. So, if you scoop up some of these Moments when the prices plummet, you may be able to unload them at a better price towards the end of the Master Challenge. Just something to consider.