NBA Top Shot's Trade Ticket System

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In case you missed it, NBA Top Shot recently announced a new feature they will be rolling out over the next 18 months called “Trade Tickets,” which will allow you to trade in Moments you don’t like for "exclusive packs" that can only be purchased through the Trade Ticket system.

The reason Top Shot decided to incorporate this new feature is that they wanted to determine the fairest way possible to distribute the remaining Series 1 Base Moments that reside in their warehouse. Top Shot still has so many Series 1 Base (or Common) Moments because they had some kinks in their system during the early beta days that resulted in a ton of minted Series 1s never making it into circulation. Those issues have now been resolved, but the Moments remain in their possession, and they’ve determined that the Trade Ticket system will be the best method for distributing them.

They will begin releasing Trade Ticket pack drops within the next few months with the goal of disseminating 7,000 Series 1 Base packs by the end of November 2022. Each of these Trade Ticket Series 1 pack drops will include one Series 1 LE Common with an Edition Size of 1,000 and three additional Series 1 LE Commons with an Edition Size of 1,240 – 3,999. So, in other words, these will be some very valuable Moments. As an example, the cheapest Series 1 LE Common that is currently being listed on the market is a Moe Wagner “handles” Moment with an Edition Size of 3,999 for $43 – and the cheapest Series 1 LE with an Edition Size of 1,000 is a Jeff Teague “handles” Moment for $107. By comparison, the cheapest Series 2 LE Common you can find is a Mason Plumlee dunk for $4; that’s quite the disparity.

The Trade Ticket system will work like any other pack drop, except, these drops will not accept your Dapper Balance or credit cards as payment – the only way to acquire them will be by trading in your Moments for the required amount of Trade Tickets. Now, Top Shot still has not revealed exactly how many Trade Tickets you will need to acquire one of these Series 1 packs, but they’ve stated that the number will be “significant.” You will be able to trade in any one of your Moments for a Trade Ticket in a 1-for-1 swap, but you will not be able to sell your Trade Ticket on the marketplace, nor will you be allowed to gift it to other collectors. Top Shot will also be incorporating a “recycle” feature to the Trade Ticket drops, that will work similarly to “rebound packs,” in that if you miss out on the primary drop, you’ll still be able to buy a recycled pack (Moments other collectors traded in to acquire their Trade Tickets) at a significantly reduced cost. Lastly, it’s not just these 7K Series 1 packs that will be released via Trade Ticket, as in NBA Top Shot’s announcement they stated you will be able to buy “exclusive packs,” with the Trade Ticket system – possibly implying there will be future Rare and perhaps even Legendary releases that can only be purchased via Trade Tickets.

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So, what does this all mean? Well, for one, I’m not going to be selling any of my Moments moving forward unless they’re in a Challenge or being speculated on from YouTubers as a potential Challenge Moment (I’ve written in length about the YouTubers, but they’re almost always wrong, so selling on the speculation is generally a good strategy). I used to unload the CCs I’d receive in pack drops, but now I will instead stow them away as future trade tickets; unless one of them bumps to over $10. I’ve also been collecting some cheap, under $10 Series 2 LE Commons intending to eventually trade them in, or maybe getting lucky and having one of them randomly go into a Challenge. As we’ve seen in the past, when LE Common Moments go into Challenges, they can spike from a lowest ask of $9 to $80-plus.

Another strategy would be to gather up a bunch of cheap CC Moments from the marketplace to eventually use them for Trade Tickets. There’s less upside to this strategy, as CC Moments are generally worthless outside of Challenges, and even when they go into Challenges they don’t bump nearly as much as an LE, but if any Moment (regardless of tier) will be good for one Trade Ticket – then it’s not the worst idea. I just wouldn’t recommend stocking up on Moments you don’t even like, as there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to secure one of these Series 1 packs, and the alternative recycled pack option will probably be loaded with other CC nonsense.

Again, only 7,000 total Series 1 packs will be made available through these Trade Ticket drops, and the feature will be rolled out over 18 months, so that means a very small amount will be available with each drop. It’s not uncommon to have 100K+ collectors show up for any given pack drop, so the odds of being assigned a good enough spot in the digital line to be able to snag one of these Series 1s will remain slim. There will be other “exclusive” opportunities, though, so consider saving some of the CCs and LEs you like when acquiring your next pack.

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