Gambling, Purchase-Based Prizes, Break and Mystery Box Policy Gambling, Purchase-Based Prizes, Break and Mystery Box Policy

Gambling, Purchase-Based Prizes, Break and Mystery Box Policy

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At Whatnot, we craft our policies to ensure we are creating a place where our community can feel safe and confident in their purchases. In order to maintain a trustworthy buying experience, we prohibit gambling activities and purchase-based prizes, and have additional requirements for the sale and auction of Card Breaks.  

We’ve created these guidelines for sellers to demonstrate that they are acting fairly and transparently. If there is a misrepresentation in a break or other seller error, it’s the seller’s responsibility to accept any cancellations from buyers. Any evidence to the contrary will result in account enforcement. 

This policy is not exhaustive, and not intended to be legal advice. It’s the responsibility of each seller to independently ensure streams, listings, sales, and provisions of products abide by Whatnot’s Terms of Service, as well as applicable laws and regulations. If you have questions about what laws apply to you and your activity on Whatnot, you should seek independent legal counsel.

Gambling

Facilitating or promoting gambling and selling gambling products is prohibited on Whatnot. Some examples include:

  • No paid raffles or other randomized results. Paid entries to races, wheels, raffles, roulette spins, or other randomized results for a prize. For example:
    • Selling a spot in an online race between ducks for a cash prize
    • Auctioning raffle tickets to win a video game console
  • No lottery sales: The sale of lottery tickets is not permitted 
  • No Casino-style Games: Facilitating casino-style games, such as poker, blackjack, slots

Purchased Based Prizes

Whatnot strictly prohibits sales containing purchase-based prizes, where the purchase of an item qualifies the buyer for a chance to win an additional item (or items), entry into a game, or other prizes. Examples include:

  • Paid bounties, or other sales where an item purchased also carries a chance at winning an additional item or prize. For example: 
    • Offering an extra box of cards if someone gets a holographic card in the break you are conducting
    • Offering to purchase or trade for a product if hit within a specific show  
    • Advertising to purchase or trade for a collectible product with contingencies on when or where the item will be purchased 
  • “Guess games,” “mapping games,” or other sales offering a prize for someone correctly guessing the contents of a concealed purchase (such as a particular trading card in a sealed pack).
  • Any game where the item purchased has a chance of “activating” the receipt of a prize or entry into another game of chance. For example:
    • Offering a raffle ticket for a prize each time a buyer makes a purchase, even if no additional cost is required     
    • Giving buyers who spend a certain amount of money an entry into a duck race for a prize, even if everyone in the race wins an item
    • Conducting a raffles or other games of chance for unsold spots in a break or game
    • Adding “golden tickets” or other items within a break or mystery game that further randomizes the team assigned or item received.
    • Games that provide a chance to receive an item from, or entry into a different game such as “cascading” mystery or pull games.
  • Offering buyers an entry into a game of chance where they may win a prize based on the position of their bid. For example:
    • Advertising a prize for the best card pulled at the end of a day or night 
    • Providing a prize for the highest bidder of a stream, triggered at random 

We encourage you to consider alternative ways to engage and reward your viewers. Follower-only giveaways or other games that do not require a purchase or payment are permitted. Additionally, items such as gifts offering grading using our integrated grading service, or other rewards that are guaranteed upon purchase are permitted.

 

Pull Games

  • A pull game is where a buyer picks a number within a range that equals the total number of items in a stack and the seller pulls the corresponding numbered item from that stack   
  • In pull games, sellers must show the entire set of items being pulled from on screen
  • Similar to Mystery Boxes / Packs (see below), sellers must list the following details about the stack they are pulling from in the product's name / description:
    • Floor price (minimum/lowest value item in the stack)
    • Ceiling price (maximum/highest value item in the stack)
    • Average price (average price across the stack)
    • Total number of items in the stack

Pack Wars / Spot Wars / Box Wars

    • A “pack war”, “spot war”, or “box war”  is a game where multiple people buy a pack / box / spot and use the cards from these purchases to compete against each other in a winner-takes-all scenario
  • Wars of any type are prohibited on Whatnot

Mystery Boxes / Packs

  • All Mystery boxes / packs must be opened and shown during the livestream
  • All Mystery Boxes / Packs must be kept on screen during the show
    • You should only sell as many spots as there are Mystery items
    • If you are selling in a category outside of Sports Cards or TCG and have Early Payout, you are not required to have all Mystery Boxes on screen during the livestream. If you are found abusing this, Early Payout will be disabled and you may be banned from the Whatnot platform
      • However, you must have a proxy system on screen that denotes which mystery item a buyer has won, and the designated box/pack must then be shown and opened on-screen during the livestream
      • Again, the above does not apply to any Sports or TCG breaks and mystery packs - keep all packs visible and on camera at all times regardless of Early Payout status
  • Across all categories, if you are found abusing mystery boxes to manipulate bids, you will be banned
  • Be Truthful about Pricing: Do not mislead buyers about the value of a box by mentioning the highest potential value of a mystery box
    • As stated in the Community Guidelines, if you cite the value of an item, be prepared to back it up with real data on comparable market prices 
    • Never inflate the market value of an item, including "mystery boxes" and other compilations. Market estimates of mystery boxes / packs must be available upon request; misstated values may lead to order cancellations, buyer refunds or platform banning
  • List product category, along with 4 elements of market price in product name and description, using the mystery pack slider feature. Unless your mystery pack or mystery item is a professionally pre-packaged product (e.g., Hit Parade, Leaf, Target), you must list in the product's name/description the following four elements of market price of the product:
    • Floor price (minimum/lowest value of the box/item)
    • Ceiling (max/highest value of the box/item)
    • Average price (average price across the box/items)
    • The number of items that these statistics span
  • Please see the example below:

gbNXX4xLEb3fRRxXciHjcGh-.pngExample of acceptable mystery pack description

Build Your Own Box

  • For Build Your Own Box, all boxes are built once the purchase is complete or as buyers bid for the box / pack. Buyers should receive items with a combined fair market value that is in line with the winning bid. Violation of this policy may result in removal of your eligibility to run such sales or banning of your account from Whatnot

Card Breaks 

Card Breaks are the opening of a professionally sealed card product (including cases, boxes, packs) among multiple participants, where the contents of the sealed products are not known to the buyer(s). 

Only eligible sellers are permitted to sell Card Breaks in the Sports category. Learn more about how to become eligible.

Note: All live sellers can engage in the sale and opening of sealed card products to a single individual, commonly referred to as "personals," or “rip-and-ship.”

Rules for Conducting Card Breaks

Item descriptions and presentation

  • Card Breaks must be fully visible: The full display of any Card Break must be kept onscreen from the sale of an item to the end of the Break. This can be done over multiple cameras. This includes sealed and unsealed product, tools, or other essential elements of a Card Break, such as hands while dealing with cards, or opening of product. Removing sealed or opened packs, boxes, or cards from the full visibility of the stream prior to the product reveal is a violation of our rules. Here are examples of policy-compliant Card Break camera setups.
  • Rules must be shared: The rules for any Card Break run must be in Show Notes or in the item listings for the Card Break. This includes, if relevant, what is considered “base” or “bulk” cards, and how those cards will be distributed. 
    • For example, sharing the rules in your listing: “Full case team break; participants purchase a team, hits and inserts that match the team are sent to the purchasers. Bulk cards are not sent.”
  • Breaks are Cards-only: Items such as jerseys, helmets, bats, and other non-card memorabilia cannot be included as part of any Break. Any opening of non-card product must comply with Mystery rules.

Rules and conduct 

  • Every buyer must receive a card:  Each buyer must receive, at a minimum, one card for each Card Break purchase. 
    • For breaks where sellers can guarantee that each buyer receives a card directly from the break (e.g., hit drafts), sellers may only auction as many break spots as there are cards in the break, such that each buyer is guaranteed a card directly from the break for each purchase.
    • For break formats where a seller cannot guarantee that each entrant receives a card (e.g., team breaks, where there is a chance a customer’s selected team does not actually appear in the break), every person must be shipped, at a minimum, one card for each purchase. 
  • No Card Breaks that span multiple shows, and no off-platform pre-sales: All product from a Card Break must be opened in the same live show. You cannot open product from a Card Break over the course of multiple streams. Positions in Card Breaks on Whatnot cannot be sold off-platform, including as pre-sales or in advance.  
  • No participants can be related to the seller: Individuals who are members of the same household, family members, or seller's employees may not enter a seller’s Card Break. 

Card Breaks Policy FAQs 

  1. What are Card Breaks?
    • Card Breaks are the opening of professionally sealed card products with unknown contents among multiple participants.This is different from the sale of unknown sealed product to single participants, commonly referred to as “rip-and-ship,” 
  2. Who can run Card Breaks on Whatnot?
    • Any seller on Whatnot can run TCG or Sports Card Breaks.
    • In order to maintain access to run TCG or Sports Card Breaks:
      • Breaks are cards-only; no non-card items can be sold in a Break.
      • Full Break setups must be visible on screen for the entire live stream.
      • Any Break rules must be visible at the start of the show in Show Notes or in listings.
      • Breaks cannot span multiple shows, and no pre-sales off-platform.
    •  
  3. What’s an example of rules in the description or show notes that are compliant with the new policies? How specific / granular do we need to be in these rules? Is there a recommended template to follow?
    • Here’s an example of how rules could be written in show notes: 
      • “Team break; participants each purchase a team; each purchaser receives the hits and inserts that match the team. Bulk cards are not sent.”
  4. What happens if an item is accidentally off the frame for a short period during the show?
    • Sellers are responsible for accepting refund requests in these cases.
  5. What if some of the spots in a Card Break don't sell? Does this mean the seller has to cancel the break and refund everyone who bought into it? 
    • Sellers should honor any buyer refund requests but can sell spots in future breaks (while respecting Whatnot’s 2-business day shipping requirement) so long as the sealed product has not yet been opened. Sellers may not cancel sold break spots for going below a desired amount, doing so will result in account action. We encourage you to run Card Breaks where it’s reasonable to expect that all the spots in the break will sell.
  6. What do you mean by “No Card Breaks that span multiple shows”? 
    • The number of cards in a Card Break must be clearly disclosed at the beginning of the show, and once opened, that product cannot be sold over multiple shows.
  7. How can I guarantee that each buyer receives a card in a Card Break, especially for breaks where there is a chance a customer's selected team does not actually appear in the break?
    • In the unlikely circumstance that no cards of a certain team are opened in a team break, the seller must ensure each buyer receives one card for each purchase. There are no additional requirements for what the card needs to be. 
    • Note that this requirement “Every buyer must receive a card for each purchase” is replacing “All buyers in a break must receive an item” from the previous version of the policy.
  8. Are there any restrictions on the type of cards or items that can be included in Card Breaks?
    • All the items in a Card Break must be cards. 
  9. What about Card Breaks with a mixture of card and non-card items?
    • Card Breaks with a mixture of card and non-card items are not allowed, even if packaged and sealed by a third-party. Sellers can only proceed with the sale of packages like these if they comply with the Mystery rules (and at that point, the sale would no longer be considered a Card Break).
  10. Why can't non-card items be included in Card Breaks, and how should sellers handle items like memorabilia or jerseys?
    • Non-card products such as jerseys, helmets, bats, and other non-card memorabilia cannot be included as part of a Card Break. In a Card Break, the seller opens (“breaks”) one sealed product and distributes the cards within the product among its buyers (aligning to the literal definition of "breaking"), all of whom receive a defined portion of the product. The act of “breaking” does not apply to memorabilia since only one or a limited number of buyers receive the memorabilia, and one memorabilia product cannot be distributed amongst multiple buyers. If non-card products are included, please comply with the Mystery rules, and categorize these shows as “Sports Memorabilia” and select “Mystery Games” as the Show Format.
  11. What’s an example of a camera configuration that would be compliant with the rule around breaks having to be visible in their entirety? Do I need multiple cameras in order to be compliant with Card Breaks visibility policies? 
    • So long as your camera setup allows for all Card Breaks items to be visible in the live stream at all times, it is permitted. These illustrated camera setups comply with our Card Breaks visibility policies, and not all of them require multiple cameras. 
  12. What constitutes "related bidders"
    “Related bidders” include members of the same household as the seller, family members of the seller, or the seller's employees who bid in the Card Break.
    • It is permissible to have members of the same household, family members, or the seller’s employees viewing the Card Break as passive observers without bidding or buying. 
  13. Is there a minimum or maximum duration for Card Break streams on Whatnot?
    • We don’t have required minimums or maximums for the duration of a Card Break.
  14. Can I still auction off singles?
    • Yes, you can auction off singles once a Card Break is complete, or before a Card Break.
  15. Can you clarify whether this updated Card Breaks policy applies if I’m opening a box for one buyer / for vintage boxes?
      1. To help with this clarification, here’s how we’ve defined different types of card case and pack openings:
        1. Personals / Rip-and-Ship: Opening a pack, box, or case for one buyer. This format also includes the opening of one box and selling the packs within, one pack for one buyer. There could be multiple buyers for this box, but what each buyer receives is determined based on which pack they purchased, and there is one pack designated for each buyer. In TCG, these are commonly called breaks. This format is still allowed and outside of the scope of the updated Card Breaks policy.  
        2. Card Breaks: Opening a box to be distributed across multiple buyers where what each buyer receives is based on attributes, e.g., team, division, color. Card Breaks in this form are in scope for this updated policy.
    1. To summarize: Opening a Personal / Rip-and-Ship item is outside of the scope of our Card Breaks policy. By definition, a Card Break involves multiple buyers purchasing one card product, where the cards within that product are distributed based on card attributes. 
      1. You can continue to conduct Personals / Rip-and-Ships, opening a box / pack for one buyer in one show or across multiple shows. 
  16. Can we include memorabilia items in Card Breaks with the new policy? Does this requirement also apply to professionally sealed memorabilia products like Gold Rush, Hit Parade, etc.?
      1. Memorabilia items cannot be included in Card Breaks under the updated Card Breaks policy.
      2. You can still run Mystery Boxes / Packs with memorabilia, so long as you follow the Mystery Rules outlined here. For memorabilia mystery shows, please categorize your show as “Sports Cards -> “Sports Memorabilia” and select “Mystery Games” as the Show Format. For all other sports card mystery shows, please categorize your show as “Sports Cards -> [Name of sport] Cards -> [Name of sport] Mystery.” 

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1 comment

  • Jessica Blecker

    This is very helpful and very clearly defined and outlined! Thank You

    Jessica Blecker
    2