Well, tonight I was a-Googling around, looking for a set list for the upcoming Unseen Forces set, and I was about 10 pages into the Google results when I hit a site that was selling a box of six cases (of 36 packs each) for the amazingly low price of $118.44 ... which is pretty remarkable given that the typical price for a single case I'd seen at places that were pre-selling them was $74.00! I knew there had to be "real" wholesalers out there who sold to the stores, but I'd never tracked one down previously. I'd seen some promo pieces from Nintendo which said that the suggested retail on the "booster packs" of the new set was $3.29 (although around here everybody prices packs at $4.49!), so $2.06 ($74 ÷ 36) did not provide much of a mark-up. A wholesale of $0.55 ($118.44 ÷ 6 ÷ 36) per pack sounds much more plausible!
Of course, the challenge is to get the wholesaler to sell to you. I guess I could probably use the tutoring biz as a "front" (since we deal with kids and all) to order them ... or I suppose that if I got off my butt and started to market the bought-to-be-sold Pokemon stuff I have sitting around on eBay, I could use that as the "company". It does boggle my mind that it took me two years of doing a LOT of web searches on all things Pokemon to stumble over one of these. Obviously the "card pros" out there are buying their supplies from this sort of source, which makes the up-front costs very manageable (given the re-sale value on the one holo card per pack). While I have never really aspired to be a "card pro", this might be the spark I need to actually start selling stuff on eBay!