#1 Trading Card Seller on Amazon

For a long time I have admired how Amazon has changed the way people buy and sell goods. They have been a pioneer is so many ways.

A couple weeks ago I felt honored to get a call from Amazon. They are working to beef up their trading card listings and were asking us to start selling some of our inventory on their website. We talked through what was necessary to make it happen and decided to give it a try with just a small portion of our inventory.

On Friday afternoon our account went live, and it took 2 days for them to upload our sampling of 600,000 items.

Here is what happened to Amazon’s Trading Card category over the last 24 hours.

Saturday 7PM, COMC is #3

Sunday 12AM, COMC is #2

Sunday 3PM, COMC is #1

Orders starting to come in
In our first day we already hit a glitch due to David Freese’s recent popularity… Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. One of David’s cards sold on both Amazon and COMC.com at the same time. I had to pay top dollar to buy the last one that was remaining on COMC.com to replace the one that sold on Amazon.
2009 Topps #643 - David Freese RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

We are currently working out the kinks, and as we get the process more automated, we will opening it up so that COMC sellers have the option to have some or all of their inventory listed on Amazon as well.

39 thoughts on “#1 Trading Card Seller on Amazon

  1. This should address people’s concerns about “finding more buyers.” This is fantastic news — and just in time for Christmas!

  2. Good to know that instead of spending time getting fee-paying sellers new buyers, they’ve been working on ways to sell more of their own cards. Luckily, a new competitor is coming…

    • Interesting perspective… Not sure why you think that is the case. This definitely wouldn’t be worth all the effort if we were just trying to sell our own cards.

      In any case, I would love to hear more about a new competitor.

      • Based on other comments, it sounds as if it’s all the cards owned by COMC employees (commons, stevesc, lowpricecards, timgetsch etc.).

        To have your cards sold on Amazon you have to agree to something or other, and it sounds as if COMC is working on that now.

  3. With the last paragraph it almost sounds as if it’s a separate option to get cards listed on there? I sure hope you guys don’t charge an additional fee to cross list cards.

    • Unfortunately the Amazon fees are way too high for us to absorb the costs. We expect that people that want to opt in for this feature may want to inflate their prices to cover the costs. I wish this wasn’t the case, but Amazon is used to offering this service to businesses that have much higher profit margins than we do. The only way it will be possible is if the seller is willing to cover the costs. We are figuring out the details, and we will let you know more as we get closer to launching the feature.

      • After reading this blog and the Blowout posts, I am now a little confused.

        I understand that details are still getting worked out, but will there a possibility to have two price points? Like opting into a scenario where COMC price points are multiplied by 1.2 on Amazon in order to cover fees? Amazon probably wouldn’t like that but they have plenty of sellers who list at one price point on Amazon but much lower on their own website (I’m thinking electronics mainly in this example, and some software and dvd sites) as it would potentially draw away from their site. I have sold on amazon for the last decade and some of the fees are quite substantial so having a set multiplier would address the Amazon fees. I know in some Amazon store categories they charge you a minimum commission fee (example: you can sell an item for a penny but you will still get charged a minimum 25 cent commission).

        I don’t know if anyone has brought this up but Amazon is notorious for letting sellers go wild and create their own pages for an item that already exists. Type Derek Jeter 1993 Topps and you will see what I mean. How will COMC listings bubble to the top?

        Great move though, I think. Thank you.

  4. Wow, that is huge news. When do you expect sellers will be able to list on Amazon through COMC, and will there be any additional fees to do so? I assume listing will be pretty seamless as we already have our cards on here, as well as shipping items out since the cards are already at your warehouse. Very exciting and congratulations to you guys!

    • I am hoping to have this working before Thanksgiving so that people that are doing holiday shopping on Amazon can buy your cards.

      We are still figuring out the fees. You won’t have to pay anything up front. You will just have to be willing to accept offers from our special Amazon user.

      And you are correct, everything will be seamless. Likely you will just turn on an option and we will start listing your products on Amazon.

      • there are humungous warehouses here in my home town in pennsylvania that are sitting vacant and need some good businesses to move into it would be a great fit for you just the moving would suck lol

  5. sounds great! it is hard to make sure the inventory on both sites match especially as stuff move and sells and changes prices. I’ve tried the amazon thing in the past and sold a few cards (their base shipping is a lot for cards) Also most of the sellers have crazy prices on there. I hope this works out and I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

  6. Even if this is the sort of scenario where it makes sense to primarily sell higher-end stuff through Amazon, this still completely rocks. I was always hoping we’d eventually see the site grow big enough that cross-marketing on the larger marketplace sites would happen. Excellent job.

    Just don’t bum me out and make this membership-exclusive or anything. You don’t want to break the heart of us small fries.

    • I think would make sense financially to cross-promote certain cards to get a wider audience. For a card that you have $5 in and asking $20 for, a small fee wouldn’t be a big deal, but not for a card that you are asking $1 for.

  7. This is huge and should also bring back collectors and buyers who may have gotten out of the hobby for whatever reason.

    I buy merchandise on Amazon regularly especially during the holiday shopping season.

    Tim,

    When you said that COMC was making a big advertising/marketing push you were not kidding.

    This move shows just how serious you are in moving the company forward and gaining maximum exposure to a wide base of potential buyers.

  8. Another thought: Even if you don’t want to sell on Amazon because of whatever expense gets incurred because of it, you will still benefit because there will be fewer cards for those still shopping on COMC.

    • My understanding is that your card will be on Amazon and COMC, whichever one sells first will close/cancel the other listing.

      • I think you’ll have to agree to have your cards be on Amazon, and if you do, there are some costs associated with that. Those are the details that COMC has to come up with by Thanksgiving so we can be opted in for Cyber Monday et al.

  9. You should sell Gift Certificates to COMC on Amazon. I don’t like paying with Paypal after they double charged my credit card once. Which makes me hesitant to use it anymore. If I could buy a Gift certificate for your Site from amazon I would have to worry about that anymore.

  10. That’s great news! I would have held out for a personal mentoring call from Mr. Bezos :)

    I was wondering if it would be possible to have an ‘amazon portfolio’ or an ability to select certain cards to show on Amazon – or will it have to be your entire portfolio…and you just accept/reject the offer.

    Can’t wait to see all the cards start popping up on Amazon … with their new tablet coming out, should be good timing.

  11. Sellers always thinking of #1…If some people on this site priced correctly there would be more sales.

    I commend the sellers with the auto accept offers, way to go!!!! For the ones that have full book or over book will always be mad.

    Nice merger COMC!

  12. I agree that the option to sell on A: COMC only or B: Both COMC and Amazon is needed. I have been a proud seller on COMC since 2007 and have always prided myself on offering sometimes certifyingly insanely low prices on cards. I buy and move them on to other sellers or collectors who will be able to appreciate or benefit from them. My main concern here is listing $5-$8 cards for $1 on COMC but having extra fees if that same card sells on Amazon instead. I am hoping we can set up a COMC/ amazon port, in an effort to be able to offer COMC faithful customers the same deals I have tried to offer for the past 4 years. BTW COMC, very proud of the growth and multiple warehouse moves needed over the years. Excellent Work !!! Thank you for all you have done to promote our great hobby.

  13. Nice Work. I’ve been selling on Amazon(mostly books) for a couple of months now. It really is a great company. This is good for all COMC sellers.

  14. how about an option to leave a message with your offer or option to pm seller to talk about offers before sending wish i could communicate with sellers more.. and as someone else said i agree the sellers not selling stuff have their cards way overpriced where if i make a 50% offer i am still overpaying

  15. I never want the option to send a message. I’ve always hated the angry messages from people on eBay who don’t like my prices.

    • Same here. And rude sellers can create a bad buying experience as well. It’s bad both ways.

      Something to think about for those who don’t understand the high prices. This site is called “Check Out My Cards.” Not everyone is here to sell everything they have. A lot of my PC is on here as well. And sure, everyone has their price. Does that make sense?

  16. This is awesome! ebay used to be the go to source for buying/selling cards, but recently the fees are just too high.

    I have a smallish collection to sell/trade, and found you guys in the search engines. I am very impressed and you also solve a huge problems for most collectors: photographing and uploading cards on the computer.

    Your service is great, and I think you will experience much growth in the next couple of years.

  17. I don’t know what Amazon’s feedback mechanisms are, but if they are anything like eBay’s this could be cause for concern. eBay’s DSR system is so ill-devised that it has compelled the suspension of some of the best card sellers that had been there. I’m talking about good, honest sellers who are some of the best dealers in the room at The National.

    The main concern, as with most card sellers, is with the s&h DSR. COMC very logically and fairly has a base s&h charge and an incremental charge for each additional card. This incremental charge does add up over larger orders (correctly reflecting the labor involved), and it can lead to a s&h charge much, much higher than the postage involved. For instance, I’ve placed orders where the s&h charge with COMC comes to well over $40, but the postage itself was perhaps $10-$15. Now I’m very happy to pay the $40 s&h for the service COMC offers, because I understand that s&h includes a lot more costs than mere postage. But on eBay, a seller with this model can very easily get into trouble on the s&h DSR, as just a very few buyers can endanger the whole enterprise.

    Does anyone know if Amazon has a more rational feedback system?

    • Amazon has a horrible feedback system. At best, 10% of Amazon customers ever bother to leave feedback, there’s no mechanism for leaving bulk feedback to your buyers, and if a buyer leaves a “3″, Amazon counts it as “non-positive” which drops your feedback rating just as bad as a neg. Customers on Amazon leave negative feedback for all sorts of spurious reasons.

      On the plus side, nobody gives a rat’s rump about feedback on Amazon. A seller could have 60% positive feedback and still get orders. Sellers can get downgraded if they rack up too many bad customer experiences, but I don’t think COMC will have any problem staying on Amazon’s good side.

      The dynamic on Amazon is completely different than eBay. Amazon IS the retailer. They allow 3rd party vendors to sell on the site, but often times they use the vendors to identify hot selling items that Amazon will then sell themselves (this is more a problem with new items than used). OTOH, eBay sells nothing themselves and would have zero customers if there were no sellers.

      Because of this, Amazon propagates an illusion that when you buy on Amazon, you are buying from Amazon, not from an individual dealer. So, you wouldn’t leave feedback for Amazon any more than you would leave feedback for Walmart dot com. The customers are used to not leaving feedback, and Amazon frankly couldn’t care whether you got any feedback or not, or whether the feedback is valid or fair.

      There are circumstances where Amazon will remove feedback, but mostly they will only do this if Amazon themselves are shipping the item and the feedback is completely about the shipping. For “merchant fulfilled items” (ie – what COMC is doing), they have very little inclination or motivation to back the seller at all. Their advice is usually some contradictory combination of “communicate with your customer and work with them to resolve the problem” and “don’t bring up the subject of feedback with your customer or pressure them in any way to revise it.”

      • The concern is not about individual sellers. The concern is about whether COMC as an entity could meet the feedback requirements on Amazon. There is good reason to wonder if COMC’s model (which I affirm as good and reasonable) could survive the nonsensical eBay feedback system, primarily the s&h DSR. eBay only guarantees protection to sellers who charge nothing for s&h, and that is clearly not a viable option for COMC. If Amazon’s feedback system works well with COMC’s structure, then this could truly become a formidable partnership. It depends on Amazon’s feedback system being better (or at least more seller-friendly) than eBay’s, and someone will need to know the exact specifics of how Amazon works.

    • don’t forget that amazon sets the shipping prices so the buyers already know what they are paying up front. Though unless things changed there is no discount for multi-orders so that may be something to look into as I know that I would not want to pay x for a card, and x for shipping and then get another item from the same seller and have to pay shipping for the 2nd item and have it all show up in the same box/envelope. I honestly dont know how some of the sport card sellers survive on amazon, the prices they ask are out of this world, I used to list and be 90% lower than some of the ones listed here by amazon as top sellers and I would never make a sale. Feedback on amazon matters the most at holiday time only in the toys and games category, well for me it did so they would block me every year from selling in the toys and games because I didn’t have enough feedback but I had more than enough sales. There are some bugs to be worked out and more specifics that Tim and the team need to share with us in order to really figure out if this model will work.

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