3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets

Note – This week we are writing a series of blog posts covering several topics.  When assessing the large volume of information that we want to communicate, it made sense not to simply pour it into one extremely large post, but to separate it out into bite-size chunks.  Please consider each section in light of the others, and not as an independent post.  The subjects we’ll be covering are:

1/5 – The Big Picture
2/5 – Design Goals for COMC.com
3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets
4/5 – How to Flip on COMC.com
5/5 – 5th Anniversary Special + Ad Campaign

3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets

As alluded to in previous posts, we are going to start beta testing consignment of much more than just trading cards.

Over the next year we will be launching many new categories of collectibles on COMC.com. However, you can get a jump start and be the first to have items listed in these new categories.

Simply submit anything on the following list and we will only charge $0.50 per item for processing. There will be a $5 minimum per submission, so we recommend sending 10 or more items. It may take up to a year for us to process the items, but you will not be charged for processing until the items are deposited in your account for pricing.

You can send us the following items:

  • Factory sealed complete sets
    • Factory seal must be intact
  • Autographed 8×10′s
    • Must be authenticated by PSA/DNA, JSA, UDA, TRISTAR, Just Minors, ONYX, Panini Authentic or Steiner Sports
    • For other forms of authentication, contact us before sending
  • Ticket stubs
  • Programs from sporting events
  • Sports related price guides
    • E.g. Beckett, SCD, Tuff Stuff
  • Sports magazines
    • E.g. Sports Illustrated, SI for Kids
    • Nothing with a shipping label on it – retail copies only
    • No swimsuit issues or anything risqué
  • Comic books
    • Nothing that requires parental advisory
    • Nothing with a shipping label on it – retail copies only
    • Nothing with explicit content
  • Coins
    • No bulk precious metal coins… yet.
    • We are starting with coins that have numismatic/collectible value, rather than precious metal value.
  • Paper money
  • Tokens
    • E.g. collectable subway tokens

We do not 100% guarantee that we will be able to support every one of these collectibles, but this will allow us to gauge interest and determine processing difficulty and storage requirements.  Any items from collectible categories which we conclude that we cannot support will be returned at our expense and the processing fees will not be charged.

If you have other flat collectibles that are not on the list that you would like to consign with us, please call us before sending the items. We expect to eventually branch out into even more diverse categories, but we’d like to focus our efforts on relatively small, flat items for now.

Storage fees for all categories will start at $0.01/item per month once the items have been live on the site for 90 days, but we may need to increase that for large items like magazines or complete sets.

Hand Collated Sets & Lots
At first we will only support consignment of factory sealed sets. Please do not send us anything that is hand collated yet. We expect to eventually experiment with hand collated sets, partial sets, team lots, player lots, etc. However, that will not be open the the public until after we figure out how much to charge for it. We anticipate that it will be more expensive to verify the accuracy of a complete set than it is to simply take a picture or scan of a factory sealed set.

Per-Item S&H
The per-item S&H will try to approximate our real costs (e.g. labor to pick & pack, supplies, postage), and it may go up or down over time as we improve our processes or the USPS or other shipping services adjust their prices. The complexity of varying shipping fees with so many different size collectibles is a large reason for merging the per-item shipping with the seller’s asking price and having a single price for the buyer. We don’t want to have a super long fees page that buyers need to see to figure out what to set aside for shipping. 

Just like with cards, customers will be able to flip items, make offers, and combine multiple purchases of all different categories into a single shipment.

73 thoughts on “3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets

  1. One thing I don’t like is if you guys decide you don’t want to add some of these items even after their on the list and we ship them, you will ship them back at your expense but we lose out on the money we spent to ship the item for your beta testing.

  2. 2 QUESTIONS…
    Factory sealed minor league team sets? (IE procards etc) yes or no?

    Please explain what coins you will accept when it comes to metals…pre 1964 USA silver? Silver Eagles or Maple Leafs?
    What about proof and mint sets?

    • That is fine. Any factory sealed sets works.

      Regarding coins, we want to focus on coins that have more collectible value than precious medal value. I am sure we will end up dedicating a post to coins once we get things a bit farther along.

      Sealed proof and mint sets for coins are fine.

      • Thanks Tim. We will hold off on sending coins until a launch date is confirmed but we’ll fill an 800 count box with some factory sealed team sets and get them out in the next week. Of all the news that has come out in the past week…this excites us the most. You guys have gotten accomplished in 5 years what other sites have promised and failed to deliverin 10+ . I was impressed when you won the “race” to Amazon…but seeing this moving forward…A+
        We had a staff meeting this evening and talked about things in regards to COMC.The consensus here is to not hold your site responsible for the failings of another as to this point…we have had nothing but a smooth and profitable (and fun) experience here.
        That said if I could delete a few of our postings over the past few days I would…My suggestion to everyone is get on board. The ride may take a few twists, turns and bumps along the way…and not every change will be perfect for everyone…however…whether you consign…buy…flip or a little of each….it is our opinion that this site can offer you something that will benefit your hobby or business.
        And BTW Tim…when you guys get ready to get involved with stamps…we have a full time Philatelist here that can identify most worldwide issues simply by looking at a clear scan. We’d suggest starting with just USA and Canadian issues if you guys are going to dive in to it.
        Onward and forward!

      • how about sets that came in a box that aren’t in the original box but are still sealed such as super bowl or press pass racing sets?

  3. What is the target time table to have inventory listed and the site to be active with numerous items? It would make no sense for me to send in items, but they aren’t listed for one year. A previous message said they might sit around for awhile. I wouldn’t want my active inventory collecting dust and not be listed. I suggest you make a go live target date with inventory on hand say 100-200 base items and then grow/build items from sellers. Maybe, you open up an opportunity for current sellers to submit 10 items that are listed for free. That way a base inventory is established. It’s a trial for both parties to grow the site.

    Would these items be possible inventory for the site now or maybe down the road?

    Auto Baseballs PSA DNA
    Auto Photos (I have some GAI inventory I am looking to move.)
    Auto Photos what sizes? 16×20, ok too?
    Auto Golf Flags UDA
    Auto Jerseys PSA DNA
    Auto Footballs, basketballs, etc.
    Auto Index Cards PSA DNA

    I list all these items on eBay. I have multiples of some items I may want to test run on your new site.

    Let me know. Thanks.
    J

    • We are currently opening up the doors for people that are OK with having items wait a while. If you need your inventory active, I recommend waiting until we make further announcements.

      In this first round of collectibles, we are going to focus on things we can easily scan, store, and ship. We are not quite ready for baseballs, flags, jerseys, etc…

      8×10 photos are OK, but we are not ready to store 16×20 photos. Eventually, but not yet.

  4. A year? No offense, let us know when its ready. I can’t have a factory set sitting around for a year. What about sealed wax?

  5. A second thought is how do we know what will sell on this site? I think there should be 3-6 month grace period w/ no fees or lesser fees as we are testing these items.

    There is such thing as dead inventory and I sometimes feel COMC becomes the dumpster for some items.

    Oh and can I send in my wax inventory and sell sealed boxes?

    Thanks again Tim! Look forward to seeing how this develops in the year ahead. It will take time.

    J

    • I may be open to offering something like this, but for now we are going to start by giving priority to people that want to pay $0.50/item to be the first on the site.

      No sealed wax yet.

      • Sealed wax boxes and packs would be a real good thing to be able to list for sale here. It goes along with factory sets and singles.

  6. I have some stuff sitting in my basement I would be willing to test. Some factory sets, vintage game programs, ticket stubs. I do not want to do Ebay. This sounds like it might be great for me.

  7. I’m interested to know if you will try to put a value like bv on the other collectibles. Because sealed sets do have a bv.

    • We will try to display as much as we can to help sellers set fair asking prices. However, many of these collectibles will not have any published book value.

    • At this point, we are not going to accept anything that has personally identifiable information. Blacking out address labels tends to decrease their value, so we don’t recommend doing that, and we won’t accept them. If the address label can be removed safely, that is fine.

  8. Statehood quarters are very popular among the common coin collector. I would guess you r not looking for these at this time or looking for coin books with a full collection in them.

  9. One more quick question will the $25 max ship it back to me apply on this stuff in combination with the cards.

    • We are figuring out how we want to handle this. It has always been a rare scenario, but it is even more rare now that we have port sales. We are planning to give the original consignors a significant discount on return shipping and an even bigger discount if they pick items up from our warehouse. The details are TBD.

  10. I actually LOVE the idea of adding more than just cards. especially signed 8×10 photos as i spend thousands of dollars on them every year so signed photos ill be buying a ton of here! do you think you will also one day accept music cds and dvds? this site has a great potential to be the next amazon or ebay if you cover enough different items9you probably need hundreds of different collectibles here, which gives me a thought since you already have the name comc.com, why not make it check out my collectibles? (instead of cards) i say this because the “collectibles” part would open it up to cover all collectibles(to check out!) versus just cards. someone that sees check out my cards might not think to go here to look for photos, cds, dvds, coins, stamps, clothing, books, comics, etc just at thought it would be easy to do since you already have comc.com (comc could mean check out my “collectibles” instead of “cards”) very excited about being able to send in other collectibles to your site!

    • Hi, Elbert.
      You’re definitely on to something. Our new name, COMC, is actually intended to stand for Check Out My Collectibles/Consignment. I don’t know if we’ll do CDs/DVDs since so much of that is already going digital and circumventing the need for owning a physical object, but theres a lot of areas that we’re looking at moving into.
      Thanks!
      Jeremy

  11. Sounds great!
    How about 8x10s from UDA, Just Minors and Tristar or a reputable sports store that does in house signings like DA Card World or Cardboard Heroes? I have several of these that I am looking to move.
    Also, I think many sellers, myself included, will wait to send in these items until COMC has a defined turnaround time- something less than a year.

      • What is the criteria for getting approved and added to the list? Also will these new items also be listed on Amazon as well?

      • Tim,
        Can i send in my unsigned photos now? if so do I just send them in as normal with a processing fee(is it 50 cents each for processing? and what do i need to mark on the package? also, what is the storage fee for the photos and is it about a 1 year waiting period to get hem listed? or will they get listed sometime before next year? thanks

  12. I am all for expanding into other items an markets. But I also think there are advancements to be made on the marketing side of checkoutmycards.com. For example, a smartphone app, increased web based advertising, etc. I think you guys are missing an easy area for revenue increase from the portion of your company which is already well established. My two cents.

  13. I feel a lot better about the changes now that they have been explained. Thank you for taking the time to explain the changes. I actually agree with you that a .50 card with free shipping does look better than a .25 with .25 shipping. Hopefully it increases buyers.

  14. It’s a great idea. With the option of flipping cards, I found it strange that there is still so little interest in cards such as gaming cards and collectible cards. Because let’s face it, I loved to buy cards on eBay, until I found this site, after that, eBay just isn’t the same, way more certainty in what you buy and at least you see what you get.

  15. I am not trying to stir the pot and I no that i’m not in good standing with u guys, and you are busy. I really do not expect you to answer my questions but to leave so many comments unanswered is dangerous in my eyes anyway. This leaves alot of room for people to assume things which in turn may make people upset. Also some people take alot of time to write very well thought out comments, its a little disrespectful to ignore these. If you remember me and others where royaly pissed before you posted 2/5. In high site i’m sure your thinking you should have lead with that. Just shows that when people get only a little info it can transfer into anger. It’s not so much on this blog but tons of comments on 2/5 were dismissed. Now i’m sorry if this post is unwanted but I think it’s fair. Thank You for 2/5 it was very helpful.

      • Shoot me a FB message if there are questions that have been deleted…. I am only going by what I see here. They may have missed a couple but it looks like they are answering as many questions as they can.

      • Ah…I see the couple you asked above regarding State quarters and the $25…truth is they may not know yet how they are going to handle the return item fee. It seems to me they said somewhere in one of these blogs that it was still to be determined.

      • Have you seen the 2/5 and ones before this it goes about a quarter of the way down. Maybe some questions are not worth answering or are repeats but all should be answered. Otherwise to me it looks like they are picking and choosing questions which in return makes at least me feel like there not answering the hard questions. Just my observation.

      • Like I said my questions are not what are important. As we all no mine are not well thought out. lol

    • egads, look at the times of some of these questions. they are in the middle of the night or way before these guys even go to work. remember they are in oregon, that’s pacific time. Plus what TAS said. As I post this it is only noon for me. I’m not sure if the blog defaults to pacific time or not, but that is what I see. Looks like Tim kept up until a little after 8pm and came back on this morning for a bit.

    • Well I guess most of my questions have been answered, this was not my goal for posting this. My goal was to make you aware of it.

  16. I’m still cautious about the shipping fee being added to the price of the cards. The argument for “free shipping” was clear, but isn’t there another way? I support what someone else proposed, like a transaction fee. Would something like that work?

    I like to price my cards competively, but if there is a mysterious shipping charge on some of them will I know what price the buyer sees it at?

    By the way, I like the expansion idea! And sorry for going off topic, I’m just concerned that the shipping fee will have a negative impact on your growth aspirations.

    • I’m afraid we will only be able to accept card submissions at the National, since we’ll be taking on the overhead of shipping everything back to our facility. Next year I imagine we’ll accept everything.
      Thanks,
      Jeremy

  17. Heard a rumor that COMC might be working on a app for smartphones. That would sure be nice. Is there any truth to this.

    • Hi, cardko. It’s definitely on our to-do list, but with about a hundred other things. The timeline is heavily dependent on how soon we can hire another high-quality developer.
      Thanks,
      Jeremy

  18. Pingback: 4/5 – How to Flip on COMC.com « CheckOutMyCards.com Blog

  19. What about things like:
    Gi Joe Figures
    Star Wars Figures
    Hot Wheels
    Stamps
    Books
    patches
    postcards
    pins
    stickers

    just some thoughts on how you can expand the collectibles markets, thank you

  20. How do we ship comic books to you? Can we have the cardboard backing in the plastic bag? Only ask because I know cards have not been allowed to be in hard cases when sending in.

  21. Tim,
    If possible can i send in my unsigned photos and magazines now? if so do I just send them in as normal with a processing fee(is it 50 cents each for processing? and what do i need to mark on the package? also, what is the storage fee for the photos and magazines and is it about a 1 year waiting period to get hem listed? or will they get listed sometime before next year? also, when will the new website go into effect, is it sept 1? thanks

    • Yes, you can send in magazines now. You can only send in unsigned photos if they have some form of authentication and we can track them back to a league or association license. Just write “Beta Test” on the package. Storage fees will start at $0.01/month after the first 90 days they are in your account. We may have to adjust them for things like complete sets and magazines. Photos will probably stay at $0.01/month.

      Photos and magazines will not likely take a full year. That is the extreme case and more likely for things like coins & tokens. It make take as little time as a month for things that are very similar to what we already process today.

      The new website will be launched August 1st. The new storage fees will go into affect September 1st.

      • Hey Tim, I just picked up 160 different sports card back issues (some Beckett, some not) from a fellow collector that I’ll be sending in Monday. I’ll include a note so you guys know what they’re for. Hope it helps out the beta.

  22. what with the latest issues just a story about buying off comc. i bought a card on ebay from a seller rated at 99.7 and when i wrote him that the card arrived with a very visible bent corner and indentation he sent me back this reply:

    “Since the description was not misleading and only stated the player and card number, I wouldn’t say it wasn’t as described. The card was fine when it left my hands. Anyway, to avoid me having cranial cramps, I will just give you your money back on Monday and you can put the card in the spokes of your mountain bike.”

    real nice, and so professional too. thankfully he gave me the money before monday so he would not get “cranial cramps” i would feel terrible if that happened. but he really had no choice, ebay would pay me and take it out of him somehow, at least i got to keep the card to put it in the spokes of my mountain bike when i finally do get a mountain bike someday. can you imagine? a seller on ebay who sends a damaged card and then claims the customers give him cranial cramps while stating he only described the player and card number so it was not technically inaccurate? since he sent the money back he has continued to send angry ebay messages that i am turning over to ebay, there are 5 of them now sitting in my mailbox (apparently an impulse/compulsive disorder of some kind) about what a lousy customer i am. he has even left an angry feedback although he was forced to leave it as a positive. this is the feedback:

    “Fast payment! Buyer claimed card was bad and I deceived him. REFUND ISSUED’.

    who does he hurt with that? i only buy on ebay, even if he could leave a negative who cares? i pay like a slot machine on steroids, fast and easy transactions, over 5000 feedback, all positive. he is not even asking for the card back for proof, that never happens. they always want the card back at your expense to see the damage. i never accused him of deceit when i asked for a refund thats his spin on things, i have the email on ebay to prove it. i merely said it had a bad corner and i would like to reverse the transaction, my exact words, oh well, another card for the “damaged” box.

    i do not miss sellers like this at all and these incidents are always a reminder of why comc is the number one site in the world for card selling and buying.

  23. Tim,
    Are you one day going to be accepting starting lineup figures(both new in package and loose figures) also what about mcfarlane figures (both in package and loose)

    and a few items which i didnt get a response to on a previous post.

    Gi Joe Figures
    Star Wars Figures
    Hot Wheels
    Stamps
    Books
    patches
    postcards
    pins
    stickers

    thank you

  24. Just wanted to say a lot of your discussion centers on attracting more buyers. To me it seems pretty straightforward that the $40 minimum buy in for the site has to be the biggest detractor in people making purchases. How could you possibly know whether or not you want to do $40 in purchases if you are just checking out the site. You should be able to add credit in increments as low as $5. This way people will feel like they can dip their toe in and not take the plunge and make a big commitment to the site. I doubt most people’s first Ebay purchase was $40+.

    This was definitely the reason I didn’t join sooner. I had seen the site and even put cards in the cart but was scared off buy having to commit $40 when I wanted $10 worth of cards. Later I heard enough good things and disposable cash to say what the heck.

  25. Was debating on sending quite a few items in ,but right now it looks a bit sloppy. I’m not sure what I can and can’t send in. I think (steiner/psa/jsa) Authenticated balls would be very popular and not as difficult to list and store as you would think. I can’t even begin to list the items that I could send in that would be very liquid and all are authenticated by the usual suspects that are accepted across our hobby at the moment. I think this thread needs more in depth information and a little more of a timetable. I am very interested in it and could send in quite the inventory. Just going to wait for a little more structure. I realize you guys have about a million things going on at the moment ,but would love to get an update on this at some point.

  26. I just bought a huge card collection containing 7 large trunks and 3 decent size storage containers. Anyways… 1 of the large trunks has nothing but sports Illustrated, beckett and tuff stuff magazines. How do I know which ones to toss and which ones are valuable.
    Thanks

    • Not yet. We are starting with relatively small, flat collectibles. Depending on how long it takes for us to work out the kinks there, we will expand to more things. Yes, autographed balls should be pretty soon to follow.

  27. What is the criteria for accepting other companies COA’s? What about adding the MLB hologram as one, that would be the top of my list as truly authentic signatures?

    • I was wondering the same thing. I’d also like to know if the following would be acceptable:

      -Donruss Authentic
      -Ace Authentic
      -JSA Stamp of Approval
      -Photos with serial numbered sticker but missing the COA (JSA and PSA/DNA, for instance)
      -Non-sports photos
      -Photos that were not professionally printed and are lower resolution
      -Similar sized photos (7×9, 8.5×11)
      -Similar sized documents or magazine cuts

  28. Is there an updated timeline on these new features. It’s been roughly 6 months. Time for a status update to your loyal followers?

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