COMC.com Launch – The Final Countdown


We are on the doorstep of the new COMC.com – on October 1st the new site goes live! Our teams have been pushing hard and we’re very excited for all the great features and design changes we’re about to launch.

What to expect:
A brand new site experience. Cleaner, more professional, and more intuitive to navigate. New buyer and seller features (and more to be added) and eventually new supported markets such as the coins and comics we are currently accepting through our Beta Test Service.

What to remember:
First, the classic version of our site – the version folks use today – will still be available to continue using until we have worked any kinks out of the new site. We are shooting for somewhere in the next 1-3 months. Just go to check out my cards instead of the new www.comc.com and you can log in to the site exactly as it used to look and feel. The sites aren’t separately run – a sale on COMC is the same as a sale on Check Out My Cards, and an offer from one can be answered from the other – but we don’t want to rush anyone into a site experience they aren’t ready for.

Second, although we’re trying to iron out most bugs before we go live, we may miss a few. We’ll appreciate your patience and input while we chase out the kinks in the system.

We’re very honored by the folks who have come with us on this journey for so long. A lot of you have had accounts since the very early days of the site and we couldn’t have made it this far without you. This change is the new beginning we’ve needed to take COMC to the next level. Thanks for helping to make our vision for the future of collecting a reality.

Last 2 Weeks of 20¢ Processing

A couple weeks ago we announced that due to the overwhelming success of our 5th Anniversary promotion we would have to do a blackout of the 4 week processing service during the month of September. Well, our hiring and training has been successful and we have good news…

We have removed the blackout. For the next two weeks you can submit as much as you want with the old 20¢ processing service, but rather than guaranteeing 4 weeks, we are calling it our “Oct 29th” service. Anything postmarked by September 29th will be processed by October 29th. Please specify “Oct 29th” for this service. You are also welcome to continue using our Next Day, 1 Week, and Special Sized services.

The website has been updated to reflect these updates. Anything postmarked October 1st or later will get our new “One Month” service that starts at $0.25.

What does that extra nickle get you?
The extra $0.05 allows us to do the following.
– Open a Canadian drop-off center with free shipping (the first of many to come)
– More advertising (every single Beckett publication + an online ad campaign)
– Hire trading card experts with more experience
– Get rid of condition note fees
– Remove the $3 batch fee
– Increase free storage from $0.25 to $0.75 (40% storage fee savings for most users)
– Remove the $15/month fee for premium seller options (min offer and auto-accept settings)

With all of these improvements, the old 20¢ service is a steal. Take advantage of it while you can.

Update on our best promotion ever

When we originally discussed what kind of promotion to run for the National Collectors Convention at a meeting back in June, we all felt that a theme surrounding the number 5 would be fun to run and easy to explain. It was our 5th anniversary and we’ve traditionally done number-themed specials at the National. A 550-count box for $55 was very similar to what we did the previous year. The only change was that we were removing the “5 product” restriction to make the deal more appealing, so as a safeguard we added a five-box limit just to be careful. We also decided to open the special up to everyone in case there were people who couldn’t make it to Baltimore to drop cards off.

At the 2011 National we took home about 70,000 cards, and we’d substantially increased in size since then so we estimated we’d be shipping back roughly 100,000-120,000 cards from Maryland and probably receive another 200,000-250,000 in the mail. Our estimate for drop-offs was pretty good, as it turned out, but our guess for mail-ins was 400,000 cards off.

The final tally of items we received was about three quarters of a million, and it all arrived within about a two-week period so the due dates were extremely clustered. On three different days there were over 100,000 cards due to go live.

To stay on top of the processing curve we asked for volunteers from our consignors to have their items delayed in exchange for a discount. We also brought on twenty employees in a combination of full time, part time, and temporary positions. Everyone at COMC has been working extremely hard and I am very proud of the dedication and perseverance of all of the teams in the face of an unprecedented quantity of incoming business. The three biggest due dates were Friday September 7th, Monday the 10th, and Wednesday the 12th. Looking at the raw math we expected to be late on some batches from each of those days, but due to the heroic efforts of the Processing and ID teams we actually were successful at hitting the dates for items due for Friday AND for Monday.

Today is Wednesday, the last large due date, and we will be late on some batches beyond those from the customers who volunteered to be delayed. Here is the relevant information:

- If your batch is delayed we will assign it a new due date one week out, and discount the batch by $5. You’ll see the discount reflected in your store credit when the batch goes live.

- Some new customers sent us batches of thick cards that actually would have been less expensive to send in under our Four Week service. After we finish uploading the last of the submissions from the special we’ll be analyzing the batches we’ve uploaded and we’ll figure out who would have been better off sending in their items as Four Week and give them a retroactive price change.

- We always try to maintain our high standard of identification quality, but we encourage consigners to review their uploaded transactions with extra care considering the volume that has just come through our system.

Thanks, everyone, for making this summer our biggest season yet. We’re looking forward to the fourth quarter of 2012.

As a final note, we’re going to start moderating off-topic comments more proactively. Please keep all comments relevant to the post. If there’s a topic you’d like us to post on that would make for positive discussion, shoot us an email at staff@comc.com.

Special thanks to Jeremy Williams for writing this blog post.

Workin’ Hard & Settin’ Records

Today our Identification team broke a record that was nearly 2 years old, and they didn’t just barely break it. They smashed it by more than 35%!

Before yesterday, we had never identified 30,000 cards in one day, and yesterday we identified more than 40,000 cards. Then to show their ultimate dedication to our customers, half of the identification team continued to stay here and pull an all-nighter. Several of them are still hard at work as I am writing this. A few of them are taking naps on their office floor.

Our team is literally doing everything they can to make as many happy customers as possible. I am so proud of every person on our team. We have been growing so fast, and everyone is working really well together. Our administration staff has done a phenomenal job of finding and hiring talented people that are gelling so quickly with the rest of the team.

Today we hired our 55th employee, and I spent the last 5 hours reviewing possible locations for the Canadian office we hope to launch this fall. The fun just never stops.