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.

114 thoughts on “Workin’ Hard & Settin’ Records

  1. I also note nearly 25,000 on Sept. 3, when most people were taking the holiday off; 22,000 on the 4th, and Aug. 31 checking in at No. 10 for about 105,000 over 4 days.

    Looks like you guys have been on hyper-drive. I appreciate the effort.

    • To increase our business by 10-20%, to test new services in a more condensed market, to make us more scalable, and to hire local talent from another country. Those are just a few quick reasons. Vancouver also happens to just be a 2 1/2 hour drive from our current headquarters, and we will eventually be able to get cards to and from Canada way faster than anyone else.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! Keep up the good work.

    I would imagine that one of the reasons for this is the fact that the cards being submitted were more consistent. A lot of people probably sent clumps of cards from the same set or same sport or same year, and there was probably a lot of similarity there.

    I’ve often wondered if there was anything that we could do on our end to help the submission process. I usually send in a hodge podge of random cards, and there’s no incentive for me to do otherwise. However, I would think that if the cards being submitted were in some sort of order by sport, by set, by number, then it could help you guys along. But I don’t want to spend time pre-sorting cards for you if the pre-sort isn’t going to be helpful at all. So, at the very least, I would appreciate it if at some point, you could publish some guidelines on the best way for us to pre-sort our cards before submission.

    In the past, you’ve done deals where people could submit 550 count boxes with no more than 3 or 4 different sets and gotten some sort of break on the listing price. You might want to revisit that concept again, although you might also want to extend the turnaround time as well. In the past, there was also an 8 week option and even an indefinite turnaround option. You might not even be having any issues with turnaround time at all on this massive influx of cards, if the original deal was an 8 week turnaround time.

  3. Tim,
    We (and others) have given you guys some heat in recent weeks but there is no doubt you guys work hard. My staff here knows (on a much smaller scale of course) the labor you guys put in to keep things organized and running smoothly. It isn’t a task most people would want to take on.
    Regarding what checkoutmydeals posted…. I second his suggestion. the new fees are above our threshold but we’d wait 8 weeks…or send in more organized groups if it meant getting more stuff on here at a more cost effective rate.

      • It seems that they don’t have any problem getting people to submit cards, so I’m not sure that they would make it more inviting to do it :)

      • Time will tell if the increase in fees changes that. Speaking only for us…we won’t be sending more in. The recent promo got our price per card down to about 15 cents including shipping. At that type of rate we’d probably be willing to wait 90 days.

  4. I fully agree with Deals and Triple. I would wait 8 weeks for a lower submission cost. I’ve done it before and I’d do it again. I have plenty of things in my life that can fill 8 weeks and not continuously think about my live date. Please consider this. Although I have no cards waiting in the wings currently, thank you for showing your dedication to other members who do have cards getting processed. It only looks good for new members and members who were on the fence.

    • I’ve suggested the same thing to Tim – even submitting a 550 count box of only cards from one set for a break on processing. Every little bit helps and I know its much easier for them to process when the cards are from the same set.

  5. Well…..

    Our items appeared tonight….
    For the record… this will most likely be the last shipment we send to COMC no matter the price. The number of unneeded condition notes placed on these cards makes me want to vomit. On the surface it looks like they are trying to make up for the discounted processing fees by tacking on multiword condition notes.
    We are NOT happy.

    • I have noticed that the condition notes have exploded in number as well. I have not said anything, but I too have wondered if their employees are being strongly encouraged to add condition notes to anything and everything possible. I have a higher end lot about to post and it will determine if I send anything else in or not as well. I hate being critical, but it seems like lately it has been one thing after another.

    • I have been getting “unneeded” condition notes for months. As long as it is consistent with everyone else I am fine with it.

      • A lot of times it probably depends on who processes the cards as I would think each processor is different and some being tougher than others which is to be expected.

      • The problem is it is NOT consistent. As you said it depends on who is doing them… “impression along top edge” was one we saw last night. There was NOTHING wrong with that card.

        Cards these days are being held to standards that are much different than cards six months ago. The Amazon thing may have something to do with it but at this point we aren’t linked up with it and yet we are being hammered as if we were. We are frankly furious here. We aren’t alone. There have been complaints growing about this on other chat forums. They weren’t just the “cheap” has flaws etc. They hammered a bunch of cards with unneeded detailed notes that jacked the processing fee up much higher than it needed to be.
        If they want an extra $5-$10 per batch then just tell us. We already were done sending stuff in unless a processing special came around because the new processing fees were more than we were willing to stomach….

        But this…. wow. I better walk away from the keyboard

    • 2281 cards submitted, two condition notes, one on a beat 1966 Topps Willie Mays. Are you sure all your stuff was mint that you sent out?

      • No. In several of the cases there were VISIBLE flaws (IE a touch of white on a dark border) that was plainly visible in the scan and used to never trigger a note. In a couple of cases though, we dispute their assertion of flaws…We didn’t see them on preship inspection and they were not visible in the scans either.
        All of these were modern cards.

  6. Condition notes are a by-product of the decision to list with Amazon. It adds overhead to the product but helps the economy by creating jobs

    As a hobbyist with an inventory of less than 1000 cards, I am the 99%. To the 1% who are on this site to make money and intend to stop sending cards, great. Less competition.

      • I have no problem with being disagreed with. I am still trying to understand his 99% thing…
        It isn’t the “overhead” as much as having those notes on a card, especially a modern card damages the ability to sell it. I’d rather they do what their terms state and return a $5 card if they feel the need to put a note on it.

        The end result for us (if we ever send in anything again) and everyone else out there is….go over your cards with a magnifier before sending them in because if they can find a reason to “ding” your card for a fee-note they will. The pictures are no longer here to tell the story.

      • It will be interesting to see if others see the same type of results as more of these batches get processed. I have seen at least one other post pop up elsewhere with the same type of complaint.
        We ended up hitting the donate button on a few of them. The tax writeoff will be more than we could have sold them for with the “impression” …”ding” jackhammers being dropped on them.

      • I just looked at your recently added cards and it doesnt look like you got hit that bad…I sent in around 1500 cards and my notes came to around $35 which is about what i expected.

      • $35 for modern cards? Lee why would you expect that? Were there that many “flaws” that photos did not show?
        As far as our listings…out of the 1629 cards I am not sure how many cards total had them… We donated some right away and on most of the rest we priced them at like 95% off and most sold late last night. But they hurt us on a few better cards that we expected to get more than 5-10% of book for.

      • We’ve got a boatload of orders here to fill (nice problem to have) so I can’t be active on this much more until the evening.
        The summary of my issue is:
        I have no problem with condition notes for flaws that can’t be seen on cards, especially vintage.
        The wording on some of these notes makes the cards sound worse than they are. A touch of white on a dark border card is just that…not a “ding” which to most people means a bend or wrinkled corner.

        Folks sending cards in now are at a major disadvantage from cards sent before. Both from a cost to enter perspective and because cards now are subject to notes that past cards should have based on todays apparent standards. This is ESPECIALLY true in the vintage area.

        The whole…”life isn’t fair” voice comes into my head even in this and I am serious about having my guys go over cards with a magnifier before sending them in…. but at that point perhaps we might as well list it ourselves?

      • Lee on the vintage…especially with their ramped up desire to put notes on everything I can see how $35 could be reasonable on a 1500 card order.

        How many modern cards did they hit you on? Were you sending in $5-$10 stuff or higher end? With this promo we decided to send in a bunch of the lower end stuff for the first time. In several cases the condition note combined with the cost to process cost us more than we wanted to sell the card for….
        They should have sent those back to us…..in my opinion.

      • Back here for a second because of a question we got on facebook.
        No..we do not at all feel we are being singled out. We are seeing these notes on many cards from many sellers. This is about their bottom line and increasing revenue, not about making one sellers listings look better than anothers…other than the fact that cards sent in 6 months ago and earlier enjoy a much less frequent amount of notes.

      • I have a midsize port but the same thing happened to me. maybe it was the mail who knows? but I had as many condition notes on my last shipment as I have in months. I typically send in between 20-30 each time twice a month as an fyi.

    • FYI…about your tax write-off. COMC is not a charitable organization, so you can not deduct anything on your taxes until they have sold the card and have actual money in hand to donate. The problem is that they price their donated cards way high and they never sell. I donated several cards a long time ago just to see how fast they would move before I donated more. To this day only 2 have sold. Until they start pricing the cards lower so they can actually make some money from them I will not be donating anymore. Just wanted to let you know to watch those tax deductions.

      • I am an accountant as well and specialize in taxes. If you get audited you are screwed no matter what your accountant tells you. Sadly, a lot of accountants tell you what you want to hear to keep you as a client. Fun fact for you…..Your accountant can purposely put down anything they want on your taxes and they will not be held liable, you will. Do what you wish, I am just trying to give you a heads up.

  7. Nice work Team COMC!!!! You never cease to amaze the loyal dealership of us that have sent you cards for the past few years. Keep setting daily processing records and have the top identifiers sling there card ID comprehension in a speedy fashion, then measure future processing cost with time it takes from card acceptance to final ID tag. Traffic seems to be climbing and that will correlating to better and hopefully higher sales to match the costs we incur.

    As for the condition notes, selling on Amazon (20% chop) and future 25 cent 4 week fee, these are all part of tough decisions that will shape how this site evolves. As a seller, we have to take all considerations into account and deal with it. We all have options, and mine is to work less and when I want as my top priority. I don’t sell on Ebay as much for many reasons, mostly the time and expense it takes to post, deal with correspondence to buyers and time it takes for shipping. Personally I would sooner have COMC do all the work for me and pay the premium, but that’s me.

    The key to succeeding here, is buying right, getting lucky (pulling hits) and selling what collectors want. Find your stride and become a pro at that area and sellers should see the rewards over time.

    Since December 2009, my sales have increased month to month, year over year and I can’t wait to see how they turn out this fall when traditionally sales pick up.

    Keep up the great work and may the cards fall into good hands.

    Cheers,
    Jerry

  8. I called a few days ago to voice my concern and was pretty much blown off. I dont care about the fee’s increase (it is to be expected) What really made me mad was that they gave us 3 day notice to send in a batch for 1 month processing by Sept 1 or have to wait 2 months.
    My problem is that I cant afford to have 1,000′s of dollars tied up in processing fee’s for 2 months. I told the guy that I was on vaction for labor day and could ship on Sept 3rd. I was told that COMC was trying to cut down the collection’s sent in and I would have to wait til Oct 27th

  9. Just out of curiosity, has COMC ever considered assigning rough grades to cards if they’re going through the trouble of making condition notes for all of the new submissions? Perhaps sellers would be more comfortable with a card listed as “NM-MT” rather than “corner ding”. Of course grading can be very subjective, but so are these condition notes apparently (I haven’t sent anything in recently so I’ve not experienced this). Apologies if this comment seems ignorant; I’m just a casual collector. Love the site though and can’t wait til the new launch!

  10. TripleAvintage: A big point of the condition note is to direct potential sellers toward a flaw that may not be visible in the scan but must be indicated for them to make an informed decision. Things such as surface impressions can’t necessarily be spotted but absolutely would be subject to returns if a buyer got a card with such a flaw and wasn’t informed of it ahead of time. Our goal is to give the buyer an accurate portrayal of what they are purchasing so they feel confident in what our sellers are providing them.

    • What About a note of dinged corner when the corner flaw is clearly visible? These are the notes we take issue with when the flaw is visible to the customer. It becomes a double penalty because not only is the note making the item look worse but we are getting charged for it

      • Chad… here is an example of what frustrates us…and none of these are ours so it makes for a good showing. The card with “has flaws” Can we not see that without the note? What about the others that do have notes…compared to cards that look just like them that do not…… It looks sloppy and like certain cards are singled out while others get a free pass. http://www.checkoutmycards.com/Cards/Baseball/1967/Topps/93/Rookie_StarsStan_Bahnsen_RCBobby_Murcer/1825849

      • Condition notes were started a couple years after the website started. Most of the time, when you see a card in lesser condition without a note it is because it was grandfathered in, meaning it was listed before condition notes existed. One of the tasks we have gradually worked on has been to revisit some vintage sets and add notes where needed. We also are happy to have you send in requests to view the cards in question. We have no problem reviewing cards that may need a more accurate representation on the site. Again, it is our goal to provide the buyer with the best experience possible so they will feel comfortable returning knowing that what they are buying is what they are seeking.

    • I have absolutely no problem with reasonable comments on condition as long as they are reasonably consistent and follow the guidelines you, as a company, outlined. I am seeing huge swings in the consistency and you are not following the guidelines you set for condition notes on vintage cards. If you have anyone who is knowledgeable in vintage cards doing any type of quality checking, you will find this for yourself. The types of errors I am seeing have nothing to do with problems that are not visible on the scans. I am a buyer as well as a seller and realize that many problems are not visible.

      I have several hundred vintage cards that I sent in as part of the special. I made notes on each one on a spreadsheet I kept so that I could monitor how you handle them. The fact that I went to this trouble should give you some idea how concerned I have become over the inconsistency of your notes.

      I have asked before about quality control. Do you have some type of program and do you mind describing it? With new employees and apparently a lot of overtime, the quality will suffer.

      I enjoy your site and hate to be critical but I strongly believe you need to carefully review your handling of vintage material.

    • Chad I have no problem with making things good for the customer…we buy as much as we sell since we don’t cashout. I also understand that condition notes came in after the site launched.

      Our biggest problem is with the lingo being used (has flaws/vintage wear) which are not accepted hobby terms and therefore cause the customer to wonder “what flaws? what wear? ) Also the condition notes for “dinged corners” where the flaws are clearly visible. If you want to put those on there for the customer…fine…but don’t take it out of my bottom line to do it by charging me 25 cents.
      In the past cards with obvious visible flaws were not subject to these notes. What has that changed?

    • Chad,

      Is it possible for COMC to put “flaws visible on scan” on those cards without hard-to-notice defects? That way, cards with rough edges, rounded corners or centering issues are distinguished from those with hairline creases or other imperfections. This makes it clear that what you see is what you get, but the Amazon buyer knows that the card has problems.

  11. Thanks COMC – looks like there will be some serious buying action to follow!!!!

    I focus entirely on Vintage baseball cards and I have been looking forward to seeing some fresh stock. Today we are starting to see the new stock hit in a big way. I just went through the recently added baseball cards for the 1950′s, 1960′s and 1970′s and observed the following:

    32 pages of recently added 1960 cards
    28 pages of recently added 1970 cards
    13 pages of recently added 1950 cards

    Hopefully there is a ton more to look at in the next few days.

    • As an experiment I logged on to Amazon and compared an Amazon buyer would see compared to a current COMC buyer about the same card. I discovered several things that surprised me. First only one of any card is “available and in stock” at any time. It appears to be picked at random from one of the items on sale at COMC: sometimes the lowest priced card is offered, other times the highest one. Second the images were tiny and virtually useless for checking on condition, even EBay is far better! Third, condition notes were very difficult to find and you have to look very hard to even notice. Frankly, only a buyer who never bought cards on EBay would buy single cards through Amazon.

      As I see it, the decision to use Amazon as a way to market COMC as a site was brilliant marketing. No sensible buyer will ontinue to buy COMC cards from Amazon once they discovered that COMC as a separate site.

      Sadly, condition notes, orignally a tactical response to a “returns problem” has now become part of the COMC corporate process. Tim and others at COMC have even convinced themselves that they are providing a “service” when they are subtracting adding a value subtracted process. Sounds like what’s wrong with Healthcare in America..value subtracted overhead embedded into the product increasing costs to the consumer. Because I’m not a Republican, I say eliminate condition notes and assign people doing them to productive activity. But that’s my opinion.

      • The reason why a more-expensive card would be shown on Amazon is because the one(s) on COMC that are cheaper are owned by sellers who didn’t opt in to Amazon cross-listing.

        Condition notes have always been a tactical response to the returns problem. There’s no other reason for them to do it. The “money grab” you imply just turns into labor hours paid, so there’s no profit there. In addition, the fee serves the purpose of keeping people from sending non-mint cards in.

        As an aside, if COMC only shows the cheapest card on Amazon, that is also the card most likely to have condition notes. It kind of dovetails.

        Fewer condition notes = more returns = a different way to pass the cost on to the seller, perhaps through increased submission fees or cashout fees. I’d rather have the condition note fee. That will teach me to send in non-mint cards.

        For those who don’t like condition notes and don’t crosslist on Amazon, what do you want COMC to do? If you somehow could get out of the fee and condition note service, at any time you could opt in to Amazon crosslisting, so if you hadn’t paid for any condition notes, your entire inventory would have to be reinspected. So perhaps you would say it doesn’t matter because you would NEVER want to crosslist. Well, Amazon crosslisting is opt in, which means new sellers may not know about it. What if a new seller is three months and 20,000 cards into his COMC career when he discovers Amazon or decides he wants to try it? His cards would have to be reinspected as well. That’s pretty painful for a new seller, cost notwithstanding.

        I hope this helps show another side of the debate.

      • What I want is condition notes to do what they are supposed to do…disclose flaws not visible in the scan.

        There is no need to “ding” a seller 25 cents for a condition note that says “dinged corner” when that flaw is visible in the scan.

      • Further…if condition notes are to be “credible” then they DO need to reinspect their vintage inventory.
        Look at the link I provided above. Look at the top row center and right. No condition notes. Look at the first card in the second row…condition note for corner wear…. The two top row cards have just as much if not more yet not only do they escape the note (which is fine because anyone can see the wear!) but the guy on the second row got hit with a fee….
        Any way you slice it, it isn’t right.

      • Amazon currently only shows a stock photo, therefore EVERY flawed card has to have a condition note. Unfortunately almost EVERY vintage card on COMC should have a condition note.

        A simple solution to this issue is to automatically have the condition notes added, no need for an added cost. Reduce ALL vintage cards to the Excellent-Mint “book” value point. Any cards that are truly nicer condition can be bumped up at some point. Cards that look like they have been run over or recently in the spokes of a bike can be reduced down to the poor Beckett level. Having three levels for the vintage cards would be a smart move with the impending elimination of Beckett “values” being shown.

      • As of now, they do not have a choice as it is an Amazon situation. I was told at the National that they are working on getting each photo included. That still may not be enough if the photos are not big enough.
        I still think the best solution is to stop giving the perception that every card on the site is near mint-mint condition. Clearly 99% or more of the vintage cards listed are nowhere near mint condition. That would eliminate the need for the condition notes on a large portion of the cards and speed up the listing process.

  12. The condition notes should be free…we shouldn’t have to pay the same price to list the card in order for these “judgement” notes to be listed?

  13. If it is the case that only sellers who elect to cross list receive condition notes, then they are the ones who should receive them and pay the fee at the time of cross-listing. As it exists the 99% of sellers who do NOT cross-list subside the 1% who do.

    I say eliminate condition notes completely and post Amazon returns back to the seller and subtract from their store credit. This will encourage Amazon cross-list sellers to price fairly.

    Others will have a different opinion, particularly COMC insiders whose livelihood depends on writing condition notes. They continue to fool themselves with the idea they are doing something productive. For whom I ask? Not the Amazon buyer who can’t find them. Not the seller who hated them. There is still hope. COMC isn’t government.

    • Thinking about it some more, the win – win scenario is:

      - allow the seller to choose what items to cross list and charge a fee to enable “cross listing”
      - allow the seller to update condition notes before an item is cross-listed..
      - if an “Amazon listing sells and is returned”, return to seller and debit store credit.

      I see the advantages are:

      - cross listing becomes a seller option for a fee (revenue for COMC).

      - condition notes is seller determined and a decision to use or not use condition notes affects only the seller bottom line (revenue neutral for COMC).

      - create more opportunity for “higher skilled” IT workers (web designers and dbas) and reduces demand for not productive condition note writers.

      Others will, I am sure, note the advantages of “staying the course”….

      • I’d like to add one other thing to this….

        “Has Flaws” and to a lesser extent “vintage wear” are not accepted hobby terms and therefore cause more confusion than they help…especially to someone that doesn’t understand how things work.
        Folks…I give you exhibit A. Please go back to the link I provided above and scroll to the bottom row.
        One card “has flaws” and the other “vintage wear” Now you guys look at those two cards and tell me why one got one note and the other something else…

      • The comment by TripleAvintage Sportscards below showing an example of the inconsistency between Has flaws and Vintage wear is one of my main complaints. If your card gets hit with Has flaws, the value goes down. That would be fine if the application of the comment was even slightly consistent. It is not. I have seen hundreds of cards with the Has flaws comment that did not deserve it and hundreds others with Vintage wear or no comment that were clearly worse. I am surprised that more sellers or buyers of vintage cards are not concerned about this issue.

  14. I agree with complaints about inconsistency with condition notes. It will always be this way and can not be fixed because it depends on judgements of single individuals with no objective critera. My ‘vintage wear’ is your ‘has flaws’ is his no condition notes needed.

    I agree with complaints about COMC-specific lingo used in condition notes. I’ve been a hobbyist for 30 years. There are competing views on condition and different criteria used for grading by the different professional grading services. The notion that “vintage wear” or “has flaws” is of any value in describing the condition of a card is ridiculous and has no meaning outside COMC.

    It is truly sad to me that Tim was a visionary when he set up COMC as a site that appeal to seller and buyer alike, performing value added functions such as warehousing, reporting, and the ability of individual sellers to manage their own inventory and not providing a channel to generate conflict between seller and buyer. Everything started to go downhill when heavy resources were invested to cross-list with Amazon. The promise seemed great but the devil is in the details.

    By now, everyone should understand that “condition notes” is a devil. There are issues caused by cross – listing but “condition notes” is not a solution to any it creates more issues and solves nothing.

    Tim, I mean it when I say, eliminate condition notes. Otherwise, it will continue to undermine the credibility of COMC as a business.

    Your vision needs to be focused on a “seller managed rating system” (based on industry grading standards and card attributes, damage, corners, centering, creases, etc.) along with a “returns practice” that puts the onus on the seller to describe clearly and price fairly. You company needs to be out of the card rating and judgement business. Really

    • Great post!
      The ONLY thing I would say in defense of condition notes is…if something truly is not visible in the scan (IE a surface wrinkle or distinguishing a small tear that might look like just a crease) then I think a note should be there.
      Sellers unless they do notes themselves before shipping may not remember all of those type of flaws so eliminating them or putting the pressure on the seller to remember it might not work. I also believe they don’t want to deal with the hassle of returns so they are trying to do what they think is right to make returns minimal.
      I respect all of that. But for the reasons I have illustrated (IE type of notes, inconsistent notes, cost to seller for these notes) I believe that what they are doing now is heading in the wrong direction.
      Stick to notes ONLY for flaws not visible and then describe those flaws. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • I agree with the sentiments expressed by Qz7cbz and TripleAvintage. Given the current situation with notes, we would be better served with no condition notes other than for truly invisible flaws. Unless a way can be found to link the actual scan to Amazon, that may mean stopping the sale of vintage material on Amazon. I say that as someone who has had fairly good luck with Amazon sales. As it stands now, any seller who has a card marked “has flaws” can forget about selling that card for any reasonable price even when the card in much nicer than many with no comment or “vintage wear”.

        I understand that no two people will see a card the exact same way, however, the inconsistency that I see goes way beyond normal differences of opinion. I have also been in the hobby for many years and have seen hundreds of thousands of vintage cards. I have never seen such inconsistency in placing them in approximate categories by condition. I have to believe that some reasonable quality control efforts and training could make it better but see no evidence that it is happening yet.

  15. When called by COMC on Aug. 31 to see if I wanted to have my 3-box submission at The National held and get the $5 off, I said I had no problem if two were delayed (staggering would keep me from having to price some 1400 cards all at once) but I’d like to have one done by the due date. I even specified which box I wanted done, if possible.

    Well, they got it done with 2 hours to spare. I was beginning to wonder if they’d make it, but the cards popped up for me at 1 a.m. Sunday (10 p.m. Pacific). And it was the batch I had requested.

    I priced some last night, sold some overnight, then got the rest priced today. When you’ve got a mostly vintage early 70s batch with some new mixed in, it takes some time.

    As for the condition notes, I know why they’re doing it and have accepted their terms. Most of the cards I sent in got notes, but I expected it. I had probably more than 300 vintage in the batch, and I would guess that I had 12 or so that I thought should have had a “vintage wear” label that got “has flaws” but about the same number kind of went back the other way (could have been “has flaws” but got “vintage wear.” I also thought about 15 deserved no notes, but I was surprised by about 10 that didn’t get a note. Again, that’s the subjective nature involved, and it’s a virtual wash.

    Out of all those cards, I’ve identified two that I think are worth challenging the condition note. I won’t send the message right away; instead, I’ll wait until my other two mostly vintage boxes are processed and include any other questionable notes all at once. I don’t see any sense in asking them to stop the bulk processing to look at my two cards.

    I opt out of selling on Amazon, so most of the condition notes I get are worthless because COMC buyers can see the problem. But I figure those buyers can look at the cards and decide on their own, and I make sure I price them based on grade. That’s why I’ve turned a decent number of mid-grade commons and stars.

    Anyway, thank to the folks in Redmond for burning the midnight oil even on the weekend to make sure as many promises are kept as possible. Your efforts are appreciated.

    • Here is another perspective. I just sold a lot of 43 1979-1980 OPC hockey cards, all of which have flaws (check out the ones that are left — they all look terrible) for 75% of book. Not 75% off. 25% off. Not everyone is looking for mint condition cards. COMC very deliberately uses terms that mean something to non-collectors, because that is their target customer. (Which makes sense. Who else is going to pay full book?) As far as the inconsistency with vintage wear and has flaws, I thought there was a permanent shift from the former to the latter, but if you have new stuff being added to the site with both terms, then I don’t know.

      But it makes no difference to me. Cards with condition notes sell just fine, thank you very much, and when you guys blow them out at 95% because you think they’re damaged goods (no pun intended), I’m happy to pick them up to flip!

      • Joel Bravo on the positive spin as usual. Even though you appear to be in the minority I know COMC appreciates one voice that backs them on this and other issues.
        You could have had some bargains from us as we had a few listed as low as 97% off.
        There are several different issues here….Vintage inconsistency, modern cards with condition notes that either don’t need them or that should have been returned and condition notes for both groups where flaws are clearly visible. Thanks to Amazon we have the excuse for the last problem.
        In the past it was pretty easy to figure out how much a shipment was going to cost you. Now you might as well assume there will be an extra 25 cents tacked on per card and be happy when there isn’t. It won’t affect us anymore because other than possibly some graded cards we won’t be sending much else in but I know from reading several forums that this is an issue COMC needs to smooth over because the number of people ticked off about this seems to be growing.

      • Seriously Joel ,There are people here that are trying to convince COMC about changes to help the site (this topic and others) and every single time you chime in on how much it benefits Joel for today…….Alot of us care about the site down the road as well as today.How can every single change COMC has made(some good,some bad)you can defend……..COMC doesnt need you to defend them…………I got hit with many cards that said ” has flaws” on cards that have no flaws and have a little wear and yes it costs us money.We are all aware that they sell they just dont sell for what the others not condition note cards sell for. (I got hammered on a $80 card that i will have to price for about $15 and it may be the best one on there.

  16. watching from the office looks like you were at 4,827,000 yesterday, at 4,936,000 this morning, plus whatever was sold = 115,000 over less then a day, listed anyways. has to be over 50 or 60 clients with the near limit to send in are completed. can you say how many individuals sent in ?

  17. the invisible flaw note, actually not a bad idea to save time and fees for notes that only scare away customers thinking there is more damage to the card then already visible.

  18. oh i see, catching up, the amazon problem with pictures causing the need for notes. hmmmm, always one thing leading to another. obviously amazon does not want to redirect them to another site, can the comc scans only, be made accessible to amazon browsers with a link?

  19. I too didn’t think my national special would be processed in time. But somewhere between 2 & 330 am est, it all went in. big kudos for the hard work u guys do.

    Of the 55 employees, are any affiliated with the “cnpd”, condition notes police dept? Most of the ones I got dinged with are not needed.

    I also noticed a big amount of wrongly listed/ wrong bv cards as well. I sent in requests to be corrected

  20. Maybe I’m just missing something here, but the whole concept of condition notes just baffles me, especially at 25 cents per. This industry has grading standards and the users here are more than familiar with them. With the peace of mind of buying from COMC, why don’t you guys simply grade the cards with a real grade instead of using vague terminology. Between your experts grades and an actual scan, the buyer should have real peace of mind. And trust me, it doesn’t cost 25 cents to grade a raw card. A flat 10 cent per card fee would still be profitable and would bring you into line with all of the other major online selling sites. Just my two cents…

    • This doesn’t seem that unreasonable. If you don’t want to out-and-out get into the card-grading business, then a range (i.e., VGEX-EX or 4 to 5) would cover it. Takes away the need to be perfect while giving the seller an idea of whether he’s getting a true mid-grade card vs. a lower-end card.

  21. It doesn’t cost 25 cents to grade a raw card, yet the professional grading services will charge anywhere from $15 to $300 to assign a number from 1 to 10?

    I understand that people hate getting condition notes assigned to their cards. You pay extra and the card is likely to sell for less (or at least, take longer to sell). But I also don’t think that this is some grand money-making scheme on COMC’s part. At best, the 25 cent surcharge is break-even for their bottom line.

    What I would like is an option to have my cards returned unprocessed if they’re going to be subjected to condition notes, especially if they’re modern cards. Instead of paying 50 cents for the honor of adding a flawed card to the site, I might like the option of having the card returned to me and paying, say, 10 cents.

    • COMD let me know where I can go work some someone and make 25 cents a card to grade for them and type in a few notes and I will sell my business and go to work for them without hesitation. Under most circumstances I could clear at least 75 cards an hour (depending on the difficulty to add the data to the system)…

      Don’t get me started on the grading services…that would stir the pot and get things far off course.

      • Simple. Just set up your own web site with large clear scans (front and back) of 8 million different cards cross-referenced to official Beckett prices and optimized with every major search engine on the internet. Then all you have to do is identify, sort, scan, attribute and catalog an average of 10,000 cards per day. Then file them in such a way that each specific card can be pulled from inventory and shipped to a buyer at a moment’s notice. In your spare time, you can run a blog keeping your customers informed about important developments and listen to heaps of abuse from people who think that an extra 25 cents here and there for additional services is the dictionary definition of highway robbery.

      • When we were on the BMP we maintained an inventory of 600,000 cards (400,000 unique SKUs) and at the same time serviced coins, stamps and antiques via other venues. So I have a clue as to what it takes to run an operation and am staffed (and pay) accordingly.

      • Great post checkoutmydeals…I have absolutely no problem with any costs(personally i would endorse any additional cost increases including processing fees,cond note fees,cashout fees,shipping fees…might just weed out the whiners) The issue i have here is the condition notes itself and the inconsistency’s and how i cant maximize my sales.

      • Lee…
        I can’t agree with alot of your post… The “weed out everyone and be the last ones standing” approach has been tried and failed elsewhere.
        Where we do agree is, COMC should charge a consistent fee…whatever that fee is and let the public decide if they are willing to pay for the service. These surprise tack on fees upon completion of the batch are unnerving. And you are spot on about the consistency of these notes.

      • Triple A – from what you’re saying, it sounds like you have the logistical and organizational skills that very few people have. So, do it. Set up the equivalent of “checkoutmystamps” or “checkoutmycoins” or “checkoutmyantiques”. Build them into powerhouses, treat your customers fair, and within 5 years, I’ll send you as many qualifying items as I can scrounge up. I admire people with that kind of ability.

        Me, personally, I don’t want to scan anything. I don’t want to describe anything. I don’t want to organize anything. I don’t want to pack or ship anything. I don’t want to track down lost packages or deal with credit card chargebacks or answer 20 emails a day about microscopic defects. I just want to buy and sell.

        That’s the wave of the future. It isn’t sufficient that a collectibles website offers a venue where a buyer can meet a seller. In the world of the future, a website has to add value. COMC does that for me. It doesn’t do me one bit of good that your employees will identify flaws in your cards for less money than COMC. I sold more items on COMC in 2 months than I sold on eBay in 12 years. That’s value. That’s why I stick around.

        Yes, COMC is imperfect, and yes, they could tweak the system here and there. But they are generally responsive to suggestions when people ask nicely. I’ve seen them make hundreds of changes. Most of them were suggested by COMC users on forums like this or at blowoutcardsforum (which is a more appropriate venue for this sort of discussion).

      • I have always said as long as there are people who will pay just about anything for others to do the work for them that COMC will have a base. That is as long as they do not price themselves out.
        I like this site too. Very much actually. It has helped get rid of excess inventory and purchase items that we can sell at our B&M locations.
        We weren’t on board with the new fees that are coming October 1st because we CAN do that work for less so I am going to pay my people and not COMC. But we’ll continue to flip and buy as long as there is stuff here we need.

        As myself and others here were hoping to get some interaction with COMC staff this is the perfect place for this. We don’t deal in wax so we don’t do business with blowout or their forums.

      • I don’t deal in wax either, but the blowoutcards discussion forum is where a lot of this sort of discussion takes place. It’s basically a proxy discussion board for COMC, since COMC doesn’t have a discussion board on their site.

        General discussion of COMC (and other selling venues) is here:

        http://www.blowoutcards.com/forums/ebay-checkoutmycards-online-selling-shows/

        Free ads for your COMC / eBay / website etc can be placed here:

        http://www.blowoutcards.com/forums/spam-your-ebay-comc-listings-here-photobucket-sportslots-etc/

  22. By the way, it’s not just Amazon. COMC also cross-posts their cards to Google shopping and probably a bunch of other venues as well. A buyer might be finding your card with their smart phone and purchasing it without ever looking at a large, clear scan. Especially the sort of shopper that just wants the actual card and is relatively indifferent to condition. As time goes on and the concept of eCommerce morphs, then condition notes become more important. A few years back, there were only a handful of COMC accounts, 100% of the customers were serious card collectors, most of them knew one another from other card venues, and it was possible to actually look at every single card on the site. Nowadays, not so much.

    One suggestion I would make to COMC: It would be really, really, really useful if condition notes were on the “items details” page that sellers access from the “Manage Inventory” page. As it is, if I price a card using that page, I have no idea if my card is “flawed” and I’m pricing it against a card that is not “flawed”, unless I then click on a different page where the cards are being sold.

    • “It would be really, really, really useful if condition notes were on the “items details” page that sellers access from the “Manage Inventory” page.”

      YES! YES! YES!

  23. Make it so that every card cross listed on Amazon has the generic “Has Flaws” description, then take away all condition notes that can be seen in scans from COMC. Any perfect condition card that is delivered to the Amazon customer will only make them that much more happy, right? You may lose a tiny bit of sales from Amazon orders, but it would make your sellers happy… and I think you’re starting to push against the sellers a little too much these past few months, you’ve definitely tested their limits. Some have left for good and others are on the fence, I’m sure you guys know that. I recently sold a high value card for pennies because your guys input it wrong and when pricing thousands of cards I like to assume that you got it right without having to click on the extra large picture for every single card.

  24. Let’s focus on potential solutions to the condition notes dilemma.

    I have a crazy idea well tell me if it is. How about we as astute veteran sports card dealers grade our own cards!!! Crazy right, however let’s evaluate this option. If COMC allows me to grade my vintage material and allow it to be sold on the web site as the actual standard grade, G, VG, VGEX, EX, EXMT, NM and nothing higher since the NMMT and MINT usually exist in slab form. A little education for the beginner or novice collector who can read what these grades mean and we have a solution to the amazon, condition note fee and any other objection sellers have.

    So now your thinking that an unscrupulous COMC seller will hide something and assign a higher grade than the card is. Well, i have another solution to this potential dilemma. COMC has to qualify the Seller as a Grading Seller. Yes, if the seller meets the standards set by COMC condition note authorities, we as sellers will get the kitchen pass to grading our own cards. So instead of spending so much extra time grading our vintage material, we’ll do that for you.

    Essentially this would shift the responsibility of the COMC grading employees to monitor the sellers as a whole, ensuring the cards meet the grade assigned. I can see potential disagreements with cards valued over $100 however there has to be some middle ground that would be acceptable by both parties that could be worked out.

    This shift in responsibility could be managed in many way’s.

    Example #1
    I send in 500 vintage cards. I spreadsheet the Year, Mfg, card #, Player name and grade or I write it on a formatted template that can be easily provided and printed out. The COMC employee data inputs my cards and my grades. If the COMC process does not allow for this due to the many steps to receiving raw cards then adding and assigning grades then this may not work.

    Example #2
    I send in 500 vintage cards. I don’t list anything and allow the condition notes to fall were they may and except the corner wear, vintage wear, has flaws or other condition notes. Then I advise COMC in “manage cards” that my cards should be assigned a vintage grade which is agreed upon by COMC. This example takes longer and time is $ so may not be the right option. As a seller, I except the 25 cent surcharge since I want to move my lesser graded cards with traditional grading standards like VG, EX, etc.

    Example #3
    I send in 500 vintage cards. I don’t provide anything but raw cards that are simply inputed with NO CONDITION NOTES and I assign them the standard grades P, F, G, VG, VGEX, EX, etc. COMC trusts me that I have accurately assigned the grades and there are no need for the 25 cent surcharge, I am extremely happy as a seller, the potential amazon buyer realizes the grade assigned and COMC processes raw cards faster than ever. One caveat, the seller would have to be qualified by COMC. Being qualified as a Grading Seller could take 3 months, minimum 500 vintage cards evaluated by both parties (pre 1990 or pre 1980 – open for debate) and bottom line the trust of both parties. I feel in the long run, the Vintage sellers will be more inclined to send in cards boosting the revenues of COMC and all buyers would be on the standard grading system that I have known since 1972. This an open source method of sharing the responsibility.

    Example #4
    I send 500 vintage cards. COMC quickly assigns cards as stated above, P, F, G, VG, VG-EX, EX, EXMT only if the cards are not at least NM or better. If not NM or better seller pays 10 cents extra for assigned standard grade. I like this option the best however 10 or 25 cents per card is up for debate since the sellers may not send in cards valued at less than $1 if they have to pay 50 cents to have them listed. (.25 plus .25 for notes). Making a less than 25% profit on $1 cards is up to the seller to determine if it is worth his time to have these cards posted. My math may not be accurate but you can do you own calculation for lower valued vintage cards.

    Give it some thought and as always, let me know what everyone thinks of this crazy idea of getting involved in grading our own cards. Can it fly?

    Cheers,
    Jerry

    • It’s an interesting idea. It begs the question whether COMC is interested in the spirit of providing a consistent customer experience while having a true consignment business. This suggestion requires the seller to do more work in order to be on level footing with other sellers, which doesn’t seem to be what COMC is for (not to mention the extra overhead on their end certifying these sellers as described). However, the condition notes idea is no worse than what we have now: an inconsistent user experience.

      I think the only point being overlooked is that this site is designed to make cards accessible to non-collectors. They’re not interested in jargon. They want an Ed Whitson card. What COMC has tried to do is use friendly language that sets the right expectation with these types of buyers. The oldest trick in the book is to say a card is in excellent condition. If you’re a novice, you think that is mint.

      If COMC has a content management system, making the general condition notes message consistent (“has flaws” is fine) is probably all they need to do. Alternatively, they can have the condition note be a link to an overlay that defines what the note means (an extended definition of “has flaws”). However, that may not work on Amazon because I don’t think COMC controls the user interface there.

    • Jerry your ideas in a bubble are good.
      However it has been our experience that most people are clueless when it comes to grading. We get customers all the time bringing us stuff they claim is “EX” that have a crease in it.
      The other thing is by the time I spreadsheet and do all of that other work…I am either posting them somewhere myself or putting them in the shop.
      #4 we’d be able to live with…if a 20 cent tier for submissions was ever put back in place. 10 cents a card for grading is a reasonable industry standard.

  25. Jerry, that’s the point I was trying to make as the condition notes to me make no sense, especially at the current price point.

    Competing sites all have conditions for cards with the majority having no scans whatsoever. At least here you’ll have the grade as listed by the seller (or COMC if they would rather do it in house) as well as the actual scan of the card.

    Where the seller fills in the percentage of guide, they should also be able to fill in a condition. “See scan” as a condition isn’t a grading designation and neither are the “flaw notes”.

    Seems to me that there are solutions that don’t involve submitters being hit with hidden fees as well as the vagueness of the condition to the buyer.

  26. I don’t know. How about giving them the benefit of the doubt? They have 55 employees working there when a few years ago, there were like, 6. So it’s possible that employee #53 treats things differently than employee #6. They’re in the middle of processing 700,000 cards which came during a 6 day period when most of the key employees were out of town.

    If COMC is so eeeevil, why should they offer a 5 cent or 10 cent or whatever it is “has flaws” option at all? If they want to gouge the sellers for fees, why would they raise the free storage limit from 25 cents to 74 cents? Why would they give everyone auto accept and minimum offer for free, when they used to charge $15 a month for it? Why would they raise the free storage thresh hold to $2.50 for an account with a premium upgrade? Why would they allow users to spam the COMC Facebook page with free ads? Why would they even have a listing sale at all?

    In the past few months, COMC has made at least 6 fee changes that were in your favor (higher storage thresh hold, free auto accept, free minimum offer, reduced fee for “has flaws” condition notes, limited time listing sale). And they’ve kept one fee EXACTLY THE SAME. And you’re calling that fee which is EXACTLY THE SAME as it was a “money grab”. While giving them zero credit for the 6 fees that were ACTUALLY REDUCED.

    I agree that the condition notes fee is clumsy because of the way it is retroactively and somewhat inconsistently applied, and I agree that it would be preferable to allow sellers to have the option of having those cards returned unprocessed if they never want to be subjected to the fee. But I don’t think it’s greed or malice on the part of COMC.

    I’m inclined to be circumspect when demanding “consistency”. If COMC wants to be “consistent”, then they could raise their processing fee to 50 cents and apply detailed condition notes to 100% of incoming cards. So the real question is, what is your actual complaint? That detailed condition notes were applied to some of your cards, or that detailed condition notes weren’t applied to all of your cards?

    Either way, at this point in the thread, I think it’s safe to say that your complaint has been duly noted by the Powers That Be at COMC. In between identifying and sorting and processing and cataloging and storing and shipping more cards in a month than there are people living in the entire city of Boston, Massachusetts.

  27. COMD thank you for the positive spin on the issue.
    Time is short here with orders to pull. To address one point….if it were my boat….and I felt I had to charge 25 cents to type a few words to describe the card…then yes I would raise my rate to 50 cents a card and let the public decide whether they were willing to pay for the service…rather than charge 50 cents and then nail another 25 cents to cards on a very arbitrary and inconsistent basis…. ESPECIALLY on modern cards where the sender likely doesn’t expect to see any at all.

      • As always it is about perspective. If I was interested in storing cards instead of selling them that would be of a concern to me. As a business owner and someone who makes a living selling collectibles I know how important consistency goes to building consumer trust. COMC has to rely on trust more than any business I know as we all have put a portion of our inventory in their hands. It appears we agree that the condition note is a problem. It appears though that you are willing to accept it as a condition of doing business here. For myself and a majority of other voices out there, it is a reason to pause and contemplate before sending in cards. They have already priced themselves out of what we are willing to pay. When modern cards start to cost 75 cents to folks here….well…we’ll see how it goes.
        Back to work…

  28. Check Out My Deals, you seem like a sharp guy and I enjoy your posts. I fully agree that COMC is a revolutionary company and I have nothing but respect for Tim and his staff, as what they do is amazing to say the least.

    As someone that also sells in multiple places I’m always looking at the competitive advantages that each venue offers. COMC’s greatest advantages are obviously the scans for every card as well as their ability to take every step of the selling process onto their shoulders. A hell of a concept and one which has really resonated with the collecting public.

    The million dollar question though is what is this service worth? I feel that Tim and his staff have done a great job in offering a price threshold that works for the majority of sellers, especially those who don’t do this for a living and are squeezed for time. I can totally see where the fees work for many, while seem outlandish to those who make this their livelihood and are more familiar on the actual costs associated of running a full-time sportscards business.

    I’m curious how they are going to handle the “condition notes” issue as it effectively doubles the submission price while making the item less desirable. There will be more issues down the road for Tim to deal with and how they handle them will ultimately be how successful the company ends up down the road.

    I’m sure that many within the industry have taken note of COMC’s rapid rise and are thinking, “I could do that” or “I could do that more affordably”, to those I say, good luck with that.

    Competition in selling singles online is everywhere with different sites offering differing competitive advantages for both buyers and sellers. As a big fan of this industry, it’s great to see competition and it’s great to see folks who are pushing the envelope and providing consumers with great shopping experiences.

    I enjoy reading these blogs and kudos to the gang at COMC. This site is by design “different”, and that’s refreshing even if I don’t always agree with decisions made.

  29. The bottom line is that if you do not want condition notes added, then do not send cards that have damage. It does not get any simpler than that! When you consider that Amazon is the number 2 buyer/seller on the top 10 list it is very easy to see the necessity for the notes as things currently are. The bottom line for the vintage cards is that they are ALL priced as mint cards and quite frankly very few are actually mint. A simple solution is to change all the vintage cards to the Excellent level with a condition note automatically added to every card. If possible have an additional tier for the rare cards that are truly in mint condition and another tier for the cards that are in poor-good condition with the proper Beckett price points.

      • You are correct, I should have used the term Near Mint. It still does not change the fact that 99% of the vintage cards have the incorrect Beckett values. As long as that is the case, the condition notes must be included in my opinion.

      • I am with “Rockstar” that I really don’t like untraditional grade notes at all… However….
        When it comes to vintage if you are going to do it, do it as you stated on all of them and since it would be a default note, the submitters should not be charged. If condition notes are truly not supposed to be a cash grab/profit maker then COMC should have no problem with this. In fact since they seem to be short on staff it would free them up to allocate resources elsewhere since a default click would bring up the condition note.

      • The whole point of my suggestion is to eliminate the need for the extra fees and free up the COMC employees from needing to do detailed checks as they seem to currently have to do. The negative effect would be the complaints about port “values” dropping. Another plus for COMC should be their insurance bill, I would assume they pay a premium based on the total “value” listed on the site. And the most important winner would be the buyers as they would see the true “values” without any notes to possibly confuse them.

  30. The Condition notes came out of going onto Amazon. Before Amazon we almost never saw them. I opted into Amazon early in the year and I just looked to see how many cards I have sold on Amazon over the past several months. Since August 1st I have had 104 cards sell through Amazon out of a total of 626 cards sold or just under 17%. Amazon sales and the percentages for May, June and July were 42 (8%), 52 (8%) and 36 (9%). The May June and July percentages are a little skewed as I was dumping sold old inventory none of which sold through Amazon. In any event my experience is that about 10% of my sales are coming from Amazon and for at least the last month and a half there has been a marked increase in those sales.

    The profit I have made on the Amazon cards is likely somewhat less than what I make on COMC only sales as it is always at 20% off. However, I calculate my gross profit monthly and the profit percentage has been very consistent. So my experience would be that I am making money with the Amazon sales and that profit is significantly more than the condition notes have costed and in addition there has been an increase in volume which has to be attributed to being on Amazon.

    Perhaps as part of the Condition note discussion which has developed on this post some other sellers can share their sales experience from Amazon. Then maybe we would have a little better balance as to whether or not there is some value in having the Condition Notes.

    • We can’t help too much as we’ve toggled Amazon on and off depending on our pricing which we adjust regularly.

      One thing for sure…the folks NOT on Amazon are getting the short end of it because they are paying for it.

      I’d love to hear from COMC how their metrics on Amazon are doing. With the lack of true photos and consistency with the notes how many returns are they getting? Amazons return policy is absurd and if too many items are returned it can cause the removal of that account. I am sure COMC has more leeway than the average seller but still…

    • I don’t have hard data in front of me. (Do you pull it manually or is there an easy way?) However, I am always seeing cards selling for 20% off, and when I do check, they are always Amazon cards. (I mean, they would have to be. I don’t have auto-accept turned on.)

      But if Amazon is COMC’s #2 seller, then it means a lot of us are benefiting from it. And how many of those Amazon buyers then start to buy directly from COMC? For me, adding a 2nd channel has been a godsend.

      • Have to pull it manually; for a while could just go into offers and then if clicked on name heading you could sort all offers by name but that functionality was dropped some time in the last couple of months.

    • It looks like I sold 108 of my last 1390 cards through Amazon, which would be 7.8%.

      The type of card which sells on Amazon tends to be much different than the type of card that would sell before COMC started selling on Amazon. Non-sports and gaming cards sell well on Amazon. Cards with minor stars, semi-stars, local stars or certain college alumni seem to sell well through Amazon.

      From COMC’s perspective, an important point is that the Amazon buyer brings new cash into the system. The way COMC’s fee structure is set up, a seller like me has no incentive to send COMC new money once they’ve started cashing out credit. Let’s say I cash out $1,000 in COMC credit for $800 cash. Now, let’s say a month later, I send COMC $800 in cash. That will get me $800 in COMC credit. So I will be effectively trading $1,000 credit for $800 credit. There’s no incentive for me to put new money into the system.

      OTOH, the Amazon buyer or the casual buyer who spends $10, $20, $50 on a handful of cards does bring new money into the system. That buyer might not be as condition sensitive as the “serious” collector, but they also don’t want any unpleasant surprises. They might buy a card that “has flaws”, so long as they know in advance that the card “has flaws”. In a case where the “flaw” isn’t apparent through the scan, they might want to know what the specific “flaw” is. Hence, detailed condition notes.

      When I first started on COMC, there were about 600 active seller accounts and about 2,000 buying accounts. Now, there’s about 2,500 active seller accounts and about 44,000 buying accounts. Those accounts came from somewhere. I imagine that a lot of them first came to the site through a Google search or an Amazon search.

  31. Out of curiosity, what makes a website pop to the top of a google search. A simple search of “Buy sports cards”, results in COMC being on the 5th page, behind a whole bunch of lesser known card site alternatives to eBay.

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