Apples to Oranges

It wasn’t long ago that we unveiled a new advertisement going into Beckett and other major subscriptions.  Today, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of an ad that will be hitting the shelves very soon and give you a chance to earn some store credit to boot!

Without further adieu, I give you our newest ad:

New apple vs orange for blog

Click to Enlarge

At COMC, we frequently have customers compare us to ebay, and we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the things you have told us, and maybe some of the things you might not know.  But the honest truth is, comparing us to Ebay is like comparing….well I think you get it.

From June 8th to June 12th, we will be running a contest on Facebook.  Every user who shares this image on their Facebook page will be entered into a drawing.  The pot will be worth $5 + $.25 for each share this image has received!  The winner will be announced on June 13th on Facebook.

So tell us, what do you think of this ad?  Please leave your comments below and keep following us on the blog, FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.  Don’t forget to Share us on Facebook for a chance to win the contest!

Lastly, if you haven’t already heard about The Vault, check out our blog post and see how you have another option for your high end cards now as well.

28 thoughts on “Apples to Oranges

  1. For anyone who hasn’t shared a facebook post before, it’s easy: just click the “share” button to post it to your page for your friends to see.

  2. Clever poster, and I totally agree with the content. I hope the campaign goes well. I won’t be jamming my Facebook friends’ newsfeeds with advertising, however, which I think is pretty tacky. JMO.

  3. We dropped Ebay like a bad habit in 2007 when the push to use Paypal made it a waste of time to sell there without it. We won’t accept Paypal due to our no acceptance of their TOS.

    The fact that our items can sell here without our having to take the risks associated with using Paypal is one of the many reasons we love COMC!

    We’ll be happy to promote this site on Facebook and elsewhere as it is a help to our business as well as yours.

    • Hello TripleAvintage Sportscards,

      Thank you for your positive feed back on the ad. We appreciate your willingness to spread the word about COMC and we look forward to seeing how the contest goes.

      Regards,
      Mark M.

  4. Love this. The only advantage feebly has is overall selection, but that edge is shrinking drastically as buyers and sellers leave in frustration.

  5. The photo above is just for buyers sake,
    As a seller, there is a big difference on why I have not sold on COMC, Unless, I’m mistaken, If I send you 1000 cards, I have to give you $250 up front and wait 8 weeks for them to be listed to be available for sale…

    • Hello casebusters99,

      At the $.25 per card fee, you would see your cards processed and up on the site in one months time. The other key component that we try to offer is the fact that we take care of all the work for you.

      We ship your cards to the buyer. We provide high resolution scans as well as Beckett book prices for the items that your are presenting on the site. Lastly, we handle the customer support so that if your buyers need something, they are taken care of in as professionally.

      In this way, we try to minimize the hassle to you the seller. We do ask a bit more up front, but in the end we try to save you that most valuable of resource: your time. I hope this helps to better explain what this ad is all about.

      Regards,
      Mark M.

  6. Not trying to be the negative guy but no matter how I say it, it’s going to come off that way.

    Why does COMC always try to compare themselves against Ebay? And why do you only look at it from the buyer perspective?

    I’ve sold on COMC for 5 years now and you still can’t compare to ebay from the Seller’s aspect. I’ve sold on Ebay for the past 15 years, and I would be glad to give COMC all of my business but finacially you don’t compare to ebay as a seller. I sell $1000’s every month on ebay and send my smaller value cards to COMC.

    All of the following are higher fees than what ebay can offer and I would like to see what COMC would do to change the following to draw more Seller’s and potentially take the market away from Ebay and other’s

    COMC charges 0.25 per card, ebay is a lot lower and I understand we have to do the work, but Ebay even gives multiple free listings every month

    COMC a 20% cash out fee, Ebay and Paypal combined equals less than this amount

    COMC a monthly storage fee for cards over a certain amount. I understand the reasoning with this and don’t have an issue unless it’s changed.

    Fee’s for drawing advertisment to your COMC store, (Promo’s, Adds, Port Sales) These keep rising, why wouldn’t COMC give there loyal seller’s free advertisment to stores, besides the top 10? It’s not hard to click the accept button to list the adds on the hompage or offer a daily different seller advertisment page on the Home page. Ebay does this all the time and I can tell when they do it as my sales blow up those weekends

    I would like to see COMC look at working on improvements for the seller’s as I can continue to sell more Inventory and make more on Ebay still after all these years.

    Thanks and Keep up the hard work but wanted to open some insight from the seller’s view

    • Interesting points of view..
      I will agree with you regarding the raw fee numbers being higher but as an Ebay seller you have to deal with all of the work and risks…including..
      Risks of PITA buyer AND SELLER…Risk of loss/damage in mail…Risk of fraudulent buyers AND SELLER ,,Risk of Paypal freezing your account without warning for 6 months or more….Risk of your buyer claiming card is counterfeit and Paypal ordering the destruction of the card without you ever getting a chance to verify it…Risk of sellers not having an item in stock……risk of misplacing your inventory…risk of unwarranted negative feedback…and the inability to respond to said feedback…
      Obviously millions assume and work within those risks. I am glad my business has found ways to thrive without those headaches and COMC is a big part of that.

      I am with you that several fees/requirements here (for example the $100 requirement associated with the new bulk rate when no numbered or vintage cards are allowed) are out of whack and if basic fees ever grew beyond .25 we’d probably have to re-evaluate. However COMC can more than hold their own in every way that matters to us including sales rates when compared to our time on Beckett.

      • COMC is fantastic for those .99-10 dollar cards. because the cheaper ones won’t even sell on ebay and the ones that sell for around 5-10 on ebay sell for 10-20 here.

        However. Its no contest with high end cards. Ebay trumps COMC in every possible way for high end cards.

        All of your stated “risks” tripleadvantage happen to maybe 1 out of 200,000 sellers on ebay. There’s risk of loss or damage in the mail from COMC as well. Sure they ship well but that doesn’t mean they have some magical service that means zero cards will get damaged in shipping. Risk of paypal freezing your account for NO REASON??? Yeah that happens to a small few but is far from prevalent.

        Your are holding onto tiny risks trying to say comc is better than ebay. I think that COMC has passed ebay for low end cards and player/set collectors but thats all that itll have for a long time. I can’t see COMC ever passing ebay in terms of high value cards.

      • I agree Max. COMC owns player and set collectors. I buy high end autos on the bay pretty consistently for my personal collection. I’m around 1,000 transactions deep on ebay and I’ve had 2 problems. The last few weeks I’ve bought autos of gretzky, jerry rice, taylor hall, pippen just to name a few (all certified on the back of the card). My point is those were much cheaper than what I would have bought on COMC. In two cases by over $100 dollars.

        This is where I think the 20% cash out fee really skews the COMC market. We have cards priced insanely high on this website (often time unrealistically), and I am guilty on a Jordan auto. I get what it’s for so you don’t have to respond explaining it to me. Don’t get me wrong charge what you think you can get for it, but some of them lead me to believe people don’t want to sell them. However, on ebay they are considerably cheaper. As a holistic example look at certain star players, which I don’t want to name for fear of incurring collective wrath. This isn’t COMC’s problem, but I think the fee structure indirectly causes these prices to be non-competitive. I can tell you these items sit here much longer than on ebay. Maybe the vault will help that, but personally it doesn’t appeal to me.

        Lastly, I would really like to able to communicate with buyers and sellers when making offers. I feel when I give people a really good price on the first offer (I typically go as low as I can) I get punished because they will try to still come under the good price i’ve given them. Often the lowest of any like card on the site. If we can’t handle it like adults – much like the auto accept feature – then that’s on us. Quite frankly I’d be embarrassed if I ran an auto accept then turned it off to get the best deal. Once again, that’s on the user to handle correctly. The closest thing to the devil on earth is the Sports Memorabilia dealer, and anything that makes this more honest in my eyes is a good thing. I think COMC has created a great system for the most part, which they can tweak along the way.

    • Hello Reno_Sportscards,

      Thanks for the some of these suggestions, and there are a number of rather valid points in your statements.

      The primary reason we chose to do this ad was because this is frequently who our customers compare us to. Many of our Team members who go to shows specifically bring up this comparison and we receive emails and phone calls frequently that draw this connection.

      It felt like it was time to really draw a clear distinction, and given the upcoming launch of the Vault service, this ad seemed rather important. We will continue to improve the website thanks to the dedication of our customer base, and also thanks to the helpful suggestions that many of you make to us.

      Keep talking to us, and I assure you, we will be listening.

      Regards,
      Mark M.

  7. Max… a couple of quick questions…
    1 out of 200,000 … do you have a source for that percentage? I will admit I do not have numbers but based on the forums I have been on both public and B2B… the frequency of that sampling seems to be closer to 1 per 1000 and with the volume we do, it isn’t worth the risk. I can tell you we deal in far more than just cards so that sampling covers several different types of collectibles.

    When I sell a card here and the buyer claims loss or damage…am I responsible for refunding/filing an insurance claim or dealing with that customer? I don’t believe so. If a customer returns a card….are funds removed from our account? I have been told the answer is no. . In other words.. COMC assumes virtually all risks associated with doing business on this site once they accept delivery of our cards and post them for sale.

    I can’t speak to your point regarding higher dollar cards because all of our $500+ inventory is sold person to person or via mail to buyers we know but your point does have some merit that trying to finish a set and having to pay shipping from 20 different sellers would seem to be cost prohibitive. I will say when shopping for high end cards I look here first because of the clear and consistent photographs and also because I know if there Is a problem upon delivery there is a clear and consistent no nonsense return policy.

    I understand why large numbers of people like Ebay. Even when we were on beckett several of the biggest marketplace cheerleaders were always bragging about how rocking Ebay was doing for them. I am by no means saying Ebay is wrong for everyone and clearly my business is in the minority in that it has thrived without selling there for so many years. I am simply saying why for us, COMC is a clear cut choice to help grow our business.

    • The frequency of items in the Sports Mem category on eBay that go unpaid or to dispute are around 1 in 20. Those were eBay’s numbers when I asked and closely match my 14 years experience in the category. How many COMC items have I had go unpaid or disputed? I’ll never know because COMC makes sure I don’t get negatively affected by it. If it happens I still get my sale.

  8. I just started selling on eBay myself, after a long period of buying cards without wanting to let any go. I grew up in a cardshop owned my by grandparents and inherited thousands of cards upon it’s closing in 2005. So on top of my own stock, I have those cards and have begun the process of finally selling them.

    This fact is important because I would never ever be interested in selling on COMC.

    As example, I can list a lot of ten cards on eBay for $5.
    -If it sells, I’m charged a .50 Final Value Fee, and a .30 cent listing fee (unless it’s free). If I cash out of PayPal I am charged a 6% transaction fee to any bank account in the US. My auctions go up immediately for no charge.
    -On here, I’d be charged $2.50 for that lot of ten cards. To cash out is a 10% fee and more for a check. The cards would then take a month to be posted to the public website. They would require doubling the listing fee to .50 cents a card (or $5 worth of fees) to have them up in a week.
    -So a $5 sale on eBay costs me $1.10 in fees (which is ridiculous, but alas) and a $5 sale of the same ten cards on COMC costs me $3 OR $5.50 with the same structure of listing fees and cash out fees.

    Additionally, eBay reaches tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of homes and mobile users. That is not a sleight on COMC, but it’s a fact that COMC does not reach that many potential buyers, nor has a mobile app available.

    COMC is a great place to buy but not to sell, and that is the honest truth. Some sellers may disagree, and have, but I know you will see a majority of sellers agree that eBay is the best for selling. It really is apples and oranges, but not in the context this advertisement wants us to think.

    • Hello Matt,

      While I can seen many of your points as quite valid, I would like to take a moment and draw a further distinction. Ebay provides for many an excellent value proposition, and there is no doubt that their model works for people who have the time to invest. However, COMC offers a number of things which Ebay cannot and likely will not.

      First, we do the work for you. We ship your cards to your customers, provide high quality scans, and manage the customer service for the buyers. In this way, we try to eliminate not only the hassle but much of the risk associated with selling online as well as the large amount of time that can be consumed by eBay’s do-it-yourself approach.

      The second thing is Ebay is a site dedicated to selling just about anything. COMC is a company of people who love and handle collectibles. We have experts in house and are directly connected to Beckett. We know your products, and will do what we can to make our expertise available to our users.

      I hope this better explains why what COMC offers is not “worse” or “better” than Ebay…it is different.

      Regards,
      Mark M.

      • Isn’t the end goal to lead the market for seller’s and buyer’s to make all of there sports market purchases throu COMC? So the word “different” won’t get you there. I understand the whole concept of this business as Tim and I have simular backgrounds. I see how things can be changed to make the moves to take over the Market, but it seems that’s not where COMC wan’ts to go. Kinda shocking but not my company to run. If you build it they will come, if you raise your prices then the business suppliers starts going downhill. I could easily be in the Top 10 sellers on COMC but thats never gonna happen cause I see change but in the wrong areas.

        Why have most card shops closed down over the years? Cause the overhead, and cost of supplying the demand has always gone up, meanwhile the buyer is always looking for the deal! Even if the Card shop owner has to settle just to stay open. That’s what COMC has become. There is a good source of Cash in COMC pockets, and if you would look at how to improve it from the seller’s aspect you may lower prices but the higher incoming inventory from the sellers would make you more money in the long run (Listing Fees, Storage, Add’s, Selling, & Shipping Fees) and even have enough to hire a few more emplyees to help with the demand

        As for the guys above about the ebay and paypal issues with customers, sorry you’ve had bad luck but I don’t have many issues when using the tools they provide. And if i remember one of you that are complaining about issues with ebay and paypal was kicked off and not allowed to return cause of issues you had, so your comments have more details not listed, there is your side, there side, and the truth!

      • Hi, Reno_Sportscards.
        Some folks will always prefer to do everything themself, and for those people sites like ebay and Beckett Marketplace are great options. Our goal isn’t necessarily to take over the market, but to let everyone know that there are more options available if they want to sell but don’t have the time to invest in all the listing / scanning / research / shipping / customer service or if they want to buy but are interested in a different experience.

        We really want to be a part of strengthening the hobby and bringing back local card shops, and a lot of what we’re doing is trying to provide tools for LCS owners to manage their time more efficiently – so they don’t have to be web experts as well as small business expers and so they don’t have to sacrifice time running their physical shop to do the work to list inventory online.

        Thanks!
        Jeremy

  9. Pointless to compare them I think COMC is great and Ebay is great….I was in the advertising world and one rule of thumb is to try not to acknowledge your competitor and usually when done its not the big dog doing it……Any company can do the apples and oranges comparison with their competitor…Ebay could say…Less fees,Better exposure,Better selection….I prefer COMC to ebay since,i am in no hurry, and i am in good shape financially and somewhat lazy…My buddy prefers Ebay He is more worried about making as much as he can…They are both great and I go buy the old saying if you cant say anything nice do not say anything at all .I am not directing this to comc as much as the people who bad rap Ebay or other outlets(whats to be gained by that).

    • Hi, Lee. Thanks for the comment. We still – even after all these years – get people coming up to us at shows and saying “Yeah I heard about you – are you an ebay seller or something?”. We wanted to focus on differetiating ourselves and letting people know that we’re actually a whole different way of engaging with the hobby.
      Thanks!
      Jeremy

  10. I would love to send my business to COMC, they have really made it very easy for a seller and the process is excellent. My main issue; compared to eBay, is the lack of sales data. I cannot go to COMC and see what exact cards are selling and for how much, so for me to spend $250-$300 to send 1000 cards and have no idea if I will even sell a single card scares me never mind sending 10,000 cards. I sell hockey which doesn’t appear to do nearly as we’ll as the other sports. I spend tones of time selling on eBay and you have made it so much easier.

    • Hi, Dom. A lot of people have asked for sales data and we’re looking at options for how to help sellers with more info. A great option since you haven’t sold with us yet is to take advantage of our $20 coupon for first-time sellers. That’s 80 cards at One Month service or 40 cards at One Week and you can see for yourself with no risk if the site is a good fit for your items.

      Thanks!
      Jeremy

  11. Reno…I don’t see anyone complaining about Ebay/Paypal.. Speaking for my company I am simply illustrating why I won’t use Ebay/Paypal… and the other posts mentioning the frequency of unpaid buyers also seems to be a valid point of discussion and comparison. I don’t know who above was kicked off Ebay or how you would know this unless they published it previously but it seems to be a fairly easy feat to accomplish these days. I am glad we left when we did.

    Jeremy…the Beckett Marketplace could have been the king of the hill.. At one time if was the rock of the hobby. Now, even the biggest and loudest cheerleader for that site who at one time insulted this site as a place for part timers and wanna-bees is selling here because in part Beckett has mismanaged itself into a hot mess.

    I am one of those who greatly benefit from the time this site allows me to spend on the Antiques/Coins/Stamps/Comics part of my business without messing around with too much cardboard. As I have told you guys some of your fees are on the edge of making it tough for us to justify it but as it stands right now, we are overall very happy.

  12. I also want to pipe in and say, even for the debate, I think the ad is in the end true as Ebay and COMC are very different ways to sell cards. I prefer COMC from a hassle side as well as the flipping side of things. I am a big flipper and it is how I make the majority of my money on the site and flipping on ebay is often unreasonable. However, I do not at all believe that it is the entry fee of cards that is holding COMC back, it is the 20% checkout fee that is holding it back. Now I think The Vault is a significantly better way of handling high-end cards than the current model, I think that until the 20% check out fee is lowered COMC will not be able to be seen as an all-around seller favorite

  13. nice ad…both sites have their own pluses and minuses…the marketplace will sort it all out…so we buyers and sellers can use whichever mix of both that meets our needs individually..choice is a good thing

  14. Pingback: The Vault Goes To Print | COMC Blog

  15. I enjoy reading these forums and find the comments to be educational from the standpoint of other users.
    I do not post too much myself, but I do think that the .25 cent charge should be 1/2 up front and 1/2 once paid.
    My last question and I don’t want to be rude but it has never been brought up

    HOW CAN I CASH OUT AT FOR ALMOST 7% CHEAPER IF I GET A BLOWOUTCARDS GIFT CARD? I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD THIS AND FIND IT INSULTING.

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