Talking With Tim: Beckett Subscriptions

Hello COMC Nation. The past week has seen a significant shift at COMC.com with the introduction of Beckett Subscriptions and changes in when Beckett Book Value data is visible.

These adjustments generated a lot of attention, and we received a lot of constructive feedback from our users. We’ve worked on responding to your questions and concerns via our Blog and other social media channels, and recently Tim sat down to discuss some of the most common questions in greater detail.

0:26 Why Did COMC stop displaying Beckett Book Values?

3:15 How are the subscription level prices determined?

3:42 What is included in my Beckett Subscription?

5:51 Why is a Beckett Subscription $31/month and not $10?

6:55 Why doesn’t BV follow a card?

8:42 Can we have a subscription for a team?

9:24 Will there be bundle deals available?

9:51 Will this kill flipping?

11:36 Will this harm casual buyers?

13:19 Why so many changes so quickly?

Hopefully, this better explains this new situation and the direction that COMC is going.  Please feel free to leave your comments below and discuss today’s video.  Also, be sure to keep following us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for further updates as we get closer and closer to The National!

51 thoughts on “Talking With Tim: Beckett Subscriptions

  1. Suggestion- If a buyer looks at one of my cards, then subscribes to beckett from a link attached to one of my cards, could I as a seller receive a commission in the form of comc credit or a voucher for some free listings? This would be a nice incentive for us sellers.

  2. main reason I might not sell on comc anymore and go back to ebay ……just shipped over 200 cards last week kinda bummed out…..most the cards I send in are around $10 each in value so why would I subscribe to something that will just lose me money in the long run

    • Hi, Daniel, can you explain your concern a bit more? I’m not sure I understand how you would lose money selling on COMC. You are not obligated to subscribe to the Beckett data. If it’s not worth your while, that’s fine. And sellers get to see the Beckett price on the items they submit for consignment, so you will still get that benefit as a consigner. Let me know if you have further concerns.

      • Any chance you guys will provide some insight to how the historical sales data may or may not be changed in the near future? See my post below as there has been no response.

        Thanks!

      • Hi BigRdd, sorry for the delay; we’re still working with the historical sales data feature, and we’re receiving input from users like yourself in order to make it as useful and effective for everyone. I can’t give you any details, yet, as it’s still fresh for everyone and we want as much feedback as possible before implementing any changes.

        When we do start making modifications, we’ll be posting those changes on our Blog, to let everyone know. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the video Tim and Julia, you touched on most of my concerns but I would like to hear more on the tweaking/adjusting on the sales/historical data. I now agree that historical sales data will be better in the long run for flipping, however, for me it is skewed a bit as I can’t figure exactly where to price items to move them. If a card shows “x” # of cards sold for “up to x dollar amount” why can’t we see an average or lowest to highest(average selling price would be best IMO). As of now we are only getting a “highest sold price” along with trying to decide if the two cards that sold for “up to” $5.10 had $3 shipping or .10c in shipping fees and pricing accordingly, I think it definitely needs to be modified to much better than all of the guess work because no one can figure the shipping or see the average sell value. Maybe average the shipping costs into the average sales price. Thank you for any clarification or direction.

  4. another thing I have a ? with is when I get cards graded through u guys……I would like a 9 and nothing below but there is no way to tell beckett that if the card is lower than a 9 not to grade it ive called a couple times about this cause im having to actually cut my cards out of the holder after grading if its lower than a 9…..so if that could be fixed somehow that would be cool cause a lot of cards on here i will pay the grading fee but if the card comes back lower than a 9 i would like to be notified so it doesn’t get graded……i don’t think u guys should do beckett prices just an average overall price for the card and let people decide from there cause u can go out and buy a magazine for cheaper anyways i understand u guys have to make money and beckett is messing things up anyways i luc comc but these 2 things bv and grading without a specific number is a downfall

  5. The bigger problem for flippers isn’t that other users can’t see the BV, it is that users without accounts can’t see the BV. I don’t know, but I would imagine that a significant amount of purchases are made by people with accounts. I know that before I made an account with COMC, I would sometimes buy a card just because it was listed at 80-90% off BV, not necessarily needing it for my collection. I’ve accepted that the BVs can no longer be listed, and I think that past sale data could work, but there must be more info than just the high sale price. I would again request that the low and average sale prices be added in. The “For Sale” box next to the sale data box is more or less pointless- All it does is tell you how many copies of that card is currently on the site, and what the lowest asking price is. This info can easily be found when searching for a card, so why repeat it again? I propose replacing that box with the lowest sale data and the average sale data. This would be much more helpful for flippers

  6. Thank you for everything you do. I agree that the historical price data is potentially more useful than the Beckett data, but I’m glad to have access to both. I would agree with everyone here who says that an average or median sales price would be more useful than the high price.

    If it’s a simple matter of writing a few lines of code, then I’d suggest making this information available immediately. If it’s more complicated than that, then I’d suggest making it a high priority.

    If this data had been available months or years ago, then I believe people would have adapted to it and the loss of Beckett prices wouldn’t be such a knockout blow to so many site users.

    I’ll admit I’m not a fan of the “COMC IQ Test”. It interrupts the flow of making purchases, wastes time on the site which could be used spending money, and it doesn’t even accomplish anything productive. Most CAPTCHA systems ask you one question one time and you’re good for an entire browsing session. Maybe you could set it so that if I play the IQ Test for 30 seconds, I get one hour of unlimited COMC prices or something. Or you could set it to assume that anyone who has had more than 100,000 transactions on your site probably isn’t a bot trying to scrape your data.

    But I am glad the data is available and if I have to “Test My IQ” every few minutes, so be it. Thanks!

      • Hi, Hollywood42. Good question. People without accounts (or people who are shopping without logging in) are not able to access the IQ test. They also have not been able to see Book Values on the site for over half a year.
        Thanks,
        Jeremy

  7. How about stop wasting our time having to type card numbers for points and then click on the price to see the average, just show the averages without us having to do that stupid IQ Test. This is about buying and selling sports cards not playing stupid games to get points. You wanna chase everyone away from your site then keep it the way you have it. I will guarantee people leave to ebay or collector’s revolution.In the end we will save money by going there.

  8. I haven’t read all the posts from the previous article so maybe someone already brought something like this up, but here goes anyways…..Why can’t you purchase BV credits? For example: You pay a penny for every BV you choose to see. You can use your store credit for this. And the credits will work on any card in any sport. And instead of paying $9 a month for one sport, or $31 for everything, you can spread your credits around to any card in any categorty, including comics. And you only pay for what use use. Where as a subscription is a flat rate no matter how much or how little you use it. I think buyers have to know BV on new cards since there is usually not going to be many, if any, past sales history to view. At least this way buyers have a cheaper way of seeing BVs of all new cards without having to pay for each sport. And beckett still makes money on the credits purchased.

    Everyone is happy?
    Just a thought. Thanks for the video.

    cBraund

    • Hi, cBraund. Thanks for your input, that is a creative suggestion. Unfortunately we can’t currently sell any BV option that Beckett does not also offer. Our categories – single card, single player, single sport, and all sports – are the same that Beckett has their site and we offer them at an identical price. Fortunately if Beckett starts listing additional options then we will be able to as well. I’m sure that if Beckett gets many requests for a particular option that they will look into whether they are able to make it available.
      Thanks,
      Jeremy

  9. Here’s an idea: why can’t COMC work out a deal with Beckett regarding “images”? Half of the Beckett online site either has NO images or has the wrong image up for a card. I would think that would be worth a lot of $$$ to Beckett (or it should be, at least). Certainly do NOT give those images away from Beckett. They are putting you into a corner, it seems, but maybe you could show them ways that a “relationship” benefits them, too. Images is one example of you helping them (besides the obvious grading help you are giving them). In turn, they should at least pass on some savings to you and your customers as you work together to help build the hobby and each others well-being. This, in turn, should be passed on to your customers, especially customers of BOTH services. I don’t know the specifics of your businesses, obviously, but I’m just sayin’………………

    • I agree with this your program is adding tons more cards to the site that Beckett could use to for its site. Also i think you should do away with the BV on the page or even the subscribe section under the card. We get the price for a card when we list them no need for people to see the BV option unless they have a OPG.

  10. Sorry, there was a typo in my last post…that should say: “Certainly do NOT give those images away TO Beckett.” ….not from!

    • Because COMC requires beckett’s database for its site’s inventory and database list. people have to remember beckett’s value lies not in its price guide nor even BGS. it is from their massive and comprehensive database….

      • I guess I would ask where they get there database and why can this not be done by COMC? I would guess there database comes from the manufactors I would think COMC could get this as well.

        PORT SALE UP LOOKING FOR OFFERS

  11. Pingback: Talking With Tim from COMC: Beckett Subscriptions - Blowout Cards Forums

  12. I’d drop Beckett and show the average price paid for said card in the history of COMC.com. While many cards will have never sold via the site, in time, you will have a substantial sales history to reflect more accurate market values. This would work largely the way VCP works for graded vintage cards; I promise the market would respond to such a service, even at a nominal fee equal to your commission on the sales of a Beckett Price Guide. Really, you don’t need them and most in the hobby consider Beckett’s input to be less than valuable anyway. I also don’t like the fact that I can’t price cards with insanely low book values (as compared to market value) at a more reasonable market price if it is X times greater than said book value.

  13. I personally believe removeing Bv from the site is a terrible plan. As a buyer and seller I have lost most of my interest to buy on here now with the removal. I have a magizine subscription and no desire to spend hundredsa year on an oonline subscription to as well. I personally know others who are cashing out of comc because of the changes. If I didn’t have a large port with another 1400 in transit I would probably remove myself and go back to eBay. I don’t see how removing it can help really only hurt.

  14. Why not make each IQ test answer worth 50 history points or even 100 points. This still allows you to have a step in between that avoids anyone being able to systematically scrape your data in one step while at the same time letting legitimate users get the information with a minimum amount of effort.

    • Hi cocoscards; we’re still working with the IQ test, to determine how it can best serve our customers. The idea of changing the value of the test answers is one of the aspects we’re looking at. Thanks for the suggestion!

  15. How can people on this site even consider wasting there time on a stupid IQ Test just to get points to see the averages of what cards sold for which isn’t even a current price of them selling for. COMC needs to stop wasting our time with the IQ TEST and make it for free to view, We already give 44% of our money to COMC in fees and now we need to pay for a Beckett that is the biggest waste of money. We only use the beckett to get an idea of the value of cards. Ebay’s Fees are 10% + Paypal Fee 3%, Plus we get to keep the profit from shipping. COMC Fees are $0.25 to process, Storage Fee $0.01, Cashout Fee 20% + they charge the buyer $0.25 to buy a card + $3.00 to ship.i guess people on here are blind and cant see all the fees and we have to pay for everything upfront. i think this was a blind side by COMC to remove beckett pricing off the site. Everyone on here can agree with this we sent out are cards in to COMC for sale cause it shows the book prices which we all knew would help our sales out and now this change.I ASK EVERYONE ON HERE HOW HAVE YOUR SALES BEEN THE LAST 6 MONTHS ON COMC and then add the fees and tell me is it worth the trouble we are going through on here to sell cards now with all these new changes.

    • Because you asked, yes it is worth the “trouble” to me. I sold 25,936 cards the first six months of the year. In 13 years I’ve had about 10,000 successful listings on eBay.

  16. Joelshitshow,with $725,000 book value it might be worth it. but don’t the storage fees eat you up along with the 20%. i had $120,000 book value at one time with my storage fees at almost $800 a month.when i first started in 2009 sales were good and since i have seen a decline in everything but the fees.i went back to Ebay i list 125 items an hour on Ebay when i buy out tables at shows and my sales are way better on there and Collector’s Revolution then COMC now. its like all these fees and changes are driving people away from doing business on COMC. I have talked to 3 people that are on the top 10 list and all 3 said the same thing sales are going lower and lower every month and the fees are killing them now cause they have so many cards on there that arent selling.

    • I am glad to know that it is not just my sales that have been dropping over the last 6 months. As far as questions about the IQ test, I wonder if it is to position themselves for ads in the future with additional “page hits”.

  17. I know that but im there to make money not keep sending in more cards to be on the top 10 list. Don’t get me wrong i do send in more cards as they sell. As far as 20% goes that’s alot to lose when you have to pay processing fees,storage fees,20% cash out.I wish he would put a cap on storage fees. i tried to work out a deal to send 250,000 cards but Tim wouldn’t work out a deal with me. i have a 20 million card inventory.

  18. I don’t want to come off as antagonistic or anything, but I do want to point out that COMC’s storage fees are substantially cheaper than when you sold back in the day. Storage is free for all sellers on all items priced 75 cents or less (the thresh hold used to be 25 cents).

    If you pay $50 per month to upgrade your account, storage is free for items priced $2.50. At present, I pay about $150 per month in rent with 57,000 items in stock.

    I agree with you that the COMC IQ History test is annoying, but it’s possible to make that point without being bellicose. In my experience, COMC has always been receptive to suggestions from its users, and I’ve seen hundreds of them implemented over the years.

    However, if your argument is against fees, it should be noted that the COMC IQ History test is totally free. The information provided is totally free, and was previously unavailable for any price. I believe that actual sales data adds value to the site, even more value than Beckett’s opinions of market value. I would like to see it tweaked to be more relevant. As you say, a recent average would be better than the highest price paid. But it’s a start and I’m hopeful that the service will be improved thanks to feedback such as yours.

  19. It’s true that COMC charges higher fees than other websites, but they do so much more to earn those fees. The fees I pay are far less than it would cost if I were to hire an employee to do that same task, particularly if I were to pay the employee a living wage and comply with all federal and local regulations.

    What COMC is really selling me is time. It takes time to identify cards, sort them, scan them, describe them, take orders, collect payment, pack them, ship them, etc. COMC frees up my time. I sell more items in a day on COMC than I used to sell in a month on eBay. I have 50 times as many items listed at once as I used to have on eBay. I can go on vacation or ignore my COMC account for months or even years and the stuff will still be selling. There’s a value to that.

    So, I think COMC should continually be thinking, “how can we save our customers time?” They should set up a site where a user can buy 100 different items an hour and be confident in the price I paid and the quality they are getting. If they make tools available which help to accomplish this, then that’s a good thing. Historical price data is one of those tools. If they add a feature which slows down the buying and selling process, that’s a bad thing. The IQ History Test is an example of one of those features.

    Other time savers I would recommend:

    * When searching a seller’s cards, have the ability to filter for just those cards which are cheapest on the site.

    * Give every single account a free Promotional Sale, one time per month, on a day of their choosing. That way, the Promo sales wouldn’t be dominated by large sellers, and there would be fresh faces every day, but the site also wouldn’t be overwhelmed with sales.

    * When clicking on the cards of a particular seller, show ALL of the cards for sale of that type, not just the cards from that seller.

    * Allow sellers to see the COMC “Sales History” data in “Inventory Manager” for the cards they own, without having to earn “History Points”.

    * Allow buyers to set up want lists, and to see price data for all of the cards in their want list. When displaying a card, indicate how many want lists that card is on.

    * Allow COMC users to see the “sold out” listings for cards which are NOT in stock, for the purpose of gathering historical data, putting the card in a want list, or to see how many cards are in a want list.

    • Hi Check Out My Deals; Thanks for your feedback – we’ve always believed that one of our best features is our ability to save our consignors time and energy, by doing all the “heavy lifting” when it comes to selling cards online. Your ideas have value and some of them, especially the idea of a “Want List” is something that’s been on our radar for awhile now. As our development team grows, we hope to see more features appearing on COMC.com. Thanks for your ideas and for being a member of the COMC Nation.

  20. JTB, just curious. If you have an inventory of 20,000,000 cards, where else do you sell them online and is it more cost effective. I see you only have 800 items for sale here so I’m assuming you have another site that’s more cost effective.

  21. IS THERE A WAY to “GIFT” a card to a person… NO SALE.. just give the card or cards to another person on COMC? Like a birthday gift? thanks

    • Hi pennypacks. Yes, this is an option; you can choose the cards to want to send, then click on the “Gift Receipt” option. You can enter the mailing address, as well as enter a small note (“happy birthday” or whatever) and our shipping department will handle the rest.

  22. Rockstar-cards, i only have 800 cards on COMC now, because when i was at the 2011 Las Vegas Industry Summit i found out that COMC was going to be losing there Beckett Prices on there site so my inventory went from 13.530 cards with a book value of $145,000 down to 800 cards. i knew the sales would slow down alot with no book prices. I sell on Collector’s Revolution,Sportlots, Sportsbuy, Bidstart and Ebay. If your selling commons then Sportlots is good. Ebay has been good since COMC has been changing there site it seems to have chased away alot of buyers and sellers back.I have been doing really good on Collector’s Revolution its a new and upcoming website. My average card sale has been around $10-20 each. The good thing about Collector’s Revolution is you don’t have to send your cards to them, also there fees for selling items under $5.00 are Free.$5.00-$1000 is 5%.The good thing about Collector’s Revolution is in about 6 months they will be adding auctions to there site which wont cost anything to list ,on Sportsbuy they haven’t really kept up with anything over the years so things have slowed down but i talked to the CEO there and he said they are in the process of redesigning there website. The only thing i dont like on COMC are all the fees $0.25 Processing Fee,$0.01 Storage Fee,20% Cash Out Fee by time you add up everything its comes to around 44% that you give them. If i was going to recommend a site for you to sell on i would give Collector’s Revolution a chance. When i sell on Ebay i can post 125 listings in 1 hour with scans of each card. Alot people ask me how so fast i bought a Fujitsu FI60 Scanner it scans each card in 1 second.

    • Collectors revolution has a nice site. Hope comc doesnt create more competitors or we all be listing on 10 different sites by next year. that sucks.

    • All these sites have a place and each one has a place. I live in Canada and buying lower end singles from any site except here makes zero sense due to shipping fees, Collector Revolution is a cool site, but i disagree with having to have a credit check done to be a seller on the site. I am not applying for a loan so they don’t need to do this, Until they change this I will NEVER sell there.

      If everybody thinks they should sever ties with Beckett then why all the uproar over this change. We can all agree that for the most part Beckett prices are bogus and irrelevant. No body uses Beckett pricing anymore. I don’t remember the last time anyone I dealt with quoted Beckett pricing. I for one could care less, If I want a true value on a card I am going to search ebay or hopefully when the COMC pricing is fully integrated the pricing here, or you could subscribe to Terapeak for $25/mo for 1yr of ebay sales data. I don’t see how not having Beckett pricing should impact sales, No other site has it and there are still sales happening there everyday.

      I believe that COMC is still the best outlet for lower end cards. I do not want to spend my time listing and mailing $1 cards. The launch of the Vault will make the option of selling higher end cards more appealing as it has a lower cash out fee. I currently use the store credit I receive to purchase cards that I know will sell in my area.

  23. Thx for the feedback, actually looking at scanners. How much was the FI-60 and does it do color, auto-crop, duplex (front and back) as well as machine feeding. Been looking at the FI-6130Z and I need to make a decision soon…Thx

  24. They usually go for around $280. There’s one on ebay right now for $135 starting bid and buy it now for $180.This is the scanner everyone uses on ebay to list thousands of cards fast.This scanner is made for doing the business cards,IDs etc.i know like 6 people that use this scanner

  25. I would love to see COMC break ties with Beckett completely. If folks here knew the truth about what has gone on with the Marketplace there, some of its dealers and the years of inept management you’d freak. I don’t miss the years there of dealing with overstroked egos and a race to see who could sell the most quarter cards while dodging the canyons of site glitches.

    But this is the partnership both sides have chosen and it is up to all of us to decide how that serves or does not serve us.

    COMC has enabled me to focus on my coin and antique business which has become a much greater core of my business in the last 2 years. At the price points currently being charged it is worth it to us to liquidate in bulk our under $1 stuff elsewhere and our remaining modern”better” inventory via this site.

    However all of the angst here I think is overblown. In the end this site is simply a venue. Granted leaving any site is not easy if you have put your blood sweat and tears into it. We spent 8 years drinking the Beckett Kool Aid before finally walking away a year and a half ago. That was over 400,000 unique cards and close to 520,000 cards in total that we had poured our time and energy into.

    I like COMC. I hope my biz can remain viable here for years. And yes I have railed against some changes myself but in the end, if the site doesn’t work for us we’d find something else. I think this site has TONS of potential and is heading in the right direction. The best part for me? The developers, owners and staff are right here in North America. It sure beats talking to someone in India!

  26. JTB, Thanks for the info. I bought a couple of the Fujitsu’s for the shop, but I’ll be looking for less pricey machines for employees to use at home and those may just fit the bill.

    Wow Tony, 400,00 unique items, what site are they on now? Would be a shame if they are now just gathering dust.

  27. My subscription is active on Beckett but hasn’t worked on comc since august. Customer service told me it’s an API problem on Beckett side. No eta to get it fixed. Very disappointing.

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