Changing the Shape of COMC in 2014

I hope all of you enjoyed some wonderful holidays and are prepared for an exciting new year. At COMC, I know that’s the case. To get things started, we have a very big announcement to make.

A Bit of History
Six and a half years ago we made our first appearance at the National Sports Collectors Convention to unveil our innovative consignment concept. From day one, we wanted to offer a service where people could see the scans of the actual cards alongside the catalog information, including book value.

We were very fortunate to grab the attention of Dr. Jim Beckett and Peter Gudmundsson, the CEO of Beckett at the time. Jim was very interested in our ideas and recommended that Beckett do what it could to help us see where this concept could go. Within a few months we had our first data licensing agreement signed.

Since the beginning, we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Beckett, allowing us to focus on our core competencies while utilizing some of theirs. We are very grateful for this relationship and thankful for their support while we grew from literally nothing to become the second largest marketplace for single sports cards. Being second to eBay is not too shabby.

Changing Tides
A few years back the ownership of Beckett changed hands, and earlier this month the new owner informed me that Beckett is no longer interested in partnering with us.

What does this mean for COMC?
We will replace the catalog data we received from Beckett over the years with a new catalog we are building from scratch. We will also replace the book value information on the website with a new “suggested list price” based on our sales data.

While these are daunting tasks that will require enormous amounts of effort, all of us here at COMC are eager to participate in this project. COMC was built by collectors for collectors. We listen to your needs and care deeply about providing the best service possible for you. Now we have the incredible opportunity to offer that same level of service for catalog and pricing data.

Temporary Impact on COMC Services
We look forward to rolling out these updates over the next several months, but in the meantime there will be a transition period where we cannot offer all of the same services we have historically offered.

  1. Static Book Prices – Until we establish our new “suggested list price”, the book values listed on the website will not be updated.
  2. Consolidated Processing Services – We will post another blog entry announcing the temporarily changed processing services we will offer while our sports card experts create the new catalog.
  3. Interim Catalog Data – While we replace the catalog data, there may be periods where we don’t have all of the same data we previously had.

Long Term Impact on COMC Services
This is where things get really exciting. Here are some of the changes we expect to see.

  • More detailed and accurate catalog based on actual, verified cards
  • Pricing data that is tuned to our marketplace
  • Freedom to list our data on any site, service, or marketplace we choose
  • Ability to sell or give away data

What do you want to see?

  • What card attributes would you like to search, filter, and sort by?
  • Do you want to contribute to the new catalog? Should we charge for pricing data so we can pay those who contribute to the catalog?
  • Where else would you like your cards listed and advertised?

On a Personal Note
I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities ahead of us. Since I was 9 years old, I have studied price guides. I went on to get my Bachelor of Science in Math and Master of Science in Computer Science. The first piece of software I ever wrote was to help me build complete sets of sports. I spent 10 years with Microsoft helping design and build Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. I literally design databases, write code, and solve math problems in my sleep. I have put in my 10,000 hours, and I am finally free to do a project that I was born to do.

The New Year brings a great opportunity to partner with you to explore the many ways our catalog and pricing data can benefit collectors. Please let me know what hopes and ideas you have for this new service in the comments below. I will personally read every one of them.

Happy 2014!

Tim Getsch
Founder and CEO
COMC.com

193 thoughts on “Changing the Shape of COMC in 2014

  1. Thank you Beckett. Now we can finally have real time pricing. Happy to hear there gone. Will we still e grading with beckett or are we going to pull the plug on them all together?

      • It seems to me that Beckett has signed its own death certificate, it has had very little relevance for many years. I was a contributor to the magazine back when Dr. Beckett was still running the show, I’d love to contribute to this project. Perhaps a monthly on-line news magazine that isn’t a cheerleader for the manufacturers. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.

  2. G’day – as an Aussie collector, it’s frustrating that many Aussie card sets are not included in the large databases like Beckett. Could you please have an easy way for collectors outside the North American market to submit details of cards/sets for inclusion in your database?

    Cheers & Happy New Year from where it’s 2014 already ;)

      • For that matter minor league hockey sets and promo sets seem to be vexing for your identification team. Love to help y’all there.

  3. Pingback: Beckett ending COMC relationship - Blowout Cards Forums

  4. Sounds like a logical next step to me!

    I bought my first price guide at 11 and was a math major till I was a sophomore in college. In a lot of ways, you’re doing the same things I didn’t have the discipline to pursue. So I’m quite excited to hear about this.

    Like I’ve said before, you have the data, so I support whatever decisions you make in terms of moving the organization forward. To answer your question about what I’d like to see, two things come to mind:

    A) Advertise in non-traditional places, such as ads on Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, etc. Non-traditional customers are the most profitable for me, and if their entry into the hobby is via the COMC user interface, you’ve built a customer for life. They’d never go elsewhere because the user experience would be too confusing for them.
    B) I can see a scenario in which I am paying for pricing data, and the money is going to fellow members who are helping compile the information. This would encourage people to contribute to the site even if they didn’t have cards to send in or buy and provides more of a co-op atmosphere. To take it a step further, I could see providing this pricing content via API to other sites for free as a profitable endeavor because of the traffic it would drive to the site. I’d trust the analytics to determine whether this is viable, however. No human can have that context.

    COMC is in scoring position. Bring it home.

    P.S. Thanks for waiting till after the holiday season to make these announcements. This gives you 10 months to get your plan installed and ready to go for next fall. Done right, no one will even have to know there were such major backend changes!

  5. Tim
    I think this is very good news
    I have avoided subscribing to the data and quite frankly I don’t miss it – its really not relevant.
    I’m in this for the long haul and will help in any way you’d like me to
    Many thanks – and Happy New Year!

  6. Tim,
    Congratulations to you and the COMC Team for another great year. I personally feel that Beckett is being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish by dissolving their relationship with COMC. Book Value is only one small portion of the buying experience and I feel that COMC can further work on their strengths to continue to grow: scans of every card, great customer service and so on. Best of luck in 2014!!!

      • Tim, I love the idea of parting ways with Beckett and you could do ONE better by parting ways with Blowout Sports Cards. They have a Select few they provide Case after Case to at LOW prices not offered to the public so they can have Breaks on their Site. This is not only Unfair to members here but to the public also. Unless they are paying a good amount for advertisement on your site I would say Cut all ties with a company that continues unethical business practices. I can imagine HAMPS SUPPLY, Peach State, Dave & Adams, or anyone other than Blowout would make a good business partner for you. I see Blowout as competition to you. Rumor has it they are going to begin the practice of having their own AUCTIONS. Just my 2 cents for what it is worth. On a positive note I will be sending in around 20,000 cards over the next few weeks. Thanks and Happy New Year.

      • Controversial but true. I might buy one case from BO every 18 months, whereas I used to buy ALL my cases from them. Six years ago I was the top poster on the forum too :) I used to be able to read the whole day’s posts in about 10 minutes. Now there are 10 new posts every minute.

        They’ve figured out what works for them, just like COMC. Good for them. And just like how some here are threatening to take their business elsewhere, fine. Go where it makes sense for you. No hard feelings. You have to understand for some, including me, COMC is chocolate, and BO is vanilla. Yuck, vanilla. My girlfriend got double vanilla ice cream the other day, and I told her, “double vanilla? But two times zero is still zero!”

        Anyway, if Blowout wants a dedicated relationship from you, I hope it is worth your while. All I can say is that if you had a dedicated relationship with any other distributor of cases, I’d be procuring them through you guys. Can you imagine a COMC/Dealernet alliance? How could that possibly be worse than COMC/Blowout?

  7. This could definitely be a positive in the long run. Beckett values rarely represented the COMC market value for users and wasn’t a very effective tool for pricing. Along with the SLP, it would be useful for buyers and sellers to see historical trends (much like a stock) and allow all users to continue feeling like there is value here. My only worry about allowing users to list prices is that there may be intrinsic bias in their methods. Plus, there would need to be strict criteria and expertise requirements to determine who is qualified to determine such pricing.

    I agree with the above comment about expanding your marketing base. General sports sites like BR, SBTalk, and Yahoo! are effective, but also branch out to places where hardcore fans can learn about the site and services. Data sites like Baseball Reference and prospect sites such as Baseball Prospectus would be great places to start. Of course, things like blogs and podcasts can also work.

    Here’s a couple ideas that I would like to suggest going forward:
    A) Make a weekly list of “Top Cards” that have the most sales, most page views, average price increases, rising prospects, etc. There are many gems that I’ve found on this site and I’d like to expand this.
    B) Advanced search for multi-relic or multi-auto cards
    C) Have a page for each set that includes a built-in checklist to see what is in your collection and what is available on COMC

    Thanks,
    Chris

  8. This is great news and, while I am certain you have a lot of work in front of you, I really see COMC as having an opportunity to provide much more market sensitive guide than Beckett was ever able to provide.
    The work in front of you is daunting I am sure but this is an exciting step and I am optimistic that you guys will put forth a great option for collectors!
    Joe
    timber09

  9. This is awesome. I think COMC will do a better job. Beckett has been so lacking for many years. Most sets do not even have a price. Wish you the best and If I can help in anyway, let me know. Happy New Years !

  10. Would like to be able to combine search features like highest percent off with the ability to remove all items from the search priced at less than a dollar or more than 25.00. Also would like to be able to search for cards serial #’d first (like 1/250 or 1/99) or last (like 250/250 or 99/99) and by a players jersey number (like cal ripken #’d 8/100 or 8/999, or 8/anything.)

    • Would also like to have two tiers on managing my inventory One section that doesn’t go on sale when I run a promotion and 1 section that does. I have many cards that I don’t want selling for any percent off when I run a promotion and it would be easier if I could just have a designation I could assign these cards to have them not be part of any promotions I run. It would be easier that way.

      • Jeremy, thank you for the feature request. This sounds close to an idea we have been considering. We will see how soon we can get back to our feature backlog. We have our hands full with this new catalog and price guide project.

  11. I strongly second the suggestion for including more non-North American and non-mainstream sets in the system. I’ve tried several times to submit various minor league cards, or cards from Japan, only to have them returned because they weren’t included in Beckett’s incomplete (and often incorrect) catalog. I’ve been providing checklists to several websites (Sportlots, TradingCardDB, Zistle, SportsCardForum, etc.) over the past few years, and would love to be able to send them to COMC for inclusion. I haven’t submitted anything to the site in over a year because I don’t have anything worthwhile to submit that won’t be returned for identification purposes.

    Something else that eBay used to hav,e that was a largely ignored feature, was the “Want It Now” option where buyers could effectively post bounties for items they were looking for. I would love to have a want list capability in my COMC dashboard that would allow me to do just that, only maybe even send notifications when something on my want list hits the site.

    Also, for cards that are no longer available, please consider adding an option to show cards not currently in inventory. COMC has a huge value as an identification guide, and it would be great to still be able to see the scans for cards (maybe just once copy per card, not EVERY card), that have been sold and are no longer available.

    • I agree with this post the most. There is so much interest in minor league cards non sports and jsut plain odd ball sets or manf. that never get on the site due to beckett. Honestly comc should never turn down a card unless it is for the reason of condtion. second i would love to be able to search for cards only with no b.v. (which will soon be all cards)

    • I love your want list ideas. Also you bring up an excellent point about items that are no longer available. We originally trimmed them out of our search results in order to reduce the fees that we had to pay Beckett. That is an example of a restriction that is gone now. I love the identification guide idea!!!

      • It may be as simple as when the identification team is stumped posting a picture of the card and asking “what is this?”

  12. Thanks for leading innovation in the hobby. This makes me an even loyal member of COMC. In addition to having users populate pricing data I would like to piggyback off cwcopley’s checklist idea. Having a way for users to catalog their personal collections would be huge, similar to Beckett.com’s ORGANIZE feature. Besides stagnant pricing data, Beckett has had poor customer service when comes to updating or adding cards to the database. Will your new features allow COMC users help populate the database with cards that aren’t captured by Beckett? These aren’t “oddball” cards, I’m talking about legitimate cards produced by the major card manufacturers.

    I have been a member for three years and have still been waiting for two key SEARCH features you still haven’t implemented:

    1. The ability to save searches as a buyer and having a menu or email notification that shows me when items that match my search criteria have been added to the site. This would be a huge time saver for your buyers instead of having to manually input the search periodically — what if I miss the window to acquire a certain card in between my searches?

    2. Display search results by showing how many are held by specific sellers. For example, if I enter a search for “Bo Jackson” and JTCards has far more of these cards than other sellers then a buyer would easily have the option add cards from this seller to their cart to make single offer on a bulk lot of cards — this feature is available on the Beckett Marketplace.

    I love COMC but adding these features would make the buying experience perfect!

    • I completely agree with the email notification idea. We do have some related features on our pending feature backlog. FYI, for those that are more tech-savvy, you can use the RSS feed that we offer for the search results with any RSS reader. Many of them will send you emails when new items match the search.

      Your second feature idea is brilliant. I don’t think I have heard anyone suggest this before. I will have to think about how best to implement it. Now I want to use this feature. I will keep it in mind as we implement our next round of search improvements.

      • Additionally, Tim, if you set up email search notifications like Lushan is talking about, you could also provide sellers with pretty much real-time reports on the most-requested items (be it player, team, set, sport or even manufacturer). Something like “X users are currently searching for 1989 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr.,” “X users are currently searching for Greg Maddux” or even “X users are currently searching for Chicago Cubs.” That would be a very powerful tool for sellers since high demand plus low supply equals healthier margins.

        Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if some surprising trends ended up emerging from the data, like maybe some obscure players whose cards aren’t plentiful on the site because most are commons prove to be more in demand than anyone realized and thus might even fetch premiums.

  13. For Magic The Gathering cards, the most accurate price guide right now is TCGPlayer. There are hundreds or even thousands of Magic cards I would buy on COMC if the prices were more in line with TCGPlayer, which are real-time median asking prices culled from thousands of dealers.

    My understanding is that they will let any website use their prices, so long as the website links back to TCG. As a bonus, they will even give that website some money if a person follows the link and ends up buying on TCG.

    Nearly every Magic-card-related phone app uses TCG as a reference value. When Magic players trade cards with one another, the TCG price is almost always the price being used. When gaming stores buy or trade cards, they almost always use a percentage of TCG.

  14. For COMC, these are some metrics which I would find useful:

    * A median (or average) selling price for a card, which can be adjusted from “all time” to “past year”.

    * For items with a brisk sales history, a “high” value which is the median (or average) plus one standard deviation, and a “low” value which is the median (or average) minus one standard deviation. Again, this should be toggled between the past year and all time.

    * The same values, but for every card in a particular set. This would be especially useful for determining the value of commons from a set with a low print runs, or which are thinly traded.

    * Some sort of metric which might determine how fast a particular item is likely to sell – average time to sell, “Best Seller” rankings, something like that. I’d like to be able to see the top 100 fastest selling Yankees cards, or Baseball cards, or Michael Jordan cards, or 1998 cards, or whatever.

    * Get rid of those stupid history points, at least for power users. I can understand why you might want to be protective of your sales data if it’s something you’re looking at selling down the road. But suppose there’s a person who has, for example, purchased over 60,000 items, sold over 50,000 items, added over 44,000 items who has paid thousands of dollars in fees to COMC over the years. That person should just be able to see the historical selling price of a card without jumping through hoops.

  15. As a former Beckett dealer I will say…. Beckett is trash…the people they have recently hired are trash and I am glad to see COMC break ties with them. I’d like to see Blowout gone next…but one out of 2 aren’t bad!

      • Understood. I’ll do whatever you need. Having been at this as a full time business for over 20 years I have seen and handled just about every oddball and mainstream set you can imagine. Vintage is my main focus. Is there any chance of partnering with the folks who put out the Standard Catalog?

  16. Losing Beckett values is a major change for the site. I’m glad to see all the positive support in the comments. This site brought me back from a 15 year hiatus in collecting and I will continue to fully support this site as Tim is knowledgeable and passionate about making necessary changes to hep this site flourish. Thanks again to Tim and the COMC staff and community for making the past four years on this site very enjoyable and reigniting my passion for sportscards that I can share with my two children.

    • Jeff, thank you for the comment. This is inspiring. I am so glad that you are able to share this hobby with your children. It is stories like this that make me feel good about all of the hard work we put in to offer this service to our fellow collectors.

  17. I also think this is generally a good thing, as beckett prices have been slow and irrelevant for some time now. The one area I think this could have a negative impact is in port sales, but in time that shouldn’t be a problem either. It seems the only good thing they have you are keeping, which is the grading service.

    I have a slew of ideas and I would love to contribute to this potentially great opportunity. If you are interested in an enthusiastic guy with a brain helping you, email me or leave me a proper email to contact you.

    To give you some of my thoughts I’m not sure a median price guide using only your data would be a great idea. For instance I bought a serial numbered to 50 Bowman Chrome card on this site for 3 dollars a month ago. There are two completed sales on ebay of the same card, one in the teens and one in the early 30′s. It is the only specimen of that particular card I’ve seen on this site. I got a great deal and it would skew the numbers that you would project if someone were to post another in the future.

    For an example involving an item with no limited supply you could take Yu Darvish base chrome rcs, they realistically sell for at or under a dollar. If you were to actually announce the real median price it might drive down the selling price further while making any kind of growth more of an uphill battle. Especially when you consider that those kinds of cards you can often get cheaper here than on ebay due to your combined shipping. For a card like that just the search feature would be more productive than a true median selling price, atleast while a strong supply remains.

    I would think the basis for your pricing system would be to keep buyers from getting ripped off and feeling as if they got a solid deal, while also keeping sellers happy. A median price guide with only your data might hinder those goals.

    • Thank you for the well articulated concerns. We are keeping scenarios like this in mind. As we get closer to releasing our suggested list price, we hope to discuss more about the science we put into it. There will be a lot more than a simple median price involved.

  18. This is going to change the whole way I use this site and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

    When I purchase collections, I take all the non-case qualty cards and price them on here with the Beckett pricing that I now pay for, and then compare that price with what that card is being offered for by other sellers. When a card is being offered for less than 50% on COMC, I price that card and then organize it by team within my store. Now, in order for me to accomplish the same, I will need to first price my cards on Beckett and then check them on here, adding a time costly step that will decrease the amount of cards I can go through.

    I only subscribed to Beckett online when it became necessary to do in order to get that information on COMC.and I feel like I have been baited and switched. It was costly, but I saw the need to do so in order to continue the way that I see what makes sense to send in to COMC. Now I feel that I was set up in some pricing cash grab for my annual subscription dollars.

    Yay 2014,

    • Hey Mike, Sorry for the inconvenience. We will be doing everything we can to give you a great experience. It is unfortunate that Beckett chose to make this change, especially after we spent a ton of effort to integrate their data and subscription service into our website.

      Anyone that purchased a Beckett subscription from us and feels like they got a bait ‘n switch, please contact our customer service. We want to make sure you are taken care of.

      • I’d like to back Tim up on this. Michael having seen how Beckett operated for 8 years I can tell you this kind of stuff is the norm. Promises that are broken, business plans that never come to fruition, changes after changes that benefit nobody and usually end up ticking off customers… Now they hired their “top” dealer to push a “Beckett Business Solutions” program which is supposed to (cough cough) revolutionize the way dealers inventory and post to multiple sites. The plan will never succeed because like all other projects the egos of those in charge of it will cause it to rot from the head down. But the point is Beckett changes directions every few months. With all of the dealers on the whining about COMC (even though many of them secretly hide behind other IDs and sell here) I am surprised Beckett allowed this relationship for as long as they did. COMC is better off now than it ever has been.

  19. I think this is good. Beckett values are irrelevant, so it’s good to get rid of them. I do think it would be good for the pricing to be more accurate. I know there are some cards that have a high sold for amount in the sales history that was probably from 3-5 years ago. Although anything is possible, that price is not accurate at this time. Hopefully you can reflect this in the data. I hope the pricing will be realtime in that if cards are sold the pricing is automatically updated. This way if a card gets hot, the pricing will be reflecting that.

    I know currently if the BV changes, we get email notices about ‘price changes.’ Are you going to be eliminating these? I usually ignore them as the BV is irrelevant to me. I know with more accurate pricing there would be more frequent changes, which could result in a lot of emails about price changes.

    For searching – I would like to be able to sort by print run, but also sort it to be priced low to high (instead of high to low it is now). I would also like to be able to search for a specific print run. For example, I would like to search for all cards #’d to 50. I would also like to be able to be able within search results to select multiple sets to display rather than just one. For example if I’m searching 2012 topps triple threads, it would be nice to be able to select both ‘Gold’ & ‘Amber.’ This would save me from having to do multiple searches. I think if you had checkboxes on the left that we could ‘check’ or ‘uncheck’ to filter sets from the results, it would help narrow the results without having to pick an exact one. I usually don’t have a specific card I am looking for and do more ‘browsing’ as I collect a wide range of items.

      • That is because your file was so big it was blocked by an email server. Please contact customer service, and they will get you the latest one.

        That said, there will be on more book price changes until we release the new suggested list price.

      • Indeed, the problem does seem to be behind us for now :) Thanks for your response, and happy new year.

    • As we take over control of the update schedule of pricing, we will figure out the best way to notify sellers of items they may want to reprice. They may include the current ‘Price Changes’ email, or it might migrate to something on the website. It is a really good point that more frequent updates to prices will change the dynamics of what might be the best way to handle the notifications.

      Thank you for letting us know how you would like to search. We are taking close note of all these requests. This feedback is being incorporated into our feature backlog, and we have some major search related updates coming soon.

  20. First off, thank you and your staff for providing this hobby with such a great platform to buy, sell, and build on our collections. I’d like throw a couple ideas into the ring in regards to searches that I think would benefit certain types of collectors on this site.

    1. A custom search feature that would allow members to build, save, and edit searches to choose multiple sets, players, etc while avoiding unwanted results.

    For example, I enjoy collecting tobacco cards of certain Phillies players as well all of the various advertising backs from each yearly set of Allen & Ginter, t206, Gypsy queen, etc. I generally search “phillies mini” for the most comprehensive results, but receive results for sets and players that I may not be interested in or already have. Let’s say my run of 2012 ginter minis are finished, I could remove that from my search and add 2013 that way my “phillies mini” search would not display any from the 2012 set. Searches could potentially be built to select sport, year, set, subset, team and/or player.

    2. A feature that includes personal purchase history for a specific card. This would prevent members from accidentally purchasing the same card twice over a long period of time. It could also serve as a tool for those who are accumulating several of the same card to know where they stand.

    These are just a couple ideas that ran through my mind. Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in on these issues. I’m looking forward to the upcoming improvements at COMC.

    • I love these requests. It is cool for me to see how you want to use the site. Our new search architecture is much more flexible and we should be able to implement the first request much more easily than we can today.

      The second feature is actually pretty simple. I love it. When you go to a card’s detail page to make an offer or put it in your cart, we could simply display any copies of that card that you already purchased. Great suggestion!

  21. I’ll second the idea about listing the number of distinct cards by seller when a potential buyer runs a search for a particular player in order to buy multiple cards from one seller or to make an offer. Also in favor of the “Want It Now” option for potential buyers.

    I didn’t see this mentioned but, how about a view counter based on the card, maybe also with a last viewed date? This could be used to gauge interest in a particular card and/or as a way to indicate that the lowest asking price may be too high and might want to be lowered by a seller to spark more interest in it? Example: someone searching for a player is presented with the cards listed on the main page, but may not actually click into the card link to view all the copies of that card if they think the lowest asking price listed on the main page is too high.

  22. COMC is a classic example of how product/service knowledge combined consistently with technological excellence and hard work and lead to long term success. It was been great to be along for the ride and look forward for it to continue in the future. Will enthusiastically await guidance on the opportunity to contribute to COMC’s future.

  23. I would like to be able to search for college teams in the same way we can search for professional teams. I specifically collect football cards of players in their college uniforms and it would be easier to search for “Florida” or “Ohio state” and find all of the players then searching each individual player and seeing which cards have them in their college uniform.

    This site is a really great resource and I’m really happy that everyone is working to continue to make it better

    • Awesome!!! I am glad that you bring this up. I am a huge University of Minnesota fan. I love buying cards of players in U of M uniforms. I would totally subscribe to a search for the University of Minnesota. Can’t wait until this feature is live!!!!

      • We had ease of search for college programs in mind as we set out on the initial acceptance of publications through our Beta test. Beckett had given us a vague starting point with their limited data and we moved from there, keeping in mind the idea to be careful not to alienate other searches in the process. What this means, and what we expanded on from Beckett’s data, was to use the school name only unless necessary to differentiate it from other professional franchises with the use of the mascot name. For example, Ohio State can stand alone but for Minnesota we add Golden Gophers in order to make sure these don’t clutter up a search for Twins or Vikings.

        Now that we aren’t pigeonholed into keeping our data consistent with Beckett’s footprint we definitely can expand further and not only create all college programs complete with team monikers but also properly link the designations correctly for improved searchability.

  24. I’ve been trading Magic The Gathering cards on a site called “Pucatrade”. They use a graph to show trade history, and it works quite well. Unfortunately, this feature is only available to premium subscribers, so you won’t be able to see it. However, there’s a blog post about it here where you can get the general idea:

    http://pucatrade.com/blog/2013/secret

    The prices on Pucatrade are fixed, so the line graph works for their site. With COMC, it would be better to use a scatter graph showing the actual sales at the actual price points and maybe some sort of trend line.

  25. Too bad you are getting away from Beckett. They have demonstrated they have an iconic hold on what prices are charged in literally every venue sports cards are traded sold or even loosely talked about. It’s a huge mistake on your part and will definitely cause issues.

    You have a fabulous site yet not having Beckett is a hurdle for both buyers and sellers to say the least. Your own price structure will not be effective or work. Your sample size of comc is simply too small. If you had the sales of say EBAY then you could have a structure to be far better than Beckett. I suggest you talk to them and get figures from them if at all possible. HA Ha, Fat chance with a competitor. Anyhow, my 2 cents here.

    • Rick, I understand the hesitation with data, but we do have a fairly large sample size. Once we start offering our suggested list price, I would love to hear what you think of our prices compare with Beckett’s.

      Regarding this being a mistake… This is completely out of our hands. The owner of Beckett made the decision to no longer partner with us.

      We are doing our best to respond to the situation.

      • I share some of rickrfe’s concerns. For vintage cards, the vast majority of cards have sold only single digit copies since 2008 especially when you consider conditions. That is not enough data to provide statistically sound list prices. Will you have some way to supplement your own data? I have no personal use for Beckett but I did notice a reduction in my sales when we lost the book values and fear similar drops with this change.

        For cards with limited or no sales, I would like to see some notation on your list price that it is based on minimal data or better yet, see the minimum, average and maximum sales price information displayed. Or perhaps you could simply show NA for cards with less than 10 units sold or some other number that indicates sales too low to provide a sound list price.

      • Tim, I bought my first Beckett, Sport Americana, in 1975. Dr. Beckett is iconic, not the company. The only thing that has remained the same at Beckett is the name and nothing else. This is a competitive opportunity and COMC is primed to capitalize.

  26. Honestly I had a feeling something like this was happening. Seeing Beckett’s announcement recently and the “issue” with the BV subscription, 1+1=2 right. I’m another one who got back into collecting after 20 years and much of it is due to COMC. I’m thankful for this service and have confidence that you guys will figure it out the right way.

    • I love hearing about all of the people that are coming back to the hobby, and it is even more awesome when we played some part in that. This hobby defined my childhood, and I am so happy any time others can share in that same joy.

  27. Is the functionality to search by team going to be lost forever or is this something you can put into the new tool? I am primarily a team collector and the ability to just type “2013 athletics” and see all of my team’s cards is very useful, however I noticed nowadays when I do this the search does not bring up cards from the second half of the year. I’m assuming this has something to do with the changing Beckett relationship so I’m just hoping that search ability isn’t permanently gone.

    • Actually, we expect to eventually have better team data now that we will start controlling the catalog. There might be a transition period where some of the new data isn’t filled in yet, but we will most definitely include team search functionality. I am a big Minnesota Timberwolves fan. I need to be able to get my Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, JJ Barea and Corry Brewer cards.

  28. I like this change for COMC!

    For filters, it would be easier if you could search multiple filters at once, such as years. Example: baseball autos from 2009-2011 only
    I would keep the new pricing data free

    • Awesome, your request is already on our feature list and partially implemented.

      We are definitely considering a free option for the pricing data. I would really like as many people as possible to use the data. We will see what we can do.

  29. One thing I would really like to see is the ability to cross-post COMC listings to eBay. Like, if I could select one of my listings, pay some COMC credit, and the item would be listed by COMC on eBay for 30 days.

    That way, I wouldn’t have to choose between listing an item on COMC or listing it on eBay. I could list it on both sites at the same time.

  30. Another feature I would really like to see is for every COMC account to be able to post 1 free “Promotional Sale” every month, on a day of their choosing, regardless of that port’s size. The current $3 plus 3% locks the smaller sellers out of the process. Yet, the site is bustling with activity whenever you let us list free sales (Black Friday 2013, Spring Cleaning 2013, Black Friday 2012).

    As I understand it, the $3 plus 3% was originally supposed to go to “advertising”, but the only “advertising” I was ever aware of was print ads in the dead-tree edition of Beckett. I ran over 80 promo sales in the first half of 2013. But since the Beckett prices were yanked in July, I’ve run less than 30. I figured since my Promotional Sales fees were going to Beckett anyway, I’d rather use the money to pay for my subscription.

    If Beckett is going to yank the rug out from under you, then I’d rather see this advertising money go to a broader range of ads – particularly online ads and COMC flyers / ads at card shows.

    In the meantime, I’d like to see smaller sellers able to participate in the Promotional Sales process. During the free promo sales, there were something like 900 to 1200 participants. If you were to give one free ad per account per month, on a day of the seller’s choosing, then on average, you would see 30 to 40 sales taking place. And they wouldn’t be the same large dealers with the same inventory they had during their last sale. Everything would be fresh and new. This would give people a reason to come back to the site every day, because they don’t know what bargains they might miss. And it would give smaller sellers the ability to play around with various pricing strategies and see what works for them.

    • I defer to the analytics on the effectiveness of promotions and why they’re effective but will add that if you pushed seller promotions to me I would use them. A free promo per month as part of the premium service offered, for example, I would use.

    • I second this as well. Something I have noticed since the promotional listings have started is that sales are not nearly as good as they were during the days of classified ads posting at 8am PST (11am EST) or 4pm PST (7EST) it seemed as though everyone knew to login to the site at or near these times to check all of the ads for deals and most of us could sell faster as buyers (myself included) wanted to hit the sellers than ran ad and buy up the deals each day before someone else got to it. I remember having some $300-$500 sales days with classifieds before promotions came about and now maybe a 10th of that on a classified if I’m lucky and prob an average of $40-$50 on a promotion with the exception of the Spring Cleaning, Black Friday, etc. I know its nice to have it automated so no seller has to wait for their promo to run but it also hampers the sales quite a bit. Hopefully this can be tweaked in the future.

      • Part of this is also due to the fact that it’s very difficult to look at a specific seller’s cards on COMC. When BigRed was holding a 50% off sale, I could go to Big Red’s cards, open all of them in a separate tab, then see right then and see all of the competing cards at the same time.

        Now, if BigRed is holding a 50% off sale, each listing only opens up as his card. Then I have to click on a tiny link to see everyone else’s cards at the same time. This makes it much harder to follow a particular seller if you’re hunting for bargains.

        At present, it’s easier for me to search the entire site, rather than any particular seller. This has dramatically altered the way I buy on the site. It’s always been this way with COMC, but when checkoutmycards.com was still running, I would use that for comparison shopping.

        It would be nice under the new site when searching a particular seller if you could search just for those cards of that seller which are the cheapest on the site. Or if there was some sort of icon next to their cards which are cheapest.

      • Agreed, it is painstaking to have to click on the search all sellers link after we click on a card we are interested in just to make sure it is the best deal to buy. Same goes for history points. Don’t know if anyone has noticed but if you click on the price history of a card you can then click on that link to pull that card up for all sellers of that card, but the history price that shows does not reflect if any sellers are running a promo. Example is price history shows 8 cards from $1-$10 but if someone is running a promo and a copy is actually for sale at .75c it doesn’t show until you click that link or the search all sellers link. When I go on a buying frenzy I want to be able to mouse over a price and make a quick decision instead of wasting more time clicking another link and then going to buy now or make offer links.

    • Great suggestion! You are all coming up with some excellent requests. We noticed how successful the Black Friday weekend was, and we were actually considering offering another free “Year-End Clearance” promotion, but the Beckett thing has consumed all of our available resources. Once we are back to a more sane amount of work, we will consider an option like this.

    • If every user gets a free monthly promo, that will dilute the value of the promo. Remember Black Friday, 1150+ promos, our momentum as sellers was from Black Friday and the cross the board promo, you won’t get that momentum in April.

  31. In the future on COMC, I’d like to be able to search by the number of items in stock, including those items which are in the COMC catalog where there are 0 in inventory. Ideally, a COMC user could make a checklist of items they have and want. Ideally, a seller should be able to tell if they own an item which has lots of “wants” on COMC and take that into consideration when submitting items.

  32. It would also be nice if there was some way for collectors to submit their own checklists of cards for your catalog. Maybe it could be something that trusted users could edit on their own initiative, like a wiki. Possibly they could do this for some sort of compensation like free submissions or rent. It would also be nice if a player or set could be tagged with data such as whether the player is a Hall Of Famer or an All-Star or won any major awards.

    It would also be nice if we could opt to provide data about our submission before we submit it. Imagine if a 1500 card package arrived, and every single one of the cards in the shipment had already been pre-identified by the submitter. For the submitter’s part, maybe their cards are processed in half the time with half the submission fees.

    • I submitted itemized lists several times, and still had some 40+ items returned over the past few years. I understand perhaps not accepting non-licensed or custom cards, but any legitimately issued card should be listable on the site. Instead of simply returning cards, go ahead and include them in our inventories and let us provide identification information since any included lists clearly are ignored. Most of us submitting such cards aren’t concerned about the 25 cent listing fee being refunded, we want the cards listed on the site. If it takes a little longer than the paid submission time, so be it, maybe knock a few cents off the listing, but please don’t return the card just because.

      • Point noted. Historically it was a pain to make exceptions for items that were not listed in Beckett. It was possible, but it wasn’t worth our time unless the items were reasonably valuable. Now we will be in the habit of creating our own catalog, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to add more data.

      • “It was possible, but it wasn’t worth our time unless the items were reasonably valuable.”

        I can understanding the train of thought there, but where does the value of a card factor into whether COMC includes it? Once you’ve got the 25 cents (or whatever the rate at the time may be) for the listing, depending on how much it is listed for, eventually COMC only gets another penny per month in storage fees. Since COMC isn’t making commissions off sales, that seems to be a sort of perceptual bias that doesn’t actually jive with how the site works. But it also implied that if the card wasn’t listed in Beckett, it wasn’t valuable, which is probably another unconscious bias against listing it.

        Still, I enjoy the site and the service COMC provides. However, the limits of that enjoyment are determined entirely on how far out of the mainstream I focus my collecting and selling.

      • Sometimes it actually costs us several dollars to research a card and make up data for it. I have given my employees the freedom to make some judgment calls and simply return cards and refund the $0.25 rather than spending dollars on something that might never even sell for that much.

        Now we will be doing this kind of research on a regular basis and our systems will be tuned for making catalog data. I expect that the need for these judgment calls to significantly reduce or maybe even go away entirely.

        I appreciate this feedback. Thank you for voicing your desires. This helps me prioritize where we spend our efforts to improve our systems.

      • I understand better now why some of my cards came back. However, a year or two ago, when COMC started using Facebook more, there was the idea of using that as a way to identify cards the submission team couldn’t quickly pin down, effectively crowd-sourcing the identification. I expected there to be a lot of that, but can only remember a few times that ever actually happened. Don’t underestimate the enormous potential for free labor from those of us who really want to use the site more and see it succeed. I’ve spent probably 1000+ hours in the past couple of years piling Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Mexican, Venezuelan and Australian checklists into multiple sites and would gladly do the same to help flesh out COMC’s system for oddballs, minor league cards and sets from around the world.

    • Great suggestions. We are thinking along the same lines. On your second point, I will think about this a bit. You might be on to something. It will need to cost more than half the submission fees, but we might be able to save you some time and/or money.

  33. @Jason — I saw your posts about checkists and had the same frustrations. One of mine was similar to yours in cards seemed to be returned for no apparent reason. Because of my previous background at Beckett, I was able to work out a consullng role via email to deal with situations such as yours. I began this in July and see from your posts you have not sent in for more than a year. Since you said you have lists of cards you send in, how about sending in those items again and the ace verifiers should be able to get your cards in this time.

    @Tony E — I have met and gone out to lunch a few times in the past few months with the newer analsysts at Beckett. To call them trash is an personal insult and uncalled for, They are like just about anyone, good hard working guys who have to deal with a ton of data which frankly a staff five times the current size might not be able to keep up with.
    I’ll have a couple of other comments in an upcoming Rich’s Ramblngs

    • On a couple of occasions, if I was able to attract someone’s attention quickly enough, I was able to contribute checklists for some of the oddball stuff I submitted after a good conversation in the post on Blowout’s forum. But that was only if I was very aggressive in pursuing it. If I wasn’t, the cards would be returned before I had a chance to start the conversation (hint, if you have ANY issues with a recent submission, do NOT have any purchased cards shipped until the issue is resolved, or you will very likely see your submitted cards returned along with the purchased cards).

      So, as adamant as I am about the need to improve the COMC set database, they have worked with me in the past to get “unidentified” cards listed. I would just like to see that cease to be an issue that has to be aggressively pursued. I’ll wait to re-submit any cards until I know there are new policies in place to cover them.

    • Just Bitterness—-Obviously they are not trash any mature grown up knows that.I have had some good experiences thru the years with beckett folks.

    • Rich, thank you for sticking up for the Beckett employees. We by no means want to discredit the efforts they make. We have had excellent interactions with everyone we have ever worked with from Beckett. We are sad that their owner no longer wants us to work together.

    • Rich.. You have your connections to Beckett and that’s fine. I am sure some of the guys trying to price cards are collecting their paycheck and trying to do the right thing. However I have nothing positive whatsoever to say about management and am laughing hysterically at the new BS system they are trying to sell people on… It will fail…just like everything else Beckett has tried to do over the last few years has failed.

  34. As long as you will have total control, start listing cards that are not currently on the site as well. Do it in a way that it does not interfere with the existing cards, but can easily alert people that it is a missing card from the site.

    I would also like to see the current promotion errors fixed. This has been going on to long and looks horrible. It is getting to the point where you have no idea what is really on sale and what the real sale price is. Keep in mind that we do pay for the sales…

    The best advertising you can get is word of mouth, nothing comes close to it. Rather than spending more money advertising, use those funds to lower the shipping cost. I also see no reason to limit the shipping special to once a year.

    • Love your thinking. We have tested our new search architecture with the promotions feature and it addresses your concerns. We look forward to completing the migration to the new platform soon.

      I completely agree with word of mouth. We will continue to make promotions that encourage more of this.

  35. I would also be interested in a feature that would allow cross listing an item on ebay. Selling items on ebay with your COMC handle and the website in the details could also serve as a form of indirect advertising.

    In the realm of advertising doing something involving group breaks and selling the slots on ebay would be another cost effective idea to reach a new base.

    I also agree with the general premise that you guys should focus more on trends and volume in regard to pricing. Volume to me being the most relevant data, as that often comes before the price jump. Giving a price for every common, most veteran mem, or slow moving rookie card is close to a waste of time and I think should be put closer to the back burner. The problem with beckett pricing is they are very slow on guys that are obviously on a tear and have a big volume bump.

    One guy mentioned advertising on sites that essentially would be baseball prospector friendly. I used several of the sites he mentioned so that might be clever if the price was right.

    A “living” hot list would be great, basing it off of a combination of dollars and products sold to multiple users. So that one guy buying one super expensive card or dozens of a $.25 prospect won’t incorrectly impact the list. I think 20 names with an extended focus on the top 5 would be good and very welcomed. This would be completely separate from the hot list you use for shipping promotions

    • Love it! We have the best customers. You all have great insight, and I keep wanting to quick go build so many of these features right now. We will do our best to build quality features and services that meet your needs. The list of brilliant ideas is getting longer and longer!

  36. Lastly I read something regarding free promotions and I am a small seller. For starters you guys should have some kind of reward point system for the sellers that have promotions all the time. I think the idea of having a free promotion a month per user is an interesting one, I’m not sure that it will benefit you as a company, but it might actually drum up interest as that poster suggested. I for instance have a pretty decent pound for pound inventory, it’s not big enough for me to randomly risk money to have a sale however, so that poster makes a pretty good point.

    With that said there are 3 or 4 specific weeks a year where my inventory could benefit from a promotion, in addition to black friday. Going into this new year I plan to have a weekend long promotion on two of them, that will be it though. How well I do this year will likely dictate if I remain a small user or make a jump closer to medium. Free promotions to mess around with, as that other user suggested, would give me more information to go with.

    Thanks for putting this site together, it’s definitely my preferred choice as a buyer.

  37. Happy New Year & Best of Life To All at comc:
    I’ve never before worked with a company or service with such dedicated and strategically adept key employees like Tim and Julia Getsch — until this site.

    Thanks for the boundless creativity and ingenuity that began as “checkoutmycards” and grew into today’s “comc” brand. I’ve often stated you’ve positively changed my life.

    Quite simply, I’m grateful and feel fortunate to have found the site. Over the years, all comc account holders have reaped substantial benefits from Tim’s entrepreneurship, work ethic, passion and commitment to our hobby.

    I always seem to miss “The Next Big Thing,” but have done amazingly well in this experience. It’s been a blast and a privilege to have been aboard for the explosive growth over five-plus years.

    With this in mind, I can’t imagine the difficulty in negotiating with Beckett’s owners. Since they won’t diplomatically compromise on any issues, it’s time to move on. Throughout this ordeal, no comc staffer — from Tim on down — has ever disparaged the other party. All of you are to be commended because I couldn’t have been so cordial.

    I’ve complete confidence my favorite website will develop a kick-ass pricing report that will eventually become an industry/hobby standard. Considering a small handful of full- and part-time workers started this company only six years ago, I know today’s team will diligently produce a comprehensive database. I predict it’s a valuable revenue-generating asset that blows Beckett off the news racks!

    Good luck in the upcoming year. Thank you Tim, Julia, Steve, Norbert, et al, for the greatness you’ve already delivered.

    • Doug, Thank you for all of your support! We are so encouraged for the overflow of positive feedback. We will always continue to do everything in our power to provide the best experience we can for our customers.

  38. Tim,
    I’m hoping to have this issue addressed. Back on March 1, 2013 when you started listings comics on COMC, there were subsequent blog posts about updating the search engine for comics. As of now, the comics are the red headed stepchild of COMC. I’ve posted in previous blogs before and again it was mentioned that an update was on the way but it’s still the same. I would love to see COMC succeed in the comics field because you offer a great service. Real comics buyers still buy on ebay but I’d like to see some of them migrate here as a destination for comics. More advertising on comic sites would be nice. Maybe an ad in the Overstreet Price guide? I list comics through Facebook posts and tell them I’m selling through COMC and the first question I get is “Who the hell is COMC?” I know cards are the bread and butter of COMC but comics are a very huge market and to be able to tap into that on a consistent basis would be great. Thanks for listening.

    • Comics will receive some benefits from the enhancements we need to make for our new Catalog. Once we get the data plugged in for cards, we will revamp the data for comics as well. At this point comics should be more on par with cards. Then we will be ready to start paying to bring comic traffic to the site. We agree that the comic market is huge, and we will continue to invest it in once we get past the catalog replacement project.

      • I believe that comic book sales on COMC would increase substantially if sellers had the option to cross-post them to eBay. The scans are large, clear, top quality. The selection is expansive. There are quite a few comics on COMC which are not even listed for sale on all of eBay. Most of the prices are competitive. COMC does an excellent job packing and shipping. Just flip the switch, and comics will go flying out the door.

        I agree with mycoolectibles that page quality and completeness are very important and should be noted when practical, especially on higher-dollar vintage books.

        I’d also suggest that the date of publication is more important than the year the first issue was published. At the very least, it would be useful if the comics could be filtered by “golden age”, “silver age”, “bronze age”, “copper age”, “modern age”. Then it wouldn’t be so difficult to zero in on comics from the 1940s and 1950′s as opposed to the 1990′s and 2010′s.

        I don’t think that COMC can be seen as a credible comic book site until it has some way to deal with books that are less “family friendly” than Richie Rich and Archie. Right now I have dozens, possibly over 100 comics which are in limbo. I can’t price them. I can’t mark them ‘not for sale’. I can’t mark them to be shipped. If I attempt to do anything with them, it just reads “Item Locked”.

        They might not fit your personal style, but these are titles that sell. Titles like Spawn, Hellboy, Witchblade, Sin City, even some Avengers, Daredevil, Spider-Man. I presume titles like Walking Dead would also be squelched, even though some of the early issues would sell quickly for hundreds of dollars.

        I’ve been patient on this issue because you’ve had enough to deal with regarding Beckett and such. But it is a real issue.

  39. I think this will be great for comc as a whole. Beckett values have been worthless for some time now. Not bashing them, they just never seemed to totally evolve with the hobby. I really look forward to using the site Once updated with new pricing and features. This hobby is always changing, always evolving, it’s great to see comc evolving with the hobby, even if not 100% by choice. Would be awesome for you to pay users with comc credit for helping with pricing, as many of us would help out in a heart beat. I think a small fee for using it would be totally acceptable for the greater good of the hobby.

  40. Tim, thanks for the speedy reply. I think another aspect would be accurate grading. As of now, they are listed in a range but in between that, there’s so many more grades. Maybe some notes with page color, page suppleness, detached centerfolds, coupon clipped, etc would help. I think some of the lesser grade comics listed are extremely high but I think the sellers are basically pricing them according to the full value of the prices they see it guide for. I’ve clicked on many links to see an expanded view of the comics only to see a lot of them creased and beat up and still listed at full guide when in reality it should be about 25% of that price. I think potential customers see this and think it’s indicative of the site as a whole if they have never used COMC before.

    • I sent in comics to comc and have no clue about comics, I was given prices on maybe 10% of them and told to go to ebay to get the rest of my pricing. Instead I found a site called comic book realm or something like that. I took my prices straight from them. Without knowing anything about comics like me it sure is hard to price them with no where to start. I was under the understanding when I sent in comics that pricing would be avaliable to me, but it was not. So I think thats where your running into the problem mycoolectibles.

  41. Tim I would not expect you to disparage Beckett. I however wasted 8 years of my business…at a cost of $250 a month for the last few years on a broken product, broken promises and some folks that made me feel dirty just to be on the same site with. Your site gave us the push we needed to break the chains and walk away from over 400,000 unique items and nearly 550,000 total items that we had inventoried on their site and start from scratch. We sincerely thank you and this site for that.

  42. Not a catalog issue but when it comes to cards being returned…I would like those cards to be noted on the spreadsheet sent to us when we get the email letting us know the cards have been processed. That way we aren’t sitting around for several weeks wondering which cards have not been posted and why.

  43. Before offering my input, first allow me to say that I believe this to be a blessing in disguise. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of the hobby now that you are on your own. I know you will do great things in this endeavor, and I look forward to having a price guide that is based more on the “reality” of the market rather than fantasy land.

    Second, I would like to praise “Mailbox”. I recently moved overseas and did not want to risk having my new purchases shipped to me, figure out a way to store them, or worry with packing them back to the states at a future date. Mailbox has become my answer. I appreciate the professionalism and competent manner in which the COMC staff handle my investments. Thank you so much.

    Now, concerning what I would like to see in the future. If you were to develop a page where I could organize my collection, and link that to your new pricing (i.e. Beckett’s “Organize”), you would be my ultimate hobby heroes! I would much rather pay COMC for such a service, than another hobby site which shall remain unnamed in this sentence.

    Something I hope you never do is incorporate trading and forums. What a mess those two things always seem to become. I know others like them, and I am just one person, but…well, that is my two cents on that.

    You all at COMC are in a position to rock the hobby more than anybody ever has. Any fool can see that. I wish you all the best, and look forward to broadening the scope of my business with you in the future.

  44. Great news. This is a chance to start with a clean slate and database credentials and expertise that Beckett certainly does not have. Although I’ve seen some needed changes over the past year, Beckett’s OPG has desperately needed a serious quality control overhaul for many years. The usual complaint is that many HBVs are overstated but there are also many instances where sets are understated, Topps Venezulans and O Pee Chee as an example, not to mention sets appearing in the old printed Beckett guides that never made their way into the the OPG. Beckett never seemed to have listened. Having spent thousands with Beckett grading and a near equal amount through COMC, hands down COMC values its customers much much more. Keep up the great work on the greater vision.

  45. Pingback: Did Beckett Just Commit Suicide? | - SportsCardBlog.net - Sports Card Blog - Your Source for Sports Card Info

  46. Love the changes proposed and while it sounds like a ton of work I look forward to the benefits to the site on the other end. I have a couple things on my wish list if I may. First, for someone who utilizes COMC for mainly lower valued inserts I always want to be the seller that is offering that card at the lowest price on the site. If there were a way to manage my inventory by filtering the cards I have listed for sale but are no longer the lowest price offered that would help me greatly. I audit every few months but have to click on each card to view the competitors prices. Unless that’s out there currently and I’m not aware of it, I’d love to see that enhancement to help sellers. Secondly, while not an issue of technology, I’d like to see more promotions to allow submission of cards at a discounted rate much like you did during the National. Thanks for bringing us the enhancements and good luck with all your efforts!

  47. I am only now becoming aware of how much more work this move will cost me with my time.

    As a store owner, I use my COMC credit to bring in singles that I can sell in my shop instead of taking the 20% hit. I just received a package of 56 cards that I will be pricing for sale in my shop. I just logged in and will be writing down Beckett price so I can show my collectors the discount they are receiving. Based on previous pricing information, pricing the 56 cards will take about 10-15 minutes or so.

    Anyone care to guess how long it will now take me to price these same 56 cards either through my Beckett online subscription I no longer want or through the monthly price guides?

    • Your customers still want to see Beckett prices? I can’t remember the last time someone asked me for that? I used to get plenty of “what does it sell for on Ebay” questions until I put a sign up that said “Proudly Ebay Free since 2007″ but it has been a long time since I was asked about “book price”
      I do as you do, buy stuff here for my shop but I price my cards based on what I pay for them here. Different regions and collector bases rely on different resources though.

      • I guess I live in a state that approves of legal pot and still uses Beckett from time to time. Go figure.

      • As a youth in the 1980′s and 1990′s, Beckett was the main price guide even though I also liked the Sports Collectors Digest price guide. This was due to the fact it was a weekly. I also subscribed to Tuff Stuff whose numbers were not in line with the other two. Point being, no matter how much effort is put into a price guide, there will never be a price guide in which 95% of collectors believe is “accurate” due to the individual collector believing their cards are undervalued and other sellers’ cards are overvalued. I look forward to seeing how this incarnation plays out. I’m glad to see comc putting this as a high priority as it’s important to have a baseline in terms of value.

  48. This is a chance to give a more true value of a card! Book values have always been a lot higher to me then what a card is really worth! Sometimes the difference is way off. Not to many cards sell for book or even close from what I have ever seen. It would be nice to actually see the like avg selling price for that card listed or if there is no sales info for say a card /10, then maybe there was another close card to that player /10 that sold for x-amount, to give you a idea. The true value of a card is what someone will actually pay for it! I would love to have a chance to add info to the catalog as I am pretty good with being able to look at a card and tell you the year brand etc. Man I wish you guys would open a location here in IL, I would love to work there! This might also be a chance to add cards for sale that Beckett doesn’t list! Like a category for error type cards. And not the really common ones like 90 no name Thomas, that I believe are listed in Beckett. But like missing logos, flipped pictures, different player on front and back etc. I would love to also see a feature where you can hint to the seller that you have interest in a card but it is way over priced. There are several cards I want on the site, but they are price 3x-5x or more what I would ever pay, so even at 50% off its not even close. But good luck and let me know if I could help (ps I will work for cards!! lol) and come to IL or move me to you!!!

  49. It would be nice if there was a place on each COMC listing where users could submit links to relevant price information for that item – for example, a completed eBay listing or a current asking price from a credible source.

  50. I would LOVE to see a want list section on the site! I have over a million cards in stock but can’t afford to list them all! Filling lists would be great!!!! Just my 2 cents! Steve

    • I would post a wanted ad for the cards I collect, but I feel that people will use that and jack the prices for those cards just due to knowing someone wants them. I have run into this before several times.

  51. How tough would it be to offer people at the time that their cards go live the opportunity with one click to price their cards to match either the lowest (or highest if they prefer) other non-sale price for the same card listed on the site?

    I just had 800+ cards go live and it takes hours for me to go through and price my singles against what they are currently available for. With one click, if I could match the lowest posted price out there, it would knock out more than 50% of those singles and it would prevent the annoying penny beating that goes on with each card.

    Of course any other singles that are not on the site would have to be priced individually. This would have saved me hours on this shipment alone.

  52. The problem with having a single click “lowest price button”, is that it won’t prevent being beat by a penny. It will actually do the opposite as you will beat everyone by a penny. The person you just beat by a penny will click his “lowest price button”. Repeat this step a few times and the floor of the market will drop very rapidly as at least a million cards on this site will be one cent each. I have no problem picking up the lowest price cards and repricing them but if the lowest is one cent and the next card is two cents, there is no incentive to purchase and reprice.

  53. Tim,
    You stated, “We will also replace the book value information on the website with a new “suggested list price” based on our sales data” and “Static Book Prices – Until we establish our new “suggested list price”, the book values listed on the website will not be updated.”

    With this info., you could harvest your sales data (historically) and moving forward to reflect current value average?

    Simple example #1; when a comc card sells for 10% off the “static book price” an algorithm (to be computed based on variables) can manage the current SLP “suggested list price” so the last sale has a set degree of influence on price.

    Simple example #2; comc card sells for 90% off the “static book price” the SLP can move much lower, again based on computed variables. What are the computed variables? 1) Average of historical sales, 2) Current player status based on values (values could be based on popularity index. derived from performance based settings combined with locally vs. national vs. international collectible value) & 3) Difficulty of obtaining card (serial #’rd to 100 or less, 25 or less, etc. or known short prints) to name 3 variables but not limited to only these 3 variables.

    I have some other ideas and an expansion of the above theory if interested.

    Hope the Holidays were cheerful,
    Jerry – AZpleasantville

  54. One thing I learned as a collectibles store owner is that many of your customers will help you if you give them an opportunity. Often times my customers would sort comics and cards, match action figures with weapons, look things up in various price guides, etc. Sometimes they’d do it for trade credit. Sometimes, it was just to help out. In some cases, it was a requirement if they wanted to trade in an item.

    At present, COMC has over 2 million unique items. It will be a daunting task to catalog all of those items and keep track of market fluctuations. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Your customers are an asset. If you set the right tools in place, you can make great use of them.

    As an example, Amazon is the largest internet merchant in the world. 1/3 of all items sold online are sold through Amazon. Yet, the vast majority of the listings on Amazon were not created by Amazon itself. They set up a system where third-party merchants or manufacturers identify salable products, write descriptions, provide pictures, etc.

    There are plenty of people around here who would provide checklists and relevant search terms and real-world pricing information if you gave them the tools to do so. Especially if there was something in it for them – free listing credits, reduced fees, or even “history points”. If you’re going to make us earn “history points”, then at least let us do something useful to earn them.

    • I agree with community involvement to help determine the card value. In addition to what I stated above this post, COMC could establish “comc experts” for the best average valuation of a card. Many sellers and collectors could be nominated by the COMC community (but approved by COMC Mgmt) to have the most knowledge of an card issues scarcity and value based on their time spent searching and reviewing that particular card issue. Learning from the amazon.com community is a good start. Amazon and COMC have the same fundamentals that relate to sellers offering COMC to broker items, so there is a strong seller/collector community already in place looking to help with the future success.

  55. I think making it easy to accelerate the race to the bottom on COMC would be a mistake. Anyone who checks my listings knows I put jerseys and autographs up for 50 cents regularly that are grossly below everyone else but if everyone started playing that game then pretty soon collectors are going to stop shopping fearing the market has just totally collapsed.

    • On COMC, I’d say it’s more of a race to the middle. Suppose seller A has a card for $2. Seller B posts the same card and prices it at $1.99. Then a collector comes by and purchases both cards.

      In your example, seller A has the card for $2. You price the card for 50 cents. Seller B buys the card from you and reprices it at $1.99. Then a collector comes by and purchases both cards.

      Both scenarios are exactly the same, except for a momentary blip where one card was priced at 50 cents for a short period of time.

      As an experiment, you might try this: price every single item in your inventory at 1 cent. Then see if it causes A) Widespread panic and the collapse of the entire collectibles market or B) Every one of your cards to be purchased by flippers who will then reprice them at 1 cent below the 2nd lowest asking price.

      • Actually, in some instances it would prevent a race to the bottom. It would lead to matching prices instead of having sellers take the time to beat the lowest price by taking an additional dime, quarter or dollar off.

  56. I got back into collecting cards in 2009 and the first cards I purchased were from Beckett and Beckett marketplace and I vividly remember my disappointment in the many “excellent mint” and “near mint” cards I purchased that looked to me a lot more like excellent or lesser cards as I rather naively thought that by buying through Beckett that surely the cards would meet the grades they were stated as being.

    Then I discovered COMC and have not made a single purchase of cards from Beckett marketplace since then. Frankly it had nothing to do with the fact that COMC had Beckett pricing information and had everything to do with the two sided scans of the actual card being bought, the zoom feature and the ability to offset costs through buying and flipping cards with very little effort on my end. I still have not found any competing site that does a better job of letting you see and know what you are getting better than COMC.

    I deal strictly in vintage cards; currently I have a Beckett subscription for baseball only which I have mainly used for its “Organize” function and also have a subscription for “vintagecardprices.com” which I use for reference in buying graded cards.

    With vintage I have not observed frequent changes to Beckett pricing and if COMC came up with an alternative to the “Organize” function that was easily able to be exported into Excel I could definitely see me switching to buying Beckett for one month a year to catch up on their price changes and paying COMC for a more useful baseball card database for my personal collection. I suspect COMC could quite easily modify their Bulk Editor to come up with this.

    I would love to see COMC add an input box where we can enter our cost for cards submitted to the site; I would also love to see COMC add a button that would have a dropdown box that would allow us to select a markup percentage to apply to our cost to set our selling prices.

    PS – Thanks so much for giving me a reliable alternative that has let me replace so many of the Beckett marketplace cards that did not make the grade.

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  58. I would like to see sellers be able to look at ebay pricing, Most of the high end cards on here are way over priced. Might be a product of just not knowing what stuff sells for in other markets? U could go on ebay for just about every high end card and buy 2 of them for the price of one on here. I understand that a whale might come along but really, If these high end cards actually sold you could make a lot of money buying on ebay and selling on here. Ebay is not the end all be all but it is certainly more relivate then Beckett. This is also a shout out to all the people with high end cards you may want to check ebay on these cards before pricing them. I no I do before buying and I think others do to before they drop hundreds.

    • To play devils advocate…there are folks like me who don’t use Ebay so the market there means nothing to me. When a customer tells me a card sells for X on Ebay I tell them to purchase it there…and when they tell me how much cheaper I am than Ebay I smile because I know to them it is a compliment. To me, each market has their own circumstances and pricing structures and Ebay is not the be-all-end-all of pricing reference. It certainly is A pricing reference for those who like to use it but something priced here higher than Ebay doesn’t make it overpriced.

      • I guess i’ve just been razzing for to long. lol If you list something over ebay price in a razz it will not fill. That is the end all be all in razzing.

  59. Similar to Tony, I don’t necessary use Ebay to price my cards. First off I don’t have the available time to cross reference ever card I send into COMC. Secondly, I as a buyer am willing to pay more than ebay due to the more positive features of this site (enlarged scans of both sides, knowing you are getting the exact card you see, secure shipping, and ability to use my store credit that I received from selling on the site. Third, I like to keep my collecting dollars on this site as I believe in community and wish to help push the sales of fellow collectors.
    If you find a price out of line, feel free to offer a 50% offer. It may not be accepted, but I have accepted many once realizing my prices were high on certain cards.

  60. Hey Jeff theres where I’m kind of going with it if ebay price was avaliable it wouldn’t take extra time. This would only apply to cards over $100. I am also fine with paying a little more but not double. I PC Packers. For example I bought a Aaron Rodgers /10 Auto for $180. There is not a rodgers on here for under $200 I see one for $437.50 /15 which is comparable to mine. That is a huge difference. I just feel that if ebay recent sold items where avalaible at a click it would sure make these high end card prices go down which would mean selling them. If the card I mentioned was priced at $180-$200 that would be a fair price and I would consider buying it. Very few people even let you offer 50% off anymore. I would like to keep my money here as well but with prices like that i’m better off paying the 20% cash out and buying on ebay, I would still be ahead.

  61. Hello Cardko, I also collect Packers. You made a good point regarding Rodgers. I usually chalk the massive differences to people intentionally pricing themselves out.of sale prior to shipping it home. I use to do that early on four years ago. I would intentionally raise the price much higher than I paid prior to shipping it to my personal collection. The way I looked at it, if someone valued the card twice as much as I did, then they should have it and I would purchase two other cards for my personal collection with the sale.

  62. I’d actually like to know what criteria is being used for Ebay being called #1… I think both sportlots and as much as I hate to admit it, Beckett have more available cards (or at least they did before they ran off many of their dealers?) than Ebay and their 6 million. I know Sportlots has lower prices on many items when compared to here but even though I do auctions there, I still prefer to restock my store shelves here.

    • Available cards is pointless.The reason Ebay is #1 in a landslide is sales and traffic.My buddy owns a mens clothing store and he has more mens clothes than the local walmart yet his sales are a fraction of the walmarts.

  63. The problem with submitting links to particular items is that you can give impartial information to essentially make the stats “lie”.

    An example: You have a starting quarterback who is number 11, a rookie topps chrome refractor certified autograph of this player serial numbered 11/500 sells on ebay for 100 dollars. Every other rookie topps chrome refractor x/500 of this quarterback sells between 50 and 60 dollars. You give the link to the 100 dollar sale and have yours priced at 80. It might not even dawn on a lot of people that other buyers would pay a significant amount more for that particular card and you would be using incomplete data to get more out of them. Now if you gave them a link to the whole page, that’s different, but I think we all know that people would do exactly what I just described.

    The other thing with ebay is you have no idea who you are buying from in a lot of cases, if you are buying a card from here or in person there is a premium in that. While I definitely agree that ebay completed listings, while including the shipping fee, is the most accurate form of pricing presently there are exceptions. Here you aren’t going to get a 100 dollar card in a plain white envelope.

    There are also a number of reasons to overprice a card. One specific example of a reason is if you bought Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick cards last November from people that used going rates at the time for pricing you made a killing. The list goes on, although some people are ridiculous with that kind of thing.

    AZpleasantville, that was an interesting read. A lot of really interesting reads here really, it’s been a pleasure

    • RR. My anecdotal evidence from using ebay is nothing like yours. In the last few months I’ve purchased probably 10-15 premium ($100+) cards from ebay ( autos of puig, woodson, polamalu, kenbrell thompkins). I’ve not had a single problem and never a plain white envelope. Some of the high dollar cards from comc i’ve purchased in the same time frame have corner wear, edging, etc. (a butkus auto, andrew luck auto, subban auto). I’m not mad, I can see the card, I know what i’m getting, but to act like there is a huge difference I think is incorrect. If anything I think comc’s advantage is showing the back of the card where on ebay you rarely get that. Lastly, I agree with cardko the prices on some high dollar stuff are insane, and I sort of thought it was because people don’t want to sell them so at least that is confirmed.

  64. I am excited to hear this news and you can “feel” the change that is brewing in our industry/hobby. Collectors are armed with more data and knowledge than ever before, yet there seems to be this separation between reality (of card values) and price guides. I challenge anyone to actually sell a base card in 2013 of Derek Jeter $5, Albert Pujols $3, or Buster Posey $3 as recent examples on a consistent basis if ever. For most sellers….those cards would be in your $1 boxes….and potentially would stay there forever unless you dump them out in a lot for $0.50 or less each.

    The industry is begging for more honesty and integrity….and for collectors that begins with an accurate depiction of the value of their collection and cards. I personally have been inspired to start a blog where I would open boxes/cases live and immediately list those cards for sell in an auction setting and share with my readers those values so they can more wisely invest their collecting dollars.

    I am more than happy to share that data with you directly as well…..as I believe collectors are also tired of seeing these “random” box breaks by companies where they always seem to get a BIG HIT.

    Trust me….after 30+ years of box breaking….those don’t happen that often to the same person!

    Best of Luck COMC…..Let me know how I can help.

    Ed Burgos
    http://www.ForLoveofHomePlate.com

  65. I love this site!
    Something that may be cool for sellers is to see how many times people have looked at your individual cards. Some cards do not have a value known and it can be difficult to know if a card is listed to high. If the seller sees there is a lot of interest in a card and doesn’t get any offers, they can lower the price bit by bit to potentially get offers to see where they should be.
    Keep up the great job on the site!

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  68. This is great news. I knew you would come around after you gave it some thought. Its the only way. I can put up with the coming glitches knowing your site is on the right track. Thanks again Mr. Getsch.

  69. It’s too bad to see Beckett backing away from a partnership with COMC. But, it’s too bad for THEM! Their online marketplace isn’t user friendly and COMC has them beat when it comes to that!

    I think, for me, what I’d love to see is the following (and I’ll keep my rationale to a minimum):
    1. COMC’s own price guide with a hi/low price point, plus the averages.
    2. COMC’s price guide showing current sales for the item.
    3. COMC’s catalogue showing cards (to start, comics & other collectibles can follow later) not currently available on the market, but a maintained database of all cards.
    4. To go with item #3: A want list option. I have thousands of cards I’d like to send in still, but I’d prefer hitting the mark with a number of them and getting them onto COMC for a quick turnaround. In the past, cards I thought to be instant-sellers have been sitting for months, while others I threw in the box to cover space sold very quickly. :) Knowing that I could potential sell more cards more often would motivate me to pack up ALL my inventory and send it to COMC for consignment!

    Happy 2014 to all!

  70. Wow – the possibility of a “real time” price guide is something the hobby had needed for years. Embrace it or not, Ebay changed card collecting forever. Singles that you would never other wise seen at prices that we unheard of. Whenever I visit a card show or shop now, I make sure I have my phone so I can check my Ebay app for prices on cards I am interested. Some times it gets me lower prices some times not. But to be able to know what Lebron James blah blah blah card has “averaged” in sale price over the last 6 months or so, to me is a game changer. Becketts biggest down fall to me, is keeping pricing “current”. Sure they do on “superstar” players, but rarely if ever do they go back and “change” pricing are older cards. Go back just 3 years in any sport and so many of the players who have cards from back then are no longer playing. How can a players autograph STILL be worth the same, if hes not still playing or never made an actual roster?? $15 from a dealer who used Beckett as the standard or $2.00 on Ebay/ComC. Love the possibilities here.

    As 14 year member on Ebay, I have just recently found COMC. You guys are doing it right. The ability to see the front and back of the card you are interested in is great. Shipping is perhaps your greatest asset. Can even guess at how much I have saved on shipping which has allowed me to purchase many more cards. Can’t wait to see how all this moves forward and wish you all the best.

    As for recommendations, like most here I have a few. I realize your staff is small and many of these may be “limitations” just in your numbers, but as a BUYER here is what I am looking for -

    1) Mobile App! Phone, tablets apps are just so convenient now. Sure I can go to the web and find u, but give a direct app to my accnt so its easier to check on my accnt.
    2) Would love MUCH more control of my “watch list”. I have hundreds of card in my watch list, but because I put them in there at different times, players are all over the place. Let me “group” players or sets together. Let me KEEP them low price to high price. I can look at them that way now, but when I go look at a specific card and go “back” again, my inventory “resets” to most recently added.
    3) Let me know when a card on my “watch list” goes on sale.
    4) Send me an alert when I card that I want is added. So say I collect Larry Bird autographs. When a seller lists one SEND ME AN EMAIL so that I know about it.
    5) When doing a “player search” make some notation of NEWLY LISTED CARDS. If I search the same player every day, its hard to know IF there are any newly listed cards. I just have to keep track of the “number of cards” that player has right now. Put a red box around it or something that makes it stick out. Maybe it stays for a week or 10 days, then goes away.

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  72. I have no issues with Beckett going away, as a price guide they have failed to keep up with the times. In my opinion the holly grail of pricing is now eBay. You put a card up for auction and you will know it’s true value. When I post an item on eBay, I look at the Beckett Book Value, then at eBay past results for the same card and I formulate my BIN pricing based on the combination of that data.

    I think the challenge for COMC will be with pricing new product, how will the users know what to price new product at? To me this means going to the Beckett or eBay, searching the card and pricing it based on book value and past auction results. This lengthen the process for pricing card which nobody wants i’m sure.

    Good luck and look forward to seeing the final product.

  73. Wow i remember when way back when COMC had 443 seller’s and now over 3000 Oh My Gosh! Tim Getsch for President!!! I’m submitting more cards this week can’t wait!

  74. Better late than never…

    I agree with those who see this as a great opportunity, and I believe the team at COMC is the right one to get this job done right. I’ve had a few thoughts as I mull over this development…

    Currently, my understanding is part of the submission fee goes to Beckett in order to pay for the book value. At worst, I’m guessing that that fee will likely now go to COMC for the suggested price data (SPD).

    For larger sellers here, I share the opinion that offering free SPD to them makes sense. For a smaller seller, such as myself, I hope there will be a way to access it either via subscription or other involvement. Here’s my idea: when purchasing a car, I think it could be extremely useful and valuable if the buyer is offered a very brief survey. The survey could consist of a variety of questions to collect data on trends, comparisons and the purpose of the sale. One example would be having the buyer note whether the purchased card is intended as part of a collection, to be flipped, etc. (some of that data can be simply collected off how the sale was conducted). Another option would be to inquire as to whether the buyer chose that specific card over another card of same year/make/etc. and why, allowing COMC to collect data on the pricing of cards at a specific condition (Example: I buy a Greg Maddux 1987 Fleer Update Glossy and can note I passed on another due to lesser condition).

    If people were willing to participate, this could be an amazing source of data that I can’t imagine would be possible anywhere else. And more in depth data could be offered to the larger sellers here to glean information on how sellers view their cards and specific market feedback they can use to improve sales. The data could also be used to identify overall trends and isolate extreme randomness in sales.

    In that vein, I’d find it fascinating if sales data could be viewed in a way to compare cards, such as a graph tracking the sale prices of multiple cards (for example, a graph charting sales data on green and blue varieties of 2013 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph Refractors of Byron Buxton).

    Looking forward to the new year with COMC and the opportunity presented to them and the collecting community at large. Thanks to COMC for the continued good work and their contributions!

  75. I was a harsh critic when Beckett took away the free price guides a few months back and wasn’t sure how COMC would step up to the plate like they were claiming. Well COMC, you humbled me. I’m so glad to see you guys moving on from the leeches at Beckett and creating something better than ever! I know better than to doubt your word anymore and can’t wait to hop on and enjoy the ride!

  76. I would like to see the port sales revert back to the traditional style were the seller can add a brief description and the cost is by the day.
    My business model was based off of buying port sales, and as you can see port sales are declining day by day.

  77. Kudos Tim and COMC!
    Exciting times indeed. I love your approach of involving your users in the entire design/use process.
    Congratulations and our best to you and COMC.

  78. mark meyer likes the change and looks forward to the future of comc. Such a different landscape since 2008 but also the core is still there.
    watchlist updates would be great
    sales need to be looked at again – IE how many a year or a month should be offered, free ones throughout the year, sellers who double/triple their asking prices and run a sale.
    a cap on how high cards can be priced if there is already multiples on the site – really what’s the point if I’m selling a card for a $1 or less and you have the same card listed for $75? and there are 5 priced inbetween from $1-$25

  79. I sent the following in as a suggestion via the email form just before reading this. It’s a suggestions which sort of included the possibility of a new central catalog repository [including a detailed description of one of Beckett's BIGGEST and most frustrating issues with their catalog -- so maybe you don't make this similar mistake as them] so I thought I’d post here as well:
    I’m interested in using this service but something that has previously prevented me from sending even mid-to-high range cards to the Valut [or even COMC] in the inability to see sold pricing data.

    This data is necessary for several reasons:
    [FYI: I mostly do hockey cards, so my ?s are from that perspective, but my dad has a store with all sports including many vintage cards and would be interested]
    [1] Knowing what cards [players, teams, brands etc] are ‘hot’ [via the 'sold' date] or at least ‘hot’ amongst the demographic the vault is attracting, let’s me know what cards to send in. Given the [somewhat high] storage fees, I would be sending in cards with the intent of actually selling them quickly.
    [vs right now on COMC, i buy cards I personally like-want & leave them up for sale -- not caring if they actually sell, sometimes pricing them high so they won't sell but it if does -- yea-for-me]
    If I don’t know what’s selling or what’s hot, I could end up sending in stuff that’s going to be sitting around for awhile. [eBay offers this data although it's sometimes not very useful as it only has the past 90 days & since there is no standard [like beckett's DB] for the listing, often the ‘sold price’ depends on the seller’s ability to use the right industry ‘keywords’, their ship price, their ‘status’ with eBay [as it impacts search results], countries they ship to & even day of the week / month an auction ends.
    Right now, I can only see cards that are NOT selling — which isn’t of much help. [NOT seeing a card the following week doesn't necessarily mean it had been sold and/or it was sold at the price I'd last seen it listed for]

    [2] In order to determine if the vault [or even COMC] is going to be profitable, I need to be able to see how much cards are selling for. Even if they’re not the same cards I’m selling, if I can see that a card from the same brand or of the same player is bringing in 70-80% of BV or a N/A cards are bringing in certain % compared to the cost of the unopened product or compared to the price I can usually get them from other sources, I’d feel comfortable knowing it was going to be profitable AND which cards to send in. [My dad has a store with cards coming out the wazooh, he buys more cards then he could ever possibly sell in this lifetime at his store, If I could tell him [either in regards to the vault or even COMC] his AU/GU cards were BEING SOLD at 80% for hit players, 60% of BV for stars, 40% for decent players & bobo players [aka 'guys I've never heard of'] will sell for $2 each [on COMC] all day long, he’d be sending you 5,000 count boxes of AU/GU cards every week.
    Currently all I see is how much cards ARE NOT selling for, which is essentially useless, especially since it’s only really in reference to cards I’m looking to BUY. I personally have 8-10 5,000 count boxes of AU/GU cards I don’t know what to do with and thanks to a recently getting ripped-off via a trader in Beckett [who apparently pulled the same scam on a SIGNIFICANT number of people, all at the same time -- after a few good transactions -- so there was no bad feedback until it was too late] I don’t know what the heck to do with them. I honestly can’t stand eBay, although I’d likely consider selling through there if they sold cards using a standard database. I looked into Beckett Marketplace — even trying it & their software was a HUGE & slow PIA and their monthly fees outrageous. With COMC even aside from the vault, given the submission fees [plus the per card ship fee original cards have added raising the price] and monthly storage fees on COMC cards & 20% cash out [on COMC], even the AU/GU cards I wouldn’t mind ‘dumping’ [resulting in $1/card profit for me after everything else is said & done] would need to be ‘selling’ at $1.50 – $1.75, & I don’t know what they are and/or which ones are so I could selectively send those in. I don’t want to start incurring monthly fees on junk [or paying $50/month to 'store' junk and / or paying to have them processed and eventually sent back to me, having them sit around here with an increased investment having been made on them.

    [3] Setting realistic prices for [vault] cards, especially N/A cards. Aside from eBay selling prices — which for low product run cards aren’t very helpful. There is NO WHERE to get this information from. Even my dad at his store has no idea how to determine how much to price stuff at when he gets nice patches or AU’s with small production runs. Just because some guy once bought a joe schmoe AU/GU that was 1 of 5 for $1M doesn’t tell me if my [exact same card] is worth $1M. Maybe he needed the card to finish a set, was friends with joe schmoe, collects cards with the serial number #3 on them — i don’t know. Hopefully you get the point I’m trying to make about eBay’s data. — The way I explain it to my dad sometimes when he sometimes overpays for weird stuff he isn’t familiar with is because someone once sold it on eBay for a lot of money is like this: If I’m housesitting for a friend & accidentally break some worthless [but highly treasured] ceramic something-or-other, I don’t care what it costs, I just want to replace it as quickly as possible so she never knows the difference. So my buying one for $1000 doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else with the same ceramic piece of garbage suddenly has a $1000 treasure on their hands. But if people knew I paid $1000 on eBay AND x people paid $600-700 on your site and [if I knew] someone paid xxx on Amazon etc — suddenly it’s more likely the piece has a somewhat high value. If [sometime AFTER I happened to replace my friend's broken one for $1000 on eBay], 10 other people are selling it on COMC or the Vault for $1000 doesn’t mean there’s another person in the world willing to pay $1000 or that it’s suddenly worth $1000. If next week, there’s only 5 of them, it doesn’t mean the other 5 SOLD or that they sold for $1000 either. [Maybe they just got some common sense and sold them for $20].

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that YOUR company’s sold sales data — even independent from wanting to sell anything on either of the sites, is VERY VALUABLE. I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume something about your deal with Beckett to have access to their database & BV data includes your not publishing sale prices. If I’m wrong, you should seriously consider selling subscription based access to this data. In addition to growing your COMC & vault sites [due to the same reservations I have without this data] it’s a commodity all on it’s own. In fact, I would be willing to pay YOU TWICE what I pay Beckett every month for their [absolutely useless] data whereby I can actually ‘predict’ the starting BV of base & high production run AU/GU cards — before any particular product has even hit the market. I’m not psychic, they just have a formula by which to price cards [at least for hockey] which oddly enough doesn’t seem to factor in the actual cost of any unopened product [not called 'the cup'] when calculating card value. They’ve managed to DESTROY several brands of new cards [often panini products] by lowballing the prices of the 1-2 hit cards found per box. [Who's going to pay $150 for a box of unopened cards when the 80-90% of those 1-2 hit have a BV of $8-$12 ?] Despite the cards having sold for much more PRIOR to beckett releasing BV for the [new] brand.
    I only buy a hockey subscription from beckett for about $9/month, which I’d likely keep at this point because of the ‘organize feature’ storing all my cards [and I like to see if I correctly predicted the 'BV' of new cards] But I’d be willing to pay $20/month just for access to YOUR sold pricing data [what cards sold when and for how much, preferably going back as far as your able to continue storing the data]. My dad pays $35-$40 [I can't remember how much] for Becket’s ‘Total Access’ [all cards] sometimes on their yearly plan pre-paid plan. This is likely about as much as he’d really able to write-off as an expense for his small business when it comes to ‘pricing’ data/month however I can guarantee you he’d much rather pay YOU for your data than Beckett for theirs [especially if there's significant history -- or would have significant history from a certain point forward]. The fact that so many people would likely pay the same or more money for access to your ACTUAL SOLD prices of cards is why I’m guessing your partnership with Beckett somehow involves your not making this data available. If that is the case, you should REALLY look into reworking your arrangement next time your partnership terms come up for renewal. While I know their core database information & data is valuable, it isn’t so valuable that you wouldn’t be able to easily compile this information on your own.

    Personally I think you’d do well to start your own central repository of [at least card listings] because
    [1] Beckett is missing a lot of data from their database & has a significant number of errors — for which submitting corrections is a huge PIA & 50% of the time such requests end up falling into a black hole.
    [2] Their inconsistency with using the printed card numbers drives me INSANE. Especially when they MAKE UP their own prefixes, numbering schemes or [with baseball] leave off the prefix. [I shouldn't see 3K+ results looking up a Ryan Howard card with the printed number of #SSTP-RH because someone decided all the baseball cards shouldn't have prefixes and they use the card number of #RH] Especially when [not being familiar with baseball cards] I have no clue as to what brand or year the card I’m holding might be. In hockey they 40/40 use the prefix, [the other 20% of the time -- making up their own prefixes or assigning numerical values to cards with alphabetical printed card numbers] leaving me to perform several searches on their [poorly implemented non-accepting of standard boolean logical operators] very slow search engine. The slow performance likely caused by the significant number of searches needed to be performed to locate a single card. [Sorry for the tangent.. but while I'm on the topic] I actually spoke to several people several times about their inability to use the printed card number [as I find it very frustrating when I'm trying to help my dad and have 5000 ct box of AU/GU/Insert/RC/Parallel cards of various sports from the past 30 years with which I'm trying to quickly price.] The response I received constantly upsets me because as a software engineer, I’ve always been taught to design software to meet or fit in with the ‘client’ or ‘customers’ business ‘process’ — not to design software that forces them to do business a different way. Beckett constantly informs me that entering the printed card number [aka the easiest thing to do when needing to quickly get through a large pile of cards, sometimes with a first or last name, maybe with a filter set to a certain sport] isn’t the ‘right way’ to be using their database. I should be entering the players name and the year & brand. [Information I don't always have & sometimes isn't on the card -- the (C) or (T) year on baseball and pre-2005-06 lockout hockey isn't always the official 'year' of the card. -- And the reprints in baseball cards can be maddening.]
    I explained to them that since I wasn’t personally opening up fresh packs of cards to know the product they came from and wasn’t familiar with many of the baseball products, I didn’t have this information AND it’s much easier to type a unique number and the player’s first or last name. [unless its a patrick roy card because then you will also see every single Patrick Kane Crown Royal card] and if the card number is 99, you’ll see every card the player was on in 1998-99 and 1999-00 with no ability to use logical search operators.]

    I explained that I’ve got a LOT of random unsorted card that I know nothing about and need to [quickly] price them. I even gave them an example where it isn’t efficient for my dad to pay employee’s [also unfamiliar with some sports or older & not search-engine saavy] $8/hr to price 6 cards because it takes them more than 10 minutes to find the right card. Because when the printed card number and last or first name don’t generate a very small subset of results — it’s nearly impossible to identify the card. [Many of their print runs are also incorrect -- which doesn't help].

    Sorry for all that but I guess my point is that it wouldn’t be the end of the world for another company to create their own [very similarly structured] central catalog repository of cards that were ever produced]. Given a majority of the ‘naming conventions’ & data compiled by Beckett likely comes from manufacturer checklists & promotional materials, assuming you could show that historical data was populated from that information and NOT from Beckett’s database, I don’t imagine they’d have much ground for a legal argument if they attempted to claim some sort of ‘rights’ or ‘ownership’ for the concept or actual data used to create a competing catalog of similar information [based on consistency regarding the actual PRINTED card numbers -- which could be used to argue the driving point necessitating a competing catalog / repository.

    Although if you don't have such an agreement with Beckett, you may or may not be aware that [1] your sold data is a very valuable commodity and [2] the inability to access this information may be preventing many other people [like myself and my dad] from fully embracing the potential of your services and / or hindering our ability to send in ‘hot’ cards that would quickly sell on your site.

    Sorry for all the writing. I’m currently on unpaid long term sick leave from work as my illness makes it difficult to do things like drive or stand up for more than a few minutes however the disability insurance company believes such restrictions shouldn’t prevent me from traveling to customer sites all over north america leaving me with not much more to do but sell most of my belonging on Amazon & send friendly suggestions to companies. [Some of them not-so-friendly].
    Which interestingly enough has led to my really really wanting to ditch all of my AU/GU/Insert/RC cards I’ve accumulated. Aside from trading on beckett for which I’ve received countless offers consisting of 100 x $1 worthless cards from the 90′s [all of which are NOT CURRENTLY SELLING for 90% of BV on COMC] in exchange for my Alex Ovechkin autograph card with a BV also equaling $100. And while I’d possibly consider sending you the card to sell, there’s currently none for sale now, although I can see the same bran GU cards are NOT SELLING for slightly over book and / or at 38% of book for which I have no idea what type of offer may or may not be accepted on either. I don’t know how long they’ve been ‘not selling’ for this price, but it doesn’t provide any insight as to whether I’m going to get $20 or $200 for my Ovi card, doesn’t help me set a realistic starting price and while I don’t know exactly how much I want for it [$200 would be nice] assuming it was close to what other similarly attributed Ovi cards had been selling for recently [especially given the Olympics coming up] knowing most of his non-numbered autograph cards have been getting at least 60-80% of book, would certainly have that card on it’s way to you. Likewise, if for some reason Ovi autos weren’t selling for more than 10% of book, I’d start to more closely consider some of the trades available on Beckett.

    I really apologize for my poor grammars and inability to stay on topic — the extremely shortened attention span [more than usual] & necessity to over explain things with multiple examples is either related to my medical issues or a side effect of medication. I’m hoping somehow you may have been able to extract the points I [started out writing] to make.

    If you’ve considered making available historical sales data and / or a central repository, but a lack of [IT] resources is preventing you from implementing such a feature, I would be more than glad to offer my [paid] software engineering skills [4 year BS in Comp Sci w/ dual major in Communications and 13+ years working for very large, well known IT company in their software division -- CV available if needed] . So long as such assistance didn’t require driving, leaving the couch for any great length of time [and/or any written assignments where brevity & organized presentation of ideas / information were key factors]. In addition to my technical skills, I essentially ‘grew up’ in my parents collectible store [cards, coins, comics, toys, weird porcelain doo-dads & more] and aside from easily identifying the brand / year of baseball cards from the early 2000′s have quite an extensive knowledge of the card industry from the perspective of the ‘small hobby shop’ and when it comes to hockey, could entertain you for hours with interesting stories. I also collect & have LOTS of hockey cards, going back to the original issue at hand — what to do with all the cards I don’t actually like but acquired when opening [way too many] boxes / cases of new product. [In case you were wondering or were unable to tell from my COMC inventory -- I collect goalie cards. Not all of the goalies though -- just the cute ones. And Taylor Hall cards. Because he's a hottie too. Leaving me with quite a lot of other valuable cards of players I DO NOT collect --hence the issue of which cards are SELLING for decent prices and or are hot right now and how much should I be pricing those cards I actually would like to sell.]

    Note: Right now I’ll spend what I make on cards I sold because I’m really just buying cards I like and if I can get more than I paid for them yea! – otherwise I intend to eventually have them shipped to me. If I were to be sending in a significant number of cards, especially higher end cards [as a result of having historical sales data available] the expectation would be to ‘cash out’ a majority of those sales.

    Sorry again for the uber long explanation to request a [subscription based or otherwise paid] feature allowing access to your extremely valuable historical sales data, which I would gladly pay MORE money for than I do for Beckett’s [often incorrectly] formulated pricing information.

    PS: I know for some very high end & vintage cards there’s another service available that offers pricing data from a variety of sources including eBay & high end auction houses, and several grading companies offer historical pricing data on their graded cards. The data I’m personally primarily looking is basically about one step below that service, all the way down to base / common AU/GU/Inserts.

    • This is worth the read. It consolidates a lot of the other feedback and expands on it with examples to provide context.
      One thing I would add is time is of the essence here. I received two emails from Beckett about 10 minutes apart (lol marketing) letting me know that “something” is coming. I bet it is related to a similar concept as COMC. I suppose everyone needs competition, although (assuming it is the same business model) loyalty to COMC, as long as COMC continues to listen, seems to be prudent for all of us. For better or worse, they do have our cards.
      To me “nervous excitement” is in order because there is only one chance to do this right, but all the tools needed to do so are here and ready to go.

      • I would have to agree that beckett likely has some sort of competitive service on the horizon as well. My guess is it will be built around organize and they will serve as the middle man, meaning they only handle the transaction end and don’t actually house their users items. Essentially a glorified version of using their forums where they take a cut would be my guess and possibly protect sellers more than ebay does. This is also why I have cautioned against the idea of adding new fees, probably a pretty bad time

  80. I’m excited about these changes. I would love to see an average sale price listed along with the cards, plus possibly a high and low sale price as well. An average would be my first pick though. I’m a bit confused as to what I and the average COMC user can contribute to the new site, but I would be happy to add as much data as I could! Looking forward to seeing these changes play out, good luck!

  81. Wish there was a way to buy complete sets off the site. Maybe if you allowed factory sealed sets you could oust pics of the sealed sets ?

  82. I don’t really care about losing Beckett. The BV prices were always too high anyway.
    General comments and suggestions: After seven years overseas, I returned to the US and resumed collecting cards in a limited capacity. I was an early convert to your site and it further reignited my interest because it made it so easy to buy and sell. I tried other sites dedicated to sports cards, but found them to be too confusing, too expensive, or too deceptive in terms of seller fees. Larger sites are also problematic. I now refuse to buy or sell on Ebay, for a number of reasons. I could write five pages about the problems with Ebay, with non-transparent fees and forcible PayPal charges at the top of the list. I’ve looked at Amazon, but they are too expensive and they want my financial details, AND my SSN. (Never going to happen.) Bonanza has great customer support, but I haven’t sold anything. Craig’s list ads generated zero responses.
    COMC is the best of the bunch. The site is not cluttered and is very easy to us. It is amazingly comprehensive and, as a buyer and set builder, I appreciate that I can search for cards by years and numbers. As a seller, I appreciate the fact that your fees are completely transparent. I love the fact that you do not require me to divulge my credit card or bank account details. I wish you would keep the bulk items shipping option as I do think the .25 shipping fee for each card is too high
    One thing that I have learned from experience is that there is no point in trying to sell star cards on COMC Newer star cards have literally hundreds of listings – Bo Jackson’s RC has over three hundred. Many of the listings are .50 or less, which comes to a .05 profit on the card, if you use bulk shipping (now outdated). I can understand these low prices on cards 1975 and up, as there is no real dearth of star cards in these years. But even older star cards are a hard sell.
    I have had better luck selling common cards, although I see the Walmart/Ebay mentality with these prices more and more now. I don’t know how COMC could really change this. Perhaps prohibit anyone from submitting more than three singles of the same card, which would eliminate sellers from dumping cards. (Although some sellers would then just open multiple accounts.) Or, charge people who flip a card a .10 premium, which would help with the problem of bottom feeders. I recognize that, if implemented, these ideas would decrease traffic and profits, so I don’t expect much to change.
    Moreover, in the last six months, your customer service has deteriorated. I do not have too many problems or questions with the site, but when I do, I expect the person who answers my email to know how COMC operates. Still, it is better than the “ignorethecustomeruntilshegoesaway” mantra that appears to be the mission statement of ebay’s customer disservice department.

    There are many things I like about COMC. The site is geared more to collectors who collect for fun, with profit as an added bonus, rather than those who are in it only for profit. I like the fact that you are socially responsible and the site makes it very easy to donate my cards to charity. ( I do not look so very favorably on nepotism though Tim.) And again, you do not require me to divulge my credit card or bank account details. I love that.
    I know you have different priorities right now, but I would like COMC to eventually support set selling. Obviously, 700+ card sets are prohibitively expensive to ever sell on COMC. But I’m thinking more of high ticket smaller sets, 33-50 cards; i.e. the. 1970-71 OPC/Topps hockey sticker stamp set. Charge a dollar for each card scanned, plus a $3.00 premium for listing it as a set. As a seller, I would prefer to sell a high ticket set and know I will get paid. As a buyer, I would be willing to pay a premium for being able to see scans of the cards I am buying. I was always staggered at the number of ebay sellers who thought halfway filled in checklist cards or dog eared 1971T baseball cards were EX.
    I also hope you bring back the magazine site ASAP. The magazines I submitted have not been been listed yet, so I don’t know what kind of response they will get. I do know, if COMC allows multiple types of magazines to be listed, I would certainly be interested in buying 1960s WS and AS
    I do like COMC, but I fear that it is inevitable that, in time, COMC will become a victim of its own success and all cards will be devalued. That may be a good thing for buyers, but I buy wanted cards from the proceeds of selling unwanted cards. The less I sell, the less I buy. ( I also have a more general fear that in 10 years or less, the government will find a way to tax all individual’s sales.)
    For now, please try to avoid becoming more like Ebay.
    Jane

  83. Pingback: COMC Challenge - Page 4 - Blowout Cards Forums

  84. I would like to see multiple search filters, for example when shopping it would be nice to be able to sort by lowest price all cards for a specific player with a short print run of 100 or less.
    SO if I wanted to I could see
    All of Ken Griffey Jr’s numbered SP Cards that have a print run of less than 100
    And all of Michael Jordan’s numbered SP cards with a print run of more than a 500
    Also. Search only cards in a certain price range such as Priced from $5-$10.
    Just more search filters when buying would be awesome.
    Thanks!
    -Andrew

  85. Pingback: Introducing COMC Challenges | COMC Blog

  86. I review ebay ‘sold’ listings to determine the ‘value’ of non-common cards. There should be a way to “mine” ebay sold listings to set the catalog values based on empirical sales data.

  87. I’m not too big of a member (about 1000 cards) but I have about 20,000 waiting. I would like to see a lower priced way to get listed and a lower priced way to stay listed. Not everyone can keep enough sells going to pay the front and back end charges. I LOVE this site and concept, I just want to make it work for everyone. As far as Beckett … soo long … nothing sold at Beckett prices anyway and the market price is what it can be sold for. Thanks Tim for applying your knowledge to this practical site. It’s a great idea and I am sure you have more coming. Ray

  88. I am game for whatever. I too studied price guides since I was a lil kid and was a superior math student. I wasn’t given the support or opportunities needed to do what you do but cards are my life. I don’t know where to start turning my passion into my career and I really need a break. I’d like to get a job with a card shop or a solo card collector to maybe create a business. anyone please email me if interested.

  89. I must echo a lot of the comments here. Beckett has really done a good job of eliminating a lot of good veteran collectors. The pricing HAS been way off for some time with them probably since the early 90s.

    It is good to have a guy like you who has a passion and knowledge of collecting and cards as well as writing code and programming. Beckett seems to have one or the other and with that you get a lot of details left out and the main function of the site is now junk only when it works. Who else can have there site beta tested for over a year, release it to the public for several years and still have issues to this day?

    While I do not come here on a regular basis, I do know that I can come here and get the cards and service I want and need. It is rare but I do hope that the future of being on your own will allow us to get better pricing so it is easier to make offers on cards that people had listed over Beckett which was already over priced by as much as 600%. This may open doors to some cards that I have never been able to offer on because they are so far over priced to market value and thou could only go a certain percentage below asking price.

    Thanks for the update and look forward to the future of COMC.

  90. This is awesome. Beckett’s prices are horrid, and what they charge is a complete joke. I already COMC to get an average price for my cards. It also displays a great example of supply and demand.

    Would there be any chance the pricing could bloom into an API for developers?

    Keep up the good work.

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