Simplified Processing Services

Thank you so much for your overwhelming support and encouragement as we take on the enormous task of creating a new catalog and price guide.  You make all of the long hours and late nights worth the effort.  COMC Nation is the best!!!

For us to build our new catalog and price guide, we need to free up the sports card experts on our processing team. We simplified our processing services and streamlined our systems to make us more efficient so we can still handle a large volume of cards while working on these new projects.

Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated as we make these adjustments.  Some of these changes may only be temporary, but we suspect that many of these simplifications will stay permanently.
blog pic-basic vs premium1
Streamlined Processing Services
Rather than the 40+ processing options offered today, we will offer just two services for cards and two for comics.  If you were counting on any of the old options, you have until Tuesday, January 21st to postmark any submissions using the current services.

Premium: Fast Processing for Any Item
We purchased some new equipment, wrote a bunch of software, and adapted our systems to allow us to cost-effectively process small packages quickly.

For only $1 per card, your cards will be added to the site within 1 to 3 business days. Although 3 days is the guaranteed maximum lead time, we will strive to get the items added to your account as quickly as we can.  You can use this service for cards of any size, including graded and encased cards, and there is no minimum charge.  For example, you can send us one graded card and receive it in your account very quickly for only $1.

Basic: Flexible Processing for Standard Items
Many users requested their submission batches be partially uploaded instead of waiting until everything is done. We are pleased to announce that our new systems and processes now allow us to do this.

Rather than offering our old One Month processing service and charging $0.25/card up front, the Basic processing service has a 2-8 week lead time, and we don’t charge you the $0.25 per card until the cards are added to your account. Although 8 weeks is the guaranteed maximum lead time, we expect the average to be much faster.

Typically the hottest cards and in-season sports will be first in line.  For example, during the summer we might process the current year’s products every week, but basketball, hockey and football cards from the 90’s might only be processed every third week.  The overall average processing time should still be less than one month.  As always, the 90 days of free storage starts once items are added to your account.

To keep things simple, we are going to require a $25 minimum when using the Basic service.  Less than 5% of our One Month processing fees come from submissions that are fewer than 100 items, so we hope this does not severely inconvenience anyone.  If you were used to sending smaller batches, you may now choose to wait until you have 100 items before shipping them to us.  Hopefully this saves you some money on shipping.  It definitely helps us be a lot more efficient.

Expensive Items
Our Basic service is intended for simple items that we can process quickly.  When items are expensive we need to do extra verification to make sure buyers will be happy with their purchase. Please use the Premium service for items that you want to list for more than $50.  If you use our Basic service with expensive items, there will be a $0.50 fee to upgrade your item. You will be able to instantly price your items at more than $50, and we will assign the item to one of our card experts for a more detailed review. They will double check to confirm that the item is identified correctly and that we didn’t miss any condition notes for flaws that might not be visible in the scan. All items processed with our old processing services are exempt from this new requirement.

Mailbox Submissions
Starting February 1st, we will process all Mailbox submissions through our Premium service.  We appreciate all of the new users who have tried this service during its testing phase.  Now that we have data about how the service is used, we have discovered that it is extremely time consuming to open all of the packages, so we can only afford to offer this service at the price point of our Premium service.

You may continue to have items sent to “COMC Mailbox C/O [your account name]” and we will process them in 1-3 days and add them into your account for $1/card with no minimum.  Items will frequently be scanned in toploaders, and these items will be subject to an extra $0.20 shipping charge.

When the remaining legacy mailboxes are opened, we will process the items at $0.50/item, and we will waive the $5 minimum.

Graded, Encased, Jumbo, and Extra-Thick Trading Cards as well as Sports Poker Chips, Coins, and Pins
All of these items should be processed with the Premium service.  It is the same price as the old One Month service, but your items will be processed in 1-3 business days, and there is no minimum fee.

Hot List
The new Basic service has “Hot List” features built into it.  So the “Hot List – One Day” service is going away.  You may include Hot List items with the rest of your Basic items, and they will be given higher priority.

To Be Graded
The old To Be Graded service is going away.  You can use either Premium or Basic for anything you want graded.

One Week
We know a lot of you like our One Week processing service.  Unfortunately we need to significantly adjust our offerings to support our new work load.  We expect you will use the Premium service for some of your items and the Basic service for the rest. If you were willing to pay $0.50 for our old One Week service, there is a good chance your items will be processed on the faster side of the 2-8 week spectrum of the Basic service.

Bulk Services
All of the bulk services are going away.  The Bulk Two Day service will likely be permanently gone because the new Premium service is less expensive and basically the same speed.  The Bulk Two Week service is in a similar boat as the One Week service.  You will probably be happy with the Basic service as a replacement for the Bulk Two Week service.  The Bulk Ten Week service is being sacrificed because we need our team to focus on new projects.  If anyone really liked any of the bulk services, you have two weeks to get your items in the mail.

Beta Test
We don’t have the bandwidth to process new Beta Test submissions.  Once we get the new catalog under control, we will bring this back.

Comic Processing
Basic processing is $1 per comic book and has a lead time of 2-8 weeks.
Premium processing is $3 per comic book and has a lead time of 1-3 business days.

Summary
Starting Wednesday, January 22nd we will only offer the following processing services:

Basic Cards 2-8 weeks $0.25/card $25 minimum fee
Premium Cards 1-3 business days $1/card No minimum fee
Basic Comics 2-8 weeks $1/comic $25 minimum fee
Premium Comics 1-3 business days $3/comic No minimum fee

You can start trying these services today.  Be sure to remember the following…

  • Basic is the lowest priced service and works for raw items that are standard sized or smaller.
  • Premium is very fast and not very expensive.  It works for any item.
  • Use the Premium option for items that you expect to list for more than $50.  If you accidentally miss some expensive items in your Basic submission, it’s no big deal, but there will be a charge of $0.50 to upgrade those items.

We hope these changes are not too much of an inconvenience for you.  In many cases these new services will improve your selling experience because of faster processing speeds and/or lower fees.  As we catch up on the catalog and price guide project, we will reconsider what services we can offer.

109 thoughts on “Simplified Processing Services

  1. And the other shoe drops… I realize you are all gung-ho about the new price guide because you can sell that data and the API access and make money, but now it’s coming at the expense of your sellers with these changes.

    • Hello Chuck,
      I am a bit surprised by your comment. I am not sure what gives you this impression of me. Let me try to explain our situation in a bit more detail. We are creating a 3 million item catalog from scratch to describe all of the items that people have ever submitted to us. This will consume all resources I can afford. This is an unfortunate necessity in order for our service to survive. I am simply asking our sellers to be a little more flexible and help us process their items in a more efficient manor so that I can ensure the long term success of our service.

      If we get to a point where we have some new services that people are willing to pay for (e.g. a price guide), that should be GREAT news for our sellers. That would likely mean that COMC could make some money from buyers or people that don’t currently use our service. In turn, this would lessen the load on the money we need to make from helping sellers process, store, sell, and ship their items.

      While I love providing these services and would do this without being paid, we do need to make enough money to pay our 50 employees, our suppliers, and other vendors. We are really doing a ton of work to help you enjoy this hobby. I hope that you appreciate these efforts.

  2. This sounds awesome, just want clarification on 1 thing. If i send in 500 cards with the new basic service, and you guys prioritize 100 of them and complete them in 2 weeks, then the rest in 6, does the system allow for splitting the processing fees and only billing as cards post? I would assume so given you can now split posting dates just wanted to be sure.

    • Brian, Great question. Yes. You won’t get billed anything when we create the original placeholder transaction. We will likely run a weekly process that splits off the items that are ready to go live and creates a new “partial batch”. This batch will have a new transaction number, and you will be billed at the time we put the items in your account. The original transaction will contain the last remaining stranglers, and it will be updated with the remaining processing fees at the very end.

  3. I completely understand the concept of streamlining the multitude of processing options. However, I have to say the “expensive items” catch is a bit strange. I don’t submit a ton, but when I do I prefer it all in one batch, for one easily-calculated price per card. If I send 400 cards in, I prefer knowing it will run $100 to batch it. I don’t want to pick through trying to determine what will and will not be a ‘premium’ card that’s going to cost me a 0.50 cent upgrade fee on top of the 0.25 fee already, albeit that will still come in under the $1 premium processing fee. That could easily add 20-30 dollars to a 400 card processing batch depending on what you are sending in. Please consider the ease of shipping/processing on our end as well! I prefer just selecting what I want to send, counting them up, and sending them on their way.

    • Expensive items really need to be given a higher level of scrutiny to make sure the data and notes are accurate. As you noted, this is effort for you to separate these items out. Well, that is extra work that we normally do now, but I am trying to find ways to ease the load on my processing team. So our Basic service is designed so that our sports card experts can fly through the identification process more quickly because the items are not super expensive. They will be careful with the physical cards, but they will be faster with the data on the computer. Because of new technology that I developed over the last few weeks. They should be able to accomplish this without any significant change in our rate of mistakes.

      Every item submitted through our Premium service is very carefully identified and individually signed off on before we post it into a seller’s account. Items submitted through our Basic service are quickly identified and given a brief, bulk review before being posted into the seller’s account.

      It is easier for us if we only have to apply the higher level of scrutiny to the items that you deem valuable. The Premium service or the $0.50 help us know where to spend our time. I hope this makes sense. We are basically asking that you help us ease our work load. Remember, some of these changes may only need to be temporary. We want to do more work for you, but we just have limited resources now.

  4. Everything seems fair to me. I would prefer my entire batch processed at the same time instead of 60 here and 50 there,even if its on the later side of the time frame,

    • Sounds like a reasonable request. Thank you for that thought Lee. I have been leaning towards just making deposits at the 2 week, 3 week, 4 week, 6 week, and 8 week marks. We could offer an option that just deposits everything whenever it is completely done. This could be a setting on your account. Pretty simple feature.

  5. Is there a preferred contact I should use to ask questions about whether or not you support an item and/or which fee it fits into? For example items like 30’s Diamond Matchbooks seem like they’d be oversized to me, but based on the s/h you charge the customer, it looks like you treat them as standard size. Also, some 3D-ish items from Topps like 1990 Double-Headers and 1991 Stand-Ups, are these items you support? I probably have other examples, but these are what come to mind. So is there a certain contact/email I should use for questions like this prior to sending the items in? Thanks!

    • We cannot properly scan, or more importantly store, 1990 Double-Headers at this time due to their bases. 1991 Stand-Ups shouldn’t be a problem; the only thing we ask is for them to have the what by now is probably toxic candy removed. We will accept them as long as they are emptied.

      For now email or otherwise contact customer service with these questions and they will forward them to the sorting team for clarification.

      • One thing I did neglect to mention: 1991 Stand-Ups would fall under the Premium service due to their thickness.

      • Thanks Chad. As far as the double-headers go, I noticed PSA will grade them out of their stands… would COMC accept the “cards” out of their stands as well? Not sure if I want to go that route, but would be interested to know if that was even an option.

      • To answer the question about taking the Double-Headers without stands, it has been our stance to try to keep items as close to their original intention as possible. What I mean by this is we would prefer to have things like these, where they were issued with additional elements, sent to us with these elements. The most extreme example of something we will take only if in its original packaging is Bowman Originals autographs because there are so many fraudulent examples out there that are not encased and sealed with the Topps sticker.

        The thing that normally trumps this stance is when market trends or collector history demonstrates that there really isn’t a significant difference if this particular portion of the packaging or item is or isn’t there. For example, Finest cards with the peels removed aren’t normally frowned upon because a large enough group of collectors prefer them without “REMOVE PROTECTIVE COATING” showing up repeatedly across the front of their cards and having this peel still on the card when it is graded can earn a lower surface grade. Of course they can remove the coating themselves and will still buy the cards with the peels intact, they just don’t pay a premium for that privilege.

        That’s kind of a longwinded way of saying that our staff hasn’t seen enough history on this product to know if the stand is a key element of the item and its value or not. If collectors don’t care about or actually get rid of these stands we’d be happy to list them without. If you have any insight into this please contact us. It’s a licensed supportable set that is being kept off the site only because of its quirky production and if that isn’t important to collectors we would like to be able to offer these to them.

  6. So would magazines be put under the comics submission or are you not accepting magazine submissions at all after Jan 20th? And if you’re not accepting magazines after the 20th when will you begin accepting them again?

    Thanks

    • Good point. Magazines fall under Comics. We will be sure the label the wizard accordingly.
      Correction: Magazines will eventually fall under Comics. We need to wait a few months before we can start processing them. We post a blog update when we are ready for Magazines.

      • Good question/explanation. This was the type of Beta Test item I was interested in sending. Will magazine sized team programs continue to be accepted under the comics heading as well?

      • Eventually they will all go under a “Comics, Magazines & Programs” service that looks just like the “Comics” service we have defined here. But we are not ready for them yet. Hopefully this spring.

      • When are magazines,programs,media guides etc.going to be out of the beta and a part of the site officially. I have about a thousand or so from the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s to send in,but i don’t want to send anymore in until its out of beta and part of your product lines and involved in your advertising and such.

  7. Wow. I’m a faithful comc loyalist and will adhere to whatever policies you roll out, but am perplexed by penalty fees being assessed for adding “expensive” cards to accounts.
    I thought the reason for building the catalog/price guide is to determine what pricing parameters apply to individual cards (low, high, scarcity, median averages, etc.).
    Riddle me this, Batman. How will your experts handle a card that books for $120 and is listed for $48? How will they know what I plan to l ask for a card? Will penalties be added retroactively after they’ve been uploaded and priced? This means a busy staff member will have to monitor cards after they’ve been processed/released.
    Penalizing users for adding high-end cards makes no sense. Nice cards make your site more attractive and their sale usually will result in higher fees to comc. Isn’t this double-dipping or double jeopardy?
    Please advise.

    • Hey Doug! It is actually pretty simple. We only give Premium processing to items that you explicitly submit as Premium or that are graded, encased, jumbo… and require Premium processing. Standard cards that just happen to be valuable can be submitted through our Basic service. When you try to set your asking price such that an item will be listed for more than $50, we will check to see if it was processed with our Basic service. If so, that means that we need to assign the item to one of our card experts for review. We simply confirm that you are OK with paying $0.50 for the detailed review. If you click OK, we will charge you $0.50 and let you set the price to whatever you want. Over the next few days, our card experts will review your item and confirm that no corrections or notes need to be added to the item.

      Please see the response I gave to cjay101’s comment above. That tries to explain in more detail why we need to do this. In the future, I would love to absorb this cost in order to encourage more expensive cards. Right now, I have a mammoth labor expense creating a 3 million item catalog from scratch. So we are asking that you please chip in the $0.50 so that we know your item really deserves a review and that it is not just a card where you are fishing for some sucker will bite on an overpriced card.

      • In other words, if you have a card you plan on listing with a 50 dollar price tag or higher, then the listing fee will be 1.00 if you use the premium service or .75 (.25 up front and .5 for the review) if you use the basic service. Sounds like this will result in a lot of cards priced ar 49.99?

        Up until this change, I would have submitted a 50 dollar card through the 7 day service period for fifty cents, now i would have to submit it premium for 1 dollar for at most 3 days. If time is the issue, didn’t you just crunch the time even more for the processors?

        no offense, just askin

      • We get way more than just $50+ items with our One Week service. We want you to pick which ones really need priority, and put those in the $1 Premium service. This is more expensive than the old $0.50 One Week service, so we will get fewer submissions. The rest will go into the Basic service where we have more flexibility and can be significantly more efficient.

        Our new Premium service is actually a totally new innovation that we finished implementing over the last few weeks. We process things significantly different from how we have processed items in the past. We can scale up the service and hire more people if necessary at the $1 mark.

      • Any reason why the COMC faithful cant help develop this catalog. If it were broken up into 100 card blocs, that would be 30,000 blocs. Give submission credit for 100 blocs at a time and you will have the catalog itself in a matter of weeks, then its just pricing, and I would imagine COMC has the capacity to scan previous sales on the site and come up with pricing.

      • Woah, Tim- I’m confused on the premium discussion? If I choose the standard service (.25) and send in a card that will have a SV of $100, I will be asked to give an extra .50? On top of this, add money for shipping? Just trying to get a handle on this as a seller. Please understand, that I’m not grumbling just to grumble, I’m just surprised that your sellers will be hit with extra fees to sell nicer items. Also, these changes take place as a result of the Beckett partnership canceling. If I’m not be vectored correctly, please let me know. I truly spend a great deal of my time here at COMC but fear it may be outgrowing me as a small patron. Thanks for your time.

  8. Pingback: COMC Simplified Processing Announced - Blowout Cards Forums

  9. So I can plan accordingly, with the change to processing fees being deducted when the cards are ready instead of when they arrive at your headquarters, how will you handle insufficient funds? For example, if I have a current balance of $0, but send in 400 cards with the expectation that by the time they are ready I will have done $100 in sales, will the lack of immediate funds create a delay in the processing being started? Also, in the same scenario, on the day the 400 cards are ready, I only have $75 in credit, will the cards not be added to my account until the other $25 is either added or I do an additional $25 in sales? Or will my account balance go negative with the cards still added when they are finished. Whatever policy you go with is understandable, I just don’t want to create any issues or have any avoidable delays…. although I might submit cards on a more regular basis if I knew I’d have 2-8 weeks to make sales of cards already on the site to cover the processing fees that I’m short at the time I send the additional cards, if that makes sense.

    • If your account has a negative balance when your submission arrives, we will put it on hold until you no longer have a negative balance.
      If your account does not have a negative balance, we will begin processing your submission. We will then allow you account to go “somewhat” negative while we deposit your items. “Somewhat” will eventually be based on a percentage of the total COMC Suggested List Price of your current inventory. Until we have the new SLP, this is a gray area, and we might just pick an amount we are comfortable with by eyeballing your inventory. If your account goes beyond “somewhat” negative, we will pause processing your items until your account is in good standing.

  10. I think this is a great idea. I do have a couple questions. Can you define “standard card”? Is Topps black standard or momentum or Five Star? What I’m asking if a card is thicker then standard is it still $.25 processing? Next question: when will you guys be accepting cards that are not currently part of Beckett? Cards that are not licensed?

    • Also please take my current premium cards and process them under the new service. I like faster. U guys are turning into Jimmy Johns. lol

    • Cards that are not part of Beckett and cards that are unlicensed are not one and the same. There are certain cards and sets that we still will not take due to content or lack of licensing. If you have questions about a set please contact customer service and they will get the answer from the ID team in regards to whether it will be listed or returned.

      • Thank you chad but I was under the understanding that at some point all cards would be accepted. Now thats not to say the ones you make in your basement. I guess maybe the other blog would be a better place to ask this question. I read through some of the comments over there and sounds like with Beckett out it opens up a door to accept rare and unique cards?

    • Hi, Cardko. Good question about “standard” cards. We consider a standard card to be:
      -Any card that fits inside the outline of a “tall boy”-style card (example: http://comc.com/r1W9Fkp) – 2.5″ x 5″
      OR
      -Any card that fits inside the outline of a vinatge card – 2 5/8″ x 3 3/4″

      Regardless of the dimensions, the card must ALSO not be thicker than 1/10th of an inch, which as a rule of thumb we tend to consider anything that can fit comforatbly into a 130pt toploader or thinner. These dimension requirements apply to cards only; sports coins, poker chips, bottle caps, etc must be processed with the Premium service.

      Thanks!
      Jeremy

      • Thanks for that additional information Jeremy.

        To answer your follow-up question above, there is a significant difference between a team issued item that Beckett doesn’t recognize and a randomly produced card without a copyright, year, name, or manufacturer. There is also a difference between rare and unique licensed cards and unlicensed scarcity such as custom sketch cards commonly sold on eBay.

        We’re sorry for any confusion you may have experienced regarding the announcement in regards to our relationship with Beckett and the opportunity it presents us but we aren’t suddenly going to take everything and anything. We still have some standards, both philosophical and legal, to follow. Look at it like this: now we can take Donruss puzzle pieces where before we returned them because they weren’t supported by Beckett (as just one example). We’re still not going to take Penthouse cards, and we don’t suddenly accept Broders.

  11. Not a huge fan. I am one of the sellers that likes processing a batch completely at one time. It’s one of the reasons I send in a batch almost exactly every two weeks. Dissapointed that the one month guaranteed service is going away, and will be trying to get as many cards in before the deadline as possible.

    I cash out sometimes once I get to a certain amount of money. I shouldn’t have to worry that I’ll go in the negative because you guys just happened to get 100 of my cards done that day.

    Also not too much of a fan of .25 cents not guaranteeing one month processing. If I wanted the bulk service rate, I would pay that discounted rate. I get that you say an “average” of 1 month, but it’s no longer a guarantee.

    • Hi, Ajax1723. Another commenter pointed ot the same thing above, and it is a very good point. Here was Tim’s response:

      “Sounds like a reasonable request. We could offer an option that just deposits everything whenever it is completely done. This could be a setting on your account. Pretty simple feature.”

      Thanks for the helpful feedback!
      Jeremy

  12. If your account has a negative balance when your submission arrives, we will put it on hold until you no longer have a negative balance.
    If your account does not have a negative balance, we will begin processing your submission. We will then allow you account to go “somewhat” negative while we deposit your items. “Somewhat” will eventually be based on a percentage of the total COMC Suggested List Price of your current inventory. Until we have the new SLP, this is a gray area, and we might just pick an amount we are comfortable with by eyeballing your inventory. If your account goes beyond “somewhat” negative, we will pause processing your items until your account is in good standing

    I love this, will make submitting a lot easier for me :) and trust me, simpler is far better.

  13. I just finished the recent blog post and I think that I generally understand the changes, and I agree that it seems that you’re trying to make everything easier and simpler. That is a good thing for ALL involved, COMC, sellers and buyers! I believe that, as in the past, the changes will be seen as big improvements and I trust Tim/Julia and their staff to always do the right thing for the overall improvement of the site. For you gadflies, just remember that if they aren’t making a profit we got nothin’! One last point – thank you for being so open, solicitous of all of the users thoughts and for being (as) transparent as can be expected! I’ve been with COMC since Oct. of ’08 and I love this site! Things are modified as the site grows and things change, but consistently for the better!

  14. I’m very close to selling my 50,000th item on COMC. I find it remarkable that you can sort, scan, identify, store, process so many items as quickly and efficiently as you do. I’m very grateful for all of the efforts of all of the people at COMC and I’m hopeful of the future.

    I’d like to reiterate that your customers are a tremendous resource, and many of them would be eager to help you during this transition, if you gave them the tools to do so. I imagine that many of them would happily create lists, add tags, provide market information, or perform other useful services if you ask. Don’t think you have to do this all alone.

  15. Expensive Items/Premium Service – Right now submitted cards get put into a bin with no comment (Sort of an excellent or better bin), “Good to VG-EX” bin etc. Further back in time cards were given condition notes such as “Has Flaws” etc.

    What will happen now? Will there still be separate bins? Will there just be condition notes?

    What I would really like to hear is that the Expensive items go into separate bins that include Excellent Mint, Near Mint and not just lesser conditions and then the “No Comment” bin. The reason I say this is that on Amazon I believe COMC is falling behind the competition who are mostly identifying all cards in all the categories and not just trying to point out the cards with problems.

    I am confident many sellers would find the additional cost of the premium service acceptable if the Card Review process results in separate bins for Excellent, Excellent Mint, Near Mint etc.

  16. I guess I’m in the minority, but I think this is great news! When I send in my typical submission of 400 cards, there are some that I would love to have up as quickly as possible (depending on the season) and some that I’m in no rush to have added. It will help me to get a higher premium for cards that are in demand, and will make COMC an even better option for picking up singles from new releases! With the old hot list format, I often lost money on submitting the cards because the prices would fall beneath that $.50 threshold if I couldn’t sell them in the first 30 days. This will offer a good balance between a one-day type service and a one month for “hot” cards. Thank you COMC!

    • This is sort of how I was looking at it too. I never sent stuff in via the hot list because I didn’t have faith that the items would sell that quickly. Well, if COMC prioritizes my submissions by depositing new stuff first, then it is like I am using the hot list without trying. Works for me.

      The only negative for me is I have 12 days to get all my bulk stuff ready to ship, and that ain’t happening. But I’ll get over it. The site certainly doesn’t revolve around my needs, nor should it.

      In data we trust. Go analytics go.

  17. Tim, did I read correctly that COMC will be charging users for the new pricing system? If you will be charging, will it be similar to the way Beckett did, where we had to pay for pricing on items that we did not ship to COMC? Or, will we be required to pay for 100% of all priceless things Thank you.

  18. Not a fan of the penalty fee for the $50+ cards… What if we start the price at $50 and it doesn’t sell and the price is later reduced. If we as sellers are willing to wait up to 8 weeks for processing then the value of those items should not matter. As someone who has gotten used to sending in 24-40 items at a time the 100 items is going to be a little different for us but we can accept that… but the upcharge for more expensive items prices your service out of a range we find acceptable.

  19. Like I said over on blowout, I don’t think the extra processing fee for $50 and up cards is fair at all. A major problem COMC has is a lack of higher end cards. Yes, there are many on the site, but for years, I’ve been sitting on store credit wanting to scoop up a Drew Brees contenders rookie. Someone had one when I first joined the site and they actually told me via conversation on Facebook that they would give me a deal on it, only problem was I didn’t have the store credit yet and by the time I got it, someone grabbed it at his listed “higher” price than he offered me! All I could say it was a steal and a price I’ll likely never see one at again :( But at least give someone the opportunity to put one on here. This site is seriously lacking in the top higher end cards of the big names and extra fees don’t help. If anything you should offer cheaper rates to get these cards on the site because if something really rare and popular were to sell on COMC, then it would likely draw a lot of attention to this site. If some hot rookie came out next year and someone submitted his superfractor on here and it sold quite well I think that would get a lot of attention from the hobby. But people will continue to go the Ebay route and it’s sad because this site is so much better than Ebay. I want to see you guys be successful and I want to be successful on your website. Make a point of emphasis drawing higher end cards and charging more is NOT the way to do it. Hopefully you think about this. Thanks

  20. I’m fine with most of the changes. However I also find the surcharge on higher end items to be fairly absurd. While I can understand you run a business and want a bigger cut on high end items, it is likely to result in less of them being sent to you as others have suggested. While people are being supportive it doesn’t really seem like a great time to create new fees. Especially when considering that a 50 dollar card might be 10 in an 8 week processing span with a major injury. At least consider recouping the fee after the item is sold.

    In addition to that I’d imagine you also were paying beckett, so those fees should now be freed up. There was an article suggesting buying an out of business price guides data, it might be worth looking into as I’d imagine people aren’t banging down the doors for that.

  21. I don’t understand the tone of a lot of these comments:
    1) It’s not worth 50 cents to you (1% of the card’s sell value—not book value) to reduce the risk of a returned item/chargeback?
    2) Why would COMC wait eight weeks to process a $50 card when they just announced—in this very post!—they were going to prioritize submissions to get the better cards on the site first?

    If it weren’t for the familiar-sounding names in these comments I would think the reaction was from people who had never used the site.

    • Not tone Joel, I’m a faithful COMC; so much so, I spend so much time surfing for those great deals. However, change drives questions, that’s all. Nothing more.

  22. Questions are good.. Joel has a famous tone of his own so judging others…I am not sure I get.. As for us… 25 cents is as much as we would ever pay to get a card posted. If fees every exceed that amount we would have to list elsewhere. I am glad the base pricing has not increased. I am a bit more concerned about this seemingly arbitrary way cards will post though. I send in 100 cards…a week later someone else sends in 100 but because they are considered “hot” they get priority over mine? It seems the level playing field along with “first come first served” does not exist any longer here.

    • We redesigned the services to optimize efficiency. This unfortunately means that we had to sacrifice “fairness”. Right now efficiency is our #1 priority. We need as many resources as possible for the new catalog.

      We are able to significantly increase our efficiency if we can process cards in themed batches instead of the semi-random batches that people generally submit. I can get your cards on the site faster if you let me process your vintage hockey cards along with the next guy’s vintage hockey cards. Unfortunately One Month doesn’t give me enough time to do a full cycle of every type of cards efficiently. That is why we need 8 weeks to complete they cycle. That said, you don’t have to wait the full 8 weeks to get everything. The net is you get stuff faster on average, but some items will be slower.

  23. I like this idea, hopefully they don’t all end up being completed near the maximum amount of time.

    I have about 250 cards ready to go today.. are the new service levels avail right now or do I have to wait until the 20th?

    Thanks

  24. I am confused on few things myself COMC isn’t paying $10,000 a month anymore for Beckett’s data, why they haven’t been building a catalog from day 1 of starting there business i cant figure it out, If they aren’t paying Beckett anymore for there data then why aren’t the processing fees decreasing ? it is going to cost $0.25 to get cards put on in 8 weeks isn’t even worth paying or waiting for. Fees should be decreasing not going up. What is COMC doing to help sell our cards? Everyone seems to complain there sales have dropped cause of all these changes on COMC i agree. i feel that COMC is going down the road Ebay did when they kept raising there fees on everyone and chasing everyone away. As far as Beckett goes COMC needs to cut ties with everyone who is or has worked for Beckett including Rich Klein. I am tired of reading his post on Sports Collectors Daily.com talking about how good things are on selling on COMC and comparing it to other sites if your going to write a story talk about the Pros & Cons not just one. Everyone knows COMC fees are much higher than other sites. There are alot of Cons about this site but Rich doesn’t want anyone to know that.

  25. As a note, I will remind you of an article which my editor headlined: “I love you COMC, BUT,…” I’m sure some of my comments were taken to heart then and now. In fact whenever I talk to Tim, he always reminds me of that headline. And as for simple processing, I served a stint as the treasurer of my local synagogue and we had like 15 different payment structures. In reality, there should be aboue 3-4 at the most like most temples have (I researched that on-line). Simpler processing structure while building a catalog is vital, there is not a perfect solution, with “x” amount of employees one can not ask them to do “y” work. This enables more people to work on the new process of cataloguing. All this is just normal business sense and kudos to Tim/Juila and the team for being so open about why they do things. If every company was this open, we’d have a better hobby and better businesses in every field.

  26. And as for why COMC was not building a catalog since day 1 — cataloguing takes time and effort and the core of COMC (as Tim posted in the previous article) was settng up systems for scanning, shipping and dealing with cards. This worked so well that COMC *IS* a force in the industry. Considering the sum amouint of work done in all my previous submissions was to ship cards, wait for them to be scanned and posted and then set the price (which was a breeze electronically). I found that a ton simpler and more cost effective then doing EBay sales. I don’t have to worry about customer service issues with clients, I don’t have to worry about tracking Post Office or UPS information and I don’t have to worry about how my cards are stored and saved. To me, those are major wins and this concept may not work for everyone, but this concept works for me. And JTB, I understand your frustration, heck the original deal with Beckett was so good for COMC that free Beckett pricing was posted. Well, that was unfair to Beckett. This is 2014, this is a fresh start and we all need to give Tim/Julia and the COMC team a chance to deal with these new realities. Cataloguing is not easy but with the new found freedom COMC can catalog in a way I was not always able to do for publishing sets at Beckett. Let’s see what transpires.

  27. Kinda looks like a PSA style business plan. Raise prices and legthen the turnaround time…COMC has been a good source for the hobby I just hope greed doesn’t get in the way.

    • Please note that PSA typically charges $5-$10 per card. We are still charging only $0.25 for our most popular service. We have a long ways to go before anyone could have a legitimate case about any of us being greedy.

      • How are they getting greedy. the most important thing is that COMC makes money .I own a couple small businesses and I have told my employees first and foremost you need to make sure that I make money If I am not making money then you wont be making money It goes hand in hand. If and when they raise the fee to .30 cents or more then so be it.

  28. While I may not like this current plan regarding the way processing will be handled (and perhaps a few other policy changes from time to time), COMC has been ANYTHING but greedy over the period we have been in business on this site. The games Beckett played with COMC first causing the uproar over charging for pricing and now this are due in part because of the threat Beckett now realizes COMC has become. This is a stable site with A+ customer service that is providing a good service. Beckett on the other hand is an unstable site with E- customer service (mostly located in India) that is grasping at final straws to keep their larger dealers happy by empowering them to play with a business program that will never work. Their cutting ties with COMC was a desperate act to create dissension here in hopes of capturing defectors. Do I like these service changes? Nope not one bit. But as long as COMC provides the service at 25 cents then to us there is no better place to move our unwanted inventory.

  29. I think Tony AAA raises a fair point re the ‘expensive’ card pemium. What if you list for $60, for argument’s sake, but end up selling for $45? Would it not be possible to implement a system whereby any card which actually sells for $50+ is subject to a 50c fee, payable by the seller of course, as opposed to charging up front. It seems, to me at least, that although the difference is subtle that it would be less of an imposition on sellers. I should stress that I will hardly be affected since I have few cards worth sending in which would have an asking price even approaching the $50 threshold, but I think anything that lessens the impact on sellers up-front would be more agreeable.

    While I’m here, I will say that I expected to read many more posts opposing said move. I think the lack of them demonstrates that most of us still have total confidence in COMC.

  30. Stop crying and start recruiting more people to the site. You also could take your cards and build your own site so I have less competition here where there are actual customers. Paying 50 cents extra to have a card sell a month faster improves your cash flow. That $100 you get now is worth at least $10 more now because of a thing called interest. How much would it cost you to hire someone to process, ship, collect money, create a database, write software, store your items, etc? eBay has listing fees and they don’t do crap for you other than side with the buyer when they give you the shaft.

  31. Tim,
    Unless it is proprietary, any chance you guys can do a video showing the whole process from when a card enters your facility, till it gets identified, scanned, priced, stored, and then sold and shipped. Would be pretty interesting to see. Also, how about making a presence out here on the east coast. The Philly show is in March. Send Moe down!

    • Maybe some day. It would be a pretty amazing video. Some parts are proprietary, and some parts are patented, but we could probably do something interesting.

      I would love to send Moe, Norbert, and others to shows, but we won’t have any free time until late spring or summer at the earliest.

  32. Hey COMC, I know you guys are swamped, but is there any way you could leave us with some regular updates here on the blog? I know that giving out updates is a double-edged sword since they can be turned into an outlet for some folks to complain, but for a seller like me I’m very interested in how the process is coming along. Especially with the price catalog. I’m guessing that project will take a while, but are there any estimates on how long or a timeline you could share?

  33. Pingback: Ramblings: Glimpses Back in Time, PSA & COMC, Researcher's Life | Sports Collectors Daily | Sports collecting news

  34. I may have missed your answer, if you answered this previously. As a dealer on COMC who already has a Beckett online yearly subscription (that I paid THROUGH Beckett), I made sure this last time that I got the total access, because you two had “partnered”. Now you are going a totally different direction, which I understand.. However, I am getting it right that I paid several $100’s of dollars for that and now I will need to pay the same to you once you get your “COMC price guide” (yes, that’s what i called it) up and running. That means, if I want Beckett access and access to you, I’ll be paying over $500 per year? I understand that what you are doing is better for your site, dealers, and buyers…but as a guy who does card shows and local sales, MANY will not “get it” when I talk about COMC’s price….just like they don’t “get it” when I talk about eBay’s price….especially when I am considering buying someone’s collection. Please advise?

      • Thanks Tim, but I hope you caught the part where I said I bought it through Beckett’s site. I only did that because I had been buying the online price guide there off and on, anyway. I was more familiar with the way their site processed things. Honestly, I have an opinion of what I’d like as a dealer…but buyers would not like it so well. Either way, I understand your decisions up to this point and pretty much agree with them.

  35. In my Inventory Manager “add to shipment” button does not work. I can’t change from “not for sale” to “ready to ship”. My ID iluvatarek

  36. What happens if a card was listed with the basic service but couple months later the value has increased from say $15 to $100, is that card now subject to a premium fee?

  37. To many changes Tim!!! I started in December 2011 and it seems like this site has taken on way to many changes since then. I liked the simple site it used to be. I honestly didn’t think you needed to add the Comics, coins, figurines, ect. I’m hoping these new processing stats work out, but it’s going to be a killer if it takes 8 weeks for cards to be processed. 2 weeks would be amazing, but 8 would be way to long. Sometimes players are hot (not the hot list), but to pay the $1.00 fee would kill the value in my opinion since I don’t dabble in high end cards. But in 4 weeks it might still work for me, but 8 is way to long. I’m starting to get worried that this site is going to go to far with sellers and only care about the buyer. Sorry I’m just venting due to the 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks possibly added onto processing times now.

  38. Some folks who are saying that COMC needs to work on bringing in buyers should hold off and take some responsibility. If we want COMC to increase marketing, that means we’ll have to pay higher fees so they can afford it. Where would you like them to market? I don’t think there are many serious single buyers who don’t know what COMC is. If you’re struggling with sales, look at the type of cards you’re offering and the prices you have them set to. If you have it set at $X and nobody is buying it, then nobody else thinks it’s worth $X to them right now. It’s also extremely easy to promote your own store. Start a blog, plug it through Twitter, talk about it at your LCS, etc.. You can market your own individual store and see an increase in sales without increasing costs.

    • That could be a cool future blog post when things in COMCland calm down. “Creative Ways to Increase COMC Hits”, ideas on how each of us can market our own stores without spending a dime.

    • All very true besides the money comc has for marketing. They did fee hikes not to long back and this was one of the reasons they gave for raising them. So it should be there.

  39. Honestly, the best way to promote COMC does involve some money but also some travel. ANY of the fan fests which feature card shows as part of the event (Twins, Cubs, Reds for example) are places where the “wider” market attends and purchases cards. The All-Star Fan Fest is the same. You would open up a whole new world of collectors to COMC that way who already have some interest in cards. More later but at 3 in the morning I don’t type that well

  40. Just my opinion, but comc – after the changes are implemented – should try to gauge what the account holders here like. I would be more than happy to take a survey or some other way to gather background information. Essentially we need to find out what Comc account holders buy in addition to cards. For example I buy mainly auto cards. I buy gold and silver coins. I also buy firearms and play video games. If you can get the feedback it may allow you to target the advertising a bit better. There’s still an outcry for buyers so it’s obvious the Beckett, National, and articles written online are prodcing the results.

    • Hi! As we say in the post:

      Graded, Encased, Jumbo, and Extra-Thick Trading Cards as well as Sports Poker Chips, Coins, and Pins

      All of these items should be processed with the Premium service. It is the same price as the old One Month service, but your items will be processed in 1-3 business days, and there is no minimum fee.

      • Long term, do you expect 2014 Topps Chipz to always cost $1 to submit? The 2013s sell well at a couple bucks each, up to $10-$20 for the tougher parallels, but if I have to pay $1 upfront for each one, I’ll be less motivated to send any in.

      • Hi Joel,

        Thanks for asking – all’s I can say right now is to repeat what Tim said in the blog post: As we catch up on the catalog and price guide project, we will reconsider what services we can offer. And, with those services, I’m thinking that there’ll be a re-examination as to the costs of those services.

        I know it’s vague, but you also know that Tim is always willing to make changes and modifications, as needed.

      • Before there was no fee for grading are you saying we now have to pay a dollar a card for sending in graded cards?

  41. Wow. It’s 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night (Jan. 29).

    On Monday morning (Jan. 27) I shipped a batch to Redmond. Arrival of the cards was acknowledged today around 1 p.m.

    Tonight at 11 p.m. I noticed my store credit had been adjusted. THE CARDS WERE UPLOADED TO MY ACCOUNT TONIGHT AT 11 P.M.!

    How cool is that? 10 hour turnaround!

    Thank you to the comc team for insanely ridiculous service. My vocabulary doesn’t include a more descriptive way to state my amazement.

  42. Small issue with the new processing. I have processing saying its 35% done, yet no cards to price. I was thinking they where going to be released as you processed them, or are we not doing that anymore?

    • The percentage is based on how far along the batch is in the process, just like before, rather than the percentage of submitted cards in the batch that are ready to be priced.

    • Hi, sorry I’m slow to replying – the submission process software needs to be updated as it still uses the old progress parameters, back when we processed all your cards at one time. Now that we’re modified the processing systems, and we’re processing sections of a batch at a time – we need to update the software that tracks your batches. And, that hasn’t happened yet. But it will.

      So, in all honesty and for the time being, take the progress percentages with a grain of salt. There’s a touch of accuracy, but it’s like those fishing stories your buddies tell you: while there was a fish involved, the size of the fish seems to change every time the story is told…

  43. So Moe you are saying that the new processing is not ready to be launch, yet it was prematurely launch without the system being ready?

    • What? No, not at all; we’d been having issues with that software before the changes – it’s just gotten more visible with the changes to the processing services. Tim ensured all the necessary pieces were ready before we announced the changes – while the status updates are convenient and nice to have, there were other elements that required more of his attention. It’ll get fixed.

  44. Just to clarify a point, when 5 cards arrive at the Mailbox, let’s say I only wanted one of them, I can choose to donate 4 to charity. And by doing that, I will get $4 processing fee back? so I am only charged $1 for the batch?

    • Hi Brian, yes that’s right. You will initially get charged $5 for the 5 cards – but, we’ll reimburse you for any Mailbox cards you donate to charity.

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