Cyber Monday Promotions & Shopping Sprees

Cyber Monday Shopping Sprees
Some of our Black Friday Weekend Shopping Sprees went unclaimed, so we just issued 100 more shopping sprees. If you logged into COMC in the past year, you may have won a Cyber Monday Shopping Spree.

Check to see if you won

2005-06 SP Game Used Edition SIGnificance Dual Extra [Autographed] #XSIG-MM - Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan /25 - Courtesy of COMC.comCyber Monday Promotions
Many of our sellers are running Cyber Monday Sales with the deepest discounts they have ever offered. You have until midnight PST today to buy up as many of these items as you can.

Best Deals Contests
Don’t forget to post your best deals by tomorrow night for a chance to win a box of cards.
Learn more about the contest

Free Shipping
We are providing Free Shipping on any order of 10 or more items. This special only applies to items that were purchased in Simplified Shipping Mode, not Advanced Reseller Mode.

Very Large Shipment Requests
If you try to put in a shipment request for more than 500 items, we will process those requests after midnight. They will still get the same promotional rates, but we don’t want to bog down the server with these requests while everyone is shopping today.

Black Friday Update
In case you missed it. Here is a quick video update on our Black Friday Status and other COMC news.

Black Friday Shopping Sprees

Ozcard 468X60

Here is the breakdown of Shopping Sprees that were awarded for Black Friday.

Facebook Peyton Manning Contest
– 1 x $509

Scavenger Hunt
– 2 x $100
– 10 x $50
– 108 x $20
– 237 x $5

Buyers (based on items purchased and shipped since last Thanksgiving)
– 1 x $200
– 200 x $20

Sellers (based on items consigned in 2014)
– 100 x $20

Users were allowed to win more than one of the above prizes.

Find out if you won

Successful Stress Test

Thank you to everyone that hammered on the site for the past hour. We have successfully discovered some areas of the site that need to be fixed.

We will be taking the site down from 11PM to 5AM to address these issues.

We are extending the free shipping shipping for 10+ items 2 more hours, until 9PM tonight. If you miss that, please just come back anytime from Thursday through Monday to get free shipping.

Also, we will be giving extra prizes to everyone that hit an error or that attempted to purchase store credit during the hour.

Thanks for the help. I hope you enjoyed the scavenger hunt!

Pre-Black Friday Scavenger Hunt & Stress Test

ScavangerHunt
The first 50 different people that complete the following tasks between 6PM and 7PM Pacific time today will receive a $20 Black Friday weekend shopping spree. Additionally, we will randomly give away another 20 more shopping sprees ranging from $20 to $100 based on the entries listed below. We will be giving out a total of $2,000 of shopping sprees.

Warning: This is intentionally a stress test. We are doing this before Black Friday to measure what load our servers can handle. We do expect that you will experience some errors. Try as much as you can over the course of the hour.

Have fun!

Tasks
(OPTIONAL) Buy some store credit (1 entry per $1 you buy)
Make an offer on anything in the Charity account (1 entry per offer. It will be automatically accepted.)
Use store credit to buy an item that is currently on sale and features a player in a black jersey
Set an asking price for the item you just purchased
Use store credit to buy an item that is currently on sale and features one of your favorite players
Place a shipment request (1 entry per item shipped, Free shipping on 10+ items)
Add a comment to this blog post stating that you completed the tasks (1 entry for posting, ONLY 1 post please)

Optional Tasks
Add some items to your cart that feature players on your favorite team
Purchase your shopping cart with either Amazon, Credit Card, or PayPal (1 entry per item purchased)

6 PM PST is just 2 hours away, so start your engines!

UPDATE: 6:50 PM PST
Congratulations! You successfully stressed out our server, and you helped us uncovered some areas that need to be fixed. We will be taking the site down from 11PM PST to 5AM PST to address several of these issues. Since many of you were unable to accomplish some of the tasks because you were so successful at stressing out the server, I will see what we can do about awarding some extra prizes for those of you that hit errors.

Historical Suggested Prices

About a month ago we rolled out our first version of Suggested Prices. Based on the feedback of many COMC customers, we have revamped our model and just released v2 of our BETA Suggested Prices. This time we have included some charts to help you analyze our suggestions.
SalesData

For those of you not familiar with our Suggested Prices, you can learn more here.

As I mentioned in my original announcement video, we have the cleanest set of historical sales data ever complied. This gives us a unique opportunity to provide relevant price suggestions without having to factor in so many variables.

Our Suggested Prices are still in BETA testing. We want your feedback. Here are some important details about the COMC Suggested Prices.

Data Sources
We only use COMC historical sales data. We do not factor in sales from any other websites, and we do not use any other guides or services. All of the COMC Suggested Prices are based on a mathematical model that I designed and implemented. We have made no attempt to replicate or mimic any other guides or services. We fully expect that you will find our Price Suggestions to be very different from other guides or services. My goal was to boil down a bunch of numbers into a few easily digestible suggestions. Here are the goals I tried to achieve and what numbers went into generating each suggestion.

  • Suggested Retail Price (SRP): The SRP is intended to be a fair asking price for a retail store. This is currently just a standard markup on our Suggested List Price. We figure it is fair to expect to pay a little premium in order to see the item in-person before buying.
  • Suggested List Price (SLP): The goal of the SLP is to be a reasonable List Price that a seller might use to put an item up for sale on COMC. The SLP is based on the total price that buyers actually paid to take possession of their items. That means we only factor in items that were sold and shipped when generating the SLP. While this is based on confirmed sales, it is not an average. An average or median would leave no room for buyers to make offers without constantly driving the price down. Instead we have factored in a little bit of room for people to negotiate prices.
  • Suggested Wholesale Price (SWP): The SWP is intended to represent the price that sellers can reasonably target if they are trying to sell their item quickly. Often buyers in this price range are purchasing with the intent to resell. That is why we refer to this as the “wholesale” price. This factors in all sales on the site, but we treat port sales and other large offers with a grain of salt.

Chart Elements
Bar charts have been added to the top right corner of each card details page. Bar charts, with additional lines representing suggested prices, have been added to the popup you see when you click on card prices. The bar chart represents the number of items sold in a given quarter (3 month period) for that particular card. The rightmost bar represents the sales for the current quarter, which will just be a portion of a quarter. The sales from all the different conditions and grades are lumped together in the bar chart. The lines represent the SRP, SLP, and SWP. The points are measured on the last day of the given quarter. The rightmost point on the line represents the current Suggested Price. The chart shows the last 15 full quarters and the current quarter.

Partial Sales Data
Because the rightmost bar represents only a portion of a quarter, it will often appear lower than other bars. This does not typically mean that sales have been decreasing for an item. It more often means, that we are simply in the middle of a quarter and we are still adding to the total sales for that quarter.

Charts with No Lines
Some listings do not have enough historical data for us to generate a Suggested Price. You might even find some listings that used to have Suggested Prices, but they no longer have suggestions. This is because we consider older historical sales as less relevant. If the total relevance that was factored into a suggestion is too low we discard the suggestion. Years ago, this data was more relevant and our model may have been able to make older suggestions.

Extrapolation
The current model only looks at historical sales of the exact same item in the same condition or grade. Later this fall we will begin factoring in similar products and conditions. This will help enable us to make price suggestions for items such as printing plates. While we may have never sold a particular printing plate, we may have sold a different color of that plate or other printing plates of that player or other printing plates from that set. These data points can help us make recommendations for items that we haven’t sold yet.

Vintage Suggested Prices
We know that vintage card prices are very condition sensitive. Please take all pre-1980 COMC Price Suggestions with a grain of salt. Because we have not factored in detailed condition ratings, we may choose to completely turn off these suggestions if we find that they are too misleading.

Frequency of Updates
We re-run our analysis every night. If a player has a great game, the sales from today will be factored into tomorrow’s model.

Historical Suggestions
You might wonder how it is possible for us to offer Suggested Prices that go back 4 years when we only started offering these suggestions a month ago, and I have to say, that is very perceptive of you. You see, I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about Astrophysics, and I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. As a result I was able to find two colliding black holes and hitched a ride going faster than the speed of light in order to run the model at different points in time over the past several years.

Actually, I just designed the mathematical model so that I can plug in any point it time and it will generated the suggestions based on the historical data before that point.

Changes from V1
We got feedback that the Suggested Retail Price from our first version of Suggested Prices was too inflated. This feedback has been incorporated into the new mathematical model we use for the new version of COMC Suggested Prices. If you notice an SRP is lower than what you remembered, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the value is decreasing. The entire model was adjusted. It is best to refer to our charts to understand the direction the market might be heading.

Feedback Wanted
Please go play with the site, find interesting data, and discuss it in the comments below and on other forums. We will be monitoring the discussion to find ways to improve our suggestions.

New Search is Live + Free Promotions & Free Shipping

The new search infrastructure that I mentioned in my last video is live, and it is now the default search. To compare it to our old search, you can simply check or un-check the Use New BETA Search checkbox. Note, the old search results may be a couple days out of date. We are measuring how fast updates appear with the new search infrastructure. If there are lots of promotions or other activity, it looks like it might take a couple hours to reflect all of the new prices.

UseNewBETASearchWe want to stress test the new search infrastructure, so please try it out. As an incentive, we are allowing sellers to run FREE Sale promotions for the next week, and we are also offering free shipping on orders of 20 or more items. Shipment requests must be submitted by midnight PST Wednesday, July 23rd. Items purchased from Advanced Reselling Mode are only eligible for a $3 shipping discount.

New Search Features
You will noticed that the filtering options offered on the left have changed a bit with the new infrastructure. It is now a LOT easier for us to add new search related features. You can expect to see new features light up from time to time over the next several months. This is some of the ground work for our new SRP.

Search Performance
Search results are consistently snappy. No more really slow searches. Also, the new search infrastructure has the ability to automatically scale up to support any level of demand (in theory). That is what we want you to test.

For the first time we have decoupled the search functionality from the rest of the website. This means that the database that tracks asking prices and ownership of items is no longer bogged down with all of the search requests. This is a big deal. Last Black Friday our database server was basically maxed out the entire weekend. Now we should be able to support more than 10 times the traffic and still have great performance.

Feedback
Let us know what you think of the new search. What search features would you like us to add?

Card #15,000,000 & The Modern Baseball Card Investor

TheModernBaseballCardInvestorAbout a week ago I got an email from Jeff Hwang, author of The Modern Baseball Card Investor.  I first met him at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas a little more than a year ago, and we had a really good conversation about the baseball card market.  His book is now done, and he wanted to send me a copy of it. I just got my copy in the mail the other day, and was pleasantly surprised with how well he described COMC.com in his Enhanced Liquidity section of the Introduction (pg 30-31).  eBay got a paragraph and we got nearly a full page.
JeffHwangAuto
Jeff did a great job of summarizing the difference between COMC.com and other sites.  It captures the essence of what has made us successful.

Here is an excerpt…

The online consignment site COMC.com has further enhanced the liquidity of lower priced cards by creating a centralized online exchange where all the cards listed online are in one physical location, and can be traded multiple times without being shipped.  Launched in 2007 as CheckOutMyCards.com, COMC.com allows users to submit cards to the company’s website in Seattle, where the cards are scanned front and back and listed online for a small fee, as little as 25 cents per card.

In contrast to eBay, where a seller typically incurs both eBay and PayPal fees for every transaction made, a seller on COMC instead receives store credit for the full amount of the sale, and pays a further cash-out fee only upon cash out – similar to the way a stock investor only pays a capital gains tax upon selling a stock, and not while holding.  Meanwhile, a buyer only pays shipping if/when he wants to have the physical item shipped; he can turn around and relist the item without incurring a shipping cost (the card is already located in COMC’s warehouse), or can otherwise save on shipping costs by waiting until he has acquired multiple cards.

As such, users can flip cards for profit on COMC.com without ever physically being in possession of an actual card, the same way a stock investor can trade stocks online without ever physically being in possession of a stock certificate.  But more importantly, the site dramatically improves the liquidity of low-priced cards by lowering the otherwise prohibitive transaction costs associated with them – most notably shipping costs, as well as the time it takes to list and sell and then ship such cards.

At the sports card and gaming collectibles Industry Summit in Las Vegas in March 2013, the company announced that it had listed it 10 millionth card, and had to that point shipped 3.6 million cards to 75 countries.

2000 Upper Deck MVP Pro Sign #IB - Isaac Bruce - Courtesy of COMC.com
Card #15,000,000
I thought it was fitting to announce that just today (writing this on Friday July 11th, 2014) we identified item #15,000,000 as 2000 Upper Deck MVP Pro Sign #IB – Isaac Bruce, deposited it in Fiber1’s account, Fiber1 put it up for sale, and I purchased it.

Not only have 50% more items been consigned with us since March 2013, we have also shipped 50% more items to buyers.  That is more than 5 million items shipped all over the world.

Thank you COMC Nation for making this possible!