Get Ready for Black Friday! We Are Hiring.

Our favorite time of year is right around the corner, Black Friday Weekend!  There’s no better time to grab those hard-to-find items and sell some cards!  We at COMC are getting prepared for our biggest shopping weekend of the year and want to give you the heads up to do the same.

2014 Topps Before They Were Great #BG-26 - Joe DiMaggio - Courtesy of COMC.comDeadline

Sellers, mail your items by this Tuesday, September 23rd for the best chance of having them live on COMC.com in time for Black Friday Weekend!  Everything we receive by Friday, September 26th should make it up in time.

We’re Hiring!

We are gearing up for Black Friday by hiring 10 new people to our Processing Department.  Not only will this serve the holiday, but this will accelerate everything here at COMC:

  • Your cards will get on the site sooner!
  • Your purchases will ship more quickly!
  • The COMC Catalog will build more rapidly!

Please recommend all good candidates email hr@comc.com.

See Job Description:

Processing Team Member

This full-time position will help us to accurately sort, identify, scan, and organize our incoming inventory.   Our ideal candidate will be focused, observant, self-directed, and passionate about all types of collectibles.  Processing Team Members deal directly with incoming customer consignment items and coordinate efforts using a sophisticated computer system.

Responsibilities:

  • Ability to stay on task for extended periods
  • High visual attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Maintain two-way communication within the identification team
  • Review work at all stages to ensure accuracy
  • Identify and help to investigate issues
  • Maintain accurate records of all activities
  • Help with projects for other teams as needed

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Familiarity with sports and/or gaming cards a strong plus
  • Solid computer skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Salary & Benefits:
Starting salary ranges from $10.00-12.00/hour depending upon experience. After 90 days on the job, employees will be eligible for medical benefits, dental benefits, nearly 4 weeks of PTO/year, and other employee benefits.

 

We’re Hiring!

We are looking for a few good people to add to the COMC Team.  Are you looking for a fun job, working with fellow collectors, for a company that’s going places?  Do you know someone in the Seattle area who would be a great fit?  All interested parties should email their resume to hr@comc.com.  If you refer someone, have them mention you, and if we hire them to a long-term position we’ll thank you with $250 in store credit!

Identification Specialist 1

Do you know the difference between a refractor and an X-fractor?  Can you identify a short printed card?  Could you tell a parallel from the base set?  The Identification Specialist will help us to accurately sort, identify, and list sports trading cards. Our ideal candidate will be passionate about collectible sports cards and have an exceptional attention to detail. Familiarity with computers & 10-key / data entry is a strong plus.

Responsibilities:

  • Sort received inventory, and add condition notes accurately where required
  • Identify unlicensed, unsupported, counterfeit, altered, or suspicious inventory
  • Identify the catalog information for many thousands of trading cards each week with the aid of a sophisticated computer system
  • Correct or update database information where appropriate
  • Maintain excellent communication within the identification team
  • Review work at all stages to ensure accuracy
  • Maintain accurate records of all activities

Qualifications:     

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent training and experience
  • Extensive knowledge of collectible cards is required. Individual must possess functional knowledge of diverse collectible card brands (including but not limited to Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Leaf, Fleer, Donruss, Bowman, Goudey and other sports and non-sports brands)
  • Strong computer skills required; knowledge of Microsoft Access a plus
  • Strong 10-key and data entry experience
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Salary & Benefits:
Starting salary ranges from $12-14/hour depending upon experience. After 90 days on the job employees will be eligible for medical benefits, dental benefits, 4 weeks of PTO/year, and other employee benefits.

Processing Team Member

This full-time position will help us to accurately sort, identify, scan, and organize our incoming inventory.   Our ideal candidate will be focussed, observant, self-directed, and passionate about all types of collectibles.  Processing Team Members deal directly with incoming customer consignment items and coordinate efforts using a sophisticated computer system.

Responsibilities:

  • Ability to stay on task for extended periods
  • High visual attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Maintain two-way communication within the identification team
  • Review work at all stages to ensure accuracy
  • Identify and help to investigate issues
  • Maintain accurate records of all activities
  • Help with projects for other teams as needed

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Familiarity with sports and/or gaming cards a strong plus
  • Solid computer skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Salary & Benefits:
Starting salary ranges from $9.25-$12.00/hour depending upon experience. After 90 days on the job employees will be eligible for medical benefits, dental benefits, 4 weeks of PTO/year, and other employee benefits.

Order Fulfillment Team Member

This full-time position will provide warehouse support, assisting with all shipping activities in a safe, accurate and dependable manner.  Ideal candidates will have high attention to detail and dexterity to work quickly using both hands processing small, valuable items.

Responsibilities include:

  • Retrieve and process warehouse orders through a computerized system
  • Provide fast and accurate retrieval and processing of outgoing orders
  • Demonstrates delicate manual dexterity, handling small, fragile inventory with great precision and care over extended periods of time and at a swift pace
  • Report errors and missing inventory to shipping lead
  • Interpret and prepare invoices
  • Participate in the inspection and physical count of incoming and outgoing materials
  • Verify goods received against purchase orders or invoices
  • Maintain inventory, and handle items with care
  • Assist leads and managers in all organization projects

Desired Qualifications:

  • High School diploma, GED or equivalent training and experience
  • Familiar with sports cards, gaming cards, or collectible items preferred
  • Ability to multitask and excellent hand dexterity
  • Strong sense of urgency
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal & communication skills
  • Positive work attitude and strong team player
  • Basic mathematical skills

Salary & Benefits:
Starting salary ranges from $9.25-$12.00/hour depending upon experience. After 90 days on the job employees will be eligible for medical benefits, dental benefits, 4 weeks of PTO/year, and other employee benefits.

 

We’re Back…in Card Show Mode!

First, a sleepy, furry word from Tim:

Thank you for your patience while we transitioned to our new catalog.  Welcome to a new era for COMC.com!  We are grateful for the outpouring of support we are receiving, and we appreciate feedback as we continue to work together, building our new catalog.

As we mentioned previously, the next few weeks will be a bit rocky with missing data, errors, and many opportunities for improvement.  Everything submitted is for sale as usual, but items that are missing data are harder to browse/search. The current state of the site is “Card Show” mode.  Just like when you go to a card show and browse tables and bins looking for those rare items and special deals, that’s a bit what shopping on COMC will be like for the near future while we rapidly build our database.  We are optimistic about the speed at which you will see improvement, as our data increased by 10% in one day alone!  Your contributions have been significant.  You’ve made a big difference!

Ways To Make It Better

  • The best way to help populate data is still by playing The Challenges, as the data entered there is normalized. When you assign a team name like New York Yankees to a card, you’re essentially bucketing that card with all the other Yankees cards. Be on the look out for new challenges and prizes!
  • You can submit missing data or corrections for existing data for specific cards in your inventory or for sale on the site:
    • Go to the Inventory Manager in your Dashboard.  When you find missing/incorrect data in your inventory, click the Edit link next to the item description:

Inventory Manager

    • When you find missing data in the Search Results, click on the item and, at the top of the page next to the description, click the Edit link:

Search Results

    • From Edit (from your Search or Inventory), you will get a popup where you can enter data that is missing or needs correction:

Catalog Details

    • Please keep in mind, edits you make to a card are not normalized, meaning if you enter the correction to Teams: “New York Yankees” or “yankees” or “new yyok yankz”, the system won’t bucket it with other Yankees cards. It is still very helpful to use the new Edit feature, as it flags the card as incorrect and lets us know your correction suggestion.  It is just a less efficient process than playing the Challenges and will take more time to correct, as someone here will need to review each correction.
    • Please DO NOT USE the Report Error function, as that is used for reporting ID errors. These will go to the wrong team.

As we said previously, we won’t charge storage fees for the month of April.  We expect to have player and team search functionality fully restored by the end of April.  In May and June, we will be working on more advanced search functionality, such as the type of memorabilia.

Suggested List Price (SLP)

We were hoping to have the beta version of our pricing suggestions live today, but we ran out of time.  We will release it soon and let you know more as it develops.  Once our SLPs are live, contributors who earned at least 20K in Challenge points will receive free SLPs while it is in beta.  In the meantime, we have turned on the “Going Rate” feature.  This feature may help you price your cards by showing you how many like items are on the site and the range at which they are being priced.  While we have previously had quite a few requests for this feature, we have hesitated to turn it on to prevent a race-to-the-bottom with pricing.  We will be monitoring how this feature is being used, and if it remains good for the COMC ecosystem, we may choose to keep it enabled.

Going Rate

Going Rate Feature

The other way to receive helpful pricing information is to click Sales History to the right of the items in your inventory. This activates a popup which tells you the condition, how many are for sale, how many have sold and shipped, and at what price.

Sales History Feature

Sales History Feature

We hope you enjoy COMC while it’s in Card Show mode, and we will continue to let you know as things develop here.  Please continue to contribute to the catalog and let us know what we can do to create the best collecting experience!

Much of Site Unavailable Tomorrow

Hi, COMC Nation,

April 1st is our drop-dead date when we need to transition all the data on COMC.com to our new catalog.  Due to this, starting midnight PST tonight, most of the site will be down for approximately 24 hours.  You will still be able to play The COMC Challenges and access our blog, but you will not have access to your account or any items on the site.  Additionally, once site functionality returns, please be prepared for missing data.

Due to the transition pains, we won’t charge seller storage fees for the month of April.

Please help us smooth the transition by playing The COMC Challenges, and ask your friends to do the same.  This is the best way to help the COMC Community get up and running with the best data as quickly as possible.

Learn more about why we are doing this.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

What to Expect: Catalog & Price Suggestions

Thank you for contributing to our new sports card catalog!  You are a crucial part of building the most accurate, complete, and data-rich catalog the card-collecting community has ever had.  With just a week away from replacing all the catalog data on COMC.com with our new catalog and price suggestions, we want to let you know what to expect in the upcoming weeks.  We are working within a very tight time frame, there is still a lot of data to compile, and we need your help!

Our Plan of Action

We have tasked our internal experts with compiling difficult-to-find data and the crowd with notating what can easily be determined by looking at the card.  Learn more:

 

This Week

By April 1st we need to swap all of the data on COMC.com with our new catalog.  We will start replacing the data this week.  These changes will be rolled out incrementally, beginning in some less-represented categories (like bowling cards), so any potential issues will affect the fewest cards possible.  From there we will move on to more popular categories, such as basketball and hockey cards.

Due to our extremely tight time frame, the next few weeks will be a bit rocky. Some data will be missing. There will be errors, and there will be many opportunities for improvement.  We ask for your patience, support, and feedback as we work together, building the new catalog.  Learn more:

 

The Weeks To Come

With our new catalog, all cards will have at least a placeholder for data, but some cards will have missing data. You will be able to submit specific pieces of data that are missing or submit corrections for existing data. Our hard-working team will continue to burn the midnight oil creating sets and researching cards. The COMC Challenges will continue to run and add to our database, and this is the best way for you to help us get the most data quickly.  The catalog will be a work in progress.  Within a couple months we should have parity with the old data, and by the end of the year we expect to have better data than we have ever had before.

Price Suggestions

The beta version of our pricing suggestions will go live on April 1st.  At first it will only be available for the most commonly sold cards.  Over the coming months our catalog data will become more complete and the corresponding price suggestions will be extrapolated across less commonly sold items.

Sellers will automatically get access to the pricing suggestions for any items that they originally consigned with us.  To get full access to all pricing suggestions during this beta period, you must earn 20,000 total points in the COMC Challenges.

If you earn 20,000+ total points before the end of March, the “Founding Contributor” badge will be added to your username.

We have a long road ahead of us.  While March 31st is a huge transition, it is by no means the end of our mission.  For a long and detailed analysis of COMC’s ultimate vision for our catalog and price suggestions, we invite you to watch founder and CEO Tim Getsch’s presentation at the 2014 Las Vegas Industry Summit (25 minutes):

Once again, we cannot sufficiently state our gratitude to you, our community, and advocates. Your response has been amazing, and we wouldn’t be here without you!  Thank you for completing the Challenges, submitting suggestions, and participating in our community dialog here on our blog, twitter, and facebook page. This week we begin an epic journey together, and we are so grateful to have you by our side.

We’re Hiring!

Love cards, collectibles, and COMC?  Come work for us!

Check out our job postings for Identification Specialists and Shipping Team Members.

Do you love sports cards and have good computer skills, especially as a gamer?  You could be a great Identification Specialist.

Are you quick on your feet with a great attention to detail?  We would love to have you on our Shipping Team.

If you’re interested, submit an application.  If you have any questions about the positions, contact Bailey at (425) 576-1900, extension 4.

Thank you!

Premium & Basic Processing Services

In the past, when we have changed our processing services, what we really changed was some combination of the price and the length of time it took to get the cards on the site.  We have tuned those two variables several times over the years as we’ve grown and have always tried to strike the right balance.  What has never changed, however, was the way we did the work.  For years, no matter the price point or the deadline, we’ve done the identification and scanning processes more or less the same way – one order at a time, and uploading all the cards once the entire order is done.  While our new Premium and Basic processing services may appear to be another tuning of rates and timelines, they are actually completely different from this old model.

blog pic-basic vs premium1The Premium Service

The Premium service is significantly streamlined and much more scalable.   It is now possible for some cards to be live on the site within a few hours of arriving.  We expect most items to be done the day after they arrive, but it might take up to 3 business days if we get slammed.

Previously it was virtually impossible for us to finish all of our steps the same day an item arrived.  Now, all processing is done ASAP, and items are handed from one department directly to the next.  We can even have many different people working at the same time on the same batch if necessary.  Once all of the steps have been completed on all of the items in the Premium batch, the items are automatically uploaded into your account.  This used to require someone to review the fees and confirm completion.  Now, Premium batches are generally small enough that the computer can safely determine if all stages have been completed, and your items no longer have to wait for extra human steps.

You can expect to see Premium items going live Monday through Friday.  Occasionally some may also go live on the weekends, but don’t count on it.

The Basic Service

The Basic service has been revamped and re-engineered even more than the Premium service.  Instead of doing entire orders one-by-one like in the past, we have developed a new method to work with like items in batches.

To describe this process, let’s use the analogy of a card show full of tables of cards from different sellers.  Rather than sending our team table-by-table to process each of the items at one table before going to the next table, we now do an extra step that makes things more efficient.  The step is kind of like having one employee responsible for hockey cards, another employee responsible for football cards, and another employee responsible for separating the cards by sport. Now when someone processes cards, they can focus on one particular genre instead of having to jump all over the place.  This analogy is only intended to give you an idea of the kind of optimizations we have made.  The technical details are much more complex than this.  We can neither confirm nor deny whether our previous or current process have any resemblance to this analogy.  :)

In practice, we expect to focus different members of the team on different types of items each week.  Every week we will process items from the current year and items that are in season, as well as other items that tend to be hot.  Items that are out of season and that might not be super hot will only be processed every two to three weeks.

Most of the processing will be done Monday through Thursday.  On Fridays we will review our work, and as soon as we have signed off on the items, the computer will automatically upload the partial batch to the website.  Once we get near the 8 week mark, we will clean up any remaining items and confirm that the correct fees are charged.  Our goal is to have an average per-card processing time of less than 4 weeks.

This past Friday and Saturday we finished our first Basic upload, giving more than 100 sellers items to price.  We have already completed more than 50% of the Basic items people have submitted.  The new system gives us the flexibility to assess the overall incoming volume and be sensitive to the current demands of the buying market.  The increased efficiency gives us time to focus additional efforts on the quality of the data that we associate with the images.

$25 Minimum for Basic Service

In order to encourage items to be submitted in quantities we can deal with more efficiently, the Basic service does have a $25 minimum.  You are free to send in fewer than 100 cards for the Basic service, but it is best to submit at least 100 items per batch.

Items Requiring Premium Service

As of February 1st, all Mailbox items are $1 each and will be processed with our Premium service.

In addition, the following items will be processed with our Premium service:

  • Graded cards
  • Encased cards
  • Oversized cards
  • Sports Poker Chips, Coins, Pins & Bottle Caps

If you send any of the above items in a batch for Basic service, they will be separated out and processed with our Premium service.  To make life easier on our Processing Team, we would appreciate you separately grouping any of the above items from the Basic service items within your submission.

Thank You

We appreciate all your great feedback and constructive suggestions so far.  We are working hard behind the scenes to get a host of new features launched, so please keep your eyes on our blog and subscribe so we can keep you in the loop!