Industry Summit 2014 – Come See Us!

Hello COMC Nation!

Every March sees one of the most exciting times in the sports collectible hobby – no, not “March Madness” (even though that’s a lot of fun) – we’re talking about the Industry Summit!

We’ll be in Las Vegas from March 16th to 19th!  It will be four days where some of the biggest names in the sports card industry get together and discuss both the current state of the hobby and work together to determine its future.

We can't see our room from here, but we think it's pretty sweet.

We can’t see our room from here, but we think it’s pretty sweet.

Come See Us

Tim, Julia, Geoff, Steve, and Sam will be there!  You may even see us at the oyster bar in the Orleans Hotel.

Drop By Our Booth

Like last year, we’ll be taking submissions at our booth.  We’re accepting both Basic and Premium submissions.  The clock for Premium Submissions will begin ticking Thursday, 3/20 when we get back. By dropping cards with us, you’ll be able to save money on your shipping costs, as we’ll be transporting the cards back to Redmond for you.  Just a reminder, we ask that any submissions come without toploaders or cardsaver holders, and any screwdown or magnetic cases will be processed as Premium.  Make sure to prepare your submissions in advance of the Summit by using Submit Items on the Seller Menu on your dashboard.

Anyone with a store front who is interested in being one of our Drop-Off/Pick-Up/Kiosk Locations and drops off a business card will be entered into a raffle.

We’ll also have giveaways, so come see us!

New Drop-Off iPhone App

We’ll be demoing our new Drop-Off iPhone app!  This will make it easier than ever to submit your cards.

Hear From Tim Getsch, Founder & CEO

Tim will be giving a 15 minute talk the morning of Tuesday, March 18th (time TBD).

As in previous years, Tim will be available to chat with you. Just contact us at timewithtim@comc.com - we’ll set up as many appointments as time allows.

It’s going to be an amazing four days, and we hope to see you there!

Talking With Tim: Beckett Subscriptions

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

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

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

3:15 How are the subscription level prices determined?

3:42 What is included in my Beckett Subscription?

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

6:55 Why doesn’t BV follow a card?

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

9:24 Will there be bundle deals available?

9:51 Will this kill flipping?

11:36 Will this harm casual buyers?

13:19 Why so many changes so quickly?

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

COMC Tackles Redemptions

Redemptions. Trading card collectors have a complicated relationship with these little inserts. They could be a case hit, a stunning autograph, or something much greater. No matter what they represent, however, they all have one thing in common: the WAIT. But we at COMC don’t believe you should have to wait for everything, so we thought we’d do something about it with a never-before-seen service to help with redemption cards.

Redeemed Card

In the past, COMC dealt with redemptions by simply not dealing with them. If an unredeemed card was sent to us, it promptly got sent back to its owner as our service wasn’t designed to handle them. That all changes today, because all unscratched redemption cards will now be accepted for processing and sale via COMC.com.

What happens when a Redemption card is sent to us? Those cards will be sent to our redemption handling team who will begin the redemption process on your behalf. The redemption code will be stored in our system and the scratched card will continue through our normal submission process.

When submitting batches with redemption cards to COMC, we ask that you pack them in the front of your submission and note on your submission slip that redemptions are enclosed. If an expired redemption card is included, we will attempt to redeem it through the manufacturer’s website. If the code is rejected, the item will be put into the user’s returns.

Once the scratched redemption card is on our site, it may be purchased and sold just as any other item on COMC with a few exceptions:

  • Redemption cards cannot be made Vault Eligible. Once fulfilled, the new card will be scanned for Vault Eligibility.
  • Redemption cards cannot be shipped.  Once fulfilled, the new card will replace the redemption card in the user’s account and may then be added to a shipment.
  • All sales of redemption cards are final.  No returns will be allowed for these items.

Please be aware that fulfillment of these cards may take manufacturers months or even years. In the event they substitute a different item for a redemption, the sale is still considered final and the item cannot be exchanged.

You may be wondering how we address redemptions that involve items other than single cards, such as lithographs, unopened packs, or game used jerseys. These items will be handled on a case by case basis and the owner of the redemption card will be contacted about how they would like the redemption to be handled.

A few final notes:

  • Items not currently supported on COMC will be added to the Beta service.  As we continue to expand offerings on the site, these items will become eligible to list at a later date.
  • Hobby store pack exchange redemptions, such as Topps Spring Fever redemptions, will be rejected because COMC is unable to redeem them.
  • Contest Redemption Cards such as the Famous Fabrics Beetles Signature Drawing will not be accepted as these redemption cards only represent a chance to receive an item.
  • Redemptions such as Topps Finest Rookie Redemptions and Panini XRCs will be listed as unannounced on the site. These items will be updated with more details once they are announced.

We are really excited to hear your thoughts on this new service.  We constantly strive to provide a better and safer way to buy and sell and we believe our service has the right stuff to make it happen.  Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments below and keep up with all the COMC happenings on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Collectors Dream: Buy Now, Ship Later

COMC has many benefits that attract a wide variety of customers: the offer system, high quality shipping, and world class customer service.  On top of all that, there is a major draw that pulls in collectors the world over: the option to buy cards over time, build up a collection, and then ship it out as one big package.  That’s right, on COMC, you can buy items now, save them in your account while storing them at COMC, shipping them to you, as one package, at your convenience!

This unique value proposition has been available since the beginning of CheckOutMyCards.com and continues to the present day.  And the number of ways that this part of the service is used has expanded.   First and foremost it allows you to save on shipping costs.  If you had to have each and every item from each and every seller shipped separately, the cost in shipping would be astronomical!  In an earlier blog post, we explored how COMC is amazing for set builders and collectors, and how we have already been noted as one of the best!

However, saving on shipping is only one reason to make use of the service.  Here are a few other ways that our buyers have found to take advantage of Buy Now, Ship Later!

Trade Shows

Sam, Barry & Julia

Sam Kassam & Barry Mah at the Vancouver Fanfest

When you are planning on going to a trade show there are two things you can often count on: you’re going to see the same vendors, all selling the same stuff.  So what is a discerning trade show vendor going to do?

Well, many COMC customers will purchase items on the site over the course of the month and slowly build up a new trade show batch that specifically has cards that have been hot over the last few weeks.  Then, a week before the show, they have these cards sent to them and voila!  They have a hot set of new items for the show.  It’s nice to have some of the best in show, and COMC has helped many of our users achieve just that.

Card Shop Inventory

This happens to almost all shop owners, where they find themselves with a batch of cards from out-of-market teams. In the past, those cards were slated to sit in the display case or in a box in the backroom, as no one shopping in your southern California shop had any interest in that stack of New York based teams.  However, with COMC, shop owners have begun to purchase cards specific to their markets as they come on sale, and once they start getting asked by their customers if they have some of these “out of stock cards,” they place an order to ship.  Then, they send the cards that will likely never sell in their shops to COMC, and a shop owner on the other side of the country has the opportunity to meet the needs of their markets.

COMC provides brick-and-mortar stores the online marketplace to dispense with the cards they don’t need, and a way to build up an online inventory of the hot items from their local teams.  That is a pretty slick way to run an online business for your store without the hassle of setting it up yourself.

Special Occasions

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Everybody has that person in their life that is… a little hard to buy gifts for.  And if they happen to collect very specific cards, the difficulty only gets worse.  Some of our users have found COMC to be the perfect place to fix this problem.

Say your friend only collects one very particular card and their birthday is in 6 months.  Well, if you see one of his cards pop up on COMC, you can add that to your inventory.  And then when another pops up, you can do it again.  Then when that birthday rolls around, you have the whole batch that you have slowly been accumulating sent to him, and that is a mighty fine gift.

Autographs

Maybe your favorite team is coming to town and you decide it’s time to get some autographs.  But maybe you don’t have a card for every player that you want to meet.  Or perhaps you’re taking a trip to see them play on their home field.  COMC has made building this collection many times easier.

Autograph devotees have found COMC to be a godsend: They build up a collection of cards from several different sets and have them all bundled together and shipped to where they will be to get the autographs they need.  This makes it a snap to have the right cards, for the right players, at the right time.

Final Thoughts

So how many other ways can Buy Now, Ship Later be used?  We want to know what you use this option to do for your collection.  Feel free to leave your comments below and keep following us on the blog, FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.

This Is For Keeps

Hello all and happy Friday!  We wanted to have a little fun to sort of kick off this weekend with a poll and card collecting discussion.

With well over 10 million different cards on the market, there are more reasons to collect cards than could possibly be named.  Some of us collect whole sets of cards.  Some of us just one type of card.  Still others collect just one specific type of card!  Part of the joy is finding that special something that you enjoy hunting down and adding to your personal collection.

So, we at COMC were wondering; what style of collecting do you enjoy?  Please submit your answer on the poll below, and feel free to fill us in on the details in the Comments section.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

The Dreaded “R-Word”

Hey everyone, Moe from COMC here. Over the past week or so, you may have noticed a slight change in our Blog – we’re working on changing our direction a little, trying to generate a little more discussion and dialogue within the community. And, I’m thinking (hoping) this post gets a lot of folks talking…I got one word for you:

Redemptions.

Homealone scream_345x258 - from the movie Home Alone.

We’ve all gotten them in a pack of cards, at one point or another. You’re anticipating a big hit, expecting something really awesome and cool as promised on the wrapper and…boom. There it is. Like the blue screen of death (kids, ask your parents) there it is, staring you in the face. A nondescript card with a little bit of text detailing something that could be potentially awesome, with something that needs to be scratched off.

Granted, these days you can go to the card company’s website, get the redemption process started and hope that something comes back to you…in a year. Maybe. And, what are the chances that you’ll get that card they promised? What if that player bails on the company? Or the company decides to go with someone else? Or (as happened to me earlier this year) the player gets cut by the team after his 2nd arrest during training camp?

Sometimes you get lucky…in that you get what’s actually been promised. Sometimes, you just get whatever the card company had laying around as a replacement.

Feel free to share your best/worst redemption stories. Go ahead and name names, point fingers, vent, yell, then tell us what you think would make the redemption process a more positive one for you.

10 X the traffic = some site hiccups

Let’s start with the good news: we are getting TEN TIMES our normal traffic today!

Image

This means we have the necessary traffic to reach our goal of increasing sales by 10 times (as part of the previously announced “Perfect 10 Black Friday Special”).

As for the not so good news, as you may have noticed, there have been some site issues today.  Please know that we are working very hard to resolve them all and expect to be fully up to speed very soon!

Even so, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Relations Department if you need help with anything.  You can reach us until midnight tonight at staff@comc.com or by 1-800-517-3540. Here are our Extended Customer Service Hours. Thank you for your patience!

Canadian collector launches site Eh!

Barry from London, Ontario worked together with my brother Toby to launch a new site that combines game data with sports cards. The site is cleaverly named ScoreboardEh.com.

Here is a quick overview of the site’s concept.

ScoreboardEh is designed to highlight the day to day stars of the game and their cards. Each morning I’ll reveal the contents of one pack of cards. I’ll write about the cards I find and the players they feature. I’ll also write about the other cards of the same players that I have available in my ScoreboardEh store at CheckOutMyCards.com.

Here are a few of the cards for sale from ScoreboardEh.
2008-09 Collector's Choice Prime Reserve Gold #23 - Carey Price - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com 2006-07 Beehive Wood #19 - Sidney Crosby - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
2007-08 Upper Deck MVP One on One Autographs #OAJW - Olli Jokinen Stephen Weiss - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
2007-08 Upper Deck MVP One on One Autographs #OAJW - Olli Jokinen Stephen Weiss - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Counteroffers are Live!

I finally got an opportunity this weekend to polish off the counteroffer functionality and push it live. It was an immediate hit. This has nearly eliminated the rejected offers, and it seems to have increased the total number of offers. Maybe people aren’t as shy about making offers if they know that the offers can be countered?

Today there was a perfect example of your site enabling collectors to do what they love… haggling over prices.
:-)

GrahamsCards sent a $47.50 offer for 35 cards in my LowPriceCards account. The original asking price was right around $90. I countered by asking just under $70. GrahamsCards countered my proposal by offering $60. I countered again with a $65 proposal, and GrahamsCards accepted my proposal.

Here are a couple of the cards that were included in the transaction.
2007 SAGE National Convention National Heroes Jerseys #NH2 - Adrian Peterson - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
2004 National Trading Card Day #PP6 - Eli Manning - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com 2007 Topps #287 - Brady Quinn RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

To my knowledge, CheckOutMyCards.com is the only site that allows buyers to make a single offer on multiple cards and let the buyer and seller haggle back and forth over the price. This was truly a beautify interaction to watch. This is only a small taste of the many innovations that CheckOutMyCards.com will be bringing to the online sports card community in the near future.

A fun reason to collect

I like to collect cards of players who I have played basketball with or against.

Jeff Hagen was a freshman at Hopkins High School in MN when I was a senior.
2005-06 Topps Chrome #249 - Jeff Hagen DL RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Kris Humphries also went to Hopkins High School, and I played against him many times at open gyms.
2004-05 Topps Chrome #179 - Kris Humphries RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Hiram Fuller played a few games at South Sound Athletics with the Club Seattle pro-am team that I played with for several years.
2005-06 Topps Chrome #229 - Hiram Fuller DL RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Doug Christie also played a few games with my Club Seattle team when we played in a league at his al-ammeter Rainier Beach last summer.
2002-03 Topps Chrome Refractors #68 - Doug Christie - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Martell Webster played on another team in that same league at Rainier Beach.
2005-06 Topps Chrome #192 - Martell Webster RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Jamal Crawford asked me to play with his team in a tournament at Green Lake after playing against him at the Redmond Athletic Club several times a few summers ago. My Club Seattle team also faced off against Jamal in several other Seattle area tournaments and leagues. Jamal is one of the nicest guys I have ever met!
2000-01 Topps Tip-Off #132 - Jamal Crawford RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Will Conroy was also on our team at Green Lake. He had just graduated from the University of Washington at the time.
2005-06 Topps Chrome #223 - Will Conroy DL RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Brandon Roy was our coach for the tournament. He couldn’t play because he was going to be a senior at the University of Washington.
2006-07 Bowman Sterling #68 - Brandon Roy JSY RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Nate Robinson dunked on me during that tournament. :-(
2005-06 SP Signature Edition Rookie GRAPHiti #NR - Nate Robinson/100 - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Shawn Kemp took my spot in the championship game at Green Lake, and Nate Robinson’s team crushed us. We only lost by 2 points on a last second shot by Nate when we faced them earlier in the tournament.
1995-96 Finest Mystery Borderless Refractors/Gold #M4 - Shawn Kemp - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Kevin Garnett… well almost. He often played noon ball at Northwest Athletic Club in MN during the lock-out of 1998-99. My brother had played against him several times, so he got me into the club during one of my lunch breaks. After a long wait I only had time for one more game, and it would be against Kevin’s team. Unfortunately, there was only one spot left, and it was between my brother and me to shoot for it. I and still annoyed that he didn’t just let me play. The dork out shot me for the last spot, and I never got my chance to play against Kevin. He used to live about 3 miles from where I grew up in Minnesota, but now he is off to Boston where he and Ray Allen are going to win a championship for the Celtics.
1995-96 Topps Draft Redemption #5 - Kevin Garnett - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Note: All of the images for this post were added by simply copying the HTML code generated by the “grab this card” feature I just added to all the card details pages on CheckOutMyCards.com. You are welcome to do this with any of your blogs or eBay listings.