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 Note, the old search results may be a couple days out of date.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?

New enhancements

We’re still working hard adding info to our database, completing overdue items, and correcting errors, but we also want to continue moving forward in other ways.  You may have already spotted a new feature we are rolling out: enhanced page content. Our non-ID team has developed this new way to improve the site, and we’re excited to share it with you and hear your input on what pages you would like to see enhanced.

We’ve begun by adding some extra details for popular players. You can take a look here at the new enhanced page for Michael Jordan:

Michael Jordan Page

We’re going to continue to expand this feature to more players, teams, and sets.  If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments, so we can build our list.  We have pages up already for Ken Griffey Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson, and several other players.

Benefits to Enhanced Content

A key benefit of this new feature is that pages with more relevant content are easier to find when people search Google or other search engines.  An easy-to-find page has more eyes seeing it, which leads to more sales for those items and more buyers on the site. Getting our sellers’ cards in front of more eyes is always a top-tier goal here at COMC, as is expanding our buyer base. This project helps to do both at the same time. Eventually we hope to have many enhanced pages, potentially even including enhanced content on personal portfolio pages.

Catalog Project Status

We’ve said it before, but we continue to appreciate the patience and involvement of our amazing community. We’re approaching 90% complete data on the site which means we’re digging into some of the harder sets to research and list, but we’re committed to finishing this project all the way. We also want to make sure you know that our team is reviewing all the submissions you’ve made using the “edit” button. We’re methodically moving through them, focusing on the highest-value items first, and we’re grateful for your help in getting all this crucial data.

Enhance Content – How You Can Help

This new project is one you can help with too. Our initial rollout pages have some new video content made by our team here at COMC, but we hope some will come from great outside sources. If you know of an awesome box break vid that does a good job of highlighting a popular set or a great mailday vid that shows off some sweet cards of a particular star, let us know in the comments – we may use it to enhance the content on COMC!  Thank you and please chime in with a comment telling us what players and sets you’d like to see with page enhancements on the site!

 

Free Promotions, Free Shipping & Improved Search

More than 4,000 people have tried the COMC Challenge. Our progress on the catalog is amazing.  We are so grateful for all of your efforts.  We have been progressing at about 1% per day.  Just three weeks ago we were at 60% of the basic set name, card #, and description data.  Today we crossed 80% of the basic information.  We expect to reach 90% by mid May  The last 10% will likely be a long-tail that takes several months to finish.  Along the way we will have many errors we will needed to fix up, but by the end of the year we will have an amazingly rich and accurate catalog.

To celebrate the amazing progress, we are letting our sellers run a FREE Sale Promotion and we will be offering Free Shipping to buyers as well.

BlakeGriffinImprovedSearchFree Promotions – Sunday to Sunday
Hundreds of sellers will be running Sale Promotions from this Sunday through the following Sunday, May 4th.  Get ready to take advantage of the savings!

Free Shipping
To accompany all of the great sales running next week, we will also be providing FREE shipping for orders of 20 or more items.
Note: If you were the original consignor of an item or if you bought it in Advanced Reselling Mode, you will be eligible for a $3 discount instead of free shipping.

New Inventory
We just deposited more than 100,000 new items into sellers accounts in the past week.  We are now fully caught up on Premium and Mailbox processing services, and we are making progress on getting our Basic service back to it’s 4 week average target.

Improved Search
Last night we re-enabled the ability to browse by Players and Team. Over the next few days we will be hooking up the ability to filter your search by attributes such as Serial Numbered, Memorabilia & Autographed.

We have already started to see some really cool improvements to our  new catalog.  For example, we have college teams now.  Ironically, this improvement has created the need for an improved Browse Teams page because we now have thousands of Teams instead of just a few hundred.

I can’t express enough how grateful we are for having such a loyal and supportive fan base.  Thank you for helping us through this transition!

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.

Introducing COMC Challenges

The COMC development team is pleased to announce the public release of the COMC Challenges, a feature that enables the community to contribute to the upcoming COMC catalog. Your support so far with this project is inspiring and we’re thrilled to team up with the COMC community to provide card collectors and sellers with the richest and most accurate catalog possible. With your help, our goal is to make the best collecting experience ever.

Our signed agreement with Beckett ends on March 31, 2014. Over the next few weeks, we will transition the website checklist and price guide to our new catalog and suggested list prices. For a quick and smooth transition, we’re calling upon the community to help by participating in a series of Challenges.

The idea behind the COMC Challenges is simple: we have millions of card images, and we’re asking the community to provide information easily gleaned from the cards while our identification experts research the best grouping and naming of the sets. Challenges are designed to gather data as quickly and efficiently as possible by showing a series of cards and asking simple questions about them.

How it Works (I don’t care, show me the money!):
The Sports Challenge asks for the card’s sport. Next, the Players Challenge asks for the first two letters of a player’s first and last name. Cards with that information are then ready for the Teams Challenge, which asks for the team represented on the card, narrowing down the potential number of players in that group.

While you provide information through Challenges, our identification team is analyzing each card in our inventory to identify years and compile sets.

By combining the sport, year, team and player initials we are able to analyze publicly available rosters to further narrow down the list of possible players that might be on a card. We will finish off the first round of player data by introducing a new Challenge that allows the community to confirm exactly which players are on the cards.  

Prizes
While you take on Challenges, you’ll earn points and compete to move up on the Leaderboard. On March 17th, 24th, and 31st, we’ll award $100 Store Credit to each of the 10 contributors who earned the most points during the previous week (Sunday-Saturday). Additionally, every 5,000 points you earn before April 1 enters you into a drawing to win COMC Store Credit prizes up to $1,000.

If you’re one of the first 500 players to earn 20,000 points, you’ll also receive an exclusive Founding Contributor badge that displays next to your username so everyone can see you were an original contributor to the COMC catalog.

We released a beta version of the COMC Challenges a couple of weeks ago to a select group of customers and we’re now ready to provide everyone the opportunity to contribute. With the help of the community, we’re over 30% of the way through the Player Initials Challenge for the four major sports. Under each Challenge, you’ll see a Community Progress bar so you can track how close we are to the goal.

Bottom Line
We’re excited to eventually include more details like player hometowns, cameos, and T206 backs. Please tell us in the comments below the kinds of info you want to see. Also, if you’d like to offer your expertise with any particular cards or sets, please email catalog@comc.com with a list of your specialties so we can get in touch.

Your support has been great so far, but in order to complete our goal of a new catalog by March 31st, we need a lot more help. So share this post, tweet, blog, and talk to your friends and fellow collectors – let’s get the word out! Stay tuned to the COMC Blog for status updates on the COMC Challenges and catalog project as we approach March 31.

Thanks,

Grant Wescott
Program Manager
COMC.com

The New COMC Bulk Price Editor

During the days of the original CheckOutMyCards.com website, Tim introduced the Bulk Price Editor – a tool that made pricing cards quick and easy for those who had submitted large quantities of items for consignment.

When we moved to COMC.com, we had to discontinue the availability of the Bulk Price Editor, as the technology of the new website was incompatible with the way the Bulk Price Editor was created.  We knew it was a popular tool, so it was always our intention to create a new Bulk Price Editor, one that was compatible with COMC.com.

After a lot of work and effort on Tim’s part, we’re able to announce that the *new* Bulk Price Editor is available as a Beta download.

Please note that using the Bulk Price Editor takes up bandwidth on the COMC servers, so we ask that sellers limit their usage to adjusting their prices on a monthly basis. We want to keep the Bulk Price Editor as a free service, so we ask everyone to be kind and not overuse it.

Bulk Price Editor DOWNLOAD (login required)

System Requirements:

- Windows XP or later

- Microsoft Office Access 2007 or the Access 2007 Runtime (Free Download)

How to Install:

- If you don’t have Access 2007 or are not sure if you do, download and install the Access 2007 Runtime from Microsoft. (If you download the Bulk Price Editor without Access 2007 Runtime, you’ll get a message telling you to download and run the Access 2007 Runtime first.)

- Download and install the Bulk Price Editor (login required).

How to Use:

- From the start menu or the desktop, click on the Bulk Price Editor shortcut.

bulkstart

- This will bring up the Sign In page on COMC.com.

- After you sign in, the Bulk Price Editor will start downloading the items from your inventory.bulkload

- When this is done, you can search through your inventory for groups of cards that you would like to perform bulk operations upon.

bulkhome

- Once you have selected the group of items you would like to perform a bulk price change to, you can select the type of bulk operation to perform.

bulkpercent

- When this is complete, you can review the pending price changes.
- You can click in the green cells to manually edit any of the pending price changes.
- Finally, you can submit your price changes to COMC.com.

Thanks for your patience as we worked to bring back the Bulk Price Editor. Again, we request that users limit their price changes to about once per month – this will not overtax the servers and will allow us to continue to offer the feature for free. Please use the comments section below to let us know how it works for you, if you have any difficulties in the process of loading or running the Bulk Price Editor, and feel free to share any ideas or thoughts you may have.

Buyers: New Shipping Credit

Hello to the COMC Nation!

We’ve been giving our sellers some love lately with The National special we’re currently running.  You have just a couple more days to take advantage of it, so send your submissions in ASAP!  Items must be postmarked by August 22nd.

Buyers, we have not forgotten you…

…Check out our new Store Credit program for buying in bulk on COMC.com!

It works like this:

For every 100 items a buyer has shipped from COMC.com within a calendar month, s/he will receive $5.00 in COMC Store Credit. And, the benefits add up.

  • Ship 100 cards = $5.00 COMC Store Credit
  • Ship 200 cards = $10.00 COMC Store Credit
  • Ship 300 cards = $15.00 COMC Store Credit…and so on, and so on…

On the first of every month, every account that qualifies will receive the Shipping Credit automatically. We actually started this program on August 1st, so you may have already noticed this Store Credit in your account for cards you had shipped during the month of July.

We always appreciate your input and feedback, as many of our new features come from the COMC Nation. Please feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas in the comments below.  As always, we ask that you stay tuned to our blog and be sure to join us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Sneak Peek: Vault Imaging

The Vault is going to be a whole new way to buy and sell high end items online.  It is going to bring with it 10% cash outs, sale of these items at major shows, and a brand new set of high resolution scans!  Today, we wanted to take a moment to show you a before and after shot of one of the items that will be available for sale very soon on The Vault.

Here is a scan of this item as it appeared on COMC:

The original 4x Zoom

The pictures of the individual items have been a hallmark of the service COMC provides since we started the site.  But now, we are able to provide an even clearer view of the items placed into The Vault.  Here is the same item after having been rescanned and placed in The Vault:

These scans are more pristine and clearer than any that have been on our site before.  Better yet, once the new Super Zoom function has been released on The Vault, it will be easy to view every detail of the card with a 36x zoom!

The new 36x “Superzoom” – click on the card to see the difference!

So tell us, what you think of our new imaging and about your plans for The Vault in the comments below.  Be sure to join us on our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more information about this service!

One Just Isn’t Enough

Hello COMC Nation!  There’s just over a week to go before the official launch of the Vault, as well as the start of The National, and COMC is kicking things into high gear.  With the building excitement over our new service, we felt that just one announcement in the upcoming issues of Beckett wouldn’t be enough.

Here is a sneak peek of the ad that will be hitting the shelves in next month’s issues of Beckett:

The Vault - Coming Soon

The Vault – Coming Soon

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this advertisement and are eagerly awaiting the chance to see as many of you as we can while we are at the National.  As a reminder, be sure to have your Vault Eligible items listed for sale by the 24th in order to have them taken to the show!  And as always, keep up with us on our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ pages.

New Vault Filters

With the official launch of The Vault service approaching, we’ve introduced some new tools to help you manage your Vault Eligible items.  There are now three new filters in your Inventory Manager to help you list your items on The Vault.

***If you want us to take your items with us to sell at The National that are currently on COMC.com, you need to mark them for rescan by TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 17th.  More details below.***

New Filters

From your Inventory Manager, select the Show Items dropdown.  You will see three new options: Vault Eligible, Vault Needing Attention, and Vault Candidates.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

  • Vault Candidates: shows you a list of items in your inventory that qualify for the Vault. These items will have at least a $20 Beckett Book Value (or no BV due to scarcity) and a minimum $40 COMC asking price. With each Vault Candidate item, you’ll see an “Actions” button underneath your asking price where you can select the “Make Vault Eligible” option.  From there, choose the “COMC Services” option, then “Rescan for The Vault.”  At that point, your item will be assigned to receive a high-resolution 36x scan.
    • please note, there is a .50 cent fee to have your cards re-scanned at the higher 36x
  • Vault Eligible: displays items in your portfolio that qualify as Vault Candidates and have already been scanned at the 36x level.
  • Vault Needing Attention: shows items that are Vault Eligible but await a Vault-appropriate asking price. To enter your asking price, click “List on The Vault” and a popup screen with listing options will appear. You may also mark these items “Not for Sale on The Vault” from this popup.

Important Dates

  • Until September 30th listing cards on The Vault will be free.  This is an introductory special, so take advantage of it now!
  • Any items listed on The Vault by July 24th will be going to Chicago for display at the COMC booth at the National.
  • To ensure your Vault Candidates are made Vault Eligible by the 24th, they need to be submitted for a 36x rescan by Wednesday, July 17th.

Your cards could be on display and available for sale at the biggest card event in the country, but you need to act quickly to take advantage of this offering.  In the meantime, be sure to keep following us on our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ pages for more news and further updates.