Making Steady Progress

Catalog Progress
The sheer volume of work in order to build out the sports card catalog from scratch has been monumental.  I am so impressed by the efforts of our team and the COMC community.  We updated 195,000 listings in just the past 7 days, and our catalog has grown by nearly 15% to more than 3.4 million listings in just the past three weeks.

We estimate that we are about 90% done with the first stage of the catalog (set names, card #’s, and descriptions).  We have already started collecting a lot of extra data such as autograph type and college teams, and throughout the rest of the year we will continue collecting more of this data.

Sales Update
You may have noticed that sales have been steadily improving. In fact, the past week was the best week since our switch over to the new catalog on April 1st. As the catalog continues to make progress our sales have steadily rebounded.

Manufacturer Checklists
We have started cross-referencing the COMC catalog with manufacturer checklists in order to find errors and fill out missing data.  If we were simply importing data into a blank database, this would be a very simple task.  However, we have 15 million scanned cards that we are using to verify the data.  As we are comparing the images to the checklists, we are not only finding and fixing mistakes we have made but we are also discovering discrepancies between the manufacturer checklists and the products they actually produced.

Our goal is to build the most accurate catalog of sports cards that were actually produced.  There are many websites that replicate the manufacturer checklists, but they are not 100% accurate.  You really have to do the work to compare the checklists to the cards that were released to get the most accuracy.

The catalog we have now is a work in progress. We will continue to do “heavy construction” throughout the rest of this year, and we will continue investing in the catalog on into the future. These are just some of the things we are doing to get to our goal.

See below for a list of products that we have completely cross-referenced.

Processing Backlog Progress
It has been a balancing act for us to dedicate effort to both the catalog completion and the backlog of items that people have submitted for processing.  Fortunately, we have made good headway since my last update.  The backlog of past due items is less than half of what it was, and we expect the vast majority of the rest that is past due will be done by the end of July.

With our Basic processing service, we don’t charge anything until your items are linked to listings in our new catalog and the scans have been uploaded into your inventory.  At that point you can start selling your items, but the catalog data may not be complete.  If any portion of the set name, card number or description is still missing, we don’t charge any storage fees.

Basic Processing Guarantee
We guarantee to have the items in your account within 8 weeks.  Anything that misses that window will only be charged 50% of the normal processing fee. If you still have items that are past the 8 week guaranteed due date on August 1st, we will credit your account 12.5¢ per item, effectively giving you free processing for anything that still isn’t done.

Basic Processing Expectations
By August 1st, we will have almost nothing that is past due.  This is also the time of year that we normally run a processing special in conjunction with the National Sports Collectors Convention.  This year’s promotion will be limited to one 550ct box per user so that we don’t get too flooded.

By this fall, we expect to average 4 weeks for basic processing.

Edits and Correction Requests
With our limited resources, we have not been able to stay on top of all of the incoming edits and correction requests. Our energies have been focused on the most expensive items. Once we get caught up with the processing backlog that is past due, we will make a push to get caught up with all of the edit and correction requests. Our goal is to be fully caught up, and start maintaining a 48 hour turnaround by September. In the meantime, if you have a couple important items that need to be corrected or are missing data, please feel free to contact us and include the corresponding item ID.

Complete Catalog Information
We have nearly complete catalog information for many vintage sets.  In the coming months we will be reviewing them to confirm that they are complete.  For now, here is a list of modern sets that we have cross-referenced with manufacturer checklists in order to confirm that our catalog is complete and accurate. Most of the product below are from Panini and Upper Deck. We have started working with other manufactures such as Topps and Leaf to get more checklists.

Baseball
2014 Panini Donruss
2014 Panini Prizm
2013 Panini America’s Pastime
2013 Panini Cooperstown Collection
2013 Panini Elite Extra Edition
2013 Panini Golden Age
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
2013 Panini Pinnacle
2013 Panini Prizm
2013 Panini Select
2013 Panini Triple Play
2012 Elite Extra Edition
2012 Panini Cooperstown
2012 Panini Golden Age
2012 Panini National Treasures
2012 Panini Prizm
2012 Panini Signature Series
2012 Panini Triple Play
2012 Panini USA Baseball National Team
2012 Playoff Prime Cuts
2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition
2011 Panini Limited
2011 Playoff Contenders
2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition
2008 Upper Deck Documentary
2007 SP Authentic
2007 SP Authentic By the Letter Autographs
2007 SP Authentic By the Letter Rookie Signatures
2005 Donruss Classics
2005 Donruss Throwback Threads
2005 Leaf Certified Materials
2005 Upper Deck SP Collection
2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot
2003 Upper Deck First Pitch
1999 Upper Deck

Basketball
2013 Upper Deck All-Time Greats
2013-14 Fleer Retro
2013-14 NBA Hoops
2013-14 Panini
2013-14 Panini Court Kings
2013-14 Panini Crusade
2013-14 Panini Elite
2013-14 Panini Gold Standard
2013-14 Panini Innovation
2013-14 Panini Intrigue
2013-14 Panini Pinnacle
2013-14 Panini Prestige
2013-14 Panini Prizm
2013-14 Panini Select
2013-14 Panini Signatures
2013-14 Panini Titanium
2013-14 Timeless Treasures
2013-14 Totally Certified
2012-13 Absolute
2012-13 Elite
2012-13 Elite Series
2012-13 Fleer Retro
2012-13 NBA Hoops
2012-13 Panini
2012-13 Panini Crusade
2012-13 Panini Flawless
2012-13 Panini Gold Standard
2012-13 Panini Immaculate Collection
2012-13 Panini Intrigue
2012-13 Panini Preferred
2012-13 Panini Prizm
2012-13 Panini Select
2012-13 Panini Signatures
2012-13 Playoff National Treasures
2012-13 Prestige
2012-13 Totally Certified
2011-12 Limited
2011-14 Panini
2010-11 Elite Black Box
2010-11 Panini Threads
2010-11 Playoff National Treasures
2010-11 Totally Certified
2009-10 Classics
2009-10 Court Kings
2009-10 Panini
2004-05 SP Authentic
2003-04 UD Glass
2002-03 UD Glass
2000-01 Upper Deck Slam

Football
2014 Panini Hot Rookies
2014 Score
2013 Panini Absolute
2013 Panini Black
2013 Panini Certified
2013 Panini Contenders
2013 Panini Crown Royale
2013 Panini Elite
2013 Panini Limited
2013 Panini Momentum
2013 Panini National Treasures
2013 Panini Playbook
2013 Panini Prizm
2013 Panini Prominence
2013 Panini Rookies & Stars
2013 Panini Select
2013 Panini Spectra
2013 Panini Totally Certified
2013 Prestige
2013 Score
2013 SP Authentic
2013 Upper Deck
2013 Upper Deck Rookie Lettermen Autographs
2012 Certified
2012 Crown Royale
2012 Gridiron
2012 Limited
2012 Panini Black
2012 Panini Contenders
2012 Panini National Treasures
2012 Panini Playbook
2012 Panini Prizm
2012 Playoff Prestige
2012 Prime Signatures
2012 Score
2012 Totally Certified
2011 Timeless Treasures
2010 Donruss Elite
2010 Panini Threads
2010 Playoff National Treasures
2009 Playoff National Treasures
2009 Upper Deck First Edition
2008 Donruss Gridiron Gear
2007 Donruss Gridiron Gear
2007 Score
2005 Donruss Classics

Golf
2014 SP Authentic

Hockey
2013-14 Fleer Showcase
2013-14 O-Pee-Chee
2013-14 Panini Dominion
2013-14 Panini Playoff Contenders
2013-14 Panini Prizm
2013-14 Select
2013-14 Totally Certified
2013-14 Upper Deck Trilogy
2012-13 Fleer Retro
2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology
2012-13 Score
2011-12 Panini Certified
2011-12 Panini Elite
2011-12 Panini Playoff Contenders
2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology
2011-12 Panini Titanium
2010-11 Donruss
2010-11 Limited
2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite
2010-11 Panini Playoff Contenders
2008-09 Upper Deck Montreal Canadiens Centennial Set
2005-06 Upper Deck
2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup
2005-06 Upper Deck Victory
2003-04 SP Authentic

Other
2010 Upper Deck Major League Lacrosse
2010 Panini Century Collection
2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Retrospective
2008 Donruss Americana Sports Legends

Non-Sports
2013 Panini Beach Boys 50th Anniversary
2013 Panini One Direction

Soccer
2014 Panini Prizm World Cup

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!

Catalog Update

Hello COMC Nation! We’re into the 2nd week since we began our transition to the new COMC and it’s been an interesting time around our offices. We’re busy working on our card catalog, but realized it’s been too long since we gave everyone an update on what’s been going on at COMC.com.

Progress
Right now we’re over 66% of the way through basic catalog creation for items currently listed on COMC. We expect to have 90% of the basic data complete in less than a month. Some of the data on the website is inaccurate, primarily player names, and we’re actively fixing descriptions while we create the catalog and process new submissions.

The best way to help us meet our goal of complete data by next month is by playing the Ultimate Card # Race. This Challenge provides us with card numbers which, above all other Challenges, speeds up our ability to identify items and create the new catalog.

Fast Track Your Inventory
We just introduced a feature that enables sellers to make items in their portfolio easier to find by potential buyers. If you have items for sale on the site, you’re now able to speed up their catalog creation by playing Challenges in the new Fast Track mode.

On the main Challenges page, check the box at the top of the screen that says “Fast Track My Inventory” to display items from your inventory first. Not only does it let you provide data on your items, it also bumps up the priority of Fast Tracked items you provided answers for to get asked to other contributors playing Challenges.

Please note there are some exceptions to Fast Track mode.  It’s not available for items in your inventory for which:

  • Data was already collected from that particular Challenge.
  • We don’t yet have enough data on an item to include it in that Challenge. For example, a card won’t get queued up in a Card # Challenge if we haven’t yet assigned it a prefix.

Processing Delays
Consignment processing has experienced slowdowns since the transition on April 1st. We are prioritizing catalog creation in order to process items so they can have complete data on the site. Premium processing should be back to normal next week and Basic processing will be running full speed sometime next month.

To help with the delays, we are still honoring our long-standing policy of applying a 50% discount on fees for late deposits when items are added to your account.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to call or email customer service.

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 Challenges, submitting suggestions, and participating in community dialog on our Blog, our Facebook page, and through Twitter.

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!

Out With the Old: Retiring the Old Site

On August 1st 2012, we began transitioning from Check Out My Cards to COMC.com and running dual sites in parallel.  It has been eight years since we began offering our unique service with Check Out My Cards, and it is with deep pride and a certain degree of sadness that we announce that, as of July 1st, 2013, the old site has been officially shut down and retired, and we will be fully committing to the new site and brand COMC.com.

It has been a tremendous journey that has brought together a team of over 50 unique Team members, close to 3000 sellers, and well over 50,000 buyers!  As a tribute to where we have been as a company, we want to take a moment and relive a few of the crowning moments during the company’s time as Check Out My Cards.

Date Event
Dec 21st, 2005 Check Out My LLC is founded
Aug 1st, 2007 Check Out My Cards launched at the 2007 Nationals
Sept 4th, 2007 Make an Offer function is launched.  During January of the following year, the Counter Offer function is added.
April 9th, 2008 Check Out My Cards moves into a bigger warehouse
Nov 28th, 2008 Check Out My Cards has its first Black Friday sale
July 2nd, 2009 Check Out My Cards adds its one millionth item to the site.  To commemorate, Tim buys the card from the user
Aug 23, 2009 Check Out My Cards partners with Blowout Cards
Mar 12th, 2010 First card valued over $1000 sold on site
May 14th 2010 First official port sale completed.  On September 15th of the following year, the port sale offer system is added
Nov 24th, 2011 Check Out My Cards launches the wildly successful First Time Seller Coupon and Referral program
Dec 3rd, 2011 Check Out My Cards moves into its current warehouse
Aug 1st, 2012 Check Out My Cards transitions to COMC.com
July 1st, 2013 Check Out My Cards is retired

As we gaze across the path that brought us here, it feels right to also see where we stand in the present.  Check Out My Cards laid the groundwork for everything that COMC has become and the switch to COMC has provided us with new tools and options that weren’t possible before.  A short list would include:

  • Being able to filter search results
  • The Promotions Feature including the now frequently used Partial Port sale function
  • The Beckett Grading Service integration
  • The ability to expand into new collectibles such as comics and many yet to come.
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Memories, like candles, light the pathway to the future.  Or something corny like that.

Yesterday, the team at COMC allowed Check Out My Cards to finally retire.  We would love to hear about your personal experiences with the old site and where we have been.  Please feel free to use the Comments box below to fill us in, and help us celebrate the next step into COMC.com’s future.  We’re still expanding the new site experience and we know our users always have a lot of great suggestions for changes and features.  Keep letting us know what you’d like to see and we’ll keep listening and improving.

Disabling Port Sales Until After Cyber Monday

We have tracked down some of the root causes of the performance issues while the site is under heavy load. Unfortunately large port purchases need to lock the entire site for too long. We will not be approving any Port Sale classified ads until Tuesday.

None of our Black Friday Weekend promotions apply to Port Sales anyhow. Sorry for the inconvenience. We recommend running Promotions this weekend instead of trying to do any Port Sales.

Site Down – Tonight 1-4 a.m. PST – Update Your Sales Before This!

We hope you had a good Black Friday!  Our Black Friday Weekend Specials are far from over.  We learned a lot today from the increased traffic, made some tweaks, and want the rest of the weekend to be smooth sailing.  In order to best accomplish this, we are taking the site down TONIGHT from 1-4 a.m. PST. 

Sellers, if you are updating your Sales, please make sure you finish BEFORE 1 a.m. PST.

The site will be down so the server can do some optimizations and give good performance throughout the rest of the day.

Peace.