Guest Blog: They Come in Colors – Like a Rainbow

(Editor’s Note: Please welcome Bill Eckle to the COMC Blog. Bill started collecting trading cards in 1961 and renewed his interest in the 1990’s when the University of Arizona Wildcats made their run in the NCAA Tournament with their first Final Four appearance. His Arizona collection and custom cards creations was featured in the March 2002 and November 2004 of the Beckett Basketball magazines. Bill’s COMC username is beckle.)

In 1993 Topps debuted Chrome technology with their Finest brand, which included parallels of the base cards referred to as ‘refractors. When refractor parallels are turned in the light, they display a rainbow effect that ‘refracts’ the light to show many different colors. This new type of card became a favorite for many collectors; however, Topps lost their licensing rights to all but baseball, so basketball card collectors had to look elsewhere for that technologyPanini’s answer was to  introduce their “Prism” cards beginning in 2012 and because of copyright issues, Panini had to come up with a different name other than refractor; hence, the name Prizm. Many collectors still refer to Panini’s prisms as refractors, as they exhibit the same effect as Topps Chrome and Finest refractors.

 Another confusing aspect is that the product itself is known as Prizm and the parallel cards with the light refracting qualities are also known as ‘prizms’.  Therefore the name, Prism prisms accurately describes the parallel cards. The Prizm prism parallel will have the name ‘PRIZM’ on the back where the base card does not. Probably in response to this confusion, Panini has since started calling these “Silvers”, which to date, have not been numbered. Technically, all Prizm cards that are not base cards are considered ‘prisms’, whether numbered or not. 

Each year Panini’s basketball Prizms have added more and different parallels than the previous year for a total of 35 in 2018, and that’s not counting  two different one of ones (Black and Choice Nebula) for each of the 300 players in the set.  Often mistakes are made by eBay sellers concerning the various colors, or they are given incorrect names. I purchased a Fast Break silver card of one of the hotter rookies from a card shop on eBay, but was disappointed to receive the base card of that player a few days later. Another mistake I’ve seen is the ruby wave listed as a red pulsar (#/25), which was available in last year’s (2017-18) Prizm basketball but not in the 2018-19 product. Since there are so many parallels to sort out, an explanation of the 35 different parallels from the 2018-19 Prizm set is helpful.

These two screenshots from ebay show some of the common mislabeling that one can find.

This explanation only applies to the 300 base card set of basketball, not the subsets or autos available which do not follow the same pattern consistently. These names also do not apply across other sports. Panini Basketball Prizms are spread across several box and pack types and these aren’t limited to hobby or retail. Certain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target carry particular variations exclusively, and Choice Prizmsavailable in Australia and the Far East also have versions specific to those regions. 

It is not unusual to see this product for sale with varying names that may or may not be according to Panini’s naming guide lines. Using COMC.com is a great place to see what the actual names are. Even if you are searching for a particular card not found on COMC, looking at other cards of similar types will give you a description of what they are and the accurate names. If you don’t find the information on cards currently available, make sure to check the ‘Include’ button on the Sold Out option on the sidebar menu. This may give more examples not found on currently available cards. 

Designs for Fast Breaks, sometimes referred to as ‘bubbles’, or more commonly ‘discos’were the names for styles of Panini’s football product. Fast Breaks are completely overlaid on the card’s front with small disks or circles, as check with COMC card descriptions will confirm. There are 7 different Fast Break variations: base or silver – unnumbered; blue – numbered to 175; red  (125); purple  (75); pink – (50); bronze  (20); and neon green – numbered to 5.    

You would think color would be an easy way to separate one kind from another, but some see orange as gold or pink as purple.  (I’m not sure how color-blind collectors navigate this minefield). This is where card serial-numbering is helpful. Orange parallels for the last two years have been numbered to 49 and golds to 10. The parallel numbering is one way to tell one type of parallel from another and again COMC is helpful as they list all cards regular numbering as well as serial numbering. For instance, there are five purples: purple wave, purple ice, which are not serial-numbered; purple fast break, and purple prizm, both numbered to 75, and purple pulsar (35)You may see the purple pulsars referred to as ‘gravity packs’, as these were only available in retail drop down boxes. And though there are two purples numbered to 75, the Fast Break is easily distinguished from the plain prizm by the circular disks on the card’s front.

Left to right: Prizm, FastBreak, Wave, Pulsar, Ice

The ‘ice’ parallelor sometimes called ‘crystals’, ‘crystal ice’, or even ‘cracked ice’, are also not hard to distinguish from other types. Cracked ice is a good description, as that is what the card fronts looks like. Panini soccer cards used this design technology and called it ‘crystal’. Previous Panini Contender products were called ‘Cracked ice’ which also had the same look. These names are often used by collectors but may not necessarily be the same name that Panini has chosen to use for a particular sport. There are 4 variations for the ice parallels: pink and red ice, found in Wal-Mart and Target products respectively and both unnumbered; purple ice – numbered to 149, and blue ice – numbered to 99. These last two are found in hobby and 1st Off the Line boxes. 

There are six red-colored cards with the unnumbered ‘ruby’ wave being one of the most common. Waves come in red and purple and are fairly easy to identify as they appear to have wavy lines on the card’s front. Also in red are the previously mentioned red ice, also unnumbered, followed by the red Prism, numbered to 299, red Fast Break (125), red Choice (88), and red shimmers – numbered to a tough 7. The shimmers appear to be the same technology that was referred to as ‘rain’ in prior years with Panini Prestige. The other shimmers, also numbered to 7, are a light and a dark blue.  

Left to right: Wave, FastBreak, Shimmer, Choice, Ice, and Prizm

The Choice cards were released in Australia and the Far East, but boxes can be found from dealers in the U.S. All Choice cards have large circular designs reminiscent of your first days using a drawing compass where you make a circle and using that radius make half-circles within the circle to create a flower pattern. This design was previously in Panini Select products and known as ‘Scope’. 

Choice also has Tiger Stripe (black and orange) Blue, Yellow & Green striped cards, both non-numbered, red Choice prizm (88), Choice green (8) and Choice Nebula (1/1). 

In a class by itself is the popular mojo (25) that is returning for 2018-19. Also numbered to 25 are both the red and green pulsars with the pink pulsar being numbered to 42. There are three pinks; pink ice – non-numbered, fast break pink, numbered to 50, and pink pulsar (42). Pulsars have oblong disks in a tight regular pattern on the card’s front, distinguishing them from the Fast Break design where the circles are more random.

Returning again this year are the green, hyper, and red-white-blue prizms – all (non-numbered), as well as the blue prizm – numbered to 199. Also back from last year are the ‘White Sparkle’ prizms –unnumbered and available in redemption packs, but commonly thought to be a print run of 20. A newcomer in the 2018-19 Prizm is the black and gold striped prizm numbered to five. 

Putting a complete set of prizms together of a favorite player is truly a daunting taskSeveral single digit-numbered cards, as well as the two ‘one of ones’, make it almost an impossible endeavor, but that is what makes it a collector’s challenge. 

Consignment Service Update: Retiring Declined Items

COMC is constantly seeking out ways to evolve our services to improve the hobby and give our customers the best possible experience.

Starting June 14th, 2019, COMC will begin using a new process to describe modern trading cards with condition issues that result in less than Near-Mint-Mint (NM-MT) condition. We believe these changes will greatly improve the experience for consignors by reducing the complexities of our current declined items system and for buyers and sellers by more effectively indicating which items are in less than NM-MT condition.

At a Glance

  • Modern trading cards in less than NM-MT condition consigned through Basic and Current-Year Basic services will no longer be declined, nor will they receive condition notes. These items will now be evaluated and described with condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage (described below).
  • Modern trading cards in less than NM-MT condition consigned through Select, Current-Year Select, and Premium services will still receive condition notes, as well as be described with condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage.
  • Items previously consigned through all service levels will still retain any applicable condition notes, but will now also be described with corresponding condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage.

Detailed Explanation of Upcoming Changes

Declined Card System:

Currently, all modern (1980 to present) trading cards in less than NM-MT condition submitted through Basic and Current-Year Basic services are uploaded into the consignor’s inventory as a single group of declined items. Consignors are then presented with the following options:

  • Reprocess the whole group of items through our Select-level service, where they will receive condition notes. The items can then be listed on the COMC Marketplace.
  • Donate the group of declined items to charity.
  • Add the group of declined items to their next shipment request

On June 14, this declined-item system will be completely retired. Sellers with previously declined items will have adequate time to process, donate, or ship those items before support for the old system is also retired. Be on the lookout for more information soon with important deadline dates for when accounts with legacy declined items will be required to choose a resolution.

Modern Condition Ranges:

COMC will begin processing every item submitted through Basic and Current-Year Basic services regardless of condition. Modern Items received in less than NM-MT condition will be evaluated and assigned one of the following condition ranges:

  • Excellent to Near-Mint (EX to NM)
  • Good to Very-Good/Excellent (Good to VG-EX)
  • Poor to Fair (Poor to Fair)

Modern trading cards in NM-MT condition or better will not be assigned a condition range. In some cases, modern trading cards in NM-MT or better condition may receive a condition note for a minor issue we don’t believe results in less than NM-MT condition.

Items consigned prior to June 14th will still retain any condition notes they previously received but will also be described with corresponding condition ranges.

When is this happening?

On June 14th, 2019, we will begin to apply condition ranges to modern cards and update the Submission Wizard to reflect the new process. All consignment submissions containing updated paperwork or received after July 1st will be processed with these changes.

How will I be affected?

As a COMC Consignor

COMC Consignors will want to be more mindful about the condition of the items that they are submitting. Items in less than NM-MT condition will no longer be declined, and going forward all items submitted to COMC will be processed and deposited into their consignors’ accounts.

It is important to note that, with this change, sellers will be charged processing fees for all items submitted through our Basic and Current-Year Basic services, as COMC will no longer be declining to list items through these services for condition-related reasons. By no longer declining these items, sellers should ensure that they have a sufficient COMC Credit balance to pay for processing of all items submitted under these services to avoid delays in items being uploaded into their account.

As a COMC Seller

Currently, modern cards with flaws are given condition notes but are still grouped with items in NM-MT or better condition. Sellers have frequently been unable to quickly and accurately price their items with the information presented to them from the Inventory Manager. When pricing your COMC inventory after June 14th, sellers can now have confidence that competing items are similar in quality to their items.

 As a COMC Buyer

By making this change, it’s even easier to find the items you want in the conditions you are seeking. You’ll be able to quickly tell if an item has conditional flaws directly from search result pages, which will now display condition ranges. Items in less than NM-MT condition will no longer be found grouped with items in NM-MT condition or better.

Rich Reminisces: “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton

2019 is the 50th anniversary of what may be the most important book ever written about baseball. The tome which changed the world was “Ball Four” written by Jim Bouton and edited by Len Shecter.

Jim Bouton, who should have had Topps cards in 1969 and 1970 so we could have even better memories of that era, was as the author the key person of the book. After all, Bouton did pitch in 73 games during the 1969 season, which included two major league teams and a short minor-league stint.

Before going to the Seattle Pilots, Bouton had been a New York Yankee and was a remnant from the final days of the Yankees dynasty. While it was obvious from all his writings that he truly loved the game, the fact he looked at things differently was a cause of consternation for baseball officials. One of the things to remember is if all he had written about was how baseball players were human (young, loved to chase girls on the road, used coarse language, etc.) that would not have been so bad. Or as the story at the time goes: “If you see a word you don’t know, don’t ask your mother about those” to deal with the four letter words. This book took the inside stories which were evolving, beginning with Jerry Kramer’s book “Instant Replay” about the 1967 Green Bay Packers and Frank Beard’s book “Pro” about the golf tour.  

Bouton took these books a step further and was not nearly as family friendly as some of the other books in that process. Bill Freehan’s “Behind the Mask”, which actually pre-dated Ball Four’s release was also an inside look at a team, but without most of the non-baseball material covered in Ball Four. Of course there was a difference in Freehan playing almost every day as a position player and Bouton spending a lot of time in the bullpen, having more time to hear all those stories. Both Freehan and Bouton’s books are based on the 1969 season, so when the Seattle Pilots played the Detroit Tigers there are two different ways those games are dealt with.

The most amazing thing about these books was perhaps the self-examination needed for these diaries, as all of these athletes had seasons at or near their career peak during around that time. And in the case of Jerry Kramer, there is this memorable block of Jethro Pugh to give Bart Starr the room needed to score the winning touchdown in the 1967 Ice Bowl game  

But what really upset major league baseball was two fold:

1.) How he was able to show that the legendary Mickey Mantle was not perfect but just another person with typical male urges.
2.) He also showed how players were not properly paid, and some of the monetary troubles players had were because management had so much control.

Those issues as much as anything was what organized baseball got freaked out about after the book was published in 1970. Remember similar to today, there was a growing divide between the young athletes and those establishment types that were in charge. Today, much gets into the public because of social media use, which never used to be part of the discussion.

The other thing to remember was because of this book we were able to get a first person look at the 1969 Seattle Pilots, which were a one and done team. Since they were only in existence for that one year, the idea that we have this much information about the team is a gold mine.

Although the Pilots were an expansion team, they had several people important in baseball history. One of those players, who got traded before Spring Training even concluded was Lou Piniella. “Sweet Lou” may have had a sweet bat, but he was not always the mellowest player on the field. Piniella had what is called a “Red ***”, and more than 20 years later his temper was still well remembered.  He is the last Cincinnati Reds manager to take the team to the World Series and the only Seattle Mariners manager to lead them to the post-season.  And here is a brief part of a Sassoon ad which showed on television.

And there are plenty of other people who are remembered fondly because of their places in the day to day life of the Seattle Pilots. After all, Joe Schultz, a long-time baseball man, was the manager of the team and understood they were not going to be winning many games. Thus, one of his great pieces of advice was to “Pound the Old Bud (Weiser)” after every game.

We also have people who were almost “counter-culture heroes” at the time such as Steve Hovley and Mike Marshall:

And there is also Gary “Ding Dong” Bell:

Fred Talbot, is probably still waiting for his part of the 25,000 dollar prize since he, somehow as a pitcher, hit a grand slam in the designated inning of a fan contest. No, the money never came, but the story still lingers. There is no Topps card of him as a Pilot, so instead here’s his 1969 card of him as a Yankee.

And while I could talk about all the players and their roles in the book such as Marty Pattin‘s Donald Duck impression, the final couple of players I’ll talk about in this article is Greg Goossen. Goossen came up as a young man with the Mets and is responsible for one of the most memorable Casey Stengel lines: “This is Greg Goossen, he’s 19 years old and in 10 years he’s got a chance to be 29.

As a boxing fan, I’ve always been fascinated since Goossen is part of the boxing Goossen family, and before his passing actually was one of the corner-men in several important fights. He also became a stand-in for Gene Hackman in films, and did very well financially doing that seemingly thankless role.

And how else could I finish but by showing a card of Dooley Womack aka THAT Dooley Womack, who Bouton was traded for during the middle of the 1969 season. They had been Yankees teammates in 1966-68 before both of them began their last few seasons. This is Dooley pictured as an Houston Astro.

On a personal thought, I wonder if you could argue the eventual acceptance of Ball Four was one of the precursors to the work Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did to uncover the Watergate Scandal. By that time we had started getting used to the concept that people who had previously been protected by media members were not being treated as normal human beings. Scandals were far fewer before 1970 and Ball Four than afterwards.

  Was this book and the honest appraisal of baseball players a tipping point in journalistic history?

The Pulse of COMC – Superheroes

Welcome to ‘The Pulse of COMC’ , a monthly blog series where we give members of the COMC Team a platform to be heard on topics ranging from trading cards and sports  to pop culture and everything in between! In our last blog, we talked sports and asked our team their thoughts on our beloved local Seattle Mariners. This time around we’re turning our focus to pop culture. With Avengers: Endgame setting all kinds of records last month, we figured now is the perfect time to ask our team members about their favorite Superheroes and movies!

Who is your favorite superhero of all time? Why?

“I’m going with The Joker for my favorite super hero. Come on, man! No one tops the Joker! Exclamation point.”Joseph H.

“The Dark Knight himself, Batman. Bruce’s my favorite because with the exception for his intellect and martial arts training, he’s an average Joe Everyman. Anyone could’ve taken up the cape and cowl and cleaned up their city and I love that optimism.”Stephan L.

The Punisher. A man dedicated to his convictions, refuses to give up and always protects the people. While his methods are unconventional, he always looks out for innocents and ends the problem. While he doesn’t boast any “super” powers, he still dedicates his life to fighting against tyrants, evil-doers and the lowly street level criminals.” – Paul D.

Spider-Man” – Verne. S.

Viscous Verne SiebertJames G. (You should watch the three links to see why!)

“My favorite superhero of all time is Captain Planet. Why? Because he’s going to bring pollution down to zero.” – Chad T.

“I only have two heroes in life, and one of them is Scott Summers, AKA: Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, Ruler of Utopia, and Savior of Mutantkind. Ok, that last one may have been pushing it, but he deserves it after the 20 years of hatchet jobs and character assassination that FOX has pulled.  In the comics Scott has become an incredibly militant and badass leader that has sacrificed everything just to keep the mutant population alive and safe. 

Considering everything he has been through, its amazing hes turned out so well. The death of his parents, legit brain damage, years of abuse in an orphanage, being forced to murder his sketchy father figure, the deaths of two wives *though to be fair i guess it was kind of the same wife twice…*, and being hated by the general population during most of his life. He is a true hero and someone every mutant should look up to and every human should fear..uhm…respect. CYCLOPS WAS RIGHT!”  – Jason M.

“Reading Marvel comics as a kid – and I’ve always preferred Marvel over DC — my favorites were always Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. Watching Marvel movies as an adult, I really enjoy the classic good-guy stoicism of Captain America, even if he never gets the funniest lines. Having said that, however, my most common recurring thought after any Avengers movie is always “I wish there had been more Black Widow.”  So she’s probably my current favorite.”Steve W.

Do you have a favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe or Superhero movie? Why is it better than the rest?

The Hulk directed by Ang Lee is my favorite movie. Reasons? Being the first foray into a CGI Hulk as his own presence, Ang brought a unique and passionate vision to the project. I have been watching and waiting since I was a wee lad reading comics and watching their live action counterparts on TV since the seventies and that movie finally gave me what, to that point, I had only been able to picture (poorly) in my mind. Extremely well-acted by the entire cast and with CGI innovations in “real motion” motion capture it is still top dog for me!”Joseph H.

“As a huge history buff, and a military brat – I’m a huge fan of Captain America and thus my favorite so far has been Captain America Civil War. It’s a great continuation of Winter Soldier, and really propelled what’s come since while not being as cookie-cutter as some others in the MCU.” – Stephan L.

“Avengers: Infinity War is my favorite, as I am a big fan of Thanos in the comics and the original Infinity Gauntlet story arc. It’s comforting to think the heroes will always win and exciting when they finally meet someone who can put an end to that. Without danger there is no bravery. I am hoping that Endgame will give me a new favorite!”Paul D.

Thor: Ragnarok”Verne S.
 
“Unpopular but spicy take:  I’m not a fan of any of the MCU films, with the Deadpool movies as the only exception. I have not watched all 20 some odd films in the saga, but after watching about a half dozen, I just couldn’t keep going on watching some of my beloved comic book and video game characters of the 90’s placed into seemingly generic albeit high budget action films. 
 
That being said, my favorite superhero movie(s) of all time is The Dark Knight trilogy. Batman was never my favorite superhero growing up, but these three films, especially the first Dark Knight, really opened my imagination. Christopher Nolan did an incredible job creating an immersive story told with a much different tone than Batman films in the past. – James G.  
 
“The best superhero movie ever is Superman 2. Why? It brings a very human element to Kal-El, his growing feelings for Lois Lane and his willingness to remove what makes him special for her. Meanwhile, Earth faces its greatest threat to date in the form of General Zod, Ursa, and Non, hardened criminals who gain the same powers Superman possesses. The fight in Metropolis, to this day, still holds up due to the emphasis on realistic character concerns and reactions to situations. Superman realizes he can’t continue endangering the city in his quest to defeat the villains and makes sure his adopted home is protected by moving the battle to his Fortress of Solitude, where he uses his mind to win the day. Superman 2 shows that even the strongest force in the universe ultimately needs knowledge to reign supreme.” – Chad T.
 
“The best MCU films in order:

1. Winter Soldier
2+3. Guardians 1 + 2 *cant pick between them*
4. Doctor Strange
5. Black Panther or Ragnarok”Jason M.

“Although there are several MCU movies that I could rave about, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still my favorite.  The chemistry between Cap, Black Widow, and The Falcon is pitch perfect, and the 70’s-era political thriller vibe is an inspired setting for this story. After the over-the-top intergalactic Battle of New York in the first Avengers movie, it was almost a relief to see Marvel scale things back and give us just a great human-based action movie.  (That elevator fight scene still wows me every time I see it.)”Steve W.

Guest Blog: Three Tips for the Returning Collector

(Editor’s Note: Please welcome Mike Sommers to the COMC Blog. He is a husband, father, baseball chaplain, sports card collector, fantasy sports writer at Rotogrinders.com and owner of WaxPackHero.com.  He has collected since 1986, and as a lifelong Cubs fan, he learned the meaning patience and disappointment.  But let’s be honest, mostly disappointment.  The World Series victory in 2016 made him cry, and he’s ok with that!  You can connect with him on his blog, on Twitter @themikesommer, and at various other social media platforms under the name WaxPackHero. )

Over the last few years there seems to be somewhat of a resurgence in the hobby. Sales by card manufacturers are up, attendance at the National Sports Collectors Convention is on the rise, and the volume of cards changing hands via a variety of online platforms has never been higher.

One driver of this trend seems to be individuals who collected as a kid and are now returning to the hobby after a lengthy cardboard hiatus. Many of these collectors are returning to a world which is very different than they left. It can be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. That was my exact situation in late 2015.

When I stopped collecting, cards were available everywhere, $1 packs from a variety of manufacturers were the norm, and Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan autographs in Upper Deck were the only pack issued autos we dreamed of hitting.

I stumbled across a Dave and Adam’s banner ad in November 2015, and I ordered a couple boxes of cards. It didn’t take long before I had the itch to buy more, but I also realized I had a lot to learn. The idea of hits, dozens and dozens of sets, and boxes that ranged from $50-$500 had my brain spinning.

I found my local card shop (LCS) where I started my education. Eventually, I clicked my way onto the Blowout Cards Forums. That’s where my eyes were opened to a whole new spectrum of collecting possibilities including hundreds of pages of posts dedicated to the ins and outs of using COMC.

Over the next couple years, I eased my way back into the hobby. A box or two here and there allowed me to build some sets. Reselling cards I cherry picked out of the dollar boxes at my LCS and flipping cards on COMC provided the opportunity to pick up some “free” cards for my newly budding collection.

Eventually, in late 2017 I decided I wanted to provide a resource where collectors could go to read about the hobby and share some of the lessons I learned along the way. If it made the transition back into the hobby easier for others, then great! And so, WaxPackHero.com was born! Over the last year and a half, I’ve been documenting my journey, reviewing products and resources, and hopefully I’ve been providing a bit of entertainment along the way.

Here are a few of those lessons for the returning collector.

1) It’s All About ‘dat Base, ‘bout ‘dat Base, no Relics…….

The best and worst thing about the hobby is there are so many products to choose from. If you try to collect everything, there is a good chance you’ll become overwhelmed, and it would require a bigger portion of your paycheck than most people would be comfortable with. Well, at least a bigger portion than most collector’s significant others would be comfortable with. At the same time, all that variety creates an environment where there are as many different ways to collect as there are collectors. The key is to Narrow Your Focus.

For me that focus is on base and inserts. I realized I love set building and having a large variety of cards from my favorite players. I decided my focus would be on base cards and I’d forgo the allure of the auto and relic hits. Base are cheap at my LCS, and COMC is a great platform for filling in those set needs.

Others may decide autos are their thing, or maybe you only want to go after graded cards. Vintage? Junk Wax era? One particular team? Great! Regardless of what it is, find something you enjoy and narrow your focus.

2) #FlipLife

When I got back cards, I did not have an unlimited budget, but there was a lot that I wanted to buy. Maybe it’s how I’m wired, but it didn’t take me long to realize I could probably offset a good portion of my card purchases if I was willing to put in a little work. I started flipping cards on COMC, completing the COMC challenges for store credit, and eventually I started buying and selling collections across a variety of platforms. Personally, I was able to turn “trash into treasure” by taking the unwanted base off the hands of the hit chasers, and helping find new homes for it amongst other set builders like me. This hobby can pay for itself if you’re willing to put in a little work along the way.

3) It Takes a Village……

Or at least a shop full of collectors, or a forum full of posters. Collecting is better if we can share those experiences with others who have the same interest. Many of my current friends are people I’ve met through my local LCS or through on-line interactions via Facebook, Twitter, various podcasts, and blogs. I wouldn’t enjoy the hobby nearly as much if I wasn’t doing it with them. Take a second, reach out, and put some time into building some relationships with other collectors. I promise it will be worth it.

If you’re rejoining the hobby, welcome back! If you’re a seasoned vet, then go out of your way to help educate a new collector. At the end of the day, the more educated we all are, the stronger the hobby will be. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I’d love to help!

Social Media Roundup: Spring 2019

It’s been a little while since our last Social Media Roundup, so we wanted to take a moment to get you caught up on what you might have missed by not following our growing social media accounts. The COMC Blog will always be the #1 source for COMC updates, industry news and hobby focused editorials, but you’re missing a lot of other great weekly trading card and sports-related content if you’re not following our social media pages! Be sure to give our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts a follow if you haven’t already done so to stay up of what we’re up to all across the internet!

Facebook: 

Earlier this month we gave away over $2000 in COMC Credit during our annual Spring Cleaning Sale. We probably won’t be doing giveaways of that magnitude every month, so hopefully you had a chance to get in on the action and claim your piece of our giveaway prizes! If not, be on the lookout for future giveaways that are 100% FREE to enter and are as simple as telling us your favorite trading card, or how you would spend your prize if you won!

We listened to some of your feedback when creating our latest recurring original Facebook series, which is our ‘eBay Flip of the Week’. Once a week we’ll show you the most impressive flip of a trading card that was purchased by a COMC member on the COMC Marketplace that later sold through our eBay cross-listing feature for a significantly higher price. Why is this relevant? Not only does this give a glimpse into the flipping aspect of COMC, but it also hints at the types of trading card sets and players that have strong flipping potential. So far we’ve showcased flips of sports cards from NBA megastars, minor league baseball top prospects, and even UFC fighters!

Here is just a taste of some of our recent eBay Flips of the Week:

Twitter

Our Twitter account (@checkoutmycards) gives us the perfect social media platform to connect with COMC members and sports fans alike to talk everything sports and trading cards! You’ll regularly catch us tweeting the best daily sports highlights, historic ‘on this day’ memories, and routinely stirring up discussions about the trading card hobby.

We kick off every week with our Monday Morning Discussion, where we poll our some 12,000+ twitter followers with a question related to the world of sports or trading cards. You’ll catch quality discussions on a weekly basis such as this one from last week:

You’ll also catch the #DailyCheckout every single day, which is our mid-day ongoing series that shines a spotlight on athletes from a particular weekly theme. Recent themes have included MLB Catalysts Week, or players who often spark huge offensive outputs for their team, NBA Finals MVP’s Week, and NHL Legends Week!

Instagram

We can’t thank our Instagram followers enough for all of the love we’ve received in 2019! Our Instagram account (@checkoutmycards) remains our fastest growing social media platform to date! Our followers are very eager to share their COMC #Maildays and their flipping success stories with us, and we’re more than happy to give them a signal boost by reposting their COMC experiences to our growing base of followers.

Our instagram account is also home to our eBay Top Sale of the Week! You asked for it and we delivered! Each week we’ll show you the most expensive trading card sold on eBay via COMC from the previous week. Here’s a small taste of the last few weeks:

Hopefully this small glimpse into our weekly musings across social media will convince you to give us a follow and get involved! Most of our weekly recurring content was shaped specifically based on feedback from our followers, and we’re going to keep that ball rolling! Leave a comment below with any feedback or suggestions that you have for us on what sort of social media content you would like to see from COMC!

Memorial Day 2019 – Reduced Customer Service 5/27/19

In observance of Memorial Day, we will have reduced Customer Service support on Monday, May 27th. Our team will be unavailable to answer phone calls throughout Memorial Day. Phone support will return to our normal 9am-5pm PST schedule on Tuesday, May 28th.

If you need to contact us over the holiday, please email staff@comc.com or leave a voicemail message at 1-800-517-3540 and our team will respond promptly.

We are forever grateful to those who have served our great country, past or present. Your sacrifice will never go unremembered. Thank you.