Most people who use Internet Explorer or Firefox as their browser for viewing the internet don’t know about a cool feature that works quite well with our site: the RSS feed button.
This nifty little button allows you to do a couple of things. It allows you to be updated automatically when we add a blog post or when your favorite cards get posted to the site.
To Subscribe to the CheckOutMyCards.com blog: The simplest way to do this is to go to http://blog.checkoutmycards.com/feed/ and click on “Subscribe to this feed.” The orange feed button (discussed earlier) in the top right of the window does the same thing.
Selecting this brings up a simple pop-up to allow you to create a feed the same way you would create a “Favorite” in your browser. Similar to viewing your favorites, click on the star emblem at the top left of the screen to open your favorites; then click on “Feeds” to view your subscribed feeds.
To subscribe to a search: Using the RSS button after doing a search allows you to only have to search the site once for that item. For an example, I’ll use one of my personal favorite players: Nolan Ryan. So, I want to find his 1968 Topps Rookie Card. When I enter “1968 Nolan Ryan” in the search area, as pictured below, you can see that two cards came up, but obviously not the actual 1968 Topps card I wanted.
However, since I have that groovy little RSS button (see the orange arrow pointing at it in the above image), I can use that to subscribe to a feed for that search option.
Now, whenever a new card matching the description I’ve entered gets put onto the site, it updates the Feed in your favorites area.
Well, I am sitting at the ferry terminal on my way to Shaw Island for the weekend. Just missed the ferry by 2 cars, and there is a three hour wait for the next ferry. So, now is a good time to write about our trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention.
We had a great plan going into the National. My brother Toby was living in Milwaukee, and we could save about $100 per ticket by flying into Milwaukee instead of Chicago. We would fly in a day early and have my brother show us around Milwaukee before we all headed to Chicago. Toby was going to drive us to Chicago and help us man the booth. We would have a vehicle in Chicago, and he would then drive us back to Milwaukee so we could catch our flight back to Seattle.
It seemed to be a fairly simple plan… until my brother got a job offer in Minneapolis. Just two weeks before the National, tickets booked, and now we had to juggle our schedule.
Oh well, no big deal. There is a train between Milwaukee and Chicago, and we can take taxies for everything else. Rather than giving you to blow by blow, I will just give you the itinerary that we finally ended up with.
Mon July 28th 10:00 PM PST, get a ride to the airport to catch the redeye to Minneapolis
Tue 3:30 AM PST, 1 hour layover in Minneapolis
Tue 6:00 AM PST, arrive in Milwaukee
Tue 6:30 AM PST, take a shuttle to a hotel
Tue evening, take taxies to and from the Brewers – Cubs game
Wed 4:30 AM PST, take a taxi to the train station
Wed 6:00 AM PST, take the train from Milwaukee to Chicago
Wed 8:30 AM PST, take a taxi to our hotel in Chicago
Wed 9:00 AM PST, walk about 1/2 mile to find our booth and set up
That was our trip to the National. National went great. I will do another post about that, but first you get to read about our trip home.
Just before we were about to leave the national and head to the train, one of the dealers decided to take us up on our offer to ship cards back to our warehouse for free. He dropped off 4,000+ cards in toploaders. All of a sudden, we had to repack so that we could carry the equivalent of more than ten 2 row shoe boxes full of toploaders to Milwaukee so that we could ship them on Monday. Mark happened to be staying in Wisconsin for a few extra days to visit with his brother. So he would be holding on to the customer cards and shipping them for us.
Sun 4:00 PM PST, take a taxi to the train station
Sun 5:00 PM PST, check our luggage and carry 5,000+ customer cards
Sun 5:45 PM PST, board the train heading from Chicago to Milwaukee
Sun 7:15 PM PST, Mark gets off at the Milwaukee airport to pick up a rental car
Sun 7:30 PM PST, arrive at the main Milwaukee train station
Sun 8:30 PM PST, get picked up at the train station by Mark
Sun 9:00 PM PST, Mark drops us off at a hotel and takes the customer cards in his rental car so that he can ship them the following day
Mon 1:30 AM PST, wake up and schedule a shuttle to the airport
Mon 2:00 AM PST, take the shuttle to the airport
Mon 4:00 AM PST, board a plane headed to Denver
Mon 5:00 AM PST, plane delayed due to weather finally takes off
Mon 7:30 AM PST, plane arrives in Denver, just 5 minutes after our connecting flight took off
Mon 1:30 PM PST, we finally board a flight heading to Seattle
Mon 4:30 PM PST, we arrive in Seattle 6 hours later than expected
Mon 5:30 PM PST, we arrive at Steve’s house and jump in the hot tub
Mon 6:15 PM PST, I head to Redmond for a 7:00 basketball game
Mon 9:30 PM PST, I watch the Mariners come back to beat my Twins
Mon 10:30 PM PST, I swing by the office and notice that the site is having issues
Mon 11:00 PM PST, the site is back up and the issue shouldn’t happen again
Mon 1:30 AM PST, I finally head home after pushing cards into sellers’ accounts and writing a blog post
It has been a long week, but we are glad to do the work necessary to provide our consignment service to fellow collectors. Oh yeah… and my brother’s start date for his new job got delayed. After all of this, our original plan could have worked.
At the National we got to meet a couple people that discovered us through the Blowout Cards forum. Back in February WunderkindCards started a thread about COMC.com. Over the last 6 months, there have been more than 200 replies, and the thread has been viewed more than 8,000 times. This is nearly 3 times more than any other thread on their site. The 221 replies is also a record. The next largest thread only has a little over 100 replies.
This thread does a great job of showing an unbiased history of several sellers experience with the site. It discusses our advantages and our growing pains. I highly recommend reading through it if you are curious about using our consignment service.
For the month of August we will be including a $20 coupon in all orders we ship out. This coupon will cover the processing fees for 100 cards to be added to your account. Limit one coupon per account.
Simply include the coupon when you send in your cards and we will drop $20 from the processing fee. If you send in 100 cards or fewer, we will completely waive the processing fee. To get your coupon, place an order or send us a shipment request for one or more cards and we will include the $20 coupon.
Sorry about the unplanned downtime last night. The traffic on the site continues to rise, and the log files for the website filled up one of the hard drives a lot faster than I had been expecting. This caused the site to be down for a little while, but it was very simple to bring it back up. We have taken precautions to prevent this from happening in the future.
Again, sorry for the downtime. As the site continues to grow, there will be growing pains, but I will try to plan further ahead and announce when we will have to schedule downtime to make upgrades.
The response from the National has been overwhelmingly positive. A few people still don’t have computers and aren’t interested in buying or selling online, but unlike last year, we are now more than just a concept. People are ready to give us a try. We talked to numerous large dealers, store owners, and eBay power sellers that are ready to try something different.
Considering the fact that more than half a million different people have visited the site over the past year, I was surprised by how many people have still not heard of us. Everyone we talked to that has used COMC.com or even just casually visited it has loved the site.
The highlight of the show for me is definitely seeing how excited our users are. hotsmurf1390 made sure to come by our booth on the first night and introduced us to some of his friends from Austria. He met us at last year’s National and became a seller soon after that. bdrum67 started selling football cards around the time of the Super Bowl and has helped spur on a snowball effect that has tripled our inventory of football cards. rithm is one of our sellers that has only used the site to flip cards. He hasn’t yet sent us cards that he has on hand, but he has successfully re-sold cards that he has purchased off the site. We also got to chat with Seattle area dealers eaglescards and hankssportscards.