5 Auctions starting at 95% off

We are continuing to experiment with the best way to run auctions. We just posted 5 new auctions from DKSchultz. They all have extremely low minimum bids, and they are broken out by sport so that you can bid on just the sports you are interested in.

Also, this is the last day to bid on $7,000+ BV, Primarily Football Cards from GridironHerosAndGreats. The minimum bid is more than 90% off.

Top Sellers & Flipping Cards
In the next week we plan to push an update to the site that will change the Top Sellers list so that it incorporates cards that you purchase from the site instead of only reflecting the cards that you have sent us on consignment. If you want to move your way up the Top Sellers list, winning an auction will be a great way to make a quick jump up the list.

A little effort to help Non-Sports

The other day mocards brought it to my attention that our Non-Sports selection is not very prominent on the site, and it is relatively hard for people to discover that we sell cards other than sports cards.

I got to thinking about what should be done. I wasn’t convinced that the 2,000 non-sports cards currently available warranted a permanently visible link on our header. All the permanent links have at least 50,000 listings each. So I thought about how the non-sports cards looked from Google, since that is where we get the majority of our new traffic.

It turns out that when we added support for non-sports cards a little while ago, I never finished the plumbing that actively pushed that category to Google’s shopping service. So we were at the mercy of whenever Google happened crawl that portion of our site. Though they do a great job of crawling our site, we have many millions of pages, so it can take a while. In any case, I fixed that the other day, and now if you search Google for any non-sports content that we have, you are likely to get a hit on the first page.

In mocard’s case, I noticed that he has a number of 1959 Indian Trading Cards. So tonight I tried searching Google for “1959 Indian Trading Cards”, and voila… we now have 4 links on the first page.

Lets see if non-sports can follow the same pattern we have had seen for all the major sports…
– the more content we have
– the more search hits that Google will send our way
– the more people discover our site and its services
– the more people will send us new content
– the more content we will get… and so on and so on

1st Auction HR, 2nd Auction up to Bat

A week ago, Brad Negen had less than $10,000 of total book value in his inventory. After being the winning bidder in COMC’s inaugural silent auction, Negen now has just over $20,000.

1999 Finest Team Finest Gold #T2 - Brett Favre/250 - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comWith his $1,530 offer, Negen outbid 25 others to claim the collection of sidelinecardz. Several bidders were close on his tail. The book value was $10,927.35. You can find the cards for sale in his Jag account.

“I thought it was a nice varied lot that would allow me to pick up some baseball and hockey cards, which I don’t have much of in my inventory,” said Negen via email Thursday. ” I thought there were some pretty nice football cards in there as well, and many of them didn’t have multiples on the site already — which is a big positive.”

With no listing fees of any kind, Negen instantly gets to price his 1,662 new cards accordingly.

“I’m  hoping I can see a positive return from the lot by being patient with sales,” said Negen, a COMC seller since early 2009.  “With what I’ve seen in sales from my first year here, I think I can make that happen.”

2009 Upper Deck Draft Edition Blue 50 #279 - Michael Oher AA/50 - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comThe next silent auction just went live this afternoon, and here are some stats from the lot:

Total Book Value: $7,005.90
Original Asking Price: $1,522.74
Current Owner: GridironHerosandGreats
# of items: 1,695
Items with no Book Value: 4
Average Book Value: $4.14

Go place your bid.

Here is Negen’s endorsement for COMC, and the auction system itself.

“I’m a big fan of COMC and the direction the site is moving in,” he said. “One of the best parts about the auction, and the site in general, is that you don’t have to worry about the safety of a transaction.  The contents of any transaction are clearly listed with great scans and money is transferred from one party to another without concern.”

Email updates

Many of you have noticed that our email notifications where not consistently reliable over the last month or so. It appears that we finally got down to the root cause of the issue, and you should now get emails more reliably.

Now that all the emails are going out and the site is more active than ever before, I decided to improve some of our email processes.

Daily Summary
We have replaced the “Item Sold” and “Congratulations! Some Items sold” emails with a “Daily Summary” email. The email will be sent out between 1:00AM and 2:00AM PST every morning. It will include a list of all the items that sold from your account that day. You will no longer receive all the little “noise” emails about individual sales.

Offer Emails
You should now receive them more reliably, and the subject will be “[UserName] as sent you an offer”. If you have any pending offers when the Daily Summary email goes out, your Daily Summary email will include the list of pending offers.

Status Updates
All email generated by the website or by our internal processes will now be sent from staff@checkoutmycards.com. You used to receive status updates from the Shipping Department or the Processing Department, but now those will all come from staff@checkoutmycards.com. You may still receive manually created emails from our employee accounts, but we have standardized on how the auto-generated emails are created.

Newsletter
We have started trying out a service from Constant Contact for sending out newsletters. Today we sent out our first trial. If you want to receive updates about our services and special promotions via email, make sure you join our newsletter.

Manute Bol passes away

1989-90 Fleer #52 - Manute Bol - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comThis is a sad day for the basketball community. Today Manute Bol passed away.

Some of my earliest basketball memories were of Manute Bol. I remember going to a Golden State Warriors game with my older brother back in the 1989-90 season. They were in town playing the Timberwolves at the Metrodome. The basketball court was set up where the baseball infield normally was.

The game wasn’t too crowded, so my brother snuck me down to sit nearly court-side. I am not sure if the adrenaline was from sitting in seats the didn’t match our ticket stubs or if it was simply the first time I had ever gotten so close to any NBA players, but I remember being very intent and excited. I was only 11 years old at the time, and I couldn’t believe how tall Manute was (7′ 7″). I particularity remember being amazed at how easily Manute shot 3-pointers during warm-ups. He didn’t even need to jump. It was just like a flick of his wrist… or that was what I remembered as a little boy.

1990-91 Fleer Update #U69 - Manute Bol - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com 1990-91 Hoops #424 - Manute Bol U - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

How to unblock email sent by Exchange 2007 SP1

We finally traced down why our customers have not been reliably getting emails sent by our web server. It turns out that this started happening after Exchange 2007 SP1 got installed. Basically email sent from our web server, relayed through our exchange server, was getting blocked by Exchange’s content filtering.

This is the exception that was getting thrown by our call to System.Net.Mail.SmtpClient.Send(MailMessage message).

System.Net.Mail.SmtpException: Mailbox unavailable. The server response was: 5.7.1 Message rejected as spam by Content Filtering.

Here are the steps we followed to fix the issue.
– Open Exchange Management Console
– Expand Organization Configuration
– Select Hub Transport
– Select the Anti-spam tab
– Double-click Content Filtering
– Select the Custom Words tab
– Specify some word that is included in every email sent out to prevent
– Click Apply

Now our webserver can reliably send emails!