COMC announces its National specials!

COMC can hardly wait for the 31st annual National Sports Collectors Convention next week in Baltimore. So that’s why we’re announcing our show specials a few days ahead of time!

4x4x4x4 special at 2248

In honor of the company’s 4th appearance at the National, we’re offering a special with the number 4 being the backbone of our theme. At the show, you can receive a special 400-count box with our company logo on top. (The exterior dimensions are 7” x 3 ¾” x 2 ¾”.) Put up to 4 different card products* in there for just $40 and we’ll get them processed within 4 weeks.

* A product would be something like 2009 Topps football. Any of the inserts and parallels included in 2009 Topps are counted as part of that product. You can give us up to 4 different product in one flat rate box.

Free shipping from 2248

Anyone wishing to drop off cards at our booth (2248) will receive free shipping, as we will be sending all batches via FedEx from Baltimore back to our office in Redmond, Washington at no charge. Additionally, we are also waiving the 5-cent fee for each card that is in a hard plastic of any kind (e.g. toploaders or screw downs). Feel free to drop off your cards from home or the cards you buy at the show. Our normal processing fees apply, but you won’t have to take the effort to package the cards or pay to ship them to us.

First time seller special

New sellers can get a $100 free Express service coupon simply by dropping by our booth (2248) or the Blowoutcards.com booth in the corporate area.

Win Prizes!

Finally, COMC is proud to announce that over the course of the show’s five days, we will be giving away $2,000 worth of products and services. So if the above reasons aren’t enough to check out our booth, this one definitely should be!

Thanks for reading this, and we’ll see you in a few days!

Countdown to Baltimore begins!

A week from now, the nation’s sports-collecting eyes will be fixated on the Baltimore Convention Center. That’s where COMC will be, along with hundreds of other dealers and thousands of collectors, as the 31st annual National Sports Collectors Convention begins.

We here at COMC are planning on posting daily updates on our blog whereby we capture the highlights of our happenings at Booth #2248P. This space ironically happens to be next to our second-ranked consignor ddearing, who will occupy Booth #2149P.

So if you’re attending the show, make sure you stop by and say Hi. And if you’re not, just check our blog each day and we’ll hopefully give you a sense of what went down…

There are flippers, and then there is Cardshark

Jason Banks had no idea of his impact on the ultimate future of COMC. Back in early 2008, he was just trying to capitalize on a business model he deemed unique and also potentially lucrative for him.

1969 Topps #260 - Reggie Jackson RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comHaving won approximately 100 auctions on eBay, he decided to have them sent directly to COMC’s address. The problem was, COMC was using a mailbox service at the time – and was used to receiving just a few packages per day. So when 100 or so packages arrived, the mailbox service quickly put a kibosh on this practice.

This situation, of course, led to the company leasing commercial space in Overlake Business Center (a business development we’re still located in, just down the street and in a bigger building). It goes to show that one person truly can make a difference!

As for Banks, his cardshark account is ranked second on our top buyers list. But he’s easily the largest flipper on the site (having purchased more than $100K BV with the sole purpose of re-selling on the site rather than requesting shipment on the cards). This has made him 9th on the top sellers list.

“My focus is to flip cards,” said Banks, who runs an intellectual property (domain names, etc.) business in Boynton Beach, Florida. “It’s just like the stock market, with diversification being the key.”

Banks, a former Florida state trooper and a City of Miami Beach police officer who has a law degree from the University of Miami, grew up in a house filled with Lenny Dykstra memorabilia.

1987 Topps Tiffany #295 - Len Dykstra - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com“My dad was a huge fan and he just went crazy buying cards,” said the 46-year-old. “He’d send them out in the mail and they’d come back signed.”

When considering COMC, Banks recalls being initially struck by the background of COMC CEO Tim Getsch. “What really impressed me was Tim’s history with Microsoft. Anyone that had that handle (on site development) was going to do a very good job with the site.”

Out with the old, in with the new… stats

For a while people have asked questions about how we calculated our seller stats. We kept having to explain how the stats were specific to cards sent to us on consignment and didn’t reflect the cards that people purchased on the site and were now flipping.

Here is the last screenshot of our old style stats.

New Stats
We finally got a chance to update the site so that it now gives more intuitive stats split out for buyers, sellers, and consignors.

Top Buyers
We let you drill into the top 50 buyers based on total book value purchased. This includes cards that were purchased and shipped as well as cards that are purchased and are still in the buyer’s account.

Top Sellers
You can now see all sellers. By default we sort the list by total book value currently for sale. This includes all cards purchased as well as cards sent to us on consignment.

Top Consignors
You can now see all consignors. By default we sort the list by total book value of cards ever sent to us on consignment. These stats include cards that have been sold, but they ignore any cards that were sent to us on consignment and returned to the original owner.

The Trifecta
Notice that ddearing and SteveSC are the only users that have earned the top 10 list in all three categories. Both Dan Dearing and Steve Hollander will be at the National August 4-8. Steve is our most senior employee and will be one of 6 Check Out My Cards employees at the National. Dan is one of our fastest growing sellers. I just found out today that he happens to have a booth right next to ours. If you can make it to Baltimore for the National this year, be sure to swing by booth 2248 and say hi!

Magic: Back on the Wagon

This is a great writeup by one of our most recently hired employees. I throughly enjoyed the read.

Enjoy!

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Hi, my name is Jeremy, and I’m a recovering nerd. Well, I suppose “recovering” isn’t entirely accurate. To be honest, just remove it from that first sentence and it’ll read more truthfully. I am a great big nerd. On July 10th, though, I revved it up into an arena of nerdiness I had sworn off for over ten years; I played in a sealed deck tournament of Magic: The Gathering, 2011 edition.

I was just out of elementary school when I bought my first Magic cards, and every dollar I obtained from ages ten to seventeen went into my cherished collection. Eventually, though, I gave all my cards to a friend and walked away. And now I’m back, sitting at Uncle’s Games in Bellevue, and signed up for the noon prerelease event that will kick off the brand new Magic edition.

1994 Magic the Gathering Revised Edition #62 - Demonic Tutor U :K: - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com In the processing department of Check Out My Cards I see a pretty wide variety of collectibles come through. I was surprised, though, how nostalgic I became the first time a seller sent us some of his old Revised-editions. “I used to have one of these,” I informed my coworkers, gesturing to a stern looking Demonic Tutor. They smiled politely, not understanding the deep significance. I decided then that it would henceforth be my mission to get more Magic cards up on the site.

This was my first time opening a booster pack in a decade, and as the clock slowly inched towards twelve, I found myself feeling nervous. A broad array of players were slowly filling the cozy shop, and I recognized all the old demographics: young kids accompanied by their parents, teens with their card collections in binders under their arms, a good number of men about my age, and a few older stalwarts in their forties and fifties. How many expansion sets of Magic have been released since I stopped playing? Twenty? I wonder to myself if I will even recognize the terminology. Two boys behind me are excitedly discussing the preview cards that Magic’s publisher, Wizards of the Coast, have displayed on their website. One is thrilled that his favorite is back for another round. “He’s not very good,” he concedes about the card, “Well… he’s pretty good. But he’s cool!” That’s the Magic I remember loving. It’s not just a deck; it’s a stack of cardboard heroes.

At 12:03 my name is called, and I’m handed six booster packs by the well-organized guys behind the counter. In my absence from the game I’ve occasionally peeked in, and it has seemed to me that every set of cards they release is stronger than the last. As I settle in at one of the sturdy wooden tables, I wonder to myself what overpowered monsters I’ll get to unleash. I open my first pack.

1993 Magic the Gathering Alpha #287 - White Knight U :W: - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com Every booster pack of Magic contains one rare card, and I quickly flip through to see what the first component of my arsenal will be. “Sealed Deck” tournaments are a different format than regular games of Magic. Each player receives a half a dozen boosters for a total of ninety cards, with which they make a deck of no less than forty. The number forty is misleading though, since almost half of a well-built deck will be different colored “land” cards to power the various spells. The staff at Uncle’s is well-stocked with each of the five lands, and as players finish their tinkering, they approach the register and are supplied with their land cards for free. Selecting which color of land to focus on is crucial for a tournament of this format. My first rare card is red, so as I open my second pack I cross my fingers for a run of good luck and another red rare. It’s a rare land card! I smile, since it is a combination of two colors, red and black. Sadly, my fortune turns. My third rare is white. I make my way through the rest. Green, another white, and then I find it: a third rare white called “Vengeful Archon”. My eyes boggle as I look at how powerful it is. White looks like my color today.

It takes me almost the entire time allotted to deck construction just to browse through my cards and learn their abilities, so as the clock runs out I simply grab my white and green cards and shuffle them together. The minimum deck size is forty cards, but mine weighs in at sixty, obese by sealed deck standards. My name is called out, and for my first game of Magic in a very long time I’m paired up with a teen named Michael. He was born the same year that Magic came out. I feel old.

Michael snagged three green powerhouse cards, and our best-two-out-of-three contest begins with my deck being staggeringly crushed. Back on my heels, I rally my forces and come back to snag a win in game two. Game three comes down to the wire, and on the last turn Michael plays a card that will be just enough to grant him victory — if he wins a required coin flip. He calls heads and I toss it up. Tails. I let out a sigh of relief and shake his hand. These are the moments that make Magic great.

I went on to win about half my games on Saturday. My cards were decent, but so were everyone else’s. Ryan, my final opponent, played a merciless white and black deck that was tuned to perfection, and it was honestly a pleasure to lose to him. Everyone I met at the tournament was incredibly nice, and the sense of overall sportsmanship was tremendous. In the end, my white card that I thought would win me every match wasn’t so overpowered after all. As big and scary as he looked, he didn’t exist in a vacuum, and my opponents were all inventive and impressive in dealing with him. Omar cast a spell that returned him to the top of my deck, and then forced me to discard him. John, a smiling father accompanied by his son and “life coach” Cole, exiled my card to another dimension. It was nice to be proven wrong about my assumptions, and it was even better to see the strong and diverse following that Magic still enjoys.

When I finally had to leave for the day, I drove away feeling that the Magic brand is being well taken care of by Wizards of the Coast. The feel of the game has changed a bit since my younger days, but listening to the energized chatter surrounding me on Saturday I know that the soul is still the same. The crowd surrounding my old hobby is just as enthusiastic and diverse as ever, and they felt like old friends. I don’t intend to dive back into the hobby – I have responsibilities, and a lot less free time now that I’m out of school. All my new cards from Saturday will be posted up for sale on COMC in my Jester account. At the same time, though, I think I would quite enjoy another sealed deck tournament. Since Saturday, my brain has been hard at work coming up with new strategies and card combinations that will surely grant me victory in the future. Hi, my name is Jeremy, and I am still a nerd.

And the winners are…

Here are the results from the 8 auctions we have run to date.

First Ever Silent Auction ($10,000+ BV from sidelinecardz)
Jag @ $1,530.00

$7,000+ BV, Primarily Football Cards from GridironHerosAndGreats
JoelsHitShow @ $700.60

Nearly $3,000 BV Baseball Cards from DKSchultz
EELindy @ $284.00

$2,500+ BV Basketball Cards from DKSchultz
adam2033 @ $210.00

$7,000+ BV Football Cards from DKSchultz
manning99 @ $587.88

Nearly $3,000 BV Hockey Cards from DKSchultz
ScoreboardEh @ $307.03

$6,000 BV, 11 different 2006 Topps Rookie of the Week Baseball Cards
johnhungerford @ $313.01

$1,200+ BV Sports Cards from DKSchultz
phleagles112 @ $101.00

Happy 4th of July!

We here at COMC would like to wish all of you a great holiday weekend! Thank you for your continued support and loyalty!

Just a reminder, too, that our phones will be turned off Monday in observance of the holiday. Speaking of celebrations, we celebrated Tim’s 32nd birthday today by surprising him with a new office chair. (The humble CEO of our company deserved a better throne to sit on, after enduring a used conference room chair all this time!)

Finally, just a heads up to let you know that we’ll be making some announcements regarding The National in the coming weeks. So stay tuned for those…and stay safe this weekend!

Darren Fessenden

Processing Specialist/Blog Writer