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!

17 thoughts on “Out with the old, in with the new… stats

  1. And yet you still are leaving out the most important stats.
    Book value is, as we all know, meaningless, especially when compared to cold
    hard cash. Why in the world give total book value purchased? You just sold a number
    of portfolios for 10 cents on the dollar and less.

    For some reason you still do not display cards sold and what they sold at, which is the
    most useful data you can supply.

    Other reports of value is Net profit. While it would not necessarily reflect card acquisition
    costs, except for cards purchased online, it could reflect costs such as scanning, storage,
    with some of the fees being averaged out per card such as the batch fees.
    If COMC is a good deal for sellers, this information will affirm it, otherwise I’m going to
    suspect that it does not. It still remains a good source for many collectors in any case.

    • Book value is important to mainstream buyers, the most important customer COMC has (because mainstream buyers pay the most). It does not matter that it does not matter to sellers.

      The reason those auctions sold for 5-10 cents on the dollar is because that’s what happens when you push something. You can either sit back and wait for someone to pay your price, or you can lean forward and take what you can get. There is no liquidity here like there is in the stockmarket, where the spread is often just a few cents per share.

      It is very easy for individual sellers to determine whether COMC is a good deal for them. All the information is provided via the seller dashboard and daily email updates. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING A SELLER CAN DO IS LOOK AT WHAT IS ON THE SITE BEFORE SENDING CARDS IN. Don’t send stuff in if there’s already five others just like it on the site.

      Increasing “the most useful data” does nothing but balance the market, which punishes sellers who do their own homework and causes overall selling prices to drop, because other sellers will send in the more popular cards, creating an oversupply.

      This site is eBay in 1998, in that there are not too many sellers, and the ability to set the market is generally pretty easy. At some point this site becomes Sportlots, and every card will be listed at 95% off book.

      • The REAL reason why they publish book value sold and not $$ sold is because it looks much better on paper to have big numbers there to try to influence more people to send in cards to sell, which is where they make money. For their bottom line, the most important customer is the guy sending in lots of cards to sell, and withdrawing his credit.

      • Richard u just got OWNED!!! U both have points that make sense but only to the right buyers (if that makes sense) B.V. is bs at times but it is also very ness. so that there is a value of what u are buying. There is always a deal to be had weather it is 75% or 95% off B.V. every card has a ass and that ass is made buy the seller. U guys are doing a GREAT JOB with this site i am on it at least a dozen times a day and it has really made card collecting fun agian, so THANKS A MILLION TIMES OVER! I knew i bought alot of cards but WOW $50,000 PLUS LMAO! Keep up the good work and i luv reading these blogs there great!

  2. I like!! …..have to look through the stats a little more ….but was able to find what I was looking for.

    A little change now and then is good and kept’s things interesting ….Thanx!

  3. Richard,
    I’m really not sure that those stats would really mean a whole lot. There are 700+ sellers with hundreds of different pricing strategies. Some people are content to price stuff at close to full book and wait (and wait) to sell it, others heavily discount stuff (even stuff that should never be heavily discounted since it will sell easily for higher prices), while others, like myself, generally price stuff at around 40-60% off of book (I’m probably closer to the 40% off range).
    If my stats help you any, I’ve sent in 33,551 items (so a listing cost of around $5100), I’ve sold 6216 items (but bought 6580 items as well). My sales so far since I started (almost a year now) are $14,353, this is prices realized (before the change, I think it said that I’d sold around $25k in book value – of course, not included in that number are the hundreds of cards I’ve purchased from other sellers and flipped for a profit).
    Hope that helps.

  4. For the thread…personally, I like the corporate strategies COMC has employed. As the host of all our cards, they have the important mission to make collecting fun for the collector and the dealer who is happy to sell to them. After all, isn’t selling these are cards for the collector in the end!!! Of course the dealer mind will want stuff at 10% of guide, but look far and wide, and you see that collectors are generally happy to know that 50% off is a bargain, of course depending on the card issue. I collect and sell based on what I know, and that goes for everyone. If you are always in the know, then you know that book is a guide, it always has been and always will be. The sale happens for many reasons whether driven by a book price or the collector looking to fill his/her needs.

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  6. This is awesome! I’ve been waiting a long time for stats like this!! Thank you!

  7. OK, I obviously said too much in my first post, as it was not really responded to as I hoped.
    First, however, I would like to say thanks to trauty for some useful data.

    What I want to see is what cards have sold and for how much.
    Yes, it’s important not to send in a bunch of stuff that is already here, but that is not
    enough. Know what is selling provides valuable clues as to what “might” be worth the expenses involved in sending it in.

    It “might” be worth sending in a lower priced card, but only if it sells quickly and at a price
    above the costs of the scanning and shipping, which usually requires a bulk shipment of
    many cards. Lord knows I have enough cards I “could” send, but paying the costs to scan,
    and ship, only to either dump them in a bulk auction or pay for them to come home would
    be silly if I can avoid it.

  8. Oh, in a related concept, I look forward to the day the allow postings of cards people
    want to get and what they are willing to pay. Granted, there is a chance of too many
    people sending in stuff to fulfill the “order”, but ultimately for more obscure cards everyone
    involved will be a winner as a card #’d to 25, as an example, is not likely to have too many
    people sending them in.

  9. Richard – I agree that some of what you suggest would be mildly useful, but COMC is a resource-intensive website, and everything you want would require resources.

    If the information you seek is valuable, then how much are you willing to pay for it? If you want to see if a card will sell on the site, it will cost you 15 cents to send it in and find out. If you aren’t willing to spend 15 cents for this ‘valuable’ information, then maybe it’s not as valuable as you think. OTOH, if there are hundreds of COMCer’s who would be willing to pay good money for the info, maybe it will show up sooner rather than later.

    I’d recommend trying to find the same card on COMC. If you’d be willing to take 1/2 of the lowest asking price minus 15 cents for that card, then consider sending it in. Otherwise, send in something else. For your first few batches, stick to cards with a lowest asking price of,say, $3 or more. After you get the hang of things, you might branch out into cheaper stuff.

    As for how much everyone makes, that one is simple. JSeau has sold about $350,000 in “book value” and sells most of their stuff for 80% off book. So, they’ve had about $70,000 in gross sales. Everyone else has had less.

    Of course, once you know that, then you’ll want to know how much profit they made. If they’re picking up collections for 10% of book, they’re doing better than if they’re busting $2,000 cases of Exquisite and selling the singles for 99 cents.

    I don’t think a want list would be very practical. Someone says they’re looking for a certain card in late July. You mail it with your next package in early August. By October, the card hits your account. By that time, the buyer no longer wants the card. Either they found it from someone else, or they’re not interested, and/or the buyer died of old age.

    But, if it’s a feature you want, feel free to put in a feature request, and maybe some day they’ll make the change. My personal #1 want is for a trade button, where you can put a trade price on your card and swap instead of all that tedious buying and selling. I’m sure it’s on the back burner somewhere. In the meantime, they’ll tell you that if you want to trade, all you have to do is sell something and use the money to buy something else.

    It might be awkward to see the sales price for every single card, because there’s so much flipping. You see a card for $5 and think it’s a great deal. Then you notice that the seller paid $1 for it. Now you think they’re a rip-off, and they should settle for a reasonable profit, like $1.05.

    If COMC publishes sales figures, it might be better to go more generic. Like publish a list of the 100 best selling players in each sport for the past week, month and year – either by number of cards sold, ‘book value’ sold, or percentage of guide realized. But, again, that would take resources and if it would take too many resources, I’d rather they worked on other things first.

  10. I would not expect to find out what a dealer paid for a card, and I don’t consider it all
    that important anyways in the scheme of things. It’s useful, to a point, for negotiation,
    but people ask for what they want and that’s the way it should be in a free market.

    I agree, a want list for “common” cards would not really work that well. For cards that
    have a production under 100, it might be of use though as it would help collectors find
    those cards they need. Even if it was simply a post on a forum of some kind. A propose
    a list simply to avoid spamming as well as preventing off site activity.

    A card report that showed a card sold for $xx.xx, that it was on the site for x days, and
    that it was sold for x% of current guide IS of great use for sellers. It reveals trends,
    shows the level of activity on the site, etc.

  11. I agree it would be useful. It might even be worth paying, say, $15 a month for and becoming a revenue source for COMC. It might also violate COMC’s agreement with Beckett, or otherwise mess up their relationship with them.

    That information is available from eBay, and eBay treats it like junk. They have 15 years of sales data compiling billions of transactions. Yet, they won’t disseminate the information beyond a couple of weeks.

    The information is available from Worthpoint, and they make a good business selling it.

    Anyway, like I say, if it’s not stepping on Beckett’s toes, then it’s a matter of resources and it’s probably on the back burner. Maybe they’ll do it some time, maybe not.

    In general, the prices on COMC tend to reflect the actual market. They’ve processed about 2.5 million cards so far, so if a card isn’t on the site, there’s probably a reason. Either nobody has one to sell, or every one that was offered for sale already sold.

    If there are a lot of a particular card on COMC, then the COMC price is a pretty accurate indicator of the current market price, certainly more accurate than the guide price.

    For example, a 1994 Alex Rodriguez Upper Deck rookie books for $15, but there are 65 in stock priced as low as $4.50. So It’s a $4.50 card. You send one in, it will probably sell for $4.50, and it is very likely that you will get an offer of at least $2.25.

    OTOH, a 1994 Sportflics Alex Rodriguez rookie card also books for $15, but there is only 1 in stock with an asking price of $10. So it’s a better, scarcer, more desirable card, even though it’s the same year, same player and same guide price than the Upper Deck.

  12. Perhaps showing percentage of guide would violate terms, which would be unfortunate.

    That said, price sold, how long on site before sold would not.
    Comparing COMC to EBay is not going to work as they are different models.
    One was created with auctions in mind, the other is a store front.

    More importantly, COMC has a much smaller mind share than EBay.
    People simply are not that aware of them.
    The expenses and speed are different too.

    If I have a card I want to sell while it’s “hot”, Ebay will need to be used.
    Why? Simple, to sell on COMC I need to mail it to them first, then it needs to get
    into their que to be scanned by them. Depending on the volume they are dealing
    with you will have a delay which would have cost you hundreds of dollars in the
    case of an over hyped card ala the Strasburg Allen and Ginter mini RC.
    The first couple sold for near a grand. Currently they are now getting less than
    half that. I expect further drops.

    The advantage of COMC is that of the ability to effectively trade.
    Converting “credits” into other cards. There is also the advantage of the
    overall quality and consistency of the scanning with a degree of trust that
    the cards are available in reality, as opposed to a few phantom cards that
    have been “lost” in the mail over the years from some bogus sellers on Ebay.

    What I’m trying to get is a degree of comfort before I invest in sending cards
    to COMC. If I decide to do it, likely I would be sending in a fairly large lot so
    as to bring down the cost per card costs related to the batch fee, shipping,
    insurance, etc. In doing so, however, I would raise my immediate expense
    due to the costs of scanning.

    At one time I was a bit more adventurous, but I lost a good chunk of change at
    the now aptly name “thePit”. I should have bailed when Topps did.

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