Why I love how we ship cards

Ok, it has been a couple weeks since I posted about Why I love our shipping fees. Now my orders from these other sites have arrived, and I just finished opening packages from about 40 different sellers.

This was a great experience. It was a reminder for me about what is important when shipping cards. Here is what I found.

Beckett Marketplace
Beckett Marketplace dealers are on the ball. They all pay at least $250/month to list their cards, so you can be assured that they will jump on your orders right away.
Speed – About 80% of the sellers had the cards shipped within 24 hours. An email with tracking information was sent as soon as the seller had shipped the cards.
Accuracy – Unfortunately 10% of the orders were either canceled or partially canceled because the sellers couldn’t find the cards ordered, and about 1 in 50 cards were incorrect. They gave me the right card number from the wrong set. The accuracy and completeness is about what I expected. As inventories get larger it gets harder to find everything and not make mistakes.
Packaging – All of the cards arrived securely, but about half of the packages were very hard to open. They were taped everywhere or the bubble-mailer used an ultra-sticky glue. It was very common to put multiple cards in an extra-thick toploader, and use of penny sleeves was fairly random. Occasionally cards were shipped in a hinged plastic case and taped shut (very frustrating to try to open).

The Sportlots experience was a little different. It is free to list, and sportlots keeps a cut of the sales. So the responsiveness of the sellers wasn’t quite as good as Beckett Marketplace.
Speed – About 30% of the sellers shipped within 24 hours, 30% within 48 hours, and the rest shipped 3-7 days later. A message was posted on the sportlots website when the order had been filled.
Accuracy – 100% of the 50+ cards ordered were received correctly.
Packaging – All of the cards arrived securely, but about half of the packages were simply mailed in a regular envelop. I guess that is how they cut on costs. Fortunately envelopes are very easy to open. The usage of card savers or toploaders and penny sleeves was also pretty random. Virtually none of the plastic holders were reusable. They had either been taped shut or they were already heavily used.

Check Out My Cards
Here are some key takeaways that I have passed along to our shipping team.
Speed – We have increased the staffing of our shipping team to try to get packages out faster. Our stated guarantee on the website is that we will ship standard orders in 3-5 business days. In reality we have been averaging 2 business days. Now we are going to see how close we can get that to 1 business day. This used to be easy when we were only shipping a few hundred cards per day, but this is now quite a challenge as we are shipping a few thousand cards to hundreds of people all over the world each day. Our shipping team has great leadership, and I am confident we will make good progress on this goal.
Accuracy – Our accuracy is around 1 mistake per 1,000 cards shipped. This is very good, and we will continue to work hard to keep the accuracy high.
Packaging – We have made one nice upgrade in the past couple months. Now all cards that are purchased for $20 or more will be guaranteed to ship in toploaders. Previously it could be random which cards ended up in toploaders after we checked the accuracy of the order. From the 40 packages I received from other sellers, a few were packaged nearly as well as ours, but I didn’t see anything that were packaged better than our packages. Our team does a top notch job, and I have encouraged them to keep that up as we try to increase the speed. Our shipping team takes pride in the work that they do. When you receive a package it should feel like you are opening a present, and it should be an enjoyable experience. We welcome people to post youtube videos of opening the packages they receive from us, and we are always open to suggestions for ways to improve our shipping experience.

Why I love our shipping fees

There are many great sites out there for finding cards that people have posted themselves. So today I decided to find a bunch of cards of one of my favorite players.

Beckett Marketplace
I first went to the Beckett Marketplace and pretty quickly found 102 cards that I wanted. The problem was that they were all split across 35 different sellers. My total shipping came to $90.07.

With our service you always get combined shipping because everything is stored in our warehouse. For 102 cards my shipping would have been $28.25 on our site, and if I use a free account and wait until the last week of the month, I can get that shipping down to $22.80 with the bulk shipping discount.

Next I tried Sportlots where I found 52 cards that I wanted. Here the cards where spread across 19 different sellers. They really try to offer extremely cheap shipping. Yet the shipping still came to $24.37 for their budget service. With our service the shipping would have only been $15.75 and it would have been at least as good as their premium shipping service.

Finally I tried eBay where I found 25 cards that I wanted. Unfortunately the 5 sellers were asking $5+ for cards that I could get for $0.50 on the other sites. In any case, shipping would have $25.45 for the 25 cards. With our service shipping on 25 cards is only $9.

With other services shipping fees very quickly add up and are hard to keep under control. With COMC.com you can count on quality shipping for around a quarter a card. This is $0.25 to $0.75 per card less than the other sites. These savings allow buyers to pay less out of pocket while sellers are putting more into their pocket. Ahh… the magic of efficiency. I love this hobby, and I love working hard to make Check Out My Cards a great service for my fellow collectors.

Greetings from Baltimore!

Our first day at The National was a success. I entered the scene late Wednesday night along with Tim and Steve Hollander (both of whom opened the show Wednesday night). Arriving into Baltimore-Washington International Airport as I type this are Jeff Maeda and Geoff Holland.
Thursday at the National

Among our many show specials, the one that seemed the most popular today was the free shipping on drop-offs. We took in many full shoebox-style boxes, as well as dozens of 400-count boxes. With Geoff heading up our shipping department, we’ll get going tomorrow on packaging the cards we’ve received thus far so that we can ship them back to our warehouse and begin processing.

2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars Freshman Orientation Autographs #FO14 - Cesar Izturis Bat/100 - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.comSince it was The National night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, we all took in the Angels game. The Orioles nearly blew a 4-run lead late but got a walk-off hit up the middle by nine-hole hitter Cesar Izturis for a 5-4 win and a series sweep. Apparently Buck Showalter has made an immediate impression on this ballclub!

On Friday, it will be the only day that all five of us will be on hand so stay tuned for another update…