Testing New Services

Thank you for providing so much feedback on our potential changes post. We set a record for our blog with more than 100 comments. As you can see, we do things quite differently from other sites. Rather than just springing fees and changes on people, we try to work with you to provide the best service for everyone.

Rather than doing anything radical, we are going to test some new services for the next few months. Depending on their popularity and our costs, we will decide whether they will become permanent offerings.

Test Processing Services

In addition to all of our current processing services, we are offering the following services from now through the end of the year. Our fees page and the add cards page have been updated to include these test services.

1 Month Test
20¢ per card
+$3 per batch
Takes 4 weeks
Batches are split into 550ct boxes (10″ x 3 3/4″ x 2 3/4″)
If you don’t have 550ct boxes, we will transfer your cards into 550ct boxes when they arrive.
No graded, encased, or jumbo cards allowed
No coins or poker chips allowed
Simply write “1 Month Test” on the box
Packages must be postmarked by December 31st, 2010

Special Sized Test
75¢ per item
+$3 per batch of 50 items
Takes 3 weeks
This service is good for any graded, encased, or jumbo cards
Simply write “Special Sized Test” on the box
Packages must be postmarked by December 31st, 2010

Next Day Test
$2 per item
+$3 per batch of 50 items
Guaranteed next business day or it is only $0.50 per item
There is no extra fee for graded, encased, or jumbo cards
Be sure to write “Next Day Test” on the outside of the package so we know to start working on it immediately.
Packages must be postmarked by December 31st, 2010

Premium Seller Test Upgrades

The following upgrades will be available from now through the end of the year. Please contact us if you would like to opt in to either level.

$50 Level
– Costs $50 per month
– No storage fees for items with an asking price of $0.50 or less
– Monthly coupon for $25 off any processing service
– Additional seller options (e.g. adjustable minimum offer percentage & auto-accept offer percentage)

$100 Level
– Costs $100 per month
– No storage fees for items with an asking price of $1.00 or less
– Monthly coupon for $25 off any processing service
– Monthly coupon for $50 off “Next Day Test” processing
– Additional seller options (e.g. adjustable minimum offer percentage & auto-accept offer percentage)

29 thoughts on “Testing New Services

  1. Sounds great! Not sure you heard it enough on the other post, but I think we all really appreciate the fact that you asked, and especially the fact that you genuinely considered our viewpoints.

  2. i agree, even though i might not use any of the special offers, giving the customers the change to be heard is something that goes a long way with us. I have sent in lots of cards, and will always be loyal as a customer because of this…

  3. I’m sure this was asked before, but why should sellers have to pay $50-100/month to be able to set minimum and auto-accept offer minimums? Having those options available to every seller could only lead to increased sales, and therefore increased revenue to COMC via fees. At least give your top sellers these options for free as they are the ones keeping you afloat…

    • I am not opposed to that, but if you look at the numbers, many of the top sellers don’t have to pay $50-$100/month. In fact, some of the sellers would save more than $100/month by getting free storage up to $1.

      We are trying to offer some added benefits for sellers that are paying a lot for storage fees. If sellers already have low storage fees, they probably don’t need these features. They can probably manage they offers just fine.

      • It may not be as easy to implement but one thing that would really interest me as a seller service is the ability to see when I am no longer the lowest price on an item.

      • If you make it easier to see whether someone has the lowest price on a card they own, the bottom will fall out. There is not enough liquidity in any particular sports card, and sellers will undercut each other on every card until they’re all 95% off.

      • That is why we are carefully pondering how and if we will offer this feature. If we do offer it, we would expect that sellers would not just slash prices. We would expect that they would also be buying up the competition to stabilize the market… similar to the stock market.

      • A similar concept was tried at thepit.com 10 years ago, and a lot of their “market makers” got stuck with a lot of stuff that they eventually had to liquidate. The general downward trend in card values the past 15 years has had everything to do with the increased options of obtaining said cards. Did the value of 2010 Bowman or Topps baseball singles drop during the past six months at the rate they have dropped on COMC? No, but the reason for the drop here is because of the increased supply, coupled with a drop in demand as more people find the cards they need and move on to the next set.

        I’m not trying to be a naysayer here, and in fact I dropped you guys a line about being a Premium Seller. I appreciate the opportunity to get on my soapbox.

  4. I am glad that you decided not to implement the addditional fees for auto and jersey cards. This seemed excessive and would have prevented me from sending any more of these cards. Many of the jersey and/or auto cards we sell are sold in the 1.00-1.50 range after offers, and the added fee would simply not have made it worth sending the cards in. Thank you for listening to your members… it is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed!

  5. Maybe this question was answered so my apologies if so… but the $25 processing coupon, would that have to be used within the month of lose it, or could it be “rolled-over” to the following month?

    • I forgot to ask this as well. Hoping it can be rolled over. Would like to become a $100/month member if rollover can be arranged. Thanks.

  6. I really like the 1 month option. Right now I use the $.15 8 week option which seems so long sometimes and would definately pay the extra nickel to have my cards up a month earlier. I hope you keep this and will be sending in more cards with that service soon.

    I dont like the idea of being notified on whether my cards are the lowest price or not. I agree with joelshitshow that the bottom will fall out of pricing and we would be making very minimal money on most everything if not losing money on some items.

    Thanks for letting the customers help decide the policies, it is a refreshing change from everywhere else! Keep up the great work!!

    • Everything else being equal, condition of card, etc., the buyer is always going to pay the lowest price for a card or try to get the best price. This is simple economics. If comc has 5 copies of a particular card that books for $3.00, from 5 different sellers listed at $1, $1.75, $2, $2.50, $2.65, which one is going to sell first?

      I suppose this theory wouldn’t hold true in bulk offer listings where a seller has multiple cards that someone wants and there’s the possibility that the $1.75 card is sold for under the price of the $1 card because the person is buying multiple cards from one seller that they want, compared to the low price guy who has a limited number of cards available.

      I personally don’t see how a price on a card that has multiple lower prices on it is ever going to sell unless the price is reduced to be more competitive. Once the lowest priced one sells, then the next lowest priced one sells, and then someone sends in another copy which then becomes the lowest price and the cycle continues. Any card will eventually sell if the price is low enough.

      Think about how many cards were sold when there was an existing lower price on the same card? If this happened, I would say it’s because of the bulk offer deal I mentioned above or it’s because the card that was at the lowest price had condition problems and the buyer gladly paid more for a mint condition version.

      Tim had mentioned this in a couple posts above this one, “We would expect that they would also be buying up the competition to stabilize the market… similar to the stock market.”.

      Example: someone has the lowest priced card already, someone else decides to sell the same card for $1 less, rather than the first seller lowering their price to be the lowest again, they end up just buying the lowest price card and try to flip it while still having the lowest price.

      • Yes, sometimes I see someone buy me out on a particular card in the hopes of being able to flip them at a higher price. I am curious how successful this is. I do it myself when I see some cards heavily discounted. I fear the site does not have enough bargain hunters.

        The big opportunity at this point is for people who do local card shows. You can come on here and buy a ton of stuff to sell at a show for a huge markup, while avoiding that “dreaded” 20% cashout fee that everyone seems to take great issue with.

        One counterpoint I would like to make, DD, in response to “Any card will eventually sell if the price is low enough.” Yes, but that card often would have sold just as easily at a higher price. I’d alluded to this earlier, but when the only example of a card is 90% off, that’s silly. I try to buy them up to flip. As long as no one else sends in the same card, the buyer generally will at least make an offer on the card because there’s no competition. One of the reasons prices on here are so low is because people default to 50, 75, even 90% off book. It’s like OPEC sometimes among the sellers.

      • 50% off book and a lot of times even 75% off book is well above market value. The “Book” is a ridiculous joke. Sure, you will get some sales at these prices and higher when people are desperate or uneducated. But only because the barriers to entering this marketplace are too high for some. You act like it is some sort of immoral act pricing things at 90% off. Supply dwarfs demand for most things in this hobby.

      • That’s not the point I was trying to make. Not every user is that sophisticated. If someone wants a card for 40 cents, they are likely going to want to pay a dollar for it if they have to. It’s 60 cents. This site works because of the level playing field for buyers AND sellers. Not everyone understands what market value is, and another large percentage considers BV to be market value. Obviously such beliefs work in a seller’s favor, myself included, but to look this in the face and ignore it and debut cards at 90% off is throwing money out the window or burning it on the table or some other mixed metaphor.

  7. As always, I’m extremely impressed with how responsive you guys are to your customers. The 4 week processing is very interesting to me, and I’ll have to put some batches together to take advantage of it.

    The ‘free’ storage is potentially a game changer as well, making many cards much more viable to deal in, as submissions and for flipping.

    I’m not sure how I feel about seeing the lowest price on all cards. Amazon has such a feature. In fact, on Amazon it’s even possible to automatically have your price be the lowest on the site. This does create some pretty cut throat prices sometimes, but it also creates a vibrant marketplace. I’m still on the fence on this issue and am willing to be convinced either way.

  8. I’m really liking this premium membership idea. I think it will prevent so many cards from having their price driven down to 25 cents. We will see more accurate pricing of cards in the .25 to 1.00 range, instead of everything being driven to .25.

    I don’t like the idea of allowing sellers to see the current low price. Undercutting happens enough, I don’t think it needs to be facilitated. I don’t think you can rely on flipping to fix this. It may work if one card is set at $1.00 and another is set at $2.00. But what happens more often is that one card is set at $1.99 and the other is set at $1.97, and the two sellers will back and forth 30 or 40 times decreasing by 1 or 2 cents at a time, until one finally gets low enough to flip.

    • For the 1 Month Test service it is whatever fits in a 550ct box.
      For the Next Day Test service it is 50 cards.
      For the current Standard, Priority, and Express services, it is 500 cards.

      • So does that mean it can be more/less than the 550 cards?

        Im interested in this deal, but naturally your not going to be able to fit as many jerseys cards into a 550 CT as opposed to base/autographs. Can you send in a flat 550 cards at the rate?

      • We use actual 550ct boxes for defining the batch size for the 1 Month Test and $50 Flat Rate processing services. The dimensions of a 550ct box are 10″ x 3 3/4″ x 2 3/4″.

        If you send game used cards, they tend to be thicker, so you won’t be able to fit as many game used cards in a 550ct box.

      • No, Game Used cards are not considered Jumbo unless they are encased or graded. We currently have no services that specifically call out game used as anything special.

  9. If you had that baby at 2 weeks for $0.20 a card, you’de really be smokin’. 🙂

    Better go out and hire some hands!

    Otherwise again good job on the site.

    Brian

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