A Common Courtesy

Just wanted to post a quick note about one of the new accounts you may run across when browsing COMC.com

Our goal has always been to offer a cost effective way for people to sell cards for $1 or more. We have definitely accomplished that, but some sellers have even found some success with cards priced at even less than $1. However we don’t expect sellers to use our service to list mass quantities of nickel and dime commons from the 80’s and 90’s.

That said, many of our buyers would would like to buy some of those cards to complete sets or because a card may feature a neighbor or cousin. So, we have decided to do a little experiment, and we are posting a number of base complete sets from the past few decades in a new account named Commons.

This account will not try to compete with other seller’s prices. Generally commons will be listed for about $0.50 – $0.75. We are not trying to flood the market with more product. We realize that it is not cost effective for our sellers to list these commons, so we will list a few of them for those buyers that are looking for them. Hopefully they will also end up also buying some more expensive cards from our other sellers while they are at it.

So… the main point I want you to be aware of is that the new Commons account is not intended to be an example of the kinds of cards that you should send us. It is simply a service we are providing to the collectors that are hunting for certain less expensive cards.

41 thoughts on “A Common Courtesy

  1. I love this idea. Being able to find cards like these is one of the best parts of the site and with the $0.20 submission fee I was afraid these types of cards would completely disappear from COMC. I would love to see this expanded to cover every base set that does not have many commons listed.

  2. A courtesy indeed!!!! This account will help many many buyers find them hard to find commons and still at a decent price. Just wondering who runs this account??

    • I am currently monitoring the account, but it is pretty much on auto-pilot. Generally we we will be listing cards at 20-40% off book with a minimum of $0.50 – $0.75

  3. Probably them. It sounds like they aren’t interested in undercutting us (which makes sense, because they don’t have to pay themselves storage fees), so it is win-win. This probably helps SEO as well.

  4. I wonder what the origin of these cards are? Seems crazy that someone might pay .50 cents for a common card from the 90’s, but multiple star cards sit at rock bottom prices (many below what it would actually cost a seller to get the card on COMC).

    Most commons in the open market either never sell, sell for fractions of a cent or simply end up in the recycle bin because no one wants to fool with them. I don’t think it could be profitable for a seller nor COMC, even if the fee was 5 cents a card. Storage of these slow moving cards in vast quantities would quickly chew up warehouse space.

    • If you know nothing about baseball cards but Doug Gwosdz is your uncle, you’ll gladly pay 50 cents plus $3.25 shipping or whatever it is for a card of him.

      • Agreed, if it is a relative or you are having autograph guests (common) at an event and you need cards of them, could be tough to find on other sites because they are not your “star” players that everyone has cards of.

      • Maybe i know this because i have thousands of cards 4 sale, but for whatever reason there is a fairly vast market for common cards. Weather it is for, like the above mentioned reasons or not many if not most buyers on this site come here to buy common singles and low b.v. cards because they cant find them anywhere else and .50 is a fair price when u only need a few cards to complete a set or even add to a player set even if the player is a no-name player. I have sold many many many common player cards at .25,.35,.39, or even .49 each(especially late 70’s and early to mid 80’s topps. I really like the idea for teh buyers sake.

      • i just added a little over 30 cards and marked down over 200 cards. so come and check my cards out.

      • Honestly, I hear too much of this language from my high school students. Can you not show some common sense in chosing a decent email name?

    • Gas is creeping up on $4 a gallon. If you use half a gallon to get to the card store and half a gallon to get back, you’re spending $4 right there. IF they have the cards you’re looking for. Many dealers ignore commons and those who do have them often have them unsorted and you have to dig to find the specific cards you’re looking for. Say you value your free time at $20 an hour and it takes an hour to get to the card store and an hour to look through cards and $4 for gas. That’s $44 right there.

      A lot of expensive star cards aren’t hard to find. They’re hard to pay for. If a dealer has a $1,000 Mickey Mantle card, they know they have a $1,000 Mickey Mantle card, and they’re going to want a decent chunk of money for that card.

      A lot of stars appear on literally thousands of different cards. It isn’t hard to find a card with Alex Rodriguez or Michael Jordan on it. But it can be darn near impossible to find a card of an undrafted player who never panned out and who only appeared on a couple of cards.

  5. Like the “Commons” idea very much. There is always someone looking to finish a set or to start a “little collector” who thinks 80’s and 90’s are “old cards” ….. I know I’ve traded or sold quite of bit of commons for star cards cause someone just needed them.
    Great idea and glad you started a separate section for them!

  6. I’ve long thought that the lack of commons was one of the weaknesses of this site. Glad to see that you are addressing it. When I used to have a Beckett store, about half my sales were dirt commons (and I had them listed at 75 cents-$1 each because I really didn’t feel like digging through the stacks of boxes to pull them out for anything less than that). You should take “donations” to this commons account. Maybe people that wanted to contribute could add a box or 2 to their send-ins when they have the room in their flat rate boxes. This could be your new charity account because you will get a ton of sales out of it.

    • Great idea. We will think about it. I like the idea of using the excess space in your flat rate box to donate commons to charity.

  7. While it is nice that you guys are looking to expand current services to common cards, I don’t think that this setting is ideal for it. If you were to set up a system similar to that of Sportlots, I think you would see a much better result. Simply put, create a separate section for “set fillers” that allow buyers to view and search lists of common cards that can be sent by the seller directly to the buyer. That would allow for pricing of $.10-.20 per card with an additional charge for shipping. Take a small percentage of that and credit any transaction to the sellers account. It would be fairly simple to do and once the system is set up, there would be little to no overhead for COMC outside of maintaining the database and adding new sets when they release.

    • I agree that this will not replace services provided by other websites, but that is not our goal. If another site is doing a good job of meeting a need in our hobby, we applaud them.

      COMC is not trying to just build a better mouse trap. We see the need for many different types of services, and we have been striving to fill some rather large voids that are not addressed by anyone else.

      With this new commons service we just want to provide an additional service for people that are already purchasing off of our site. Other significant changes in functionality would have to be very carefully considered.

  8. While I appreciate the access to these type of cards, the 50-75 cent price tag is pretty steep…
    With shipping suddenly you are at $1 for a 10 cent card?!
    Loads of sellers here on COMC sell commons for much less than that, I hope this doesn’t jack up their prices. 🙁

  9. I think this is a good idea. Please add minor league commons to this also! I’m in need of over 100 players that played in the majors but never had a major league card. This would be a great site to knock those out as many of the 70’s and early 80’s minor league team sets are hard to track down and hate paying $10 for a set to pull out a common who played eight major league games.

  10. I’m not sure of the need for a commons section. I am a set builder/upgrader and have never had any problems finding commons on COMC. But that could be because I only deal with cards before 1976.
    Still, I would never pay 50 cents plus shipping for a common card from the 80s or 90s.
    Otherwise, all is good. How are the plans for listing full sets coming along?

    • Yes, we have seen the success of commons from the 1970s and earlier. However, many of the sets in the 80s and 90s have a lot of cards that have simply never been listed on the site. We don’t expect individual buyers to buy a significant amount of cards form this account, but maybe when someone buys their uncle’s card from this account they might also buy a couple cards of their favorite player that are for sale in another seller’s account.

      We are still interested in having an option to list vintage sets where we scan every card, but it has not been a highly requested feature since it would likely cost more than $100 to list or ship an 800 card set.

      We currently have no plans for listing sealed sets. That is not likely to happen in the near future.

  11. Umm, when did Wayne Gretzky become a common? You have cards I would have sent in your common bin… and it’s listed for $2, not 50 cents.

    So do we now have to worry about competition from the site owner in the hockey division?

  12. As someone who has bought, and will continue to buy “common” cards, here is my idea. If we really wanted to address this properly, why not offer reduced seller costs for lesser valued cards. It doesn’t make sense to charge someone 25 cents to store an item they will sell for 20 cents. Charge seller fees relative to the value of the product – if I send you my Babe Ruth collection, you ought to charge more than 25 cents per to house it. But if I send you my Ambiorix Burgos collection, I’d expect to not pay the same fees.

    • You make a good argument for increasing the listing fees for expensive cards. However, we can’t reduce the price any further for cheap cards. The cost of listing is really just covering our cost to process the cards and get them on the site. That doesn’t change very much depending on the value of the card. That is why we don’t charge different rates based on the value of the card. Also, there is no money in selling commons, so we can’t afford to subsidize the cost of listing with potential sales profit down the road.

      Since our sellers can’t cost effectively list commons, but our buyers occasionally need them, we are doing this as a service, and we are just hoping that it might eventually break even. So far we have invested several thousand dollars into the processing of the commons, and we are getting a few dollars a day in sales. There is a chance we will get our money back in a few years, but I don’t expect this to be any significant source of revenue.

      • 1. Raise the listing price and you will kill the golden goose.

        2. Why not use stock photos for commons. We all know what NRMT-MT is and the quality of a set rarely hinges on what a 1987 Topps Bill Almon card would grade at PSA. I can’t imagine storage of a 5000 count box of commons could be more than $1 or so a month. If it is, its time to investigate cheaper storage options.

      • There is also the labor cost of going through that monster box to pull that Almon. To your point, I don’t think they’re talking about raising submission prices, but at the same time, the >$1 card is the sweet spot. The commons provide volume, but I think they’re only serving as a loss leader because of the associated labor costs.

      • Stock photos would be a terrible idea! That is why comc is what they are today, the option of being able to see the exact cards with zoom image for the card u are buying is the best. Dont ever do away with that idea even if it was for only commons.

      • Why would stock photos of a common be a problem. These guys know what NRMT-MT is. Its a common. The only real labor intensiveness is the sorting of commons. COMC could alleviate that by requiring the commons to be sent in numerical order. The other labor is keeping tabs on the commons sold. Who’s Bill Almon card was it that sold? Figure that out and use stock photos. Its a common.

      • Every card has a back end! if it is bill almon or hank aaron it is still a card still part of a set and still collected by many people. I understand the concept of stock photos for the less desired or less expensive cards but that is no way to look at it. Every person has a different idea or suggestion on what nm-mt is and that varys even in beckett depending on the year, its a terrible idea from my side and i hope that they don’t ever change it

      • Stock photos for commons would be bad for the very dedicated collectors who like variations. If you can’t seen scans of the cards, how would you be able to pick up all four of the 1989 Donruss variations or the 1991 Fleer variations or the 1991 Topps variations, or any number of minor, but perfectly valid differences in cards.

  13. im glad you guys are separating the commons because its just so many cards to look threw to look for great deals keep up the good work

  14. Perhaps the answer is if someone wants to list commons you could provide a Sportlots type site linked with COM where registered sellers could sell commons and ship them direct to the customer. This way your dealers could unload commons and you could collect the 20% fees. This could be done by capping the price of cards at 50 cents. Sportlots makes tons selling commons and COMC could jump on this action.

    • Because some sellers have sent commons in, it could be confusing for the buyer where the cards were coming from. In addition, there’d no longer be a break on shipping if they buy from multiple sellers.

      I have a TON of low-end on this site. In terms of time value of money, it was a bad business decision, but the site gives me the option to do it if I want. You can do all right with sets if you’re the only one with cards from it. I do really well with stuff like 1998 Pacific Online. But anyone sending in base from the newest sets is going to be in for a world of hurt because too many people are doing it.

  15. I like the idea of adding these common cards to the site. These will help make COMC a more comprehensive card-image library. I was first attracted to COMC by the ability to browse through thousands of cards online. I am probably in the minority, but I prefer looking at funny, cheap, low-end cards. Many of these are the five or ten cent cards listed in the Commons account. I don’t really see how COMC listing these cards will hurt any sellers and buyers who don’t want to pay the 50-75 cents are free to buy the cards elsewhere. Meanwhile, I can keep my commons in boxes in storage and look online when I want to see that Tim Kerr card from 91-92 Stadium Club.

    I’m all for anything that adds to COMC’s virtual card museum and maybe attracts a few more buyers in the process.

  16. Hey Tim.
    Just a quick idea: Have you considered allowing sellers to send in commons from various sets (not late ’80s early ’90’s) for a much smaller listing fee if the cards aren’t scanned. I realize this may not be possible, but if I’m picking up cheap commons to fill a set, I don’t really need a scan of the card. I would think this would be time saving for COMC and a benefit to sellers who may want to list a bunch of commons, but don’t want to pay the .20 listing fee. Just a thought.

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