Growth Spurt, Correction Requests & Condition Notes

Our recent growth spurt
You may have noticed that we have been busy lately. We currently have 39 employees, and 18 of those employees started this calendar year. Our team is incredibly awesome, they are coming up to speed very quickly, and we are solid. Some of you have felt our growing pains, but I am confident that these were short term hiccups along our growth path. We have learned from many mistakes and have significantly improved our processes so that we can continue to scale up to meet the demand.

Our Identification Team has recently grown from 5 full-time employees to 8, but that still hasn’t been enough to keep up with all the cards people are sending in. So we recently made offers to 4 more people to join our Identification Team, and we are hoping to hear back from them shortly.

What does all of this growth mean?
We are finally starting to get caught up on things that fell way behind while we were shorthanded. As we start getting ahead, we are going to use some of our spare resources to start many new projects. You will hear more about these new projects over the next several months.

Today we had kick-off meetings for our new charity and social media teams. It is fun being a part of a dynamic and excited work force. As we are growing, we are creating a culture that is diverse and inspiring. It was great to see that nearly half of the company wanted to be strategically involved with helping launch our charity initiatives. I am proud to be a part of a company with such a caring foundation.

Correction Requests
Regarding getting caught up… I apologize that we have fallen so far behind on correction requests. I have given the Identification Team a goal of getting completely caught up by the end of the day on Monday. We are changing the priorities of the Identification Team so that we never fall behind on correction requests again.

Over the weekend I built in a number of improvements to our system so that the Identification Team can deal with corrections more quickly. If you place a correction request, it is now much easier for the team to contact you, to contact the card owner, or to contact Beckett if they need further information. Also, just like we now use Zendesk to make sure our Customer Service Team responds to emails within 1 business day, our Identification Team will get to see how long it takes them to respond to correction requests, and they will soon have a goal of responding to all correction requests within 1 business day.

Condition Notes
Part of the reason why increasing our Identification Team from 5 to 8 people wasn’t sufficient is because people have been sending us significantly more vintage cards. We have made our policies for how we list vintage cards more strict, and it now takes a team of 3 people to review all the cards that potentially need condition notes.

In the past, we didn’t bother documenting anything that you could see in the scan of the card. Unfortunately, over the years we have learned that people often don’t pay close attention to the images, and we end up paying for any replacements or refunds. This has been exaggerated by selling cards through Amazon. On Amazon there is no way to provide anything other than a stock photo, so people have to rely on the condition notes to make their purchase decision. With Amazon’s very forgiving return policy, we have to absorb a lot of returns.

Vintage Cards & Condition Notes Fees
We have ultimately had to rethink how we list vintage cards and how much we charge for condition notes. Instead of charging a fee for each card that needs a condition note, we plan to simply have a different fee for vintage cards, just like we have a different fee for graded cards. It isn’t actually the typing of the condition note that takes the time. It is looking carefully at the card to inspect it for issues that takes the time, and we have to do that whether a card needs a condition note or not.

Currently we charge $0.20 to list raw cards and up to $0.25 for each condition note. That is up to $0.45 per card for vintage cards. It turns out, we have been losing money doing this for vintage cards. As a result, we need to adjust our fees. I guess if you think about it, it shouldn’t be too surprising. Grading companies charge $10-$20 to grade a card, and we have been trying to do a portion of what they do for only $0.25.

Vintage Cards & Storage Fees
From our analysis, we should be able to provide a sustainable service if we simply charge a flat $0.50 for all vintage cards (pre-1980). This will allow us to completely get rid of our condition notes fee. This however pushes the price point for listing vintage cards significantly higher than our $0.25 free storage threshold. In order to address that issue, we are also making plans to increase the free storage threshold up to $0.75 for everyone.

These fee changes will likely get finalized and take affect later this summer, and they will make even more sense in context of all the changes we will be making for the new COMC website. I am sure this will spark a lot of discussion, and as always, we want to hear your feedback.

FYI, our shipping experiment that sparked such a lively debate was so wildly successful that we are considering a revolutionary spin on how we charge for shipping fees on the new COMC website. Hint – It is related to why we are considering increasing our free storage threshold to $0.75.

63 thoughts on “Growth Spurt, Correction Requests & Condition Notes

      • To be honest you will likely lose a lot of your premium members at that number. I would unlikely get any extra benefit with a cutoff that low, especially not 5000 cards worth. I am sure not going to raise my prices, it will give me more incentive to lower them to the 75 cent threshold.

  1. I strongly discourage the increase of pre-1980 vintage cards to a fee of 50 cents per card. I enjoy sending in complete sets of tougher issues like 1970 or 1979 OPC baseball and wanted to send in some 1965 through 1973 OPC Baseball since I see very little on COMC and it is currently a gap to fill. However, at 50 cents, I would have to reconsider and only send in cards that book above $3 to make the math work for everyone (COMC, Buyer and Seller).

    I would also have to reconsider pre-1980 cards under $3 in general. If I list a vintage card for $3 (.50 fee + .60(20%cashout)) would leave $1.90 ($3-$1.10) for my card or approx. 37% fee to sell my card. Any cards listed under $3 would be a higher % fee.

    Another result of a 50 cent fee, would eliminate making very little money on vintage commons priced at or under 75 cents. A .75 sale would result in a 10 cent profit (.50 fee + .15(20%cashout) or .65 cent fee.

    I sent in over 300+ 1973 Topps NM/MT cards a few months ago that are quickly getting bought up in the $2 to $3 range, so I am realizing a steady cash flow. This cash flow would be hampered with a 50 cent fee.

    As for the free storage after 90 days, would this change matters. Not sure, depending on the length of storage. In the 1st year, storage at 1 cent is 9 cents(9 months). More math to be done here.

    As for the condition notes. Most vintage cards sent in need condition notes, however how about the EXMT cards or better that don’t. The EXMT cards would pay the the lesser than EX condition note takers, which isn’t fair either. I too have had to pay the extra for condition notes on some of my 1950’s football which I don’t mind since I got them for much less anyway and they book above $10.

    Thanks for reading my rant.

    • I think they did away with the 90 free storage awhile ago i may be wrong but i think that it is only 30 days now

      • Hi, Buymore. We still offer free storage to the original consignor of any card that has been on the site for 90 days or less. No change there.

      • thanks Jeremy wasnt too sure on that one must have mixed up my blogs or something of that matter

  2. First off Why??? I am a firm believer if it is not broke then why fix it! There are so many more downsides to this then upside. For one less vintage cards will be sent for sure at the rate of .50 per card considering that most vintage cards are only worth .05-.75 each and many sellers list them cards at .10-.50 each, then if we are charged .50 to list then sellers will have to list them at .75-1.00 to even think about making any money after the cash-out fee. Then $1.00 for a card then .25 to ship it makes it 1.25 for a possible .10 card. That will not only cut down the sellers sending in more vintage which i may add at times lacks on this site,but it will once again discourage buyers from trying to complete sets on this site due to overall cost of that set. Second i hate the idea of raising the fee limit to .75. Now i understand some smaller sellers will love this idea as it opens up there ports for more profit but a bigger seller like myself has over a 130,000 cards that are priced accordingly to the site and the fee structure now. That would cause such a headache for not only me but most of your biggest sellers on the site. This is what i thought was the reason for the upgrade accounts that were made available to us last year ($50 a month then free storage for all cards $1 and under). I understand you have to hire more employees and that things have been slower then recent times but another fee hike would just kill most of us. I would like to think that as your new employees get more comfortable and more polished in there line of work then things should get back to normal. Comc must be doing very very well to have added so many new employees but that must only mean that more and more bussiness is coming your way. Another fee hike will only hurt the company in the long run, i once remember a time when you could send in a card have it scanned and up for sale for only .15 WOW! now i know that was a steal of a deal but .50 come on guys a little silly considering that not all pre-1980 cards are in bad shape. If you are putting a 1975 topps set together you know that they have focus problems or you know that early 1970’s sets had off center problems these are all problems that most MOST I SAY buyers know and if it is causing comc so much cost in returns then just charge back the seller and don’t take the hit. Enough said for now i think that most if not all sellers will agree and i hope that Tim and company re-think another price hike

    • It seems to be a safe assumption that COMC has a better idea of the problems they have with Amazon buyers than we do. This is precisely why sellers who like COMC use the site in the first place: not having to deal with the customer service.

      I’m surprised no one has asked why COMC doesn’t use grades, such as G, EX, NM etc. My guess is that Amazon buyers don’t know what those mean. The best trick in the book on eBay is to say your cards are in excellent condition. Sounds great if you don’t know what it means.

      I do hope that the upgraded account maximum no-fee card price increases to $2 to correspond to the increase to 75 cents for every one else. It’s the only reason I use the program.

      • Well i agree with the first part of your post but as for why comc does not use grades is easy they are not a prof. grading company they are a consignment service. For the most part everyone has there own way of grading and not many are the same so for them to start grading would only be silly for 1 the time and cast members would only increase leading to another fee hike and the scans are so good the you can grade it yourself. As for the upgrade account i could go both ways just keep it the way it is or your way might be a possibly but it has to be something as i will not use it anymore if the no fee is hiked up to .75

      • I would be content to pay 25 cents and not list my vintage (or anything else) on Amazon. COMC is fine on its own. Perhaps we can be given an option, but then there is the logistical problem of someone changing their mind. Never thought of sending in vintage commons before. Not a bad idea.

      • I have no idea what percentage of our listings are crosslisted on Amazon, but it’s becoming clear to me that it’s not as high as I thought. It’s a good point that those who aren’t interested in crosslisting are being “punished” with these proposed fee changes.

        A good solution would be one that encourages more people to crosslist their stuff, even if it means fewer sales for me. I have no idea what that would be, though. But it is not fair that you guys are paying more just so I can sell on two channels at once.

        BTW, don’t get too hung up on the cashout fee. I know not everyone recycles their credit by submitting new cards, but are you really cashing out all of your sales? You only pay the 20% once.

  3. I only have pre 1980 cards listed on the site and I have added nearly 3,000 cards this year alone with another 800 coming. I guess I could be happy as I think the change being discussed will dry up the submission of vintage commons leaving me with less competition. However, that is short-sighted thinking as I suspect what will also leave is the Vintage card buyer.

    I see the competitive advantage of COMC being that you can look at a card in 4 times zoom and judge the cornering and centering of the card with the risk being that there will be some surface defects such as creases. On other sites there are often no pictures at all, very small pictures or just the front of the card that can be seen; my opinion is that this difference with COMC is a huge advantage. As a buyer the condition notes being made are in most instances not providing any additional information that I would not already be able to determine based on looking at the card in 4 times zoom. Simply put the condition notes are not much of a competitive advantage for the site.

    Rather than ranting about what not to like I would like to make a couple of alternative suggestions as follows:

    1. Let sellers separate cards into two categories one where they would like the card to be evaluated and have an appropriate condition note made and other cards where they would be willing to have a standard condition note applied let’s call it a “buyer beware” note. The buyer beware note would indicate the card is vintage and may have serious defects etc. Then apply different processing rates to the two card types.

    2. Put the work of condition notes into the sellers hands. Come up with an electronic submission form where sellers can fill out card details and check off the condition notes that apply; a requirement here being that the cards be sorted and submitted in the same order as they are listed on the submission form. If this form were say in Excel there might even be the possibility of importing the information directly into your system and removing much of the labour required except for the scanning of the card. Of course if this were done there should be a different processing charge as the sellers have done the work.

    Finally, I do not think that COMC is going to make any money at $.50 evaluating vintage cards as the time to hold a card up and look for creases, evaluating centering looking at corners etc and then entering this information in a note has to be huge. The Grading companies charge a lot more to evaluate the cards for a reason, that being that it takes a lot of time. So why not consider other alternatives such as those above.

  4. I have a an idea.

    Only list condition notes on the cards that have fine creases or issues on the card that can’t be viewed by COMC amazing close-up images that we have all come to love.

    Ask yourself if you really need to write the text, “vintage wear” really, really!!! your image is self explanatory. Another condition note, “corner wear” what’s that! we can see the corners no problem.

    I would rather see the major conditions notes that I can’t see like “creases”, “discoloration”, “surface wear” the stuff that an image can’t show you unless under microscope.

    I suggest you truly look at the “Condition Notes” legend of terms and decide, what do you really have to list that will help the buyer determine if it is a card they want to purchase. Cut down on the condition note terms that COMC ID Team spend their time writing and this issue may see a resolution.

  5. i could not agree more the corner wear is so silly in so many different ways i think that what tim is getting at is they are having alot of returns form amazon because of the only stock photos that are provided,but still a silly way to spend time when the scans are as good as they are

    • If Amazon is an issue with vintage then make a higher fee for Amazon users only . No need to up charge us here when we know what we are buying from the picture. Amazon users are like ebayer users want everything perfect etc . You make great scans here for us to see all issues . If the card needs a note then maybe knock that fee to .30

  6. The recent lack of innovation in order to keep the lights on was noticeable, but maintaining a certain level of service always has to be the No. 1 priority. It’s great that you were able to hire more people, hopefully without compromising hiring standards.

    As your crew gets more experienced (and therefore more efficient), here’s hoping it will give you even more time to work on creating new features. That’s more fun anyway 🙂

    Finally, I think the resistance shown here should be taken with a grain of salt: Nobody likes change. In addition, those who never used eBay after 2009 (when eBay Buyer Protection was invented) or ran a successful (that’s the key word there, successful) business don’t understand how time-consuming and expensive good customer service (including returns) is. Amazon sets the bar high.

    Raise the premium service threshold to $2 from $1 for individual cards, and I’m happy.

      • I would be happy also, again as Joel said, make sure to raise the threshold on the paid service levels as well. If you don’t do that people paying for premium level services would be absorbing more of the increased fees despite the fact they pay the largest % of fees.

  7. Why not just increase the fee for everything from .20 to .25 that way you get the increased revenue that you are looking for and you dont discourage vintage being sent in. At .50 per card who i going to send it in. I send in 100-200 vintage cards in every Friday, the day that this goes into effect I wont be sending anymore in , i will just buy vintage here and flip it since it will be much cheaper than sending it in.

    • Well see that is my beef with the whole thing. I love flipping cards it is the best and if the price gets bumped to .50 then how do you flip anymore i buy alot of commons at .10-.25 and relist at .49 and up now if it cost .50 to send in i now have to flip at what a $1 to make a profit on a common and i like NO LOVE the idea of a price hike of all cards and not just vintage that seems fair!

      • I am with you on this Buymore! What would you/anyone think of raising the fee on Amazon sells to 21% or 22% as that is where the problem is?

        Also in looking at the “Hottest Sellers” Amazon is just at $34,354 sells BOOK VALUE in the past 30days or about $1145.14 a day. That is not a lot when you think about it. You can buy 35000 BV in cars on this site for $3500(10%) with out trying that hard at all or $1750(5%) if you work at it. Maybe COMC need to find a way to reinvent it self with out Amazon. (just thinking out loud please don’t kill me)

    • COMC has a tradition of charging for things where the expenses actually occur. That’s why the algorithm for submitting cards or having cards shipped is so complicated.

      If the price goes up and no one sends stuff in anymore it means I can charge whatever I want because I won’t have any competition. I know it’s hard to believe if you haven’t tried it, but a lot of people will pay whatever you charge for a card if you are the only one offering it. I know some won’t, but many do, especially on Amazon.

      • Not talking about you I am talking about Comc………I have a card shop where i am always telling customers about comc and i have brought about 8-10 people to comc, when i first tell them about comc they complain about the fees and after explaining what comc does for those fees they understand, How can i justify that it costs .50 per card to them and I cant ruin my reputation with my customers by recommending a site that is this expensive so therefore I will not mention it to any of my customers here on out.

      • Well that’s a real nice thought for you joel but this isn’t about you and your prices it is about almost 2200 different sellers driving up prices on the vintage cards will only result in less being sent in and for some such as your self will benfiet but many wont and by many i mean the company in whole as less vintage less selection less traffic I really like the all cards bumped up to .25 instead of the over 200% hike on just vintage

      • There is a disconnect between what cards on here sell for and how many cards are sent in. People don’t buy cards on COMC because they are cheap. They do it because it is easy. It’s not about me, per se. It’s about those who are willing to play by COMC’s rules and send cards in.

      • People buy here because COMC is a one stop shop. They pay more because they know in the end the shipping from eBay or gasoline driving shop to shop will be cheaper.

  8. This comment doesnt pertain to the Vintage Issue thats being discussed. but more towards the correction requests. I would like some sort of symbol/tally/count/recognition for the people who make note of the requests needed. In a sense were doing work for the site, or doing the work of the employess by making note of these corrections. I think it would be nice, if the people who do this get some sort of recognition for it. I realize a tally is probably out of the question as its kind of a useless stat to record. but maybe somethin like the ebay feedback stars. Like let say I turn in 20 correction requests Id get a small yellow star next to my name, I get over 50 my star changes to blue or whatever… It would allow for some recognition to the die hards who help this site be the perfect card outlet that it is. I think if we adapted some sort of symbols like this, theres several other types of people who could earn “star” status as well. VIP Members, Amazon Sellers, new within 30 days, etc… but most importantly the correction requesters. Honestly we the users help correct errors on the site I definetly think we should be recognized for it. Especially when were talkin about guys who have helped correct 50-100 mistakes left by the employees

    • I hope that it’s recorded which employees generate the most correction requests.

      Honestly, I would be more likely to buy from people who have more correction requests made. They deserve it!

    • Great suggestion. Here are the top 10. We might see if we can add this leader board to the site.
      cardsrus1 1,736
      SwagCards 841
      Tiffers 782
      rhvalk 655
      trauty 623
      Flipper 480
      ohiomike 451
      dpozdol 423
      papercards 346
      wubh 310

      • How about a stat board for users that submit correction requests, not like above which I assume is for those sellers who actually had their cards corrected by others, not necessarily by themselves.

  9. Ridiculous that you would compare your service to that of grading companies. Grading companies provide a service they encase the card and provide a grade that is respected in the industry. While you provide a valuable service you provide neither that is worth the $10-$20 not even close. Actually you do this for self preservation on Amazon from what it sounds like so it sounds like it is more to protect yourself and the buyer and not so much a service for the seller. If the returns on Amazon are so high why not charge the increased fee to those dealers listing on Amazon for their vintage cards

    • My sentiments also…I sell a decent amount on Amazon and i would opt out in a second to avoid .50 per card processing fees, Or cut out amazon altogether

    • Exactly. Not sure why every seller should be burdened with the price increase when the problem is with cards being listed on Amazon.

    • Sellers can opt in or out of cross-listing on Amazon at any time, so it would not be easy to address this when cards are submitted.

      Amazon is a completely separate channel from selling on the site. I agree that it’s obvious that the more specific condition notes are in response to the high return rate on Amazon. (It’s why I don’t sell there directly.) But I’d rather pay for it this way and get those extra sales on Amazon than shut that channel off entirely.

      • I don’t think there is a need to shut off Amazon but put the charges on that side not on this .

  10. I agree with Lee. I would also opt out of Amazon to avoid paying .50 per card on pre-1980 cards. I don’t sell that many cards through Amazon to begin with. Most of my pre-1980 cards aside from a select few would be staying home with me if the new fee on those cards is going to be .50 per card. I love the services COMC offers and I do feel that they will be do what is their best interests along with both buyers and sellers alike. Balancing the needs and wants of all three parties has got to be tough.

  11. The main issue is Amazon. Yes i know an increase will happen but don’t bump Fee’s on vintage cards or cards in general. Maybe hike the price of notes . Or hike the price you charge for Amazon users . Also let Amazon users know that if a card is returned it will go back to said acct. then money removed . So maybe they will not post cards that will get sent back at a high price?

  12. Such a catch 22 for the COMC staff. Chris said they actually LOSE money on the time it takes for condition notes on vintage cards when they are charge .20, and I believe it.

    I would guess that for vintage cards needing condition notes, even at max productivity, it would take AT LEAST one minute each to lookup, scan, examine, note the condition, and upload to the server.

    That means…
    .20 x 60 minutes = $12 an hour (is what they would need to hire an eployee to break even) … The minimum wage in OR is $8.80 so I would guess these guys start out at $10/hr.

    This is not taking into account all the other aspects of the business like insurance, property, fees they pay to paypal anytime you deposit money into your account, etc. etc.

  13. I am brand new on the site. Just sent in 1000 vintage football cards. Planning to send in 7000 vintage basketball and 14000 vintage baseball. If this fee increase happens I will not be sending in these cards to comc. In fact I will either sell off my port or pay 25 bucks to have every card sent back to me. Hey COMC listen to the people…..noit one person is in favor of your thoughts. thur13

  14. Just to play devils advocate a little, Maybe a hike in price for vintage might stop people from sending absolute pieces of crap that have no business being sold. What collector would buy a card that looks like it was owned by an 18 month old baby. Personally I have made an effort not to send anything in that is so damaged I wouldn’t buy it myself. I have 3 boxes of cards that have a players name scratched out or the team they got traded to written on it. I’m not talking about Mantle’s or Ruth’s, I’m talking about lower priced stuff. I got stuck with one in a small port not long ago. I’m embarrassed to even list it.

    Us little guys kind of get screwed if the price goes up, if it costs so much to send in the Vintage that we don’t have much access to and we are not modern case breakers, where do we make enough to buy or sell on the site. If I’m using all of my credit to send in more cards, what do I get out of it other than clearing out some shelf space in the basement. I might as well take it to an LCS that buys vintage commons.

    Related to my first rant and on a side note related to condition, on the details page (not single card) instead of showing the cheapest worst condition card, I would like to see the best card displayed and have the High/Low range listed. I realize you had a reason for doing it this way, I just don’t get it. We should be showing off the good stuff not the crap. 🙂

    that’s my nickles worth.

  15. To me, it actually make sense why they would do this. They are losing money by only charging .20 for vintage cards needing condition notes. Here’s my math…

    under the old system they were charging .20

    .20 x 60 minutes = $12 (This is the amount they make per hour if they are able to process one card per minute)….. with the process of receiving, identifying, scanning, inspecting, making condition notes and uploading, I feel that one minute per card is at the max of their productivity capabilities.

    They probably pay their new employees in between $10-$12 per hour starting out (Oregon minimum wage is $9). When you add to that the fact that they need to pay for all sorts of common business related things (taxes, insurance, property, employee benefits, paypal fees on the deposits you make into your account, etc. etc.) they are indeed actually LOSING money by only charging 20 cents on condition sensitive items.

  16. Is it just me, or is the real question here this: what would it take for COMC scans to be available to Amazon buyers?

    • Not an option for a couple reasons.
      #1 Amazon often merges listings with the same description into a single listing, and they combine all of the images as extra stock photos.
      #2 Amazon prohibits watermarks. We are not going to list millions of zoomed images without watermarks.

      • You can put individual scans of individual cards on Amazon if they are listed as “collectible”. I would recommend listing every vintage card on Amazon as “Collectible- Acceptable” condition and then providing an actual scan of the card.

        It is true that you will not be able to put a watermark on your image that links to your website. However, you might be able to put a mark on your collectible image that identifies you specifically as an Amazon seller. So a watermark that says “checkoutmycards.com” might be forbidden, but an overprint that says “COMC” (your Amazon seller id) would probably be OK, on a collectible card that is specifically your card.

        This is different from the stock photo that appears in each listing.

        I’d suggest that if you’re going to go through this much trouble of writing detailed condition notes and making large clear scans of the front and back, that you also cross-post some of the more expensive cards to eBay. You can get an eBay store for $50 or $300 per month and post 30 day fixed price listings for 3 to 5 cents. I’d certainly pay, say $10 per month to have my 100 highest priced cards cross-posted to eBay, and I’m sure other sellers would as well.

        I’m very optimistic about the change in storage fees. Though, for $50 per month, I would prefer $1.99 as the cutoff.

  17. I only have pre 1980 cards listed on the site and I have added nearly 3,000 cards this year alone with another 800 coming. I guess I could be happy as I think the change being discussed will dry up the submission of vintage commons leaving me with less competition. However, that is short-sighted thinking as I suspect what will also leave is the Vintage card buyer.

    I see the competitive advantage of COMC being that you can look at a card in 4 times zoom and judge the cornering and centering of the card with the risk being that there will be some surface defects such as creases. On other sites there are often no pictures at all, very small pictures or just the front of the card that can be seen; my opinion is that this difference with COMC is a huge advantage. As a buyer the condition notes being made are in most instances not providing any additional information that I would not already be able to determine based on looking at the card in 4 times zoom. Simply put the condition notes are not much of a competitive advantage for the site.

    Rather than ranting about what not to like I would like to make a couple of alternative suggestions as follows:

    1. Let sellers separate cards into two categories one where they would like the card to be evaluated and have an appropriate condition note made and other cards where they would be willing to have a standard condition note applied let’s call it a “buyer beware” note. The buyer beware note would indicate the card is vintage and may have serious defects etc. Then apply different processing rates to the two card types.

    2. Put the work of condition notes into the sellers hands. Come up with an electronic submission form where sellers can fill out card details and check off the condition notes that apply; a requirement here being that the cards be sorted and submitted in the same order as they are listed on the submission form. If this form were say in Excel there might even be the possibility of importing the information directly into your system and removing much of the labour required except for the scanning of the card. Of course if this were done there should be a different processing charge as the sellers have done the work.

    Finally, I do not think that COMC is going to make any money at $.50 evaluating vintage cards as the time to hold a card up and look for creases, evaluating centering looking at corners etc and then entering this information in a note has to be huge. The Grading companies charge a lot more to evaluate the cards for a reason, that being that it takes a lot of time. So why not consider other alternatives such as those above.

    • Although we would know COMC may have fewer vintage cards than they otherwise would, buyers wouldn’t. They wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. No matter how many cards COMC has, that’s how many they have. I bet Yogi Berra would agree.

      I think many commenters on this post are missing a key point: These developments’ root cause appears to be the high return rate associated with Amazon purchases, which happens for two reasons. First, Amazon buyers are finicky because that is the expectation Amazon sets. Second, Amazon buyers only get a stock photo, so the condition notes are all they have in making a purchase decision.

      Add it all up, and you need the same person or team judging every card so the buyer has an apples-to-apples comparison. “Buyer beware” doesn’t work in ecommerce. It works when the buyer has no choice and therefore must do his own due diligence. It can’t be expected that buyers will think first when they can take advantage of such liberal return policies. Ever buy shoes from Zappos? Check out their return policy. Crazy stuff.

      • So if this is the main reason for a fee hike then it’s simple, just charge back the seller. Instead of COMC eating the cost just return the card to the port and take out the funds, also COMC should give the seller the option of wanting to list condtion cards or just have them returned. I hate it when they charge me another .25 on top of the already .25 for a common card not even worth .50

      • That’s a great idea. Or even a threshold (“if BV under $1 then return card if condition note”).

      • The more and more i have thought about it I think there will be some good to come of the changes. Right now there are somewhere around 2200 sellers and when a new guy takes a look at the site for the first time and sees that it is .50 cents per card and does the math that say 200 cards will be $103 and that will slow down the growth and in turn will allow the sellers who got their cards on before the increase to thrive for a while….To Tim or someone else at COMC will you all be telling us the exact date so that we can send our last vintage in before the increase.

  18. I love this community. You guys have all made excellent observations and suggestions. I intentionally waited a couple days before reading the comments, and I am very pleased that many of your suggestions are in line with my own thoughts. We just had a meeting this afternoon to discuss alternatives to the fee hike to $0.50, and I will be posting another blog with those ideas.

  19. I think the bigger issue here is that a big chunk of the vintage card prices do not match the grades of the cards on the site. People buying vintage expect the prices to be in line with the actual grade of the card and that is just not happening. If the sellers cannot price them according to the grade how can the COMC staff trust them to actually do the grading? I would think the best alternative would be to pull all vintage cards from amazon. I would hope that any past buyers from amazon are well aware by now to go directly to the site for any future purchases.

  20. I only have vintage cards listed on your site, and have found that buyers are only willing to pay about 20% of book or less, which is about right based on the card conditions. With the increased listing fee, my total fees to COMC will be about 50% of my selling price. That does not include the listing fees for the cards that do not sell. I have found that my profit margin under the old listing fee was about 10%, I will now be losing money on every card I send in. If this fee goes in to effect, I will be not send in any more cards, and probably have my current cards returned.

    • i only send in vintage cards if the fee goes up i will not do any more business with you….. I DO NOT WANT THIS TO TURN IN TO ANOTHER EBAY RETURNS AND HIGHER FEES THAT IS WHY WE CAME TO THIS SITE…..

  21. Time for sanity and perspective.

    1. “Condition notes” are here to stay due to Amazon. An unforseen consequence of change.

    2. No “condition notes” can overcome “stock photos”. The better option is to develop the intelligence in software to link to the image.

    3. The flat fee for vintage isn’t a good idea as a means for “cost recovery”. First, it increases costs for ALL cards when the focus should be on the higher book cards. As others pointed out, it doubles the handling cost (price) of many commons. Second, it fails to focus on the higher priced card, I suspect nobody returns 1.00 cards, while many are inclined to return a 100.00 card.

    4. The better solution for returns is RETURN card to the seller. This way, the seller has some incentive to price “reasonably according to condition” knowing that overpriced cards are likely to be returned.

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