Vintage Cards & Condition Notes

Thank you for all of the feedback on the previous post. Here is one idea we came up with to reduce the cost of handling vintage cards and condition notes.

Rather than spending so much time documenting all of the issues with damaged cards, we will try to group cards into 3 buckets and only give them detailed condition notes if they have a significant book value.

Bucket 1: “Damaged”. This would be any card that has any creases, writing, stains, water damage, holes, tears, severely rounded corners, miss-cut…
– If the card has a book value of $50 or more, we will give it a detailed condition note listing the issues.
– If the card is vintage (pre-1980) and has a book value of less than $50, we will simply list it with a condition note of “damaged”
– If the card is modern (1980 to present) and has a book value of less than $50, we will generally return the card to the seller, but in some cases we will list it with a detailed condition note.

Bucket 2: “Vintage Wear”. This would be any card that has some normal wear, minor scratches…
– If the card has a book value of $20 or more, we will give it a detailed condition note listing the specific issues.
– If the card is vintage and has a book value of less than $20, we will simply list it with a condition note of “vintage wear”
– If the card is modern and has a book value of less than $20, we will generally return the card to the seller, but in some cases we will list it with a detailed condition note.

Bucket 3: “No Condition Note”. This is any card that has no issues that we deem worthy of a condition note.
– These cards are listed without condition notes.

Condition Notes Fee
– If we give a card the generic “poor condition” or “vintage wear” condition note, we would only charge $0.05.
– If we give a detailed condition note, we would charge $0.25.

What do you think of this idea?

UPDATED 5/14: Changed “Poor Condition” to “Damaged” & changed the $100 threshold for detailed condition notes to $50.

50 thoughts on “Vintage Cards & Condition Notes

  1. This seems to be pretty fair to me, but I don’t sell vintage cards on COMC. The only suggestion I would make is to see the dollar value for bucket 1 be dropped to $50.

    Overall, I think that the fee hike will only cut down on the truly damaged cards which will only be good for buyers and the smaller sellers, such as myself, that could then get their cards listed a little quicker as COMC will spend less time “grading” cards.

    Now again, I don’t sell vintage cards, and I buy very few, but like one of the posts in the previous blog post, if you truly wanted to list your cards on COMC, you will continue to pay whatever they charge. As a seller I would simply be more careful about what I send in if I want to avoid the extra fees, as a buyer I know I would appreciate the additional notes on vintage or higher value cards.

    • doing this would you then go back and reclassify vintage cards from before the change? there’s some i’ve seen without condition notes not in very great shape.

      • You can always send in a correction request and have our staff review the card in question. We routinely add notes to cards that were overlooked previously.

    • i can certainly understand using condition notes especially when creases are not visible on the card, and a gum stain because gum stains are as bad as bent corners, but is this a lot to do about amazon not using actual photos? this is news to me that their customers are looking at stock photos. where do they get the stock photos from? if i saw a stock photo with condition notes i probably would not buy it. if i did not know it was a stock photo i would probably be deterred from buying again if i was dissapointed with the cards received from a shipment of cards i thought were worse then the stock photos. how do we know if amazon customers are satisfied? is amazon capable of upgrading or uploading the actual photo in the future for their 20 percent?

  2. At first glance, this seems like a much more reasonable move. At the least, it’s a middle step to see how it works for you from a cost v. profit standpoint.

    If you don’t detail what’s wrong with certain cards, that should take care of a lot of the time that’s being spent on condition notes. If this change reduces the time you spend and at the same time reduces the amount of increase people will have to pay, it’s a decent compromise.

    One question: If you tagged something with a general condition note, would the seller be able to request the more detailed explanation and pay the additional 0.25 fee? In some cases, that might be desired.

  3. I like it but I would lower it to $50.00 and would we be notified about being charged extra for the condition note?

    • Now that is a great thought, i am a huge fan of the returned policy. If common cards are damanged in any way just return them it is not worth comc time and not worth comc sellers money to list damanged common cards. GREAT IDEA GUYS THANKS!!!

      • If its a damaged common from the 70’s back some people want those. I Just think If people are going to add cards to Amazon . Then give us the note area to add notes? Maybe just put damaged or some sort of notation . But we can add to it and you would have less to do?

      • Having the same team add condition notes provides a consistent user experience. We’re a subjective lot. What one seller calls corner wear another may not. And if COMC is handling all the CS and returns for me, it makes more sense to have them make these decisions as well.

  4. The condition note is open ended…..I like that it would be .05 cents…that is a great start…….I would like a condition note for anything above $5 to $10. I have purchased some vintage cards in the past with mixed results on condition. It seems the only logic way to show the cards. Odviously we cant see any light creases or surface issues. Just make the fee .30-35 cents for any vintage card since they need more attention than most newer cards. Will the law of averages not work out? 10 old cards (6 condition notes , five without (.45 x6=2.70 and 4X.20=.80 Total 3.50) (10 cards at .35= Total 3.50). Just takes the headache out of having to have all the rules.

    the bigger issue is what can be done about all the cards already listed? I will have a card with vintage wear, but someone else has the same card with a crease and no condition note. That needs to be fixed!

  5. I sell almost exclusively vintage cards. I prefer your previous plan to charge a higher fee for vintage but make condition notes on all. This is fair to everyone sending in vintage. One of the biggest issues I have had with your handling of vintage is the extreme inconsistency of your staff in choosing which cards get comments. If you are putting comments on all vintage cards, I believe the consistency will improve. In addition, your fee is fair and consistent to all and known in advance rather than being subject to the whims of individual employees.

  6. Much better option than before. I would set the limit at $50 not $100 on the vintage stuff and modern. but this is a much better option than a flat raise in all the cost. Another option is a slightly higher charge for cards that book more than $100, but not for the cheaper ones…

  7. This is much better. So basically, we are under the gun to grade our own (pre-1980) cards and determine if we feel that the cards we send COMC (that book $20+) will be charged the extra 25 cents for a “detailed” note. The 5 cents charge is status quo currently for any condition note, so now it would be defined as per above.

    I guess this is fine, however how about NM cards with gum stains. Some of these razor sharp cards are acceptable for mid to high grade sets. I still like the condition notes however, now I am picking out the pack fresh $3 or less minor gum stained cards in fear of being labeled for the 45 cent fee. (.20 +.25 detailed note). I hate to be so picky, however to keep my sub fees down, I will be testing with a few first before I send in vintage sets.

    Can we add a line item in the submission area with a check box? Cards to be sent back to seller if ID Dept. deems to list them with a “detailed note”. This would save us the .45 fee. I doubt COMC would add this, since this whole exercise was to cut down (or charge more) on adding a condition note to our cards. It’s just a thought, thanks.

    • If what I am reading is that it is still a .20 cents processing fee and then either .25 for cards over $20 or $100 or .5 cents for other cards that require condition notes then it is an awesome idea and i congratulate you…..I think it makes it easier for you card processers and less subjective and makes it affordable for the sellers…..it wasn’t the +$20 cards that I was worried about,it was the vintage cards in the $2-$6 range………Great Job

      • Thanks Lee, should have caught that vintage cards under $20 could only be given the “vintage wear” condition note for a 5 cent upcharge. So disregard my .45 fee statement above for my $3 vintage cards.

    • We would consider gum/wax stains to fall under the Vintage Wear category if this new system is implemented. The same would go for printer lines or roller marks, those streaks often seen running across the front of vintage cards. Many people consider them flaws despite being minor.

  8. Much better idea, that would leave the listing fees for most vintage cards at 25 cents, and eliminate the extra fees for corner wear, creasing, etc. on lower dollar cards. Only suggestion is perhaps have a $50 limit on both buckets 1 and 2.

  9. Great idea. This should reduce the work load tremendously for COMC while at the same time identifying cards with issues for potential buyers. All this and not significantly increasing the cost of putting vintage cards on the site. Well done.

  10. I actually prefer the term “poor” to “damaged”. Poor condition is universally known in card collecting whereas damaged just sounds worse.

    • Definitely need this term change…”POOR” is a much better and universally known term among collectors. Of course, depending on the use of the term in its application…

  11. I think COMC needs to rethink the entire idea of condition notes. If you send in a card with 90/10 centering, it doesn’t need a condition note, as there is a front and back scan, and anyone can clearly see the card has centering problems. On the other hand if the flaw cannot be easily seen with scans then a condition note would be needed.

    • Mrpokey, I think if you look back, you’ll see that part of the problem is cards that are sold on Amazon. They use stock photos instead of shots of the actual card, so the centering won’t be seen and the condition notes are necessary.

      I choose not to sell via Amazon and would rather not pay for the obvious condition notes. I’d welcome an option that allows me to avoid paying those fees and give up the right to sell via Amazon (or pay an additional, higher fee if I opt to sell via Amazon later).

      Any thoughts about that, COMC?

  12. I do not believe in condition notes. But if COMC requires them for Amazon, just stick with a “commonly understood grades”

    damaged: Poor to Good
    vintage wear: Very Good to Excellent
    no condition: Excellent or better

  13. Here is another thought. I know one of the best parts of COMC is that you scan every card. What if for cards from say 1983-present (I use this date because i see a lot more 1982 stuff roughed up), valued at $.50 or less, you do not scan cards but charge a $.05 load price to use a stock image which would allow sellers from sending in minor star cards from 80’s and 90’s for collectors. I collect Bill Buckner stuff and his cards in the 80’s book for between $.10-$.75. At the current rates, it doesn’t make sense to list them because sometimes your fee is more than the actual value of the card. Using stock photos of lower priced cards like this where condition is much less an issue might be a way to address needs of a new group of collectors, If the don’t meet minimum condition requirements, you can reject them.

  14. If I have this right you want more money and it appears to be a lot per card for condition notes on Vintage cards. Your listing personnel must be very advanced by now so I don’t see the issue of this extra time it takes.

    IMHO. It’s not logical that you have to charge so much more? There’s already a fine pic of front and back. Then a big pop up appears with a warning of some card issues before buying. If a buyer cant get it just from that then there’s nothing you really can do. Going the way of micro managing like EBAY has done is not the answer. Your site is fine you just need more vintage not less, raising prices will have a negative influence on vintage inventory.

  15. I like the general condition notes of “damaged”, “vintage wear”. I would suggest when listing these to Amazon, you list “damaged” as “Collectible-Acceptable” and “vintage wear” as “Collectible-Good”. You can include scans of individual items when they are listed as “Collectible” on Amazon. You cannot, however, have the name of your website on the scans. You can probably have some sort of mark identifying you (COMC) as the Amazon seller.

    • Vintage wear was nice but Damaged is flat out the wrong to say about any card that is in fact not damaged. You have it on many of my cards that are VG which is a highly collectible card. When the card says “damaged” A typical user will try and find it and then cant yet it is widely known in the industry as vg. There is no damage … just a blatant false statement but handle your site as you want to. I wont be sending any more vintage cards you seem to be doing things like EBAY. Micro managing and raising prices. Your big pictures say it all, just cant find the damage in them.

  16. As a buyer, I love seeing detailed condition notes. It can be hard to tell from the pics what the issue is with the card if it is just labeled “damaged”. COMC is my fave site to buy from for that reason alone.

  17. I have absolutely no problem with the generic condition “bins”, but your staff seems to not be following the same criteria you set up here. I just had nearly every vintage card just added to my account marked as “Damaged” despite the flaws of those cards being nowhere near what condition flaws are listed here for the Damaged “bin”. That is WAY too inflammatory of a term to start using it as lightly as it seems to be being used by the processing staff. This system ONLY works if your staff follows the guidelines that are outlined here. Damaged should not be the default for vintage cards. That is what “Vintage Wear” is for.

      • Same happened here and alot of the cards had no creases or paper loss just corner wear…The word damaged is a death sentence to a card and needs to be used gingerly.

      • Corner wear under the prior system was noted separately from vintage wear and has continued to be considered as such. There are also other flaws that can’t be seen in the scans but are spotted during our sorting process that are beyond vintage wear, things like warping, moisture damage, surface wrinkling and creases, and staining. As for off center, if it is the only flaw to an otherwise decent card no note is being given, which is a change from the previous system. Modern (post-1980) cards by definition can’t have vintage wear.

      • Even though I sell more than I buy on here under no circumstances will I ever buy a card that says damaged,so as a seller that is worrisome.

      • I think that COMC should return any newer cards marked as “damaged” without being charged a processing fee. They won’t sell. I don’t think any would send in a modern day card with damage – so it was either a mistake or got damaged in the shipment – they should be returned – the same way other cards are. That way the site won’t be cluttered with all of these modern cards classed as “damaged” – WHICH WILL NOT SELL.

      • It’s an easy cop out to say a card is damaged. I kind of get it why this site is using it.

        For example…If a buyer buys a card that has warping, staining and all the old standards they can say they want to return it for some silly reason. The reason being silly because the pictures on this site are so incredible there should never be a complaint.

        Anyhow, if it says damaged I can see the powers that be saying we told you the card was “Damaged” and point out they have no issue.

        So we the sellers items will come under scrutiny of whoever is looking at these things and choose the lazy way of describing a card now. Whoever is looking at these will simply put most cards in the Damaged category to save time and maybe even their credibility to management at COMC.

        This site is going the way of EBAY too many changes.

    • I am curious if any card marked as “damaged” has actually sold since the term started being used. As someone said, it is a death sentence for a card. I truly hope you change this back to being just “poor condition” as damaged has such negative connotations

      • Forget selling a card that says damaged.I just got a damaged note on a card that had minor edge wear.which i had to price at 5% on a very desired card.Guys you Gotta consider getting rid of that word or use it when a card is actually damaged and not has common wear.

  18. I have 700 or so cards ready to ship, but I am afraid to do so because I don’t want them to get a damaged label if they only have soft corners. Will this be fixed soon so I can send in these cards?

    • I dont blame you. Sent close to 3000 cards recently. I wasnt aware of the change and now I am stuck. A a high percentage showed up on my cards and they were all VG. Not sure why COMC is reinventing the wheel so to speak.

  19. So I was just looking at the site comparing som cards I want to send in, and some of the cards I looked at the cards with no notes were in worse condition than the cards listed as damaged. (1969 Topps Brooks Robinson and Rod Carew All Star cards). I spoke to them today,and was told that there are ongoing discussions about this and that all of the cards marked as damaged would be changed if they change their process, and I should still send in my cards… I am still not so sure. The majority of my cards right now are vintage and don’t want someone to mark them all damaged…

    • Hey Guys, Has anything been decided yet on the “damaged” situation I got hit with 32 damaged notes in tonight’s batch in which around 10 probably warranted it.That is 32 cards that i cant sell at any price.

  20. The new policy needs some work. I had several cards marked DINGED and that is it. I looked at several and i see nothing wrong with the card. If your going to grade the cards at least be more specific. I can find a flaw on any card unless its graded PSA, BGS Gem mint. I like the site and enjoy selling/Buying but this might get to where its just not worth it. I understand on vintage but i am talking about NEW cards not vintage. Why not use NM, Nrmt-Mint, Etc as your grading inlew of DINGED or DAMAGED???

  21. Has there been any movement on this? I was told an announcement would be made last week. I just purchased a bunch of cards I am prepping to shipment, but i can’t do it until this is cleared up.

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