3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets

Note – This week we are writing a series of blog posts covering several topics.  When assessing the large volume of information that we want to communicate, it made sense not to simply pour it into one extremely large post, but to separate it out into bite-size chunks.  Please consider each section in light of the others, and not as an independent post.  The subjects we’ll be covering are:

1/5 – The Big Picture
2/5 – Design Goals for COMC.com
3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets
4/5 – How to Flip on COMC.com
5/5 – 5th Anniversary Special + Ad Campaign

3/5 – Beta Testing New Markets

As alluded to in previous posts, we are going to start beta testing consignment of much more than just trading cards.

Over the next year we will be launching many new categories of collectibles on COMC.com. However, you can get a jump start and be the first to have items listed in these new categories.

Simply submit anything on the following list and we will only charge $0.50 per item for processing. There will be a $5 minimum per submission, so we recommend sending 10 or more items. It may take up to a year for us to process the items, but you will not be charged for processing until the items are deposited in your account for pricing.

You can send us the following items:

  • Factory sealed complete sets
    • Factory seal must be intact
  • Autographed 8×10′s
    • Must be authenticated by PSA/DNA, JSA, UDA, TRISTAR, Just Minors, ONYX, Panini Authentic or Steiner Sports
    • For other forms of authentication, contact us before sending
  • Ticket stubs
  • Programs from sporting events
  • Sports related price guides
    • E.g. Beckett, SCD, Tuff Stuff
  • Sports magazines
    • E.g. Sports Illustrated, SI for Kids
    • Nothing with a shipping label on it – retail copies only
    • No swimsuit issues or anything risqué
  • Comic books
    • Nothing that requires parental advisory
    • Nothing with a shipping label on it – retail copies only
    • Nothing with explicit content
  • Coins
    • No bulk precious metal coins… yet.
    • We are starting with coins that have numismatic/collectible value, rather than precious metal value.
  • Paper money
  • Tokens
    • E.g. collectable subway tokens

We do not 100% guarantee that we will be able to support every one of these collectibles, but this will allow us to gauge interest and determine processing difficulty and storage requirements.  Any items from collectible categories which we conclude that we cannot support will be returned at our expense and the processing fees will not be charged.

If you have other flat collectibles that are not on the list that you would like to consign with us, please call us before sending the items. We expect to eventually branch out into even more diverse categories, but we’d like to focus our efforts on relatively small, flat items for now.

Storage fees for all categories will start at $0.01/item per month once the items have been live on the site for 90 days, but we may need to increase that for large items like magazines or complete sets.

Hand Collated Sets & Lots
At first we will only support consignment of factory sealed sets. Please do not send us anything that is hand collated yet. We expect to eventually experiment with hand collated sets, partial sets, team lots, player lots, etc. However, that will not be open the the public until after we figure out how much to charge for it. We anticipate that it will be more expensive to verify the accuracy of a complete set than it is to simply take a picture or scan of a factory sealed set.

Per-Item S&H
The per-item S&H will try to approximate our real costs (e.g. labor to pick & pack, supplies, postage), and it may go up or down over time as we improve our processes or the USPS or other shipping services adjust their prices. The complexity of varying shipping fees with so many different size collectibles is a large reason for merging the per-item shipping with the seller’s asking price and having a single price for the buyer. We don’t want to have a super long fees page that buyers need to see to figure out what to set aside for shipping. 

Just like with cards, customers will be able to flip items, make offers, and combine multiple purchases of all different categories into a single shipment.