Condition Reviews, Security & New Video

Vintage Cards & Condition Reviews
You may have noticed that all pre-1980 condition notes have been changed to “Pending condition review. Please review the scan.” This is because we have started a new condition review process. Once we have completed our condition reviews, we will start cleaning up the old condition notes. This will take several months. You can watch this video to learn more about the condition review.

Graded & Conditional Pricing
For years graded cards have been listed on Check Out My Cards with N/A for the book value. Last week we added support for graded pricing and conditional pricing to COMC.com. This allows us to give a more accurate book price for anything that has been graded or condition reviewed. Check Out My Cards hasn’t been changed and still lists N/A for the book value. You must use COMC.com to see the graded & conditional pricing.

Basic Condition Reviews
We are currently in the process of doing hundreds of thousands of basic condition reviews. This is something that we do for free as part of the standard processing service for vintage cards. For the basic condition review we simply lump cards into the following buckets: “Poor”, “Poor to Fair”, “Good to VG-EX”, and “Unreviewed”. You might notice that the naming of these buckets has already been updated based on customer feedback since the video was posted last night. Thanks for helping improve our service!

  • Poor: Any card that is in Poor condition.
  • Poor to Fair: Any card that in less than Good condition. Typically this would be Fair condition cards, but it also includes cards that are on the border between Poor and Fair.
  • Good to VG-EX: Any card that is less than Excellent condition. This would be any Good, VG, or VG-EX card, and it could also include cards that are on the Good/Fair border.
  • Unreviewed: Any card that we haven’t reviewed yet or that we think might be in EX or better condition. This is where nearly all of the cards on the site are today.

These buckets have been strategically chosen because they will significantly reduce our need for condition notes and because we can assess them quick enough that we don’t need to charge anything extra for processing.

Detailed Condition Reviews
By the end of the year we plan to add a command on the Manage Inventory page where the owner of a card can request a “$2 Condition Review”. When this is selected, we will remove the card from the seller’s account, we will scan the item with a 36X zoom instead of our standard 4X zoom, and then we will have 2-3 employees carefully review the condition in detail before putting the card back into the seller’s account with a new Item #. Cards that receive this service will be listed on the site with industry standard conditions (i.e. MINT, NM-MT, NM, EX-MT, EX, VG-EX, VG, GOOD, FAIR, POOR) and with a new Super Zoom feature that can go all the way to the 36X zoom. We just started doing some of our first 36X zoomed scans yesterday, and they look amazing. These items will also be eligible for the new Vault service that we plan to launch in the next few months. Stay tuned for more details…

Grading
When we release the detailed condition review feature, we will also be releasing a similar option where the owner of a card can have us send the card off to get graded. This will be just like the detailed condition review only instead of our employees doing the condition review, we will send the card off to Beckett, PSA, SGC, or KSA to get graded. We will do the same 36X zoomed scan before sending it off and after receiving it back. This will help ensure that there are never any mixups. We expect this service to be much more convenient than sending items directly to the grading companies, and we will pass along the savings we can achieve by doing bulk submissions.

Security
Our existence is directly dependent upon the trust we have earned from our buyers and sellers. The security of each person’s items is of utmost importance to us. We consider every potential security breach with extreme scrutiny. We would not be able to offer our current services or any of these new services if our customers didn’t completely trust us.

We realize that our company is built by humans, and humans make mistakes. That is why we put so many extra precautions and security measures in place. Every time a mistake is made, we study it to determine why it happened and what we can do to minimize the chances of it ever happening again. Over the past 5 years, we have built an amazingly elaborate and resilient system for processing, storing, and shipping cards. As we grow we continue to face new challenges, so we are contently in pursuit of better and more secure ways of doing things.

Over the past year the company has nearly tripled in size, so we have definitely felt our share of growing pains. I am not going to claim that we are perfect. We have made our fair share of mistakes, but I know that we always strive to give the customer the best experience we can.

How we Handle Potential Security Breaches
Yesterday we had an opportunity to exercise and evaluate our security procedures. It was brought to my attention that one of our largest sellers thought a shipment from last month didn’t make it into his account. Fortunately, he is very good about always sending us notifications every time he mails a package. This was a critical piece of our investigation, and it allowed us to narrow down what to look for.

We had one investigation team review all of the pictures and videos we recorded of his packages. They were able to verify that we took pictures of all 12 of the tracking numbers that he had submitted. They also had the videos of how we transferred those 12 packages into 23 batches.

Another investigation team reviewed the 23 batches. We tallied all of the cards deposited, counted the few cards set aside to be returned, and double checked that we didn’t forget to identify any scanned images. In the end the margin of error between his estimates and our counts was 0.03%. That is 3 in 10,000 cards. So we are confident that all 12 packages made it completely into his account.

At the end of the day we are glad we have so many checks and redundancies in place, and we are fully confident that our systems are solid. This investigation was a great test of our dedication to excellence, and the strength of our teams. Every item we handle is a sign that someone trusts us with their property, and we never forget the responsibility we have to handle all of our inventory with respect and diligent security.

Improved Incident Escalation
One of the fall-outs of our investigation was that we discovered a couple other customer issues that we had started investigating but had not resolved in a timely manner. This was an unfortunate consequence of our rapid growth and record setting workload, but we recognize how important it is that all potential mix-ups be resolved quickly. As a result, we have instituted a new policy that requires all such issues be escalated all the way to the CEO (that’s me) if they are not resolved within 48 hours.

As always, we see situations like this as opportunities to improve. We care about our customers, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that you always get great service. Rest assured that we will constantly strive to ensure that we are always the safe & easy way to buy & sell collectibles online.