COMC Hot List: June 26th – July 10th

Hello to the COMC Nation! It’s amazing how quickly 2 weeks can go by, as we’re at that point in the calendar where we’re ready to announce a new COMC Hot List!

Our crack team of Identification Processors and Card Experts have spent the last 14 days scanning the internets and watching way too much sports-related television…well, they would be doing that, anyways – but, ultimately, it’s part of their effort to determine what players and sets would be the hottest of the hot, in order to pull together a list.

After their tireless effort, here’s what we have for the COMC Hot List, for June 26th to July 10th:

The Hot List Theme

This isn’t going to be your usual theme, as we’re going to change things up a little bit. If you’ve been following the COMC Blog, then you’ve seen us talking about The Vault, a new service for high-end collectibles that COMC is bringing online next month.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

To help our sellers get the most Vault Eligible items on the site and, ultimately, to the National Sports Collectors Convention for display, we’re dedicating our Hot List Theme to The Vault. That means you can send in any Vault Eligible items you’d like to get on the site, and they’ll be processed at the regular Hot List processing prices and service.

Beginning today, any and all items placed on future Hot Lists will now be scanned at 36x resolution, thus, making all Vault Eligible items on the Hot List ready to list on both COMC and The Vault!

For an item to be Vault Eligible, it will require a minimum asking price of $40 and have a minimum $20 Beckett book value, unless it is not assigned a book value due to scarcity.

So what does being on the Hot List mean?

COMC wants to encourage our users to get these hot cards into your accounts to offer for sale as quickly as possible, so starting today, any cards submitted for the Hot List will qualify for our “Hot List Special” processing. With this service, you will receive One Day processing at the special Hot List price: $0.50 per raw card and $1.00 per graded, encased, or jumbo card.

How to Submit Hot List Items for Consignment:

  • Clearly write “Hot List Special” on the outer mailing package and/or the address label.
  • $5 minimum batch fee (We recommend submitting 10+ items.)
  • 200 item maximum per week
  • Must be postmarked by July 10th, 2013
  • Must be mailed to our US address (Our Canadian warehouse currently only supports One Month service.)
  • Any submissions received on a Friday or Saturday may not be processed until the following Monday.
  • Submissions with non-Hot List items mixed in will be downgraded to One Week service.

You’re welcome to submit Hot List batches at the same time that you submit other batches with different service levels, even if they’re mailed in the same package, but please make sure that each batch is clearly separated and labeled, and that “Hot List Special” is written on the outside of the mailing package and/or mailing label.

Thanks for your input for this new Hot List, and watch our FacebookTwitter, and new Google+ pages for the call for the next Hot List in a week!

Getting To Know Us: Jeremy Williams

Welcome to the first edition of Getting To Know Us.  Today we will be introducing you to one of the Team that many of you have had the pleasure of speaking with: Jeremy Williams!

JeremyWilliams

Team Member Stats

Title: Strategic Projects Manager

Hired: Spring, 2010

Hometown: Boston, MA

Account: Jester

I started at COMC in the spring of 2010.  Before I was hired here, I worked for years driving all over the Seattle area as a sandwich delivery guy for an awesome mom & pop company, Sugee’s Box Lunch.  That job not only put me through school but also kept me ridiculously well-fed.  I still go back there whenever I can for a B-L-T or an Italian cold cut sandwich.

If you called or emailed COMC about a year and a half ago, I was on COMC’s customer service team.  As a matter of fact, I was COMC’s first full-time CS employee!  These days, it is my great pleasure to communicate on COMC’s behalf with many of our professional contacts.  Lately, I’ve been chatting with group breakers, comic shops, supplies manufacturers, and many other folks who we’re interested in supporting and working with in different ways for future projects.

I work primarily on the Business Development team helping to roll out new features, develop new relationships, and improve company efficiency.  I’ve had a hand in a lot of our print ads and blog posts; I’m really proud of the recent “checklist” ad that I got to be involved in.

I’ve always been a “jack-of-all-trades” type.  In most places, that ends up being a negative; but in my role here, it’s my greatest strength.  The job is different every day, which is something I love.  I’m really happy that Tim and Julia felt like I was the right fit.

I used to collect gaming cards when I was young.  I gave it up when I realized I didn’t want to haul them around with me for the rest of my life, so I ended up swapping them to a guy for his old broken Honda CB750 motorcycle (I’m pretty sure I ended up giving the bike away to someone else too).  I moved around a lot so I got into the habit of traveling pretty light.  These days all I could say I really collect are song ideas for my side music projects.  Having that old knowledge of gaming cards has been helpful, though, because even though I don’t physically collect anymore, I’ve still made some money flipping on the site!

How many cards would you need to flip for this?

I’ve always enjoyed music, but when I was younger it was hard to break into. Technology has finally reached the point, though, a lot of the barriers to entry are being removed by sites like bandcamp and YouTube. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed the beats and rhythms of hip hop as well as the verbal cleverness. A few years back I started making parodies about things like video games and zombie outbreaks. One of my songs ended up getting pretty popular online, so I started being able to do some live shows.  So far I’ve had a great time.

Encouragingly, the audiences that seem to respond the best are those who aren’t traditional hip hop fans. I’ve done a couple EP’s and I actually just digitally released my first full length album, “Rhymes Against Humanity”.

A friend and I recently launched a country western project as well.  We felt the genre of “country western science fiction” was under-served so we started writing some original songs and adapting some unlikely covers.  We aren’t trying to make fun of country music at all, just use it as a vehicle for exploration and insight.  We’re having a great time with it and the feedback from people has been very positive.  That music can be found here: http://themercifulheavens.bandcamp.com/

COMC is an awesome place to work, and almost all the credit for that goes to Tim.  He really sets in place a culture of honesty and directness that I’ve never seen anywhere else.  He’s so passionate he can really inspire you – anyone who has met him at shows can attest to his energy!  He’s also just a really sincere guy, and as smart as they come.  The team here are the coolest, most down-to-earth coworkers you could ask for as well.  I feel very blessed to have found a home at COMC for my offbeat skill set.

Getting to Know Us

So, we hope you enjoyed getting to know Jeremy a bit better.  As you can probably begin to suspect, there are many unique people on our Team, and over the coming months, you will have a chance to get to know a few more.  Feel free to leave your comments and questions for Jeremy below, and as always, keep up with us on FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.

Tea and Tennis

Happy Monday to the COMC Nation.  This promises to be another exciting week in the world of Tennis as Wimbledon opens its courts and the volleys begin to fly.  As the oldest of any tennis tournament, it is an event steeped in history and tradition.  For instance, did you know that the competitors have a strict code of dress and the spectators are encouraged to dine on strawberries and cream?
Founded in 1877 by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, The Wimbledon Championship draws thousands of spectators, including members of the Royal Family.  One of the most interesting holdovers of tradition is the complete lack of sponsored advertising on the courts.  Quite a bit different from modern sporting events!  Though the reasons are many, this is mostly to keep attention right where it belongs: on the match.
Courtesy of you, our users, we have many items on the site commemorating some of the great players and moments from past events.  We wanted to showcase a few of the more recent champions, and so, without further ado:
Roger Federer – 2012 Champion.  Ranked as the #1 player in the world for a record-setting 237-consecutive-week stretch 2004 to 2008.
Serena Williams – 2012 Champion.  The oldest world #1 player in WTA’s history and the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money.
Lisa Raymond – One of the game’s greatest doubles players with 11 Grand Slam titles: 6 in women’s doubles and 5 in mixed doubles.
Mark Woodforde – Australian doubles legend.  12 Grand Slam doubles titles in his career – one French Open, two Australian Opens, three U.S. Opens, and a record six Wimbledons.
So, while we steep our tea and scoop some cream onto our strawberries, COMC wanted to know whether any of you will be watching the events closely this week.  Who do you suspect is going to take home the championships this year?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments below or any of our other venues at FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.  Cheerio, my good chaps, and here’s to a jolly good show!

Collectors Dream: Buy Now, Ship Later

COMC has many benefits that attract a wide variety of customers: the offer system, high quality shipping, and world class customer service.  On top of all that, there is a major draw that pulls in collectors the world over: the option to buy cards over time, build up a collection, and then ship it out as one big package.  That’s right, on COMC, you can buy items now, save them in your account while storing them at COMC, shipping them to you, as one package, at your convenience!

This unique value proposition has been available since the beginning of CheckOutMyCards.com and continues to the present day.  And the number of ways that this part of the service is used has expanded.   First and foremost it allows you to save on shipping costs.  If you had to have each and every item from each and every seller shipped separately, the cost in shipping would be astronomical!  In an earlier blog post, we explored how COMC is amazing for set builders and collectors, and how we have already been noted as one of the best!

However, saving on shipping is only one reason to make use of the service.  Here are a few other ways that our buyers have found to take advantage of Buy Now, Ship Later!

Trade Shows

Sam, Barry & Julia

Sam Kassam & Barry Mah at the Vancouver Fanfest

When you are planning on going to a trade show there are two things you can often count on: you’re going to see the same vendors, all selling the same stuff.  So what is a discerning trade show vendor going to do?

Well, many COMC customers will purchase items on the site over the course of the month and slowly build up a new trade show batch that specifically has cards that have been hot over the last few weeks.  Then, a week before the show, they have these cards sent to them and voila!  They have a hot set of new items for the show.  It’s nice to have some of the best in show, and COMC has helped many of our users achieve just that.

Card Shop Inventory

This happens to almost all shop owners, where they find themselves with a batch of cards from out-of-market teams. In the past, those cards were slated to sit in the display case or in a box in the backroom, as no one shopping in your southern California shop had any interest in that stack of New York based teams.  However, with COMC, shop owners have begun to purchase cards specific to their markets as they come on sale, and once they start getting asked by their customers if they have some of these “out of stock cards,” they place an order to ship.  Then, they send the cards that will likely never sell in their shops to COMC, and a shop owner on the other side of the country has the opportunity to meet the needs of their markets.

COMC provides brick-and-mortar stores the online marketplace to dispense with the cards they don’t need, and a way to build up an online inventory of the hot items from their local teams.  That is a pretty slick way to run an online business for your store without the hassle of setting it up yourself.

Special Occasions

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Everybody has that person in their life that is… a little hard to buy gifts for.  And if they happen to collect very specific cards, the difficulty only gets worse.  Some of our users have found COMC to be the perfect place to fix this problem.

Say your friend only collects one very particular card and their birthday is in 6 months.  Well, if you see one of his cards pop up on COMC, you can add that to your inventory.  And then when another pops up, you can do it again.  Then when that birthday rolls around, you have the whole batch that you have slowly been accumulating sent to him, and that is a mighty fine gift.

Autographs

Maybe your favorite team is coming to town and you decide it’s time to get some autographs.  But maybe you don’t have a card for every player that you want to meet.  Or perhaps you’re taking a trip to see them play on their home field.  COMC has made building this collection many times easier.

Autograph devotees have found COMC to be a godsend: They build up a collection of cards from several different sets and have them all bundled together and shipped to where they will be to get the autographs they need.  This makes it a snap to have the right cards, for the right players, at the right time.

Final Thoughts

So how many other ways can Buy Now, Ship Later be used?  We want to know what you use this option to do for your collection.  Feel free to leave your comments below and keep following us on the blog, FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.

The Vault Interview: Part Two

Welcome back to the second part of The Vault Interview.  If you missed Tim and Nathans discussion about the more general questions, check out Part One.  In this episode, Tim and Nathan will finish up answering the second portion of our users questions regarding the seller/buyer specific parts of The Vault.

So, feel free to get comfortable as Nathan and Tim continue the discussion on The Vault.


YouTube link

In case you don’t have time for the whole video, here are the time-stamps with the questions being answered:

0:25 How will Vault items be secured?
1:56 Where will Vault items be stored?
2:36 Who will have access to Vault items?
3:20 Will the Vault be climate-controlled?
3:43 How will COMC protect against buyer fraud?
5:32 How will COMC’s cashout work with the Vault?
9:28 Will funds from Vault sales be available immediately?
10:47 What cashout options will the Vault have?
11:40 How will the 5% buyer deposit on Vault items work?
14:50 Will Vault sellers have access to COMC promotions?
15:20 Will the Vauly require a separate sign in?
17:40 How will buyers be able to pay for Vault items?
20:54 How will Vault items be shipped?

Now that all of your submitted questions have been answered, does the service make sense?  Are there any lingering questions we can answer for you?  Most importantly, are you as psyched as we are to unveil The Vault at Nationals?  Feel free to discuss and ask in the comments below and keep following us on the blog, FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.

Explaining COMC Return Policies

Hello Folks, and happy Monday!  There has been some recent discussion concerning COMC’s return policies, so we felt it would be appropriate to take some time to clarify, give explanations, and help answer questions.

Return Policy – Buyers

On the buyer’s end, we have what we consider to be the best return policy in our industry.  The buyer has 14 days from the time the item ships to examine their item and, if they don’t want it, have it returned to us.  This very easy and open return policy encourages buyer confidence and security.  This in turn stimulates more sales, which is better for everyone.

Return Policy – Sellers

Regarding our sellers, COMC operates under a very simple principle: We don’t want our sellers to be any worse off than they were before they made the sale.  To that end, we work to shield sellers from various costs associated with buyer returns as well as from having to do any of the more aggravating, associated tasks.  We handle the shipping and receiving, the customer service, our ID teams confirm that the item is the original, and we do the re-processing.  When an item is returned, we carefully and thoroughly examine it to ensure it is the exact card in the exact condition as the one originally sent to us.  Should we verify that it is, we reverse the purchase and return the item to the last seller’s account within 45 days of the sale.  If it is not possible to have the item back into the seller’s account within 45 days, we will credit the seller a restocking fee equal to 10% of the original sales price.

For instance, if I had a $1 return that didn’t make it into my account until after 45 days had passed, I would receive a $0.10 credit.   If a returned item is lost, damaged, or different, we absorb the cost of that item.  We never return damaged or different items to our sellers’ accounts.  In the event that the item is returned in worse condition than when it was sent out, we cover the cost of the card, so sellers don’t even need to worry about shipping wear and tear.

We also vigilantly monitor returns to insure buyers are not trying to pull any scams.  Should we notice suspicious activity, we act immediately to protect sellers and COMC.  We track and block all buyers and users who are using the site maliciously.  As this is a service we provide, it is one less thing for our sellers to worry about.

Who has time do deal with returns…. oh wait…we do.

Explanation & History

Sellers may have noticed this change as we’ve grown as a site and as we’ve partnered with Amazon.  When COMC was a smaller company, we got very few, if any, returns in a given month.  As such, it was much more feasible for COMC to absorb the cost of these cards and move on.  As COMC continued to grow, and eventually synced up with Amazon.com, we were able to provide our sellers a MUCH broader audience.  However, this also brought, not only an increasing numbers of returns, but also a greater potential for fraud against which we need to protect all parties.

A good example of why we cannot absorb all returns ourselves is it would be easy for someone to buy an N/A BV card for a dollar, price it at $1000, and then have his friend buy it and return it for instant profit at our expense.  No business could continue to operate absorbing loss blindly, so we must use discretion and try to create sensible policies that protect all our customers – buyers and sellers – as effectively as we can while still making sure that COMC has a solid foundation.

Additionally, once we teamed with Amazon, our number of returns increased dramatically.  Amazon’s model makes it so easy for people to buy and sell on their site that sometimes you can even make a purchase without meaning to.  Amazon is designed this way.

We Care About Your Satisfaction

We hope that this better explains our policy moving forward, and helps to better explain exactly what we want to do for you in these regards.  If you have any other questions about our Return Policy, please contact our Customer Support folks via Email, or give us a call at 1-800-517-3540.

The Vault Interview: Part One

The moment that we have all awaited has finally arrived!  Tim sat down with Nathan yesterday to answer your questions about the Vault service, and when we got done compiling the list, we realized that there were just too many to answer in one video.  So, this first video will answer your general questions and the second will answer your seller questions.

So sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the first of a two part series: The Vault Interview!

In case you don’t have time for the whole video, here are the time-stamps with the questions being answered:

0:48      Please describe COMC’s “Vault” service
2:50      What items are eligible for Vault service?
5:50      How will Vault items be seen?
7:00      How will Vault commission fees work?
9:30      Will Vault items be listed on Amazon.com?
11:20    How will offers work with Vault items?
12:04    Will Vault items be listed on Amazon.com? (cont.)
13:17    Will the Vault service be required?
14:30    What items will be displayed at shows?

After seeing the video, what are your thoughts about the service?  Are there any other general questions that you need us to answer?  Feel free to discuss and ask in the comments below and keep following us on the blog, FacebookTwitter, and our new Google+ page.