Changing the Shape of COMC in 2014

I hope all of you enjoyed some wonderful holidays and are prepared for an exciting new year. At COMC, I know that’s the case. To get things started, we have a very big announcement to make.

A Bit of History
Six and a half years ago we made our first appearance at the National Sports Collectors Convention to unveil our innovative consignment concept. From day one, we wanted to offer a service where people could see the scans of the actual cards alongside the catalog information, including book value.

We were very fortunate to grab the attention of Dr. Jim Beckett and Peter Gudmundsson, the CEO of Beckett at the time. Jim was very interested in our ideas and recommended that Beckett do what it could to help us see where this concept could go. Within a few months we had our first data licensing agreement signed.

Since the beginning, we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Beckett, allowing us to focus on our core competencies while utilizing some of theirs. We are very grateful for this relationship and thankful for their support while we grew from literally nothing to become the second largest marketplace for single sports cards. Being second to eBay is not too shabby.

Changing Tides
A few years back the ownership of Beckett changed hands, and earlier this month the new owner informed me that Beckett is no longer interested in partnering with us.

What does this mean for COMC?
We will replace the catalog data we received from Beckett over the years with a new catalog we are building from scratch. We will also replace the book value information on the website with a new “suggested list price” based on our sales data.

While these are daunting tasks that will require enormous amounts of effort, all of us here at COMC are eager to participate in this project. COMC was built by collectors for collectors. We listen to your needs and care deeply about providing the best service possible for you. Now we have the incredible opportunity to offer that same level of service for catalog and pricing data.

Temporary Impact on COMC Services
We look forward to rolling out these updates over the next several months, but in the meantime there will be a transition period where we cannot offer all of the same services we have historically offered.

  1. Static Book Prices – Until we establish our new “suggested list price”, the book values listed on the website will not be updated.
  2. Consolidated Processing Services – We will post another blog entry announcing the temporarily changed processing services we will offer while our sports card experts create the new catalog.
  3. Interim Catalog Data – While we replace the catalog data, there may be periods where we don’t have all of the same data we previously had.

Long Term Impact on COMC Services
This is where things get really exciting. Here are some of the changes we expect to see.

  • More detailed and accurate catalog based on actual, verified cards
  • Pricing data that is tuned to our marketplace
  • Freedom to list our data on any site, service, or marketplace we choose
  • Ability to sell or give away data

What do you want to see?

  • What card attributes would you like to search, filter, and sort by?
  • Do you want to contribute to the new catalog? Should we charge for pricing data so we can pay those who contribute to the catalog?
  • Where else would you like your cards listed and advertised?

On a Personal Note
I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities ahead of us. Since I was 9 years old, I have studied price guides. I went on to get my Bachelor of Science in Math and Master of Science in Computer Science. The first piece of software I ever wrote was to help me build complete sets of sports. I spent 10 years with Microsoft helping design and build Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. I literally design databases, write code, and solve math problems in my sleep. I have put in my 10,000 hours, and I am finally free to do a project that I was born to do.

The New Year brings a great opportunity to partner with you to explore the many ways our catalog and pricing data can benefit collectors. Please let me know what hopes and ideas you have for this new service in the comments below. I will personally read every one of them.

Happy 2014!

Tim Getsch
Founder and CEO