About a month ago we rolled out our first version of Suggested Prices. Based on the feedback of many COMC customers, we have revamped our model and just released v2 of our BETA Suggested Prices. This time we have included some charts to help you analyze our suggestions.
For those of you not familiar with our Suggested Prices, you can learn more here.
As I mentioned in my original announcement video, we have the cleanest set of historical sales data ever complied. This gives us a unique opportunity to provide relevant price suggestions without having to factor in so many variables.
Our Suggested Prices are still in BETA testing. We want your feedback. Here are some important details about the COMC Suggested Prices.
We only use COMC historical sales data. We do not factor in sales from any other websites, and we do not use any other guides or services. All of the COMC Suggested Prices are based on a mathematical model that I designed and implemented. We have made no attempt to replicate or mimic any other guides or services. We fully expect that you will find our Price Suggestions to be very different from other guides or services. My goal was to boil down a bunch of numbers into a few easily digestible suggestions. Here are the goals I tried to achieve and what numbers went into generating each suggestion.
- Suggested Retail Price (SRP): The SRP is intended to be a fair asking price for a retail store. This is currently just a standard markup on our Suggested List Price. We figure it is fair to expect to pay a little premium in order to see the item in-person before buying.
- Suggested List Price (SLP): The goal of the SLP is to be a reasonable List Price that a seller might use to put an item up for sale on COMC. The SLP is based on the total price that buyers actually paid to take possession of their items. That means we only factor in items that were sold and shipped when generating the SLP. While this is based on confirmed sales, it is not an average. An average or median would leave no room for buyers to make offers without constantly driving the price down. Instead we have factored in a little bit of room for people to negotiate prices.
- Suggested Wholesale Price (SWP): The SWP is intended to represent the price that sellers can reasonably target if they are trying to sell their item quickly. Often buyers in this price range are purchasing with the intent to resell. That is why we refer to this as the “wholesale” price. This factors in all sales on the site, but we treat port sales and other large offers with a grain of salt.
Bar charts have been added to the top right corner of each card details page. Bar charts, with additional lines representing suggested prices, have been added to the popup you see when you click on card prices. The bar chart represents the number of items sold in a given quarter (3 month period) for that particular card. The rightmost bar represents the sales for the current quarter, which will just be a portion of a quarter. The sales from all the different conditions and grades are lumped together in the bar chart. The lines represent the SRP, SLP, and SWP. The points are measured on the last day of the given quarter. The rightmost point on the line represents the current Suggested Price. The chart shows the last 15 full quarters and the current quarter.
Partial Sales Data
Because the rightmost bar represents only a portion of a quarter, it will often appear lower than other bars. This does not typically mean that sales have been decreasing for an item. It more often means, that we are simply in the middle of a quarter and we are still adding to the total sales for that quarter.
Charts with No Lines
Some listings do not have enough historical data for us to generate a Suggested Price. You might even find some listings that used to have Suggested Prices, but they no longer have suggestions. This is because we consider older historical sales as less relevant. If the total relevance that was factored into a suggestion is too low we discard the suggestion. Years ago, this data was more relevant and our model may have been able to make older suggestions.
The current model only looks at historical sales of the exact same item in the same condition or grade. Later this fall we will begin factoring in similar products and conditions. This will help enable us to make price suggestions for items such as printing plates. While we may have never sold a particular printing plate, we may have sold a different color of that plate or other printing plates of that player or other printing plates from that set. These data points can help us make recommendations for items that we haven’t sold yet.
Vintage Suggested Prices
We know that vintage card prices are very condition sensitive. Please take all pre-1980 COMC Price Suggestions with a grain of salt. Because we have not factored in detailed condition ratings, we may choose to completely turn off these suggestions if we find that they are too misleading.
Frequency of Updates
We re-run our analysis every night. If a player has a great game, the sales from today will be factored into tomorrow’s model.
You might wonder how it is possible for us to offer Suggested Prices that go back 4 years when we only started offering these suggestions a month ago, and I have to say, that is very perceptive of you. You see, I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about Astrophysics, and I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. As a result I was able to find two colliding black holes and hitched a ride going faster than the speed of light in order to run the model at different points in time over the past several years.
Actually, I just designed the mathematical model so that I can plug in any point it time and it will generated the suggestions based on the historical data before that point.
Changes from V1
We got feedback that the Suggested Retail Price from our first version of Suggested Prices was too inflated. This feedback has been incorporated into the new mathematical model we use for the new version of COMC Suggested Prices. If you notice an SRP is lower than what you remembered, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the value is decreasing. The entire model was adjusted. It is best to refer to our charts to understand the direction the market might be heading.
Please go play with the site, find interesting data, and discuss it in the comments below and on other forums. We will be monitoring the discussion to find ways to improve our suggestions.