Where in the world did Tim go?

10 millionA lot has happened since my last check in. January turned out to be a pretty good month. Many people reported having their best month ever. Also, on Friday night we crossed 10 million items actively for sale. This is quite an accomplishment. Collectively we continue to set records for the largest variety of trading cards offered under one physical roof. Way to go COMC Nation!

Tim’s Time Off

Tim with childhood best friend Pete

Tim with childhood best friend Pete

I am glad for everything positive that happened while I was gone. I generally don’t like to publicize when I take vacations, but that wasn’t really an issue in 2014 because I didn’t take any. Well, technically I headed back to Minnesota on Christmas eve 2014 to start my first vacation in more than a year.

All 5 of Tim's nieces and  nephews

All 5 of Tim’s nieces and nephews

After two weeks in Minnesota and Colorado, I came back to Seattle with a “gift” from my nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, it was the kind of gift that kept me bedridden for a week.

At this point I was 3 weeks behind on email. I spent most of the next week taking care of stuff at the office, and then I had another one week business/personal trip.

Tim's brother Terry playing a recently restored pinball machine from their childhood

Tim’s brother Terry playing a recently restored pinball machine from their childhood

I went to Georgia to visit my brother and his wife for the first time in a couple years, and I took a little detour to catch an NBA game. This is a necessity since Seattle lost the Sonics.

Tim at an NBA game

Tim at an NBA game

Needless to say, I am still a bit behind on email and a few other things.

Status Update

Now to give you an update on the top requests that our customer service team has been receiving.

Auctions
Around Christmas, we gave you a sneak peak of COMC Auctions. Many of you have been curious when and how we will roll them out to the public. We are still wrapping up some loose ends to make sure we are doing everything the correct way. This will take at least another couple months. We may selectively launch some more test auctions in the meantime. Once we do start allowing you to run your own auctions, we will gradually roll it out. For example, there will be a limit to the number of auctions each user can run. We don’t want to flood the market with more auctions than it can handle. As we see how the market is responding to auctions, we will adjust the limits. The Auctions feature is just one of several big improvements we are working on this year.

Website Issues
There are two known issues on the website that we are tracking down right now. Both issues appear to have been introduced when we made some upgrades just before Black Friday. The first issue is causing some computers to sporadically get new shopping carts. If this happens to you, please contact us, and we can restore the items in your cart. We have not yet found a consistent way to reproduce the problem, but we have added some code to help us track it down. The second issue is a timeout error when trying to search from the Inventory Manager section of the website. This appears to be a regression from the database upgrade we made. We are searching for a workaround to this issue. Until then, you might be able to work around this issue by searching your port, and editing prices from the item details page. This is not ideal, but it might work for some of you.

Response Times on Escalations
Um… Yes. I was on vacation. I am back now. If you are still waiting for a response to something, please contact us again, and we will make sure you get a response more quickly.

Time to Print Checks
In the past when the company was smaller, I processed all checks myself as the requests came in, and there was plenty of time for them to be delivered within 2 weeks of the cash-out request. As we’ve grown, this now goes through our accounting system that is structured around the print date rather than the delivery date. While the new system is a much better process internally and has freed me to spend more of my time on things you really care about, unfortunately, it can sometimes take a bit more time. We will be updating the website to reflect that checks will be mailed within 10 business days of the cash-out request.

Catalog Progress
Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve our catalog. Even though it has room for improvement, many people have still been able to post their best months ever. At this point we are working on the long tail. We estimate that 96.5% of the data has been entered, and we still have more to clean up. We ran some good challenges in December to help us clean up the data, but I haven’t incorporated the results into the catalog yet because of my time off. I expect to get that done in the next few weeks.

Some people have asked why we have done work on other areas of the site when the catalog is not done yet. The short answer is that we have limited resources, and the catalog will never be “done.” Also, not everyone in the company has the necessary skills to contribute to the catalog. In any case, we expect to always invest in improving the catalog. Sometimes I may choose to make unrelated improvements to the site because they have potential to increase our available resources. This will in turn allow me to have more resources to put back in the catalog. I fully expect our catalog to be superior to any other trading card catalog in the near future. The amount of resources we have available will determine how near that future might be.

Setting Expectations
2014 was by far our most challenging year. We basically had to re-invent ourselves. In doing so, I had to set the course for COMC and rally the troops to go there. While we did not accomplish every goal we set out to hit, we are now stronger than ever. As Confucius said, “If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK.”

Now for 2015 I want to focus on under-promising and over-delivering. We still have another big year ahead of us, but we don’t have all of the time crunches of 2014. 2015 is going to be an exciting year. I look forward to the next phase of the COMC journey.

88 thoughts on “Where in the world did Tim go?

  1. COMC is awesome, I have been pleased with every aspect of the site/business. Are you guys working on a app? If so, when might it be available? Thanks

  2. Any idea when it will become a priority to correct the many Ty Cobb cards that are listed under Tyler Collins….I am not a programming guy, but this should be a real easy fix and should have been addressed several months ago…thanks

    • Good question Greg but I have many cards with the same problem dating back to last May. I’ve been patient, I believe, but sales are being missed every day. The same type of problem but in my opinion worse, is ID or processing not knowing how important the name of a subset is in regards to searches. Also information not available to ID or processing about numbers made for a particular card that are not on the card but info available checking with various sources. I have been filling in missing data for many months but not one has been researched and brought up to snuff. Hopefully one of the personnel currently working at/for COMC, that has experience as a dealer for decades as I do, can be trusted to take on this issue and help us out and get these truly rare cards updated. It makes a tremendous difference to a person shopping for higher-end cards, not to mention a potential sale lost, when it isn’t even identified as only 5 or 10 made…..it is just another card to them. ITG and Be A Player are notorious for not putting the print run on short printed cards.

      I know this is just more to complain about but some things are more important than others, ie. customer satisfaction with a pleasant selling experience. That is where Tim’s circle of trusted employees and friends would come in handy to help in this regard when Tim is away or working on “other” projects. Just some more food for thought and no I’m not PO’d because I think I complained loud enough the past few months not really knowing if it helps. Right now I am in between a rock and a hard place with over 30,000 cards on site and many times that amount that I planned to send in……so I guess I’ll calmly wait some more to see how things develop, or as Pink Floyd would say – I’m “Comfortably Numb”.

      • Ken, thank you for these comments. While we have used the COMC Challenge to have people submit data that is evident on the card, we have opted to have our employees do research on things like set names. This is more time consuming, but it is required in order to minimize our risk of being sued. That is why we can’t just accept input from edits without researching it ourselves. This unfortunately slows down the process of updating the catalog. At this point we are getting into a lot of data that needs to be researched.

        We will eventually incorporate ITG, Be A Player, and other manufacturer announced print runs, but these are great examples of things that we have to research an verify. Remember, there are companies out there actively hunting for people to sue, so we have to be very careful about where we get our data.

      • Then tell me Tim, if I find the print run information on the said company’s website or other approved source and send it along to COMC, would that help speed the process along so I and others have a better chance to sell? I don’t mind doing the leg work in my spare time if it is helpful and it can be used without the vultures wanting a piece of your…..

      • Yes! Information direct from the manufacturer is very good. In some cases, we are aware of the data, and we just haven’t gotten to it yet. In other cases, we haven’t found the information yet. In either case, sending the information to staff@comc.com is probably the best way to go. That way we can forward it to our catalog team, and your info will help them prioritize their work.

  3. To Tim,

    Welcome back…. for starters!

    Are you the only person that can incorporate results into the catalog? If so would you consider using your laptop an hour or two a day while you are away to log in and “incorporate”? Or, better yet, train someone to do that important and necessary chore for us buyers and sellers.

    Also, you said you may choose to make “unrelated improvements to the site” which will increase available “resources”. Without giving away secrets, what are the resources you refer to that will allow you to have more of those “resources” to put back in the catalog?

    Just trying to read between the lines what your decisions are and how they will affect the buyers and sellers on COMC. Explaining exactly what your plans are to us will alleviate future complaints about misunderstandings. And no I don’t mean who you will be voting for or where you will vacation next ; ) If we know you have a concrete and sound business plan, it will go a long way in supporting you. And unveiling the basics of a new idea may invoke some good ideas from some of us that have been doing this for ……well, long before you were born. Many have stuck with COMC during a very frustrating period and now we should expect a much better experience in the near future. I have already noticed a vast improvement in some areas and look forward to that “superior” catalog that I believe is forthcoming sooner than later.

    Good luck and now get to work! I fully understand, as a businessman, the strain both mental and physical the past year that you and Julia have gone through. Stay strong, rely on your most trusted and at least hit Venus this year! I hope this serves as inspiration and not negativity.

    My best regards,
    Ken AKA MrMint

    • Ken, Thank you for the feedback and support. We have a full team of people that actively update our catalog every day. Also most of the COMC Challenges are automated and can update our catalog without my involvement. It is only when we launch new types of challenges that I need to write new code to process the results and incorporate it into the catalog. Nothing is waiting on manual input from me. All catalog tasks have been either automated or delegated and trained.

      By “resources” I was referring to something that is more commonly known as “money”. We have some low hanging fruit. If we can spend a few weeks of development to generate a new revenue stream that can make enough money so that I can hire a couple more people for our catalog team, that sounds like a pretty good investment. You will see a few opportunities like that this year.

      Thanks for the offer to give advice. We will occasionally open certain things up for public input, but sometimes that is not the best forum to get the right decision. I like the idea of putting together an advisory panel, but until then, please feel free to send us your suggestions. I do see all of them. We just don’t have enough resources to address all of them instantly.

      Thank you for the encouragement!

      • I felt that is was the finances you were referring to but didn’t want to suggest the wolf was knocking on your door. But if the “unrelated” improvements don’t improve my pocketbook, let me suggest tapping Steve (SC) for a temporary loan as I understand he is loaded and only charges 1 over prime.

      • I guess technically we also need good people. It isn’t just finances. We will likely be opening up some more positions on our identification/catalog team this year, and my plan is to be able to pay them without needing to increase our processing fees.

      • OUCH! Didn’t like that last thought. Take my suggestion about hitting Steve before you think about raising “taxes”! Ok, enough, get to sleep! You have a lot of catching up to do.

  4. Thanks for the updates. Lots of uncertainty across the boards these days and the absence of COMC leadership was adding to the frustration. Moe did his best on trying to keep things settled, but he can only do so much. He did do a great job by the way and should get an award for being bulletproof with all of the shots that were fired.

    • I second that about Moe. And add to that list another guy/gal there at COMC. Don’t want to mention any names for fear of his/her e-mail being inundated with “stuff”. You know who you are, so many thanks.

  5. Tim, we would really like a response on why sellers have been allowed to cancel sales (comc has refunded the buyer and put the card back in the seller’s port) on cards that the seller thought sold for too little.
    To those not familiar with this, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it has been happening. Check a popular hobby message board for details. To say the least, this is a serious problem and of questionable legality at best. I would like to think this has been a result of extremely poor decision-making by your employees in your absence and not policy.

    • If this is a fact, we deserve an explanation from Tim. I hope there is nothing to it and just a misunderstanding. But if true, I agree, it has to be addressed.

    • Sorry about this. There was a recent miscommunication. I asked customer service to make sure that buyers and sellers are always informed before we reverse a transaction. There are many different scenarios where we might reverse a transaction. In this particular case, our policy has always been to contact the buyer and inform them of the seller’s mistake. We leave it up to the buyer to decide if they are willing to let us reverse the transaction. Typically the buyers are understanding and willing to help out fellow members of the COMC community. I did not intent for us to handle this scenario any differently. We are getting everyone on the customer service team on the same page regarding this.

      • Ok you asked for it….another suggestion : ) You say there are many different scenarios….. That in itself can lead to some irritated folks. I am persuaded you should make the “rule” for reversing a transaction simple and in black and white language. This will take COMC out of the judicial situations that I can see developing. I realize this will put much more pressure on the ID and processing folks but without a clear cut explanation for a reversal you may put yourself in an e-Bay type situation where you may be forced to make decisions where the money is. Just a thought but worth thinking it through carefully.

      • The different scenarios I am referring to are things like Amazon canceled orders, items that were purchased while they had incorrect or incomplete descriptions, items that were shipped to customers and then shipped back, and returns that are requested before a card is even shipped out. These are just some of the return scenarios. Making hard and fast rules, doesn’t take away judgment. It just puts all of the judgment at the point when the rule is made. It is a trade off either way you go. I have chosen to give our customer service team some autonomy and a goal to create happy customers. Some situations are tricky because it may be impossible to make both customers happy, but we can at least make an attempt.

      • So why did this one apparently not have any contact with the buyer before being canceled? That part of the story seems to be getting overlooked or ignored.

      • Which incident are you referring to? As Tim said, it’s our policy to contact both parties before the transaction is reversed. Was there a recorded incident where the buyer wasn’t contacted?

  6. Thanks for the update Tim!! Great to hear auctions are still in the plans. I love the idea of limiting the amount of auctions per user. That way it doesn’t become over saturated and the prices should be higher as a result. Also higher end cards would be sold not just the cheapest cards. Thanks again for the great work on the catalog, I love how easy it is to search for a specific player, set, etc. keep up the great work and congratulations on the 10 MILLION CARD MARK!! Great to see!! I will be sending a couple thousand more to you to add to that number!!! Thanks again for your hard work Tim!!!! 🙂

  7. My biggest request is to have the SRPs as close to 100%, and usable. Right now most cards don’t have an SRP, and the ones that do only have a swag SRP which isn’t very accurate(market value). If the catalog is 97% done, I don’t understand why the SRP has fallen behind. Remember, this was originally said to be DONE by April of last year.

    • Back in April, we planned to launch the partial SRP that we have now. That got delayed a few months because of various reasons. Our next goal was to start extrapolating prices across like cards. This requires good catalog data. Our goal was to start doing that around the end of 2014. I don’t feel that our catalog is quite ready for that right now. We could do extrapolation, but the values will be wrong if the data is wrong.

      Improving the suggested prices is a great example of work that we want to do to help generate more revenue to put back into the catalog, but it is unfortunately a bit of a catch 22.

      • This is a meaningful explanation. Thanks. SRP is the most important thing to me, but I also would prefer version 1.0 to be as perfect as possible, so I am OK with waiting.

  8. Welcome back, just one quick question for you. Do you still videotape the opening and unveiling of every shipment? I ask because I’ve been hesitant to send large batches of cards in $20-$200 range in case they become “lost” by some of your new hires. What peace of mind can you give us about the quality of hires and what would be done in a dispute?

  9. Thanks for the updates, I have seen many great improvements over the past year, the site is back to being very functional for me, I am selling cards just as well as I used to. I am looking forward to the site being better than ever by the end of the year. I have Faith.
    And by better than ever, I mean way better than it could have ever been if you were still using that other companies catalog. Keep up the good work Tim, and I hope you are refreshed and ready to take it to that next level we would all love.

  10. Welcome back! I’m glad to see Tim is rested and ready to go.

    One thing I could really use is more History Points. After the Beckett info disappeared, I was still able to find good deals by using History Points. But all of my History Points disappeared around May and I haven’t been able to get back into the flow of things since. I used to buy hundreds of items per day on COMC, but now I barely get a few dozen per month.

    I would love to see either the information contained in the History Points to be incorporated into the Sales Data we already have. Either that, or I would like to see power users of the site given access to this data. For instance, if we got one History Point for each penny in fees we spend at COMC, then people who actually use the site and help pay the bills would be better able to use the site and pay the bills.

    Alternately, you could just give every account a certain number of free History Points at the start of each day, maybe 500 or 1000. That would be enough so that people could use the site, but not so many that some bot could scrape your 10 million listings.

    • Making history points not expire would really help, as would not allowing people to check historic pricing if there’s no history to show. I don’t mean not charging a history point but not allowing someone to try. This would save time, as well as history points.

      • Tyrod – I paid about $2,000 in COMC fees last year, plus I earned a badge helping to build their catalog in their hour of need. The History Points are useful to me, but not worth paying $10 for 1,000 points. It might take me 100 points to find one 75 cent card to purchase.

        I earned well over 20,000 History Points in the COMC challenges, but those points all disappeared a month after they were issued, and very few other challenges have been issued.

        At the time, COMC was paying people 50 cents or $1 for every 1,000 History Points they earned. If that was the going rate, I’d have no problem paying it to COMC. But at one cent per, I’m not really tempted.

        At one time, I was buying on COMC an hour or two every day, and sometimes purchased hundreds of cards per hour. Now, I’d be lucky to find a dozen cards in an hour, and so other pursuits are more attractive to me than accumulating cards on COMC.

        This is primarily due to the lack of tools which would help me to find attractive deals. Some of these tools might be expensive or impractical to implement. In other cases, it’s just a matter of COMC pulling a switch and tweaking a policy. In the case of History Points, the technology already exists. The infrastructure already exists. All it would take is for them to say “yes, you can have some History Points”, or “yes, we will add that data to the SRP”. Heck. At this point, I’d even take the return of the time wasting COMC IQ test.

      • Very well said. I completely know what you are running into. I have felt this pain myself. We definitely have a sub optimal solution for people looking to get deals or to flip. This is a scenario that I expect to improve significantly as we roll out the improved suggested prices. In the meantime, we will looking making it easier for people to get history points.

      • Why don’t you just give everyone 100 History points? I answered some questions awhile back in order to get 100 History ( now gone, I used like 10) just to see what it was all about. Maybe some of your customers would understand them better if they had some free ones.
        Personally I find them useless but I see others that really seem to like them.

      • Tim – I appreciate all of the efforts regarding SRP, but a bot-generated theoretical value will never be a substitute for recent, actual sales figures. The History Points were flawed, but they provided actual sales numbers.

        When the Wall Street Journal provides prices for various stocks, they publish recent, actual sales figures. If you want to figure out what your house is worth, you would use recent actual sale figures. When people check completed listings on eBay, they are seeking recent, actual sales figures. Just give us the actual numbers and we can go from there.

        The History Points were flawed, because they only gave us the highest price anyone had ever paid, and didn’t tell us whether the price was trending up or down, but it gave us an actual number. If nobody has ever paid more than 26 cents for a particular card, I probably don’t want to buy one for $26. The History Points also provided the total number of cards sold and shipped. If there’s an item with 2 in stock where 50 have sold, it’s more attractive than an item where 50 are in stock and only 2 have sold.

        At present, there is a graph which shows how many of a particular card have sold in the past 4 years. It would be useful if that graph also included a tally “total 26 sales” or whatever. However, that graph isn’t based on the number sold and shipped. So, it could be that a card was transferred back and forth in port sales, or to transfer funds between two accounts, so the number might be deceptive.

        An example of this would be 1995 Fleer Metal Silver Flasher #42 – Emmitt Smith:

        http://www.comc.com/Cards/Football/1995/Fleer_Metal_Silver_Flasher/42/Emmitt_Smith/756973

        This card “sold” about 22 copies over a 3 1/2 year period, then “sold” 65 copies in the past two quarters. The “Suggested Wholesale Price” is 36 cents. The :”Suggested List Price” is $600.00. The “Suggested Retail Price” is $750.00.

        How this happened, I have no idea. It could be that someone with two accounts needed to transfer cash from one account to another. So they priced the card at $500 and bought it from themselves to move money the money around.

        Another problem sorting by SRP is that an item with no sales history will be mixed in with an item with a substantial sales history. Suppose a card is legitimately worth $20 and has an SRP of $20. Then a card which is really only worth about 25 cents, but has no sales history is listed at $20. So that card is “valued” at $20 when sorting the site. The same thing happened with Beckett values, but it was easy to detect, because the items with a Beckett value would show $20 BV, while a card which was simply priced at $20 would show N/A.

        One reason I keep bringing up TCGPlayer is that they are the most credible, authoritative, real-time price source for any collectible cards I have ever seen. Their price is a median asking price for a given card in NM or better condition. They have hundreds of dealers selling cards, so for any item with a decent amount in stock, the price is very accurate. Then, they will allow any website or any app to use these prices, provided the website or app links back to TCGPlayer.

        If someone wins a tournament using a particular card, you will see the TCG price act in real time. If a card is reprinted, the price will also react. If an older card suddenly becomes more useful due to synergy with a new card, the price will react. Because of this, the prices on TCGPlayer are extremely accurate, authoritative and timely. Most gaming stores don’t even put price tags on their cards. When someone wants to purchase, they will look them up in TCGPlayer and price them by that. When players trade with one another, they will use TCGPlayer prcies which they access from their cell phones.

        This is the sort of power COMC SRP could have if COMC SRP was based on a median price of actual, recent sales, and if it were easier to access this data from COMC.

  11. I’m looking forward to COMC doing more auctions, especially if we can start sending some of our own stuff to auction.

    Another potential source of additional income and buyers would be if COMC would open an eBay account and we could opt to cross-post some of our COMC items to eBay.

    Suppose we were to pay 10 cents to cross post an item as a fixed-price eBay for 30 days, and that if it sold, we would get 80% or maybe 85% of the sales price. It would be similar to selling on Amazon, except we’d also pay insertion fees.

    If COMC were to set up something like that, it could generate many thousands of dollars in additional sales and give COMC items many thousands of additional eyeballs.

    I know some people wouldn’t want to opt in to something like that but I certainly would.

    • I’d like to see your marketing research figures and project analysis. If it is sound I may want to bottle it and sell it. And I don’t believe Mrs. e-Bay needs any other business riding her coat tails. And besides e-Bay has it’s own problems that Tim would just as well learn from and not be a part of…..just saying.

      • COMC could open an eBay Anchor Store for $179.95 per month, which would provide them with 2500 free Fixed Price listings per month. This works out to 7.2 cents per listing. Additional listings would be 5 cents. So, COMC break even or make a small profit by allowing us to cross-post items of our choosing for 10 cents per month.

        Many sellers of higher-dollar items on COMC have to choose between selling it on COMC or selling it on eBay. If COMC were to cross-post to eBay, those sellers wouldn’t have to choose between venues. They could have both.

        This would also give COMC a lot of exposure to buyers who don’t currently know that COMC even exists. COMC could put promotional literature into their outgoing eBay packages, which would help to bring more serious buyers to the site.

        I realize that a lot of people on COMC despise eBay, but a lot of COMC sellers simply don’t want the hassle of selling on eBay. They don’t want to scan their cards or write descriptions or ship them when they sell. COMC takes the grunt work out of this process.

        At present, about 25% of my COMC sales come from Amazon. One advantage that COMC has listing on Amazon is that the items purchased through Amazon bring new money to the business, and the items actually leave the site. This would also be an advantage for COMC items which are sold on eBay.

        I know of quite a few businesses which sell consignment items on eBay, where their sales are into the millions of dollars. Yet, COMC actually has more items on consignment than any of these businesses have ever had. So, if COMC is looking for new markets and new customers and new outlets for some of the 10 million items they already have, it’s right there.

  12. Another site that COMC should consider cross-posting to is TCGplayer. This is the #1 site for selling Magic The Gathering singles, as well as certain other gaming cards (Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, Vanguard). Unlike some sports card sites I could name, TCGPlayer actually has an incredibly accurate, real-time, up-to-the-minute price guide, and they won’t sue you for using it.

    This would require a bit of effort on COMC’s part, because the cards would have to be graded according to TCGPlayer guidelines, but it would definitely be worthwhile. As it stands, I’ve been taking my better Magic cards off of COMC, but if COMC were a TCGPlayer dealer, I’d be putting a lot of them back into my account.

  13. One feature which is hampering me right now is the restriction of 10,000 items to a search on COMC. It isn’t even possible to search some of the larger dealers inventory because of this restriction.

    If the feature must remain, it would be much more useful if we could filter a search by a range of values – a range of prices, a range of years, a range of # of cards in stock, etc.

    If that’s not feasible, it would be useful if we could choose the 2nd sort. For instance, if I want to search the site by fewest cards in stock, I can only see the 10,000 most expensive cards with only 1 in stock. If I could change the secondary sort order, then I could see the 10,000 least expensive cards with only 1 in stock. That’s much more useful.

    • One thing you must understand. Tim did not buy a relational database and other financial programs that work seamlessly with each other from some company that has it’s own programmers that can make a change like you are suggesting fairly easily. Tim is building this complicated series of programs from scratch, if I understand it correctly, and I think it best he spends his energies in perfecting what he already has in place and then take on suggestions in an orderly fashion if they are beneficial to both COMC and his clients.
      And as time goes on and COMC prospers, I am persuaded, Tim already has his sites on more hardware to handle increased volume due to more subscribers and the type of searches you suggest.

  14. It’s fine for COMC to try to calculate an SRP, but I’d rather see the actual numbers the SRP is based on. Maybe some sort of scatter graph with a trend line.

    Alternately, I’d rather see a best seller ranking, like Amazon has for its items. If I could sort a set by the fastest selling cards, or sort a player by the fastest selling, or sort a team by fastest selling, or sort a year, or sport, that could be extremely useful.

  15. Tim,
    As I have made very clear in the past… I would sooner set myself on fire than purchase anything from the “sponsor” you have partnered with for gift certificates.
    Are there any plans to link up with other sponsors (BCW for example ) to give us some choices on how we cash out?

    I pity Moe and some of your other staff for having to put up with the nonsense they do from the “public”

  16. I forgot to mention…any update on instituting some price controls to make the site look a bit less absurd in some areas? I mean, would the family of Kevin Mitchell pay $29 for his 1990 Donruss card? Probably not and seeing listings like this by a couple of serial offenders makes the site look amateur hour.

  17. More code writing? I think Tim would rather settle for a stick in the eye and the 12 cents a year while that card sits and ages for many years. And I am persuaded amateur hour is a relative thing. Ok, back to checking Tony’s inventory for bargains.

  18. One item I have yet to see a response to is past and future storage charges on items that either have the name wrong or are missing names from cards with multiple players. The burden to prove false charges should not fall on the sellers, especially when you are well aware of the issues.

    • We don’t charge storage fees for items that have any missing or partial data, and we also don’t charge storage fees for items that have pending edits or correction requests. If you have any suggestions for something more that we could do, I am all ears.

      • Ideally you would have already had your system programmed to reverse those charges when errors and omissions are found and corrected, that is obviously not the case. I do not know how widespread the problem is for all users, I just know it is an issue with my port. Today alone I was able to spot and report 5-6 while only checking around 100 cards, all of which are subject to storage fees. Since December I have reported hundreds of items, possibly thousands of items that all have been charged storage fees that should not have been. There is no way I could possibly know exactly how many and for how long they have been subject to the storage fees. If we could track the correction request we report it would help a little…

      • Just to clarify…What emails have you sent to us recently? I just want to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

  19. Tim since your ansewring Questions. Why in the world do you guys pack my orders and let them sit there a week before shipping. A Kick in the Eier is easier to stomach !

    Charlie

    • I can field this one…right off the bat, we don’t let them “sit there” for a week; we’re processing hundreds of orders a day, so when you get an email saying we’ve received your order, there’s a several step process involved in preparing that order for shipping. It takes a few days for that process to be completed and if the volume of orders is high, it takes just a little longer.

      So, no…your order isn’t just sitting there…it’s moving within the shipping department, to various team members, in order to get shipped out as quickly and efficiently as possible. All of your orders, as well as the hundreds of others we’re currently working on, at the same time.

      • I just pay the extra $3 to upgrade shipping and usually have my cards in hand within 5-7 days of requesting a shipment.

      • Those plans were put on hold when we had to go back to the drawing board and build a sports card catalog from scratch. Now that we are in the business of making our own catalogs, we should be in a much better place for launching new categories, but we are not quite ready for that. There is still a lot of cleanup to do first.

      • Moe, unless Charlie’s question was mis-stated, I believe he is asking why but “after” the orders are packed. In addition, are you saying there are “various” people are handling a single order to ship? I would think that only one person is pulling and verifying the items that go in one parcel. And that same person is the one who seals the parcel, so if there is a problem with the contents only one person is responsible and accountable. Just curious….thanks Moe.

      • If he wants to re-phrase the question, he’s welcome to do so. I can tell you that a single order will be handled by several people before it gets shipped; since we’re handling several hundred orders at a time, the method of one person processing an order from start to finish would be incredibly inefficient. We have a team who work in the warehouse, and a team who work in shipping and there are supposed to be checks and balances between the two teams to ensure accuracy and efficiency. And, everyone in shipping is accountable…as are we all for any issues within the company. We’re small enough that we all have a stake in what happens here. (but, that’s just my opinion…)

        Also, I can tell you that international orders, like Charlie’s, will have 2 shipping dates displayed on the transaction file. The first is when we have the order ready to be picked up, and the second when it leaves the warehouse. International orders are picked up twice a week, by a shipping service we use to process those international orders. So, an order will be completed and it may wait here for a day or two before it gets picked up and shipped overseas.

        However, these orders do not “sit” for a week, unless there’s some issue with the order – such as waiting for cards from the Canadian warehouse, inclement weather, staffing issues, or some other issue that’s beyond out control. Otherwise, we do our best to get the cards and orders out on time.

      • I appreciate your allegiance and loyalty and your admirable trust in COMC employees and the system. But as to the folks who are the reason you receive a paycheck and for that matter everyone employed by COMC, there will be many questions as to how our property is handled. Having said that my friend, I still have a question you have not addressed. And the only question I am not yet comfortable with below.

        As to you explanation about efficiency, I never suggested one person for the entire process. But I did mention having one person pulling for one order so as to avoid problems for many reasons that I can think of. Anyway, that is just another suggestion, but the reason I e-mailed in the first place was to understand what Charlie was complaining about because your answer, in my opinion didn’t, address it specifically and to the point he was making. I wondered if he had a valid complaint or just assumed something was wrong. So your terse answer “If he wants to……”I assume was directed at me and you didn’t know if there was a valid complaint, only that you are getting a tiny bit annoyed at having to answer, seemingly, inconsequential questions, which I can understand having to deal with so many complaints and questions because of last year’s wreck and subsequent restructure.

        No need to waste time with an answer.

        Have a great day!

        Moe @ COMC commented: “If he wants to re-phrase the question, he’s welcome to do so. I can tell you that a single order will be handled by several people before it gets shipped; since we’re handling several hundred orders at a time, the method of one person processing an order “

      • That comment wasn’t directed at you, and if it felt that way, I apologize. The fact that he hasn’t replied to my previous answer would suggest (unless he’s not yet seen it) that it did answer his question, as I haven’t seen any followups to it, yet. If he wants to re-phrase it, or respond with a followup, he is more than welcome to and I’ll do what I can to reply.

      • Dang!!! I thought we were communicating via e-mail. I didn’t mean for my comments for the blog because it didn’t concern the masses. At any rate, subject closed so you can get back to more stuff. Have a pleasant day Moe!
        Ken

  20. At one point, I thought there was some mention of having coins on the site. If my memory is correct, are there any plans for this year?

  21. Moe that stuff doesnt sit there 1 week is Bull.Look at the 10 orders from today. And the 8 from last week.My cards are being shipped once a week.

  22. Maybe I should say this different. Why are some of my orders taking up to 14 days to be marked as shipped ?? Moe you dont ship twice a week just look at the last 2 weeks. I realize I order way too much,and maybe Im part of the problem with slow shipping. If its better for your system or your Co-Workers that I order once a month just let me know.

    Thanks,Charlie

    • Domestic shipments get picked up by the USPS on a daily basis, between Monday and Friday. International shipments like yours are picked up by a third party service called IMEX, who come by our office twice a week to pick up orders that are being shipping outside the US. So, yes…your orders (and any other order that gets shipped internationally) can sit in our warehouse for a few days, while we wait for IMEX to show up and pick up the packages. It;s not a perfect system, but it works best for us to ensure we can serve our international customers. You may get an email from us when the order has been completed and is ready to be picked up on a nearly daily basis, but they don’t leave the warehouse until IMEX shows up.

  23. What happened to the site’s SRP situation? Maybe you should just remove it. I have about 67% of my items without one and they are the easiest to calculate being mostly vintage. Having several vintage cards that say 2015 because you can’t get to them, is no help as well. Looks bad that I am asking $6900 as a whole and the srp is like 1700 or so. Kind of a useless number if nothing is going to change. The site looked great some years ago when all the numbers were there. I can’t justify sending in more cards at 25 cents per, when I don’t know if they will be recorded properly. Year, name brand etc. The site looks like there are just a few big sellers with huge inventories that vulture the ports then flip. Plus you advertise for them in the top ten sellers or whatever. It’s become their personal site I guess.

    • I don’t know if your comment was intended to be sarcastic or not but assuming it is not, I believe Rick was saying there is indirect advertising by the mere fact there is a “popularity” list available to the public. Which I believe was an attempt to create competition for individuals to be the best as far as activity….which of course benefits COMC. Not saying this is unethical or the like but if the original COMC had not run into execution problems along the way, this site would not have but a few of the occasional problems all start ups, or should I say restarts, experience. Competition like this is used as a business tool throughout the business world.

      But, for everyone’s sake, I hope this blog – because of frustration many are experiencing, including COMC – we keep this blog absolutely civil. If it turns into one of those political blogs nothing positive will be accomplished. So, the problems will surely be vented on here, which is fine and necessary no matter how trivial or major, but let Tim and the COMC team address them and consider each as good suggestions or explain why things are the way they are at the present.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Ken

      PS/Always thinking and believing. : )

  24. I checked out the 2008 Goudey cards today because I still need two for my set. What I don’t understand is how someone sends in a new shipment with William Taft and it gets listed as Willy Taveras??? How does that happen?? You would think that at least the newly listed cards would be correct???

    • The set data still needs some work, obviously…a lot of these errors stem from the challenges. We’re still finding them, and correcting them as we can. Thanks for your patience.

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