Vintage Enhancements & Items Stored Remotely

COMC Buyers, we have a couple exciting changes to announce.

Items Stored Remotely
Yesterday we updated COMC to let you know when items are not currently stored near our Redmond, WA headquarters. For example, cards that are consigned through our Canadian processing facility may take a month or two to migrate down to our US headquarters. While the items are still in Canada, we can’t ship them as quickly. The website now indicates which items are stored remotely, and it doesn’t let you request expedited shipping for these items. We recommend using our Standard or Registered shipping options if you have any remote items in your shopping cart or shipment request.

Vintage Enhancements
Over the coming months you will start seeing some enhancements to how we process vintage trading cards. We have noticed that on average, cards that are pre-1980 sell for twice as much and twice as fast as modern cards. We want to make this experience even better.

1957 Topps #20 - Hank Aaron [VG] - Courtesy of COMC.comFirst off, we are partnering with Dean’s Cards to offer the largest selection of scanned vintage cards on the internet. Both of our sites currently offer a little more than 500,000 vintage cards each. COMC.com will be the first website to ever offer more than 1 million scanned vintage cards with one flat shipping fee.

We are just starting to test some items now, and we will soon offer Dean’s entire vintage inventory. You will be able to use your COMC store credit to purchase any of Dean’s items, and his team will ship those items to us every day. We will then separate the items into their corresponding orders, so you don’t have to pay extra for shipping.

You will notice that Dean’s scans look a little different than our traditional scans, and also Dean’s team has provided more detailed condition information. We are working on a strategy to offer similar condition details for vintage items that are consigned with us. Stay tuned for more updates.

This is just the first step we are taking to towards becoming the premier website for buying and selling vintage cards.

67 thoughts on “Vintage Enhancements & Items Stored Remotely

  1. Please figure out a design change that would group multiple conditions or grades under a single card. Before Dean’s, there could be three or four groups for a single card, not counting graded cards. With Dean’s cards, there could be 7 or 8 groups for a single card. It is very hard to shop for a card when multiple groups must be checked for a buyer to find ‘best value’, particularly when grading standards are very inconsistent in the ungraded group.

  2. This is great news for vintage cards. I enjoy grabbing some vintage every so often but am always torn about buying it online due to condition issues that sometimes don’t show up well in scans. I am excited to see what the partnering with Deans will mean for the vintage cards available on COMC.

  3. I have several questions.

    1) If dean’s cards will be on the COMC website, will our(my) cards be on his website?
    2) Is it just a partnership, or does dean’s cards now hold ownership in COMC?
    3) I am now competing with 500,00o more vintage cards, how is this good for me as a seller?
    4) Will we and our customers get the same quality customer service from purchases from DEAN’s cards?
    5) Is this why you were gone for so long?
    6) Did you get my chocolates?

    Thanks, and I cant believe you released this info right before happy hour?

      • Thinking about it further, it may be good for you as a seller.For one Deans cards are overpriced and two along with Deans Cards comes all of his customers I would imagine

    • 1) If dean’s cards will be on the COMC website, will our(my) cards be on his website?
      We have discussed this, but it is a lot bigger effort to list 10 million items on his site than 500,000 of his items on our site. One step at a time…

      2) Is it just a partnership, or does dean’s cards now hold ownership in COMC?
      No ownership, just two great websites working together to improve the collecting experience.

      3) I am now competing with 500,000 more vintage cards, how is this good for me as a seller?
      We will eventually be know as the place to buy vintage cards. This will attract more buyers. We are also working towards standardizing our vintage condition review process, and syncing with Dean’s will be helpful for this.

      4) Will we and our customers get the same quality customer service from purchases from DEAN’s cards?
      YES! That is one of the great things about how we are doing this work. It is virtually seamless. You only deal with us. The only thing we don’t offer with Dean’s cards is expedited shipping. This may be something we consider in the future.

      5) Is this why you were gone for so long?
      LOL, no. This was actually a relatively small feature for me to implement. I had a bunch of vacation, business travel, and a couple colds that I battled.

      6) Did you get my chocolates?
      YES!!! We had them at our holiday party. Thanks!!!

      • THanks TIm for answering my questions.
        In late 2010, I stopped selling on ebay and moved to COMC.
        I feel I am firm but fair in most of my posts.
        But, Lately I started back up on ebay.

        Should I have questions I want to ask you directly/privately, what is the best avenue?

        By the way, I Know people do not recognize it. And in most cases he was probably a whipping boy. But from April 2014 to present there was a ton of issues due to the “FIASCO”. I feel like MOE was the ultimate trooper. He dealt with everyone the best he could BASED ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I think he saved your company ALOT of customers! He took a lot of heat and I hope you guys recognize that.

  4. Sorry- Question 7. It looks like Dean’s cards now has about 550,000cards on COMC, did he have to pay the same submission fees as we did? Does he pay the same storage fees as we do as well.

    • I would like to know this as well now that it is a competitor? Also would like to know who identifies the grade associated with his cards .

      • Dean has a very good reputation for providing quality condition/grading. As always, we stand behind everything we offer on our site. So you can always contact us if you are unhappy with anything you purchase from us, and we will make it right.

    • We are trying a different commission/fee structure for Dean’s cards since they scan, identify, and store the cards. As you can tell from his prices, you should still be able to compete on price.

  5. Question 9…. Can Deans cards be flipped?

    Granted at his prices there are no real bargains to be had but the quality and grading accuracy is there. I figured it was inevitable that COMC would partner with a big dog….. I am glad it is not the same mutt that Beckett chose….

      • I think this is more a financial partnership on the back end (IE COMC getting fees for this cross promotion) than it is about having COMC cards listed on Deans cards. COMC chose somewhat wisely. Deans cards has accurately graded cards and quality scans. They do not (as a rule) price themselves on the low end but as I have learned when it comes to selling things other than cardboard, if you offer confidence and service, you can charge more for your product.
        I know some are going to wonder what kind of “break’ Deans got for being on here…and the truth is COMC doesn’t have to tell anyone that. Their cards are not going to do anything to hurt the site and it isn’t like you have to worry about them swooping in here and undercutting anyone on price. I’d be happy to see Kit Young and Larry Fritsch here as well…

    • YES! You can flip Deans cards. In fact, once you purchase the cards, they start shipping them to us. Once we have possession of the items, they become eligible for expedited shipping and are more like all the other cards on the website.

      • Thanks Tim… Deans Cards is a quality addition to the site. Vintage cards like coins are all about eye appeal. So while you don’t want 50 1990 Topps Jack Voight cards on the site… having 20 1959 Topps Carroll Hardy cards is a good thing because 5 people can look at those 20 cards and especially in the mid and lower grades, people look for different things. For instance, I will take a card with a crease if It is centered nicely… others would rather have sharp corners and not worry about centering etc…

  6. Really looking forward to seeing how vintage submissions are going to be handled in the future as I have a couple hundred T206s I’ve been considering sending in. As a vintage collector I’m really pleased to see an upgrade in the marketplace. God speed COMC!

      • Lee it is 2015 🙂 You are allowed to do it once a year. Although as my business has changed in focus and with that my outlook on many things… you might find yourself doing it more often.

      • My one problem Tim is that his cards overshadow ours, as he has many more copies, many more buckets, better scans and his name…His star cards are expensive but his commons, semi stars and other cards are priced competitively with ours and that is where he is gonna kill us……For one thing he should have one bucket for each card and people can go in there and sort thru his zillion copies of that particular card

  7. Just curious Tim but what do you mean by the older cards sell for twice as much and twice as fast as post 1980? And if precious time was spent coming to this conclusion? Twice as much? Twice as much as what? Each card is an individual item and prices rise and fall according to the whim of the market, no matter what year. I don’t know what “enhancements” to this site can influence what the market decides a card is worth. If the enhancements make it more enjoyable as a hobby that is one thing but what does that have to do with your research as far as prices between time periods? Your statement is a very basic observation that I am trying to understand it’s relevance to the buyers and sellers here and all over that determine the market value of any item.

    Are you altering your business plan again towards older cards? Will these enhancements favor vintage card sellers? There are many questions you will have to answer in the near future and I hope you have clear explanations because there has been too much confusion already these past months. I just hope your decisions, especially with your new partner, has been well thought out and look forward to a stable, fair and balanced COMC very soon. Only the execution of new ideas will determine if they are a success or not, that is why the counsel you use for new ideas should not be limited, which I am sure you already know.

    Again, as I’ve said a dozen times before, I am looking for brighter days on this site and clear sailing for the many of us paying subscribers that have stuck with you through some rough times.

    Best regards,
    Ken

    • Ken , I agree with you, there have been to many changes on COMC like Ebay that i have a feeling it is chasing a lot of people off of this site that’s another reason why everyone’s sales are hurting. I am waiting for the auctions to start to see if i need to sell elsewhere ,cause i have a feeling it will hurt in the long run as everyone will just be adding items to auction or wanting a better deal rather than pay more for a card out of our ports. There is only limited growth on this site with all the fees which sucks.

    • There is a lot to respond to here. I will try to address all of it.

      – what do you mean by the older cards sell for twice as much and twice as fast as post 1980?
      Simple analysis, I just looked up the average purchase price of pre-1980 vs. post-1980 cards on COMC over the past seven years. I also measured the average time from going up for sale to being shipped to buyers. An average vintage card sells for twice as much as an average modern card. They are also purchased by buyers in half the time it takes for an average modern card.

      – Each card is an individual item and prices rise and fall according to the whim of the market, no matter what year.
      The analysis was based on a simple average of all sales on the COMC market.

      – I don’t know what “enhancements” to this site can influence what the market decides a card is worth. If the enhancements make it more enjoyable as a hobby that is one thing but what does that have to do with your research as far as prices between time periods?
      My point is that we see an opportunity to make a better experience for a popular portion of the industry. The statistics are the proof of the popularity. People have complained for years that we don’t provide enough condition details for vintage. We plan to follow Dean’s lead and give the same level of details. With the improved detail and consistency as well as the improved selection, we expect to attract more vintage collectors. This will be good for both buyers and sellers.

      – Are you altering your business plan again towards older cards?
      No change to business model. Just think of this as an alternative way to spend COMC store credit, like using it to buy unopened product from Blowout Cards.

      – Will these enhancements favor vintage card sellers?
      Yes, many more improvements will help vintage, but that is not the only thing we are working on.

      – Again, as I’ve said a dozen times before, I am looking for brighter days on this site and clear sailing for the many of us paying subscribers that have stuck with you through some rough times.
      We are doing all we can to provide the best service possible while minimizing our need to increase fees. Thank you for your patience through these trying times!

      • Tim, I would urge you to run any plans you have for vintage cards past some of your most knowledgeable vintage sellers. I have been on your site since 2008 as primarily a vintage buyer and seller. Your handling to this point has been extremely inconsistent. I am fearful of any attempt by your staff to grade cards unless it is done by a very few and only with training, experience and some kind of quality control.

  8. Hmm. I’m betting that these cards will pay a commission to COMC if they sell, rather than having them processed the “traditional” way. Otherwise he’d be just another seller on here. I’m guessing that any seller with an inventory like Dean’s would be able to negotiate a special deal. (Is Burbank next?) I don’t know that it is or isn’t fair, but it does make sense to me.

    I sort of see it as a way of enabling pricing for cards that don’t have SRPs. If he overprices everything, then it’s no different than having BV for those cards, other than one is for sale. I think it helps me because if he prices his cards consistently, I can assign a multiplier and know what to charge for mine.

    As far as “twice as much/twice as fast” it probably just refers to the average selling price and how long the card is on the site (date added vs. date removed via shipment). I believe it. When I send older stuff in and price it competitively it moves more quickly than newer stuff added and priced competitively. I think the reason though isn’t because it’s vintage but because fewer people send vintage in.

    Above all else, looking forward to seeing how this shakes out. The real winner here is the buyer, and that’s fine with me.

    • One more thought: This is the opposite approach of crosslisting items on other sites like eBay or Beckett. Instead, COMC is bringing sellers here. Pretty good sales job on their part to represent COMC as a go-to place. (I mean, it is, but it would be much easier to glom onto an older site, so kudos to them.)

    • With respect, your statement of “I think it helps me because if he prices his cards consistently, I can assign a multiplier and know what to charge for mine.” confuses me. Your marketing strategy is different than many others with some of the pricing. Not throwing stones, just trying to see how you would tie this into your own?

    • I see a lot of assumption here but I would rather Tim answer it so rumors don’t get started. And I still have no idea what the twice as much thing has to do with anything specific. When anybody sends in a card and prices it right, the card should sell whether it be 2015 or 1915. Twice as fast? Whoever has the jingle to pay for a card first, when he/she notices it and wants it, it will sell. Maybe another person who wanted the same item was taking the trash out and missed it. So, still, the statement makes little sense to me and I will wait for Tim’s explanation.

      And as far as the SRP etc., it will take COMC many months to get a fair average to determine SRP or any pricing. To apply suggested pricing now, I believe, is too soon. Beckett has it’s high and low suggestions and if you have been in this hobby for any length of time you have noticed some puzzling pricing over the years. I think the SRP will be more accurate on COMC because only the cards on site will be averaged as opposed to Beckett where they rely on dealers to supply pricing as well as their employee(s) checking sites like e-Bay. And when dealers send in prices……well, does Wall Street bring any thoughts to mind?

      So, until COMC gathers enough credible numbers, the market, as always will determine pricing according to daily news and results. Which is far more accurate than any formula for suggested pricing. The only thing where there will be problems is with grading. That is why the best possible equipment to copy images is imperative. Sellers grade higher and buyers grade lower for the most part…that’s life. My suggestion, and this is for newbies and folks not familiar with the hobby – only buy what you can afford and let the veterans of the hobby do the speculating.

  9. When cards from the Canadian warehouse are moved to the US warehouse, the “item stored remotely” tag will disappear, correct?

    • I don’t think the cards move between warehouses unless it’s to combine an order. What I don’t understand is why they don’t just have someone drive between the warehouses every day. They could just hire someone to work in the warehouse who lives in the other country. On the way in to work he could take cards that need to be in the US, and then on the way home after work he could drop off cards that need to be in Canada. His commute would be part of his shift. Then the delay would only be 1 business day.

  10. I feel the prices of his cards are WAY TOO HIGHT TO EVER SELL. For example. I collect mostly cards of Cleveland Indians players. I clicked on a 1962 Bob Nieman. Found one for $0.64 from a different seller than DeansCards:

    http://www.comc.com/Cards/Baseball/1962/Topps/182/Bob_Nieman/1813713

    Now, these are the same exact card from DeansCards below. (Note: I’m aware of card conditions, but to me card conditions never really mattered much with vintage cards)

    http://www.comc.com/Users/DeansCards/Teams/Baseball/Cleveland_Indians/c1746,sr,+Bob+Nieman,i100

    Why would I purchase any of DeansCards? Especially when they’re overpriced and not in the US wearhouse. Just my opinion.

    • I just bought 6 Mickey Lolich rookies in ex-exmt for what I would consider bargain rate. Check out his prices on 1958 Topps Jim Bunning in EX ( actually closer to exmt).. high book is $30… I have a dozen or I would scoop them up too. Many of his cards are high… but in the EX and lower… there are stars to be had at reasonable rates

  11. For Tim to address –

    Good point Tony. Shipping internationally is much more complicated than it seems and the rules change often. But I don’t understand why consigned items must “migrate” that long to the US. By processing in Canada does that mean just receiving and noting the items and then sent across the border to be identified and listed? Or do you have identical facilities, in Canada, to do all the processing steps?

    Of the hundreds upon hundreds of parcels sent to or received from Canada, the time from door to door has been 1 week to two weeks and very rarely more than that. Please explain about the migration process.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ken

  12. This may be great for buyers but what about all the extra competition for the sellers. I have numerous vintage cards for sale on COMC and rarely sell any of them as it is even though I try to be the lowest or one of the lowest in price. Most of my cards are in relatively nice condition as well so I don’t know where that statistic about vintage selling twice as fast comes from. I just sent in about a dozen cards from the early 50s today that will probably never sell now unless I give them away because there will probably be several more like them from this other site.

    Also some of the listings are somewhat unfair. I have a Jim Parker card from the 60s listed that is in pretty nice condition but there are comments that there is slight wear on the edges and a small corner ding. Meanwhile the cards around it are way off-center and beat-up but they have no condition notes. There should be comments for either all or none of them.

    Softball_Slim

    • Not that it affects me but “Softball Slim” makes a valid point that an individuals cards should not singled out condition comments.

    • Slim, Regarding your comments, thanks for that at least I am not the only one in this. So you know, I am doing the same exact thing with vintage cards always shooting for the lowest with decent looking stuff for the most part. Those lowest, are generally the only ones that sell. I, sell a few a week, Deans will make things worse.

      • Competition is a part of business guys…. Deans Cards has been competing with you all along… Only difference now is the eyeballs that have been going to the Deans Cards site are now coming here. Deans cards is just another seller… another competitor…but also…another potential customer! I wasn’t intimidated by the big mutt on Beckett and the same goes here… and the best part in this case is… unlike the one on Beckett…Deans cards doesn’t have fleas ! 😉

      • Regarding Tony below. Can a Mom and Pop store survive when right next to Wall Mart? Kinda hard to explain to you. Once a buyer goes in to Dean’s, it’s a lot of switching windows on the computer to get to other sellers sites to compare. When they are at Dean’s they won’t leave due to high inventory.

      • Yes, a mom and pop (yourself) can compete against Dean (Walmart) but doing so requires analysis of Dean’s Inventory and spending time exploiting the limitations of Dean’s pricing strategy: 1) excessive difference in price between EX and higher grades and 2) excessive variation in condition between cards having the same price. You buy cards that are priced ‘too low’ relative to others in Dean’s Inventory and you flip them with a modest markup. You compete against Dean by cherry picking and flipping items in his own inventory at a future profit. .

      • Exactly… I am a 1-3 person operation who spent 8 years on Beckett competing and doing just fine against some of the “biggest” dogs in the industry. I don’t want to see Deans cards separate from everyone else…actually I want to see a merger of conditions so that there are not 15 different ways to buy the same card… My main concern is with quality control. For instance…COMC cards are assigned an item number and entered into the system. The 6 Mickey Lolich rookies I purchased if I understand correctly are going to be shipped from Deans to COMC… Is COMC going to verify the condition of the cards and make sure that the item numbers are correct?

      • And honestly…you have been competing with Deans (and every other seller) all along.. Yes…I would rather have my shop right next to walmart rather than a block away. Let Walmart get people within view of my store and give me a chance to lure them in my door.

      • To qz7 . So you are creating some valued judgment of an EX card which I don’t see listed anywhere on COMC. Using a fathom argument or ghost/subjective STAT (EX used in Beckett and not here) to find a fine line between a quantity of cards is not only unrealistic but way too time consuming to make what 25 cents or less on flipping on a common card. That’s just nonsense. Plus you miss the point. If Deans has 550,000 vintage cards a customer needing a significant amount of vintage for a set will simply stay in that store. It takes too long to go through all of the different windows and buy from 6 or 7 different sellers to get those cards. If you are saying Mom and Pop stores can survive the Wall Marts and Home Depots then I suggest you go back in History and examine the progression of supermarkets because it is historically false that Mom and Pops will survive. My issue is, make it a fair playing field. Give loyal sellers the same price as Dean’s. Or give loyal sellers even a better deal. Why not? I personally have enough to put up all of the 70s / each year every card. But I am stuck at 25 cents per card and 8 weeks before everything is listed.

      • On thing I would like to point out with the Walmart/Home Depot comparisons…. In those cases… bigger meant cheaper… in the case of the larger card dealers… bigger means more expensive… That goes for the big dogs on Beckett to the guys charging $30 for a 1990 Donruss common here….

      • Well, citing a false statement does not mean anything. $30 for a common, Ok that supports something, Not sure what. My point was volume when you are in the store and not wanting to leave. No more comments from me this is just ridiculous. I’ll leave this site alone now. COMC is a very good site. It has just changed quite a bit since I joined. I am happy for the very large sellers it’s a great storage area for them. I am sure they sell a lot.

  13. Beckett tried to buy COMC and it didn’t happen and the out come was a lawsuit and a new catalogue and now COMC is partnering with Dean’s cards, hasn’t COMC learned a lesson to not partner with anyone and just run there business by themselves. I have been selling sports cards for 30 yrs and i know there are a few others who have been in this industry about the same amount of time who are on here selling why does’t COMC ask for there opinions on things.I think partnering with Deans cards will only hurt the sellers on here who sell vintage. I myself don’t send in vintage cards anymore cause i got tired of seeing cards that COMC evaluated the condition to there grades when there not a professional grading company. so there was a mixture of cards that were evaluated and a lot that weren’t cause they were sent in before they starting evaluating the condition.

  14. This all might be good for you and most others but it’s a pain for me. Reminds me of Ebay with all the “Buy it Now” with high prices. Now when I search for a card I have to weed through all the “Dean’s cards”. On Ebay I can just go to auctions and eliminate “Buy it Now” so I don’t get exposed to Burbank. Is there a way I can eliminate looking at Dean’s cards (There are other dealer’s cards as well that I’d like to not be exposed to) ??? As you list more millions of card, a few filters would be helpful.

  15. If I live in Canada and ship a remotely stored card to me will it ship from Canada and I will avoid import charges

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s