The State of the Hobby – By Tim Getsch

NationalSince 2007, I have attended every National Sports Collectors Convention.  It provides me with an opportunity to get a pulse on how the industry is evolving. This year more than ever I sensed a noticeable shift. The convention was more crowded than I have ever seen. I was frequently peering over someone’s shoulder just to get a look at a table. It was encouraging to see the hobby booming, and I couldn’t help but reflect on why the industry has seen such growth.

Sports are enjoyed in many ways. Some fans travel coast to coast to cheer on their team at the big game. This is done to share the special moments, in both success and defeat, with the players we love. But we don’t have to be there to feel that way. When we have a player’s cards, they become a part of us. When they fail, we do. When they succeed, we feel the triumph. That’s why sports card collecting is the ultimate celebration of sports. They help us feel closer to our players, living the special moments with them.

One of the most noticeable changes I saw at the convention this year was that both the attendees and the dealers were getting younger.  There was a healthy representation of all age groups. This is particularly exciting because it indicates the hobby’s strength and increased prosperity for years to come.

Unfortunately, the growth of the market and the potential for individuals to make money within it has incentivized some people to find ways to cheat the system, especially through unethical card alteration in an attempt to turn a profit. Thanks to the efforts of several passionate people in our hobby, the extent of this practice of alteration is starting to be uncovered.

What is COMC doing about this?
Recently it was brought to our attention that some cards that were for sale on COMC or that had been sold by COMC may have been altered.  Within 24 hours, we began an internal investigation and locked items as well as user accounts related to this investigation. This investigation is ongoing, and we do not have an estimate for when it will be completed.

COMC will be offering a full refund on any item that is discovered to have been altered. We want to stress to our customers that we are actively auditing every product that has been sold or that is currently for sale in our known records for signs of alteration. If a product has been found to be altered, we will be directly contacting the affected customers to offer refunds if they would like to return the item.

Since our inception our brand promise has been to be the “The Safe and Easy Way to Buy and Sell Cards”. As part of this promise, we are continually investing in the improvement of our various technologies, procedures, and policies that will create the proper safeguards for our customers. We will be adjusting our policies and procedures to make it harder for altered items to get onto COMC. This starts with, but is not limited to, strict penalties for fraudulent activities on our platform.

How you can help?
Report any fraudulent item in the hobby by sending an email to blacklist@comc.com with the information below.

  • Description of the item with a link to the listing if available
  • Description of the issue(s) with the item
  • Grading certification number, when applicable
  • Serial number, when applicable
  • If Altered: Before and after photos of the item showing clear evidence of alteration
  • If Counterfeit:
    • Photos of the item showing clear evidence of counterfeiting
    • Photos of authentic copy of the item, when possible

If the item is actively for sale on COMC please include the COMC Item Number in the subject so that we can be sure to investigate the item as quickly as possible.

Cards we can verify as fraudulent based on the details provided will be added to our database to help ensure that they are never allowed to be sold on COMC.

Cancellation of the Premier Event

To allow us to focus on our investigations and improving our systems, we will unfortunately be canceling the Premier Event that had been scheduled for this month. We were looking forward to this event to offer buyers a new way to shop for some of the best the COMC marketplace has to offer, but we feel it’s right to take a step back at this time so we can strengthen collector confidence in the hobby.

Summary

At the forefront of the industry, COMC is uniquely positioned to make the biggest impact in uplifting the hobby we know and love by being the Safe and Easy Way to Buy and Sell Cards. We are excited that we have an opportunity to make the hobby even safer and more enjoyable for our customers. These additions along with other new upcoming features are going to take our platform to the next level and create a secure and truly special experience for the entire hobby. The future is bright for collectors. We can’t wait!

Tim Getsch
COMC.com Founder & CEO

21 thoughts on “The State of the Hobby – By Tim Getsch

  1. Please reveal which accounts submitted those trimmed cards. Also if those owners had any additional accounts and what happened to all of their cards and if those owners are banned and still have any cards on site. Those sellers should be banned and have all of their cards returned to them or destroyed. I purchased numerous cards from those accounts and I would like to return all of them. Sellers like this ruin the hobby for everyone. Cards should be fun. They are still in my comc account and I emailed you early last week and received no reply.

    • I agree 100%. Cards should be fun. We are striving to make it that way. The internal investigation is still ongoing. We don’t have more details we can share at this point. We will be offering refunds for any items that have been altered. I apologize for any mishaps that may have happened with your email. I will make sure our Customer Service team follows up with you.

      • Obviously being ripped off is not fun. That is why we are offering full refunds of any altered cards, and we are adapting our systems and policies to prevent as much of this as possible. You will learn more in the coming months about all of the adaptations we are making.

  2. the service of COMC is more and more poorer,I can’t mark the items as “ready to ship”on website,and I send a lot emails to staff@comc.com,nobody reply me and help me mark “ready to ship” Does COMC want to keep my cards forever?how to the email of COMC CEO?

  3. if COMC don’t reply me,I can’t do anything but only only open it on BBS,I am not in USA,I can’t phone comc,the email is only way to contact COMC,but now COMC no longer reply any emails,what happened to them?

  4. Rock On!! Great response to an unfortunate circumstance where a very few unethical sellers are attempting to abuse the COMC system. I am certain that COMC will learn and grow stronger from this experience. I am confident that your auditing process and system enhancements will have the desired effect of creating/improving the safest platform anywhere for buying cards. I especially appreciate your openness and asking the COMC community for assistance in identifying altered cards for sale on COMC and full refund offer. Proof to me of your sincerity, integrity and desire to make things right, clearly at significant cost to COMC in the short term. I agree with Tim that this situation creates an opportunity and that the future is bright for collectors!!

  5. Pingback: Daily "Around The Horn" for September 4, 2019 – Card Newz

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  7. Tim
    If you can find my e-mail to you in the first part of 2012 you would see that is issue was one of many issues I seen that could effect your company as it grow bigger. Just wish I would have saved it so I could repost it.

  8. Hey, love the article. I am commenting because I tried reaching out with an email but I have not received a response. My company has been working on and recently received a provisional patent on some technology that we believe could greatly benefit a sports card marketplace. We would love to show you what we have ben developing. Could you please get back?

  9. I thought I just left a comment but for some reason it does not seem to be showing up so just in case I’ll leave another. My recently founded start-up has been. working on some technology that we think could really help separate comc as the leading sports card marketplace. I emailed twice but I know you have been back logged so I thought I’d come here. Mr.Getsch I really think you would be interested in what we have been developing and we just recently got a provisional patent. I love the site you have worked so hard to create and I think what we have been developing could mesh right in. Could you please contact me about a way I can directly get in contact with you so I can give some more detailed description.

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