Michael Wills, owner of the cardsrus1 account, recently cracked the top 10 list of consignors at COMC.com. He currently is seventh, with more than $200K in book value and an average card value of just under $10.
Wills has been a seller since early 2009 after finding us on the Blowout Cardsforums. His inventory consists mainly of hockey, baseball and football cards.
Now living in the college town of Bloomington, Illinois, Wills started collecting in 1974. The Oakland Athletics’ dominance in the early 1970s prompted this desire. He still considers them his favorite team, but also roots for the White Sox.
His day job is with an auto parts company, but Wills has been selling at card shows and online for about a decade. He has settled on COMC mostly for the following reason.
“It’s so much easier than eBay,” he said. “I can send you cards and don’t have to worry about doing all the work.”
Jason Banks had no idea of his impact on the ultimate future of COMC. Back in early 2008, he was just trying to capitalize on a business model he deemed unique and also potentially lucrative for him.
Having won approximately 100 auctions on eBay, he decided to have them sent directly to COMC’s address. The problem was, COMC was using a mailbox service at the time – and was used to receiving just a few packages per day. So when 100 or so packages arrived, the mailbox service quickly put a kibosh on this practice.
This situation, of course, led to the company leasing commercial space in Overlake Business Center (a business development we’re still located in, just down the street and in a bigger building). It goes to show that one person truly can make a difference!
As for Banks, his cardshark account is ranked second on our top buyers list. But he’s easily the largest flipper on the site (having purchased more than $100K BV with the sole purpose of re-selling on the site rather than requesting shipment on the cards). This has made him 9th on the top sellers list.
“My focus is to flip cards,” said Banks, who runs an intellectual property (domain names, etc.) business in Boynton Beach, Florida. “It’s just like the stock market, with diversification being the key.”
Banks, a former Florida state trooper and a City of Miami Beach police officer who has a law degree from the University of Miami, grew up in a house filled with Lenny Dykstra memorabilia.
“My dad was a huge fan and he just went crazy buying cards,” said the 46-year-old. “He’d send them out in the mail and they’d come back signed.”
When considering COMC, Banks recalls being initially struck by the background of COMC CEO Tim Getsch. “What really impressed me was Tim’s history with Microsoft. Anyone that had that handle (on site development) was going to do a very good job with the site.”
For a while people have asked questions about how we calculated our seller stats. We kept having to explain how the stats were specific to cards sent to us on consignment and didn’t reflect the cards that people purchased on the site and were now flipping.
Here is the last screenshot of our old style stats.
We finally got a chance to update the site so that it now gives more intuitive stats split out for buyers, sellers, and consignors.
We let you drill into the top 50 buyers based on total book value purchased. This includes cards that were purchased and shipped as well as cards that are purchased and are still in the buyer’s account.
You can now see all sellers. By default we sort the list by total book value currently for sale. This includes all cards purchased as well as cards sent to us on consignment.
You can now see all consignors. By default we sort the list by total book value of cards ever sent to us on consignment. These stats include cards that have been sold, but they ignore any cards that were sent to us on consignment and returned to the original owner.
Notice that ddearing and SteveSC are the only users that have earned the top 10 list in all three categories. Both Dan Dearing and Steve Hollander will be at the National August 4-8. Steve is our most senior employee and will be one of 6 Check Out My Cards employees at the National. Dan is one of our fastest growing sellers. I just found out today that he happens to have a booth right next to ours. If you can make it to Baltimore for the National this year, be sure to swing by booth 2248 and say hi!
Just four months in, father-and-son duo Tom and Tristan Petraglia have taken COMC by storm. Since having their first batch of cards appear on the site Feb. 3, SteelCitySportsCards1 has risen up the top-seller list in virtually no time.
This week, they eclipsed the $100,000 mark in terms of listed book value. It is the fastest any seller has joined this exclusive club. This is also the first account to eclipse $100,000 book value without making it to the top 10 list. I am sure they will be joining the top 10 very soon.
This success rate, however, should come as no surprise since the Pittsburgh-based Petraglia’s have thrived in the online sports cards business the past four years. “There’s two things we would look for: local inventory, like Penguins, Steelers or Pirates stuff, and then cards that dealers were just sitting on and they wanted to get out from under — so they priced them low,” said Tristan, who decided in the mid-1980’s to start working on a 1979 Topps baseball set with his father since that is his birth year.
Even though Tristan first learned about COMC at the 2007 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, it wasn’t until a conversation last summer with COMC seller ohiomike that Tristan decided to try it. “You guys have created a special, special thing, and I’m just excited to be a part of it from the ground up,” he said.
By the end of February, approximately 4,000 cards were up for sale, and almost 7,000 were in the account by May. That’s the month when the Petraglia’s submitted another 4,000 or so.
But it’s the approximate 1,000 this week that put them over the edge. With several more approaching due dates, SteelCitySportsCards1 is projected to have approximately 17,000 cards by the end of the month.
“This is hands down the best site that we could have possibly chosen,” said Tristan, who has been freed up to help a friend run a cell phone accessory stand while the latter is tending to personal matters. “Getting away from the headaches and confusion with customer feedback and everything else is just invaluable.”
Andy Kimball stumbled upon sports cards when he was 8, using money that was dedicated for Halloween candy.
“My mom and stepdad had some crazy idea that my sister and I weren’t going to go trick-or-treating, and instead, we were given $10 to buy candy at the store,” Kimball recalls. ” I’m not sure why, but for some reason I ended up buying a couple football packs.”
Exactly 30 years later, Kimball estimates he owns “3 million, maybe 4 million” cards. And any day now, Kimball (user name trauty) will become the 10th COMC seller to ever reach $100,000 in total book value (of cards listed).
Kimball, who was born in Ohio, moved to Indiana when he was three months old and lived there for 10 years. Due to Kimball’s father being a store manager for Kroger, relocating would be a staple of Kimball’s life.
After spending a year in Kansas (which explains the fact that his favorite professional team is the Kansas City Royals), Kimball lived in Nebraska for the next decade and a half and worked various jobs following high school while also doing several card shows annually.
After a brief stint in Oklahoma, Kimball moved back to Nebraska and bought his friend’s card shop. “That didn’t work out so well,” recalls Kimball, who went back to Oklahoma after about a year.
The Sooner State is where Kimball still resides, with his wife and two children. But during Big 12 football seasons, there’s only one team he’s rooting for: his Cornhuskers, of course.
Kimball, who lives in Talihina (with a population of about 1,500 in the southeast corner of Oklahoma), was a seller on Beckett Marketplace from 2002-04 but stopped because he “hated the shipping and having to deal with all that”. Kimball’s cards sat, for the most part, for the next five years before becoming a seller on COMC 10 months ago.
“I think I’m about $1,000 away (from reaching 100K),” said Kimball when we spoke earlier this week.
If his current pace continues, Kimball will be there in no time.
Dan Dearing seemingly leaves nothing to chance and always has a game plan. When you juggle as many duties as Dearing, goal-setting becomes a necessity.
In Dearing’s case, he achieves them almost as quickly as he sets them.
Case in point: in a little more than six months as a seller on COMC, ddearing has eclipsed $100,000 in terms of the total book value of his listed cards. That puts him in rare company, as only eight others have reached the mark.
The journey started last August, when Dearing learned of COMC (through a mention on Blowoutcards.com). He immediately spent — get this — “three to four hours that night on the site, reading through the entire history of blog posts in order to learn about the legitamacy of the company.”
Once he was content in his findings, Dearing actually made this 100K barrier a target. He officially became a seller a month later … and the rest is history.
“I just realized that for $400 in monthly rental fees (Dearing has approximately 40,000 cards listed), I could save a lot of time not having to drive to shows and pay the table fees — which all of that would total about $400 anyway,” said the Jacksonville resident. “This way, I get to spend way more time with my wife and son, and I sell as much a month on the site as I probably would at the shows.”
Doing shows has become second-nature for Dearing, who made his debut as a seller in the fifth grade. His father would handle the supply and table fees, with the understanding that Dearing would have to learn how to keep records of his sales. This essentially taught Dearing the practice of bookkeeping.
Twenty-two years later, Dearing is the owner and president of a financial services company.
“I would split the profits with my dad, and I remember thinking that $300 is a lot for a kid my age,” Dearing recalls.
Dearing did shows through high school, where he was a multi-sport letterwinner for prestigous The Bolles School, ranked in 2005 by Sports Illustrated as having one of the top 10 athletic programs in the country.
From there, Dearing played football and competed in track and field (where he even raced against Randy Moss in the 200 meters at the Southern Conference championships) at Davidson College in Charlotte, N.C. After two seasons, he transferred to SEC track power Florida and competed in the decathlon.
Dearing, a Gator season-ticket holder, has continued his love for the sport as Bolles’ track and field coach. He also has carried out a childhood pursuit of Andre Dawson cards. But in typical Dearing fashion, the itensity is full throttle: Dearing only buys serial-numbered Dawson jersey cards that are numbered the same as Dawson’s jersey number (8).
“I probably have about 150 to 200 of just those,” said Dearing, laughing. “I doubt there’s a lot of collections like that out there.”
Probably not. Nor are there a lot of more successful COMC sellers than Dearing either.