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

Labor Day 9/2/2019 – Limited Customer Service Support

laborday

Happy Upcoming Labor Day!

In observance of the Holiday, we will have limited customer service support by email only next Monday, September 2nd. Our team will not be available to answer phone calls, though you can always leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We will return to the office on Tuesday (9/3/19) ready to help with any questions or concerns that you might have requiring our Customer Service Team’s assistance.

Thank you very much for your consideration and have a great weekend everyone!

The COMC Summer Sale is Coming July 31st – August 4th!

Beat the Heat and Join Us July 31st – August 4th for the COMC Summer Sale!

Can’t make it to the The National Sports Collector’s Convention in Chicago this year? We’re bringing the deals online with the COMC Summer Sale!

Starting on July 31st, you’ll find incredible deals all across the COMC Marketplace on your favorite teams, players, and sets.

Buy Now & Ship Later!

One of the biggest advantages of having a COMC account and shopping with COMC Credit is that you can instantly purchase items when you find them and ship everything all together at any time in the future!

When you buy items with COMC credit with your COMC account, they stay safe and secure in our warehouses until you’re ready to request shipment for them. You can buy items throughout our Summer Sale and request shipment for your items next week, next month, or even next year! You pay shipping just once, regardless of how many items you buy.

Don’t Ship it – Flip it!

Perhaps you found an amazing deal on a sale item, but don’t collect that particular player. You know the card is worth way more, so why not buy it now and flip it later?

With a COMC account, you can purchase an item on sale and instantly give it a new price. When the item sells, you receive COMC credit, without ever having to take possession of the card!

Thousands of cards are being flipped daily on the COMC Marketplace, but this benefit is exclusive only to COMC Members! If you’re not already a member, register your free account today

COMC @ The National Sports Collectors Convention July 31st – August 4th

Get Ready, Chicago!

COMC is Coming to Town!
July 31st – August 4th

We are excited to announce we’re returning to Chicago for the 40th Annual National Sports Collector’s Convention and looking forward to being back in the Windy City!

Here are a few things that you can look forward to at our booth:

  • Premium Processing Special
  • Spin-to-Win Prize Wheel
  • Limited Edition COMC T-Shirt Giveaway
  • Consignment Drop-off Center
  • COMC @ Instagram Trade Night

The 2019 National Sports Collector’s Convention will be hosted at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

COMC’s booth will be in the heart of the showroom floor within the Corporate Pavilion at booth #624

Premium 1-Week Service:|
$1.00 per card

We heard your feedback, and our goal is to get your items up for sale as quick as possible.

Save on the cost of shipping and catch this processing discount by dropping off your submissions directly at the COMC Booth!

Restrictions: Standard add-on fees apply. Applicable only to consignment submissions received in-person at the 2019 National Convention.

Limited Edition T-Shirt Giveaway Bonus!

Do you like COMC-branded swag? COMC members now have a chance to score one of three exclusive COMC T-shirts!

Here’s how you can nab yourself a piece of our
Gem Mint Apparel:

  • Drop off a Premium submission of at least 100 items.
  • Drop off a Select or Current-Year Select Submission of at least 200 items.
  • Land on specially marked prize slots on our Spin to Win Wheel!

Restrictions: While supplies last. One T-Shirt per account may be earned.

Stop by our booth once a day and spin the COMC prize wheel for a chance to win instant prizes or be entered into drawings for your chance to take home up to $500 COMC Credit, high-end trading cards featuring Chicago sports legends, and much more!

In order to spin, you must be a COMC Member! If you’re not already a member, registration takes just a minute and is 100% free.

Spin to Win These Great Prizes:

  • Instant Winner: Receive $5, $10 or $25 COMC Credit instantly to your COMC account!
  • Instant Winner: Score one of three Limited Edition COMC-Branded T-Shirts.
  • Store Credit Drawing Entry: Receive entry into a drawing to win $100, $250, or $500 COMC Credit to your COMC Account.
  • Chicago Style: Receive entry into a drawing to win one of three high-end trading cards featuring Chicago sports stars and legends!
  • Free Shipping: Win free shipping on your next COMC order!

Drop-Off Submission Information:

Our booth is your drop-off destination for consignment submissions all throughout The National. Save on the cost of shipping by handing your next submission directly to us!

To speed up the process, please pack your items securely for shipment and print your submission paperwork in advance. We will have computer stations with printers set up for consignors to use at the show, but keep in mind that these stations may be in use during peak show hours by others.

Important Change Regarding Basic Submissions:

This year we will be introducing a 1,000-card limit per person for drop-off submissions consigned through our Basic-level (2-month) service. This cap only applies to our Basic service and only for submissions at The National. There are no card limits for submitting your items through our Current-Year Basic, Select, Current-Year Select, or Premium services.

Submission Due Dates Throughout The National:

With so many members of our team traveling with us to represent COMC at The National, our teams back home are a bit short-staffed. For that reason, all Select, Current-Year Select and Premium due dates that normally would have fallen between July 31st and August 4th will receive an August 5th due date.

COMC Founder and CEO Tim Getsch looks forward to the National every year so he can meet with our customers and members of the trading card community and hear their feedback, ideas, and the experiences they’ve had with our services.

If you’d like to take some time to sit down with Tim for 30 minutes at the show, email us at timewithtim@comc.com and we’ll get you scheduled. In your email, include your dates and times of availability as well as any topics you wish to discuss. Please send your meeting request no later than Thursday, July 24th.

COMC is proud to announce that we are an official sponsor of Instagram Trade Night hosted by CardCollector2! If you weren’t aware, instagram is home to one of the fastest growing communities in the trading card hobby, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it!

We will be meeting with our Instagram followers, accepting your drop-off consignments, offering demonstrations of our service, doing giveaways, and much more at our table at Instagram Trade Night.

Because this event is exclusive to members of the Instagram community, we can’t publish details on where the event will be held, but you should be able to get in on the action by following either CheckoutMyCards or CardCollector2 on Instagram! We’ll see you there!

Consignment Service Update: Retiring Declined Items

COMC is constantly seeking out ways to evolve our services to improve the hobby and give our customers the best possible experience.

Starting June 14th, 2019, COMC will begin using a new process to describe modern trading cards with condition issues that result in less than Near-Mint-Mint (NM-MT) condition. We believe these changes will greatly improve the experience for consignors by reducing the complexities of our current declined items system and for buyers and sellers by more effectively indicating which items are in less than NM-MT condition.

At a Glance

  • Modern trading cards in less than NM-MT condition consigned through Basic and Current-Year Basic services will no longer be declined, nor will they receive condition notes. These items will now be evaluated and described with condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage (described below).
  • Modern trading cards in less than NM-MT condition consigned through Select, Current-Year Select, and Premium services will still receive condition notes, as well as be described with condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage.
  • Items previously consigned through all service levels will still retain any applicable condition notes, but will now also be described with corresponding condition ranges using standardized hobby verbiage.

Detailed Explanation of Upcoming Changes

Declined Card System:

Currently, all modern (1980 to present) trading cards in less than NM-MT condition submitted through Basic and Current-Year Basic services are uploaded into the consignor’s inventory as a single group of declined items. Consignors are then presented with the following options:

  • Reprocess the whole group of items through our Select-level service, where they will receive condition notes. The items can then be listed on the COMC Marketplace.
  • Donate the group of declined items to charity.
  • Add the group of declined items to their next shipment request

On June 14, this declined-item system will be completely retired. Sellers with previously declined items will have adequate time to process, donate, or ship those items before support for the old system is also retired. Be on the lookout for more information soon with important deadline dates for when accounts with legacy declined items will be required to choose a resolution.

Modern Condition Ranges:

COMC will begin processing every item submitted through Basic and Current-Year Basic services regardless of condition. Modern Items received in less than NM-MT condition will be evaluated and assigned one of the following condition ranges:

  • Excellent to Near-Mint (EX to NM)
  • Good to Very-Good/Excellent (Good to VG-EX)
  • Poor to Fair (Poor to Fair)

Modern trading cards in NM-MT condition or better will not be assigned a condition range. In some cases, modern trading cards in NM-MT or better condition may receive a condition note for a minor issue we don’t believe results in less than NM-MT condition.

Items consigned prior to June 14th will still retain any condition notes they previously received but will also be described with corresponding condition ranges.

When is this happening?

On June 14th, 2019, we will begin to apply condition ranges to modern cards and update the Submission Wizard to reflect the new process. All consignment submissions containing updated paperwork or received after July 1st will be processed with these changes.

How will I be affected?

As a COMC Consignor

COMC Consignors will want to be more mindful about the condition of the items that they are submitting. Items in less than NM-MT condition will no longer be declined, and going forward all items submitted to COMC will be processed and deposited into their consignors’ accounts.

It is important to note that, with this change, sellers will be charged processing fees for all items submitted through our Basic and Current-Year Basic services, as COMC will no longer be declining to list items through these services for condition-related reasons. By no longer declining these items, sellers should ensure that they have a sufficient COMC Credit balance to pay for processing of all items submitted under these services to avoid delays in items being uploaded into their account.

As a COMC Seller

Currently, modern cards with flaws are given condition notes but are still grouped with items in NM-MT or better condition. Sellers have frequently been unable to quickly and accurately price their items with the information presented to them from the Inventory Manager. When pricing your COMC inventory after June 14th, sellers can now have confidence that competing items are similar in quality to their items.

 As a COMC Buyer

By making this change, it’s even easier to find the items you want in the conditions you are seeking. You’ll be able to quickly tell if an item has conditional flaws directly from search result pages, which will now display condition ranges. Items in less than NM-MT condition will no longer be found grouped with items in NM-MT condition or better.

Rich Reminisces: The 1973 Mets

By Rich Klein
Recently I heard the sad news of George Thomas Seaver (we know him better as Tom) beginning his long goodbye as his great mind is slowly becoming less active and he is suffering from Alzheimer’s. This news comes just as the New York Mets begin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their “Miracle Mets” season. Let me assure you, if you were in the NY Area in 1969, that was truly a miracle season. So many things occurred that year which were a confluence of events never to be repeated or duplicated.  When this 1969 Topps card was released the Mets were just starting to roll a bit towards their successful conclusion.  Thankfully for collectors without deep pocketbooks there is no “White” last name version of this card. If there were, the 1969 Master Set collection cost would have grown by a decent chunk of change.

Because baseball was so important in ’69 and the Mets were such a great story,  with them located in New York and having had such a short history at the time, there were countless books written about the team during the next few months. I believe I read every single one of them. Yes, there was actually a time where reading print in all forms was how we garnered information, and in my cas,e put the information into my muscle memory, which when my turn comes to forget everything but the past, will be remembered much easier than what I had for lunch yesterday! (Grilled chicken sandwich with sautéed mushrooms, grilled jalapenos and grilled onions and a side salad).

But the real point is that those books were able to talk both about the days when the Mets were lovable loser. In fact, the Mets had books written about their beginning when the great newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin penned a tome about the 1962 team. Since New York was a major media capital back then, and the team was so bad they were good (yes Marv E. Throneberry we’re thinking of you), a detailed tome about their debut season was a first as far as I know.

Image result for jimmy breslin can't

So 7 years later was the year we first walked on the moon, and since all things seemed possible, why not have a baseball team do something we thought was impossible?  We have tons of material about the 1969 Mets, but what we don’t have very much about is a Mets team which four short years later almost completed an even greater miracle.

The 1973 Mets had many of the same key players of the 1969 team, but the team was carried by their pitching staff led by Tom Seaver. They also featured Jerry Koosman and Tug McGraw as their key pitchers, and some of the same position players including Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Ken Boswell, Wayne Garrett, Bud Harrelson, and Jerry Grote.

If you look carefully enough you can see Yogi Berra 5th from the left on the second row and Tom Seaver two people to his left and Cleon Jones directly to Seaver’s left.  We’ll let other sleuths identify the rest of the team, but remember this is a photo of the 1972 team. And based on not seeing Willie Howard Mays, I’d say this was produced in 1972 spring training.

The reason this team was such as miracle was because as late as August 30th, 1973 the Mets were mired in last place, but the NL East race was so bunched up that every team could have a hot streak and become competitive. Although the Mets were in last place in the six-team National League East Division, they were only  6 1/2 games out of 1st place.Now remember, in 1973 there were no wild card spots, so you won the division or you went home.

The team that went on the run was the Mets. The story goes that General Manager M. Donald Grant went to give the team a pep talk and Tug McGraw was reacting sarcastically and stated, “You gotta believe!” Well, those three words became the mantra for the team in September, and they went on to win their division with an 82-79 record.

The “Tugger” would run with the publicity he garnered from this run and became quite the media darling. He helped to co-author a daily comic strip which you can still find a compilation of in book form:

Image result for tug mcgraw comic

September was when the school year begin in New York, but all kids big and small were too entranced by the events going on. There was a play against the Pirates in which the baseball had about a one percent chance of ricocheting off the wall in a way which would it would go back to the fielder. The miracle bounce occurred and lives on forever thanks to youtube.

A few days after that, Willie Mays, who had returned to New York the previous season to finish out his career, finally announced he would be retiring from baseball. As he said he knew it was time for Willie to say goodbye to America. The Mays Tribute Night part of this video begins at approximately the 12:45 mark.  Today, the Mets would have figured out a way to do that on a sunny Sunday afternoon with tons of publicity. Believe it or not, there was not much advance notice for the Mays ceremony.

Finally, on a rainy day in Chicago, the Mets clinched the division and the weather was so bad that the second game was never played. The game might have been played if it mattered to the pennant race, but since it did not, why risk injury to any of the players? Here is restrained way the Mets clinched the National League East.

The Mets would then go to the playoffs and defeat the Cincinnati Reds, who were just beginning to evolve into the Big Red Machine. The highlight was a brawl instigated by a fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose. Many fans then already did not like Pete Rose because of the 1970 All-Star game collision with Ray Fosse, so this just added to the hatred of Rose in New York.

That is a video of their kerfuffle. Big Bad Pete Rose versus Bud Harrelson. who by that point in a season might not have even weighed 150 pounds.

The Mets would then go deep into the World Series against the Oakland Athletics and force the series into a 7th game to be on the precipice of winning a second World Series. However, the A’s, led by their pitching staff, proved why they would be able to win three straight World Series in the 1970’s. Thanks to Topps practice at the time of showing pictures from each World Series game we did get one last 1974 Willie Mays card out of our packs. Now I realize Topps did certain things in those days to appease the target audience of kids, but the lack of a 1974 Mays card ranks right up there with other players who never received a final tribute card.

Off the top of my head such cards as a 1964 Stan Musial, 1967 Sandy Koufax and 1977 Hank Aaron would have been great for the kids then and the adults today. I’m convinced one reason the 1969 Mickey Mantle is so beloved is because he did not formally retire until March 1969 and Topps had already planned his card. Thus he got the last cards those other greats missed.

And as for Tom Seaver, as he heads into the long goodbye. he would pitch for more than another decade and amass more than 300 career victories, as well as gaining a first ballot selection by the BBWAA to elect him into the Hall of Fame on the 1st ballot.

This is just a cool modern card of “Tom Terrific” so we can all remember him as he was.

Toronto Spring Expo Prize Wheel Winners!

We want to thank everyone who stopped by our booth last weekend at the Sports Card & Memorabilia Expo in Toronto and participated in the Spin-To-Win Contests.  We look forward to returning to the next Expo!

Here are our Spring Expo Winners: 


A-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #468 Mitch Marner RC –  Dan755
A-H – 2017 Fleer Ultra Spider-Man – Manufactured Webbing #WEB5 #25/49 – 7bovay3
2-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #249 William Nylander RC – Longskis29
2-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Overtime Optimum Performance #OP-20 Wayne Gretzky – chickencoupe
3-S – 2018-19 Upper Deck #228 Travis Dermott RC – lucasmackey
3-H – 2015-16 Upper Deck Retired Stars Canvas #C246 Patrick Roy beaucoupfish
4-S – 2018-19 Upper Deck Cup Components #CCPCB Ace Bailey / Charlie Conacher – THSN
4-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Program of Excellence Canvas #C261 Thomas Chabot – DeBairos
5-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck NHL Firsts #NF-23 Auston Matthews Achievement – den3000nis
5-H – 2009-10 Upper Deck #203 Matt Duchene RC – gostl
6-S – 2018-19 Parkhurst Mini Tall-Boys #TB-57 John Tavares – Wyattket88
6-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Ice Frozen Fabrics Red #FF-JQ #03/20 Jonathan Quick – slaroche
7-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #7 Auston Matthews – Grandpoobah
7-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #47 Connor McDavid – hockeygoalie31
8-S – 2017 Upper Deck Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial #MLM-GV Garry Valk – Hajni
8-H – 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Precious Metals Gems Blue #MU-12 Mikko Rantanen #/4850 – koko6727
9-S – 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond Star Rubies #230 Morgan Rielly #025/150 – lukaTAG
9-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #367 Brayden Point – bb_bros
10-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #368 Auston Matthews – primetimesportz
10-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck #247 Brock Boeser RC – itrodaj


Don’t forget that in order to claim your prize, you must contact staff@comc.com with your name and username before July 5, 2019 @ 23:59:59 PDT.

We look forward to announcing details of our appearances at both the National in Chicago at the end of July and at the Fall Expo in mid-November shortly!