Collecting History – How Trading Cards Capture The Eras They Were Printed

By Anonymous COMC User

The best sets don’t just look cool, they completely capture their era. When you look at a 1985 Donruss baseball card, it’s like watching the original Ghostbusters– you feel like you’re back in the 1980s. You see cutting-edge 80s graphics that look dated today, 80s fashion and style, and best of all, the sublime 80s mixture of coolness and cheesiness.
Don’t take my word for it, check out the glorious masterpiece that is 1985 Donruss #651 Two for the Title.

Is this a baseball card or an 80s movie poster? It looks like the cover of the greatest VHS tape of all time. That’s how you capture an era; two iconic 80s stars, two phenomenal 80s mustaches, and total 80s graphics. The cheesy action movie title only makes it better! Plus, Winfield even has a giant lip of tobacco in his mouth. Sadly, like so many great things from the 80s, I bet you can’t get away with that today.

That’s the magic of these old cards, they capture history. Older trading cards show you the style of the time, the attitudes of the time, the humor of the time, the technology of the time, and our heroes of the time.

If you look at any basketball cards from the 1970s you’ll see long hair and afros. For a real treat though, check out the 1971-72 Topps Basketball cards. The colors and graffiti text beautifully capture the style of the time. It all ties together perfectly with 1971-72 Topps Basketball #130 Earl Monroe

First off, Earl looks resplendent. Perfectly cropped goatee and mini afro. He’s ready to hit the disco, and so is this card. Flip it over and what do you see? Another excellent relic of yesteryear that is the old sports card trivia question:
What is the nickname of Earl Monroe? Answer: Earl the Pearl

Sadly, NBA players don’t have awesome nicknames like that anymore. The times keep changing. The Baltimore Bullets moved to Washington DC, eventually changed their name, and replaced their awesome 70s jerseys with a cheesy Space Jam-looking jersey.

Such is life.
The only constant is change.

At least we can take a break from our sprint towards the future by stopping for a moment and appreciating vintage trading cards that remind us of how it used to be. If you really want to go back to the good old days, check out the 1958 Topps baseball cards. I love most every set of Topps baseball cards from the 1950s, except for the 1957 set (boring!), but for the purpose of this exercise, I’m going with the 1958 set.
This set introduces Sport Magazine ’58 All-Star Selection, which is a classic case of showing off graphics that were cutting-edge at the time but now seem dated. For what it’s worth, I still think that the 58 all-stars look awesome! I defy you to look at 1958 Topps #487 Mickey Mantle All-Star and tell me otherwise.

This has such a classic 1950s Americana vibe. I even enjoy the name, Sport Magazine, which was apparently the Sports Illustrated of the mid-40s and 50s before actual Sports Illustrated took over the market. Best of all the actual cards look even nicer than the all-star cards. Want to see a real beauty? Check out 1958 Topps #30 Hank Aaron:

First off, the colors are gorgeous, and I love the old Milwaukee Braves logo. By the way, why did they ever change that? Regardless, my favorite part of this set is that when you flip them over, they’re exploding with 1950s nostalgia.

You can’t find any better, punchier 1950s copy than, “Hank was the bat star of the ’57 series.” And, you can’t beat these graphics. Do you think baseball cards today can show a pot-bellied slob fan raising a beer and saying “Mein Hank?” Of course not!

Future sets may duplicate the delightful card-number-inside-of-a-smiley-face baseball wearing a sideways hat and there have been plenty of remakes that copied the 1958 Topps animation style. However, while you can copy their style, you’ll never be able to relive those glory days. That’s why these sets that capture the essence of an era are so special.

COMC Company Update – April 2022

I am happy to announce that COMC’s first quarter of 2022 was strong. We sold and shipped 16% more cards and listed 22% more cards for sale over Q4 2021. We continue to make investments to seamlessly get your cards listed and sold, so you can upgrade to cards you love, and quickly take possession of anything you want in hand.

As the first company to introduce vaulting cards over 15 years ago, it is fun to see a greater demand for it. In the early days, Tim and I believed that the benefits of collecting with COMC were so obvious and valuable that it was only a matter of time before it would be known as the best way to collect. We at COMC have built the largest card vault and growing, giving you even more choices to collect as this idea goes mainstream. COMC provides a premier collecting experience not only for graded cards and rookies, but also for the long tail, so there is something for everyone. We have spent over a decade listening to collectors and optimizing for efficiency. With the concerted push to grow the hobby and so many new faces and products, we will continue listening and iterating to meet the needs of our community of collectors.

Last month we ran our March Madness promotion and received some exciting new submissions that will appear on the site over the next few weeks. We heard that you would like us to reopen submission drop-offs at our headquarters, so we now offer the opportunity to schedule drop-offs. You will also see a COMC booth at many more events throughout the US and Canada this year for you to drop off your submissions.

I look forward to continuing to update you on all the exciting happenings here at COMC. I encourage you to continue providing feedback on how we can further improve your experience and our services.

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – March 2022

At our company meeting this past week, Tim announced our 2022 goal to list and ship 50% more cards than last year. We are excited and ready to bring more joy to you and our fellow collectors. To achieve this, we are focusing on driving listing and shipping times down, providing an even better experience for you.

In February, we increased our listing numbers over the previous month and developed a new process to reduce listing times. Effective yesterday, we launched updates to our Submission Wizard. These changes allow you to segment your items by the type of content within each service level, enabling us to list your items more efficiently. As we list your items more quickly, you will soon see reduced times quoted for our Listing Services. Our shipping team is back to full capacity and is driving our ship times down once again.

The COMC team is on board with our mission to maximize what you care about and minimize what you don’t by creating a fun trading card space for our customers, partners, and collectors.

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – February 2022

We are off to a strong start at COMC and prepared for what is shaping up to be an incredible year. Our Listing team recently implemented some significant process changes to increase output and improve service quality. We are set up to list more cards than ever before. Buyers now have a much wider selection to choose from, and we sold 30% more cards in January than we did in December.

With the shipping backlog of 2021 behind us, January brought the Omicron variant and a winter storm, both of which severely impacted staffing levels on our Fulfilment team early last month. Some domestic economy orders were delayed about two weeks, and our Canada transit also experienced delays. The setback will be temporary, and the team is keeping affected customers informed with regular communication and updated shipping dates until all orders are shipped on time.

COMC has seen the many ebbs and flows of the hobby over the past 16 years. With all the latest breaking news, we remain committed to delivering the services, experience, and innovation that collectors need. We look forward to an exciting year together as we continue to be your trusted partner.

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – January 2022

Happy New Year! May this year bring peace, success, and joy to you and your loved ones.

As we reflect on the past year, we are so grateful for your support through all the opportunities and challenges we faced. In 2021, we moved into our new facility, which will allow us to scale in 2022 and beyond. We invested in new warehouse equipment to support our team and maximize their output. We built an amazing team and are listing, selling, and shipping more cards than ever before. 

Going into 2022, we are focusing on our Listing team and our technology to reduce our Listing times, give you options, sell your cards, and connect you with the items you love to collect. We are prioritizing your customer experience with new resources, content, and tutorials to create a more direct and personalized experience. 

Reflecting on December, we are happy to report that almost all orders placed from our Black Friday sale have shipped! Our shipping services remain on schedule, so now is a great time to get those items in hand if you have been waiting. We successfully resolved an issue with our eBay store that impacted customers during our December eBay auction promotion. Our customer service response times continue to be within 24 hours, so we encourage you to reach out should you need support. Since our December eBay auction promotion has been such a success and your response to it has been so positive, we decided to extend it into January! Please continue sending us your feedback, as we are listening.

Each year is an opportunity to serve you in a better way. May your collection and our partnership grow in 2022.

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – December 2021

There is much for us to celebrate as we near the end of the year. In July, Tim committed to eliminating the shipping backlog by Black Friday. I am proud to share that our team has achieved that goal!  Not only did we drive our shipping times back down, but we did so while increasing our shipping output by over 60% year-over-year.

In November, our Listing services continue to meet and exceed quoted dates, and our focus for December is to reduce our published Listing times. As we wrapped up the month with our Black Friday sales event, we were pleased to see many customers take advantage of the discounted shipping and cash back on their COMC Store Credit purchases.

Throughout the month, we focused on driving your sales and optimizing your joy as a collector on our marketplace. To continue this effort, we are offering a COMC December Auction Event on eBay, where all cards are eligible, and there is no minimum auction fee. As a collector, you will want to keep an eye out for great deals to build your PC. As a flipper, you can transfer those items directly to your COMC account and put them right back up for sale. As a seller, we encourage you to try this service over the next month and share your feedback.

We look forward to launching additional improvements and offerings in the new year as we continue our commitment to being your trusted partner. It brings us great joy to keep investing in your experience and provide the safe and easy way to buy and sell trading cards.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – November 2021

It is with great satisfaction that I share this update with you. October has been a month of tremendous progress across all our teams. As we gear up for our biggest Black Friday weekend ever to drive your sales and fill out your collection, we continue to ensure that our teams are ready. We remain on track to reduce Economy ship times to 1 month by Black Friday. In October, our Fulfillment Team had another record-setting month, and most Economy orders are being shipped earlier than we had estimated. Our Listing Team is consistently completing submissions on time and is even completing submissions ahead of schedule.

To thank you for being part of the COMC community and celebrate these milestones together, we will be offering $60 worth of free consignment in November. Please stay tuned for additional details regarding our Customer Appreciation Offer. I encourage you to give us a try, especially if you have been waiting for our production times to come back down. Now is the time for a remarkedly improved experience of buying and selling through COMC.

We are committed to providing every trading card enthusiast the safe and easy way to buy and sell cards. Consigning with COMC gets your cards on the two largest marketplaces for sports card singles, COMC and eBay, at fixed price or auction.  As a buyer, you have the widest selection of cards and can easily transfer and house your purchases in your COMC account. COMC offers flexibility in managing your inventory, allowing you to ship your items right away, ship them later, or relist them for sale. Empowering you is what COMC is about – you can do it all through your COMC account.

As we move into the holiday season, I look forward to sharing more exciting news and updates with you. Tim and I thank you for being an essential part of the COMC community and entrusting us with what brings you great joy.

Thank you,

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – October 2021

October Message from the President

Thank you for your continued support as part of the COMC community. Not only are we excited to be entering basketball, football, and hockey season, but we are blessed to be a part of this fun and fast-moving industry. We have made some heavy investments this year as your trusted partner, so you can buy, sell, and flip cards. We focused our efforts on improving customer experience by reducing response times to customer inquiries, decreasing shipping times, and optimizing our quality assurance processes.

We are happy to share our wins! Our Rushed shipping service is now going out in under 4 days. We are making consistent progress each week to clear out the Economy shipping backlog and reduce our Economy ship times. You should expect to see Economy ship times decrease to 1 month by Black Friday.

We are providing same-day responses to customer inquiries. To continue our mission to deliver the best-in-class customer experience, we are enhancing the customer resources available in our COMC Help Center, extending our Live Chat hours, and optimizing our website.

Our focus is now on driving your sales. We launched our new Fresh Pulls discount, so you can get your in-demand items for sale cost-effectively while decreasing the turnaround time to list and sell them. In addition to this new offering, we will be promoting Elite and Auction items both directly through our COMC channels and in partnership with eBay.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we will keep optimizing to help you find more of the cards you want while better supporting you to increase your sales and get more eyes on your cards.

Happy collecting!

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – September 2021

What a month of tremendous progress and growth for COMC!  Last month, I reported on improvements made to our shipping services. This month, I am excited to share that we finally got through our backlog of customer service tickets and are ready to roll out some exciting new improvements. Our CS team is now equipped to provide you with same-day responses as well as offer real-time support through our live chat service.

Throughout the past year, our CS team has worked tirelessly to keep up with hundreds of new tickets daily and thousands of tickets in our backlog, all the while developing training materials and onboarding new team members. We have heard from you that responsiveness has been a significant pain point. Our continued effort and commitment to improving your customer experience is finally being realized.

With the ticket backlog behind us, we will be investing in quality improvement efforts to deliver the best-in-class customer experience. For the remainder of the year, we are focused on launching our quality assurance program in CS, specialized account management services, and delivering real-time support. In addition, we will engage more with you through customer surveys, feedback programs, and focus groups. We want to provide you with multiple channels to communicate with us about our services.

Not only have we made strides on improving your customer experience, but if you recently placed a shipment request, you likely noticed our shipping times have markedly improved. In August, we broke another record, shipping over 575K items! This is the second consecutive month we have increased our shipping output by more than 15% month over month. For the last three years, we averaged 285K cards shipped per month, while never shipping more than 360K cards in any given month. For the last four months, we averaged more than 465K cards shipped per month. We continue building our shipping team as we clear through our Economy backlog and prepare for Black Friday.

On the Listing Team side, we grew our team of Card Specialists by over 40%. This is a direct investment in increasing our listing capacity. Please stay tuned for further updates as we gear up for basketball, football, and hockey season. With all the recent developments in the Industry, Tim and I remain energized and focused on making COMC your favorite place to collect and the place you can count on to bring joy to your day.

Thank you,

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder

COMC Company Update – August 2021

I am happy to report that we made significant gains over this last month on improving our shipping experience. This progress has allowed us to prepare for our first in-person event in almost two years at the National Sports Collectors Convention and will allow us in August to begin focusing on increasing our listing capacity once again.

In July, our young fulfillment team finally hit its stride. We saw increasing numbers of items ship each week and surpassed half a million cards shipped in July!  In my last update, I mentioned our goal was to get our Rushed shipping down to 5 days, and I am happy to report that we did it. We made a key organizational change that empowered the team to be more engaged, collaborative, and productive – an investment in retention. This change also better equipped our team to find and fix problems, which greatly reduced delays. July saw our millionth card pass through our new warehouse automation, which is a milestone demonstrating the scale to which we are now operating. Finally, we implemented a Shipping Dashboard to provide you real-time status on your placed orders, so you can track our progress.

In August, you should expect consistency and expediency in our Rushed and Express shipping services. You should also expect to see ship times steadily decrease for our Economy shipping service. Our goal is to get our Economy service under a month by the end of the year. Just as important, you should see fewer errors, closer in keeping with the standards we provided for over a decade as well as better accuracy in our quoted ship times.

In Q2, we shifted resources from our listing department to bolster our developing fulfillment team. This was never a long-term solution, as our listing facility is an hour’s drive from our new fulfillment facility and required a new level of investment from our staff. We were only able to accomplish what we did because of the dedication and care that our employees have for you, COMC, and the collecting experience. In August, we are investing our hiring efforts and support in our listing team, taking with us the lessons on scalability we learned in fulfillment.  

We are so grateful Tim and our team were finally able to meet with so many of you in person at the National after far too long. Hearing directly from you and brainstorming together has always been an amazing catalyst for growth and change at COMC. We have greatly missed these important interactions during the pandemic and look forward to connecting with you more frequently at upcoming events. I will continue sharing our progress with you, both celebrating our accomplishments and being transparent when we fall short. This is my commitment to our community, and we appreciate your continued support.

Thank you,

Julia Getsch

– COMC President and Cofounder