SteelCitySportsCards1 nears top seller list

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.”

Q2 Stats & Update from the National

Here are the Q2 stats.
2009-Q2 Stats

I saw the partial stats for July when I was putting together the Q2 stats, and it looks like Q3 is going to be pretty good.

The reception at the National has been overwhelmingly positive. I am amazed by how many people have only bought or sold on eBay and have still never heard of us. That is a good sign. That means we still have a vast untapped market. We will continue to try to grow at a manageable pace and keep our service as high quality as possible.

It has been a lot of fun talking with people. Steve Hollander and Dave Elmore have been doing a great job of letting people know how the site works and giving them a taste of their experience as users of the site and as employees. We have also been seeing many users, such as ohiomike, who have been helping spread the word about the site and getting people to start using our service.

I have had opportunities to talk with several influential members of the collecting community.
– Went to dinner with Mike Silvia, owner of
– Met Chris Gilmore, owner of
– Did a recorded interview for The Card Podcast
– Had a long chat with Dean from Dean’s Cards
– Answered more questions about our service for Dr. James Beckett
– Finally got to meet Bill Sutherland from Beckett Media
– Talked again with Ted Golden, president of Card Pricer
– Did an interview with Rich Mueller, managing editor of Sports Collectors Daily

Tomorrow morning I will be meeting with Blowout Cards to discuss ways our sites could help each other.

This year’s National has been a great experience. It was two years ago at the National that we announced our consignment service. Seeing the response at the National gives us a nice yearly opportunity to gauge the progress we have made. I am very pleased with the response that we are seeing.