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Old 07-16-2012, 12:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: MA
Posts: 5,020

Here is my latest blog post on my interpretations of the COMC increase

COMC and Their New Pricing Structure... Let's Not Have A Freak Out! Edit Blog Entry
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Anytime we hear pricing going up, we immediately think of all the bad that comes with it. Prices rarely go down in life and are always almost certain to rise. At the prodding of my good buddy WilsonValdez (and Brandon Belt coming around asking me if I wanted to get high! Damn You Brandon Belt!) I've decided to dive into COMCs most recent pricing updates

So let's take a closer look at the new adjustments and I will do my best to interpret all of their changes

Simplified the Fees For Buyers

OK, obviously any site you are selling on is going to benefit the buyer. The more I read about people #####ing that eBay doesn't care about the sellers, the more my eyes roll. Without buyers, You and eBay are out of business. The same can be applied to COMC. There are 2000 sellers and 40000 buyers, 20-1 odds. COMC is going to cater to the 95%. Unfortunately for sellers we have some complicated language in where not much is really changing for us while simplifying it for our customer base. In all reality, it is necessary for our customers to have a GREAT buying experience so that they will come back. COMC does just that for us.

So what are they doing? They are building the shipping fee into the cost. You list a card for .75, the buyer buys it for $1. Easy right?

My first concern when I read this was flipping. I don't make much money flipping (maybe 5-10% of my sales in a given month), but does .25 need to now be built into my pricing for future cards? No! Here's how:

I see a 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Blake Snell Auto up for $1.00. I purchase it. The seller has it listed for .75 cents and COMC automatically builds in the .25. I can list it for .76 and when someone purchases it, they will have paid 1.01 for the card and COMC will deposit the additional .25 cents into my account as shipping on the card has already been paid for. Ultimately, it means you will be putting up additional money up front on flips. But this will also work like a credit that you can start building up for the next time you want to have something shipped. Downside is that they now control more of your money. I'm not the biggest fan of this new change, but it is definitely livable. They stated on their blog that "these fees could be waived for port sales." I would sure as hell hope so. I wouldn't be trying to pay an extra .25 per card X 1000, 2000 whatever the case may be.

Reaction: My overall gripe with this change is who was really that confused with the shipping fees in the first place? They seemed pretty straight forward to me. I guess I can live with it, but my buying for flips will be a lot more calculated when this goes into effect.

Simplified Shipping & Handling

This is now easier because you are already paying .25 per card up front. Pricing isn't bad, but This sucks mainly because the limited time economy option of 3.99 for 10 cards and then .20 per additional will be over in two weeks. That was a cheaper option than all of the ones presented. But the Free Local Pickup at my LCS (assuming he gets into their network or whatever, details were pretty sketchy on this) sounds kind of exciting. Free is better that 3.99 + .20

Shipping Guarantee

I don't really care about meeting time tables... Whatever. I know my cards will get to me eventually. Probably not the same for buyers who are very excited to receive certain cards, so I do understand.

Simplified Fees for Sellers

I don't know that I would call this plan simplified... You have millions of dollars in Book Value listed on your site and are going to have a lot of pissed off sellers. But they do some nice things here I guess.

3 simple processing services
One day processing is pretty cool. If you had a bunch of Harper or Trout stuff you wanted to get up during the craze, you certainly could do it. I will never use it, but it is a good option. Hell, I will never even use one week processing.

$3 batch fee gone

"If you send 500 cards... it will cost you $125 as opposed to $100, but you will save $3 on your batch fee!" You act like you're doing me some sort of favor, COMC. Gee, Thanks

Reduced storage fees
This, I like. Now some of these Nervous Nellies can stop listing stuff for .25 because it is the free threshold. List your stuff for .75, dammit! Someone is going to buy it! Really, they are!

Free premium options

Finally, I don't have to pay for auto-accept and minimum offer. It's about damn time. So basically with this and the reduced storage fees, it's kind of like we are all getting the $15 per month account upgrade, if you want to look at it monetarily

Now here is where it starts to hurt a little bit, kind of like when you find out Santa isn't real or your find out your first girlfriend is kissing another guy behind your back on the schoolyard...

Simplified Processing Fees for Sellers

Big changes... basically the fee goes from .20 to .25. I am not really bothered by this. Perhaps folks would be apprehensive to list their cards for .20 or below and may now resort to listing them at .25 (or closer to their free storage threshold...what a concept!)

So here they are:
One Month Processing
$0.25 / Card for raw trading cards
$0.50 / Item for all other supported collectibles
$5.00 Minimum processing fee per submission

One Week Processing
$0.50 / Card for raw trading cards
$0.75 / Item for all other supported collectibles
$5.00 Minimum processing fee per submission

One Day Processing
$1.00 / Card for raw trading cards
$1.00 / Item for all other supported collectibles
$5.00 Minimum processing fee per submission

Prices actually go down on Oversized items, which is good because graded cards will now be cheaper to send in (.50 same as an eBay BIN) This also includes the "all other supported collectibles" Comics, Memrobilia, Coins, etc.

In Closing

Basically, we, the sports card hobbyists are paying more for COMC's eventual venture into Coins, Comics and other CRAP. (Check Out My Crap, as in DLab dont give a crap about comics because even though I'm a sports card nerd... at least I'm not a comic books nerd...Jesus Christ that would be awful. I played real sports as a kid and collected my favorite ball players, not dress up in my pajamas and run around like I had super powers or something. I have never been to a Star Wars premiere and have never been to a movie in costume. But I digress...) This is disappointing because I feel like COMC had carved out a nice little niche. I'm sure they will do well with Comics, but your bread and butter shouldn't be forced to go through extreme changes to facilitate your expansion into the comics arena. Make no mistake about it, the fee simplification is to do just that.

I don't have a large problem with the fees to add going to .25 from .20. When you consider the work that must go into this site, and the surge in popularity, I somedays struggle to see where they would turn a profit. The .5 per card is the cost of doing business. Just read my other article on what not to send and you should be OK. This change does not scare me away in the least.

My largest gripe is the flipping problem. I buy cards to flip. Some of them are long term investments and probably will not be realized for months. I do not want to hand over .25 per card to COMC for them to hold for months until I finally sell the item. Ultimately I will get that money back, but I am just granting them a No-Interest loan. This should (and hopefully will) be addressed. Many people who sell on COMC are flippers. It is one of the things that makes COMC great. Building shipping fees into cards and other items should be reconsidered.

Ultimately we will get used to the new methods and look at it as business as usual. I would hate to see fees get out of control here. I wish they could have just raised the fee to add to .25 and left S & H alone. If you had a third grade education, you should have been able to understand the shipping structure of old. I feel it is actually being made more confusing than ever. Will this impact what I send in to COMC? Probably not, but it will definitely impact how I feel about buying to flip and resell on COMC. That aspect of my business may be over once the new fees go into place.
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