Archive for COMC

I love COMC, but …

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

For the better part of eight years I have been a buyer and seller on COMC. The service offered it pretty amazing. Yes, other sites also offer singles for sale via consignment from collectors. But this site, in my eyes, changed the game.

As a buyer, you get scans of each card for sale, get to combine shipping, and usually get rock-bottom prices. As a seller, all you really need to do is box up your cards and their service sorts and label everything for you. You then set your price for your item. No hassles with shipping and handle. That’s also what they do.

But as the years have gone by, there have been a few things about COMC that have really started to irk me. The first of which is inconsistency in terms of what they will take for consignment, and what they reject.

COMC has the right to reject cards. I get that. But what I don’t get is the grounds under which they make that decision, and that is what is frustrating. COMC labels some cards based upon their condition — they do it for old and new. If a card is in poor condition, they often label it that way. But in my experience, the service simply returns my cards to me instead of also giving my cards the same treatment.

And while I’d agree that no one is in the market for some common poor condition cards, the ones that really irk me are the rarer ones, late 1990s basketball inserts,early 2000s football serial numbered inserts, and even some tougher releases, such as these 1986 Carnation Major League Wrestling cards. The wrestling cards usually go for $50 on eBay even in low grade condition. And some of the cards that have been rejected on my end are ones that could sell for $5-$15 even in their condition simply because they aren’t available on COMC or eBay. Heck, even autographs have been rejected.

Along these same lines of frustration is the fact that more and more of my cards have been returned to me for being damaged, even ones that weren’t damaged before I packaged them up.

When I send cards to COMC, I place every card into a penny sleeve, and then place the sleeved cards into 500-count boxes. This helps keep the surface safe, and reduces movement within the box during shipment. However, in some orders I have some 20-50 cards returned to me because they’re “damaged.” And when I look a the cards, they all have damage in the same spot, almost as if they were placed haphazardly into a card sorter during the process. The damage usually consists of a ding to the bottom left corner, and some edge damage on the top left … which would be consistent with setting the left side down into a card sorter.

Then there are the cases of mystery damage, like these dents that wound up on the top of these cards here …

And then perhaps the most baffling of all are the ones that are rejected because they’re supposedly damaged, yet I see no damage when I review them, Granted this 2017 Topps Museum Victor Martinez patch card isn’t lighting the hobby world on fire, but it’s still got some value. and most importantly … it’s not damaged.

I don’t expect an apology or special treatment from COMC. I will not boycott their services over this issue. I’ve shared some of these sentiments on Twitter before so this isn’t something we should be calling “breaking news.” But I do expect COMC to be a little more consistent with everyone’s cards.

Ben,

Cardboard Icons

Collector of Hall of Fame tobacco era and Rookie cards.

Collector of Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw.

You can teach me on Twitter and Instagram @cardboardicons. You can also reach me via e-mail at cardboardicons@yahoo.com

Black Friday: THE most humbling day for a card addict

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , on November 27, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Black Friday is a shoppers paradise. For card collectors it means big savings on regularly priced items at any of the large online dealers. For members of COMC.com it also means you’re able to load up on singles at deeply discounted prices.

As a buyer, it’s great.  I buy a bunch of singles every year. But there is the flip side to this … As a seller, this day is the most humbling of all as it shows me how much “nonsense” I actually buy.

Look at this recent sales activity:

  
Those are Topps Heritage SPs being sold for somewhere in neighbors of $1. I’ve probably sold three dozen of these things on the last 24 hours, which is sad considering how much money I actually spent to pull them from packs

I need to pump the breaks on my pack/box buying. While it’s nice to have the ability to move assets and acquire other cards, it’s also counter productive to essentially pay someone to take some of these cards off my hands.

COMC Mailday: Vintage Mantles, a Mickey rookie, two 2015 HOF autos and more

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

After about 10 days of “processing,” my latest COMC shipment arrived on Friday. And while it was small in number, it was filled with an seven PC items which I shall reveal here  If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ve already seen three of them. But I’ll recap the keepers right here for everyone.

We’ll start with some ink. Why? Because everyone loves autographs.

Here we have a pair of pitchers who will likely be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. The Pedro Martinez hails from the 1996 Leaf signature set and is his first certified autograph. The Randy Johnson comes from the 2000 Ultra “Fresh Ink” autograph set.  Both players have been signing for companies in recent years, especially Pedro, whose been signing for a lot of Topps and Leaf Products.  I would have preferred Pedro on a Red Sox card, but the price was right on this, plus I like the fact that it is his first certified auto … and it’s on card.

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As for Randy, his autograph has always intrigued me. He’s played for multiple teams, but I kind of dig the fact that he is shown here as a Diamondback. One thing of note on this Randy Johnson autograph — I didn’t know Fleer used stickers on their Fresh Ink cards in 2000; I never owned one. But now that it is in my hands, I can see that this is a foil sticker that was adhered to the card and then stamped with the Fleer seal of authenticity afterward.

So, Lou Gehrig’s card in the 1961 Topps set has always been one that I wanted.  But it appears so does everyone else.  I personally have never stumbled upon the card when it was priced in an area I felt comfortable.  Not imagine finding one that looked decent for under $7. Yeah. Mine! I hit this one — as well as the other vintage below — with some instagram filters for fun and to show off the imperfections.

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If you don’t like Willie Mays, then you have issues.  I have a core group of legends whose vintage cardboard I chase.  Among them is Mays.  This 1958 came to me for about the price of a retail blaster … and it is not trashed. It’s actually centered nicely and has ZERO creases.  Winner!

IMG_7716Mickey Charles Mantle, THE Cardboard Icon. I’m not a Yankee fan; I’m actually a Red Sox fan. But I know Mantle was a stud and I know that he is this hobby’s top name — all time. I still get a special feeling when I know I am acquiring a vintage Mickey Mantle base card eventhough I have his true rookie, the 1951 Bowman. Well, via COMC, I was able to acquire not one, but TWO Mantles for about $30 each.  And while they might not be top shape, they are far from being in horrendous shape.  The 1963 card shows creases but the card is stiff because it’s been taken care for many year since it was initially damaged.  The same can be said for the 1964, albeit it is a tad softer.

IMG_7715IMG_7717You read the title of this post, right? You see the “Mickey rookie,” right? Well, here it is …

IMG_7740Mickey. Mickey Mouse, ya’ll! This is a 1935 O-PEE-Chee Mickey Mouse Card #1, which by my assessment appears to be the first year that Mickey Mouse appears on any trading card.  There is an “American” release of this, but this is the Canadian OPC version. The back is written in English, just like the American counter part.  And like the other vintage here, the card is not bad for being nearly 80 years old and in raw form.  No creases, just touched corners. My intention is to send this to Beckett Grading for encapsulation. This was probably the biggest steal at just a smidge over $10. Check eBay before you laugh.

Latest COMC mailday … sigs, sigs and more sigs

Posted in New Addition with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_3123Over the last four months I’ve made about 40 purchases on the consignment site COMC.com.  I’ve said it before — and I will continue to say it going forward — if you haven’t at lease checked out the site, you’re missing out.

Anyhow, the batch of cards arrived over the weekend and as the title of this post suggests … it’s full of ink.

TEN Hall of Fame signatures, an iconic one and a slew of prospect (and failed prospect) autographs filled this batch.

OK, enough of the shenanigans, let’s get to it.

We’ll start with a solid rookie card I’ve needed for quite some time — a 1955 Bowman Elston Howard.  Howard isn’t a hall of famer, but his career was significant.  Howard was the first black player to ever don a Yankees uniform, he was a 12-time all star, an MVP in 1960 and a six-time World Series Champion.  SOLID.

IMG_3110Speaking of MVP’s here’s a 2009 SP Legendary Cuts cut signature of the 1926 National League MVP Bob O’Farrell, who played for four teams during his 21-year career, including two stints with the Cubs and three stops with the Cardinals.

IMG_3115Here’s a 2010 Bowman Chrome autograph prospect card of a contender for the American League 2013 MVP award, Josh Donaldson.  He won;t win it — because it’s hard to pick him over Miguel Cabrera, who made another run at the Triple Crown this year — but he had a legit season.  At one point these Donaldson chrome signatures were over $20 each.  Just after the World Series I managed to grab this one for less than $8.  His signature isn’t hard to find, but this release is THE card to own — well of the non-parallel versions anyway.

IMG_3109Here’s a few prospect/failed prospect autos:

IMG_3107IMG_3126A few vintage rookies:

1933 Goudey Joe Sewell.  Did you know that Sewell, a Hall of Famer, struck out a total of 114 times during his career?  American League Home Run Champion Chris Davis struck out 199 times in just 2013.

IMG_30651933 Goudey Bernie Friberg.

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1934 Goudey Dolph Camilli.  Camilli took home the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1941, slugging a league-best 34 homers and driving in 120 RBI’s.

IMG_3112Here’s a card that always intrigued me: 1994 SP Holoview Michael Jordan.  Jordan didn;thave a basic SP rookie from this set; if he had one, it would be an epic card.  Instead we are left with this holoview caard, which is cool, but not nearly as cool as a foil, condition-sensitive rookie card would’ve been.  An if for some reason you’ve never handled one of thee Holoview cards, try to check one out … UD’s technology in the early 1990s was second to none.  The hologram of Jordan incorporates several images of Jordan’s face, so when you turn the card, he’s always looking at you.

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Here’s a pair of 2004 Bowman Heritage Signs of Authority autographs … I’m sort of working on this set.  Who collects umpire signatures?  This guy.

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How about a pair of 2012 Panini Cooperstown Signatures of journalist Murray Chass and Marty Brennaman.  I love these non-player signatures.

IMG_3120So yeah, Hall of Famer autographs … Here’s five.

1993 Nabisco Jim “Catfish” Hunter w/ COA.

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1998 Donruss Signature Series Ozzie Smith /2000

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Rollie Fingers.

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2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Tom Seaver

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2001 Topps Team Legends Mike Schmidt rookie reprint autograph

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Last week I declared war on the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autograph set.  Here’s a few of the ones I purchased over the last few months on the site.  The highlight is the shortprinted Willie McCovey.

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And perhaps the prize of the whole package … a 2013 Panini Golden Age Historic Signatures Jackie Earle Haley, who played “Kelly Leak” on the Bad News Bears.

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Monster Mailday: Superstar Signatures and Chrome Prospects

Posted in New Addition, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

Ah, the beloved mailday post. It doesn’t get much more easier or gratifying than this.

Over the last three months I made several purchases on COMC.com using store credit I earned by selling my lesser valued cards. I turned those into some pretty major additions to my collection. As it turned out, this package of 14 cards arrived on the same day as another big addition I made via eBay.

Let’s start with the eBay mailday.

IMG_9744Hank Aaron is still a mythical figure to me. Sure, Barry Bonds sullied the All-Time Home Run mark, ripping the title from Hammerin’ Hank. But Hank is still Hank. He’s revered in baseball, still a legend in our hobby, and in my mind, his signature is a must-own.

Hank’s autograph has worsened over the last 10 years, likely because he’s getting older. His signatures are not hard to come by, but getting his name inked on a card you love is something that can be a costly endeavor. For me, that card is the 1954 Topps rookie card.

Here’s the 1994 Topps Archives 1954 Topps rookie reprint of Hank Aaron, which was limited to 1,954 copies and was available via redemption cards that were issued into packs of the nearly 20-year-old product. The quality of the signatures on some of these cards is suspect. At times the ink can be seen running off the card. This one however looks great. The grade “8” issued by Beckett Grading Services might be a tad off-putting for some. But the reason the card graded so low was the “7.5” mark issued for centering. I’m 99.9% sure this would re-grade higher. Both the front and back have really good centering, certainly better than the issued “7.5.”

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OK, now my COMC mail …

I’ve been raving about this site for almost three years now. I’ll start by saying that it is not for everyone. You have to spend a little money and time to make your lesser-valued cards work to your advantage. But if you’re the kind of collector who doesn’t really have the space or desire to keep a lot of inserts, the the site could work to your advantage.

Here’s a small grouping of signed rookie/prospect autos I needed for my collection:

2005 Topps Chrome Nate McClouth, 2004 Bowman Sterling auto Carlos Quentin, and 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Yasmani Grandal

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A few more Chromes …

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects autograph Kolten Wong. (I upgraded from a 2012 Bowman Prospects auto orange /250, almost straight up)

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2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Refractor Sonny Gray

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2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects autograph Trevor Bauer

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2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Refractor Matt Moore BGS graded 9/10 (upgraded from a basic Chrome auto for about the same price)

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A 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Joey Chestnut autograph. Chestnut and I went to the same college, and truthfully, this will go well with my 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Takeru Kobayashi signature. Eat up, Boys!

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Here’s some PSA Graded rookie action. Both were acquire for about $5 each:

1987 Topps Traded Greg Maddux rookie PSA 9 Mint.

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1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr. rookie PSA 9 Mint.

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A vintage hall of fame rookie … 1933 Goudey Fred Lindstrom rookie card. Creased, but priced accordingly.

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Now my big three in this batch from COMC…

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Matt Wieters is going to save baseball!

Before Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and even Stephen Strasburg, Wieters was considered the next big thing. I’m sure you remember. His 2007 Elite Extra Edition autograph was easily a $150 card.

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Well, Wieters hasn’t been the immediate massive mashing monster we all thought. But he has been an all-star and he’s a solid contributor for the up-start Baltimore Orioles. That said, I’m thrilled to have added this card to my collection post-hype for just about the price of a retail blaster.

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Matt Harvey is the next Nolan Ryan or Tom Seaver!

A stretch? Probably. But the price of his signed 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects card certainly makes you wonder if it’s closer to the truth.

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Harvey is the current champion of the hype machine. He’s THE guy to own right now, (aside from Yasiel Puig) and as luck would have it, I did not own this card. Well, after some finagling of items on the site and some back-and-forth negotiating, I managed to acquire one. The front looks awesome, but the back is slightly off center. Not a big deal to me because the signature is really clean.

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Sandy Koufax signs a lot!

If you’ve joined the hobby in the last two or three years, you’re probably sick of hearing about that Sandy Koufax guy. His face is in damn near every Topps insert set and his signature is the high-priced trophy we all try to obtain when ripping packs. Well, before 2011 Koufax really didn’t have many certified signatures on the market. He had a few Upper Deck cards, and one 1998 Donruss Signatures signed release, which also came in a refractor-style parallel.

Well, looky here ….

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One popped up on COMC and I was able to negotiate it down to a price at which I was really, really happy to add it to my collection.

All in all, a quality mailday. Two major signatures finally added to my collection and most of the cost was off-set using funds I acq1uiredby “selling” cards I already owned.

IMG_9745Interested in COMC.com? You can see my seller list here.

Check Out My Cards Mailday March 2013

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

Pardon the cheesiness and the lack of centering of the video.  Enjoy anyway.

COMC blow out …. make an offer; I’ll accept most.

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , on June 16, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

I’m in the process of blowing out a bunch of stuff on COMC.  See something you like?  Make me an offer.  Odds are I will accept it.

Click here