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The COMC Review

COMC is a popular option for selling cards and has proven lasting power. It has expanded its operations consistently over the 15 years it has been in business. We provide you with the ultimate COMC review to decide if their services meet your needs.

What Is COMC

COMC is a consignment marketplace. The initials stand for Check Out My Cards.

It touts itself as a common-sense alternative to dealing with established auction houses and eBay by combining the advantages of both. Large trusted sellers tend to have higher prices. Meanwhile, eBay presents the inherent risk of scams for both buyers and sellers.

COMC accepts consignment from many small sellers and therefore has competitive prices. Meanwhile, it is a large and recognized consignment company with established practices. Consequently, it minimizes risk on both ends of transactions.

That, at least, is their sales pitch.

A Bit Of Background On COMC

COMC is a relatively veteran institution in the hobby. It was created in 2007 by CEO and founder Tim Getsch, a former Microsoft employee and avid collector.

The company expanded quickly and has been quite successful.

What Does COMC Specialize In Selling?

The COMC catalog appears on their website. Unfortunately, there is no physical catalog available.

The website has a good overall selection of cards on the website.  In terms of the different sports:

  • Baseball – 1,851,611
  • Football – 1,292,290
  • Basketball – 640,754
  • Hockey – 581,116
  • Soccer – 100,673

The COMC selection veers towards modern baseball and football.

The number and selection of basketball cards are surprisingly low. So if that is the center of your collection, you may want to look elsewhere.

The cards are heavily skewed towards more modern cards. For example, less than 150,000 baseball cards are vintage, with barely any pre-war items available. In addition, there are considerably fewer vintage cards in other sports. Therefore, vintage collectors are unlikely to be impressed.

Bottom line: if you are a collector of modern baseball or football cards, the selection is very good. For everyone else, it could be better.

The COMC Review: Buying

One thing I do not like about the site, the way you pay for cards. You can’t buy cards directly with your credit card or PayPal. You have to purchase store credit.

So when I bought my Tatis card, I had to put in $40 of store credit (the next lowest unit was $25) to buy a $26 card. It isn’t a big deal because you can get a refund if the money is unused for 30 days. But it is clearly a cheap ploy to get you to use their system more, and I think it is unpleasant and unnecessary.

Ever since I wrote my article on minor league cards, I have wanted the 2017 Midwest League Top Prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. card. Unfortunately, a seller had it up raw for $25.24.

It is a reasonable price. There are comparable cards for anywhere between $30 and $75 on eBay. But just to be annoying, I shot the seller a low-ball $20 offer to see what would happen.

The seller hit me back with a reasonable counter-offer of $22.25 two hours later, and we were off to the races. After I finished patting myself on the back for my massive 12% savings, I had to figure out what to do with my card.

I got a good view of my Tatis minor league card.

The COMC Review: Selling

I didn’t particularly want to sell this fabulous card. But, I wanted to explore what I can do on the platform, so I decided to turn around and place it on auction.

One of the best advantages of COMC is how easily you can resell items you purchased on the platform. For example, let’s say you bought a Tua Tagovailoa signed rookie for a steal. You can immediately ask that it be listed on COMC for what you think it’s worth. You do not need to have the card in hand or ever lay hands on it.

However, the process is not seamless. We will get into some of the problems that arise later in this review.

There are two options for selling your cards on COMC. Let’s take a look at both.

COMC Consignment

The platform has three different options for consignment. Let’s take a look at each:

  • Standard: The standard process takes no less than 16 weeks for turnaround. There is also a relatively high minimum of 20 cards per submission. However, the rates for this option are pretty reasonable at $0.50 per card.
  • Select: This option gives you a 2-week turnaround. At the cost of $1 per card, you have a minimum of 10 cards per submission.
  • Elite: COMC recommends this option for cards worth over $50. The Elite option allows you to chose how you sell the cards, if you want a fixed price or prefer to take offers, or wish to transfer your cards to auction on eBay. They also display cards with higher resolution photography on a distinctive black background.
Service Level Per-Item Fee Minimum Submission Turnaround Time
Select $0.50 20 cards 16 weeks
Standard $1 10 cards 2 weeks
Elite $2 No minimum 2 weeks

There is also a charge for extras:

  • Removing a cardholder – $0.50
  • Oversized cards – $3
  • Graded cards – $0.50

Submitting Cards For Consignment

Cards you bought on the platform can be directly forwarded for consignment.

If you want to consign cards you have in hand, the process is relatively straightforward:

  • Sign on to the platform.
  • Go into the submission wizard and fill out the criteria.
  • Print the submission slip.
  • Package the items and ship them in.
  • Make sure to secure ungraded cards in toploaders. COMC does not accept screw-down cases.
  • The platform sells cards graded by PSA, BGS, SGC, BVG, BCCG, KSA, and CGC Gaming only. So do not send in cards graded by anyone else.

Auction on eBay

I immediately discovered there was a catch. Even though I now owned the card, I had to reclassify it as elite to sell it at the cost of $2. So I bit the bullet and sent it to be reclassified. Unfortunately, once you do that, your item disappears from your inventory which is somewhat disconcerting, and you have to wait until it is returned after two weeks.

But that wasn’t the only catch either. If I want to auction my cards, it says “no submission fee,” which is nice. But the following terms apply:

  • You can only auction single cards at a value of $50 or over.
  • It takes two weeks until your cards appear on eBay.
  • You can’t list cards on the website and eBay simultaneously.

There are no separate fees for buyers aside from sales tax.

Fees For Buyers and Payment Options

COMC uses PayPal as the primary method of buying store credit. However, you can use credit cards through PayPal without an account.

You use PayPal to buy store credit. At least store credit is 1:1, and there is no hidden fee. I checked.

However, there is always a catch. If you want to cash out your credit, COMC takes a 10% fee of your sum if you have sold any cards. If you haven’t been selling, you get the entire amount back, right? Not exactly. You can only bypass the cash-out fee if you ask for the money back in 30 days. There is an extra fee of 1$ for a PayPal refund and a $3 fee if you request a check.

Are There Sales And Promotions?

Yes. One of the nice things about this platform is has a section for sales to see all items immediately.

One of the cooler features is port sales. These are basically lot sales, ostensibly at discount prices. However, unlike many lot sales on eBay or social media, you can see every card clearly. This takes away the mystery but allows you to make more sound buying decisions.

The COMC port sales are a nice touch.

Shipping Info

Unlike dealing with eBay, COMC ships all of the items themselves. This process can be an advantage for high-volume buyers. On eBay, you pay shipping for every item. Meanwhile, on COMC, you can purchase items over time and ask that they be shipped when you are ready for one flat fee.

I bought a Tatis minor league SGC 9, which I may eventually send over to PSA for a crossover grade.

I had three options for shipping. This is how they were listed:

  • Three months later (!) for $4.99 – economy
  • Ten days later for $4.99 – rushed
  • Four days later at $36.99 – express

Not exactly a difficult choice, right? I asked to have my card shipped and forgot about it, hoping for a fun mail day in a week or two.

The COMC Review Evaluation

That didn’t happen. The cards did not arrive, and I logged back in after a while. I looked at the status, and the status said: “shipment request successfully completed.” Great! So, when was it shipping? Three months from the date I asked for the card. Real quick, and efficient. And that reflects my problems with the site overall.

I like this platform, but it has some things I would like to see changed.

  • It does not have an app, which means navigating it through your internet browser. If they had a convenient app like eBay, I might also find myself bidding on COMC in the middle of dinner.
  • Reclassifying items as “elite” to resell. That seems like a scam to me. It was already a good enough item to be for sale on their platform. So why do they need to reexamine it and charge for it?
  • If I want to auction my cards, I need to wait two weeks.

Bottomline Of The COMC Review

COMC saves you a lot of hassle in buying and selling cards. However, it limits your flexibility and slows you down in all sorts of needless ways. The website claims that “all of your items remain in your control at all times.” But it doesn’t always feel that way.

For example, if you want your cards shipped or auctioned, you have to wait for an unreasonably long period of time. In addition, some fees and catches require reading the fine print and gave me the feeling I was being nickeled and dimed.

But the bottomline of this COMC review is that the business model is solid. It does save you a lot of hassle in buying and selling cards. It has a vibrant community of users and a good selection of modern football and baseball cards.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.
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