It is reasonable to expect a vocal reaction when significant shifts happen in the world of card collecting. One such shift occurred recently, when COMC made a change that requires buyers to purchase a Beckett subscription to see the book values of cards. The reaction, as can be expected, is overwhelmingly negative. Reading Forums (Specifically Blowout) and the comments section in the COMC blog reveal a legion of angry users who swear they will never use COMC again. While their sentiments are understandable, these COMC users would do well to calm down and carefully observe the future of COMC and the current landscape of sports card selling before making such harsh and rash comments on this move.
First of all, COMC simply has a web traffic rate that no other company can match at this time. While it will be interesting to monitor if this changes any following this change, there is no competitor who can compare to COMC in this aspect right now. While some have suggested this recent change will harm traffic, I find this doubtful. Being able to see the cards, the relatively low shipping fees, and the quality of customer service give COMC plenty of avenues to maintain high levels of internet traffic.
Additionally, COMC has begun to make previous selling data of cards on the website available to searchers through a fairly simple process known as the COMC IQ test. While it will be interesting to see how this data works, it is very possible that in the long-term, this data will be a substantially better indicator of the true value of a single than Beckett’s price guide. Beckett’s price guide has been a key tool for collectors for many years at this point, but it appears that barring changes, its time has come and gone. COMC has the potential to overtake Beckett as the leader in determining card values with this new technology, and I look forward to using it in the future.
Finally, as a flipper on COMC myself, I have observed many concerns about this aspect of the website in the aftermath of these recent decisions. My response is rather bland compared to theirs, as I am perfectly willing to continue flipping on COMC without Beckett data. Most collectors have a general idea of what a card is worth through eBay data anyways, and COMC’s data will be a trusty resource as well. Flipping still has a place on COMC.
In conclusion, while concerns regarding this change are reasonable, they seem to have been exponentially overblown. COMC has the web traffic and other tools to continue to be the prominent singles collecting site today. I don’t believe this change is as significant as many make it out to be, and in fact, a shift away from Beckett pricing may very well turn out to be a necessary step in the evolution of the hobby. Because of these beliefs, I will continue using COMC without purchasing a Beckett subscription. Finally, should those who have angrily announced they will be leaving COMC forever wish to depart with their inventory on the cheap, please leave me your username and I will inquire further.