OPINION: In Support of COMC

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.

In Which I Talk About Football Rookie Products – 7/8/2013

NOTE: Occasionally, or whenever I feel so inspired, I will do a longer post in place of a Card of the Day.  Enjoy!

With all of the 2013 Rookie Products for Football behind us and the main releases on their way out (or, in the case of Prestige and Archives, out already), I wanted to reflect on the Rookie Products and what I like and don’t like about them.  First, I will go ahead and say I like the college uniforms.  I am more of a College Football fan than a NFL fan when it comes to the sport itself.  Nonetheless, I am not a big Upper Deck fan when it comes to Football.  I ripped a few packs of the 2011 product and didn’t care for it, so I haven’t ripped since.  Now, I do enjoy cards like this with the players in College Uniforms (http://comc.com/rNSIu3)

Nonetheless, when I opened the 2011 product, it seemed like for every card like the one above, there were several like the one below: Cards of players long out of the game in their college uniforms, which doesn’t appeal to me.  (http://comc.com/r1Jp7ZT)

Because of these cards, I generally avoid Upper Deck, though I may try some of the 2013 product at some point.  That brings me to the products that airbrush the college jerseys.  I will discuss Press Pass and Sage together, because they have the same issues.  I used to love these cards back in the 2000s, when they looked like the Upper Deck cards above.  Since Upper Deck got exclusive rights to NCAA imagery, though, these products have nose-dived in quality.  I do like some of the inserts in these products (The Artist’s renditions are good) as well as the cards with players in, say, their Senior Bowl Jerseys.  For the most part, though, their products look amateurish. (http://comc.com/r272Prv and http://comc.com/r9o08B respectively)

While I might buy some of the above products at a reasonable price, I generally avoid them.

This brings me to Leaf.  I appreciate the work Leaf does on the Rookie set.  While I can understand why some collectors avoid this product due to the lack of inserts and frequent autos, I appreciate it as a cheapskate who likes the quality of the imagery on the cards.  They just look so much more professional than the cards above do, and I hope to break into some Leaf products soon.  (http://comc.com/r2fUjYS)

Finally, though, this brings me to a product that excites me more than any Football product has in a while, and that  would be 2013 Bowman.  First, the imagery quality is similar to the Leaf, yet Bowman contains all the parallels, inserts, and autos that Leaf lacks.  I really love the Bowman minis, and the colored parallels are an excellent addition.  This is a product I really hope to break into in the near future. (http://comc.com/rKEira and http://comc.com/r22tkUl)

So in conclusion, I love the Upper Deck imagery, but I strongly dislike the emphasis on old-timer players.  Sage and Press Pass look trashy, in my opinion, for the most part, though I may yet break into some cheap Sage.  I appreciate the look of the Leaf product and the price, and I hope to acquire some of it in the near future.  The Bowman, though, truly excites me, and I hope that Topps continues producing it for a long time.