A Beginner's Guide to Selling Sports Cards on COMC

A Beginner’s Guide to Selling Sports Cards on COMC

As a collector, I don't sell all that often. It seems that, much to the chagrin of my wife and the shrinking space in my house, I'd rather tuck cards away in boxes for years (and decades). Honestly, I don't even think about them. Sounds like a good time to clear some space and sell some cards.

I used to sell on eBay on occasion a while back. But fees, inconvenience, time and a seemingly growing number of scammers out there have deterred me. It's at the point that, except for extreme circumstances, it's not worth it to me as a (very) casual seller.

After seeing a deal on listings on their blog, I opted to give COMC a try. I've been using the site to fill in holes in my sets and Expos collection for years. But I'd never given it much thought to try the other side. These are my own personal experiences with selling on the site thus far.

What to Sell on COMC

As much as I would like to send in all of my extra cards, that's not going to happen at this point. Even with the promotional rate I had as part of a limited time offer for Canadians, it could still add up in a hurry.

Plus, this was my first time using the service as a seller, so going all in would be overwhelming.

Instead I aimed to get together 500 cards that I wouldn't miss. The goal was to move those and use the credit to get one really nice card I normally wouldn't be able to afford. The option is there to withdraw the funds, but there are added fees and that doesn't appeal to me.

When going through and choosing, I reflected back on what I had used COMC for most as a buyer. I found it most helpful when I was able to track down oddball cards and inserts that might not be totally rare but just don't show up that often.

I took the same approach to my first batch of cards to sell. Through my years of collecting John Jaha I have amassed several team sets from promotional giveaways and local Brewers Police sets. Although I was only looking for the one card, a decade ago it was easier just to get the full set. That left perfect fodder for breaking up and selling.

The vast majority of what I sent in was of things that I wouldn't have much competition with as far as other sellers. From these oddball cards to O-Pee-Chee Baseball (a perk of being a Canadian) and even some O-Pee-Chee Basketball (they exist), that initial shipment had a lot that I figured would target player and team collectors like myself.

COMC Oddballs

I also went through more than a decade's worth of plain jersey cards and purged. Today, these don't get me excited except when it's a player I like. And even then, the concept of a player-worn jersey from an photoshoot bores me. The purge not only freed up a lot of space in some of my monster boxes but there were enough that even if I averaged a couple of dollars each, I'd be on my way to a slightly off-grade Michael Jordan rookie card or a decent Wayne Gretzky autograph.

Getting Cards Ready

When I'd finished going through and picking out what to send in, I had wrangled up about 550 cards. In the grand scheme, that's not a lot, but it's a start. The next step was to prep the cards to send in.

I took the overkill approach, strictly for my own peace of mind.

I could have simply packaged the cards up, added the small bit of paperwork and left it at that. But not having used COMC to sell before I was understandably nervous. What if something went wrong? What if the cards went missing between my post office and COMC headquarters? What if one of the few high-end cards I sent in got lost?

One of the nice things about selling cards on COMC is that you don't have to list what you're sending in. They take care of it all. But like any human-run business, mistakes can happen.

Although unnecessary and a little time-consuming, I took the added step of making a basic spread sheet of what I was sending in. This way, if the postal system lost it, I knew exactly what to claim. Or if a card wasn't listed for some reason, I'd know. This added some time, but it was worth it.

Now it was time to box things up.

I made sure everything was in a penny sleeve. Shipping in top loaders costs extra so those were left out.

COMC's submission wizard was simple. Fill in a bit of information, give an estimate of how many cards you're sending and print off the packing slip. That's it. I also found this video from their site to be helpful and made me feel better. Honestly, it seemed too easy and I thought I was missing something.

I wasn't sure if it was better to send one long box or break my cards up into several smaller boxes and pack those into a larger one. I opted for the latter. The cards first went into a few 330-count boxes. I packaged them as I normally might, careful to put some paper around the inside edges to prevent dings as the cards could shift and bang during shipment. Those 330-count boxes were then put into one bigger shoebox where they fit perfectly.

Off to the post office I went and the cards were on their way. Sticking with the peace of mind theme, I ponied up and got the tracking. When I got home, I then entered the tracking details into COMC's system. Like everything else to do with dealing with the site so far for selling, it took a few brief moments and wasn't hard.

Listing and Pricing

The particular promotion I took advantage of said that it could take up to two months for my cards to get listed. That was fine. I'd been sitting on many of them for years. I wasn't in a rush.

Within a couple of days of COMC receiving my cards, the first few started getting listed. I wasn't sure if all would show up at once or if it would be in batches. It has been something of a slow trickle.

This works for me as I haven't had to spend hours pricing my cards to sell. Rather it was a few minutes here and there.

The promotion I used cost $0.20 per card. For that, each card was identified, scanned in and entered into their system. Even without the sale, the regular selling rates ($0.25 for a basic card that's listed for less than $50) seem more than fair. Scanning cards takes up a lot of my time normally. I had to do none of that here.

One of the nice things I've found about selling sports cards on COMC is that I pick the price. Seeing as how these are all extras, I took a somewhat aggressive approach. In most instances, if others had the same card listed as me, I'd undercut them ever so slightly. Jerk move? Maybe. But that's the nature of a free market. I'm there to sell cards and if you're not the cheapest, you're going to have a hard time moving anything unless it's of a hot player.

When you're listing, COMC shows if other cards are listed and at what price. You can also quickly check historical sales data by clicking on the graph icon. Both of these were helpful to me and made it easy.

In instances where there was no data available, I did a quick search of eBay sales to get in the ballpark. When that didn't give any results, I'll be honest -- I made prices up to see where they went.

For cards where I had no competition, I went a little higher. As a player collector myself, I have always been willing to pay a little extra for what I need, especially if it's convenient. Potential buyers can also make offers if you enable that option so it makes little sense to go too low.

There are also fees to take into account. It makes no sense to sell a card for less than your listing fee. On the other end, COMC charges buyers $0.25 when they buy a card. This is built into the price you see on the site. But it's important because if you want to list a card for $5, you actually need to price it as $4.75. When that card sells, you get the $4.75 and COMC gets the $0.25.

The actual entering of the prices is, like everything else I've encountered, simple. COMC notifies me there's things ready to list, I log in and start typing in what I want. If there's a batch of a few cards, you enter the price, hit ENTER on the keyboard and it takes you to the next card.

Like a lot of COMC sellers, I'm playing a long game with my cards. I'm expecting it to take months for many of these cards to sell. But if things take too long, I'm going to have to pay. After 90 days, there's a $0.01 per month storage fee for every card. With the amount I've got, this isn't a big deal. But it's still something to consider pricing things.

Wheeling, Dealing and Annoying Low-Ball Offers

It didn't take long once my first batches of cards were listed for the offers to start coming in. And it didn't take long to realize that there are buyers on COMC that are counting every single penny.

When you sell on the site, you can choose to accept offers. Like eBay, you can have them set to automatically decline if they're too low or auto-accept if they're high enough.

Trying to price my things somewhat aggressively, I want to see as many offers as possible. It doesn't mean I'm going to accept them, but I'll certainly consider them. Those that are reasonable, I've been able to strike deals with quickly.

But if you're going to accept offers, be prepared to be annoyed. Case in point, I had someone offer me $4.88 for a card, exactly half of what I was asking for an autograph. I'd based my price on a recent eBay sale. I countered with $8, a couple dollars off what already seemed to be a seemingly reasonable price. Their counter to that? $5, a whopping $0.12 up from their original offer. I declined to negotiate further at that point.

There have been a couple of other instances like that. But I've also made some sales based on fair offers, sales I probably wouldn't have made if I had the offers option turned off or set higher.

At this point, I have made some sales. They seem to come in bursts and then slow down. I think my approach has been the right one too. The sale of a Brewers Police Angel Miranda proved that there's a collector out there for just about anything.

1995 Brewers Police Angel Miranda COMC

I'm still a long way from amassing enough to get that one sweet card but that's part of the long game. So far, the simplicity has been what has stood out the most. It really has been a matter of picking cards out, packing them up, shipping them out and a little bit pricing and negotiating.


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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff. His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. Good info Ryan. I’ve been considering doing COMC for a while now as I have a lot of odd ball cards. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Ryan for the insight on this web site. I am thinking on selling my cards on that site, since Ebay fees eat up most of the price you ask for.

  3. great intro. I’ve been using them since sometime in 2008. lots of changes along the way but for the most part its send, list, price, sell. I hope you can bring new folks over to them from the article.

  4. This is great info, Ryan. Thanks for sharing! As a beginner to COMC, this is definitely a godsend for me. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much :)

  5. Thanks for the article…I have sold on COMC for over a year….love it…your insight is pretty accurate.

  6. Good article, and it seems you have had the regular COMC experience. Low ball offers are far to common, I had a very nice Dual auto up for $150 and forgot to set the auto reject. I was overwhelmed with horribly low offers over night, as low as $5.00. Thankfully they have the auto reject setting or any sellers experience would be miserable.

  7. I agree it’s. great site over eBay however you left one thing out(I believe) and that’s you have to pay the $.25 per card sent upfront. If I’m wrong please lmk as I don’t want to mislead anyone wrong. They also take 20% from you once you want your money. I feel it’s a great site to buy and once you do buy you can leave your cards in there free of charge!!! That’s a huge plus beyond the fees of eBay and time that eBay takes..which is immense as you state! It’s like apples and oranges with this site vs eBay. eBay takes a ton of time and effort plus you deal with the headache of messages, etc. however it is nice sometimes to contact sellers or buyers to explain whatever it may be…now comc it seems its best for people trying to flip quickly. I’m currently debating about moving the exact same thing in having a lot of extras or just cards in general that maybe someone else wants and I do not. Plus I’ve got tons of odd ball stuff that you can’t find but lots of commons worth $1>X! . My only problem is I have almost if not more than a million cards…at $.25 a card..yikes in fees upfront! Again please correct me if I’m wrong! More and more people are finding out about comc which is great and I hope it helps own the eyes of eBay which I’m sure it won’t that their monopoly at least on sports cards may be coming to an end!! And I completely agree on the lowball offers however I do see a lot of sellers asking way way to much for certain cards you can find on eBay for cheaper! And besides comc doing the leg work for you..I think another great thing is that you don’t have to pay the seller shipping fees of $2-$6(I’ve seen as high as $11 for one card)! A buyer can wait as long as needed to have the cards shipped to themselves. So if your a collector and not a flipper you can wait til you have 100 cards and send them all at once! That savings is HUGE, absolutely HIGE! I’ve personally talked to some people that work in IT to see if another site could be created to compete with either company and they do not see it as a possibility however I disagree! But that’s here nor there. One question that I do have is..didnt comc just used to charge for holding the cards for 3 month increments not per month? Anyways, either being a seller or buyer on comc their are major benefits for both but with all things their are pros and cons! Great article and good for pointing out that their is other options from eBay! Good luck to all in your search or sales!

  8. Pretty sure I mentioned a few times you have to pay to list your stuff. I used a Canadian promo of $0.20 per card. Also as stated, I’m just starting out selling so I’m not sure if storage rates were quarterly or not. They are definitely monthly now as stated by the selling fees page on their site (along with all the other fees): http://www.comc.com/fees.aspx

  9. Upfront fees plus 20% to cash out…how is that better than ebay? A much better site for sellers is at sportscarddirect.com. Have you ever heard of them? Sellers just pay a monthly flat rate with absolutely no end of sale commissions. Sellers get the full selling price. Sellers can pay $4.99/mo for up to 100 listings; $9.99/mo for unlimited listings; or $99.99/year for unlimited listings for the entire year. Right now they have a promotion for new sellers, offering the first month for free. I tried them when they first came out, but wasn’t able to get the sale prices I was looking for. I did receive tons of lame lowball offers for my stuff, but wouldn’t accept them because my items were all high end. Maybe I took the wrong approach and should have listed more common, low end items. I ended up selling all my items on ebay auctions and ate the losses in fees/commissions. Anyways, I think this site has the best concept to buying/selling sportscards. I would like to hear what you think of Sports Card Direct. Thanks for this great site. I read every day. It’s the best of all!

  10. It is better than eBay because you don’t have to do any of the shipping…. any of the scanning and you don’t have to get ripped off by bunch of scumbags on eBay

  11. In my opinion as a buyer, prices on COMC are set too high . Also, if I want to bid on something I have to load up my account with $ in order to even submit a bid. Plus there is no way of contacting the seller to see if an offer is acceptable to him. Case in point: a card I want is listed at $150 – they are selling on eBay for $35. Willing to offer the seller $50 – 70, but I can’t even submit the offer unless I load up $150 onto my account. Just to submit an offer?? They should let u make offers and if accepted then you can pay – what a waste of time’

  12. id like to say I learned a whole lot by reading from this page and a few others but I guess I’m not really sure why I ended up here. Guess I got curious about what I could do with a bunch of upper deck baseball cards dad bought after the blue jays won the series in 1992. But there’s other teams as well and so many of them are duplicates. I watched the game with him that year and I really enjoyed it. Dads gone now but I treasure the memories of that yeR they won the 2nd series in a row cuz he was so excited and happy to have a daughter that shared the game as he took me through every play as if I’d missed it or didn’t understand lol. Mom had to allow him to use the volume which was also a treat for him. It was either that or her daughter would get bored and go home. I hope your playing with the big leagues now dad. Thank you for trying to explain the impossible, I’d love to hear from you if you feel I could do something with my upper deck cards. Joe carter and Robbie alamar were the best but Paul monitor and John olerude were too. Bev Howe

  13. I am a card collector I need to help getting some cards sold through you guys….How do I start. Please advise

  14. Does comc charge you $.25 per card whether it sells or not or only if it sells?

  15. you cant view historical prices on COMC without earning credit. You can do that on Ebay for free

  16. This site is full of low ballers, never sending cards in again!

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