by Rich Klein
As someone who's active buying and selling online, I’m a regular user of COMC.com and I had sent them enough cards in my latest order that I actually ended up with a personal account manager. Unfortunately, they returned some of the cards I’d sent them because they consider them “unlicensed” or “oddball”. Although I understand what is meant by unlicensed cards, I do want to point out that technically any pre-1948 card is unlicensed. Heck, when I was at Beckett we used 1981 as our demarcation point and grandfathered in any cards from before then without worrying about licensing issues.
There are a lot of ‘mainstream’ sets that don’t carry league licenses these days like the MLBPA sets from Panini or Upper Deck. Are you really going to turn down those cards?
And as for oddball cards, I have a simple piece of advice: Do some research. It never hurts to send a scan to Beckett to see what they might know. You have a great relationship with Beckett, so trust me on this one. Sending Beckett scans for cards not in their database and not only helps you take in more cards once they're identified but also assists Beckett in adding to their database so you can then list the cards. There is no excuse for ever sending back a card as an "oddball" card just because you’re not familiar with it when you’re in the consignment business.
The same goes for low grade or ‘filler’ cards. Ahem, if I am willing to send you a card and pay the 25 cent fee to list the card and it is legit, please list it. Again, I understand returning any and all cards is your right according to the user agreement but why turn down money just because a card isn’t pretty? Low cost cards are a big motivator for some buyers who can’t always afford the higher grade material. I'm sorry but that reason to return is silly.
Damaged Cards: I went though the cards which were supposedly damaged and while I did see defects on some of them, some others did look prettyclean to me. Again, if you note a card is damaged, note that in the condition when scanning and let the dealer then put his/her price on the card. And how is a "filler" card different from a damaged card? Here is what I mean: When I opened a Topps box last year I did pull a 1 iof 1 Trent Richardson which was noted as being damaged out of the pack. I did send the card to Beckett for grading and the card came back a 6.5 (which was exactly as expected). Would you really return that card to me? If you do, you are sending back a $100 card. I understand that is an extreme point but you should always look to put cards in my inventory instead of sending them back. If I were running COMC, I'd be concerned about any person rejecting too many cards.
Reprint cards: I will say I did send plenty of reprint cards to COMC. All the reprints I sent were obvious reprints and even clearly state reprint on the back. And I would only put out those cards for 50 cents each. However, I do understand that reprint cards are a slippery slope and upon further thought was OK with that decision although I did not mean to deceive anyone.
So again, while I agree on the rebound with some of the returns from COMC and love the ease with which one can buy and sell, other policies just make me want to scratch my head.
Contributing writer Rich Klein still has love for COMC, which you can learn about here.
Rich can be reached at [email protected]