Two of the hobby’s largest online sources for trading cards have created a new partnership and it’s safe to say the move qualifies as pretty big news. The massive inventory of Cincinnati-based Dean’s Cards is now available for COMC.com customers.
With both having over 500,000 cards scanned and available for purchase, that will make over one million cards available to COMC users, all of them scanned. COMC says that’s a first for the hobby.
The deal is also telling with regard to COMC’s core clientele and it might be somewhat surprising. COMC revealed that, on average, pre-1980 cards sell for twice as much and twice as fast as modern cards, which would indicate the growing popularity of its service among vintage buyers and sellers. Those with vintage inventory can get it posted for sale with COMC doing much of the work while buyers (who are often sellers as well) can use the credit they get for sales to buy other cards. No money changes hands, even electronically, unless the seller wants to ‘cash out’, in which case 20% of the value is deducted.
The deal is in its early stages but fairly soon, Dean’s entire vintage inventory will be available through COMC with users having the ability to use COMC store credit to purchase those cards.
The cards from Dean’s inventory are not stored in the west coast offices of COMC, however. Dean’s will ship to COMC on a daily basis, with cards distributed for shipping or storage, enabling users to avoid paying extra for shipping their COMC orders.
As a seller on COMC, the news that so many cards are being added to COMC’s inventory doesn’t faze me that much. I realize COMC has to find ways to keep generating income and if agreements can be worked out to make more cards accessible for the users that could end up being a win-win for COMC, for Dean’s Cards and for users.
One of the other issues COMC has had over the years–and as the saying goes it’s a good problem to have– is the explosive growth that challenges just how many cards they can keep and store in their facility, I believe they have posted they passed the 10 million card mark of cards processed earlier this year and even with cards packed neatly, eventually you run out of room. Doing a partnership with a major dealer can only be beneficial but at this time, not many dealers can say they have scans of every item they have for sale.
You also have to ensure you partner with outlets that have good reputations for prompt shipping. Like other large dealers of vintage cards, Dean’s sometimes gets criticized for their pricing structure, but I’ve never heard a valid complaint about shipping issues.
It will be interesting to see if more partnerships happen in the months ahead.
COMC also named a ‘Communications Manager’ last week. They have always been fairly open about what is occurring at their location and some of their ups and downs. Nathan Richards, who is returning to the company, will be sharing blog posts and social media messages.
Maurice “Moe” Smith, who left COMC this week, had a really difficult position during the interesting times for COMC during the past 18 months or so. As the presidential press secretaries learn, there is nothing easy about having to be “on” at all times so Moe will always have my respect for what he had to do during 2014.