On June 3, 2015 I started this COMC account with $100 cash. I wanted to see how much money someone could make over a year selling cards casually on COMC. I came into this challenge already with years of selling on COMC under my belt – so my only purpose for this account was to flip cards already on the site. What most novice COMC sellers don’t realize – sending cards into COMC (and paying processing fees) is the worst way to utilize the website & generate profits.
First, let’s start off with a look at the account at the present moment (7/26/2016). Currently I’m very low on cash – simply because I’ve found over the years pre-National (NSCC) you can normally find lots of people trying to liquidate inventory of older cards in an effort to free up cash for one of the biggest events of the year. Just a few weeks ago, I had over $70 cash – so I’ve done a ton of buying over the last 30 – 60 days. Consequently in a few months – you’ll have the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year (Black Friday/Monday) … so smart sellers I know are gobbling up inventory now so they can be ready for the big day.
One note about my asking price ($1,165.45) above. It’s fairly well-known by veteran COMC sellers that I would be able to liquidate this account (in a Port-Sale) for about 80% – 90% off my asking price. That would be the turn-and-burn type price. Realistically I think I can get about $0.25 – $0.35 per card … which would value the account in the $250 range. Remember, I started this account 13 months ago with $100 and I could (likely) easily liquidate it for around $250. Of course, I’m in no rush to liquidate this account – in fact, I’m raising prices & driving margin/profit even higher than when I started in 2015! How many eBay/Amazon sellers you know are able to do that??
Let’s take a look at the account stats on a more detailed level – since above only tells a partial story. I get the Total Cost figures below from my sales history, which I have linked below if you want to take a look at all my sales.
Cards Purchased: 4,336
Cards Sold: 3,344
Total Sales: $837.53
Total Cost: $546.88
Total Profit: $290.65
Total Sales: $344.66
Total Cost: $229.66
2015 Profit: $115.00
Keep in mind this is for 6 months of selling during 2015.
Total Sales: $492.87
Total Cost: $317.22
2015 Profit (YTD): $175.65
Sales History Data
Here’s a Google Doc with every card I bought & sold on COMC inside this account. How many eBay sellers you know show their data like this?? The data shows how much I paid for each card – and how much it was sold for.
A few things about the numbers you see above. The 2015 Stats are only for 6 months of the year since the account was opened in June of 2015. Consequently, the 2016 stats are essentially a 7 month figure since they are YTD. Overall the two figures give you about what you could expect over the course of about 1 year.
How Do I Find The Cards To Buy
Almost all of the cards I purchased were via sellers who were running a sale. About 1 – 2 times daily, I visit the COMC recently posted sales list. The sellers closer to the top will have just had their sales posted – and theoretically have not been picked through as much as sales that have been running for some time. I try to focus on sellers I don’t recognize running sales 65%+ or more. On COMC if you go to the recently posted sales – you will find that many sellers are almost consistently running sales. I personally don’t want to spend more than 5 – 10mins per day searching for cards – so I usually ignore any sellers who constantly run sales.
More recently, I’ve been trying to buy cards that are serial numbered to 100 or less. I feel that buying these cards limits my downside a bit because the sheer number of cards available to send into COMC (and for sale on other sites) will be lower than non-serial numbered cards. I’ve also found that you can re-price these cards for 300%+ and they will still sell often enough to make it worth the patients needed. Additionally, when I ran spring-cleaning/Black Friday sales on COMC – I’m able to be more aggresive with my discounts (usually 60% off) which looks good to the customer – and I’m still clearing a very good profit.
Those two buying tips alone are enough to generate a profit on COMC. However, there’s lots of other factors involved in making money. Some of you might have more time and knowledge than myself about these things and could experience higher returns than what I’ve presented. My last buying tip is to buy when everyone else is selling.
Other foods for thoughts. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about COMC over the last year – many sellers trying to use COMC exactly how they use eBay. Most are trying to send in lots of new(er) cards into COMC – That’s an amateur mistake. Remember, COMC & eBay are two completely different e-commerce platforms. I just showed you can make 190% on an account with only $100 in it … why on earth would you want to send cards into COMC when you can make 190% annualized just flipping the cards already on the site?
We call this logic: jumping over dollars to pick up pennies in the finance world.
Other than that, in my opinion, selling large volume on eBay is a job I don’t want – one that requires you to invest time into packing/shipping/listing items on a regular basis. Not to mention the customer service you have to provide each customer during/after the sales process. Given all the extra work required to sell on eBay – your margins are going to be (at best) low single digits. COMC has a different fee structure, (that many amateur sellers complain about), but what they are forgetting is that you can run higher margins due to the fact you’re not working as hard for the sales on COMC.
The other point I’ve made to eBay sellers in the past is to use COMC as a way to expand your sales. Instead, so many sellers just want to sell the exact same way they have for years on eBay. That’s a huge mistake. If you already have good sales on eBay – why would you want to cannibalize those sales with the same one’s on COMC?? That’s a business logic that you learn almost day one at any business school worth paying for …. but it’s a mistake I see all too often in the e-commerce world. COMC is a completely different e-commerce site than eBay. Just because the same product is being sold on both sites – doesn’t mean the same type of selling techniques will work on both sites.
Other things to keep in mind. I’ve discussed this $100 account numerous times on the Sports Card Show Podcast – so a portion of the collecting community knows it’s an account strictly to make money. It’s possible my sales are better if I don’t openly advertise this is an account strictly to make money. Also, during 2015 I was focused on rapidly turning over my money – so high margins weren’t something I was concerned about. During 2016 – I have shifted my focus primarily on cards that I can re-price at 100% – 300%+ markup. The only thing to keep in mind is it’s harder to find these types of cards to purchase, and these sales take longer to materialize. Patients is key.
Feel free to share your experiences with COMC below.