Ryan Barone (@ballcardgenius, Card Expert) is a lifelong member of the hobby. His content has recently been mentioned in “Quick Rips” (the Topps RIPPED Newsletter) and across other hobby publications. email@example.com; Last Time Ago LLC dba Ballcard Genius.
I talk about COMC and flipping sports cards a lot on TikTok, and I’m often met with questions about “why don’t you buy/sell on eBay?”
On one hand, I do, just not as much on COMC. But on the other, few people know just how closely intertwined COMC is with eBay.
Before we get into that piece, though, let’s refresh and remind ourselves what each of these card platforms does on its own.
eBay, as we all know, is a popular auction-based platform, but one that also offers buyers and sellers the ability to list and purchase via fixed price or “buy it now” listings. One big draw is that eBay was one of the first and still is a major online marketplace. Thus, there are a lot of items and a lot of eyeballs.
Sports cards is no exception, with many people using eBay to find unique cards, new release, and more from different sports and eras, while still being an extremely convenient way to sell cards when needed.
There are rare cards, and then there are the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Rookies. Seller quickconsignment_802 is auctioning off one of 201 PSA 4s in existence and giving collectors a unique chance to buy one of The Hobby’s most iconic cards. Bid now. Like, right now. #RareAuction— eBay (@eBay) November 30, 2022
In terms of the process for buying cards on eBay, you can search for the card you want by keyword or via category clicks and filtering, and then place a bid on it, or you can use the “Buy It Now” feature to purchase the card at a fixed price. One popular purchase method is making an offer, which allows sellers to offer their “best price” they’re willing to pay for the card, which is less than the listed price.
To sell a sports card on eBay, you will need to create a listing for the card, including information about the card, such as its condition and other relevant details, as well as taking photos or scanning the card. You can then set a starting price and let the bidding begin, or you can use the “Buy It Now” feature to set a fixed price for the card. In either case, you can offer that alluring “best offer” feature.
Once a card is purchased, the buyer sends their payment to the buyer, which is then released once the seller packages the card up and ships it out.
With all of that said about eBay, I’ll try and frame this description about COMC to highlight the differences, and then, as mentioned above, we will talk about how the two platforms overlap.
Read More: Does COMC Have an App?
So, unlike eBay, COMC is more of a “fixed price” marketplace. Most of the cards listed for sale are at a static price, and the buyer can make the purchase outright or can make an offer in most cases.
As a buyer, one big difference with COMC is that when you purchase a card, you don’t have to pay to ship that card home immediately. Meaning, you can “stack” up your purchases and have them sit in your inventory or vault, or however you want to phrase it. From there, you can either re-sell the card, or, you can choose to ship card(s) home.
Here is a video on what that looks like:
COMC is your platform for quick card transactions!— COMC – Check Out My Cards (@CheckOutMyCards) July 23, 2020
For buyers: Instantly purchase cards to then flip or ship.
For sellers: No scrambling to find and list cards of hot players. Just remember to regularly update your COMC pricing!
Sign up for COMC today @ https://t.co/Tp0wzLuE5j https://t.co/neVYcdkCEx
As a seller, the big difference between COMC and eBay is that COMC is a consignment service and eBay is not. This means that COMC is essentially selling the cards for you, or, acting as a middle person between the buyer and the seller.
The most popular means of selling a card on COMC, then, is to mail a group of cards to COMC, where COMC then processes the cards by scanning them and populating the card details. Once the card is ready for sale, the seller then goes in and prices the card to push it live. And when the card is sold, the seller’s job is done—they have no responsibility to ship the card, handle complaints, etc. There is very little interaction between the buyer and the seller.
Last, for the buyer and the seller, COMC operates on a “credit” system in terms of payments. This means that as a buyer, if you want to make a purchase you must first buy store credit/transfer money from your bank or PayPal to COMC. Then, when you make a purchase, the amount is debited from your account, and when you make a sale, an amount is credited to your account. This also means you’ll need to withdraw money from COMC in order to get it back in your posession.
eBay and COMC Together
So with all of that, there are some pretty clear differences between eBay and COMC. But beneath the surface, and something not everyone knows until they start using COMC is just how much the two are intertwined.
One huge benefit of COMC is that, while it is a large and popular marketplace in itself, when you list cards for sale, most of those cards are also cross-listed on eBay under COMC’s seller account. This means that your cards are listed for sale on both COMC and eBay. No matter where they sell, there still isn’t work to be done on your part, and COMC handles the transaction.
Just how useful is this? Take a look at my last 6 sales—50% of them came from the eBay listings. This type of distribution beween COMC and eBay isn’t uncommon for me.
When I talk about COMC with people, I always hear that they prefer to send cards to auction, and thus eBay is the better option for them. While that’s fine, you can still very much utilize eBay’s auctions via COMC.
Once a card is in your posession, within a few clicks you can “push” that card to auction via COMC. Here are some of my most recent COMC sales via eBay auction:
With that said, there is still a lot to be desired when sending cards to auction through COMC.
One, you have little control over when the card auction will begin. Meaning, once you tell COMC you’d like to send a card to auction, you can expect it to be listed for auction within a couple of weeks, but little is known beyond that. So, if timing is a concern of yours, this isn’t a great option.
And two, when a card is listed for eBay auction through COMC, you don’t have any control whatsoever over the details. For instance, the auction will always run 7 days and will always start at $.99. But harder to swallow in my opinion is that you can’t edit the title or provide any input whatsoever. So, you’re left to whatever title the COMC team comes up with.
Three, from the buyer’s perspective, if you ever see COMC selling a card on eBay auction, once you purchase that card, you can pay with your COMC funds and then have that card automatically transferred to your COMC account. So, let’s say you wanted to easily flip Pokemon cards on COMC, and saw an eBay auction deal from the COMC seller account, you could purchase, automatically send the card to COMC, and then reprice for sale on COMC.
In the end, the COMC and eBay relationship is a strong one, and provides a ton of value to both the buyer and the seller. It’s far from perfect, but certainly something worth exploring to help increase sales.