Friday, August 4, 2017

The Downside of COMC

Earlier this week I finally sold the last "high-end" card in my COMC inventory - this Nolan Ryan coin & stamp card from a jumbo box of 2015 Topps I bought earlier this year:

I hadn't sold anything in a while, and I had my eye on a Dustin Pedroia autographed card, so I accepted the initial offer of about $24. The Pedroia was $30, but I tried making a $20 offer..which was countered at $25.25. I countered at $23..the seller countered at $24.25. 

I really didn't want to lose out on the Pedey auto over a stinkin' quarter, so I had to accept. But first I had to do some COMC challenges. Once that was out of the way, I had my prize:

Dustin Pedroia 2016 Topps The Mint - Franchise Autographs ($24.25)

Cool trade, eh? And I had some spare change to spend on the site as a bonus. Thanks to COMC's connection to Upper Deck ePack there are truckloads of hockey singles available for 30-50 cents; I figured 75 cents would buy me two decent cards for my PC.

And with O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey hitting the site this week, I tried to be patient and grab some nice shiny chrome-type cards. But the prices were too good to pass up; this Alex Ovechkin logo crest insert was $0.35 when I added it to my cart:

..and $0.30 an hour later.

So I wasted a (free) nickel. So what? Well, it got me thinking about some of the other hockey card purchases I've made this year - specifically from product that later ended up on ePack. This Patrik Elias 1000 Point Club jersey was $9.47 when I bought it in April:

There's one on COMC right now for $3.99 :/

This Adam Henrique SP Game Used Frameworks jersey cost me $5.67 two weeks ago:

It would cost me $3.25 today.

I could go on, but you get the point. It's hard to know when to pull the trigger on a deal, and when to wait out the market. I've had my share of successes, of course. Even with constant flow of inventory from ePack to COMC I've managed to find some good deals:

paid $14.25 in May...
now: $45 (last copy on COMC)

paid $3.75 in May...
now $9.84 (on sale)

Time will tell what happens to the price of 2016-17 OPC Platinum cards as they continue to funnel onto COMC, but you can bet I'll be chipping away at Challenges to purchase some singles. And I'll be keeping my eyes out for more deals like this one:

Pekka Rinne 2016-17 OPC Platinum Retro Gold Rainbow #d/149 ($0.49)

...while trying not to stress over the singles I bought before Upper Deck ePack-ed them out:

Pavel Zacha 2016-17 OPC Platinum Marquee Rookies Red Prism #d/199 ($3.85)

Have you had any good(or bad) experiences with ePack? Do you purchase packs straight from the site, or wait until the singles hit COMC? Let me know in comments. 

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. ePack is the death of the hobby. Or at least Hobby shops. Instead of heading out to your local shop and grabbing a few packs, chatting with other collectors, etc... why waste the gas when you can sit at home and buy packs online? Whee!
    Not to mention the way it screws collectors who buy the actual product. Think of all those numbered cards or scarce autos that UD keeps out of packs so they can reward people busting ePack.
    Only 50 McDavid autos! But how many were left out and saved for ePack???

    And then the flood onto comc which murders the secondary market on every product it touches....


    ePack can die in a fire.

    1. I hadn't thought of the distribution of high-end/low #d cards since I'm mostly a low-end/fave team collector..but you make a great point. Hope you're wrong about it being the death of the hobby; I would prefer to shop at an LCS or card show, but that's not an option for me :/

  2. I've purchased on ePack a few times. Outside of my first purchase, I've only pulled junk. I got a ton of Goodwin Champions autographs and relics on the cheap from COMC, so I've taken advantage of them flooding the site with that product.

    1. I think that's the way to go. The pack prices don't seem like a good value.

  3. I don't like epack. I'm a base card collector at heart. No base cards means I'm not going to spend money on it.

    1. Agree 100%. I've bought some packs of Compendium because it's an online-only issue, but that's it.

  4. I love ePack. I feel those that hate on it have a hard time thinking outside the box. I yearn for the "old days" in many ways, but this isn't one of them. Very few trade anymore and it's one of the places you can.

    It's tough to find that sweet spot on COMC. I've seen prices drop very low, but then those get scooped up and the prices start rising.

    1. The trading aspect of it is definitely fun; it's why I loved the Diamond Dig contest Topps did in 2011. I've had some bad experiences with a couple jerks on there but for the most part people are pretty cool about swapping base for base. (and you're one of them)

    2. You're absolutely right that there are a lot of asshats on there. My counter-point is that there a lot of them at card shows, on hobby message boards and social media as well. It just comes along with everything we do.

  5. I've never purchased an ePack. Lol... I still haven't really grasped the concept and at my age... probably never will.

    1. It took me a while to figure it out..and even longer to figure out what is an acceptable ask for eCards of Auston Matthews (the sun, moon, and stars) Patrik Laine (not as much as Mitch Marner) and Jake Guentzel (gold during the playoffs...not so much now)