The baseball card industry has just one official pricing guide–Beckett. The master of the land gets to decide the baseline prices for all baseball cards. This mighty giant has decided that the growing upstart COMC can no longer use their prices online.
COMC is revolutionizing the baseball card industry by storing all the sellers cards in one location. COMC handles all the fulfillment of shipping and money transactions between the buyer and seller. For six years COMC relied on Beckett pricing. Now Beckett backs out. Beckett has yet to release an official statement. But one can only theorize that Beckett saw people going to COMC to get values for baseball cards; thereby leaving Beckett with less traffic to their own site. The knee-jerk reaction is to pull the plug on COMC’s prices.
Beckett thinks they can get away being a bully in the industry, but they will soon find out that they are no longer the giant they thought they were. Instead they will find out that they just made the competition even stronger. COMC is now developing their own price guide based on true market values.
As a Ryne Sandberg collector, the Beckett values are meaningless. I have my own budget and prices in mind when cards not in my collection surface. If the card is worth the asking price, then I’ll buy it. Simple as that.
Developing their own price guide is a good move for COMC. Cards are worth only as much as people are willing to pay for them. Their sales data will directly reflect that. Relying on a third party’s data may not directly reflect what’s actually happening in the marketplace.
A few highlighted observations from others in the baseball card industry, as posted on the COMC announcement:
It seems to me that Beckett has signed its own death certificate, it has had very little relevance for many years. I was a contributor to the magazine back when Dr. Beckett was still running the show, I’d love to contribute to this project. Perhaps a monthly on-line news magazine that isn’t a cheerleader for the manufacturers.
Congratulations to you and the COMC Team for another great year. I personally feel that Beckett is being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish by dissolving their relationship with COMC. Book Value is only one small portion of the buying experience and I feel that COMC can further work on their strengths to continue to grow: scans of every card, great customer service and so on. Best of luck in 2014!!!
This could definitely be a positive in the long run. Beckett values rarely represented the COMC market value for users and wasn’t a very effective tool for pricing. Along with the SLP, it would be useful for buyers and sellers to see historical trends (much like a stock) and allow all users to continue feeling like there is value here. My only worry about allowing users to list prices is that there may be intrinsic bias in their methods. Plus, there would need to be strict criteria and expertise requirements to determine who is qualified to determine such pricing.
What do you think this does for Beckett?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.