Thursday, September 13, 2018

How I use COMC

My strategy for using COMC is basically to not have a strategy in the first place.

Both quality- and quantity-wise, there's just so much to sift through, and any hope of holding to a specific plan a is pretty much lost within a few seconds. It's like a card show if that card show was attended by every dealer in the country. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I don't end up buying anything at all.

But therein lies the great thing about COMC: sometimes you hit the jackpot.

I can't really recall all the different rabbit holes and trap doors I fell through in cobbling together my recent COMC order, but I'm certainly happy with the spoils.

Finding mini-collection hits is more of a happy accident than anything -- there's no way to specifically search for double plays or throwbacks, after all -- and the Punto is doubly spectacular since I'd long assumed he never had a card as a Cardinal.

Starting Lineup cards are a common COMC search of mine since I rarely see them out in the wild, and better yet, I again lucked into a couple themed hits with these two.

If I use COMC for any one specific thing, it's oddballs.

The trouble there is that oddballs are a world unto themselves: you could spend an entire collecting lifetime chasing them down and still not discover them all. In the meantime, I'm grateful for whatever I can scrounge up, whether that be TCMA or Shakey's Pizza or something called Zeller's.

Also: how cool is that SLU card of Babe Ruth as a Brave?!

My main oddball go-tos are probably Kellogg's and Permagraphics (I think I've just about exhausted COMC of the Hostess cards I need at this point).

Shiny legends are a must, and I always try to add at least one liquorfractor to every COMC order.

I'm also partial to using COMC to snag various online-only Topps releases since I don't have the budget or brain space to actually keep track of these in real time.

The Kershaw is from Topps's "Throwback Thursday" series (which are actually pretty cool, though I'm not sure what set that one's supposed to honor) and the Perez was a fun Topps On Demand single I got for pennies on the dollar.

Somehow I never thought to search COMC for Japanese cards before now.

Other stuff I bought that didn't really fit in anywhere else: including the Spaceman as an Expo and a Gwynn that's been a dire need for years now.

I'd also like to note that Carlos Baerga, which is a strange card from last year's Archives Snapshots set (another online-only release!). Young Carlos never did crack the big-league roster with the Padres, actually making his debut with the Indians before ever suiting up in San Diego. So it's odd then that Topps would choose to feature him as a Padre.

Sadly, it's not quite a zero-year card since Baerga played a half-season in San Diego a decade later (1999), a stint so forgotten that I can't even find a picture of it on the internet.

By now, you may have heard of yet another online-only Topps release, one claimed to have been designed and curated by none other than Bryce Harper himself.

Me, I'll take the Christie Brinkley cards.

Photo variations are another addicting COMC search, but thankfully a cheap one: I don't think any of these cost me more than a dollar.

One thing I don't use COMC for very often is vintage, oddly enough: you can scope out some good deals, but I've found it takes a ton of time I'd rather spend searching for liquorfractors and oddballs.

But sometimes the two worlds collide in the form of...vintage oddballs!

Finally, here's a card I was just plain sick and tired of not having in my collection, well worth its title as the most expensive card of this order (a whopping $1.75).

But for now I must go: because now, as always, another COMC rabbit hole awaits.


TSHenson said...

Actually there are quite a few Carlos Baerga cards of him in a Padres uniform. His trade along with Sandy Alomar and Chris James to Cleveland in December 1990 was the first big piece of Cleveland's heyday of tge 1990s. And I believe, but could be wrong that he had a cup of tea in San Diego before coming to Cleveland.

Brian said...

I like to randomly pick a year to filter the results, then sort by lowest price. When I see a design, or player, or specific card that catches my interest, I'll open a new window for the card, then search all the cards in that set separately.
When I shop COMC, I usually end up with 20 - 30 open tabs by the time I've finished.

John Miller said...

Those comc oddballs are awesome. I see several Braves cards in there too, also swesome :), and the rest of the bunch are equally great.

night owl said...

I do all kinds of variations on Brian's lowest price method. (Mostly Dodger-related but not always). It never fails.

gcrl said...

Pretty sure the kersh is a star wars sticker set design. I'll have to look for the punto dp and maybe even the tanaka black armband thanks for sharing

Mike said...

Christie Brinkley!???

Nick Vossbrink said...

I need to search for both the Christie Brinkley and the Randy Johnson cards at some point as I've got a "photographer credit mini collection" going on now.

I use COMC primarily for oddballs. I try to keep things close to $1/card on average but don't get too obsessive about it. I'll also sing through vintage—just checking for Giants mostly—with things sorted by lowest price just in case anything jumps out at me. There's usually something but it's not my primary search.

Zippy Zappy said...

The only guideline I have for COMC is that I limit how much I can spend in a single sitting. Usually I max out at around $40.

Community Gum said...

You always find a great assortment of stuff. My method is to browse each of my player collections by recently added and pretend like I'm going to remember that something I want is there when it's time to do a round of buying. Then search by lowest price and usually start with #'d only and the cart fills up with cards under a dollar quickly.

Angus said...

Zeller's is an old Canadian department store similar to a K-Mart.

I remember collecting those yellow cards as they were released.

Fuji said...

COMC's search engine makes purchasing cards for fellow bloggers much, much simpler. On the other hand, I have definitely cut back on purchases for myself on that site. But after seeing your haul... I have a few things I wanna search for.

The Shlabotnik Report said...

Some great cards and great COMC searching ideas from you and the other commenters.

I have a few "canned" searches I keep in a Word document and paste into the COMC search bar... like this:
sketch -7th -etch -garbage
...Which searches for sketch cards which aren't "7th Inning Stretch" hockey, "Etch-A-Sketch" inserts or Garbage pail kids.

According to Cardboard Connection, the Kershaw is from the 2017 Throwback Thursdays set and the design is from the 1974 Monster Initial Stickers set. This particular batch was issued last October and called "ALCS and NLCS players"... I think Kershaw is the 'N' in 'NLCS'.

Scribbled Ink said...

I drift around COMC a lot but have yet to take the plunge and actually make a purchase. It is intimidating.

GCA said...

I sometimes browse COMC when I'm at work (like now). I'll find a few player collection oddballs, but then when I start to amass an order, I always wonder if they can be found cheaper, so I go to SportLots and end up buying half the things I found on COMC and a bunch more from there instead.

Defenders50 said...

Hasegawa! No-name (or very much name) reliever from the 1998 Angels that for some reason I formed a strong attachment with as a child. Might be because aside from Troy Percival, he was the only decent guy in their bullpen that year, and I played them a lot in the APBA game I had as a kid.

Bulldog said...

Some great cards there, most, if not all I've never seen. I just started using COMC and like you haven't figured out a plan. But like you said maybe one isn't needed. I do love how many cards are out there and available. Great post.

p.s. Love that card of Maddux batting.