Friday, May 10, 2024

The elephant in the room on COMC

I think it's time I addressed the somewhat uncomfortable elephant in the room with COMC: their shipping times have gotten a bit ridiculous.

I placed the order I'm about to showcase here back in January - it finally wound up on my doorstep a few weeks ago. This after the shipping date was pushed back three different times in the process. And the only apology from COMC was a $5 shipping voucher to be used towards my next order.

I don't mean to sound selfish or impatient here - my cards will come when they come, it's really not that important in the grand scheme of things. And I'm not saying we should boycott COMC (I've since placed another order that, with any luck, will arrive sometime this summer). But taking three months to fill an order is a bit much. All I know is that if it routinely took that long to fill an order at my job, we wouldn't get much business.

I get that things are pretty hectic in the card-buying world right now. It makes sense that shipping would take longer. But in that case, one should, I don't know, hire more people. Maybe COMC is already doing this. But either way you shouldn't sell the cards if you can't keep up with the demand.

It doesn't seem like too much to ask.

But that's enough whining from this dime box collector, because the good news is that I did eventually receive this order, and it packed the usual fun odds and ends!

In addition to the hallowed Trevor Hoffman card at the top of this post - which hits a recent obsession of seeing big names at wrong positions - came a healthy slew of other minor league dudes I collect (long live Boof Bonser!).

You really can't go wrong with minis because there's so many different incarnations of 'em out there.

In this scan alone, you've got stadium giveaways, stained Hostess, National Chicle "cards that never were" (that unnamed Pirate is Waite Hoyt), and cards like that Shakey's George Sisler that were given out at pizza joints!

I've come to enjoy grabbing these recent T206 singles on the cheap because a lot of them feature guys you don't see in many modern sets, and/or a lot of legends in rarely-seen uniforms.

(Give me all the Randy Johnson Expos cards!)

A few more contemporary COMC pickups here - I needed to own that Betts the minute after I saw it on Night Owl's blog a while back.

It also saddens me that Jose Quintana's only Cardinals card came in the online-only Topps Living Set, but the good news here is that someone took pity on me and listed a cheap copy right before I placed this order.

As usual, a few new scores for the bigger player collections - I played Backyard Baseball to death as a kid, so that particularly cool Tony Gwynn earns bonus nostalgia points.

I'll never turn down new cards of the Ted Williamses and Cal Ripken Jrs. of the cardboard world, but if I'm being honest I get way more excitement out of landing new Luis Tiants and Joe Pepitones for my binders.

Neat bonus here is that Colorado Silver Bullets Phil Niekro - a lesser-known fact about "Knucksie" is that he was the manager of the first professional all-female professional baseball team.

Horizontal heroes!

I seem to say it in every COMC post, but it always floors me how cheap Topps Now cards can get (I paid a hair under $3 for that excellent Elly De La Cruz).

A couple stars from across the Pacific.

I went on a box-bottom binge on COMC one afternoon, and my collection is the better for it because these will always rule.

Maybe one day I'll be able to point to a specific reason why I especially love cards that were cut from other objects so much - because right now I really can't give you a straight answer.

Sometimes I'll be assembling a post like this for the blog and a scan will leave me confused as to exactly how I found such a random mix of cards buried deep within the COMC archives.

I have absolutely no idea, for example, what led me to discover that Terrence Long card, but I'm sure glad I did since that's a particularly shiny mid '90s insert set I'd never seen before.

Whether consciously or not, it does seem like legends always make up the bulk of my COMC orders.

Cards from the early Topps "legend variation" days can get insanely pricey (2009 was the first year they appeared), so nabbing that neat Tris Speaker for $5 was a steal.

More legends!

I've been after that TCMA Dizzy Dean for a while - Ol' Diz has painfully few Cub cards - and I believe that Nolan Ryan is the last '80s Kellogg's card I needed (the groovy Astros unis go well with the '81 Kellogg's design).

I did manage to scoop up a few vintage goodies this time around, including a very well-loved Jim Perry from the tough '61 Topps high-number series.

I'm also not sure how that '66 Bob Gibson has eluded me all these years - but alas, like my last COMC order, a vintage Gibson has to play second fiddle.

That's because the Hammer himself made an appearance this time around!

I don't know if Hank Aaron has any cards that could be described as "easy," but this is one of the more attainable ones out there (not a high-number, and not a particularly early card). I'd simply never found a copy that fit within the range of what I wanted to pay until now. It's a mighty piece of cardboard I'm thrilled to finally own.

Of course, I'd prefer not to wait months and months for my COMC orders to show up on my doorstep, but all things considered there's not really anything else like it on the internet - where else am I gonna find a '67 Hank Aaron and a bowling Mookie Betts in the same stack of cards?


Mike said...

That is a ridiculous wait time,agreed. Love that Cardenal card,a mere lad!

Doc Samson said...

Nice collection of cards, Nick. I remember box bottom cards when they came out in the 1980’s. I saw a guy one time cutting out the entire box bottom in a Walgreen’s on the South Side without paying for the box. Now there’s a collector. And you’re right. Those wait times are painfully show.

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

Super nice Hank Aaron. To plug the Dizzy Dean hole in my Cubs collection, I finally settled a card from the Jack Brickhouse playing cards set.

Elliptical Man said...

Voting for Aaron.

That was a long wait time.

Cmcheatle said...

That Fielder card is a straight up abomination. Not sure that is an actual Blue Jays uniform, and if it is, it is from 10 to 15 years after he played for the team.

Shlabotnik Report said...

The Aaron and Gibson are cool, but I spent much of my time with this post going "Ooh, what's that?" at the oddballs.

BTW... I'm thinking that's Tim Foli on that 2010 Joe Morgan variation

Fuji said...

A. The COMC shipping issue sucks. I've just learned to accept that anything I buy on their site won't arrive anytime soon. That's why I've been using Sportlots to help with set stuff lately. But it only takes one dealer to hold up shipment when you're using their box option.

B. I love seeing Randy Johnson in his Expos uniform too.

C. Just like I love the yellow bordered 1981 Kellogg's design.

Bo said...

Some great oddball pickups!

Matt said...

Great cards as always! That Tiant is wonderful! Congrats!

GCA said...

Good stuff - Legends are my favorite too.
What the heck is that Don Baylor? Now I need one...
I WILL complete the 2007 UD Sweet Spot Classic base set /575 before I die.
I'm waiting on an order I kicked off in March. I'm down to about 150,000 ahead of me and projected for 5/22 delivery. I also sent in another batch to sell. It's a race to see if I get my delivery before the others start showing up in my inventory.

Michael D said...

3 months is a ridiculously long time to wait for an order. It won't take long before collectors start looking elsewhere for their cards. That is a great looking Aaron card. Very nice pick-up.

Jon said...

It's really something to see Trevor Hoffman looking that young!

I hadn't heard about them hiring more people, but I hope it's true, as I'm about use my coupon for another shipment and it would be nice to think that I might be able to get it before Christmas.

Xavier Higgins said...

Economy Shipping at $4.99 is a bargain no matter the wait. You get what you pay for. I just received my order from, paid the extra $6 for Economy Rushed Delivery and got my package 5 days after my initial request for a total of $10.99.