When people ask about COMC, the biggest question they have is how selling works on the site. I've answered this question for people in forum threads, private messages, e-mails, and in person. I thought I would use this blog post as an opportunity to give people an idea of how to get started.
Your port, in the most basic terms, is where your cards are located. Your port is your storefront or display case for any cards you have for sale. Your port is also where any cards your purchase end up when you are shopping/buying on the site, as well as a resting place for any cards you are holding back from sale for any reason.There are three ways you can add cards to your port.
Submit Items for Processing
This is the primary method I use for populating my port with good stuff for all you lucky buyers. This method involves selecting cards you have at your location, packing them up into a box, and mailing them to COMC.
COMC charges .25 per single for the basic processing service and $1.00 for the premium processing service. Basic is the most cost effective way to get cards added, but it is also the slowest as the process can take 2-8 weeks. Generally, you'll see most of the cards go live within a 2-6 week window, with only the most difficult to identify cards taking the full eight weeks. Premium processing is fast...like usually the next day fast. This service covers the higher end material and oversized cards that you may want to submit. Processing time is stated as 1-3 days.
You can find out more about submission fees here. There is more to submitting that I will cover later - selecting cards, shipping methods, etc.
Purchasing Other Ports
This is the most cost effective way I have found to get inventory for your port. Basically you are buying up all of the cards in someone else's port (usually for a hefty discount). The good news is that there is usually plenty of room for profit on the higher end stuff as long as it was priced decently to begin with. The bad news is that you are buying everything that was in the port - good, bad, and ugly.
It's important to be thorough when you are looking through the port determining it's worthiness and also whether you can get it for a price you can deal with. Some unscrupulous people will hide cards in the middle of a port - assuming that you will only check the highest and lowest priced items - that are over-priced, garbage, or both. Remember that you are getting the best and worst out of each port you buy, which means you will end up with some awful stuff that will likely sit in your port for infinity and beyond.
Another thing to keep an eye on are the cards from non-major sports, especially racing. A quick check on eBay will reveal a truer idea of a card's value than relying on someone's price in their port. Just do your homework and make a reasonable offer and you should do fine! You can check out COMC ports for sale here.
Buying Individual Cards (Flipping)
The final way to add cards to your port is also the easiest and in my experience the most efficient way. Flipping occurs when you snap up a card from another seller and then deftly re-price it for an amount that was higher than the previous owner's listing price.
The reason I call this the most efficient way?
1 - The cards are already listed, which means no waiting period - which beats processing.
2 - You are hand picking the cards you flip - obviously the more popular the player, the more likely a card will sell - which beats bulk port buying.
3 - If you do your homework, you are buying something that was either under-priced or on sale for a considerable discount from it's true market value.
There are sellers who use flipping as their bread and butter method. Including this guy who I know as SpastikMooss on the Blowout Forums. His COMC account is chock full of cards he has purchased and is flipping for a profit.
When you look for flips - try and find newly listed items, items that are on sale, or you can even resort to prospecting a little and buying low on guys you think are going to sell big at a later date (my biggest success was Manny Machado using this method). You also want to make sure you can make a profit if you sell this card - my general rule is that I want to double my money, but I'll accept any offer where I make money.
One final note, is to make sure you are in Advanced Re-Seller Mode on your COMC account before you start flipping. In Basic Buyer Mode, you have a .25 shipping fee attached to the card, which is removed in Advanced. You can check which mode you are in under your user settings.