It’s been nearly 10 years since we sat in our first office, weathering the wrath of Superstorm Sandy on the night our first auction closed. A lot has changed in the hobby since then, but our commitment to quality, to integrity, and to the history and beauty of this great hobby remains as strong as it was the day we opened our doors. But we’ve grown and changed, and felt that it was time to make some improvements to how our customers experience our company.
We started by developing a new look and feel – a brand-new logo and color palette that we think better reflects the company we are today. Don’t get us wrong, we loved our old logo. But while in 2012, we wanted our image to reflect “19th Century baseball,” in 2021, we’re more than that. We’re not carnival barkers – first and foremost, we’re purveyors of historically important sports artifacts. We want our image to convey our commitment to quality, integrity, and trust.
The next step was to develop a secure, new auction system. The auction platform we selected is the auction platform chosen by many of the leaders in the hobby – companies that have decades of auction experience, and have put the software through its paces. In short, this platform already has a track record of running some of the hobby’s most significant sales without incident.
Beyond the look and feel of a new website and auction system, there’s a lot of new stuff under the hood that we think makes us a stronger auction company – new policies, new systems, and lots to tell you about. Some of the policy changes:
• Beginning with our next auction, all LOTG customers will be required to change their passwords. This is for your own security, and will help us ensure that your personal information is better protected. When you change your password, you’ll also have the opportunity to add another layer of protection by enrolling in two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication makes it harder for attackers to gain access to your personal information.
• You’ll also be asked to verify your billing and shipping address, so that we start with fresh information that we know is accurate. This prevents shipping issues when you win something in our auction. Lastly, we’ll ask that you re-acquaint yourself with our auction rules before you place your next bid.
• Beginning with our next auction, we will no longer be accepting direct credit card payments. You may recall that up until now, we have accepted direct credit card payments on invoices under $5,000. You’ll still be able to pay with a credit card – you’ll just have to do it through your PayPal account. This is for your security, as we won’t require you to enter your credit card information anywhere in our auction system.
• We’ll also be trying something new with shipping. On typical auction winnings, we’re going to standardize shipping, so that you know in advance what to expect. Our shipping rates have always been among the lowest in the industry, but now we want to make it even better – so we’ll begin standardizing our shipping at $10.00 and up, based on the value of your package (see our auction rules for more details). For those who win certain low-dollar items, we also now offer you the option to request First Class Mail delivery in a Jiffy mailer for just $5, provided that you waive any claims for damage and loss in transit. The standardized shipping rates will apply to anything but heavy or oversized pieces, e.g. graded sets, framed items, stadium seats, some pennants (which we typically ship flat), and large packages with many items.
Probably our favorite change, however, is the launch of our “Extra Innings” auctions. The Extra Innings auctions will be smaller, internet-only auctions designed for special circumstances – for instance, breaking up a graded set, or liquidating a unique collection. Extra Innings auctions provide bidders the ability to bid on individual pieces that may once have been part of a large lot, while providing consignors with the ability to auction off their material in a special environment.
Don’t misunderstand – Extra Innings auctions are not throwaway auctions for low-dollar items that aren’t good enough for our Premier Auctions. Extra Innings auctions are unique auctions that we’ll launch only when we’ve got something special to offer, outside the context of our Premier Auctions.
Our first Extra Innings auction will launch later this week – it’s a fantastic breakup of a T206 near-set, which was assembled card-by-card by a now-retired Long Island police officer. The set was built over the period of 10 years, using money he set aside from his overtime pay. The cards were almost all purchased in person, at card shows in New York, getting to more than 500 of the 524, including many highlights. It’s a fantastic set, with many cards purchased raw and recently graded by SGC.
For this Extra Innings auction, as a special incentive for T206 collectors, we’re dropping our pay-by-check buyer’s premium to just 15% (18% if you pay by PayPal)! Be on the lookout for the auction preview, which will launch this week.
If you’ve got a quality set or smaller, topical collection with a theme that you think might work for an Extra Innings auction, please feel free to reach out.
We hope you enjoy our new website. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out!