|Amazon.com Auctions and Certified Collectibles Group Announce Alliance for Grading Services|
Online auction sellers can now receive authentication services for coins, sportscards, and comic books
SEATTLE and PARSIPPANY, N.J., September 1 -- Amazon.com Auctions and Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), the world's largest third-party certification company, announced an alliance to provide online auction sellers with authentication and grading services for coins, sportscards, and comic books. This service provides sellers with a product that has greater appeal to collectors, while giving buyers more confidence in their online auction transactions.
Coin, sportscard, and comic-book sellers can access the services through Auctions Help and clicking on the Seller's Guide at www.amazon.com/auctions to receive a grade, authentication, and restoration check, as well as to host digital images of their collectibles. The services will be provided by a team of experts at CCG's companies: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America (NGC), Sportscard Guaranty LLC (SGC), and Comics Guaranty LLC (CGC). Amazon.com customers will receive a 10 percent discount on CCG's normal rates, which start as low as $15 for coins, $6 for sportscards, and $12.50 for comic books.
Collectors can use the online form to list their items, calculate shipping and postage, and submit their items to CCG. Once received, the products are processed, graded, encapsulated, and then imaged in an onsite state-of-the-art imaging lab. The images are forwarded via e-mail to the submitter, and the items are then returned to their owner. Grading varies according to the type of item submitted; for example, the condition of a coin may be scored on a scale of 1 to 70, while sportscards are graded on a scale of 1 to 100, and comic books are typically ranked from "poor" to "mint" on a 1-to-10 scale. Depending on the level of service requested, authentication and grading services can be provided as quickly as 24 hours after NGC, CGC, or SGC receives the items.
"As the popularity of online auctions continues to grow, buyers and sellers alike need an opportunity to verify product quality and authenticity," said Jeff Blackburn, director of business development, Amazon.com Auctions. "By working with certification companies such as CCG, we are giving our customers an even greater level of trust in online auctions while creating an exciting shopping experience filled with the highest-quality, authenticated collectibles."
"The alliance between CCG and Amazon.com provides new possibilities for collectors that aren't commonly found on the Internet," said Mark Salzberg, CEO of the Certified Collectibles Group. "Our relationship with Amazon.com will greatly expand our ability to help individual collectors trade with more confidence and receive a fair value when buying or selling coins, sportscards, and comic books."
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, Amazon.com provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.
In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.
Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
About Certified Collectibles Group
Certified Collectibles Group is a group of companies focused on the impartial, independent, and expert certification and grading of collectibles.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America (NGC). NGC is the leading grading company in rare coins, currently certifying more than 50,000 coins per month. The company provides grading services, hobby educational products such as the digital imaging service PhotoProof, census information of coins graded, and numismatic educational information and images in the areas of counterfeits, variety coins, and educational curricula. NGC is also the Official Grading Service of the congressionally chartered leader of the coin hobby, the American Numismatic Association.
NGC's dominance in coin certification has been paralleled by its development of important services for the collector, the most important being PhotoProof, a popular and unique digital imaging and historical presentation service. A submitter's coin is digitally imaged, paired with detailed historical text describing the coin's background, and personalized to describe the unique characteristics of the individual item.
Sportscard Guaranty LLC (SGC). SGC has seen remarkable growth and popularity in its first year of operation, growing to its current certification of more than 30,000 cards per month. The cornerstone of SGC's success has been laid through a commitment to accurate, expert and impartial grading, backed by the industry's only comprehensive Grading Guarantee. Other unique advantages enjoyed by SGC include faster turnaround times, responsive and expert customer service, a varied and affordable range of grading options, and a more accurate 1-to-100 grading scale. The steady growth in submissions proves the value the market sees in SGC's unique grading guarantee, and also shows the growing preference of collectors for SGC certification.
Comics Guaranty LLC (CGC). Scheduled for introduction in September 1999, CGC is the first and only certification and grading service for comic books. Designed to fill the need for impartial, expert opinions for the entire comic-book industry, CGC will provide grading opinions, restoration detection, and pedigree attribution. Submitters also have the security of a high-impact, tamper-evident holder that revolutionizes the protection of comic books while featuring the CGC grade and identification information. The initial focus of CGC certification will be on the U.S. market for comic books, covering books listed in the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.