Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cardboard Commentary #10 (Shipping Cards)

Back in the day, getting new cards through trading only happened between friends, with a card shop, or at a card show. All you had to do was bring your cards and swap them with the person in front of you. Nowadays, the internet has globalized the ability to trade cards with other people. Unfortunately, you can't just hand off your cards and be done with it. To trade, you will most likely have to ship your cards through the mail. Today I'm going to address the way I like to ship cards. It has proven to be safe, and I haven't gotten a complaint about my shipping methods as of yet! Hopefully this little guide will help you be a great trader in the card community by getting your cards undamaged to those you trade with.


Since I returned to collecting in 2009, I've seen a variety of peoples' shipping methods. Some have been  top notch and safe, while others have been downright horrible. Some of the best packaging I have seen involved using cardboard to sandwich the card. I've also had cards delivered to me in one-touch card holders - definitely some good protection there! On the weaker side of things, cards have come to me in a plain white envelopes, or PWEs. Sometimes the cards have arrived safely, while at others times, cards have come damaged. Just last week someone from Russia sent me a card in a PWE wrapped in some type of magazine paper. Thankfully the card was unharmed in transit. I was pretty amazed. If you want to see that particular package, click HERE to watch me open it.

I have to admit that I have shipped in PWEs before, but I have made sure that the cards were protected as best as possible in them. Also, I have told those who have gotten a PWE from me that I would be using that method of shipping. I try not to use PWEs, but sometimes they are the best method for sending out really low-end cards. PWEs are the cheapest in terms of both material and shipping cost. With the recent increase in US shipping, a well-packaged PWE may become more popular.

My method of shipping cards involves a few key items. They are: a bubble envelope, a toploader, decoys, a team bag, and some tape. The cost to ship to me is on the higher side as all these things put together increases how much it takes to ship... but I know it is appreciated by the receiver and also gives me the peace of mind that what I'm sending out has a great chance of getting to its destination safely.

Check out my video on shipping below as I detail how I ship in PWEs and bubble envelopes. I hope it helps give you some insight on good shipping practices.


If you have comments about shipping methods, I'd love to hear from you! Also, feel free to let me know any horror stories you've had because of bad shipping. You can share in the comments section below.

9 comments:

  1. Two horror stories, well 3...
    The first wasn't really their fault. They taped the top loader shut with normal scotch tape, but I guess it wasn't taped tightly enough to prevent the card from moving around, so the card came into contact with the tape and it damaged it, leaving a noticable white de-coloration.. on a Stamkos PowerPlay RC, tsk tsk..
    2, Shipped to me in a PWE and luckily the card was taped to the inside of the envelope b/c somehow the envelop ripped in half and Canada Post recovered both halves and mailed it in a clear plastic bag that said, "damaged mail, we appologize.." or something. If the card wasn't taped in, it would've fallen out and lost.
    3, Card was put in a penny sleeve only and shipped just loosely in a large bubble mailer. The card arrived with a massive fold crease, completely damaged insert card. Luckily not an expensive card by any means. They replaced it.

    These were all ebay purchases.

    -ryannturnaa

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  2. yes, sometimes tape can be your biggest enemy! a lot of people put tape on the top of a toploader and like in your story, the card can get stuck to it thus damaging it. that really sucks. that's why in the video i recommend using a team bag.

    there was this one time that a kid making his first trade with me just used massive amount of tape to 'protect' the card. first of all, it took me FOREVER to get all the tape off... secondly, the very tape used to try to protect the card damaged it because of the afore mentioned toploader issue. good intentions, bad results!

    and as for ebay... tsk tsk is all i can say to many of the sellers on there and their shipping methods!

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  3. Unless I can buy in bulk off the same seller, USPS' price increases have made it a lot tougher to justify picking up lower end inserts off ebay. Was looking for a James Laurinaitis green Prizm, found two ($3 & $12) but each had a shipping cost of $25+. Also seeing a lot more US sellers who simply no longer ship internationally. Going to have to rely a lot more on COMC now.

    - reebz0r

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    1. wow, shipping for over $25... that seems a bit unreasonable. like i said, shipping has gone up to about $7 in a bubble mailer. i'm not sure why anyone would ship at that ridiculous price for lower-end cards.

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    2. It gets better, bought a UFC 2013 Knockout box topper the other night. The seller is using eBay's shipping hub because it's an international delivery... US$46!

      - reebz0r

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  4. I got a autograph mailday from a pretty popular youtuber, (not mentioning the name) He put the card in the case with no sleeve, no tape keeping it shut. and when I got it. It was out of the case and damaged on the top. Pretty poor shipping, plus some of the sharpie was scratched off. Like come on really don't do that to any card but an autograph?!?

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    Replies
    1. ouch! sounds like a pretty bad mailday! hopefully you let that person know their error and was able to work something out with them.

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