Most collectors build up their card collection through the magic of buying online. Thanks to the internet, you can buy pretty much anything you want, which is also true for collecting.
You can find other collectors and trade for the cards your collection lacks, which will be sent out to you in the mail.
The use of mail is a great thing for collectors as it enables us to get what we need quickly. However, it’s extremely important to ship the cards correctly to avoid disappointment.
Let’s explore the best way to ship cards.
The Unofficial Rules Of Shipping Cards
So there are no set rules to shipping, but we think that there should be. If you’re packaging up some for sale, make sure you follow these guidelines to avoid an angry buyer.
Protection Is Vital
When dealing with collectors, never – under ANY circumstances – just pop the cards into an envelope and send them on their way.
This is a surefire way to piss off a buyer and probably lose the money you earned from the sale.
So, you’re going to need some protection. The best protection for cards will be two layers – a penny sleeve and a top loader.
These are two different plastic sleeves that will stop your cards from getting bent in their mailing journey.
Steer Clear Of Envelopes
Paper envelopes are sure to crumple, tear, or get wet during mailing. How many times have you received a piece of mail in an envelope that is a little worse for wear?
Even top loaders will struggle to maintain the card if it’s in a flimsy envelope.
To avoid the card being damaged after it’s been posted, a more rigid form of outerwear is preferred. A bubble mailer will do just fine.
Bubble mailers are padded envelopes with a lining of bubble wrap within to protect its contents.
They’re not that more expensive than regular envelopes and will give the cards a better chance of getting to their destination smoothly.
Be Weary Of Cardboard Boxes
You can also use cardboard boxes that provide a more rigid exterior to the cards, so if and when the package gets thrown about in shipping, the cards shouldn’t feel it one bit.
You can also fit more cards in boxes, so they’re good if you’re sending more than a couple of them.
This type of packaging is great for the most part, but there are a few precautions to take to avoid the cards suffering from damaged corners.
When packing a box of cards, you want to make it as difficult as possible for the cards to move within it.
Parcels are thrown left right and center while being mailed, and a card that can move inside the box might experience blunt force trauma to its corners.
So, how do you avoid the cards shifting within the cardboard box? You can add some bubble wrap down the sides to give them a little more padding on their journey.
Even the smallest of gaps can cause trouble, so putting the bubble wrap across all four of the sides is the best way to go.
Some people ship cards in a box within a box. This can help protect the corners from being damaged, but it might also increase the shipping fees.
Be Careful With The Tape
Top loaders can be taped to ensure that the card does not fall out and remain without protection for the rest of its journey.
However, the type of tape you use could make your buyer’s day much easier or more difficult.
Most sellers will use normal scotch tape to secure the card, but this can ruin the top loader by leaving a residue on it that is impossible to get off.
No one wants to keep a card in a top loader that has a massive blurry smear all over it.
Packing tape is even worse and often requires a knife to get into, so don’t use this either. Instead, opt for masking tape.
It is strong enough to hold the card in place but not so strong that it ruins the top loader or creates more hassle for the buyer.
Don’t Go Overboard With Protection
We know that this is going against everything we’ve just been saying – but there’s a fine line between well protected and too much.
If a buyer has to cut into the packaging because you’ve lined it with so much tape that it’s impossible to get in, they might risk damaging the card within.
So, avoid too much padding wrapped around the card, as well as any packing tape that you’re thinking of using.
By all means tape the exterior, but leave the buyer a clear way of getting into the package so that they don’t have to get the knife out.
Step-By-Step Guide For Shipping Cards
Let’s take all we’ve learned and put it into a guide of how to properly package cards for mailing.
- Fit the cards inside of a penny sleeve, then a top loader. This gives two layers of protection instantly against folding.
- Tape the top loader with masking tape to avoid making the top loader too difficult to get into.
- Choose between a bubble mailer and a cardboard box for your cards. The former is best for a few cards while the latter is better for whole sets.
- If choosing a bubble mailer, place the cards within and tape the exterior only enough so that it is secure. Leave an entrance for the buyer so that they don’t have to cut it.
- If choosing a cardboard box, make sure that you pad the interior with some bubble wrap so that the cards can’t move.
- Send them off!
We hope that you feel more confident with sending cards thanks to our guide.
Using this method should avoid angry sellers and destroyed cards, ensuring that they can be cherished for many years to come.
Remember that while protection is important, too much of it can be a burden. Use just enough to avoid sellers having to cut into the package with a knife.