How to safely package cards!

cardcollector01

New member
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Recently, I have had a few trades where packaging was not up to par. I have decided to make this thread explaining how you can package up cards to prevent damage while in the postal service.

1-3 Cards (PWE)
I usually send 1-3 cards in a Plain White Envelope. You always need to use an appropriately sized toploader. Never try to squeeze cards into a toploader. Make sure the cards are in a softsleeve or softsleeves to prevent corner dings. Tape the top of the toploader shut tightly, to prevent the cards from slipping out. I send these types of packages as 'Non-Machineable First Class' (costs about 65 cents per envelope). Pretty much what this means is that they treat it like a package, and do not let it go through the machines they use to sort the mail.

4-25 cards AND Game Used / Autographs (padded envelope)
Whenever I trade alot of cards (under about 30), I always put them in a padded envelope. I have devised a method of packaging these safely, without using a toploader for every card

1. Put all the cards your mailing into a team set bag, or zip lock bag

2. Tape the bag of cards to a toploader (or piece of cardboard, whichever you use) on ALL 4 SIDES. This prevents the bag from manuvering itself free.

3. Tape another toploader or cardboard piece on top of the exposed side of the cards, and tape again on ALL 4 SIDES. Package it up good, taping the envelope shut.


This method works extremely well, as I have not had any complaints yet.

26+ cards (box)
When trading away a large lot of cards, I mail them in a box. I use the same packaging method as the one above, but also tape the cards to the box, so they will not move around inside, because we all know how the Postal Service treats the packages. Fill the box with packing peanuts, shreaded paper or whatever you prefer to use. Seal the box tightly on every side possible, assuring the box will not break open during transit.


NEVER put an autograph or game used card in a PWE. This never turns out good, for anyone

Delivery Confirmation - Use it when you feel like you should. I know some traders use it for every trade, and thats ok. Some of us do not have enough money to do that, and thats alright too.


Well, hope this was informative to people :) You are welcome to share your ways of packaging, and I will add them to this list. Also, if this could get stickied, that would be helpful too :)

Robbie
 

worldwideed

Active member
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Good stuff. I use many of the techniques above and have NEVER received a damaged card complaint.

Also, if any trade newbies are reading this. NEVER send a gu card or think card in a PWE through the regular letter mail it WILL be damaged.
 

jaderock

New member
12
JMO:

I would NEVER send any card in a PWE UNLESS it was a thin card like Topps Total AND it was part of a contest freebie. Toploaders aren't meant for regular mail. They bend AND sometimes crack which results in creases.

My feeling is: if I buy or trade for a card, it's because I NEED it regardless of "BV" -- meaning it holds value to me. If I get a creased card due to cheap packaging/shipping, then the experience is ruined (and often times not replacable).
 

cardcollector01

New member
1,568
4.90 star(s)
JMO:

I would NEVER send any card in a PWE UNLESS it was a thin card like Topps Total AND it was part of a contest freebie. Toploaders aren't meant for regular mail. They bend AND sometimes crack which results in creases.

My feeling is: if I buy or trade for a card, it's because I NEED it regardless of "BV" -- meaning it holds value to me. If I get a creased card due to cheap packaging/shipping, then the experience is ruined (and often times not replacable).

Good point. However, if you pay the extra .13 or so cents, you can have it go Non-Machineable first class, which means they have to carry it through the sorting process, instead of allowing it through the sorters. This prevents the toploaders any damage, and it only costs .65 cents per PWE.

Robbie
 

zlw1

Active member
2,044
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Good point. However, if you pay the extra .13 or so cents, you can have it go Non-Machineable first class, which means they have to carry it through the sorting process, instead of allowing it through the sorters. This prevents the toploaders any damage, and it only costs .65 cents per PWE.

Robbie

Robbie
I go through stamps.com
its only .17 extra to ship a 1oz envelope with nonmachinable surcharge
Worth every penny!
 

ktcardshop

New member
7
Plain White Envelope?

I never use a PWE. Seems that the post office will miss it an send it through their machines and the card either gets badly curled or ripped out of the envelope and you get the envelope in a plastic bag saying it was damaged in processing.
Rather I use a 28# Brown Craft 7G Catalog Envelope. It looks like it's larger counterparts but is about the size of a 6 3/4 envelope. Being brown in color and made from much thicker paper, it shows up as being different to the mail sorters.
I put the cards in a team bag and between two toploaders and securely tape them together in both directions with carton sealing tape. After placing them in the envelope I seal the envelope and tape it shut. So far this has proven to be indestructible to the post office. I would never use a plain white envelope for sending cards!

Ray
 

Texas Brave13

New member
137
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In addition to all of these pearls of wisdom in packing/shipping of cards of ANY style, I especially like the best method of all:

COMMON SENSE

That Tony Armas 1980 Topps that's worth .05¢ to you might be worth $1K to the person buying it...
 
O

oldmarine0311

Guest
one important thing that was left out when a person is trading either with a bubble mailer or PWE please please please also on a scrap of paper list the trade number and your return address, if for some reason your PWE is damaged it has an address that it can be returned to. and as the person who is getting the trade it makes it easier to find and grade your trade if the trade number is there too. becaseu if your doing several trades its time consuming and sometimes difficult to know who sent what. plus its just a decent thing to do.
 

gwynn_fan

Active member
451
5.00 star(s)
Hi
I guess it has been 8 or so years since this has been added to, but as your Bench USPS employee, I have few additional items to help save you money and mail safely.

1. If I am selling on ebay or here, I currently charge $3.25 shipping no matter how many cards you buy. I can do this, because currently USPS charges at most $3.08 up to 4 ounces. You can get a bunch of cards in a 25 count plastic box that will fit in a small 5xy mailer.
2. And addressing the concerns of oldmarine above. If I am selling here thebench lets you print out a packing slip. I take that and if I have a lot of card...I can have two cards in plastic sleeves, put the rest of the cards between the two, then I take the packing slip and as tightly as I can fold it, but the cards securely in the packing slip and just have to tape that closed. If the envelope somehow gets open, you have the added little paper box, with all the necessary information wrapped around the cards.
3. I print out the shipping label on just a regular piece of copy paper. I then use a 3" wide HD clear strapping tape and I first lay the label on the 5x7 envelope and then cut off about 7" of tape, which I put over the top half of the shipping label (which I print at www.paypal.com/mos) and wrap around to add to securing the sticky seal of the envelope. 3" of tape will cover the top of the label ( well first cut around the label along the outer black line,) down to your return address. Then I take a second piece of 7" tape goes over the addressee's address and also covers the delivery confirmation barcode and number. Why is this important? Because, I have seen hundreds of shipping labels that have been printed on the expensive sticky back labels, but they're using printer's ink and it pretty much doesn't matter what brand or promises they made; THE INK WILL RUN AND BECOME ILLEGIBLE!! So cover the damn information...trust me, I scan tons of barcodes at work and it will scan through clear tape. Heck, if I can bring up on a computer screen, I can scan it there. I have delivered Express mail with Sunday delivery and forgot to bring a scanner and I can take a picture of the label and scan when I get back to the office!

Here's some stuff you don't know and won't believe!
The majority of all the clerks, mailhandlers and carriers are lazy and they don't care about customer service at all. I have been with the USPS (in fact, when I tell people who I work for, I tell them I work for the Post Office, because there is no service left.)
And, this just to make an example and go to bed. On pretty much every Express mail label either domestic or foreign, there is a place for a phone number of the addressee! I am the only employee in the main office, who actually opens up the bags of Express mail and pulls out any local mail ie sent to the wrong post office (What, give it to someone to drives over to the correct station, when I can just send it back to the main post office and delay it a day or two.) I have gotten back Express mail that have been marked as return to sender, bad zip, when everything else is correct but the zip code, which includes the phone number of the person it addressed to, who probably knows his zip code. But, "we don't have the time at the stations to call someone" and, "What, look it up on google maps, who has time for that?" Not the USPS, er USPO :))
I can almost guarantee you, that if you mail an Express mail package on a Saturday, it will not get there in time on Monday and you can get your money back!
Anyways, hope this helps you all!
Bob
 
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