How to safely ship cards


5.00 star(s)
The biggest gripe I have with online trading is getting a package and finding out it was poorly packed. The result: dinged corners and damaged cards.

There are many ways to pack cards so that they make it to their destination in one piece.

Single Card
You can use a regular envelope or a bubble mailer for extra protection. Place the card into a penny sleeve, place penny sleeve into a toploader. Now the most important part pinch the top of the toploader and seal it with some scotch tape. This prevents the card from escaping during it's trip and getting damaged. If you are going to use a regular envelope don't just thrwo it in and send it on it's way. Make sure to either wrap it in a sheet of paper or tape the toploader to the inside of the envelope. If you leave it loose it will move around and there is high possibility the envelope will get stuck in a postal sorting machine. The maximum amount of cards I would place in a regular envelope is three.

Large Lots
There are various ways to send larger lots of cards. My method is as follows. First I break the cards down into piles of 25 or so and wrap them with old wax wrappers (u can use regular paper, tissue, newspaper) this helps keep the cards in a tight bunch. Next I tape the pile to a toploader using good packing tape, I make sure to tape vertically and horizontally (the pile should not be able to move it's now nice and centered on the toploader. Next I place a second toploader on the other side of the pile and tape both toploader together making a sandwich. I then slide the toploader sandwiches into a bubble mailer and off they go. Sometimes for extra support I will place a piece of cardboard inside the bubble mailer to make the package nice and sturdy.
Try to keep the piles the same size so that when you place them into the bubble mailer you have a nice flat surface. I save all my old toploaders so I have plenty when it comes time to pack up cards for a trade.

Another way of sending large lots is to place the cards into a plastic case. Everyone should be familiar with these cases. Tape the case shut and place it into a bubble mailer and off they go. Pretty easy to do, but unless you have a stockpile of old cases it can get expensive.

Starter Sets or 300+ cards
Best way to ship a large amount of cards is to put them into a 300,400,500,600 count box you can pick them up at your local shop. You can ship them in those boxes but there is no protection. I place the smaller box into a slightly larger box and pad the sided with newspaper.

The most important thing to do is place a note along with cards so that the other person knows who they are coming from. Members of this site don't forget to add your screen name.

Remember to spend a little extra time packing the cards you send out and you will always have great trades. Also spend the extra money and insure packages with a high value.
Last edited:


5.00 star(s)
This should be required reading for all NEW TRADERS, as well as refreshers for existing traders. Explain to me how a stack of cards put in penny sleeves then put into a a team bag, then into a bubble mailer, are supposed to arrive to their destination without damage?

C'mon really people, take a couple of minutes and take the time to pack the card(s) nicely. You expect it to be received this way, so shouldn't we on the other end have the same expectations?

Now I know supplies can get expensive,try this -recycle the top loaders as well as the penny sleeves. Or for that matter everything but the envelopes.

Speaking of envelopes, Wal-Mart sells "000" bubble mailers. They are just over $3 for a pack of 10. So it's basically $0.30 per mailing in addition to the $1.10-$1.30 to mail 1-5 cards. When all is said and done, you've spent probably no more than $1.60 for shipping and you are almost guaranteed to have the cards arrive in better condition.

Let's all work together on this.

forceplay sport

5.00 star(s)
also I may add , save the old bubble mailers as they can be reused and if they are too marked up. You can put a bubble mailer inside a larger maniila envelope
for just a few cents. This is also good to recycle !!


The Biggest Gripe I have with the way people packs cards is the use of packing tape... Some packing tape is pretty strong... I have damaged cards trying to get that darn packing tape off to get to my cards...
I always tape my stuff (Except the package it self, EX: Box or Envelope) with Masking tape.. Masking tape will hold just as good as Scotch tape and packing tape and it is easier to remove without damaging cards... It will also remove easy enough to reuse anything that I use to package the cards..
Masking tape is also much cheaper to use than scotch tape and packing tape.. I think Wal-Mart sells it for less than a dollar and you have more to use from the roll..
Packing tape should only be used on the outside of the box or envelope.



Good tape to use Blue Painters tape. It holds up enough for shipping doesn't leave tape residue and like masking tape won't damage the cards, or at least not as often as regular scotch tape does.

Also PLEASE avoid using those flimsy "card saver" things (the card holders that look like ID badge holders) I have recently had a couple of cards slightly damaged or almost damaged because of a careless seller putting several cards in the thing and using regular scotch tape, or worse the regular invisible tape and it got stuck on the edge of the top card. Those things are horrible for shipping cards in, they are OK for storing a single card or for displaying a single card but for shipping single cards or up to 3 cards they are terrible. Some sellers try to cram more cards into those things.

David K.

5.00 star(s)
Thanks for the tips! I normally use rubber band made in the USA instead of scott tape or anytype of tape. Best regards, David


5.00 star(s)
wow 10 years ago it was "$1.10-$1.30 to mail 1-5 cards.". How I miss those days. I guess 30-40 cards back then it was maybe $1.75 give or take where it was headed. Now to send 40 cards across the country in a bubble mailer is $3.75.
Anyway, I just really wanted to contribute and add that on Large Lots I generally use team bags. I will usually keep the cards in penny sleeves since most of mine are in them. Then I wrap the team bags tight and use top loaders because as noted above they are better protected.


5.00 star(s)
YES. Interested to hear what others think on shipping costs. I really can’t afford to send bubble mailers anymore and resigned to PWE 1-6 card trades. I will use non-machinable with 5-6 cards.


5.00 star(s)
It’s tough call on decision making for’s sucks that we have to keep the bubble mailer in mind to make a decision if you want to do a trade or not...I’ve definitely felt some hesitation from both sides in trade talks due to this...
Thanks Josh


5.00 star(s)
I'll share this really quick - if you're not using Paypal to print labels it's costing you a fair bit.

1-4 ounces maxes out at $3.49 which isn't as bad as paying at the counter and it includes tracking for free. Closer locations are $3.03 at the cheapest.

You can do around 20-25 cards well protected and still be in that range of weight using a bubble mailer. I figure my total cost to mail a single card in a bubble mailer ranges from $3.33-$3.79 depending on where it ships. That's shipping cost, penny sleeve, toploader, team bag.


5.00 star(s)
Staff member
Sort of a rant..sort of a bump because a lot of new traders have come on board lately.

When you are sending a patch card or GU'd items -- put it in a bubble mailer. And more importantly, seal the opening so the card doesn't slide out. I don't care if you use rubber bands, painters tape or scotch tape, seal it!

I try to take great care in packaging up every card I send out - my assumption is that the card you are getting is the most important card in your collection, and I try and treat it that way. If it costs me a little extra to make that happen, than it is worth it to me.

Always assume the card you are sending is going into someones personal collection or finishing a set off for them. How would you feel if you searched high and low for years to find that last card you need and it shows up damaged?

If you packaged it well and it got damaged, nothing you can do about it. If you packaged it badly and I open it and it is damaged, you are getting straight 1 stars on your review. If it happens a 2nd time, I add you to my "don't trade with" list, because clearly you don't care about your fellow traders.