Safe Packaging and Shipping of Cards

March 27, 2013 |
Posted by

Let’s face it, no one wants to receive damaged goods, and Gimko certainly does not wish to have unsatisfied fellow card hobbyists.

The following guide outlines reasonable endeavors that should be taken when packaging and shipping cards to ensure that in most cases cards arrive undamaged or are not lost due to postage.

Packaging:

The following are minimum recommendations for card protection:

  • Card should be placed in appropriately sized toploader or magnetic one touch holders.
  • If using a toploader, each card should be placed in a penny sleeve.
  • Card(s) should then be placed in a team bag and sealed to prevent water damage during transit.
  • If no team bag is available, the toploader (with card), should then be secured by tape on top to prevent the card from falling out during transit.
  • Additional cardboard/filler cards/unwanted base cards, can be placed on both sides of the toploader to provide additional strength to help prevent card from bending.
  • If stacking many cards, you can use two top loaders. Use correct sized toploaders to hold card and penny sleeve, being you have two sides to the team bag like a book, do the same to the 2nd card, then place both toploaders with cards in the team bag. Stagger one of the toploaders and then place other cards not secured with toploaders between the two plastic cases. Gently place 2-7 more cards till the bag is tight against the top loaders and close bag.
  • You should be able to fit two nicely packed team bags in a size 1 bubble mailer bag (padded envelope). This will keep everything secure for transit.

Safe Packaging

Figure 1: Example of card protected to outlined minimum recommendations

In the event of sending large amount of cards, where sending individually protected cards is not practical, the following options are recommended:

  • Cards should be placed in an appropriately sized card count box (i.e. 20, 50, 100, 150 etc), with additional space filled to prevent movement. Then the lid sealed with tape to prevent opening and the whole box bubbled wrapped to protect during transit.
  • Cards should be placed in individual penny sleeves then all placed in appropriately sized larger toploader (i.e. 360 point holder, which can hold around 10 penny sleeved regular size cards), then top sealed with tape and protected by a team bag.

In the event of shipping expensive/rare cards, it is recommended that they always be individually protected; you are sending this to someone who spent money with you, so please treat the card as you would want them to treat your high end personal card. The extra .30 cents you save on shipping supplies is not worth the time and effort for bad feedback and having to refund the customer. Use common sense and if you are still not sure, please feel free to ask the collecting community.

Shipping:

The following are minimum recommendations for shipping:

  • Send cards in a bubble mailer bag or protected by bubble wrap and placed in a mailing box.
  • Cards with a total value of $100 to $500, should be sent via minimum registered postage.
  • Cards with a total value above $500, should be sent via minimum registered postage and be insured for full value.
  • Make sure you get the receipt from the post office and send a scanned copy of it to the buyer so it takes some of the worry away. If your customer spends money with you, be grateful as they could have spent it on something else.
  • Be consistent in your time it takes to ship, no one wants to wait two weeks for something that should have taken three days. If you have issues shipping in a short period of time, please let your customer(s) know.  Keep them in the loop and you should never have issues.

What Not to Do:

The following is a list of recommendations of what NOT to do:

  • Ship in a white or flat envelope as this has a higher risk of card damage during postage.
  • Use regular sticky tape, as it can be tedious to remove/cut open. Instead use a tape that has a weak adhesive, such as scotch tape or masking tape.
  • If possible, try not to use tape at all, but rather use team bags or graded card bags to seal the toploader(s).
  • If sending multiple cards inside a multi-count plastic container, DO NOT use the ones with rounded corners as this can damage the card corners, always use the ones with diamond shaped corners.