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From high value to dollar cards, here is the best way to ship baseball cards either via bubble mailers with tracking (BMWT) or eBay Standard Envelope (PWE).
Bubble Mailer with Tracking Method
To ship cards “BMWT”
- Place the card in a penny sleeve
- Slide the card gently into a top loader
- Place the loaded card into a team set bag and seal
- Sandwich the card between two rectangular pieces of cardboard
- Place the sandwiched card into a bubble mailer and seal
- Attach your shipping label
1. Place the Card Into a Penny Sleeve
Take your card and place it into a penny sleeve. One of the most important things when shipping sports cards is using the right-sized materials. Thus, starting with the penny sleeve, you want to make sure to use a “thick” penny sleeve for thicker cards like relics, etc.
If you try to put a thicker card into a standard penny sleeve, the fit will be extremely tight (if the card fits at all) which could result in damage.
Well…I guess there is a first for everything :-(. Received my Luis Robert auto purchased from eBay today and found the corner to be completely folded over. Seller had the pic in a one touch, then shoved it into a standard penny sleeve for shipment and damaged the corner. 🙁 pic.twitter.com/7LvUDps7Bn
2. Slide the card into a top loader
Once the card has been placed into a penny sleeve, you’ll now gently slide the sleeved card into a top loader. Again, make sure the top loader you’re using is the correct size for the card you’re shipping.
Per the note above, a top loader too small will make inserting and removing the card a challenge, which can lead to damage.
Additionally, a top loader too big will cause the card to move and shift in transit, which could also cause damage if the card was to be ejected from the top loader or bang against the sides repeatedly.
I always forget why I hate PWE. This card was put in a top loader that was too big with no team bag or tape. The card slid right out and now is seriously bent on the front and actually ripped on the back. Cmon guys practice #safeshipping pic.twitter.com/rMrpM2MzQf
3. Place the card into a team set bag
At this point, some people choose to place tape over the opening of the top loader just in case. There usually isn’t any harm in doing so, but if taping a thick top loader, just be sure not to squeeze the top together too tight, as a simple light pinch should be more than enough.
@UpperDeckSports @UpperDeckHockey I appreciate getting this card finally but can’t believe how you sent such an expensive card as cheaply as you did. Terrible to put tape so tightly on a thick top loader and no other protection in mailer. pic.twitter.com/HVdqJ9sIhH
Now, in terms of the team set bag, some will say it’s not needed if you’re only shipping a single card, but I like to use one as a “just in case” to keep the card from getting into too much trouble if somehow some way it slips free.
4. Sandwich the card between cardboard
While the previous step was somewhat optional given the situation, I believe this one to be a must. Take any old Amazon box or piece of cardboard you have and cut out rectangular pieces that are larger than the size of your sports cards.
The goal is to have the cardboard protect the cards by providing a buffer border along each edge. The face of the front and back of the cards will also be protected thanks to the extra level of padding from the cardboard.
FOR THOSE WONDERING…When you get a bubble mailer from us, we try our best to make sure your cards are as safe and secure as possible.ToploadersTeam bagsCardboard sandwich Painter’s tape pic.twitter.com/YvM0uYNmK9
Sandwich the card between the cardboard by putting it in the middle of the two pieces. Then, tape the cardboard pieces together using blue painter’s tape; at least one piece per side (top, bottom, left and right).
5. Place into bubble mailer and seal
Smooth sailing from here on out—simply place the card into a bubble mailer and seal it up. Optional steps include plaing the card into a smaller bubble mailer and then into a larger mailer.
If all you have are larger bubble mailers, some people choose to fold them down to eliminate any shifting or movement while in transit.
eBay Standard Envelope Method
To ship with eBay’s Standard Envelope, the process is more or less the same:
- Put the card into a penny sleeve
- Put a piece of painter’s tape over the top loader opening
- Put the sleeved card into the top loader
- Put the loaded card into team set bag
- Add painter’s tape to all four sides of the team set bag
- Secure card to inside of photo mailer using tape from step 5
- Seal photo mailer
- Add shipping label
- Drop in the mail box
Instead of going through each step, I’ll highlight the differerences.
Because there are certain weight and thickness restrctions with this shipping option, you have to eliminate or adjust the cardboard sandwich. Some people like to use cereal box cardboard for this step because it is thinner.
I personally just like to use a more rigid envelope all together, and thus bypass the sandwich part.
(eBay advises “If you need to use a thicker or more rigid envelope to better protect what you’re shipping, check with your local post office to ensure your envelope fits the postage bracket and guidelines.”)
Also, because the card is more suceptible to shifting and movement while in transit, I like to tape down the card to the inside of the envelope. I do this by, per step 5, adding a piece of painter’s tape along the sides of the team set bag (which has the card inside of it).
While the bubble mailer option had us using the painter’s tape to attach the pieces of cardboard to each other to form the card sandwich, we are using painter’s tape here in order to affix the team set bag to the inside of the envelope.