Best way to protect cards during shipping?

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Astrid Varelse
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Best way to protect cards during shipping?

Post by Astrid Varelse » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:54 pm

Now that I've got my trading thread up and ready, I need to establish my packaging and services.

So what've people been doing for packaging? Any good practices, recommendations? -- I know it needs to be relatively rigid to prevent the cards from folding or becoming excessively bent... I'm mostly interested in the 1-30 card range, as once you get enough cards in an order, you can start to switch to more of a -generic box- approach.
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Re: Best way to protect cards during shipping?

Post by Otlan » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:28 pm

I've traded with people before who have sent them in Protective sleeves and anything from bubble wrap, Packing peanuts and Newspaper. Personally. I'd put each card in a protective sleeve, sandwich it between two pieces of of relatively ridged cardboard and then wrap them all in bubble wrap or...not sure what it's called, but it's some kind of Styrofoam wrap.

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Re: Best way to protect cards during shipping?

Post by Tegome » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:09 pm

I've been doing something like Otlan suggests -- put each card in its own sleeve, wrap the stack with plastic (sandwich bags ftw), sandwich it with cardboard, tape it together, and shove the whole thing into a card-sized bubble mailer that Canada Post sells.

Regarding the cardboard, you'll want to make sure one piece of cardboard has the ridges oriented vertically, and the other horizontally, for better protection from bends.

I've had cards come to me in plastic toploaders, too, and those look pretty solid on their own -- just cover the tops so the card can't partially slip out and get bent -- and you can toss that into a plain old envelope.
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Re: Best way to protect cards during shipping?

Post by Magetorment » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:17 am

If you're looking for the best way penny sleeve in a top loader in a bubble mailer. As the name implies Penny sleeves are dirt cheap, usually priced at 100 for $2-$3. They're flimsy and not suited for play, but they're keep the card from being scratched and offer some protection from the elements. Top loaders are those thick hard plastic sleeves you see collectible cards in. They're too heavy for play, but provide the best protection for your cards short of sealing them in something. You can substitute the penny for a regular sleeve, but that's a waste, and cardboard taped together for the top loader if you want to go cheaper. If you have either a gaming store or a sports collectibles shop in your area they should stock both. Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart sometimes stock them in their card aisle, but in my experience their stock is less reliable and more expensive.

For packing slide the card into the penny first one way, then into the top loader the other. So if you go bottom first into the penny, go top first into the loader. This is so no part of the card is exposed. For maximum security add a piece of painter's tape to seal the top loader. You can tape over the entire opening, but a small piece is all you really need, as it's only there to keep the card from sliding out during transport. Top loaders are the tanks of the card world and they can take quite a beating. I've seen top loaders make it to their destination in normal envelopes with their contents no worse for wear. With that said a small bubble mailer adds another layer of protection.

When packing multiple cards you can do two cards to a top loader, back to back in the penny sleeve just fine. Any more and they either won't fit or risk warping. If you're shipping larger quantities of cards, IE 20+, I recommend putting the bulk in an old deck box and shipping in a bubble mailer, though rarer cards should still be put in at least penny sleeves, if not full top loaders.

That's my method anyway. Everyone has their own standards and other methods. I had one guy ship me a card that was in a normal sleeve in a penny in a top loader sandwiched between two pieces of floor tile wrapped in duck tape in a large bubble mailer. Excessive, but effective.

Oh, and with shipping, always get a tracking number.

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Re: Best way to protect cards during shipping?

Post by Draconis » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:44 am

Personally whenever I ship out any items I'm sending in a trade, I go overboard on my protection. But that is just me personally and I consider it a matter of good customer service to those who are willing to do Trades with me. Obviously, this method won't be for everyone as it gets expensive. But, you can pull from it for ideas and forge your own path.

As others have said, Top Loaders are the best way to send cards. They can generally be bought at Wal-mart even, in the sections where they keep Pokemon, Magic, and Yugi-oh cards up front. I've seen a few in my area carrying them.

What I do on my end is take each individual card, and seal them in a Dragon Shield Sleeve since those are the most durable and strongest I've come across for Card Sleeves save for KMC and what they put out. Those two card sleeve manufacturers are the only ones that satisfy my personal needs for protection.

The Card is then placed with the opening of the sleeve facing the bottom of the top loader, to maximize protection of the card, and the top loader is then sealed up with tape. Scotch tape, Masking, whatever works for you. So long as the top loader stays sealed it's all good. Note: I only do 1 card per top loader. I myself don't like the idea of cards rubbing against each other in a top loader even as ridiculous as that sounds given how tight the enclosed space is. But, I am paranoid about any damage and that is why I take this method.

Then I take all of the cards I am trading that I have sealed up in this fashion and place them in a bubble mailer. I then take that bubble mailer, and seal it inside yet ANOTHER bubble mailer, and take it to the post office and ship it out, with Tracking. The Tracking number is provided to the individual whom I have traded with immediately upon my return home.

You will find your own method that works for you. One thing I would definitely recommend as key though, as others have said, is Top Loaders. By far and above all else Top Loaders are one of the most crucial elements to make sure cards arrive safe and sound.

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