A Guide for Shipping Graded Sports Cards

A Guide for Shipping Graded Sports Cards

The first time selling sports cards on eBay can be a nerve wracking experience for anybody new to the hobby. Obviously, you can’t just toss your trading cards into an envelope and mail them. After all, studies show that about 10% of packages are damaged in transit. All sorts of damage can occur to the card that would both tank it’s value and result in negative reviews for your seller account. Fortunately, you have plenty of options when it comes to shipping your sports cards.

Necessary Sports Card Supplies

Before you start sending off your cards, let’s get some shipping supplies together. Investing in the correct supplies is the best way to ensure your card reaches its destination safe and sound. 

Packaging the cards

Arguably the most important sports card supplies to gather are the ones that you will be using to protect the cards. Although graded slabs feel invulnerable, they are unfortunately not strong enough to survive the beating the postal service will throw at them.

So to start, you’ll need to get some sturdy cardboard, team bags, packaging tape, and something to cut the cardboard with in order to optimally protect a graded card. Typically, you will want to cut two cardboard pieces to the size of the slab and place the slab between them like a sandwich. Afterwards, grab your packaging tape and tightly tape around the cardboard so the slab is securely fastened in between the two pieces of cardboard. If you want to be extra careful, you could cut small pieces of cardboard to tape to the edges of the slab. A common practice is to place the protected slab into a team bag afterwards to provide a little bit extra protection. 

If you don’t want to deal with tape, you have a few options to avoid it. One option is to surround the card with pieces of cardboard like before but instead of taping it, use a team bag to hold it all together. The team bag should do a fine job, depending on the size, but if you want to be safe you should tape it. The downside of this method is that it can take a considerable amount of time cutting cardboard and, ultimately, become a headache storing heaps of cardboard boxes for future use.

Alternatively, you can skip both the tape and cardboard cutting by shipping your graded trading cards in our original Slab Mailers. The Slab Mailer is a convenient option to provide some extra protection for your cards. It provides collectors with a simple, secure way to protect their graded cards in a sturdy cardboard box without having to deal with the inconvenience of cutting cardboard. So, if you find yourself shipping sports cards often, it might be something worth looking into to save you plenty of time in the long run.

In situations where you have to ship bulk amounts of cards, I highly suggest picking up some bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Shipping services famously don’t handle boxes very well so you can’t be too careful when it comes to packaging.

Other Trading Card Shipping Supplies

These supplies aren’t entirely necessary, but they definitely make shipping trading cards easier in the long run.

Postage Scale

A postage scale can be an invaluable tool for helping determine shipping costs. They are easy enough to find online for under $30. This early investment will pay dividends in the time saved measuring packages at the post office.

Tape Gun and Tape Rolls

While this is probably unnecessary if you don’t sell very often, a tape gun can come in handy if you are frequently shipping sports cards. You’ll want to use tape for both sealing boxes and attaching a shipping label to packages.

Best Way to Ship Trading Cards

For small amounts of cards, sellers have a few options when it comes to shipping. The most common option is called the bubble mailer. A bubble mailer is a padded envelope that utilizes bubble wrap to protect whatever is inside. In addition to the protective aspect of a bubble mailer, they are also versatile in the number of cards you can ship since they are available in multiple sizes. 

If you choose to package your graded cards with the slab mailer, then a bubble mailer is all you really need to ship them. You can even put one bubble mailer inside another bubble mailer if you want to be completely sure your slab arrives to the buyer in mint condition! 

Here are a few different bubble mailer sizes to help you choose the right size for your needs.

#0 Bubble Mailer: 6 inches by 10 inches
#00 Bubble Mailer: 5 inches by 10 inches
#000 Bubble Mailer: 4 inches by 8 inches

If you are selling large quantities of cards, bubble mailers and envelopes won’t be able to get the job done. For bulk shipments of over 100 cards, you will want to use some corrugated cardboard boxes. While these boxes are a bit more expensive than the other shipping methods mentioned, it is really the only way to ship a large amount of cards efficiently. When you’re choosing a box, be sure to select the smallest size that will fit your cards. A better fitting box will keep your shipping costs low while providing some extra protection during transportation. 

Let’s Get Shipping!

Every detail matters when it comes to protecting graded cards in the mail. Investing in the best shipping supplies is an essential part to successfully selling cards. With adequate preparation and planning, you’ll have no problem shipping your cards and avoiding costly cracks in the slab. But, if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team here at Nocity Design. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction for all your graded card shipping needs.

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