Shipping Update: eBay Standard Envelope

If you have read our previous blog posts, you know that here at Cardboard Prospector we are seriously against shipping cards via plain white envelope (PWE), the reasons for which are obvious; potential card damage, lack of insurance services for the shipment, greater potential for loss during shipping. Our reasons are many and you can read more about our reasoning in the article Why We NEVER Ship Cards PWE – You Shouldn’t Either.

As frequent eBay sellers, the ability to compete with other sellers many times comes down to the cost in shipping. I can tell you from years of experience that to ship a single card via bubble mailer as first class mail service with tracking and insurance costs a minimum of $4.00, and that is the rate for discounted services through our shipping partner; if we paid USPS directly the cost would be closer to $5.00 for a single card. Many sellers on eBay have taken the gamble of shipping cards PWE for years, always with the possibility that they would end up losing the cards and the money due to eBays absurd policies making the seller responsible for ensuring the safe delivery of items (regardless of whether the buyer declines the more expensive shipping with insurance or not).

The possibility of losing not only the cards, but the money for them as well never sat well with me, and for that reason we have declined to provided PWE shipping on any of our items. Well, that is officially changing effective the 1st of October 2021 as we embrace the eBay Standard Envelope service for shipping card singles. This decision was not reached lightly as I spent the time to completely read over the service offering, more than once, paying special attention to the restrictions and benefits of the service, as well as purchasing some items from other sellers on eBay that used the eBay standard envelope service. The decision to start offering the service was long contemplated, but ultimately a necessary transition to stay competitive in the market.

Per eBay guidelines, the standard envelope service is available for shipping a maximum of 15 raw cards, with a maximum of two of those cards in top loaders, and graded cards are not eligible for the service. The service provides insurance service up to $20 for a single order, and up to $50 in coverage for combined orders (again, with a maximum of 15 cards and a package weight of 3oz.). Considering the limitations set by eBay for the standard envelope service, Cardboard Prospector will only be using the services when orders meet the following criteria:

We will ship up to 15 cards in a shipment order with a combined value of less than $20 for a single order and $50 for multiple orders (combined order shipment) with a total weight of 3oz. or less. Cards which have a sales price of greater than $20 will not be eligible for eBay standard envelope service. Cards which are top loaded in our listing pictures are shipped top loaded as well and are limited to two cards per mailing, unless the card values exceed $20 in which case USPS First Class Insured shipping will be the default option. Three-day review after delivery is enforced per eBay terms of sale, and no refund requests will be considered past the three-day review allowed by eBay. Cardboard Prospector will charge $1.50 for eBay standard envelope shipping services, which covers our shipping and materials expenses.

It is our hope that adopting the eBay standard envelope service will benefit our customers and make the purchase of base cards and other non-hits more affordable. We will be updating our current eBay listings to include the standard envelope shipment option over the course of this week, and all qualifying future listings will have the option by default. As always, we will offer USPS First Class Insured and USPS Priority Mail services to our buyers for these listings, giving you the consumer the choice in how we deliver your cards.

*Disclaimer: Investing in trading cards, comic books, memorabilia, and any other item involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Cardboard Prospector does not provide financial advice, and none of our articles or opinions should be construed as financial or investment advice. We do not guarantee results from your decision making based on our opinions and content. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence prior to making any investment.

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  1. I’m wondering if you’ve had as bad a time as some people with the eBay standard envelope program.


    1. We actually haven’t had any buyers choose the standard envelope option yet. We had updated all of our card listings that qualified for the service to include the eBay standard envelope as a shipping option, but kept the USPS First Class Insured option available as well, and so far all our buyers have elected for the USPS option. It has been a little surprising honestly considering the large difference in shipping cost between the two.

      With that said, we have had shipments from eBay where the sellers used the eBay envelope option as their only available shipping choice and we have seen some issues in our deliveries which are concerning as a seller, the big one being scanning of delivery. Out of about eight shipments we had three delivered that were never scanned as being delivered. This could obviously be a headache for sellers as dishonest buyers could claim they never received the cards and demand refund. Obviously the eBay envelope option does include insurance, but it’s still a headache for the seller. My other concern is that you can’t use rigid mailers – I personally would feel a lot better about mailing cards if things like photo mailers were allowed to help provide protection in transit.

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