What’s going on prospector nation? So, cruising through our Instagram feed this afternoon I came across a post from a fellow sports card collector that literally made me shutter. A beautiful 1 of 1 autograph card completely ruined during shipping because of a couple of factors – first, the United States Postal Service’s complete disregard for your property, and second, a card sellers complete neglect in proper shipping practices. Seeing the post immediately made me want to address the issue, which you can see below;
Now, here at Cardboard Prospector we never ship our cards plain white envelope (PWE), or in any sort of non-protected mailer – and the unfortunate example above is our exact reasoning for it. As a seller of cards and collectibles, we take our responsibility in providing our buyers with their purchases serious, meaning they receive their purchases in the same condition as when we ship them! Any serious seller should have the same point of view – happy buyers mean repeat buyers!
While the USPS is obviously to blame at some point for the card arriving in this condition, the seller can’t be let off the hook in this situation, because their packaging is ridiculous. A top loader is meant to keep a card safe from handling, not as protection for a card being shipped across the country! Why this seller opted to just throw the top loaded card in a poly-mailer and send it out is beyond my comprehension. THIS WAS A 1 OF 1 CARD! There is only one in existence, and the seller couldn’t put a little effort into protecting the thing in transit? I get it, shipping is expensive, and with the holidays upon us USPS has raised their rates, but is an extra dollar or two worth the risk in having an irreplaceable collectible lost forever?
So, lets talk about how to ship a card the right way. First off – if the thing is a 1 of 1, put it in a damn One Touch or a screw down to begin with! If it’s not an ultra-rare card but still a high-end card, placing it in a top loader is logical to protect the card during your own handling. Inserts, rookies, parallels, etc. which aren’t high end we place in card sleeves, and common/base cards we leave raw. Second, if multiple cards are in the shipment, place them in a team bag to keep them together and secure, and don’t overfill the bag! Use multiple bags if needed! Finally, choose the right packaging – sending out only a few cards? Place them between cardboard and tape it closed then place in a bubble mailer. Multiple cards in a shipment, like a whole team bag? Put it in a box with bubble wrap or packing peanuts – simple.
Last piece of advice, ship your cards with insurance. If the seller in this situation did not have insurance on this shipment then they are out not only the card, but the money the buyer paid and they had to refund. The USPS is shit at protecting your shipments, so sending out cards without insurance is a gamble. In the event you’re selling on eBay, they make YOU responsible for ensuring safe delivery of items to your buyers! Yeah, so if your buyer declines insurance, and then the package gets ruined anyway, you’re still liable and eBay will force refund the buyer if you don’t issue the refund yourself. We don’t even offer uninsured delivery on our eBay listings, and say as much right in our terms and conditions.
Thankfully, for this buyer, the seller issued a refund, but it doesn’t change the fact that a 1 of 1 card is gone forever!
I started collecting cards when I was about 8 years old, with my passion being baseball cards. I grew out of collecting in my teens and spent the better part of my 20’s focusing on education and career. Now in my mid-30’s I have dove back in to collecting and now prospecting and investing in cards and comics as well. I like to write about ways to collect and invest and share my experiences in the collecting and investing world of sports cards and comics. I am also an avid cigar enthusiast and you can get cigar reviews and information on my sister site Cigar Informer at https://www.cigarinformer.com