As a Pokémon TCG collector I’m sure you have purchased cards online before. You have waited patiently and you finally received your long awaited card, only for it to be bent because of lack of protection.
We have asked a professional card shop how it's done properly.
Holon Cardshop is a Germany based store specialized in Japanese cards. They have years of experience selling online around the globe.
Holon Cardshop: With tens of thousands of transactions over the years, we’ve had some good and bad experiences when buying cards online, from both professional and private sellers. Aside from poor judgement about card conditions, the major issue when buying and selling online is without a doubt the wrong method of protecting (or not protecting) your cards during transit.
When packing your orders, we don’t distinguish between cheap and expensive orders. All of your orders will be treated equally with the highest amount of care. We pack all orders using toploaders and teambags. This provides very good stability and also makes your cards waterproof for the most part. This method should be standard for all TCG retailers.
But it’s not only lack of packaging that can be an issue, it’s also overprotecting your stuff. While it may be perfectly safe for transit to wrap your cards in multiple layers of cardboard and tape, it can be very difficult for the buyer to open your package without damaging the contents. And whatever you do, DO NOT put tape on sleeved cards!
Another no go are rubber bands. While they may seem unharmful for the average person, rubber bands can cause some serious dents on all four corners of a card. Usually people use them to hold together larger piles of cards, you should definitely avoid using them.
For larger piles (of usually lower value cards), it is better to just wrap them in magazine paper to hold them together.
PokeGuardian: That’s some great insight so far! Can you give us some tips how to ship cards if you don’t have toploaders and teambags?
Holon Cardshop: Yes, definitely! For lower value cards you usually don’t need much for domestic shipping. We recommend putting the card in a standard sleeve alongside 3 cheap bulk commons or MTG tokens. That’s usually enough to protect cheaper cards for shorter distances. For international shipping I’d stick to something more sturdy for all orders, because the quality standards of local postal services vary between countries. Especially in Spain and Italy damaged shipments are somewhat common.
If you don’t have toploaders yourself, there’s a couple things you can find in most households. Usually a few layers of thick cardboard is good enough. Also the dividers from Elite Trainer Boxes are very sturdy. And fix your card inside the envelope with as little tape as possible!
PokeGuardian: We hope that after you have read this, you now have a good understanding of how to package cards properly the next time and what you should pay particular attention to.
Holon Cardshop: Thanks to PokeGuardian for this opportunity! If you haven’t heard from us, make sure to leave a follow on our social media channels. We’re running some Twitter exclusive offers every now and then so look out for those!
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