How to mail your trades!

Many of you are probably new to trading cards and all that they have to offer, and I am sure that many of you are also wondering what the best way is to mail trading cards once the deal has been made!

There are two major factors to consider when getting ready to mail:

  1. Foreign Substances
  2. Damage Obtained from Handling

Protection from Foreign Substances

Over time (decades), oil from your fingerprints will cause paper products to turn brown. In addition, dirt, lint or debris can damage the cards you are preparing to send. The best way to protect your cards is to put a high quality sleeve on your card so that you can handle the card without introducing foreign substances to the card surface.

Adjusted Sleeves Picture.png

When choosing a product you might want to use for this purpose it is important to understand what you are purchasing. Not all plastics are created equal so it is important to select a product that is archival safe. This means that they should be acid and PVC free products. Because there are different sized sleeves that hold different sized cards we asked George over at Cryptozoic for the card stock weights of Outlander Cards.

  • Outlander Base and Chase Trading Cards are printed on 20pt card stock.
  • Outlander Wardrobe Cards are printed 96pt card stock.
  • Outlander STR PWR cards are printed on 30pt card stock.

We purchased multiple sleeves from multiple vendors and kept trying them out until we felt we found the perfect match! We finally settled on these two products.

UltraPro Premium Card Sleeves
Use these for Base, Chase (Rainbows and STR PWR) and Autograph Cards

UltraPro Premium Card Sleeves

UltraPro Thick Card Sleeves
Use these for Wardrobe Cards

UltraPro Thick Card Sleeves


Prevention of Handling Damage

There are several ways your cards can get damaged when being shipped or even when they are being prepared for shipping. Scratching, bending, tearing and water damage are the main causes of damage so that is what we will address here.

Many of your have received cards that are loaded into Top Loaders. Top Loaders are rigid, clear plastic holders meant to protect cards from the afore mentioned types of damage. Toploaders are NOT meant to be used without a protective barrier between their hard, rigid plastic and the delicate surface of the trading card. In addition, toploaders are NOT necessarily acid free and they are NOT necessarily PVC free products. This is why it is important make sure you have a protective sleeve between the card and the toploader.

Top Loader Picture

We purchased multiple toploaders from multiple vendors and kept trying them out until we felt we found the perfect match! We finally settled on these two products.

UltraPro Regular Top Loader
Use these for Base, Chase (Rainbows and STR PWR) and Autograph Cards

Regular Toploader

UltraPro Super Thick Toploader
Use these for Wardrobe Cards

Ultra Pro 120PT Top Loader

There are certainly other sized toploaders available, including 130pt and these are just fine as long as you use a protective barrier between the card and the toploader. The difference we found was that the cards tended to slip out of the 130pt toploaders much easier than the 120pt toploaders. In addition, the 120pt toploaders were big enough to ensure the 96pt wardrobe cards were not compressed or damaged.

The last consideration under this heading has to do with damage prevention. When shipping your valuable item it is important to make sure it’s secured inside the toploader. The best way to do this is with a resealable soft sleeve.

Resealable Sleeve

Many eBay sellers, individual collectors and even some dealers put tape on the opening of the toploader to ensure the card won’t slip out. This is NOT a good idea and serious collectors will not be happy with you if you do this when shipping.

IMG_6866

DO NOT PUT TAPE ON YOUR TOPLOADER

Scotch Tape is made with an acrylic adhesive and if the tape comes in contact with your card it can leave a sticky residue that will discolor your card over time or cause the ink to fade. Tape will also attract dust, lint and hair which are obviously not desirable hitchhikers! Putting tape on the toploader can also cause damage by bending the card you are trying to protect!

IMG_6871

Again, we looked at several items and this one, the graded card sleeve by UltraPro, is a bit larger so it has more flexibility and can be used for single cards, multiple cards and thicker wardrobe cards without compromising it’s effectiveness.

UltraPro Resealable Soft Sleeves
Use these for All Cards

Ultra Pro Graded Card Sleeves

Last, but not least, make sure you mail your items in a bubble mailer or thick mailing envelope.

Bubble Mailer

If you are sending an item overseas or even across the country and the item is particularly valuable you may want to add in a piece of cardboard, craft board or foam for extra stabilization. Or better yet, put it in a magnetic cardholder!

IMG_2083IMG_2085

This will protect your item from UV radiation and damage from bending.

Magnetic UltraPro UV Card Holder
Use for any card, better for Wardrobe Cards

original

We hope this article has been helpful! We have all of these items for sale in our store, but they are readily available on Amazon or in many of your local comic book stores.


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Happy Trading!

4 thoughts on “How to mail your trades!

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