Just Collect has bought and sold over $20 million of sports cards in the past decade --- and we've bought and sold a lot of them by mail, so we've learned a thing or two on how to properly ship cards.
Below are some simple tips on how to safely and securely package your card collection to protect it during shipment. Whether you're selling to a dealer like us, or just moving your collection across the country, this guide will help ensure that your collection arrives in the same condition as when you sent it.
We recommend Card Saver brand card holders and specifically the Card Saver 1 when securing standard sized cards. You don't need to use Card Savers for ALL of your cards, but we highly recommend them for more expensive ones (instead of loose, open-ended toploaders or bulky screw-down holders that often cause damage). Card Saver 1 holders keep cards stable and won't let them slide out. They are also extremely thin and light, saving you weight and dimension costs in shipping.
A package of 100 Card Saver 1
Stack, Support, Cushion and Protect
If you're using Card Savers, stack the entire group of cards you wish to ship and secure the outside of your stack with a sturdy support such as rigid cardboard or foam core board. Secure the supports with a rubber band, masking tape, or plastic wrap.
Card Savers banded bewteen cardboard supports
Never add tape to areas of any card holders where contact to the card may occur. Tape or other adhesives WILL damage your cards!
Wrap your 9-pocket pages
When sending partial or complete sets, you can send them in 9 pocket pages if this is how they are currently stored. However, cards can slide from the pages and be damaged during shipment. We recommend that you wrap and secure your 9 pocket pages to protect the cards from shifting or slipping out. Wrapping a stack of pages with plastic wrap works particularly well.
Use card storage boxes
Partial and complete sets and larger lots can also be shipped in card storage boxes. These boxes are designed for card storage and are made for quantities of 100 cards to as many as 800 cards as well as bulk boxes that hold 3200 and 5000 cards. Cards should be secure in the boxes. Add packing material to prevent shifting or movement during transit.
How to package small or ungraded sets and larger quantities (up to around 3200) of ungraded cards.
Selecting the Shipping Container
Finally, select an adequate sized shipping box that appropriately fits the card(s) you wish to ship. If needed, use the foam packing peanuts, bubble wrap or other light weight packing material to surround your cards within the box. This will help prevent movement in transit and protect the contents from most external impact.
If you are shipping storage boxes, please select an outer box that will be sturdy enough to support the contents and package them with protection on all sides of the box, including the top and bottom.
Secure the storage box inside of a protective box like this
Include your name and mailing address as well as any other necessary contact information and any inventory list(s) that you may have. Seal the box securely with packing or mailing tape, attach your mailing label, mail/ship it off, and voila! Congratulations, you have made a safe and secure shipment of your collection.
Add signature confirmation - THE GOLDEN RULE!
Whether you are sending via the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), or Federal Express (FedEx), you should make sure to add signature confirmation when shipping the package to a dealer or other buyer to ensure that the shipper delivers the package and the recipient signs for it. This leaves a paper trail telling you who received it and when and ensures that the carrier doesn't just leave it on an unattended doorstep, porch, or loading dock.
Here's a brief video tutorial to help you prepare your cards and collection for shipping:
If you are looking to sell, Just Collect is always buying sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. Thanks for reading.