Sports cards have existed for a long time, but back in the day, collectors met each other in person and in shops to buy and sell cards. In today’s card-collecting market, most deals happen over the internet and through the mail. Shipping thousands of dollars’ worth of cards, whose value hinges on their condition, through the mail is scary, but there is a right way to do it. You can package and ship your sports cards safely, but it does require some care and planning if you want to do it properly.

Why Is It Important?

If you’re somewhat new to the hobby, you may wonder, “Why is it important to pack cards extra safely?” For many collectors, their cards have been sitting in boxes on shelves in closets for years, so why can’t you pack and ship them in those same boxes? The main reason safe packaging is so important with these cards is that so much of their value comes from their condition.

A perfectly pristine card with no printing issues will provide the most value, and even minuscule damage can dramatically affect its value.

There are some printing and manufacturing issues that you, as a collector, can’t change, but there are other variables you have control over. If you get a card and use it, let it sit in a bin, or leave it in your pocket, it will lose its quality. Small scratches, bent edges, and fading quickly devalue your card. If you want to get the most value out of a card, you must protect it. That means being careful when you have it and knowing how to package and ship it safely so the normal handling during transit doesn’t damage it.

Invest in Cardholders

If you want your cards to reach their destination as safely as possible, you should invest in cardholders. These cardholders are your card’s first line of defense and will help you maintain their quality.

People generally store their cards in stacks or lines, but doing so without cardholders leads to scratches.

Even though the cards are paper, they can inflict microscopic surface-level scratches on each other. Scratches like these lower the grade of your card. Depending on what card it is, this could entail a loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. So spend a few dollars on these cardholders because that investment will save you a lot more money in the long run.

Additional Considerations

These cardholders are also great because they aren’t intrusive. They are thin plastic sleeves that don’t significantly add to the weight of a package, meaning you won’t need to spend more for a bigger and heavier box. On top of that, cardholders will also keep your cards stable. You could manufacture your own cardholders that protect them from the neighboring cards in your package, but they can slip and slide. The right cardholder will ensure your cards don’t slide out of the sleeve.

Get a Toploader

If you want to be extra safe, you can put your freshly sleeved cards inside toploaders. Toploaders are more rigid plastic cardholders that are great for organization, but they also help immensely with protection. With a standard cardholder, the card is still susceptible to bending during transit and handling. The rigidity of toploaders makes them a more secure storage option, and combined with cardholders, your cards will be very secure.

Toploaders are a little bigger but eliminate the point of contact between the cards and your hands. When you use one correctly, your cards will be safe from scratches, bending, and bumps that could damage corners or edges.

Keep Them Tight

One major mistake people make when shipping these cards is that they don’t keep them together tightly. You use cardholders and toploaders to ensure your cards aren’t too close, but when shipping, you must make sure they’re still together and protected. One of the best ways to do this is by cushioning your cards with something like cardboard.

You can combine a few cards, sandwich them between two pieces of cardboard, and then secure that unit together with rubber bands or tape. However, remember to be extra careful when doing this. You shouldn’t let the rubber band or tape touch your cards because this can lead to some damage. Still, if you’re using toploaders, this is less of an issue.

Nine-Pocket Pages

Instead of storing their cards individually, some collectors store them in binders with nine-pocket pages. While it may not be the best way to collect and store cards, it still works. Instead of taking the cards out individually to package and ship them, some collectors send off their entire binder.

If you do this, it’s important that you properly wrap and secure your binder to keep the cards from falling out and bending during transit. You can even do this if you’re shipping loose pages instead of an entire binder. Carefully wrapping your pages with plastic and bubble wrap on top of rigid backing will keep them in good shape throughout transit.

Card Storage Boxes

Cardholders, toploaders, and adequate cushioning are necessary for sending a small number of cards. However, if you have hundreds or thousands of cards you want to send, you can use a bulk box. Some bulk card boxes already have adequate cushioning and are great for securing a lot of cards. In addition to having some cushioning, you should always add more packing material to keep movement to a minimum.

Shipping Container

Regardless of sending one or one thousand cards, the final step is getting the right shipping container. If you want your shipment to be safe, you can’t only send your cards wrapped in bubble wrap or the card storage box—you need a quality shipping container. This final layer of protection is the best way to ensure your package and the cards inside safely get where you’re sending them.

Safely packaging and shipping sports cards are things card collectors worry about, but when buying from professionals, there’s no need to worry. Here at JRI Cards, we’ll get you the cards you want and ensure they arrive safely. We are professionals you can count on, so whether you’re interested in hockey card packs or anything else, we have you covered!

How To Package and Ship Your Sports Cards SafelyHow To Package and Ship Your Sports Cards Safely