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Old 02-17-2011, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's the cheapest way to ship a card?

I'm about to list a bunch of really cheap cards on ebay, most probably won't sell for more than $3. What's the cheapest way to securely ship a card? Penny sleeve with toploader in plain white envelope? Would 1 44 cent stamp suffice for that? Does it need to be stamped with "Non-Machinable" or "Do Not Bend"?

Semi-related question: How much does it cost to ship a bubble mailer containing a card and toploader that weighs 1 ounce or less? I thought it was 88 cents but today I received a card with a 61 cent label on the bubble mailer.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A bubble mailer with card in toploader usually costs me 1.22. But other times I go in there it is .88, which strikes me as odd. I have not had anyone tell me there items have not got to them so I am hoping everything got to where it needed to go
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm about to list a bunch of really cheap cards on ebay, most probably won't sell for more than $3. What's the cheapest way to securely ship a card? Penny sleeve with toploader in plain white envelope? Would 1 44 cent stamp suffice for that? Does it need to be stamped with "Non-Machinable" or "Do Not Bend"?

Semi-related question: How much does it cost to ship a bubble mailer containing a card and toploader that weighs 1 ounce or less? I thought it was 88 cents but today I received a card with a 61 cent label on the bubble mailer.
1oz or less in a bubble envelope = $1.22

I wouldn't advise shipping eBay cards in a PWE, if the card is thicker than a standard sized base card it will likely get creased/damaged and you will end up having to refund the buyers money. You can buy relatively cheap bubble mailers on eBay (I use size #000 for most single card transactions) and paypal shipping with DC = $1.22 + .19 for 1st class shipping of 1oz or less w/ Delivery
Confirmation and peace of mind
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'd use a bubble mailer. I got a pack of 250 #0 ones off ebay for $31 shipped, which worked out to around $.12/each so just keep an eye out for a cheap auction for them on ebay.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I appreciate the answers so far guys, but the majority of these cards will be selling for $1 or $2. A few dozen cents per card turns into a lot of money really quick when multiplied by the 500 or so cards I plan on listing. I will be using stamps or a stamp printer if I can get my hands on one, no paypal/DC/tracking.

So is 61 cents the minimum for a bubble mailer? Or did this one I received today just happen to get lucky and slip through?
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I will occasionally sell a bunch of $1 cards with a 44 cent shipping option and a $1.50 shipping option. If they go for the 44 cent, then the seller is at risk for 2 reasons: 1. the card can get damaged although that happens less than 1% of the time and 2. the buyer can claim that the card never arrived and that happens less than 1% of the time (on these $1 cards).

I have sold maybe 300 cards in the last year using this method and had 1 instance of a damaged card. I let him keep it and refunded 100%. I have never had a buyer say the card never arrived. For these very cheap cards, you are really just gaining feedback and breaking even, but it is good if it helps you attain or maintain TRS status. That 20% discount is huge! Some of my fees are as high as $15 per item (jacket) and I may sell 200+ during December.

A bubble mailer with 1 card in top loader/penny sleeve and invoice is going to be just over 1 ounce. First class parcel post for 2 ounces is $1.39. Delivery confirmation purchased online through ebay or paypal is only 19 cents. So, $1.58 - but you can ship several cards before you get to 3 ounces (another 17 cents).

The 61 cents is a regular envelope rate for 2 ounces and 88 cents is for 3 ounces. If you try to use these 500 times on a bubble mailer, you might get 500 returned. Honestly, that is the truth.

The 88 cents option is great if you can get away with it, but bubble mailers are classified as packages now - anything thicker than 1/4th inch.

I know that the rates have just changed slightly, so my numbers may be off a penny here or there. I am not sure if the first class parcel or DC number prices changed.

61 cents is the regular pwe rate for 2 ounces and 88 cents is for 3 ounces. Maybe you will get away with it a few times, but if you try to send 500 bubble mailers that way, you may just get 500 returned. Honestly, that is the truth.

Last edited by houdini; 02-17-2011 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A bubble mailer with card in toploader usually costs me 1.22. But other times I go in there it is .88, which strikes me as odd. I have not had anyone tell me there items have not got to them so I am hoping everything got to where it needed to go
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The 88 cents option is great if you can get away with it, but bubble mailers are classified as packages now - anything thicker than 1/4th inch.
Bubble mailers are NOT classified as packages, but for some reason certain postal employees are trained to run them through as such. The standard "letter" rate is .44 for the first ounce not to exceed 1/4". However, there is a "large envelope rate" for .88 up to one ounce and 3/4" maximum width. You can get the "large envelope rate" on any automated postal machine at USPS or if you remind the post master to run it as such. I've even printed the rates off of the USPS website before to show the post master.

They've been making this mistake for years though so they get away with running up the bill on us and most customers don't even notice. Furthermore, Paypal or eBay shipping labels don't have the "large envelope" rate so you can't get it on the website.

Bottom line, if it's less than 1 oz and less than 3/4" thick, you can put two .44 stamps on it for a total of .88. The rates are clearly posted on USPS.com.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just because the cards are "cheap" doesn't mean they are "valueless" to the individual buying them from you on eBay. Someone might be putting together a player or team collection for a child, trying to complete a set they've been working on for months, etc.

When I'm selling I treat a 99 cent winning bid the same as I do a $50 winning bid. Sleeve, top loader, team bag, 1/8" thick cardboard squares taped to each side of the card, bubble mailer.

Think about how you'd like something you purchased to be sent to you.

Also, it's been said, but shipping PWE and/or opting not to use delivery confirmation opens you up to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous buyers. To me it's worth the moderate increases in postage to cover my rear end.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bubble mailers are NOT classified as packages, but for some reason certain postal employees are trained to run them through as such. The standard "letter" rate is .44 for the first ounce not to exceed 1/4". However, there is a "large envelope rate" for .88 up to one ounce and 3/4" maximum width. You can get the "large envelope rate" on any automated postal machine at USPS or if you remind the post master to run it as such. I've even printed the rates off of the USPS website before to show the post master.

They've been making this mistake for years though so they get away with running up the bill on us and most customers don't even notice. Furthermore, Paypal or eBay shipping labels don't have the "large envelope" rate so you can't get it on the website.

Bottom line, if it's less than 1 oz and less than 3/4" thick, you can put two .44 stamps on it for a total of .88. The rates are clearly posted on USPS.com.
This is wrong. I am sorry, but it is wrong.

There are 2 reasons that cards sent this way must go first class package:

1. Uniform thickness - you have a card in there and even using the small 000 bubble mailer it is still going to be thicker in one place than another.

2. Rigid - any RIGID large envelope must be sent as a first class package. Your top loader alone will make your package rigid.

The reason for this is that these must be processed by hand. They are not machinable. Well, you are asking for damage if they machine them anyway.

There is another reason that this is the wrong way to go. No delivery confirmation online. So you have to go to the post office and purchase it for 70 cents. So 88 cents and 70 cents is STILL $1.58 for 1 ounce. You can send it the correct way WITH delivery confirmation purchased online for that at 2 ounces.

This information is also available online. I went and looked everything up to make sure nothing had changed.

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Just because the cards are "cheap" doesn't mean they are "valueless" to the individual buying them from you on eBay. Someone might be putting together a player or team collection for a child, trying to complete a set they've been working on for months, etc.
I agree completely. I am not advocating treating cheaper cards any less. This is for buyers who CHOOSE the 44 cent shipping on a $1 card.

I treat a 1988 Donruss Gregg Jefferies the same way I treated the TC Strasburg Gold Auto when I ship them.

Now, to the OP, I have had no real trouble shipping pwe, but I only do so when clearly spelling out how the card will ship and offering another option. Never charge bubble mailer prices for pwe delivery - that is just asking for a negative. (There are people who do this.)

Also, I have had postal employees complain about the pwe method because it is both rigid and non-uniform. You might run into that too.

Bottom line: pwe = risky, but cheap. Bubble mailer at 88 cents = risky. Bubble mailer w/DC at $1.41 or $1.58 = safe. Just imho.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I treat a 1988 Donruss Gregg Jefferies the same way I treated the TC Strasburg Gold Auto when I ship them.
Dude, do you have any more of the '88s available? i think that kid could be awesome.

I agree with this poster for the most part. Pay the $1.41 or $1.58 and get the peace of mind.

(Can a buyer neg you if you give them a full refund?)
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is wrong. I am sorry, but it is wrong.

There are 2 reasons that cards sent this way must go first class package:

1. Uniform thickness - you have a card in there and even using the small 000 bubble mailer it is still going to be thicker in one place than another.

2. Rigid - any RIGID large envelope must be sent as a first class package. Your top loader alone will make your package rigid.

The reason for this is that these must be processed by hand. They are not machinable. Well, you are asking for damage if they machine them anyway.

There is another reason that this is the wrong way to go. No delivery confirmation online. So you have to go to the post office and purchase it for 70 cents. So 88 cents and 70 cents is STILL $1.58 for 1 ounce. You can send it the correct way WITH delivery confirmation purchased online for that at 2 ounces.

This information is also available online. I went and looked everything up to make sure nothing had changed.
I suppose rigidity and uniformity are subjective then because I ship 20-30 of these a week and have been for 11 years and never had one returned. But if this is part of some new policy that USPS is rolling out then thanks for the heads up, but haven't had problems through now.

As far as DC, I don't use it for cards less than $10. If some scammer wants a free $3.00 card and pulls the "I never received my card" routine, I'll just give him his money back and move on. That also hasn't happened before. If you add up all the wasted DC charges and subtract the one idiot in a thousand who would try to scam you, it's pretty significant how much money one wastes on DC. But I guess I won't reveal all my business secrets...
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I use single card in a top loader in a bubble mailer with paypal as first class parcel, DC included, costs 1.58. I put it as 2 ozs. Hope that helps
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I suppose rigidity and uniformity are subjective then because I ship 20-30 of these a week and have been for 11 years and never had one returned. But if this is part of some new policy that USPS is rolling out then thanks for the heads up, but haven't had problems through now.

As far as DC, I don't use it for cards less than $10. If some scammer wants a free $3.00 card and pulls the "I never received my card" routine, I'll just give him his money back and move on. That also hasn't happened before. If you add up all the wasted DC charges and subtract the one idiot in a thousand who would try to scam you, it's pretty significant how much money one wastes on DC. But I guess I won't reveal all my business secrets...
If you haven't had problems, then that is great.

I agree about the DC too, but once it went to 19 cents on paypal I just added it to everything.

You have a 4.9 on shipping and a perfect TRS rating - so you definitely know your business.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I use single card in a top loader in a bubble mailer with paypal as first class parcel, DC included, costs 1.58. I put it as 2 ozs. Hope that helps
same here just to be on the safe side I go 2oz. get yourself a scale too either spend the $20+ on an electric one or get a salad one from walmart/target for $5 just get rid of the bowl it give you a decent estimate...or just go to the PO use the automated machine to get the weight and go home and save $1 and print shipping label from home.

if you are selling really cheap stuff you may want to look at using sportlots or justcommons i believe the other one is.
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