Ok, it has been a couple weeks since I posted about Why I love our shipping fees. Now my orders from these other sites have arrived, and I just finished opening packages from about 40 different sellers.
This was a great experience. It was a reminder for me about what is important when shipping cards. Here is what I found.
Beckett Marketplace dealers are on the ball. They all pay at least $250/month to list their cards, so you can be assured that they will jump on your orders right away.
Speed - About 80% of the sellers had the cards shipped within 24 hours. An email with tracking information was sent as soon as the seller had shipped the cards.
Accuracy - Unfortunately 10% of the orders were either canceled or partially canceled because the sellers couldn’t find the cards ordered, and about 1 in 50 cards were incorrect. They gave me the right card number from the wrong set. The accuracy and completeness is about what I expected. As inventories get larger it gets harder to find everything and not make mistakes.
Packaging - All of the cards arrived securely, but about half of the packages were very hard to open. They were taped everywhere or the bubble-mailer used an ultra-sticky glue. It was very common to put multiple cards in an extra-thick toploader, and use of penny sleeves was fairly random. Occasionally cards were shipped in a hinged plastic case and taped shut (very frustrating to try to open).
The Sportlots experience was a little different. It is free to list, and sportlots keeps a cut of the sales. So the responsiveness of the sellers wasn’t quite as good as Beckett Marketplace.
Speed - About 30% of the sellers shipped within 24 hours, 30% within 48 hours, and the rest shipped 3-7 days later. A message was posted on the sportlots website when the order had been filled.
Accuracy - 100% of the 50+ cards ordered were received correctly.
Packaging – All of the cards arrived securely, but about half of the packages were simply mailed in a regular envelop. I guess that is how they cut on costs. Fortunately envelopes are very easy to open. The usage of card savers or toploaders and penny sleeves was also pretty random. Virtually none of the plastic holders were reusable. They had either been taped shut or they were already heavily used.
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Here are some key takeaways that I have passed along to our shipping team.
Speed - We have increased the staffing of our shipping team to try to get packages out faster. Our stated guarantee on the website is that we will ship standard orders in 3-5 business days. In reality we have been averaging 2 business days. Now we are going to see how close we can get that to 1 business day. This used to be easy when we were only shipping a few hundred cards per day, but this is now quite a challenge as we are shipping a few thousand cards to hundreds of people all over the world each day. Our shipping team has great leadership, and I am confident we will make good progress on this goal.
Accuracy - Our accuracy is around 1 mistake per 1,000 cards shipped. This is very good, and we will continue to work hard to keep the accuracy high.
Packaging - We have made one nice upgrade in the past couple months. Now all cards that are purchased for $20 or more will be guaranteed to ship in toploaders. Previously it could be random which cards ended up in toploaders after we checked the accuracy of the order. From the 40 packages I received from other sellers, a few were packaged nearly as well as ours, but I didn’t see anything that were packaged better than our packages. Our team does a top notch job, and I have encouraged them to keep that up as we try to increase the speed. Our shipping team takes pride in the work that they do. When you receive a package it should feel like you are opening a present, and it should be an enjoyable experience. We welcome people to post youtube videos of opening the packages they receive from us, and we are always open to suggestions for ways to improve our shipping experience.