[Tutorial] How NOT to Ship Your Trading Cards to COMC

The COMC Processing Team opens hundreds upon hundreds of boxes, padded mailers, and envelopes containing incoming trading cards on a weekly basis. We’re happy to report that the majority of those incoming items are adequately packaged by their owners for a safe journey to COMC through the postal system. We’ve seen some truly well packaged consignments that would make even our longest tenured Shipping Team Members proud. But we’ve also seen some unfortunate poorly packaged sports cards and comic book consignments arrive with excessive shipping damage due to poor packaging methods.

Our Processing Team recently sent over some pictures of an incoming consignment that was heavily damaged in transit due to not utilizing some of our best shipping practices. We always recommend a box-in-box approach to prevent contents from being damaged. It is best if items are put in penny sleeves, and then put in an inner box with padding. If noise can be heard while rotating this inner box, it is best to add more padding. The inner box should then be placed in a larger, outer box for mailing, again with sufficient packing material so that the inner boxes and the cards inside are not rattling loosely and are guarded against damage.

Unfortunately for the consignment below, by not utilizing safe packaging methods, the majority of the loose cards within the box arrived to COMC damaged.

Padding material was used, but only on the top of the box, and not evenly distributed to cushion the items in the center of the shipping box.

The contents of the box may have originally been organized, but became heavily jumbled around in transit due to the amount of the free space within the box.

Loose cards were saran wrapped, and thicker cards were secured using rubber bands. We strongly discourage both of these practices.

 

Loose cards without penny sleeves were sandwiched between clear plastic slider boxes. The majority of these items suffered corner, edge and surface damage as a result.

Toploaded items fared slightly better, but still were  jostled around the box during transit, damaging the loose cards around them.

 

Graded cards were also not protected, causing some slight chipping to the cases as they rubbed against one another.

To Recap what went wrong here:

  1. Items were only placed in one shipping box, not using our box-in-box method.
  2. Items were not well secured and jostled around the box throughout travel, damaging those items and the ones around them in transit.
  3. Saran wrap and rubber bands were used instead of penny sleeves and team bags.
  4. Packaging materials such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and newspaper was sparsely used, leaving a lot of empty room in the box for items to move around.

We hope that these photos of this incoming consignment that was inadequately packaged is enough to convince you to consider utilizing the methods shown in our best shipping practices video!

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