If you’re a player submitting a Trade-In or a store sending in a Reimbursement Invoice as part of TCGplayer Direct, these tips will help make sure your cards arrive in a way that makes them easy for us to receive and process.
TCGplayer has a lot of experience in shipping cards, and we’re happy to share our best practices with you.
1- Always in Order
Make sure you package your cards in the exact order they are listed on the printed packing slip. This is very important as it helps TCGplayer process your order more quickly and accurately.
2- Minimize Movement
*Please do NOT sleeve every card*
No matter the package size, try to minimize the amount a card can move within the package.
- For smaller shipments, secure your cards in a team bag and attach the bag to a rigid board or top loader. If you do not have a team bag you can use a clean, unused sandwich bag. Only one top loader or piece of cardboard is needed per package.
- For larger shipments, fill empty spaces with packing peanuts or something similar.
*Pack your cards in a team bag with a single top loader. Always use top loaders for high value cards.*
A. Protecting High Value Cards
If your order contains high value cards ($25 or more), you can put each valuable card into its own sleeve and then inside a top loader. All cards should then be sealed in a team bag, and placed inside a small bubble mailer and shipped USPS Ground Advantage with tracking. Make sure the cards do not have room to move around inside the mailer. *Please do NOT sleeve every card, only the valuable cards!*
3- Practice Proper Packaging
The size, weight and number of cards will together determine the right type of envelope, mailer or box you should use to get your order safely to TCGplayer. If you’re not sure what to use, look for the smallest flat rate mailer or box that will safely hold everything. Avoid using priority mail express packages though, as they cost a lot more but don’t reach us that much faster.
Find the size that most closely matches your order below
A. Up to 50 cards
Seal the cards together in a single team bag and put them into a small bubble mailer. Add a piece of cardboard or a top loader to the package to provide rigid protection, then ship USPS Ground Advantage with tracking. Make sure the cards do not have room to flex or move around inside the mailer. Please do not put every card in its own sleeve! It is not necessary and will take a long time to process the order at TCGplayer.
B. Oversized Cards
These should be in a top loader whenever possible, but if you can’t find one large enough, you can put it in a team bag first and then sandwich your card between two pieces of rigid cardboard. Use tape around the edges but not on the card itself, and then put the whole thing into a bubble mailer or small box with tracking.
C. Up to 200 Cards
If your order is light enough by weight, you can seal the cards in a team bag, and place it in a small bubble mailer, shipped USPS Ground Advantage with tracking. If the order is too heavy, you’ll need to look at a small flat rate box, and use some packing materials to make sure the team bag of cards does not have room to move or flex within the box. Secure the flaps of the box with packing tape before shipping.
D. Up to 1,000 Cards
For orders between 200 and 1,000 cards, the cards should still be sealed inside team bags, but then also placed inside standard BCW (or similar) boxes for extra protection. Put those smaller boxes inside a flat rate bubble mailer or larger box as needed. Do not ship BCW boxes alone. They must be contained within a mailer or larger box, as they are not designed for shipping or rough handling. Make sure the smaller boxes do not have room to move around within the shipping box, and make sure the cards do not have room to move or flex within the smaller boxes.
E. Over 1,000 cards
Orders of this size usually do not fit within a single larger box, so cards should be sealed inside team bags and placed inside smaller BCW (or similar) boxes before being divided up into several larger boxes as needed. Do not ship BCW boxes alone. They must be contained within a mailer or larger box, as they are not designed for shipping or rough handling. Make sure the smaller boxes do not have room to move around within the shipping box, and make sure the cards do not have room to move or flex within the smaller boxes.
Each larger box will need a unique tracking number, and those numbers should be sent to TCGplayer as soon as possible.
For all orders going into a flat rate box, be sure to tape the flaps on the box with strong packaging tape. These boxes do have their own adhesive, but we’ve seen it fail to hold cards inside after getting wet, going through extreme heat or cold, or being handled roughly during shipping. For your own protection, please secure the flaps with tape before shipping.
4- Track your Package
Make sure you include tracking on your package. TCGplayer is not liable for anything that gets lost in transit, but if you have a tracking number, we can usually work with the post office to locate missing deliveries.
*Please note that your card sleeves, team bags, top loaders and other packaging cannot be returned to you after shipping.
- 7/6/22 - Updated mention of USPS First Class to USPS Ground Advantage.