Chapel Thrill

Plain White Envelopes

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Been quite some time since I put anything new into "the blog", but after the past couple is time.

I was ready to go away from card collecting and rant about the inability of people to intelligently drive motor vehicles, but that will have to wait for another day.

Let me start by saying - I love the concept of PWE's, it is a great way to get small trades done on the relative cheap. With that said, if they aren't done correctly, they don't help anyone. Just putting a card in a top loader (and sometimes not even that), dropping it in the envelope and throwing a forever stamp on it is at best a 50/50 proposition that the card will get to its destination safely. In the past month, I have received bent cards. I have received a card in which the top loader was smashed and the card had the impression of the cracks pressed into the card. I have received cards in which the top loader wasn't sealed and the card had slipped out the top. I have received cards in which there was tape to close the top loader, but it wasn't pressed shut and the card was stuck to the tape.

Depending on the trader, I either contacted them to let them know what had happened (new traders under 50 - 100 trades), or I just marked the trade complete and gave the trader a 1 for packaging (anyone who has made triple digit trades should know how to safely ship a card).

I go out of my way to package a card as safely as possible to make sure it arrives safely (do unto others as you would have them do unto you). If I continue to get damaged cards in PWE's, I am going to become one of those traders that will only accept bubble mailers.

Some tips:
- secure the card in the envelope so it doesn't slide around
- secure the card properly in the top loader - that includes using a penny sleeve and tape to seal it shut
-add "do not bend" "pictures enclosed" to the outside of the envelope - it may not help, but it can't hurt.
-include something to help give the PWE stability - any piece of cardboard will do - cereal box, beverage box (case of soda/beer)
- don't try to stick 6/8 cards in a pwe (ie, 3/4 cards in a toploader - if you have to really, really work hard to get the cards in, think how hard the recipient will have to work to get them out)
- take the card to the post office and pay the .91 and have them add it to the package bins and not the regular mail bins (my personal favorite)

I am not perfect, but I have completed almost 700 trades here on The Bench and I have probably sent out another 100-150 packages with free cards and to date, I haven't had a single complaint about receiving damaged cards. I try to think about the other trader and how disappointed/upset they would be if the card I am sending them is the card that they have been looking for for months and then they get it and it is useless to them. I would rather see my trade take 2 weeks to arrive safely than have it arrive in 2 days and end up right in the garbage can.

Any suggestions I missed for how to send PWE's better are welcomed, because I know I can't be the only one dealing with this!

And don't get me started on POSTAGE DUE!!!!


  1. kycardkid's Avatar
    I have found that top loaders in PWE's are a little sketchy. It seems to me that sticking a card in one of the "card saver" holders and then sandwiching it between two thin strips of cardboard seems to work best in my experience. The card doesn't move in the card saver and there is really no need to involve tape near the card with this method. Just my two cents.
  2. Harry11's Avatar
    I've sent out a bunch of PWE's in the past. I take an old nine pocket page and cut it in thirds. So you only have three pockets. You can safely put two cards in each pocket sometimes three. Put 2 stamps. Never had an issue.