Shipping small numbers of ungraded trading cards sold on eBay just got cheaper for those who like to know whether their cards made it to their destination. On Tuesday, eBay launched its new Standard Envelope shipping option that’s been in the works since late last year.
Standard Envelope will offer sellers the opportunity to print labels and ship cards valued at $20 and under for less than $1.
It’s welcome news for those who offer lower cost cards but who have been faced with a dilemma: charge $3 or more for shipping in a padded envelope so their first class shipment is trackable– or mail in a plain, white envelope and run the risk that a buyer claims the card wasn’t received and asks for a refund.
Standard Envelope allows sellers to keep shipping costs to a minimum which should result in opportunities to sell more cards. It will also keep costs down for buyers who don’t like paying $3 or more for shipping on low cost cards.
Those who sell on eBay have been anxiously awaiting its arrival, but you’ll definitely want to read the fine print. The company laid out several requirements you’ll have to meet before you can start using the Standard Envelope option. Bubble mailers can’t be used, you can’t ship graded cards and your envelope must meet both size and thickness requirements.
Sellers can ship up to 15 standard raw cards or one sealed pack under one-quarter inch in thickness (up to a 3 oz. weight limit). Up to three cards sleeved and protected with side or top loaders can be mailed.
A one ounce shipment will cost .51, a two-ounce package will cost .71 and those that weigh three ounces will run .91.
Obviously, you’ll still want to protect cards sent via Standard Envelope by putting it a toploader or other sturdy holder and securing it. Standard Envelope will be good for shipping up to 3 ounces. The envelope can’t be thicker than 1/4 inch. It can’t be smaller than 3 ½ by 5 inches nor larger than 6.125 inches by 11 ½ inches. The company pointed to these paperboard envelopes as one of the acceptable options.
The process isn’t much different than it is now when shipping cards or other items using eBay labels. The company says sellers will be able print the label for Standard Envelope from their computer and simply turn the shipment over to the USPS. eBay has set up a page with information, requirements and FAQs here.
“We are continually working to deliver enhancements that meet the needs of our sellers,” said Nicole Colombo, Head of Collectibles at eBay when the company confirmed its new option last month. “Our hope is that eBay standard envelope will allow sellers to make more money on low-priced single cards and allow them to meet our shipment tracking standards.”
With integrated tracking, sellers who use Standard Envelope can now qualify for eBay’s Top Rated Status along with the 10 percent discount, badging and additional eBay protections.
Trading cards sales on eBay have risen almost 300 percent on eBay in the last five years. In 2020 alone, eBay has sold over 45 million cards, much of that attributed to increased interest during COVID-19. Sales from March through May were 92 percent higher than they were during the last three months of 2019.
The trading cards category is one of eBay’s largest in terms of volume and sales.