It’s always been a dilemma for sellers.
Do you keep shipping costs down for you and your buyers by sending a card in a plain white envelope, running the risk of loss or a buyer who tells you it wasn’t delivered and asks for a refund?
Or do you put that inexpensive card in a bubble mailer and charge over $3 just for the peace of mind that postal service tracking offers? It’s that postage fee that sometimes makes it tough to sell inexpensive cards that just aren’t worth all that much.
Now, it appears a win-win solution may be on the way.
eBay and the USPS have been working on a new option for sellers of trading cards that would provide tracking and protection for only 75 cents. While a promotional page for “eBay Standard Envelope” was pulled offline Wednesday by an eBay shipping representative who indicated the program wasn’t quite ready yet, the main details appear to be in place.
The new concept would only be an option for “raw” cards—not graded—and the value of the package would have to be under $20. Two cards could be shipped in toploaders (or four without) inside the same envelope but the weight would have to be no more than three ounces.
The envelope used would have to be no smaller than 3 1/” x 5” and no larger than 6 ¼” x 11 1/2”. It could not be thicker than 1/4″.
Sellers would have to ship by printing an eBay branded label and the postal service would provide tracking. Any claims for lost or stolen shipments would be handled through eBay.
Rising costs of first class shipping have made it tough for collectors who sell lower value card, with the cost of a 3-ounce first class package at $3.30. eBay Standard Envelope would be seem to be a popular alternative for sellers who don’t want to run the risk of their plain white envelope being caught in a machine or getting lost in the mail with little or no recourse. Unscrupulous buyers have also been known to claim PWEs never showed up, demanding refunds that are usually granted by eBay.
Saved screen shots of the promotional page included a statement from eBay that Standard Envelope would be “more secure than shipping with a stamp and can improve your seller ratings.”
eBay pulled the page offline late in the day on Thursday after posting a link to it during a chat session with members so it’s possible details of the program could change and there’s no word yet on when it could potentially become an option.
We reached out to eBay for confirmation that the new shipping option was being prepared and to find out when it might be implemented but hadn’t received a response as of Thursday afternoon.
“Standard envelope is not quite ready yet,” an eBay rep named Jen stated in the chat after the page was taken offline. “But we’ll certainly be letting sellers know when it is! In the meantime, I apologize for my mistake and pull back on that spoiler alert.”