Terrible Packaging

We’ve all had that one seller. You know, that one guy who’s too lazy to purchase a $6 pack of top loaders to and just throws their NM card unsleeved into an envelope and calls it a day. I wanted to open up a thread where we can discuss and rant about our worst shipping/packaging experiences. Also, I apologize if there’s already a similar thread. I’m fairly new user, so this topic is new (ish) to me, but might be old hat to someone else.

These are my cases, which luckily didn’t end in total disaster, but in annoyance.

The FA Victini:

So, as an Instragram user, one of my favorite things to do is scroll through my feed on the lookout for claim sales. I’ve gotten some super sweet deals this way. One user had a FA Victini from Plasma Storm for sale for $7. Price seemed right to me, and at the time, it was the last FA I needed from Plasma Storm. Seemed like destiny! I happily commented claim, sent the seller a quick Paypal F+F payment, and patiently waited for the card to arrive in my mailbox. When the card did arrive, somehow safely, the card was completely unsleeved, only protected by a piece of printer paper. Who in their right mind ships an ultra rare with no sleeve, no toploader, no nothing? I’m sorry, but printer paper isn’t going to cut it. I messaged the seller, saying I’m happy the card somehow survived shipping, but very upset that my card had been sent without a toploader. The seller said he only shipped cards over a $10 value in a top loader. What? WHAT? Excuse me mister, but I’ve bought plenty of cards under $10 that were properly protected for shipping. Heck, most of my uncommon/common purchases come sleeved in top loaders. He couldn’t see my side of the argument, so I posted the card with a warning to not purchase from that seller, and went on my day, annoyed and with a NM- Victini FA.

The Over packaging:

I really appreciate it when sellers put in extra effort to keep a card safe and sound for shipping, but really, a sleeve, a toploader, and a teambag/piece of paper is all you really need. Recently I purchased a Flygon EX from Ebay (EX Legend Maker) and was happy to find the card shipped properly in a bubble mailer, top loader, and all that jazz. When I eventually got the Flygon out of the top loaders, to my horror, the seller had folded the penny sleeve onto itself, and taped the penny sleeve opening shut. Now, this Flygon is in NM condition for sure, and I’m not about to have a random piece of tape ruin this beauty. I tried to pick at the tape to free the card, but that made me nervous, as I had to apply pressure to the card to get a good grip on the tape. I have a strong anti-crease policy in my collection. Card creased? It’s outta there! This method of freeing the Flygon was getting a little too close to creasing for comfort. Too scared to continue my picking method I had to get the scissors. I hate doing this, so so much. I tried putting the blade of the scissors under the flap of the taped penny sleeve, but there was no room for the blade to fit. I had to use my last resort, cutting the side of the penny sleeve open. Luckily, the procedure went as planned and I was able to free the Flygon, placing it in an ultra pro sleeve promptly afterwards. So yeah, please PLEASE don’t tape the penny sleeve shut. Tape the Toploader = YES! Tape the penny sleeve = NO NO NO

Shipping and Kids

So, I’ve made some purchases/trades from younger collectors before. (Don’t worry, I’m not scamming/undervaluing, I’m not that kind of jerk) I guess everyone has to have their first experience shipping, but some of them just DO NOT GET IT. One person was going to trade with me, saying that the card would be safe because he had the “Strongest Sleeve in America” (which ironically had torn corners when it got to me.) I told him that wasn’t gonna happen, and had him ship his card in cardboard, which was enough to help it make it safely to me. This is a tangent, but if you’re a seller, out of toploaders, and not even willing to use cardboard to protect your cards, just don’t bother selling. Another incident was when a kid almost shipped his purchase in an iphone box. This wasn’t a packaged iphone box, but a plain ol’ iPhone box. Yeah, that’s not going to get stolen or anything. Luckily, crisis was averted, we came to an agreement that an iphone box wasn’t gonna cut it, (it’s funny how well bubble mailers work!) and the cards made it to me safely.

I’m very fortunate to have my packaging mishaps only end in annoyance, and not disaster. I’m sure I will not be so lucky in the future, and will be sure to add more mishaps and rants when the inevitable happens.

Now E4, I wanna hear from you! What are your packaging horror stories? Shipping gone terribly wrong?

Thanks for reading!

-Pokesoap aka Madison S.


There is a good way to ship cards just in sleeves. But it requires time and dedication.

I prefer to ship them in card saverbz.

Instagram is :confused: I never did any business over there untill this one time, and i got ripped off to the max and id never been ripped off before. Never again.

Ebay. The guy shipped out a jumbo card in a thin envelope. The card was wrapped with a plain white sheet of paper. That was it. I have never seen so many creases.

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I once had a trophy card shipped in a chocolate box… It still smelled like chocolate. I can’t complaint lol, the seller packed it perfectly lol. It was just funny lol.


Most of my orders from eBay or en.pokemoncardmarket.eu are arriving well-packaged, varying from just a toploader without sleeve to three layers of bubblewrap, plastic sheet, cardboard, toploader, double sleeve in a big oversized box to top it off in the most extreme cases.

From marktplaats.nl (Dutch site similar to eBay) I can consider myself lucky if there is protection at all. I tend to not buy a lot from marktplaats, but I think about 40% of all the cards I bought from marktplaats so far were just an envelop with the card. Needless to say they arrived with whitening and creases. Luckily they were never folded. There are some exceptions of course (I sell on marktplaats myself and always use sleeves and toploaders and in more expensive purchases additional bubblewrap envelop/box), but overall the packaging from marktplaats sellers regarding TCG card just sucks…

Also, one thing I’m personally annoyed by is the following. Some sellers include free cards as a gift with the one(s) you bought, which is always great. Especially when you don’t have the extra card yet. I personally do the same when I sell cards, and customers are always happy with it.
A few times so far however, they’ve used such an extra card as package material… Folding them in halve and placing them on top of the toploader so the card I bought can’t get out. Or using them as part of the cardboard and putting tape on top of that extra card. If it would be a regular piece of cardboard that was used this way I would really appreciate the good packaging, but when I see a Common card (usually one I didn’t have yet in my collection) that is folded in halve like that, I sometimes would have preferred if they didn’t included it at all… Happened about five times so far with different sellers.

As for fumiest two packages so far, both from the same seller: a shoe box and a Magnum ice cream box. I guess he loves to recycle, which I can appreciate tbh (and with the added bubblewrap and newspaper wad-balls it was well-packaged).


Few months ago I bought some Portuguese holos from a fairly new seller from Portugal and they were shipped to me in a bubble mailer, BUT he shipped a whole binder page with only the 5 cards in it that I bought. No extra protection, the binder page was only folded to make it fit the envelope. And as you can already imagine, all the cards were creased more or less. I didn’t expect them to be gradable anyways but it was quite disappointing

Yeah hate it when I get 9 pocket pages either cut up or folded multiple times. Almost as bad as when people just take a whole binder and stuff it in an envelope and toss it in the mail. I mean if you buy $100+ in paper products you’d expect people to understand that there is value in the item arriving in good shape.

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I’ve always found sellers who are able to ship multiple cards in one sleeve to be successful, as the amount of cards seem to keep it pretty flat + sturdy.

Oh no! That sucks! Yeah, lot of jerks on Instagram. I always like to pay G+ S whenever someone is new/I haven’t bought from them before. Worst scam was when someone who I had bought many cards from before decided to scam me out of a card before he deactivated his account. Jerk! Still, I’ve found some deals good enough to keep me on Instagram, and I also enjoy posting pics of my collection. What I don’t enjoy are the constant is this for sale/trade comments. No it’s not. It clearly says it in my profile description “nothing for trade unless specified” Back off!

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Unfortunately Instagram is the pits. There isn’t a single site in this hobby with more scams and general trash. I get constantly spammed. Some people try to sell me fake illustrators. The best is when someone tried to sell me a card I owned. :dizzy_face:


On the bright side, you get a lot of bubble wrap to use as packaging fodder :stuck_out_tongue:

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Nooooo! That’s so sad! Jumbo cards are tricky to ship, but that’s not using common sense.

How strange! Would never think to ship anything Pokemon in a food box. Glad everything else worked out for you!

Oh no! That stinks! When I first started buying cards on eBay, back when I thought buying random lots for way too much was worth it, I had a guy ship me a lot this way once. Looking back, I thought it was cool at the time, but I cringe thinking what could have happened to the cards. Anytime a card gets damaged it’s a huge letdown, especially if it’s one you were really looking forward to.

Noooooo! That’s so scary! At least stuff the sides with newspaper/bubble wrap to make sure it doesn’t move around! I’ve had some cards slip out just taking my binders out to look at them. Can’t imagine just throwing one in a box without anything.

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… Is there anything actually in there??? Was it actually a package once??? How did this successfully reach you??? I have so many questions

Yeah, it really is. Darn it people, I just wanna show off a cool card I got! Stop trying to sell me stuff/constantly trade. I love the comments “I have this.” It’s either a really expensive/rare card or something that you can only respond “cool” to. Yeah??? We have the same card??? Nice??? Oh my gosh, how dense can people be? Don’t you time stamp/tag most of your photos??? Do people really think that’s going to work? I have a big love/ hate relationship with Instagram. I could go on, but that would be its own thread.

When people over pack, I’m always like “Thanks, I’m glad you care, but I’m actually scared I’m going to damage the card untangling this thing.” Sleeve, Top Loader, Tape Top Loader Top, Teambag/Piece of paper, nice note/drawing, a stamp above .49 That’s really all you need. At least in my book.

Nooooo!!! That’s so sad! Those poor commons/uncommons. I’m lucky to have never had that experience before. Sometimes I get extras which are very appreciated, but so many cards are shoved into one top loader it’s almost impossible to get anything out.

Ha ha! It’s always fun to get weird boxes in the mail. If the shipping is good enough, I’ll take it!

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Actually no. Because of all the tape it was unusable.

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Yes. No. I believe it was shipped that way from Korea. The box inside is about 18"x18"x2".