From about 1995 till the first couple Pokémon years it was very common to receive cards and PSA holders bare. Condition was a small part of collecting. I watched great cards and comics get damaged at an alarming rate. I screamed and fought like crazy to bring awareness to the condition aspect of collecting. I advocated for penny sleeves, top loaders, graded card sleeves (Beckett actually listened to me and started putting sleeves (though ill-fitting) over their cases, and binders for non sports items. I would even send extra penny sleeves with orders along with an explanation why.
It caught on and pretty soon most collectors bought into it. I mean, how many collectors today use rubber bands and shoe boxes? Lol. I only did this because it broke my heart to see these great items acquire condition issues.
This last 10 years I’ve screamed and hollered about transitioning away from all binders, toploaders, tape, and the horrible tight fitting card sleeves. Many collectors have gotten it which makes me happy. Is there resistance and disagreement? Sure, but that never distracted me. Most of my Pokémon collection has been with me since release and I can safely say I’ve protected all but a very few from any degradation at all.
So, what am I going to say 10 or 20 years from now? Not sure. It depends on what new innovations come out. One thing I can be sure of is, all my cards, comics, etc will be in the condition they are today within reason.
Will I be screaming about it then? Probably unless you all take up the fight for me, which many already have;)
For now, I’ll just stress that “less is more”. A loose fitting penny sleeve tucked into a Card Saver 1 and your cards will be happy…until the next evolution:)
I can also vouch I switched to card savers a little over a year ago and I have no regrets. I also don’t handle them very often but for storing for possible grading later it’s definitely been beneficial.
I had a gold star Rayquaza sit in my binder for years. Got a PSA 10. You can preserve cards in binders if you’re careful. My go-to trick? Extra tape on the back of the sleeve. I also tape the sleeve down into the binder page so it can’t slip out. And when I ship cards I use lower strength tape to seal toploaders. Sometimes it gets stuck to the holo and causes scratches but not that big a deal.
Double sleeving using those Perfect Fit sleeves is a big no for me. They are too tight and it’s very easy to damage the card while trying to pull them out.
I really like the Cardboard Gold CardSaver 1’s, however I have a dog that sheds and those things are hair magnets. They also seem to scratch really easy, which doesn’t affect the card, but makes them not so nice to look at.
Tier 1 Cards - PSA Case with perfect fit graded sleeve over it
Tier 2 Cards - Side loading binder - I have been using the Ultra Pro and BGS ones with strap, but my next one will be the Legion dragon scale one
I converted from toploaders to CS1 this month - not just for Pokémon but other TCGs too. Even for something like Yugioh that has very vulnerable corners, these feel much safer than toploaders and it’s all because of the snug fit in the case.
Another reason to choose CS1 is clarity. Cards pop more in those than toploaders.
Despite being more expensive than toploaders, it will likely save you money in the long run by getting these now in case you decide to sub to PSA.
Oh, and double sleeping inside a CS1 isn’t needed…at all.