MinMaxGames ships out, and receives hundreds of packages every week. We see all kinds of crazy things from Alpha boxes being shipped without any padding, to commons that are triple sleeved shipped in a deck box, inside a bigger deck box, inside a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box. Overtime, we have developed a few practices and rules that we use to “MinMax” our time when shipping and selling products. Here are the top 5 things we think you should know about shipping your singles.
Tip #1 Shipping fees
Most of us are shipping singles in order to fulfill some kind of deal. Discord sales, TCGplayer orders, or MinMax Buylisting, they all get shipped out with some expectation of a profitable return. It’s important to choose the correct shipping company and method, both to ensure the cards arrive safely, and to keep your shipping costs down. You do not need to send your one copy of CF Duskblade to us using the UPS Next Day Air Early option. If you don’t have negotiated rates with a company like UPS, your best option is to create an account with Pirateship. Pirateship is extremely easy to use, and it offers discounts for both domestic, and international packages. We recently received a buylist that had a printed charge of $13.84 on the package, we ran that same shipping information through Pirateship, and it came out to $4.24! You can also schedule mail pick ups if you don’t want to leave your home. If you are not using a system with negotiated rates, it's a game changer.
Tip #2 Protecting your singles
We often receive buylists packaged like they need to survive a volcano while in transit. Layers of tape, cardboard, plastic etc. all tied into a ball of singles. It’s important to keep in mind when packaging up an order that someone is going to receive this package, and is going to have to open it. Please put away the duct tape, the superglue, and the string. When packing up your cards, you just need penny sleeves, painters’ tape, and some thin cardboard. Painter’s tape is going to be your best friend. It will keep your cards from sliding, it won’t hurt the card itself, and the tape is easily removed when it arrives at its destination! Above you will find three different examples of ways we send out orders. The first order contains several sleeved cards surrounded by the order invoice, and placed into a team bag. The middle E-Strike signed by some eccentric card game designer displays how to properly use a top loader. The card has been penny sleeved top down, then inserted into the top loader in reverse to make sure the card itself is not capable of slipping out, or interacting with the tape. We then use one small strip of painters tape to ensure the card does not leave the top loader in transit. The final order uses a ShippingShield for protection. These are often referred to as the environmentally friendly alternative to plastic top loaders, and we have found them to be quite successful in protecting our cards.
Tip #3 Time Vs. Money
Your time is valuable. When you decide you want to sell a card, you have a bunch of different options to accomplish that task. The general rule is the more time you take to sell your card, the more you will get in return. The inverse is also true. The fastest way to sell singles is to utilize a buylist. You simply add the cards to a cart, see the total being offered, ship the cards and collect your money. Probably the longest route would be to list all of your cards individually on a website like eBay, FB Marketplace, or even Discord. You would then need to respond to different questions, requests for additional pictures, discounts etc, then ship the cards, and hope there are no issues resulting in a chargeback or a return. The later examples will typically provide you a higher return on your sales, in exchange for more of your time. Before you go down the route of Buylisting or setting up a photobooth in your kitchen, think about how much you really want to get back from those cards, and how much time you should be dedicating to it.
Tip #4 Communication is key
When selling cards, over communication is always better than silence. When you buylist cards to MinMaxGames, you get a long paragraph detailing what we expect from the seller, and what the seller can expect from us. This includes expectations on payout timing, what happens when cards are out of place, or what to include with the shipment to make sure the correct account gets paid. Transparency helps to set expectations, and to keep both parties happy with the transaction. If you are selling cards on a platform like Discord that allows you to provide pictures, do it! Make your potential customer aware of anything that might cause them to think twice about purchasing the card, or things that are unique, like signatures. Sometimes it’s simple things like asking for an invoice to be removed from the order because it’s a present, and other times it’s helpful to tell MinMaxGames that the thousand cards coming in are actually all German and not English as discussed.
Tip #5 When to pay for piece of mind
Sometimes it’s worth it to add that extra piece of mind and insure your shipments. Some shipping selections automatically come with insurance like Priority Mail with USPS, and UPS Ground. Both provide $100 in accidental loss and damage insurance automatically. If you are using Pirateship as mentioned in our first tip, you have the option at the bottom to add insurance to any package. Sometimes we will ensure expensive buylists to make sure our investment is protected on route. We once had a customer who was hesitant to ship his buylist to us because it was valued at several thousand dollars. We ensured the order through UPS, and provided the shipping label. The customer brought it to their local UPS hub, and proceeded to call us three times that day to make sure the tracking updated. Each time we assured the customer that we do this all the time, and there was nothing to worry about. The next day we received a call from that same customer; apparently later that day the UPS hub caught on fire, and most of it burned to the ground. Luckily, the package had already been transferred to anther location, but it’s safe to say he will be insuring his packages from now on. Sometimes additional insurance isn't necessary. Maybe you just want delivery confirmation of your package. Every package that MinMaxGames sends out includes a tracking number, which keeps both the buyer and seller updated on where the package is heading (most of the time.)
Shipping cards doesn't have to be a scary experience. Keep these tips handy, and turn your bulk into promos and Cold Foils! We look forward to your next buylist or order, carefully packaged for your next game night.