How To Prepare Your Trading Cards for Shipping

by | May 8, 2022 | Mana Guides, Card Grading

Picture the scene, you’ve just placed your first order of cards for us to grade (thanks!) but now you’re overtaken by anxiety; questions race through your mind such as “What if it gets damaged during shipping?” or “How do I stop it rattling around in the box?” and finally “What the heck am I doing?!”. Fear not, because we are going to answer all of these questions and maybe a few more to help you send your precious cargo in the full confidence of knowing that it will arrive with us in the same condition it left you in.

It’s all in the preparation

As the adage goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and at Mana Grading we think that’s a pretty stupid thing to allow yourself to do in any area of life, let alone when handling something as precious as your favorite trading card. So whether you are having us grade your 1st edition Charizard or favorite base Pikachu, let’s ensure that your packing prep is on point. There are three items that every card collector should have to hand when shipping their cards; penny sleeves, top loaders, and a card-backed envelope (or box depending on how many cards you are sending)

Penny Sleeves

As the name suggests you can pick up penny sleeves SO CHEAP, and they are primarily designed to ensure your cards are protected from surface scratches, they do little beyond that and realistically are the 1st line of defense in protecting a trading card.
If you don’t have any already we would recommend buying them in bulk on Amazon and you should be set for some time, something like the UltraPro sleeves on amazon are more than affordable and come in bulk.


Once you have your card in a sleeve it’s important we now protect it from bumps and nicks. Damage to the corners and edges of cards all too often are the biggest reason for it scoring a lower grade, especially with AI grading, Dragon Eye sees all! When it comes to Toploaders there is a much wider range to choose from, and a lot of the time it’s down to personal taste but again you can’t go wrong with a brand like UltraPro which are widely available on amazon.


As mentioned previously, this final choice depends on how many cards you are sending in. If you are sending just a single card then a card-backed envelope could be more than enough to protect your card, however, most of our customers go above and beyond even for one or two cards, and we would recommend you do the same.

How do you pack a single trading card for shipping?

Start by placing your card in a penny sleeve to protect it from surface scratches. Then, insert the sleeved card into a toploader to shield it from bumps and nicks. Finally, place the toploader inside a card-backed envelope. For added protection, you can wrap the toploader in bubble wrap or insert a rectangle of card for added protection.

How do I package bulk trading cards?

For bulk orders of trading cards, start by protecting each card with a penny sleeve and toploader. Once all cards are protected, place them in a sturdy box. Make sure the box is large enough to accommodate all cards without them being squeezed. Fill any empty spaces in the box with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent the cards from moving around during transit.

To insure or not to insure? That is the question.

It’s a question we get a lot from our customers “Should I get insurance on my package?”, we would almost always say yes if your card is above a certain value. The last thing you want, is to go to all of the lengths above ensuring no damage comes to your card, and then find out it got lost in transit and you have zero insurance, and not even a damaged card returned, rather, no card at all. That would make you and in turn everyone at Mana, very sad.

Insurance costs can vary, however when sending Internationally (hello friends in France and UK) insurance is almost always as much if not more than the shipping cost, it can seem a lot. That’s why we would always recommend sending us a bulk of cards to reduce the overall cost over time.


So there you go, you have your perfectly packed and insured parcel of cards ready to be sent, that wasn’t too painful, right? Anxiety easing, it’s probably time for you to go buy some more cards or open some boosters, go on, you deserve it.

If you have any other questions regarding anything mentioned in this article or maybe you think we have missed something be sure to get in touch and let us know.

Until next time, happy collecting!

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1 year ago

Just submitted! Excited! Thanks!

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