He Lost His Most Important Sports Cards - 10 Tips To Protect Yourself When Sending to PSA
February 18, 20228 min read
Well, we've all known someone who's had packages "lost". I say that in air quotes or stolen in the mail, and it seems to be kind of like a running joke with the post office. Right? If you send something important via the post office, it always ends up getting lost. I just saw a video on Instagram @nothinglike90scards, he said that he had sent off five of his most important cards to PSA and that a FedEx employee stole all five of the cards. They opened the box up, sent it along to PSA and when PSA got it, there were no cards. PSA shared all their security footage with anyone like that. So apparently it was a FedEx employee that stole five of his cards.
So with PSA kind of reopening its economy service, I'm sure more and more people will be shipping cards to them, and not just PSA, you're going to be sending them off to SGC, CSG, Beckett, or wherever you like to get your cards graded. So, what are some things you can do to protect yourself when you're shipping stuff out like that? So that something bad doesn't happen.
Now none of this will protect you 100%, but this is going to definitely put you in a good spot here, make you feel good that you took some of these steps, that you did everything you could to protect yourself when you are shipping out your valuable collectibles. All right. So let's take a look at 10 things that you should do to protect yourself.
Number one. We've talked about this on the last show, insurance. Obvious one here. If you can't self-insure, by self-insure meaning if you're sending off $500 in cards and you've got $10,000 in your bank account, you probably don't need to insure the $500 cards. But if you're sending out $10,000 worth of cards and you've got 2000 bucks in your bank account. You probably want to ensure that. So that's what insurance is all about is transferring that risk. It's fairly cheap. I say fairly, it's not bad and make sure you put the value in there for the replacement cost of those cards. That's what FedEx and all these guys will pay out, is the replacement value.
Number two, use the correct size shipping box. UPS,, FedEx, all these guys are sticklers for that little four inch rule they have in their terms and services. Basically you need about four inches around the items that you have inside the box. That four inches essentially gives it a little bit of buffer should someone step on your box or the box falls, whatever happens to it that causes the damage. Claims get denied all the time because people don't use the proper size box. They didn't allow for enough room in there.
It's an easy thing for UPS to do or FedEx, they just measure that thing and say "not enough room, claim denied." So set yourself up, use the correct size box. Plus you want to leave enough room on there to make sure that if something does happen, somebody kicks your box or steps on it that, you've left enough buffer in there so your items don't get damaged in there.
Number three. This is kind of one that a lot of people don't think about doing here, but take a photo of your shipping label and the cards that are being sent to PSA before packing them up and put this all in one image all together. So you got your shipping label sitting there and you got your cards.
What does this do? Well, this at least gives you the knowing that you shipped out all the correct cards to PSA, and it wasn't your fault if they say, "Hey, listen, we only got four of the five cards that you sent us." Now, most likely this won't help you with an insurance claim because obviously you could just reopen the box back up and take your cards back out, but at least you will have a good feeling knowing that you did everything right on your end. You shipped the right cards to them. You're not second guessing yourself. I mean, heck you can even videotape yourself, packing them up if you want to. That way you can at least sleep well at night.
Number four, your info that you put on the shipping label. I never ship anything from Powers Sports Memorabilia. That makes me a target. I use a different name on the return-to address. So if your business name is Joey's Sports Cards, maybe just put your name on there and remove the "Sports Cards" or do some sort of acronym. People see stuff that's coming from Joey Sports Cards, going to PSA, again, they already have a decent idea of what's going to PSA, but they see Joey Sports Cards in there, maybe they don't know who PSA is and like, "Ooh, sports cards, sports cards have been go up in value. Ooh. I wonder what's in this package?" It gets people curious about your box. We want to be incognito. I don't want anybody looking at the box. So I would just put your name on there, or if you're shipping to someone else that's not PSA.
Maybe you're sipping a submission group, put just the person's name that it's going to. Something just to make your box incognito. Now yes, certain businesses are going to require that you have to have their name on there. For example, PSA, you're gonna have to have their name on it. That's the address that they're requiring you to ship to. So you want to make sure you put the business name on there in case it goes there. So certain businesses have different requirements. But again, just try to be a little under the radar on your shipping name. Don't make it so obvious.
Number five. This is kind of a cool one that a lot of you don't think about is these "Check Contents Tape". Now this is tape that basically tells you to, "Hey, stop, check the contents if you feel like the labels been tampered with, or the seal has been broken". You've seen these come on your boxes all the time. It's kind of cool actually. The person opening your box, if they wanted to tamper with it would basically have to have this same exact tape in order to kind of seal it back up again.
So it might deter someone from messing with your box, as opposed to just using some clear tape. You could also use that brown tape, you know, that tape that PSA sends your cards back in. Have you ever got those boxes from PSA and you're just like, they got all that brown tape, all over the box, and you're just like, "how the hell do I open this? Where are the seams in this thing?" They really seal those things shut. It's just absolutely crazy how well they do though. Again, use these kind of check contents tape as opposed to just kind of your normal clear tape.
And number six, if shipping expensive item, consider using an AirTag. What do they do? Well, according to Apple, this is direct from them. Your AirTag sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My Network, these devices send the location of your air tag to the iCloud. Now you can go to your Find My Device app and you can see it on that map. So pretty cool little process there. AirTags cost about 30 bucks, so they're not cheap. So if your package is truly lost, like this is a good way to locate it.
I can't think of a better way to locate it. It doesn't stop someone from opening your box up and stealing your AirTag, but I highly doubt when someone's opening up your box they're thinking about, "Ooh, I got to take the air tag out of this thing first." They're not thinking about it. They just want to know what's inside your box. So if you're shipping $10,000 worth of the cards, that might definitely be worth it throwing one of those in there. Kind of hide it in a little spot that maybe they wouldn't look for it.
Also make sure that again, you're doing a signature required on your package. FedEx and UPS, and those guys, they already require it when they're shipping to a business. So you don't need to add a signature required when shipping to a business, it's already required. Some of you don't know that. But if shipping via USPS, definitely 100% add a signature required.
All right, number seven, get a receipt. If you're going to drop off all these expensive cards or items or whatever you're shipping, you're dropping off at FedEx or the post office. Have them scan it right in front of you and get a receipt from them that has your tracking number on there. Now you 100% know they have the package, your insurance is activated and now they definitely have it. There's nothing worse than just dropping a box off on the counter and then not seeing it scan in for two or three days.
We've all been there. It is stressful. Don't do that to yourself. Wait in the little stupid little line with all the other dummies that didn't print the shipping labels at home and just get a receipt. Make it real easy on yourself so you can sleep at night and that way, you know they've got the box.
Number eight, consider dropping off your expensive items at PSA yourself. Again, sending tens of thousands of dollars of cards, you know, or whatever you deem valuable, you might consider dropping off in person. Now this isn't going to be available to everyone. According to PSA, quote,
"if you would like to drop off your items at one of our offices, this can be arranged. However, please know that we only accept submissions at our Woodbridge, New Jersey office by appointment only, and on a limited case by case basis for high value items and high volume submissions at the Southern California location."
So this isn't going to be available for everyone. Another option too, is if you have someone that can drop them off for you in California, you can always ship this person your cards. Big positive there is you don't have to put PSA on the label. You're shipping them to some random person, so that doesn't make you a target. Again, you want to make sure you're comfortable sending these cards to this particular person, but that is kind of nice as you won't have PSA on your box. So it doesn't make you that kind of obvious target there.
Number nine, could always just wait for the National. PSA's at the National every single year. You can drop your cards off and get them back by the end of the weekend. That's super nice. Now of course, you're going to have to fly or drive to wherever the National is. Of course, other grading card companies do this same thing at other shows, too. So you can always wait until a grading company comes into your local town to do a show, maybe the Dallas Sports Card show. You can always just do it in person.
Last tip, number 10 here. Make your return address a business or a P.O. Box. There's nothing worse than having all your cards graded, you got the grades you wanted, you're super stoked, you're ready to get them back, and then someone steals it off your porch. Get it delivered to a location where only you have access to it. A UPS store, P.O. Box, or your place of business. Don't have it sent to your home. Don't stress yourself out about that.
Personally, for me, I'd rather have it shipped to a business where I know that someone can sign for it if needed, and that it's in a safe and secure spot.
So hopefully these 10 tips kind of help you guys out when shipping items. I know it kind of seems like a lot here and a lot of hoops to jump through. Trust me, I've been shipping stuff for gosh now about 20 years now. So I've kinda seen everything here and try to do everything to protect myself. Of course, protect my customers items as well. So I definitely would suggest implementing some of these steps here. So you don't make yourself a target.
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