Monday, February 9, 2015

PWE..The Right Way

PWE, Plain White Envelope or a pain in the butt, whatever you call it, it can be either the hobby's best or worst friend. I have figured out how to do it the right way and have never had any problems with any cards I have shipped out. Now I want to spill the beans on how to do it my way so next time others won't complain when they see one of these in the mail.

First, I get the cards put together. In a PWE I have a set limit number of cards I will ship out in one and a set value as well. The most cards I will put in is ten unless a relic is involved and the value is anything over $20.Those things I will ship in bubble envelopes. For the most part however, I keep it to the PWE limits that way my shipping costs stay low, but I am able to give cards or trade cards away at a minimal $.49.

I place the cards in a team bag. Either in the front or back of the team bag, I place a white filler card (you know those annoying things you get in packs instead of a relic card). The only time I don't use a white filler is if I am sending multiple cards in top loaders. Usually the only things I ship in top loaders in a PWE are autographs.

I slide the team bag into the envelope and center it. Once it's centered, I take strips of tape and put one on the top, bottom and side closest to the opening of the envelope and tape them down to the inside of the envelope. That way the cards are not waving around inside getting damaged.

To finish up the envelope, I not only use the seal it comes with, but I add another extra strop of tape.

Then I cover the back and along the front at the bottom with the words, *DO NOT BEND* written in sharpie.
Up to this day, I haven't ever had a complaint or a package lost from this method. I find it easy to do and cost efficient especially when you send out as many packages as I do.

Now I would like to hear your thoughts on PWE's and whether you use them or not and your thoughts on my method. Comment below!


  1. I hate PWEs. I hate when I see one arrive in the mail with no prior warning. I feel that bubble mailers (with decoys) should be standard when shipping cards.

    While I appreciate that you have a dedicated method for shipping PWEs, I am wondering if you communicate with the receiver that he will be receiving a PWE ahead of time? I would think that should be first and foremost.

    I am also wondering if the cards on the non-decoy side would be susceptible to damage during its travels through the post office system? Is there any protection on those edges?

    As well, I am curious to see what will happen when someone does comment on damaged cards in a PWE as no system is perfect. Heck, even the best wrapped bubble mailers have been hit with damage.

    To me, transparency and honesty upfront and ahead of time are key. That to me is the basis of a successful transaction.

    Just my thoughts.

  2. If its a giveaway people can't gripe. If its a trade its gotta be discussed before hand. If its a sale and shipping charged bubble mailer all the way. I ALWAYS ask when buying how they ship. If charging $3 s/h again that better be in a bubble.

    Listia. Its a credit based site. So i always have a credit amount to be reached for bubble. Otherwise pwe.

    Pwe can be done safely. I only mail max of 3 at a time. Always top loaded. And use a thick paper stock pr even thin card board as buffer on both sides.

  3. first, if it's a giveaway to a fellow blogger as a surprise, PWE's are fine. Great. No problem. If you're a seller, then they are inexcusable.

    second, your method, while sound, won't work in Canada. As soon as the postal clerk feels that lump of cards in the middle, you get charged parcel rate. May as well use a bubble envelope. It ends up being cheaper.
    If you just drop it in the mail, it will get returned.

  4. Hey guys! Thanks for the feedback! Instead of replying to each of you since most of you were making the same points, I will sum it up here.

    One, ALL of my PWE's are sent as giveaways or surprise packages to friends. I also state ahead of time that they will be arriving this way and not responsible for lost or stolen mail. However, I have mailed out hundreds of these and have never had any issues the way I have done it or have any lost.

    Second, if I was to mail out trade or something that was sold, that would be strictly for bubble mailers. I wouldn't want a transaction messed up. The only things I send out are FREE.

    Third, I don't think I would ship PWE to Canada. I have actually only ever shipped there once and had issues doing so. My package took a week to arrive longer than expected even though I followed all rules of shipping correctly. I try not to ship to Canada now because of that issue I had and because of shipping costs. However, I will say you guys have a great postal system. I have received a few mail days from Canada and everything comes on time and well shipped.

  5. I agree that PWEs as part of giveaways or surprise packages are no problem. I appreciate that the info is presented to them upfront.

    While I agree that you shouldn't be responsible for lost or stolen mail, what is your stance should the cards arrive damaged? (I know you have mentioned that you've never had an issue....but I'm speaking hypothetically).

    Good discussion.

    1. I will most of the time send another round out. But there are times I may not. Depends how well I know of the person.

    2. I say know the person because there are those people out there that wil attempt to want more and claim they are damaged. If they can send evidence of it if I dont know them
      Well then I will most likely fix the problem

    3. I agree, great conversation topic. Glad to have people speak up and take on a subject like this.