Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Well, I had a subject for this most recent opinion all picked out and ready to discuss...that was until I came home to see the mail that I received today.

Long story short - I hate PWE's!!!


Having bought and traded for cards via ebay or online trading card sites for 10 years now, I feel that it is pretty much standard practice that when shipping or receiving cards that they be sent in an appropriately sized bubble envelope (unless we're talking about a huge lot of cards in which case a box is necessary).

For years, PWE's have been heavily frowned upon. To the point that collectors appreciate knowing who these PWE users are. People will avoid purchasing from sellers who use PWE's. There is no place in this hobby for them.

Why do people use PWE's? I think there is a very small percentage of people who are naive to the practice. A very small percentage. For the most part, I think it is cheaper and easier. Hey, I agree - but when I am paying for the shipping and handling of a product (and we're looking at $3-4 to ship), I expect it to be properly packaged and protected.

What really bothers me is the seller's attempt at justifying using a PWE. "Your card is just as well protected in the PWE as it would be in a bubble envelope." or "Your card will ship faster in a PWE." or "Your card won't be held up in customs as long in a PWE."

Take a poll - I'd like to see the overwhelming amount of people against the PWE. Most people would easily sacrifice a day or two - even a week or two - knowing that their card is given the best chance of arriving safely.

"You were only buying a $2 card." Doesn't matter. The same courtesy should apply.

"I ran out of bubble mailers." My personal favorite. There's lazy....and then there's lazy.

I realize that the PWE people won't go away. I accept that. My wish is that these sellers would have the balls to advertise that they ship in PWE's.

Oh yeah, that's right....you'd lose a ton of business. Doesn't that turn some sort of a light on in your head?

Guess not.


  1. Now, what about those who wrap the card(s) in 2-3 sheets of paper, providing at least that much protection? Granted, bubble-wrappers are best, but at least it's better than nothing more than a penny sleeve and top loader.

  2. For me, when it comes to trading (if both parties agree to it) or very low end cards I can accept the PWE. But when I am purchasing off of say ebay, and the seller is charging a few bucks for shipping (adding the cost of the packaging into the price), then there's no reason for putting the card(s) in a PWE.

    I'll agree, adding some sheets of paper is better than nothing. I think ultimately, it's knowing the situation ahead of time. Tell me how you are planning on sending the card.

    Open communication is very important in these situations.

  3. For commercial transactions a padded envelope is a must, especially if they charge $3 or $4 for delivery. Recently I had a bad experience with PEW's, even though the seller sent the card in a plastic protector (non a top loader)I received it all shattered and card was ruined. Fortunately he was kind enough to send my money back.
    Although I have sent all of my SASE's in PEW's and I have never had a problem with that, you should use at least a top loader in a PEW, they resist much better the abuse and specially if it's a commercial transaction.

  4. Right now for my TTM's, I'm using PWE's for my SASE...can I buy a vowel??? :) In that instance, it is my own risk. I would be the one to blame if something happens - and I'm alright with that.

    But to charge somebody $3 or $4, then put the card in a .10 cent envelope and slap a .44 cent stamp (or whatever it costs) makes me feel like the seller is trying to make an extra buck or two on the deal. It also shows me that he doesn't give a crap if I receive my card safely.

  5. I think you're forgetting to factor in the 'handling' part of the 'shipping and handling'. It might only be .54 cents in shipping, but what about the trip to get the envelope and stamp, then actually deliver the product. Time is money.

  6. Hey Dave,

    I agree - time is money. And I have no problem with a seller looking for adequate compensation for their time (and gas to the post office).

    But to shortchange me by using a PWE instead of a bubble envelope is wrong. If the seller needs to tack on a few extra cents - so be it.

    If I purchase something and it has to be mailed to me, I expect it to be properly protected. A bubble envelope is the MINIMUM I am expecting. A PWE, even with the card in a plastic toploader, is not good enough. Past issues and examples have proven it.

    Are cards damaged when they are in bubble envelopes - absolutely. But then I am looking at the shoddy mailing practices and the post office as the reason as opposed to the seller who neglected to protect my purchase.

  7. Good points. For the little extra a padded envelope costs it should be included to protect the shipment.