Near the end of 2020 eBay announced a new shipping option in the trading cards category. With the constant increases in USPS postage prices many trading cards are not worth it to sell because shipping along in a bubble mailer with tracking can now run close to $3.50. Buyers do not want to pay $5 for a $1 card.
By sending cards in a standard plain white envelope (PWE) sellers can move low dollar cards and cut shipping expenses down from $3.00 to $3.50 to a $0.55 stamp. This in turn can save buyers money spending $1.50 to $2 on a card instead of $5.
One of the biggest obstacles for many eBay sellers in offering PWE as an option is the lack of tracking. An unscrupulous buyer could claim they never received the envelope and receive a refund due to no tracking. This is a semi-rare occurrence and personally my average before December 2020 was one non-receipt claim for every 1,000 PWE shipped. It was well worth the extra sales and chalk it up as a cost of doing business.
When will eBay be rolling out this PWE with tracking option? It appeared to go live for the first time the morning of January 25, 2021. I monitored it throughout the day as it was glitching at first and not allowing me to actually select the standard envelope option. Other eBay users commented that it was not available on their end.
By the afternoon it seemed to be working out. Here’s how it works. When you list an item and reach the shipping options, under package details use the drop down box (it is typically defaulted to first class package), and look for eBay Standard Envelope for Trading Cards up to $20.
After you select that option and back out it will show you the shipping cost and tracking included. I have seen two different costs associated with the standard envelope option. One was $0.71, while the listing used here for reference shows $0.91.
Once saved, I previewed the listing for this 1973 Topps Ronnie Shanklin football card. In the listing under shipping it shows eBay Standard Envelope.
To this point, it is not allowing me to select eBay Standard Envelope on existing listings. The option has only been available when I create a new listing. In my experiment to try the standard envelope with tracking it would only allow me to select this as a shipping option, but once at the actual shipping screen it was not available. Some of the main questions still exist regarding this upcoming shipping format namely how will the tracking labels look and what size will they be? We should soon find out. Stay tuned…