Bubble Envelopes

Why We Don't Recommend Bubble Envelopes for Trading Cards

In this short article, we wish to address a common misconception that bubble envelopes provide ideal protection for shipping cards. This is absolutely not the case, and, in many cases, they are worse than normal envelopes. This does not mean that Bubble Envelopes can't be used safely, but rather that they cannot be considered a substitute for providing proper protection for your orders.

Trading cards are not fragile objects, but instead are soft objects. As a result, their vulnerability does not come from "shocks," but rather from bends. To prevent this, proper packaging needs to be strong and rigid. Cardboard, postcards, or toploaders are some good examples of rigid protection. Toploaders, in particular, were created specifically to protect trading cards. Bubble envelopes, on the other hand, do not offer any rigidity as they are made of soft plastic.

That Means That a Toploader and a Bubble Envelope is "Top Notch Protection," Right?

No, it's unfortunately not. A trading card in a toploader is well protected against "normal bends." When putting the toploader inside a bubble envelope, though, you actually take away part of this protection! As the bubble envelope is bigger than the toploader, you will have areas around the top loader that are soft and easily bent. This is why we recommend, in our packaging guide, that parcels be form-fitted to the rigid protection you provide. These "soft parts" are much more likely to get "caught" between other parcels or within the letter transportation systems used by various postal services. And this can mean heavy damage to your cards.

Does That Mean I Can't Ever Use a Bubble Envelope?

We don't forbid the use of bubble envelopes and there are ways to safely use them, but the protection they offer is not better than a properly fitted normal envelope. So Cardmarket will always suggest users use the following packaging guidelines:

  1. Put cards in a sleeve
  2. Seal the sleeve with adhesive tape (adding paper between the tape and the sleeve to avoid the tape touching the cards)
  3. Use rigid support (toploader and / or cardboard)
  4. Use a properly-sized envelope (make sure that the support you used out the envelope, so it won't move during transit)

You do not want to have your buyer receive this … and then claim, "but I used a toploader inside a bubble envelope."