AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Jan 12 2021 13:50:11

Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

You would probably think twice before sending hundred-dollar bills to someone internationally, but is sending collectible trading cards in the mail as risky?

A reader said two packages he sent overseas were tampered with - his international buyers reported receiving his packages but with different cards inside than those they had ordered.

"One package to Israel was received with a totally different set of cards inside," the seller said. "The correct cards were mailed and double-checked before the package was mailed, and the customs form on the package indicated the correct number of cards inside."

However, when the buyer in Israel got the package, "it was a different number of cards and they were all totally different from what was ordered."

A second package to a customer in France was missing 24 cards out of 115 cards that the seller had mailed.

"Since the packages were to two different countries, the odds are the problem is within the US customs inspection in NY," the seller surmised, "but there's no place to report issues with customs and no one to contact to complain," he said.

The tampering could have happened before the packages reached customs, however.

For example, in 2016, a Massachusetts postal worker pleaded guilty to stealing 23 sports trading cards valued at $68,668 from the U.S. Mail while working as a clerk at the U.S. Post Office in Jamaica Plain, according to the government. An article in Sports Collectors Daily in 2015 described how the victim tracked down the thefts.

In that case, the perpetrator was alleged to have stolen the package; tampering can be more devious, since buyers and sellers are more likely to point the finger at each other than go looking for postal or customs employees.

We hope this is not a new trend. If you've had items stolen or tampered with between the time you mail them and the time they're received, let us know.

Comments (3) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?   Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 13 17:23:57 2021

pretty much as risky. unless selling low priced cards.

Perminate Link for Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?   Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Thu Jan 14 01:49:12 2021

Many years ago, I sent $450 worth of cards to a Brazilian buyer who purchased from me on eBay.   It was with a stolen credit card.  When the card owner reported the fraudulent charge, eBay reimbursed him, through PayPal I think, at the time.  Since it was an international transaction, I wasn't covered under either company's Seller Protection, and lost the money.

Now....I don't ship to Brazil.  I stopped shipping to Europe, and all other International destinations except Canada.  And even there, I'm very careful to limit the size of the shipment.

About 15 years ago, I had a similar instance to the OP's situation happen to me on the receiving end.  I purchased a $300 single card, but received 3 common cards.  I notify the seller, who thinks I am the one pulling a scam, lying about what was in the package.  He said he put the card in the envelope, sealed it, and gave it to his wife to mail.  

The package was definitely opened and resealed.  My main suspect is the wife, possibly tampering with it before mailing it, but no proof.  She is likely the only other person who knew what was in the package.  

I put in a claim with eBay, the USPS, PayPal.  I got covered for part of it, but lost some, as there were limits on the amount of Buyer Protection you could get.

Perminate Link for Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?   Is Mailing Collectible Cards as Risky as Mailing Cash?

by: itsjustasprain This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 14 21:45:47 2021

> ''Since the packages were to two different countries,
> the odds are the problem is within the US customs
> inspection in NY,'' the seller surmised

No. US Customs inspects incoming shipments, not outgoing ones. The most likely reason here is a typical scam when selling card collections: the recipient cherry-picks the most desirable cards and returns the rest, either shrieking that the package had been rifled when he received it, or staying quiet and hoping that the seller won't notice that the returned shipment is bit light.  



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.