Yesterday I shipped out packages from my first Ebay sales in years. Back at Christmas I had bought a bunch of packs of this year's Hoops and Donruss from a Walmart nearby. I had good luck and I pulled a couple of Ja Morant rookie cards and a Zion Donruss rookie. I basically didn't think too much about them since Christmas and put them in away in a box.
This week I went through that box and pulled out a stack of cards that would sell for over $5 apiece, including the aforementioned Ja and Zion cards. I listed them on Ebay as BINs with best offers allowed. I sold the three basketball rookies, plus a Pete Alonso Topps Chrome rookie. I'm happy with the amount I got for them, and everything was smooth at that point.
What drove me nuts, though, was when it came time to ship cards. I haven't shipped in a long time and I don't pay close attention to changes in shipping costs. All I can say now is that it is prohibitively expensive to ship cards in Canada. I don't understand why Canada Post is so expensive.
I wanted to ship the cards with tracking information, because I have had bad experiences with buyer fraud on Ebay (as I noted in a previous post). Buying a tracking number in Canada is unrealistic, though. The cheapest option for tracking the shipment of one card within Canada was $14.25. That's more than the Ja Morant and Pete Alonso cards sold for.
It doesn't seem worth paying for tracking unless you are selling a card for $100 or more. I ended up shipping the cards regular mail for $1.94 each. Of course, I packaged them well, using a bubble mailer, penny sleeve, top loader, and team bag. But what I am worried about now is the buyer fraudulently requesting a refund, and I have no way of proving the cards were shipped because I have no tracking number.
There's gotta be a better way. Do Americans have this same problem when it comes to expensive shipping, particularly when it comes to tracking numbers? It seems like they don't and this is a Canada Post thing. I think in the future I would be better off shipping cards to COMC and using their Ebay service to auction cards. The problem is that COMC's auction service is only for higher value cards, and they are terribly backed up sorting their mail right now due to the pandemic anyway. It may also be better to sell those cards on the regular part of the COMC site, but that process is much slower and I find COMC to be better for flipping cards already listed (although I have sent cards to them in the past).
Now I am just crossing my fingers, hoping that my buyers are honest, and that Canada Post does it's job correctly and gets the cards to the buyers in a timely manner.
Buying cards from the US to be shipped to Canada is also awful. I usually use the COMC mailbox service, or if I am buying cards from Sportlots I use their mailbox service. I eat a bit more fees, but it still ends up being cheaper than simply having a card shipped directly from an American seller to me here in Canada. I don't remember the cost of shipping being that bad when I was into buying cards about ten years ago or so.
If you are a collector outside the United States, how do you go about saving on shipping costs, either as a buyer or a seller?