Just sitting here reading some posts on this and a few other forums and in reading some older threads on these forums,I have noticed some complaints about receipt of cards from trades.

The most noted complaints I have seen are: cards were bent,dinged,scuffed,corner dings and not as described.The interesting thing about most (not all,but most) of those complaints also included ,"shipped in a plain white envelope".

This got me thinking,thus this thread.Today,I received 11 packages from trades.Two of those trades came in plain white envelopes.There was no damage to my cards but there was much more noticable wear on the envelope and damage very easily could have happened.

Now that all of that has been said,I decided to start a thread with some suggestions on packaging and trading in general.Some of these I have done,some I have not.Feel free to add to this list of suggestions so we all can benefit.

1. Trading is fun.Trading on the net can be a bit tricky.One of the first things you should always remember is you can ask questions.Questions often help ease any concerns when trading on-line.Most of the time from established and good traders you will get a fair and accurate response.

2. Discuss with the other party the terms of the trade:
a.)Is what we are trading in the condition we both want?(sometimes it's understood but it doesn't hurt to ask)
b.)When will we ship?
c.)How will we ship? (packaging,discussed below)
d.)Do we need to insure or provide confirmation?

3. Package your items securely.This is a must to any successful trade.It is ultimately your responsibility to get the items to the other party in the condition described.

here are my suggestions:
a.) Do not mail in a plain white envelope.Too much can happen with those and they offer no protection.
b.) Use padded or bubble mailers,even if it is just 1 card.These can be reused if you open them carefully,so the cost is a bit nullified.Buy some new ones to keep on hand.
c.) Use top loads or sturdy cases.Never mail card(s) without this.Even taped between 2 pieces of cardboard,damage can occur.
d.)I do this and recommend it but others may not want to do this.When using a bubble or padded envelope,Tape the flap down and around.I have seen too many mailers come to me where the sticky stuff just did not hold.The cards were fine but they very easily could have fallen out.

4. Keep all communications until the trade is received.Yea,I know,"But some are established and good traders."...my response is,anything can happen.Once your items are in hand and after the other party has acknowledged receipt and happiness,delete the communications and carry on.

5. Buy a stack of index cards or a small rolodex.This can save you a lot of time when trading.If you trade on forums such as this,you will most likely have more than 1 trade with an individual.When this happens,flip through and find that trader and badaboom...you have their addy already.You can sort them any way that feels comfortable to you. I sort by username and under the username is the site I made the trade on (like SportscardForum,Beckett,Bench,CardEdge,etc) then the address.

6. Before posting anything negative about someone,try to work it out with the individual first whether it be damage or non-receipt or whatever.Again,things can and do happen.This will benefit you in the long run.

7. If you do not feel comfortable with a trader for whatever reason,check references.Another solution is just don't trade with them.If you are uncomfortable,don't put yourself into a situation and just hope for the best.

Alright,'nuff from me. What are your thoughts or suggestions?