Written and Edited by:
Quinlan Cantrell, China Ross and Chad Leiske
A hot topic across many Vanguard community pages is how to properly coordinate and send singles or other Vanguard products via online transactions without using large trade services such as Ideal808 or TCGplayer.
Buying and selling Vanguard product directly, as opposed to using large trading services, allows you to interact with the community and often get optimal deals for certain decks or singles that are hot on the market. Traders are more willing to cut good deals when dealing with someone directly rather than using a trading service that charges fees. However, with less fees comes more risk when shopping for your Vanguard needs. This article will be covering the etiquette of how an online transaction should be coordinated as both the sender and the receiver. If you follow these simple guidelines, you should be able to keep your assets and cash protected, while ensuring that you will either receive your cards, or proper compensation.
Sender: Before sending the cards/closing the sale
As the sender, you must ensure your buyer that they are not only getting a fair deal, but that they are also receiving cards in a reasonable condition and that you invested the effort to protect the cards during shipment. Before sending the cards, you must maintain a positive relationship with the buyer and be responsive whenever you can. If you are unable to respond to a prospective buyer, let them know with a quick message that you will get back to them as soon as possible. Some appropriate messages would look like: “Hello (potential buyer first name), thanks for checking up on your order. I will be unavailable today, but I will get back to you by 5:00PM tomorrow to confirm the total price of (card or deck name). Thanks again for checking in.” Not only does the message establish a date and time for the buyer to expect to hear back from you, it also builds trust with the buyer via open communication.
If you are performing the sale on a community page such as Van-guardians, always get a reference check or “ref check” on yourself publicly on the page. Simply make a post on the page asking those who have purchased or worked with you in the past to confirm that you are a reliable seller. The post should be simple and will look like the post that follows: “Can I get a ref check on myself for (tag prospective buyer)” It is also recommended that you tag the people that have worked with you in the comment section to ensure that you get some positive comments to ensure the buyer that you in fact trustworthy.
Finally, make sure to always send a picture of the cards with a paper, phone, or any device that has the date and your name written on it. The importance of this is to prove that you physically have the cards, and they are in good condition. This will serve as a reference to the buyer in case the product is damaged in the process of delivery.
Before sending the product, inform the buyer how you will be sending the cards and whether or not it will include tracking. It is best to take a picture of the product being placed into a secure package/box to show that you have packaged the product effectively. If the sender as a problem with how you are sending the product, they may address that at this point.
Sending: how to properly send the product
There are a number of ways to send product, and it will always depend on what it is you are sending.
To get it out of the way, if you are sending a single card of high/moderate value: USE A TOP LOADER. You can buy 200 top loaders on Amazon for $19, so there should be absolutely no excuse as to why you would not send a card in a top loader. Especially if you are sending cards worth any amount of monetary value. Please use the following chart to determine how you should send cards via any postal service.
Send using a full cardboard delivery box. All cards should be organized and sorted into multiple deck boxes or in large card trays. Everything should be sealed properly with tape. Any high value cards should be single or double sleeved and kept in separate deck boxes.
Please note that any shipment of a few cards or more should be sent in bubble-wrapped envelopes or placed in a deck box AS WELL. Remember that in the PayPal Terms and Conditions, the sender is responsible for all damage that occurs during the shipping process.
If you are sending very high valued cards, we recommend that you purchase insurance through the postal service you are using. Throughout the sending process, it is important to keep the buyer updated with the following information:
Your best estimate to what date the product will be shipped
When the item as shipped
Tracking number (if tracking is included)
When the order is delivered
The more updated your buyer is, the more comfortable they will be working with you, and the more trustworthy you are as a sender.
After the transaction has been completed, as the seller you should follow up with the buyer and confirm they received everything correctly and leave on a positive note. Send a message expressing your gratitude to the buyer. That message may look something like this: “Enjoy the cards! Thanks for making the transaction simple and please let me know if there is something wrong with the cards you have received.”
Buyer: how to ensure that the seller is protecting your product
First and foremost, when using PayPal for transactions online, always send the money as “Goods and Services”. If you do not, PayPal cannot assist you in retrieving any money sent if you are scammed or your cards come in damaged.
The most important information to obtain as the buyer is as follows:
How will the product be sent
When can you expect that the product will be sent
Pictures of the product with timestamp and sellers name
Confirmation of the quality of cards and price you are asking for
Shipping with tracking on orders with substantial monetary value
As the buyer, you should not be afraid to ask for pictures and confirmation from the seller as long as you are respectful about it. Here is a positive example, requesting the desired information from a buyer. “Hello (seller’s name), I appreciate you offering a great deal on that URR rainbow signature Zerachiel. Will you be using a top loader or any other forms of protection during transportation and if you don’t mind, send me a photo of the cards before sending them out. Also, will you be sending with tracking and what date can I expect you to send the cards out? Again, thank you for offering me such a good deal, I can’t wait to finally max rarity my deck!”
Through this, you are establishing a good relationship with the seller as well as acquiring the important information you need to ensure that your cards will be protected during the transportation process.
When you receive the product, ensure the seller that you received the product and be sure to check the cards for damage during transportation.
I recommend recording yourself open the package in case there is severe damage. If you submit a refund request, you may be denied if you cannot prove that you RECEIVED the cards in poor condition.
Assuming you got pictures of the cards before the seller sent them, and you record yourself opening the product, it will be easy to prove that the quality you received the product does not correspond to the quality you expected to receive.
Selling and buying via marketplaces on Facebook or other platforms is a fantastic way to find stellar deals and rare cards that may not be listed anywhere else. As a buyer and seller you should be taking steps to protect yourself, and others. We're all one big community after all, we should be making sure we're always fantastic to one another!