Collecting ephemera, or paper collectibles is a popular hobby. These collectibles consist of any written or printed matter which was not meant to be retained or preserved but are now valuable because they survived the passing of time. These may include advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogs, greeting cards, sheet music, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, defunct stock certificates or tickets, and magazines.
Because of their age and the material they are made from (paper), these items are usually very delicate and fragile, thus requiring utmost care. When shipping paper collectibles, the items must properly be packed to avoid damage. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship paper collectibles.
Paper ephemera can be shipped inexpensively in an appropriately sized envelope. However, it must be placed in a plastic bag and then sandwiched between two pieces of sturdy cardboard stock. The bag will protect the item from the elements while the cardboard backing will prevent the package from bending or folding while in transit.
The cardboard backing must be cut according to the size of the paper collectible so that all sides and corners are protected. The item is then placed between the cardboard pieces and then taped along the sides.
Insert the boarded item inside an envelope which is about the same size as the item you’re shipping. Seal the envelope with tape. If the envelope you’re using is a little large, consider folding it over to fit the size of the protective cardboard and taping it accordingly. This will keep it from moving around in the envelope while in transit.
Address the envelope carefully to avoid damaging the item inside. Write the address gently and carefully to prevent leaving imprints onto the item. Also, write on a flat surface to avoid puncturing the envelope and cardboard backing with the ballpoint pen. Alternatively, write the address before inserting the item or just use a stick-on label to avoid such issues.
Take the properly packed paper collectible to the post office or shipping company of your choice.