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How to Prepare and Ship Your Coins PLUS Stickers and Sleeves

Originally published on May 2, September 24, and November 27 2018

Shipping Consignments to GFRC

The Sunset Point and Twin Lakes Collection consignments are under preparation for shipment to Florida. In both case, there were question and answer sessions on the proper way to prepare and ship USPS Express packages. Since responding to the same questions twice, the idea arrived to write a procedure within the Blog to explain the process and document the procedure.

GFRC is insured by Hugh Woods and part of the insurance policy includes coverage of USPS shipments. GFRC does not use FedEx given our countryside location and long travels to a FedEx outlet. There are two types of USPS shipments possible for transferring consigned coins; 2 Day Priority and Overnight Express.

- Consignors using USPS Express will enjoy up to $60,000 of insurance coverage under GFRC's business policy.

- USPS Priority boxes are limited to $3,000 coverage.

The obvious shipment method for larger collections is therefore USPS Express. Following is an image of the recommended USPS Express cube box that GFRC uses constantly for insured shipments to customers and CAC submissions. Three PCGS blue boxes will fit in this cube box allowing up to 60 slabbed coins to be shipped.

USPS Express Cube Box


USPS shipments are priced on a weight and distance basis. Previously, USPS offered flat rate box service; but discontinued it probably due to losing too much money on the program. The above image is of the older box with Flat Rate printed on the outside. New cube box versions do not have the Flat Rate markings. Since USPS boxes are priced based on weight and distance, then shipment must be done at your local Post Office. Free cardboard boxes should be available in Post Office lobby areas. If not, ask a clerk for a box as some smaller post offices will keep these behind the counter.

To conduct a USPS Express box shipment, one will need to obtain and complete an Express Shipment form. Below is a cellphone image of the form. Please note the left side of the form is printed in blue and the right side is printed in red. Blue is for customers to complete and red is for the postal clerk to complete during counter shipment.

USPS Express Shipment Form


Information Required to Conduct a USPS Express Shipment

Again, please note the blue left side of the above form. The top section documents the Sender's information and the bottom section captures the receiving party. Please note that in the middle section is a "Signature Required" box to be checked. This is a key part of the form which will be discussed shortly.

There are three steps towards completing the USPS Express form;
  1. Fill out the top section with sender's name, address, and phone number.

  2. Heavily check the Signature Required box. The form has three layers with the bottom carbon copy being attached to the box. The Signature Required box checkmark must be visible on the bottom carbon copy. If sender does not check the Signature Required box, then GFRC business insurance WILL NOT cover the shipment. So pay close attention to this requirement. I will go as far as ask the postal clerk to highlight the Signature Required box on the carbon copy with a yellow highlighter.

  3. Fill out the GFRC destination address including the 9 digit zip code and phone number. Consignors will always be able to locate this information at the bottom of every price list page on the website.  

Pricing Estimate for USPS Express Usage

From my own experience, costs will range from $32 to over $50 depending on weight and distance. My typical cost for a shipment from Maine to CAC in New Jersey with two PCGS blue boxes of coins is about $35. Shipping several expensive coins from Maine to California will be roughly $40. Add more weight and the cost will move towards $50.

USPS is a very safe vehicle for transporting coins. If USPS does not meet its delivery commitment, then the purchase price is refunded. This is an important incentive for USPS to carefully track and schedule this transport service. Tracking is always available online.

Mind Those Stickers!

I've been meaning to address the topic of stickers on TPG holders for several months. Since insourcing many consignments from a wide range of individuals, I see all types of stickers on TPG holders. These stickers can be from dealers or applied by the consignor for labeling and record keeping. These stickers fall into categories of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Please hear me out towards understanding the challenges brought by stickers on consigned holdered coins.

Let step back and ask a question.... As a GFRC customer, do you wish to buy coins in well preserved, problem free holders or are you comfortable with accepting holders with other people's stickers and/or glue residue? I believe I know the answer and that is the point for asking the question.

Taking stickers off holders is a time-consuming process along with cleaning off the glue residue. Some stickers are easy to peel off while other types are downright horrible. How about trying to peel off a horrible sticker applied to the back of a pristine NGC Fatty holder and on top of the delicate hologram? The outcome is so sad....

Following are some observation and straightforward advice to consider the next time purchasing inexpensive stickers to mark TPG holders.

Bottomline?

If submitting coins to GFRC on consignment, please remove the stickers before transferring the coins. Otherwise, I must remove the stickers and the results can be unpredictable plus time consuming. Sure, a few of you will say that there are products to safely remove glue residue. Yes.... I have ruined several older NGC holders with those types of products. Not all glue removal products are compatible with different grades of plastic holders. Therefore, I'm using finger nails and praying for the best.

Consider Placing TPG Holders in Plastic Sleeves

Before sharing details about another outstanding consignment, The Outback Collection of Capped Bust Quarters, I would like to divert a bit and discuss plastic sleeves for your TPG holdered coins as too many consignments are arriving with worn holders that are difficult to photograph. Some holders are all scratched up or worn. This makes selling the consigned coin that much more difficult along with excessive time in the photography department editing TPG holder spots and scratches on GFRC images.

Please consider using baseball card sized plastic sleeves to protect your PCGS and NGC holders. Yes, I was originally in the school that believed these plastic sleeves to be too troublesome; removing and reinserting into the sleeve every time a coin is viewed. Now, I am a convert and place all coins valued over $200 into a sleeve before storage in GFRC inventory boxes. Online customers are seeing this transition as purchases arrive in a plastic sleeve. Ditto at coins shows.

The issue is simply. Many slabs are stored in double row slab boxes and constantly rub together resulting in plastic wear (haze) on top of the coin. There is nothing worse than looking through a hazed holder that has been CAC approved. We are unable to enjoy the coin's beauty due to looking through fog. Sure, there is the avenue of having a coin reholdered. That cost is $12 plus office handling fee and shipping. What if the coin is CAC approved? Add more costs for a trip to CAC.

For $10 you can purchase 150 UltraPro Vintage Card Sleeves (Amazon link). This is incredibly inexpensive method for not only protecting your coins but also the TPG holder.