Thursday, November 13, 2014

Because it's cheap, or because you care?

I think I have spoken enough about my love of the PWE. I am doing my best to keep it alive, and maybe get it back in style. That's not to say I love it all the time. See, the PWE can do great things, but protection is not high on the list. Sure, you can put a hard card holder in it, maybe even some cardboard to stiffen the package. But a PWE is always prone to the automatic sorting machine at the post office. Read enough blogs and you can see the damage those suckers can do to an envelope that is not completely smooth.

I have had a couple purchases off Ebay that have charged a couple bucks to ship, only to receive the card in a PWE with a 49 cent stamp. "I use shipping costs to cover my fees" a seller once told me. Hey - we ALL get those fees. If you are not going to be upfront about how you are shipping, then you are being disingenuous in your auction.

But the flip side of a PWE is what it really means. See, to me, a PWE is love. It's someone taking a part in collecting with you. We have all traded. A traded is a swap that both parties work to be equal in some sense. However, a PWE isn't (for the most part) a trade. A PWE is sending cards that you hope the receiver can use, and who cares if you get anything back. At least, I think that way. Seriously - if I never got a PWE back, I would still send out cards I hope the person liked. Done right, a PWE is the "it's the thought that counts" in the collecting world.

Here's a sample of cards I received from Weston at Fantastic Catch (along with a note asking to "keep 'em coming). I have secretly decided to work on that Turkey Red set. Plus, that Ramirez woke me up and realized it was a throwback card. That is Weston caring about my collection. Thanks dude.

Here's one from Jim at GCRL. White Sox? Check. Bunting? Check. Miscut? Check. Jim knows three of my collections, and sent cards to help them all out.

Then about two week later he did it again!!! More White Sox, Konerko collection and a couple more bunts. It sucks a bit I divide my Dodgers between 1.76million Dodger bloggers, but I hope I help enough with his collections as he help with mine. Thanks as always, Jim.

Last here is from Jeff at One Man's Junk (wax). If any scan in this post expresses what I mean, it's this one. Here are three of the 4 cards Jeff sent. I needed all four. But it's not the need part that is best about this. It's the envelope itself. Jeff and I traded once, and I think I may have sent him one PWE. But I am not sure about that PWE. However, Jeff took the time to send ME some cards. Out of his kindness. "Hopefully some Sox you need", he wrote. Conveniently, they are. But I am more touched that he saw some cards, thought of me and sent them off. It reminds me to not forget my Club PWE, as well as other people in spreadsheets I have.

So I challenge you this: In regard to other bloggers or former traders, do you PWE because you have to, or because you want to? If it's the former, make it the latter. You'll like your collection more, because you'll know some of it is being appreciated much more now that it's offsite.

Trust me on this.


  1. I hate when you pay a few bucks for shipping and it comes in a PWE. If shipping is free and the card costs $5 or less, I think PWE is fair game.

  2. I Zippy Zap people for both reasons. I have to because I don't want cards I don't need lying around and I want to because I know they're going to loving homes (or homes that are more loving than mine).

  3. I echo Zippy Zappy's statement. Sometimes I buy a pack of cards just to see if it can fuel a couple of PWEs. Well, that's what I tell myself when I don't hit any Cubs!

  4. It's certainly nice to be able to send about a dozen cards to someone for the price of a stamp (as opposed to the $2.50 minimum for a bubble mailer), but PWEs can often pack more of a punch than a package. It's one of the many reasons I've become a big PWE guy since I joined the blogosphere.