BCW Now Offers UPS SurePost Shipping

BCW evaluates the best options for shipping your hobby supplies. For small parcels, UPS Ground or FedEx Ground are our normal shipping options, as these services have a good balance of speed, cost and reliability.

To send parcels at a better rate, BCW now offers UPS SurePost. This service is ideal for shipments under 10-lbs. sent to residential addresses in the 48 contiguous United States. SurePost orders leave the BCW warehouse with UPS, but the shipment is given to the US Postal Service for final delivery.

BCW-SurePost-600Using this hybrid delivery system offers a great shipping price, but there are some limitations you should consider before selecting your shipment method on a BCW order. First, when using UPS SurePost, the parcel is not trackable. Second, a UPS SurePost parcel is insured for $100 while the package is with UPS. After the parcel is given to the USPS, the insurance is no longer valid. Third, UPS SurePost normally takes one day longer in transit compared to UPS Ground, however the US Postal Service delivers on Saturdays so you may benefit from UPS SurePost. If the US Postal Service’s lack of tracking or insurance, or the delivery time are not acceptable for the delivery of your order, you should not select UPS SurePost as your delivery method. UPS Ground and other options are available for receiving your BCW Supplies’ order.

If you have any questions about BCW delivery options, please contact the BCW Customer Service Team.

First Day Cover Collecting

A First Day Cover (FDC) is an envelope or postcard with a stamp that has been cancelled by the post office on the first day the stamp was issued. This traditionally involves getting a “First Day of Issue” postmark on the stamp on the respective date, however those rules have relaxed in the U.S., and now FDC collectors can send stamped envelopes to a Special Event Coordinator to get special “First Day of Issue” postmarks. Often first day of issue stamps are placed on special First Day Cover #6 envelopes or postcards, known as cachets, that commemorate the topic of the stamp.

American Circus First Day Cover Source: Larry Kellogg, www.worthpoint.com

American Circus First Day Cover
Source: Larry Kellogg, www.worthpoint.com

Collecting First Day Covers is fun for stamp collectors as it requires some participation…

First, you must be aware of the release schedule for new stamps if you plan to collect new First Day Covers. This USPS site is a good reference for U.S. stamps. Previously released First Day Covers can be found at stamp stores, antique stores and online.

Second, there are numerous topics for stamps and First Day Cover cachets. If you have a favorite theme, such as bird stamps, collecting FDCs of that theme can be fun and rewarding.

Third, getting an envelope franked with a “First Day of Issue” postmark in only done at the post office (or a special postal station) in one location traditionally. Often there’s a First Day Ceremony for a new stamp design. So if a stamp depicts a historical event, the location related to the historical event may host a First Day Ceremony. As an example, The Batman themed First Day Cover below was available at US Post Offices on October 9th, 2014 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader. This stamp release was coordinated with the New York Comic Con, where the Post Office established a temporary postal station, Gotham City Station. Parcels cancelled at Gotham City Station received a special pictorial postmark, adding another interesting aspect for stamp collectors. As a service to stamp collectors not attending the New York Comic Con, the USPS allowed customers to mail envelopes or postcards with the adhered Batman stamp to a Special Event Coordinator in New York City and then the stamps receive the special First Day of Issue postmark and get mailed to the respective address.

Batman First Day Cover with pictorial postmark

Batman First Day Cover with pictorial postmark

BCW Supplies offer several items to protect, store and display First Day Cover envelopes and postcards:

First Day Cover Sleeves (hold #6 envelopes)

European First Day Cover Sleeves

Business Envelope Sleeves (hold #10 envelopes)

2-Pocket #10 Envelope Pages, 20-ct. Pkg., 100-ct. Box

Postcard Sleeves

Continental Postcard Sleeves

Postcard Storage Boxes

First Day Cover Topload Holder

See all of BCW’s Postcard and Envelope Supplies.

How to Safely Ship Your Collectibles

When it comes to shipping collectibles, take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the valuables are received in the same condition as when they left your home or business. Start with the proper shipping box or envelope. Typically you want a padded layer and a rigid layer. You may need a sturdy box and padding (bubble wrap, wadded paper, etc.) around the collectible. However the best solution may involve the padded layer on the outside with a rigid inner protector (such a padded envelop with a toploader enclosed). Whatever solution is best for your needs, make sure to use adequate padding and securely seal the parcel with packaging tape. Lastly, use legible, plain labeling for the address, following the proper postal system.

The United States Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are the main options for shipping collectibles in the US. Take the time to consider which service is the best for your needs. The delivery time and cost are the main factors. Check the price and delivery time using the forms on the delivery services’ websites (USPS, UPS, FedEx).

BCW Comic Shipper

BCW Comic Shipper

BCW offers several boxes designed for shipping collectibles:

COMICS

The BCW Comic Book Shipper protects 10 comics that have been bagged & boarded (or 15 loose comics).

A BCW 330 Box with Monster Pads

A BCW 330 Box with Monster Pads

Photo inserted in BCW 8x10 Toploader & padded envelope

Photo inserted in 8×10 sleeve, toploader & padded envelope

BCW 33RPM Record Mailer

BCW 33RPM Record Mailer

TRADING CARDS

If you are just sending a few cards, BCW Topload Card Holders are an affordable way to ship the cards. We always recommend you place your card in a sleeve first. Then, place the sleeved card in the proper toploader. Place the toploader in a BCW Resealable Team Set Bag to ensure the card stays in the toploader. Lastly, put the card in padded envelop and ship it.

If you need to send lots of cards, BCW offers many sizes of card boxes that work well for shipping. As always, sleeve your cards to avoid getting any scratches during deliver. BCW Monster Pads work well to cushion the cards and keep them from moving inside the box.

PHOTOS & DOCUMENTS

Similar to the trading cards, BCW offers sleeves and toploaders for larger photos and documents. We have sizes for almost any need. As with the cards, first place your photo in a sleeve to prevent any chance of a scratch. Then place the sleeved photo in the correct toploader. Place the toploader in a padded envelop and ship.

MUSIC

If you need to send any vinyl records, BCW has sturdy wrap mailers designed for 33 RPM and 45 RPM records. See all of BCW’s supplies to protect records.

BCW Wholesale Partners – if you ship BCW products, we offer boxes designed specifically to protect our supplies. Sign-in to your BCW wholesale account and then search “shipper” to see the options.

 

Ham Radio QSL Card Collecting

Collecting Amateur Radio QSL Cards

The QSL card collection and gear of amateur radio operator call sign KCORSX.

Amateur radio operators maintain their own radio stations, authorized by the US Federal Communications Commission and other national organizations. While amateur radio operators use their gear and skills for communications when emergencies arise, amateur radio is mainly a recreational hobby. The amateur radio operators, nicknamed hams, test their skills at contacting other amateur radio operators around the globe using their designated bands throughout the radio spectrum.

For one amateur radio operator to contact another ham requires the right transmitting and receiving radio gear, a skilled operator, the right atmospheric conditions and some good timing. So when two amateur radio operators get in touch for the first time, they often confirm the contact by trading post cards. The cards are referred to as QSL cards, a term generated from the Morse code “Q-signal” for a two-way contact – a “QSL”.

As a goal, some amateur radio operators try to confirm and share QSL cards with distant contacts (DX). Managed by the American Radio Relay League, the DX Century Club is amateur radio’s premier award that hams can earn by confirming on the air contacts with 100 countries. Other goals for confirming radio contact include Worked All States (WAS) and Worked All Continents (WAC).

To help these hobbyists store their QSL cards, BCW Supplies manufactures 3-ring binders and protective pages. BCW post card pages are available as 4-pocket pages (pictured above) and 3-pocket pages for larger cards.

BCW 3-Ring Binders
BCW 4-Pocket Pages (20-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
BCW 4-Pocket Pages (100-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
PRO 3-Pocket Pages (20-ct. Pack), Archival Safe
PRO 3-Pocket Pages (100-ct. Pack), Archival Safe