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I wonder if anyone else has noticed this same thing. When I insert cards into polypropylene "penny sleeves" (which are supposed to be better than PVC toploaders because they don't contain the acidic compounds PVC does) I find that it's nearly impossible to hold the card straight and slide it directly in. I have to put one corner of the card in first then slide the other corner in, usually this corner will briefly catch on the sleeve before the card slides through. If you look very closely you will notice this often creates a tiny stub on that corner of the card. This can especially be a problem on cards made out of thicker paper stock.
Now, I noticed this a while back, before I put most of my cards in them. What I always do is prepare the sleeve by taking 2 or 3 base cards that I don't care about and inserting them in the sleeve to stretch it before I put the card I care about in, this helps a little but does not completely solve the problem. I was thinking of cutting an edge of the sleeve and sliding the card in that way, then once it's in this first cut sleeve, sliding another sleeve on. Perhaps this would work?
Has anyone else noticed the micro-stub problem and how do you personally get around it?
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I notice it on my cards too. I'll take a card that has gem mint corners, grab a penny sleeve and open it up, bottom right corner in first and then 9 times out of 10 when I try to slide the bottom left corner in it catches on the sleeve and turns "fuzzy". It really ticks me off. And the more I think about it while doing it the more my hand shakes. I've looked around and saw that Ultra Pro makes "Easy Grade" sleeves with a side angle cut but I think that would leave the top corner of the card exposed. I know it did when I tried to do it homemade with a regular sleeve. And over time that can cause even worse damage. Maybe instead of trying to cut the top corner of the sleeve diagonally and I'll just cut a tiny bit down the side. Maybe that will work. My OCD in full force.
I didn't realize Ultra-Pro makes a product like that. I'm looking at their website right now where in the product description for the easy grade sleeves it says "Corner is angle-cut on top material to assist insertion of cards and prevent card corner damage." Isn't this a tacit admission that their normal product damages cards and has been damaging them all these years?
I don't think this is OCD at all, this is a real problem. As far as one corner of the card being exposed, I think then you could use a second easy grade sleeve and slide the open side of sleeved card into the bottom of the second sleeve. I have read of some people doing this anyway with normal sleeves to prevent dust from getting in.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
This may go against the grain, but I don't use penny sleeves and don't think they are necessary. I store all my cards in 9-pocket Ultra-Pro Platinum pages, except for ultra thick ones. There is no fullproof method to guarantee that cards will stay in gem mint condition, humidity and light will do more damage than PVC. Any cards of such great value should be graded and slabbed. Otherwise you just have to be normally careful. I know that over the years my cards are holding up better than me.
Normally, with the odd exception, I only use penny sleeves when putting cards into top loaders so they do not get damaged during transport, find it easier to release cards from top loaders this way.
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
I'm with you Raven sometimes I think we get just a wee bit precious over the protection of our cards. I've got 10's of thousands of cards stored solely in 9 pocket Ultra-Pro Platinums and have done so for over 25 years and never have had a card showing damage from this practice (and I check regularly). Sure, you can seal an album up in triple fold bubble wrap and then put it in a zip-loc bag and then in a taped down carton (non-acid of course). For me, I like to slide a ring-binder off a shelf and flick the pages of a random set just to remind myself of how much I adore this absorbing hobby.
My dog is a RotweillerXLabrador. He'll bite your leg off but he'll always bring it back to you.
|Titanium Card Talk Member|
I think you guys need to get out more.
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
Ewok7, heres what I do...
I buy those slim UltraPro card sleeves that fit in the 9-pocket pgs. Before inserting a card, I usually open the sleeve top & "stretch the width" of it a bit. Takes 2 seconds & works fine on a modern card...
If its a vintage (& potentially valuable) card, you can take another sleeve & help guide that last corner in.
Haven't seen those cut sleeves & probably wouldn't use them.
Just wanted to respond to your concern. We all have to deal w/card storage whether in the drawer, in the binder, or moving them around
The trick is to prepare the sleeve first by slightly holding the sleeve firmly with the thumb and another finger, then slightly slide the fingers on each other. This will open up the sleeve starting on the ends. Insert one corner of the card, then do the sliding a little bit more but this time part of the card is already inside, this will create a small space on the other end of the sleeve. Slowly slide the rest of the card inside while still holding firmly the sleeve/card on the sides. Then slightly push the newly opened end towards the end of the card, this will widen up the sleeve opening to the side. The sleeve's opened end will have a small space for you to push the other corner of the card into the sleeve safely.
Sleeving the cards will give them better protection against dirt. Cards on Ultra Pro pages will have more dirt on its pockets if not sleeved. Also, unsleeved cards will move more in the pockets, the sleeves fill up the unneeded space and cards stay in place.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
You are right to store your card collection anyway you think best, but if your conclusion is based on the idea of shifting I would not agree.
I can understand using penny sleeves as added protection in top loaders, where they do move around a bit, but normal cards don't move in pages unless the pocket has been streached by a thicker card first. If you store binders on top of each other you get a press effect and the danger is not that they will move, but that they might get stuck in the pocket.
As for dirt, I don't notice anything inside the pockets, maybe some dust on the pages, but does that hurt? Not to me.
Some people go to great lengths to protect the condition of their cards and there is still no guarantee. By and large normal storage away from dampness, excessive temperature and light is enough. By all means use achival safe materials and avoid PVC, but plastic is plastic and it all degrades a little over time. For that matter, your cardboard cards and inks will all degrade a little over time.
Cards are meant to be enjoyed, not worried about. I have cards in binders for over 25 years and I did change the pages when the newer, safer stuff came out. Nothing has been damaged due to storage so far. I'm not trying to convince anyone, I'm just saying what has been my experience. If you feel more secure with penny sleeves, by all means use them.
Thanks for the responses everyone. @Juke, I've tried doing that with the penny sleeves and it doesn't work entirely for me. I'm just going to cut the corners of my sleeves and double-sleeve them from now on.
This is why I worry about buying individual chase cards on Ebay. You see these auctions with pictures of the cards lying out unprotected on a table with the description of near mint. I think my definition of mint and near mint are more exacting than most peoples. If the person is the type to have their cards lying unprotected on a table I know they're probably not the type to care about micro-stubs, and probably they'll be carelessly shoving the cards into penny sleeves before shipping them off. I also watch box break videos on youtube sometimes and I'm often shocked at how rough some of the openers handle the cards.
This is why I also like Magic Cards and Club Penguin Cards, they have nice rounded corners so you don't have to worry about stubs.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
Sad to say I rarely trust a seller's opinion of card condition. I've bought too many cards described as "NM-MT", "Mint" and even some said to be "in perfect condition" and all ended up having corner wear and dings. I'm not looking for pristine but I don't want a modern card with flaws either. Now I only trust my eyes. And if I can't see the card clear enough in the scan, particularly if it's a high-end card, I usually don't bid on it.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
Totally know where you're coming from on this. It's not like penny sleeves cost the earth, so why don't some sellers just use them? It looks so much more professional and they'd ideally use a sleeve anyway to protect the card in transit anyway (when in a top loader). Unsleeved cards always give me pause and you'd be hard pressed to get me to bid on an autograph card, in particular, when the seller only uses a generic scan. That said, there is a seller I have used who usually has blurry pictures and cards on a desk with no protection and the condition is always fine.
As for this 'micro stubs' business - I've never heard the term but putting cards in sleeves for as long as I've been collecting I have encountered it. I have always accepted it as something of an occupational hazard when it comes to card collecting and whilst it annoys me when it happens, I remind myself that I am not the 'grading ' type and that truly mint cards are few and far between so I try not to let it spoil my enjoyment of the card itself.
Something that annoys me more is when you get chipping at the edges of a brand new card due to the type of finish it has. A sleeve can make an edge look worse if you catch the edge of the card putting it in a sleeve.
I have noticed as well there seems to be great variance in the width of penny sleeves. Some you have to be very mindful of the card corners going in as others are so wide the card just pops in no problem with room to spare on both sides of the card. I'm thinking of sleeving and top loading all my autos so I can handle them a lot more and would love to know where these random sellers I encounter find these extra large sleeves!
I once sold a lot of cards on ebay that included two sketch cards. One of the sketch cards had a tiny stub on one corner, not from being put in a penny sleeve but from being dropped. This card actually slipped out of my hand shortly after I pulled it from the pack and it landed corner first on the floor. It wasn't a very big stub, and the front of the sketch card was white which also made it less noticeable, but if you looked for it you could see it. I made sure to detail this in my auction description of course. Anyway, shortly after I sold the lot I saw that the buyer had broken it down and made several ebay auctions of his own out of it. On the auction he made for the sketch card with the stubbed corner, the card was listed as mint and no mention of the stub was made.
Extra large penny sleeves.. Well one things for sure, the normal penny sleeves should stop being sold. Ultra-Pro should either sell slightly larger penny sleeves or ones with cut corners, but not keep selling the sleeves that by their own admission damage cards. I feel like Ultra-Pro is kind of a fail as a company, their PVC toploaders damage cards, their penny sleeves damage cards, and don't some of the screw down cases for extra valuable cards damage cards also?
I guess back in the 1980s and 90s it was hard for them to know all this stuff in advance. But now that they do know it I feel like they're trying to avoid the issue because they've already sold too many of these damaging products to ever openly admit it. Similar to how it was discovered that Kryptonite bike locks could be unlocked using a pen cap, after all the marketing Kryptonite had done claiming the locks were unbeatable. I believe that resulted in a big and successful lawsuit. Why can't we sue Ultra-Pro? Or also, like how dentistry for the longest time used mercury in fillings and the ADA loudly proclaimed it was safe then when it was discovered it really wasn't instead of openly saying "oops we were wrong, sorry we caused all of you to have poison in your mouths" they just kind of sidestep the issue and never mention it. Though I don't think the ADA was ever sued either.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
Ultra Pro give you choices.
Don't like the regular penny sleeves, we make a premium sleeve too.
Still don't like Premium sleeves, we make the EZ Grade sleeve too.
Most people decide that the standard sleeve works for them. If you don't, there are options.
Just like they make 4 tiers of pages:
Ultra Pro Brand (usually in mass market stores).
Ultra Pro Silver
Ultra Pro Platinum
It's up to the collector to decide what is best for their cards and their budget.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
I too have never heard anyone call this a "stub", so I guess there is new jargon out there. I thought you were talking about dirt or added particals when you mentioned "micro-stubs", a term I also never heard used.
What you are now describing is a "soft corner" to me. Sometimes a soft corner means only a little separation of the cardboard at the point. Other times it can be a bad flaw if it is very noticeable and the paper is smashed upwards towards the center.
Soft corners generally occur because cards are mishandled or dropped. Sometimes it can happen in the packing process and they come out of the pack that way. If it is happening to you because of penny sleeves or any other storage, the sleeves are too tight, or the cards are being shoved in at an angle or they are being moved around too much. Any kind of normally acceptable card storage and handling should not be damaging to the corners.
The sleeves aren't too tight, I can comfortably (although snugly) fit two or three cards in them. These are the standard Ultra-Pro penny sleeves I found at the store I might add. The problem is that it is very difficult to slide a card directly in one of these sleeves. One corner almost always gets inserted first, then when the other corner goes in it makes contact with the edge of the penny sleeve and gets a slight stub (or soft corner if you prefer), then as the card slides into the sleeve, the stub is actually made worse because there are now two surfaces (the face of the card and the plastic sleeve) rubbing in opposite directions and this pulls the corner back more. It's usually very slight, but it is happening.
It is true that Ultra-Pro makes various products, though I don't see how this is an excuse. Instead of me having to throw away or modify myself the Ultra-Pro penny sleeves I already have, how about Ultra-Pro simply stop selling penny sleeves that damage cards? It would be like if a bicycle company made two models of bicycle, one model that was decent and actually did what it was supposed to do, and one cheaper model thats front wheel popped off whenever it was rode down a hill or something. Why would they even continue to sell that model? Just stop making it, stop making these garbage penny sleeves that damage cards.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
Well, I would say hundreds of thousands of collectors don't have the same issues you have. If they did, they would demand better or buy the next step up.
Cards go into penny sleeves and then semi-rigid holders for grading all the time. You think someone would notice if corners never got a 10 grade.
I'm all for high standards, but I honestly fail to see the huge problem you do. Differing opinions is all, good to have this discussion. Maybe it will make people more careful.
I go back and forth on sleeves. Many years ago, I opted to sleeve stuff so that if I ever wanted to swap out the pages themselves, I'd not be manhandling the cards each time. I try to use gaming sleeves. They hug the card so nicely, where as penny sleeves can *wrinkle up* and I don't like how that looks. But gaming sleeves have their own issues as their fit is so tight, corner damage can happen.
Star Trek cards rule, everything else drools.
I should have used the word dusts instead of dirt to make it more accurate. They enter the pockets and causes faster discoloration, especially the white cards. They also darken the non-gloss surface of older cards, which are noticeable with those having white borders.
And cards do move a bit when you flip the pages. And the more notorious one is the bottom part of the pocket which the card from the lower pockets may bump into. But you are correct when you mentioned the pocket being stretched first, that's the common culprit, which some of us do when we try to arrange the cards in a certain order. When we slide our finger inside the pocket to get the card, the pockets are also stretched.
Do they fit?? Aren't they a little smaller than the standard collectible card size?
Do you happen to have large hands? I have small hands, I think the hand size matters because the sleeves are still small even though they are larger than the cards.
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