It's one of the biggest plights for the sportscard collecting enthusiast of today:
Scotch tape.Specifically, irresponsible usage of tape to protect cards.
Don't get me wrong, tape is a must-have item for anyone who ever ships cards. A piece of tape over the opening of a top loader prevents the card from slipping out and potentially being damaged in shipment. A few cards secured between a couple pieces of protective cardboard by some tape is also a good way to keep them safe from the rigors of interstate travel.
But too often, the person mailing the cards doesn't take a moment to think about the recipient. If you're reading this, I'm sure you've been in the frustrating situation many times: spending what seems like several minutes chipping away at a piece of tape with your fingernail, trying to free your newly obtained card(s). Such a pain! You could also use a knife or scissors-half to cut the tape, but you run the risk of cutting in too far, potentially damaging the cards, and either way, if it's a top loader, now you've got a trashy-looking top loader with a cut-up piece of tape on it.. time to get your fingernails involved again. Depending on the tape, it could take just a moment, or it could be on there so badly (chipping off in tiny brittle bits, or not coming off at all), that the card holder is essentially ruined. Even in the best-case scenario, some Goo Gone is usually needed to remove the sticky tape residue.
This disheartening scene could easily be avoided!
All the sender needs to do is spend 2 seconds to fold over a tiny piece of tape, creating a handy pull-tab. This pull-tab makes it super easy for the recipient to grab hold of the tape and peel it off in one efficient motion. No dangerous blades or fingernail frustration needed!
CREATING A PULL-TAB
Step 1: Apply tape to one side.
Step 2: At the end of the remaining tape, fold over a piece about a centimeter long, with the sticky part being stuck against itself, creating a non-sticky pull-tab roughly the shape of a square.
Step 3: Apply the remaining tape to the other side.
- You can also double up on the pull-tabs to make opening cards later even easier. Just follow the above process for each side of the tape you apply.
- It's also nice to write "pull" on either the tab itself or on the protective cardboard with an arrow pointing to the tab. This is helpful for individuals who might not immediately recognize the tab you've thoughtfully created for them.
- Don't make the tab so big that there's not enough sticky part of the tape left to get a secure seal. You want at least a half-inch of sticky part remaining to ensure that the tape holds during transit. If you've got limited tape length to work with, it's better to have a "too small" pull-tab, than "too big". Even if it's too small, at least the recipient can have a good start for his fingernails.
- If you write "pull" to identify the tab, be sure to write gently. Writing too hard could damage the card.
USING A PULL-TAB
Step 1: Pull tab.
Step 2: There is no step 2; you're done, bro! Throw away the tape that easily came off, and enjoy your new card(s)!
It's just that easy! How has this not caught on? I only really re-delved back into card collecting like a year and a half ago, after collecting as a kid, pre-internet. I've been amazed at the lack of convenient pull-tabs. I've gotten over a hundred shipments of cards from dudes on eBay, Listia, or other online trades & sales, and only maybe 5% of them had pull-tabs. Why?! It's so easy to do and so handy for the person getting the cards!
YOU CAN HELP
Please, everyone, spread the word. Mention Pull-Tab Awareness Week on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, and to your trade buddies, frequented sellers, whatever! Let's get everyone on the pull-tab bandwagon and make all our lives just a bit better.
Even if it's not a big deal to you personally and you don't mind fighting with stubborn pieces of tape around your cards, chances are it bugs somebody you trade with. Be kind, make pull-tabs!
My tiny blog hasn't been around very long, so I need help from you guys, my modest readership, to disseminate this message. However, please note this is not a stunt to drive traffic to my blog. If/when you make a stand and share this information and/or pictures, I don't need a link back or to be given any credit or anything. Copy & Paste freely with no stings attached. I'm just trying to do my part to spread pull-tab awareness across the globe. It's very important to me and hopefully important to you, too. I'll make a follow-up post soon thanking and linking to anybody who helps spread the word, so please give me a heads-up if/when you do, if you want to be included in that.
Yes, it's a "first world problem", but such a senseless thing that shouldn't even be an issue. Let's eradicate this and move forward as a species. It'll save people a lot of time.. and time is money.. money that could be used for feeding the homeless or medical treatment for children. Remember, the week after "shark week" is "pull-tab awareness week" from now on.
Here are some copy-and-paste-ready text and pictures for you to use (feel free to create your own, too, of course):
It's Pull-Tab Awareness Week! When you use tape around baseball cards, fold a piece near the end as a handy pull-tab! Please share/RT!
Be Cool, be Fab, make a Pull-Tab! Fold over the end of the tape when packaging your sportscards for shipping.
We're here. We want pull-tabs. Get used to it. #pulltabweek
What do we want? Pull Tabs! When do we want it? When people send us cards!
Hey everybody, please make handy pull tabs by folding the tape ends when taping up cards to ship. Thanks! #pulltabweek