Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pull Tab Awareness Week! (+ contest!)

It's pull tab awareness week! (It's always the week after shark week.. that's how you remember.) This is the 3rd annual pull tab awareness week.

It's the week where all pure-hearted card collectors celebrate the virtues of pull tabs in the hopes that other collectors/traders/sellers will heed the words and adopt pull-tabs as part of their lifestyle. (Most of this post is recycled from last year.)

It's one of the biggest plights for the sportscard collecting enthusiast of today:

Scotch tape.

Specifically, irresponsible usage of scotch 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. At some point we've all been the victim of a negligent newb card seller who just throws a top-loader into a bubble mailer willy-nilly (or worse yet, a PWE) and you open to the horrific sight of the card poking out, with a dinged corner or two. 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. 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 scissor blade to cut the tape, but you run the risk of slipping and 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 two 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!


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.

Advanced Pro Tips:

  • Blue painter's tape is the best tape to use! It costs a little more than regular clear scotch tape, but it comes off so easily and residue-free that your recipient will love you for it!
  • To be a Super Awesome Card Sender, also put a little piece of paper over the top-loader opening, and tape it on (with pull-tabs, of course!) This will help prevent the rare but tragic occurrence of the card sticking to the tape. This is especially a good idea with old vintage cardboard (more liable to stick and be damaged than today's cards) or when using extra thick top-loaders, such as with relics or other fat cards.
  • Tape can be avoided all together with the use of a team bag secured over a top-loader. Some people, like fellow blogger RAZ (check out his method here), go all out and use blue tape, a paper buffer, and a team bag. Bless these heroes!

A+++++ transaction!!! Would deal with again!

  • 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.


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) and pristine top-loader!

It's just that easy! How has this not caught on? I'm still amazed at the lack of convenient pull-tabs. I've gotten several 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!


Please, everyone, spread the word. Mention Pull-Tab Awareness Week on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, and to your trade buddies, frequented sellers, whatever! Even just one retweet or a little "P.S. It's Pull-Tab Awareness Week. Please use pull tabs" at the bottom of your next blog or social media post! 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!

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.

And while I stress that this be a non-violent movement, an effective way to get eBay card sellers to listen is to hit them where it hurts: their feedback rating. The next time a seller makes you have to cut or scrape away bits of tape to free your card, do not give that seller 5-stars!

Here are some copy-and-paste-ready text and pictures for you to use on Twitter or wherever (feel free to create your own, too, of course):

It's Pull-Tab Awareness Week! When you use tape around sports cards, fold a piece near the end as a handy pull-tab. Please RT! #makepulltabs

Be Cool, make a Pull-Tab! Fold over the end of the tape when packaging your sportscards for shipping. #makepulltabs

We're here. We want pull-tabs. Get used to it. #makepulltabs Please RT! #collect

What do we want? Pull Tabs! When do we want it? When people send us cards! #makepulltabs #collect

Hey everybody, please make handy pull tabs by folding the tape ends when taping up cards to ship. Thanks! #makepulltabs

This year I'm throwing in a little CONTEST aspect too! Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, message boards, whatever. Mention the virtues of pull-tabs, or share one of the above pictures (or make your own), or share a link to this post.. whatever! Just make your voice heard against transparent injustice! Then post a link to your proud stand against scotch-ternary in the comments of this post to enter. A winner will get a bunch of free baseball cards. (Sorry for the vague prize, but I'll come through with some good stuff for the winner, promise!) UPDATE: contest is now closed! Thanks everybody.


  1. Tweeted it out and tagged ya. Great read by the way!

    1. No prob! Will Facebook it as well.Possibly a post but did Twitter and def will do Facebook

  2. I thought this was in August last year, then once you mentioned its after Shark Week I thought that was in August as well. Either I'm getting too old, or I'm too wise and both events moved up.

    At any event, its nice for it to coincide with All Star Week. I'll mention it on FB and Twitter later, maybe some other sites I use too.

    1. Yep, Discovery pushed up Shark Week this year and I followed suit.

      Thanks for your support!

  3. Awesome. I find blue painter's tape negates the need for a tab, but they can't hurt. Love the paper buffer idea. Well done.

    1. Hey, when you're a chronic nail-bitter like myself, even blue tape can be tricky to get off with no tab.

  4. The little strip of tape from hell.I was about to mention this on my site sooner or later.Part of the lure for me when receiving singles In the mail are the top loaders.Pesky,preventive tape goo on them Is not cool.

  5. Thank You! I can't stand frag tape! Here's my link post: http://thecollectivemind.blogspot.com/2015/07/its-pull-tab-awareness-week.html

  6. I've spread the word, even though I must admit I'm not always the best at remembering to package in a user-friendly way. I'm usually too focused on just the safety of the cards.


  7. I posted a reminder for the pull tab reminder week. I hate getting cards where the tape is stuck across the opening of the top loader. Not long ago I got some cards that were stuck to the tape and I had to play "Operation" to remove the tape off of the top of the cards without tearing the card.


  8. I retweeted. Not really an issue for me as I generally send big boxes of commons rather than small envelopes of hits.

  9. Here's my link http://tonyssportspub.blogspot.com/2015/07/singles-only.html