How to Prepare a Trading Card for In Person (IP) or Through the Mail (TTM) Autographs

My “boss” thought people would like to know about this, so at his request, I bring to the readers a post about how to prep cards to be signed for in-person (IP) and/or through-the-mail (TTM) autographs.

The first thing is what type of cards to use to be autographed. I personally will stick with base, and low-end inserts/parallel cards. Some people prefer to get numbered cards autographed and I’ve even seen some get jersey cards or 1/1 press plates signed. Really, it’s what the specific collector wants signed, but if you were to ask me, I’d stick with lower-end cards.

The next question you may ask is, “is there anything I need to do to prepare the cards to be signed”? The answer to that question would be yes, depending on the card being used. If the card has a non-glossy surface (think of cards like Heritage, Allen & Ginter, etc), then you don’t need to do anything to prepare the cards, however if you use a card that is glossy, it does need to be prepared.

baby powder 2

There are two ways you can prepare a card to be signed. The first option is you can baby powder to take off the gloss. Just sprinkle a little bit of baby powder on the card, spread it around so it covers the entire card. After you’ve done that, use either a paper towel, or Kleenex to remove the baby powder. This method can be more time consuming and messy, but it also does a really good job removing the gloss on a card.


The second way that you can prepare a glossy card is to use a white eraser. This is the method that I use now as it’s a quicker, and more efficient way for me to prepare my cards to be signed. I just erase the entire card and it takes the gloss right off. Depending on the card you use and the type of eraser, it may streak the card, but this is rare for the most part.

So there you have it. Hopefully if getting autographs signed TTM or IP was of interest to you, this information has helped!

Here are some examples of how well it works when completed: