The Hero's Guide to Packing & Shipping Comics 🦸♂️
Properly packing a comic book for shipping is your best defense against the devious US Postal Service (and other carriers). So strap in and level up those packing skillz!
With over 20 years in the industry, we've seen some things... From books being irreparably damaged by the slightest little knock, to books retaining pristine condition after a full on boomerang across the room. We're not doing this with your books, promise, but free comic book day leftovers... 🤷♂️ maybe.
Lol, anyways, even the slightest damage could have potentially dire effects on fair market value. It's pretty frustrating when that rare book you’ve been searching arrives damaged due to poor packing and shipping. Fear not! We're here to help you limit these experiences for yourself and others.
STUFF YOU NEED
The easy part:
- Packing Tape
- Box Cutter
- Cardboard Sheets
- Shipping Box and / or Gemini Mailer - http://www.geminicomicsupply.com
PREPARATION: MAKING THE TRADITIONAL "COMIC SANDWICH"
Anticipate the unexpected. Your package WILL be bumped, dropped, pressed, and thrown during your chosen carriers delivery process. Not fun thoughts. That said, it's always best to expect the worst and hope for the best. Whether you're packing in a Gemini Mailer or a cardboard box, the “comic sandwich” is key:
Bag and board the comic(s) then place on a smooth flat surface.
Cut two pieces of clean, flat cardboard, making sure each piece is larger than the comic.
Pro tip: Use FREE USPS Priority box materials of much as you can.
Secure the comic face down onto one piece of cardboard.
Painters tape is great, but in our experience, any old tape will do. Just do your best to remember to fold a bit of the end for a kind of "pull tab". If makes for easy removal.
Cover your book with the 2nd piece of cardboard and also tape all four sides down.
Put that “comic sandwich” in a Gemini Mailer for shipping.
OR if you want maximum protection, you can start by inserting into a Priority Mail padded envelope + move onto the next step. You can order these through the US Postal service for FREE. This creates an extra layer of cushioning.
Place the padded envelope in a shipping box. If you choose to use Priority Mail, you can order FREE boxes from the US Postal Service. For most shipments that we opt to box (typically CGC books) we double box with O-1092 & O-1095. Those are their official USPS SKU numbers. don't forget to write the shipping and return address using a permanent marker, even if you're printing your label (which we prefer to do).
NOTE: Never ever EVER mail your comic(s) in just an envelope (padded or not). This simply isn't enough to ensure safe arrival to you, us, or your customer.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides a wide variety of FREE shipping materials that can be shipped right to your doorstep. For more info, check out:
Choose “Free Shipping Supplies”
When shipping with the USPS, it's best to select either Priority or First Class service. Below is a brief description of the two options:
- 2-3 day delivery
- Includes $50 of insurance on the package
- Provides free shipping materials
- More expensive than the First Class
First Class Mail
- 5 to 7-day delivery
- Does NOT include insurance
- Does NOT include shipping material
- Limited to 16 oz
We almost never need to go into a brick and mortar shipping carrier. We exclusively use USPS for domestic orders, and they offer an awesome pickup service in our area.
Check to see if they offer pickup near you: https://tools.usps.com/schedule-pickup-steps.htm
You can also print your shipping labels from home very easily. Whether it’s via eBay or PayPal’s “Ship Now” options or via the USPS website, there are a variety of options that allow you to pay for and print out shipping labels from your casa. To ship successfully, you’ll need to do the following:
- Weigh your package using a quality scale to determine the shipping cost.
- NOTE: be sure your scale is calibrated to zero.
- Print out your shipping label.
- Attach it securely to your package.
- Though not advised by the USPS, we often place a layer of packaging tape over the label to make sure it’s waterproof, but that's up to you.
- Schedule a pickup or drop your package off at your post office.
BONUS: HOW TO RECEIVE A SHIPPED COMIC
Protect yourself on the shipments you receive, specifically if they're high dollar. Record yourself opening the package if you notice any staining, dents, rips or any other damage to the shipping box. This can help immensely when it comes to returns and insurance refunds.
Make sure to leave positive reviews and let your seller know that you received the book safely. If a seller is rewarded with positive feedback, they will continue making that extra effort to make sure all their books arrive at their destination in perfect condition. + WE JUST LOVE COMPLIMENTS 😄