How To Ship Comics
Properly packing and shipping a comic book is your best defense in getting your comic to a fellow collector safely while preventing the risk of returns
Here are some helpful tips to level up your comic book packing-powers:
TOOLS & MATERIAL
Due to their fragile nature, any slight damage to a comic can drop the value significantly. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding that rare book you’ve been searching for only to receive it damaged due to poor packing and shipping. From our experience, successful shipping starts with the following set of tools:
PREPARATION: MAKING THE “COMIC SANDWICH’
The first step in shipping a comic book is to anticipate that it will be bumped, dropped, pressed, and thrown during delivery. It’s never fun to think of your precious comic being treated so roughly but hey, we should expect the worst and hope for the best. Therefore, before putting your comic in a shipping package, you’ll need to enclose it using the following “comic sandwich” method:
Bag and board your comic as you normally would. Then place it on a smooth flat surface.
Cut two pieces of clean, flat cardboard, making sure each piece is larger than the comic.
Note: Pre-cut cardboard is available, however, it is very expensive.
Secure the comic face down onto one piece of cardboard
Cover your book with the 2nd piece of cardboard and also tape all four sides down with the easy pull tape.
Note: When working with Multiple books, always alternate how you stack the books so that the spines do NOT all align on one side together. This will create an even more flat stack that will prevent spine rolls or curving from forming during shipping.
Place the “comic sandwich” in a padded envelope. You can order Priority Mail padded envelopes through the United States Postal service. This creates an extra layer of cushioning.
Place the padded envelope in a shipping box. Clearly write the shipping and return address using a permanent marker.
PACKAGES FOR SHIPPING YOUR COMICS
Once your “comic sandwich” is all secure, you’ll need to put it in the correct shipping package to mail out. NOTE: Never mail your comic in just an envelope (padded or not). It’s just not enough to guarantee that the comic won’t get bent. We recommend a box-type of shipping package. Most comic sellers use the good ole’ USPS because it’s more affordable, but you can use FedEx or UPS if that makes you more comfortable. The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides a large amount of shipping material (many for free) that can be shipped right to your doorstep. For more info, check out:
- Choose “Free Shipping Supplies”
When shipping with the USPS, you’ll need to select either Priority or First Class service. Below is a brief description of the two options:
First Class Mail
If you decide to go this route and need to purchase shipping packaging, consider comic-specific packaging (pictured above). This helps protect against “dings.” NOTE: you still need to create your “comic sandwich” for these options, but may leave out the padded envelope step if it doesn’t fit)
There are plenty of similar brand options for these packages. We tend to use the Gemini brand.
When it comes to shipping your package, we recommend avoiding the lines. Whether it’s 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 home. To ship successfully, you’ll need to do the following:
- Weigh your package using a good 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 single layer of packaging tape over the label to make sure it’s waterproof, but it’s your call.
- Schedule a pick-up or drop your package off at your post office.
PRO TIP: HOW TO RECEIVE A SHIPPED COMIC
Protect yourself on the shipments you receive. Record yourself opening the package if you notice any staining, dents, rips or any other damage to your box. This can greatly help in returns and insurance refunds. 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.