How to Properly Pack a Comic for Shipping

This week, Mr Brian Wood talks to us about his technique to pack comics. Thanks Brian!!!

You often hear about people buying comics online and they are eager to receive their purchase only to be let down when it arrives because of how poorly the comic was packed. Some sellers package their comics so poorly it leaves little room for it to successfully navigate its way to the recipient without being damaged. This article is to help guide those who are not sure how to pack a comic correctly. This is not the only way, but it has worked for me. I buy precut cardboard and mailers. You don’t have to do this, you can use materials from comics you had shipped to you already. Just make sure you use cardboard thick enough to protect the comic while in transit. I always receive positive feedback and it almost always mentions how great the comic was packed. So let’s get started.

Materials Needed

  1. Comic you are shipping (Bagged and Boarded)
  2. (2) Thick pieces of corrugated cardboard (slightly Larger than the comic you are shipping)
  3. (1) Cardboard Mailer
  4. Scotch Tape
  5. Packing Tape
  6. (1) Marker i.e. Sharpie

Step 1

Place the bagged and boarded comic on one of the sheets of corrugated cardboard. I will add another comic board to the front of the comic to add more protection.

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Step 2

Using scotch tape or painters tape (Do not use packing tape!), tape the comic to the piece of cardboard at the top, bottom, and both sides. Scotch tape peels off rather easily. Packing tape could ruin the comic bag and be a pain to take off.
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Step 3

Place the second piece of corrugated cardboard over the comic. Use four (4) pieces of packing tape (Painters tape can be used here as well) to tape the top, bottom, and both sided. (HINT: Fold one end of each of the four pieces slightly to create pull tabs. This makes it easy for the recipient to pull the tape off and they will thank you for it)

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Step 4

Place the cardboard protected comic in your cardboard mailer and secure it with packing tape.

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Step 5

Stamp the package with “Do Not Bend” or write it on the package in multiple visible areas on the front and back of the package. Finally, tape or stick your mailing label on the package and you’re ready to ship! (HINT: If mailing multiple comics, write a brief name on the package where you are going to put the shipping label so you can remember which comic is which when you go to print out your shipping labels. It’s quicker to pack all comics at once than pack up one, print out the label, then pack the next comic)

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There you have it, a quick and well protected way to pack your comic for shipping. As I said at the beginning of this article, this is just one of many ways there are to pack a comic while ensuring it is protected. A single comic packed this way weighs between 9-11 ounces and ships First Class Mail around $3.40. So now you know!

33 comments

  • I cringe when I see an envelope in the mail box and know there’s a comic in it. If you are going to make it your business to sell and then ship out comic books, the cost of a good mailer is worth it. You can add the .65 or .70 cents to the cost of the book. And one of the things I like about this tutorial is that the tape is folded over on the ends so whoever receives the book will have an easy time getting it out of the packaging. Nothing worse than it miraculously making it through the mail system only to have it damaged while performing surgery to get to your book.

    Thank You for this.

  • microchipsandsalsa
    microchipsandsalsa

    How do I get those cardboard mailers? And how many books will fit in one?
    Thanks for the article. It’s nice to see how others do their business. I would love to see how you ship big comic lots also.

  • I’m jealous of shipping rates in the U.S.

    Canada is ridiculous in comparison. (I know, I know, big country and the cities are all spread out.)

  • Paul

    A few links to expand on this great article. Here is a shipping article I did back in October (Some weights etc have changed): http://goo.gl/lqXwHl

    This should take you to PayPal to log in and create a shipping label: https://www.paypal.com/shiplabel/create/

    Make an account with USPS and they’ll ship free supplies to your house: https://goo.gl/Vdjixi
    *A great way to ship slabs is a Priority box #1097 inside a 1092*

    If you’re in the market for a scanner that does slabs, I’ve been told this is a decent option: https://goo.gl/WMyGOs

    If you’re looking for just a scanner this is a decent one: https://goo.gl/Itepzn (New model here: https://goo.gl/b1liUq)

    Good places for shipping supplies are Gemini: http://goo.gl/4JqzyH and Paper Mart: http://goo.gl/gtUccK

    This is a decent buy on bubble wrap that you can tear into squares: https://goo.gl/hjv2qy

    A great scale that maxes out at 75 pounds!: https://goo.gl/Y3o7ar
    *Looks like the updated one maxes out at 50 lbs lol* https://goo.gl/X7CRqq

    And finally
    Tape gun: https://goo.gl/ZpOE3l
    Tape: https://goo.gl/jAg7ro
    *This clear take requires a little love rub on cardboard, just give it a little warmth and you’ll be ok*

  • great article its just a shame a very high majority of online – shall i say ebayers – have zero clue about packing a comic correctly .. i’ve bought from all around the world and have to say theres tools everywhere

  • For large sales (10 or more books), I use a medium flat rate box. I use bubble wrap and lots of cardboard. The key is to eliminate all empty space.

    Personally, I never use media mail. For one, you’re not technically suppose to use this method to ship comics. And secondly, I find that the post office is not gentle with this method. I have received some really beat up packages through media mail.

  • Great article!
    Thank to Paul for all the links too.

    I get a box of 100 USPS Flat Rate BUBBLE Mailers at a time. You can use them for bubble wrap stuffing instead of buying it yourself. An equivalent roll of bubble wrap is $30 at Home Depot. USPS delivers them for free. (Yes, that is assuming you are using each one individually for mailing) But I only use USPS and 95% is Priority Mail. I often times use my own special sized boxes for action figures, etc. So I figure it’s not too much harm to still use SOME of their materials for their service in some way.

    Does anyone have a method for shipping a large amount (like a short or long box worth) of comics? I know that I can safely fit about 70 individually bagged and boarded comics with bubble wrap and some more cardboard into a USPS Priority Large Flat Rate GAME BOX. It is made for board games like Monopoly. That runs about $17. But any amounts larger than that I am using 2 of those or more and you can calculate the costs. Any cheaper way?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Paul

      Dave, I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for using USPS supplies for purposes other than sold for if you know what I mean.

      For shipping a short box worth of comics, I would use a Lowes heavy duty shipping box (in the shipping article I linked to). Line the inside with priority boxes for an additional layer and go from there. Plug in the numbers on the PayPal link for weight based shipping and go with the cheapest option.

  • are there any alternatives to Cutting cardboard?

  • You will not believe, but one of the biggest book sellers of the world (I am talking about Amazon) has no clue how to treat and ship comics. They sent me 3 TPB with no protection at all against water (no bags) or handling (no popcorn/paper/bubble wrap)

  • AZBarbarian

    To be honest, I have more problems with comics being over packed than under packed. Some people seem to think that more tape = better packaging. If you run a high risk of damaging a comic during the unpacking phase, it is still a problem. One common issue I see is tape directly on the comic bag, often on the spine side where it is too tight.

    Your tutorial is great.

  • Deno Pappas

    I recommended the slab scanner. I have that model. Here is a preview of what the scan will look like for people.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BymTNN4N8gcceDNlY0U0eklSc00

  • Topher

    If you want to save on cardboard costs just use an exacto knife and cut free priority express cardboard boxes from the post to size.

  • Skot Whitman

    Great article! A step by step for shipping like this is long over.

  • I thought there was some very good stuff in that article. I disagree though scotch tape to hold the book to the cardboard. I have had several just break and send the book sliding out the side sometime before it gets to my house. I would recommend either longer pieces of scotch tape or painter’s tape.

    I like those cardboard mailers and they work well as long as you put enough cardboard in there with it.

    Amazon is a nightmare and I only buy there as a very last resort. A large % of comic sellers just cant pack there and returns are a nightmare.

    Bulk selling comic is all about how your build your cardboard bricks to ship the books in. You build 3 of them then tape them together and then do it again depending on how many books you have. Shipping needs to be worked out ahead of time with the buyer so they know the risks and problems that they might encounter with the shipping method they choose. Communication helps when you are selling in bulk.

    I still get tons of books media and 1/2 the time I am not even aware of it because the seller doesn’t advertise it. I haven’t had that media flag in my box for over 3 years so its very regional how they enforce Media mail.

    I would also recommend priority legal envelopes as well. They are longer and allow you to put in more cardboard.

  • Coswrd

    I stopped reading at cardboard. I don’t use a material that is easily suspectible to pressure and moisture. The use of foamcore not only allows for a sturdier package but can easily be rendered moisture proof. I understand it is dirt cheap for the seller to use cardboard, but then again it is dirt cheap, you get what you paid for.

  • Ebay should only allow sellers to post items once they have passed a test on how to pack goods.

  • Coswrd

    “Thick pieces of corrugated cardboard (slightly Larger than the comic you are shipping”

    Try foamcore..lighter, sturdier and water resistant.

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