Whether you are looking to sell some comics online, have a few graded, or you’re participating in a mail-in signing, you need to know the ins and outs of safely packing and shipping your issues. Here are some tips on packing comics.
THE RECEIVING END
Have you ever ordered a comic online only to have it arrive in the worst packing job imaginable? If you haven’t, then you clearly have not done enough business through eBay. I bought a stack of Spider-Man issues from an eBay seller a few years ago. They arrived through media mail, crammed into a manila envelope with no bags, no boards, and no protection from the elements. Lucky for me, they were cheap. Another time, I won an auction for a mid-grade Ms. Marvel #1. The seller had the comic in an 8×10 picture frame and, once again, stuffed into a manila envelope.
THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH
On the flip side, I have sellers who go overboard on protection. I have had comics arrive so heavily wrapped in box tape that I had to saw my way through two layers of tape and cardboard just to get to my comic. By the time I got to the center of the Tootsie-Roll, there was so much tape that I risked damaging the comic to free it from its adhesive prison.
Speaking of the middle layer of protection, common sense would tell you to secure it with cardboard. I have seen pictures of sellers using discarded cereal box pieces. Don’t do that.
THIS IS THE WAY
What is the proper way to mail a comic? Here’s how I do it.
Bubble wrap is your friend. If you’ve ever gotten a comic shipped from the grading companies, they use ample amounts of bubble wrap and sometimes Styrofoam peanuts. You want the comic nice and secure and warmly nestled in a security blanket.
Sometimes I use a USPS flat-rate box, sometimes I use a padded, waterproof envelope. Either way, I make sure the comic is secured in firm cardboard and bubble wrap. The best bet is to use a comic mailer, which is made specifically for mailing comics. When that isn’t available, find thick pieces of cardboard that are a few inches bigger than your comic. Tape the comic to the bottom piece and sandwich the two pieces together with more tape.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Speaking of tape, don’t overdo it. If you want to make life easier for your buyer, secure the bag and board to the cardboard using painter’s tape (it peels off easier without leaving a residue) and fold the tape on both ends to make tabs for the recipient. This way, the comic is snug without needing a hacksaw to get past the tape.
There you have it, and I hope this gives you more knowledge than you had before you started reading. There is no standard method for packing and shipping, and I am sure there are some ingenious ways to secure a comic for its safe travels.
Want to share your method for packing and shipping? Have horror shipping horror stories to share? Post a reply with a picture.