Whether you’re selling comics on eBay or are taking orders through your comic shop’s website, at some point in time you’re going to need boxes to ship comics to your customers. When I was putting together my May 2017 Financial Update, I mentioned a few (but not all) of the boxes I was using to ship comics.
I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding my packaging and I thought it would be helpful to share my experience and the boxes I use today with fellow sellers who are searching for the perfect shippers.
“Very pleased with my purchase, excellent packaging. I will be back :)” – via dragonsword_ka_4 on eBay
“Shipped out quickly! Very well packed! Thanks!” – via fridayfoster on eBay
When I first opened up my online comic shop, I was shipping comics in boxes that I had saved over the past year. My wife and I tend to order a lot of things from Amazon, so if you were one of my first few dozen customers your comics probably arrived in a recycled Amazon box. While the boxes were in great shape and the comics arrived safely at their destination, I always knew that I wanted to stand out as a comic book seller by offering the best packaging available. Something that made you as a customer go “Wow, now THAT is some above average packaging!”.
So after doing a bit of research, I ordered four different types of comic book shippers to accommodate every thing from a single issue order, to a 25 issue order. Below is detailed look at each type of shipper.
Have just a single comic that you want to mail to someone? Consider using a self-sealing Uline Stayflat 9 3/4 x 12 1/4″ mailer. They call it a Stayflat, because that’s exactly what it does – it stays flat! It can’t be bent, and it can’t be crushed. The white Stayflats also give a professional presentation when they arrive at your customers destination, helping to make your packaging stand out from the crowd.
Even before I officially opened my comic shop, I was using these Stayflats to ship single comics whenever I felt the urge to purge some of the comics from my collection. All in all I’ve shipped at least 100 comics using these mailers and never received a single complaint.
That being said – in full transparency – I should warn you that the Uline Stayflat is somewhat controversial amongst comic book collectors. The main point of contention is that while the Stayflat is excellent at staying flat, there is no interior protection on the inside to protect your comic from any type of crushing accident. Think pointy heavy object falling on top of the mailer with enough force to cause the cover of the comic to be indented or otherwise damaged.
So if you are going to use Stayflats, either take care and add additional cardboard (or backing boards) on the inside of the package. And if you’re shipping any single comic that’s worth more than a few bucks, you probably want to use the next comic book mailer I’m about to show you.
Cost: $39 for a case of 100 mailers = $.39 each
GEMINI COMIC FLASH MAILER
The closest I ever came to someone complaining about me using a Uline Stayflat was a customer who messaged me to say that while his comic did arrive safe and sound, he wasn’t sure that other serious comic collectors would be so accepting of that packaging – especially when shipping more expensive comics.
It ended up being valuable feedback because I asked him if there was a comic shipper that he preferred, and he turned me on to these awesome Comic Flash Mailers from Gemini Comic Supply.
These mailers are able to handle up to 12 bagged and boarded comic books and have a unique design that lends to protecting comic books while in transit to their destination.
The comic flash mailer from Gemini has become my “go-to” shipping box for almost all raw comic orders. While these mailers are slightly more expensive per unit than the Uline Stayflats, you get the advantage of having a shipping box that is trusted by the comic collecting community at large and offers more built in protection.
Cost: $32.95 for a case of 50 mailers = $0.66 each
$49.95 for a case of $100 mailers = $0.50 each
ULINE KRAFT LITERATURE MAILER
When I have an order for 10 or more comics, I use these 12 x 8 x 3″ Kraft Literature Mailers from Uline. This corrugated, kraft mailer has enough room to handle up to 25 bagged and boarded comics, plus generous amounts of shipping material inside to make sure the comics are thoroughly protected.
Cost: $41 for a bundle of 50 mailers = $.82 each
When it comes to shipping graded, slabbed comics from CGC or CBCS I use another box from Uline which is the 15 1⁄8 x 11 1⁄8 x 3″ Kraft Literature Mailer.
The dimensions of this box a perfect for shipping graded comics. You can pack your graded comic with ample amounts of bubble wrap and rest assured that that your slab will arrive safely at it’s destination in this 200 lb. test corrugated mailer.
Cost: $64.50 for a bundle of 50 mailers = $1.29 each
FINAL THOUGHTS ON COMIC BOOK PACKAGING
I know in the world of comic book sales, margins can be slim. One of the places many sellers feel they can save money is by recycling shipping boxes and packing materials. As I mentioned, this is something I used to do as well but really wanted to be memorable when my customers receive their packages in the mail.
For me spending an extra buck on a quality, new shipping box is well worth it. There are also two extra things I do to add just a little more oomph to my comic book packaging.
1. Branded Packing Tape
I ordered custom, branded packing tape from Sticker Mule (as pictured above in this post) so you’ll know your comics have arrived before you open the box. Sticker Mule has all kinds of awesome products including stickers, magnets, labels and even poly mailers.
If you want to order something from Sticker Mule yourself, simply click this referral link, sign up for an account, and you’ll get a $10 credit to use on your first order!
2. Free Comic With Every Order
If you’ve ordered comics from me before, then you already know this – but I include a free comic book with every single order from my shop, no matter what the price. These aren’t your typical dollar bin comics that are well read either. I’m talking about near-mint comics that are bagged and boarded. If possible, the free comic I include is related to the comic or comics that you ordered from my online comic book shop.
So there you go folks, I do hope you found the info in this blog post useful. If you have any thoughts or questions related to shipping comic books, feel free to share them in the comments section below. Thanks!