I am often disappointed when I win an auction for a near-mint comic, wait in anticipation and when the package arrives, I find the comic is damaged. It is not that I was sent a poor quality book, but that the item was damaged during the shipping process. The situation is even worse when purchasing a CGC graded item. Recently, I purchased a CGC graded copy of Amazing Spiderman 129. The item arrived packaged in a "bubble-pack envelope". As soon as I saw the envelope I said to myself "I am exhausted with receiving expensive items so carelessly packaged". Of course the item was damaged, cracked in several places. The common response to a damaged item claim from a seller is "good thing you got the insurance" or "I will send a refund after you return the item .. ps. I do not refund shipping charges". Who needs the hassle? Who needs the time and money that is wasted chasing damaged item claims?
Listen, I know we all look for ways to cut cost but some corners should not be cut. Here are some "common sense" rules that should always be followed when considering the shipping of a graded or ungraded item.
1. Shipping Cost is not overhead ! The buyer pays the shipping ! The cost of shipping (if you calculated correctly) does not come out of your pocket.
2. Your postal provider does not care about your package any more than you do. A "FRAGILE" stamp on a flimsy package does not cause a carrier to handle your package with acutal care. And what happens when your package is in the cargo hold of a plane with a ton of other packages on top of it? Where is the care in handling then?
3. The Post Office gives away "FREE" boxes in an effort to expedite your shipping needs. So the "I couldn't find a box" excuse no longer applies.
4. The money spent in ensuring a safe delivery, pales in comparison to the money you lose when your customer returns a damaged item, along with NEGATIVE feedback.
As mentioned previously, the solution is an inexpensive product called "CARDBOARD". It is simple and easy to use, plus you can get tons of it absolutely FREE !
Packaging an ungraded item enjoys the same procedure as packaging a graded (CGC/PGX) item.
1. Take a cardboard box (stiff, flat, thick) and cut two pieces to the exact dimensions of your "BAGGED AND BOARDED" comic book or GRADED ITEM.
2. Put the item(s) between two pieces of cardboard and tape securely into place. Use clear scotch-type tape, not DUCT tape as I recently encountered in a bubble packed item. Items should not be allowed to slide around between cardboard pieces or damage could still occur to the corners of the item.
3. Place cardboard-secured item into the appropriate sized box with loosely balled-up newspaper as a buffer or insulation. The item should "float" inside the box because of the newspaper you put into the bottom of the box and on every possible side of the item.
4. Close the box and shake gently side to side, listening to hear if the item is sliding around inside box. If it is, add more newspaper to the top or bottom, or side to side because movement equals damage.
5. The newspaper is loosely balled-up because less paper is less weight. On average three comics, packed in a PRIORITY MAIL box, should weigh 1 lb. 11 oz. or less and one CGC item should weigh the same. The Post Office generally charges 4-7 dollars for Priority delivery (less than 2 lbs.) within the continental United States.
To pre-cut several pieces of card-board and to have a few boxes and newspaper on hand. This will save you time in the packing process.
NEVER use BUBBLE-PACK envelopes for shipping comics! They only protect against scratches not against impact damage which is the leading cause of damage to shipped items. Plus you will save money by using cardboard because you will never have to purchase another bubble-pack envelope. You will also, save even more money by recycling your newspaper instead of buying bubble-wrap.
This is a cost effective option to securely ship graded and ungraded comics and to ensure a safe, undamaged delivery to your customer. You will have peace-of-mind when shipping delicate and expensive items and your customers will return enthusiastic POSITIVE feedback for the care you have added in packaging their items.
Thank you for reviewing this guide.