So, say I have a pile of Minx published by DC/Vertigo, that I wish to mail to someone who bought them from me on the eBay:
Here’s how I’d package them for shipping:
First, I’d wrap up the individually-bagged comics in a larger baggie of some sort, just to keep them from sliding around the envelope:
I then tape the wrapped-up bundle down to one piece of cardboard, precut to fit into a flat rate priority mail envelope:
I then place another piece of cardboard on the other side of the bundle, and slide everything into the envelope:
I address the front of the envelope clearly, and vee-ola:
I have one package ready to mail, for only $3.85 domestic shipping (or $4.00, if I round up…don’t begrudge me my fifteen cents). (EDIT: $4.90, as of August 2010.) Or less, if you’re shipping something by first class or (in the case of books) media mail.
(Also, it’s vitally important to use only your left hand during the packing process, in case your right hand needs to operate a digital camera or something.)
The few times I’ve bought comics and magazines off the eBay, more often than not I’ve had the item either just tossed into an envelope with no protection (no cardboard, no plastic bag…good thing it wasn’t raining when the postman delivered that day), or way overpacked (a comic or two placed in a huge cardboard box, with the attendant increase in shipping costs).
I know my experience isn’t unusual, since I’ve had several mail order customers who, upon buying something from us for the first time, feel the need to specifically request that we pack the book with cardboard, wrap it in plastic…all the things we normally do anyway.
The packing method I show here is, I think, a happy medium…reasonable shipping costs combined with enough protective packing material to guard a small order of comics.