Mods: If you think this post is useful and want to move it that's cool, I didn't know where else to put it. If you think it's *spoon* then just go ahead and scrap it!
I hope some boardies don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve seen it mentioned on here before about a tutorial for packing books for shipping, so I’ve taken it upon myself to put one together. The wife and kids are away for the weekend so I have a bit of peace and quiet and enough undisturbed time to do it!
I know all of this will mainly be preaching to the converted, but we’ve all heard horror stories of books arriving damaged (I’ve had more than my fair share), so hopefully this may come in use at some point and no offence is intended to boardies who know how to pack their books!
The case in point here is spideyinacase’s
package he bought from me via the boards, so without further ado here we go.Step 1:
Find a suitable oversized box that is substantially bigger than the books. This is an overseas package so a box is a must in most cases. For domestic packages I may use a bubble mailer but we’ll get to that shortly.Step 2:
I’m packing five books here, so what I do when sending more than one book is place all of the books into one larger bag. The reason for this will be explained in a moment. Turn half (or as close to half) of the books facing inwards so the backing boards are facing outwards on both sides of the stack.Step 3:
Fold the bag around the stack of books snugly and tape it shut securely, this will prevent any of the books moving around in the sandwich you’re going to make.
The reason for using a bag is that there is no trying to rip tape of the comic bags (nightmare) when the recipient opens the package. The tape can be cut from the outer bag quite easily and the books are free straight away.Step 4:
Next up, find two sturdy pieces of cardboard. They need to be bigger in dimension than the stack of books but smaller than the internal dimensions of the box.Step 5:
Tape the bagged stack of books to one of the pieces of cardboard, with a piece of tape at each end and each side. Larger stacks may need more than one piece of tape on each side.
I always offset the tape from the centreline of each side, you may be able to see in the photos. The reason for this will become evident in a minute.Step 6:
Take the second piece of cardboard and lay it onto the exposed side of the stack of books, making a sandwich so to speak. Now tape the sandwich together with a piece of tape on each side (larger stacks again – more tape again). Now place the tape in the centreline of the book sandwich, this way the tape doesn’t get stuck to the first pieces of tape you placed onto the books on the first piece of board. Getting several layers of tape stuck together when opening a package can get very messy!
I also fold one end of each piece of tape over to form a tab (on every single piece of tape used in the package), and mark out where to open. This isn’t because I think the recipient has issues, it’s just helpful. I hate scratching a pieces of tape stuck to cardboard for half an hour.Step 7:
Now you’re ready to put your book sandwich into your box. Make a protective layer across the bottom of the box. I’ve used packing peanuts, but bubble wrap or even newspaper will work. (For domestic packages I will place the oversized cardboard sandwich into a bubble mailer. Any corner or side impacts are absorbed by the cardboard, not the books).
Place the book sandwich on top of the protective layer.
Fill up the remaining space with packing, making sure if that any gaps around the sides of the sandwich are filled.Step 7:
Close up the box and make sure that every opening is covered in packing tape. I prefer to use ‘Fragile’ tape, the people who handle the package may not give a damn about your books, but hey – at least you’ve tried to warn them!
So there you have it, pretty simple really. This isn’t a bible and as I said at the start of the post – I don’t mean to cause offence to anybody, I know from experience how many boardies on here know how to pack books!
But for those new to shipping books, or those who just like to throw their books into a bubble mailer or a plain envelope, just remember, if you have sold another collector a lot of money’s worth of books, it’s worth 15 minutes of your time to make sure they arrive safely