Shipping OA
3 3

35 posts in this topic

9,427 posts

I have only a single OA piece, the cover art to an Adventure Time variant. I will probably send it to ComicLink, but don't have the original packaging it came to me in. What's a good, safe way to package and ship this? What do some of you do?

Thanks in advance for any tips.

Edited by DavidTheDavid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,978 posts

I'd vote for masonite as well, I haven't had anything damaged yet when secured that way, but who knows, maybe that has just been luck. You likely can't go wrong with Lucky Baru's advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,541 posts

I posted these in the newbie thread a little while ago--

https://airfloatsystems.com/product/printpad-lined/

Great for high dollar pieces. I've even drop-shipped them to sellers who are sending me art. They are lighter than masonite, cheaper to ship, and easier to acquire.

(*If you do use masonite, cut it to at LEAST 13 x19. Pet peeve is when someone sends 11x17 masonite and the corners get crunched anyway.)

 

For sellers who insist on packing themselves, I send them instructions similar to @Lucky Baru's "sandwich in a box" method.

 

For the other end of the spectrum... sub-$300 art... Get these ebay poly bags cheap-

https://www.ebay.com/itm/eBay-Branded-Polymailer-With-Blue-Print-14-5-x-18-5-No-padding/253123560105?hash=item3aef5702a9:m:mx3YW0yC2RXHPoC_v-BNQMg&var=552207750605

Cut a piece of flat corrugated cardboard (double-wall is even better) to 18 3/8" x 27". Then, score it in half at 13.5" and fold it. Place your art in a poly bag and tape that in the middle of your cardboard "folder" and one more piece of tape to keep the folder shut. Place that in the bag and seal it. I usually put tape over the sealed flap to keep out any rain. Write [DO NOT BEND] in giant letters on the front and the back with a thick marker and draw a box around that.

After trying several options, this is the cheapest, fastest to assemble, and LIGHT -- usually about 14 ounces. So you can send First Class Mail. It is very difficult to bend and you have enough oversized cardboard to avoid crushed corners.

For slightly more expensive art, add a piece of masonite to this same setup for extra stability.

 

For shipping, always use Signature Required. This avoids so many problems with carriers and creates a defined chain of custody. That's why Collectibles Insurance breaks down their coverage like this-

  • non-signature USPS, FedEX, UPS $50-$200

  • signature required USPS (insured, certified and Signature confirmation) and UPS $50-$2500

  • signature required FedEX, Registered and Express USPS $50-50,000 (includes FedEx international. USPS does not offer signature for international.)

So I usually send FedEx Signature Required with a declared value of $50 and let my Collectibles Insurance cover it. For lower-dollar items with the setup I described above, I send First Class Mail or Priority Mail.

 

Go here to use PayPal's shipping tool for USPS Mail. It includes First Class as an option, which the USPS site does not.

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

 

And do yourself a favor and sign up for a FedEx account. You can make labels for sellers and email them the PDF to print and tape on the package. No more wrong addresses and you ship with the speed and options you require (Express Saver*, Signature Required, $50 declared value). You just need the seller's name, address, phone number, email, package weight and dimensions to plugin to the FedEx online ship tool in order to generate the PDF label. And if you are sending them the Air Float box listed up above, you know the weight and dimensions already.

(*If you are sending cross country, always pick Express Saver over Home Delivery (Ground). Packages just get beat up too much using Ground over that long distance.)

I hope this helps!

 

@Architecht can we get this topic pinned? The OA newbie thread is too long for people to find this info easily.

Edited by BCarter27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,747 posts

I think the place to start is to ask yourself what might happen in shipping and how to mitigate.

 

It could get wet – I put the art in a sealed bag

It could get bent – I don’t use just cardboard if I can avoid it. I like Masonite as it is durable and cheap

It could get cut/sliced – I try to use oversized boards/Masonite so that the art is not near where it might get cut out of a package.

It could break – I have heard that Masonite can break/shatter. While I have not personally heard or seen this, putting a layer of cardboard between the art and Masonite should keep any shattered Masonite from getting to the art.

It could get lost – always use priority and tracking

 

So, art in plastic … plastic taped to oversized carboard … cardboard in between Masonite … and to be overly secure, Masonite sandwich in a box with packing peanuts. I have heard foam core is a good substitute for Masonite but have not tried it.

 

I don’t ship a lot of art and don’t always follow this method as I don’t always have all of these materials but when I ship other people’s art that I have picked up at a show, etc, I go all out to make sure it arrives safe.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
233 posts

Unlike most, I am not a fan of masonite for shipping because it is heavy and because I have had both "worst case" scenarios where the boards were broken in half all the way across and the art was bent repeatedly across that spot to where it was a thick, raised, floppy crease all the way across the art, and another time where SOMEHOW the USPS managed to remove the art from the masonite package in route and literally lost the boards. The art was in a plastic top loader, taped inside 2 larger masonite boards, and taped all the way around the border. First they lost it, and when it was finally delivered almost 30 days later, it was just the art in the plastic top loader with the art and the eBay summary sheet, all horribly bent. (see pics below) My best guess is that their machine stripped the tape off a side or something and the art sleeve slid out and got bent, before they completely lost the wood panels. It was a cover I really wanted bad and when it first disappeared I put in a claim and a trace. I only got the art from inside because the summary sheet had my address, so even "without postage" they delivered it. But I still get email updates over 6 months later that they still have not located my package because they completely lost the wood with the label and it was never scanned again. 

So I ship it differently than most are recommending, and I had actually typed up something years ago that I send to artists, which I will paste below. 

image.png.2cff432b5b764dfcc2925e250e0ee493.png

I still use this basic system to package, but I upgraded it to use foamcore panels used to make signs for the interior package instead of other flat USPS boxes, as it is even more rigid and hard to bend and still extremely light. It makes for an even more "bulletproof" package. But whatever you use inside, the buffer around the edges is key to prevent damaged corners, since it is unbendable and nearly impossible to damage otherwise. That is really what the outer box is for, edge protection.

Hope that helps!

IMG_6122.JPG

IMG_6937.JPG

IMG_9390.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,747 posts
12 hours ago, Madman1138 said:

Unlike most, I am not a fan of masonite for shipping because it is heavy and because I have had both "worst case" scenarios where the boards were broken in half all the way across and the art was bent repeatedly across that spot to where it was a thick, raised, floppy crease all the way across the art, and another time where SOMEHOW the USPS managed to remove the art from the masonite package in route and literally lost the boards. The art was in a plastic top loader, taped inside 2 larger masonite boards, and taped all the way around the border. First they lost it, and when it was finally delivered almost 30 days later, it was just the art in the plastic top loader with the art and the eBay summary sheet, all horribly bent. (see pics below) My best guess is that their machine stripped the tape off a side or something and the art sleeve slid out and got bent, before they completely lost the wood panels. It was a cover I really wanted bad and when it first disappeared I put in a claim and a trace. I only got the art from inside because the summary sheet had my address, so even "without postage" they delivered it. But I still get email updates over 6 months later that they still have not located my package because they completely lost the wood with the label and it was never scanned again. 

So I ship it differently than most are recommending, and I had actually typed up something years ago that I send to artists, which I will paste below. 

image.png.2cff432b5b764dfcc2925e250e0ee493.png

I still use this basic system to package, but I upgraded it to use foamcore panels used to make signs for the interior package instead of other flat USPS boxes, as it is even more rigid and hard to bend and still extremely light. It makes for an even more "bulletproof" package. But whatever you use inside, the buffer around the edges is key to prevent damaged corners, since it is unbendable and nearly impossible to damage otherwise. That is really what the outer box is for, edge protection.

Hope that helps!

IMG_6122.JPG

IMG_6937.JPG

IMG_9390.JPG

where do you get the foam?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
233 posts
11 hours ago, JadeGiant said:

where do you get the foam?

I worked in the event industry for many years, mostly in high-end hotels, and after all the events they just left them to be thrown away so I would gather them and bring them home and before long filled a closet lol. So they were free to me and have lasted me for years. (and I ship a lot!) 

But sign shops and FedEx/Kinkos sell the signage type which is sturdier than the stuff you find at Michaels or the Dollar Store. As for online, Uline has them on the website and for much less than masonite. I recommend the 24"x36" because you cut it into quarters and get four 12"x18" boards per sheets, which perfectly protects 11x17 art. Here's a link. https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-11752/Foam-Board/Foam-Core-Board-24-x-36-White-3-16-thick 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
104 posts
On 8/29/2018 at 7:57 PM, Madman1138 said:

Unlike most, I am not a fan of masonite for shipping because it is heavy and because I have had both "worst case" scenarios where the boards were broken in half all the way across and the art was bent repeatedly across that spot to where it was a thick, raised, floppy crease all the way across the art, and another time where SOMEHOW the USPS managed to remove the art from the masonite package in route and literally lost the boards. The art was in a plastic top loader, taped inside 2 larger masonite boards, and taped all the way around the border. First they lost it, and when it was finally delivered almost 30 days later, it was just the art in the plastic top loader with the art and the eBay summary sheet, all horribly bent. (see pics below) My best guess is that their machine stripped the tape off a side or something and the art sleeve slid out and got bent, before they completely lost the wood panels. It was a cover I really wanted bad and when it first disappeared I put in a claim and a trace. I only got the art from inside because the summary sheet had my address, so even "without postage" they delivered it. But I still get email updates over 6 months later that they still have not located my package because they completely lost the wood with the label and it was never scanned again. 

So I ship it differently than most are recommending, and I had actually typed up something years ago that I send to artists, which I will paste below. 

image.png.2cff432b5b764dfcc2925e250e0ee493.png

I still use this basic system to package, but I upgraded it to use foamcore panels used to make signs for the interior package instead of other flat USPS boxes, as it is even more rigid and hard to bend and still extremely light. It makes for an even more "bulletproof" package. But whatever you use inside, the buffer around the edges is key to prevent damaged corners, since it is unbendable and nearly impossible to damage otherwise. That is really what the outer box is for, edge protection.

Hope that helps!

IMG_6122.JPG

IMG_6937.JPG

IMG_9390.JPG

I just received a package that was packed with the priority boxes and the art was bent. I don't think that is the safest way to pack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
233 posts
3 hours ago, timguerrero said:

I just received a package that was packed with the priority boxes and the art was bent. I don't think that is the safest way to pack.

Was it 3 flat boxes thick inside and taped together on all 4 sides? The tape is important too, to keep it a solid and unbendable brick inside. 2 boxes or less, and especially if loose and not taped together, I have seen damaged but never the 3, done the way I describe. But I agree it isn't best compared to the foamcore method I use myself now, but for artists who don't put much thought or money into shipping it works great for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,117 posts

I’ve received art from dealers inside Masonite for years and have never had one arrive damaged. Guess I’ve been fortunate. But by far the best packaged system I ever saw was from a member here I met on CAF.  It was an oversized DPS and he sandwiched it in multiple layers of cardboard and then slid that taped slab inside a large mirror box stuffed with packing peanuts.  It was sent UPS second day and arrived with some damage. Slightly crushed corner and some edge damage but the slab and art inside was untouched. $95.00 for shipping and worth every penny. Thanks again Kelvin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,541 posts

That reminds me... For framed art or twice up or other big stuff, FedEx has very large art boxes that are fantastic for under $30. You can give the shipper your FedEx Account number and have them take it to the FedEx Store nearest them. They will pack it for you and charge it to your account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
104 posts
On 9/1/2018 at 7:35 PM, Madman1138 said:

Was it 3 flat boxes thick inside and taped together on all 4 sides? The tape is important too, to keep it a solid and unbendable brick inside. 2 boxes or less, and especially if loose and not taped together, I have seen damaged but never the 3, done the way I describe. But I agree it isn't best compared to the foamcore method I use myself now, but for artists who don't put much thought or money into shipping it works great for.

It was only 2 boxes and the seller is now implying that I bent the art to get him to partially refund my payment. Lol, why would I bent the art I want for my own collection?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
151 posts
On 8/30/2018 at 10:36 PM, Madman1138 said:

I worked in the event industry for many years, mostly in high-end hotels, and after all the events they just left them to be thrown away so I would gather them and bring them home and before long filled a closet lol. So they were free to me and have lasted me for years. (and I ship a lot!) 

But sign shops and FedEx/Kinkos sell the signage type which is sturdier than the stuff you find at Michaels or the Dollar Store. As for online, Uline has them on the website and for much less than masonite. I recommend the 24"x36" because you cut it into quarters and get four 12"x18" boards per sheets, which perfectly protects 11x17 art. Here's a link. https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-11752/Foam-Board/Foam-Core-Board-24-x-36-White-3-16-thick 

The package you sent me a year ago had those foam boards with some really wacky printing on them...printing officially explained.  They were perfect, the foam core boards are light/strong and were re-used to ship art.  The masonite is heavy, but I've never had anything bent that way either.  IMHO the bottom line is...the more layers of protection the better.  The method I've used for shipping has been to bag/board art, secure within and to sandwich (of any kind-again more layers the better), re-bag to stabilize against movement, larger box by at least a few inches, peanuts in bottom, art in middle, stuff with peanuts, tape securely, finally and sincerely - wish for safe arrival.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
597 posts

Heritage changed the way they ship comic art.

The art is in a mylar with a THICK backing board.

That's inside a folded over oversize manila envelope, taped to cardboard. There are 5 slices of cardboard inside the large cardboard box/enclosure.

IMG_2539.thumb.jpeg.b966ea4c61467f2e02446bb5d7ce2366.jpeg

IMG_2540.thumb.jpeg.a7c5bab38b92cb2f158b198fb1aa4a18.jpeg

IMG_2541.thumb.jpeg.8dcb97d5f1d57c47ba1f1b718e1aa2a7.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
104 posts

So essentially they made a Gemini Mailer for Original Art. Must be very heavy and provide appropriate protection!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
3 3