This guide basically outlines how to pack your books for shipping to a customer. Many's the time buyers have received damaged books due to poor packaging, and 99% of the time the chances are you will lose return customers if your books aren't packed correctly. Plus the chances are you will be asked for a refund, resulting in you being either out of pocket or saddled with damaged books.
It pays to bare in mind that buyers are giving you their hard-earned money for your books, so a little time and consideration in making sure they arrive in top condition is the least you can do.
Find a suitable oversized box that is substantially bigger than the books.
I’m packing ten 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.
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.
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.
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.
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). Offset the pieces of tape so as they don't get stuck to the pieces of tape holding the books to the first piece of card. Getting several layers of tape stuck together when opening a package can get very annoying.
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.
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, then fill up the remaining space with packing, making sure if that any gaps around the sides of the sandwich are filled.
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!
Wrap the slab extensively in bubble wrap. At least one pass each way (horizontally and vertically), and I'd recommend using more if you're using the smaller bubbles than the large bubbles.
Using a suitably sized box, place a layer of peanuts on the bottom of the box, place the slab on top, then surround the slab around the sides and on the top with more peanuts.
Tape up the box, again covering all openings with tape. I use Fragile tape to state the obvious, and when shipping abroad I use Handle With Care labels.
Obviously this example was for one book only, larger boxes and extra packing materials will be required for larger amounts of books.
For higher $ purchases (ie: anything over what you can afford to reimburse out of your own pocket) should always
be insured for the full value of the books. Tracking is also highly recommended, especially on international packages.
It may also be an idea to offer double boxing to buyers if they are willing to foot the extra shipping cost.
The guide for raw books is also a good method to use when submitting books for grading.