Scott Walston of Scott's Comics in Raleigh, North Carolina saw Mike Milewski's  comments about damaged copies (see 'Mike Milewski of M & M Comic Service on 'WWIII' Shortages'), and wonders why shipments don't come packed according to UPS shipping guidelines: 


Being a Diamond customer for many years, I am frustrated with the poor shipping boxes and poor shipping practices Diamond uses and the amount of damages I have.  I wish some of the retailer organizations would make Diamond shipping methods a priority.  It would be great if DC or Marvel would take up the cause, because I believe it hurts their bottom line. 


The slightly edited comments I made on the Diamond survey this year are listed below:


Suggestion #1:  Shipping boxes are not strong enough to handle rough handling.


I have a huge problem with UPS dropping the boxes.  Diamond says it is UPS, however I say Diamond doesn't follow UPS' policies on packing and box strength which is listed on its Website.


The C-400 boxes you use have an Edge Crush Test (ECT) of 42.  Based on the UPS chart, the maximum weight of box and contents should be 45 lbs.  Your shipments in these boxes are typically higher than that (typically 55-60 lbs), causing edge failure when the boxes are dropped.


Suggestion #2:   Diamond doesn't follow UPS guidelines on cushioning contents in the boxes.


'Each item should be surrounded by at least two inches (5 cm) of cushioning and be placed at least two inches (5 cm) away from the walls of the box.  This will protect your items from product-against-product damage and shield them from the shock and vibration that can be conducted from the exterior of the box to its contents in transit.'


'Please use proper cushioning material, combined with a strong outer container, to protect your shipment fully. Make sure you use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents do not move when you shake the container.'


Diamond continuously fails to meet the 2' of cushioning. I have been a customer since the year 2000, and they have never used it.   Also different sized items are not packed to prevent sliding, and they are sometimes damaged.


To summarize:  Diamond doesn't meet the UPS standards for shipping in regard to box strength, contents cushioning, and sliding items.  So it

is no wonder that we have damaged books!!


If you don't believe the info I have provided above, take a 60 lb. C-400 box filled with comics and lift it waist high or higher.  Then drop it on its edge on a concrete floor.  Look at the contents.  You'll see why I complain about shipping all the time.


Imagine if Diamond improved shipping containers and provided cushioning.  How much money they would save on damaged books, people that process returns, the customer service reps' time, and the staff time reshipping damaged books?  It also would help retailers focus on their business.  It would prevent lost sales to other places that manage to get their books in great shape.  It would increase a retailer's bottom line as complete issues would not be shorted and missed due to damages.  I have such a problem with this, I don't list books online until I get them, in fear that my books will be damaged, or I will not get them at all due to damages. 


Great ordering Website, good discounts, etc. don't mean a hill of beans to me if Diamond can't get me merchandise in like-new condition. 


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of