Vinyl records may seem outdated to a generation that is quick to embrace the latest technology, but surprisingly, there’s a sudden resurgence in the sale of these records. This has led to vinyl spending more time in the postal system than ever before.
If you’re an online record seller, you’re well aware that once you’ve received your orders, you’ll have to get down to business: carefully packing your records according to their sizes and delivering them to their intended recipients. But how do you accomplish that while preserving the safety of your records?
How Can I Safely Ship Vinyl Records?
Shipping vinyl records may appear to be a simple task. Before you toss the records in a box and send them out, there are a few things you should consider. It must be done correctly, or the records will almost certainly be damaged on reaching the final destination. Here’s how to properly mail several vinyl albums while maintaining their integrity.
1. Gather the Packing Materials You’ll Need.
Vinyl record packaging and shipping must be done correctly, but it does not have to be a complex procedure. When packing your vinyl for the mail, don’t overpack it. You’ll save time, use fewer packaging resources, and avoid high shipping expenses if you plan ahead. Keep things simple:
Select the appropriate shipping container.
Use Vinyl Shipping Mailer Boxes with a stiff wall like Square Deal Recordings & Supplies boxes on Amazon. If you are shipping a large number of records, you need a 27.12 x 25.63 x 4.25 inches vinyl storage box. BCW Vinyl Storage Box with Lid on Amazon is a good option. It can hold up to 65 records.
Select the appropriate packaging material.
Use foam sheets or a bubble cushion. They’ll gently press against the records while protecting them from exterior bumps and damage. Purchase your foam or bubble in a dispenser box to make things easier for yourself. Most are punctured every 12″, which makes them ideal for sandwiching between vinyl sheets.
You may also need packing tape and labeling stickers.
2. Packing Your Vinyl the Right Way
Now that you have your packing supplies handy, it’s time to start packing your vinyl.
Remove the record from its sleeve.
Yes, you read that correctly. It may seem contradictory, but protecting it is the most crucial thing you can do. Records can wiggle and slide about in their cardboard sleeves, despite being largely secure. Any movement during shipping can cause the sleeve’s corners to be damaged (or possibly burst through). Worse yet, the record may be dented, broken, or snapped.
Remove the record as well as the papery inner sleeve from the cardboard case.
Put two records together.
Place the cardboard cover on the top of the table. Remove the record from the inner sleeve and place it on the cardboard cover. Lay the inner sleeve on the record at this point.
Finish your sandwich.
Cut the right amount of your foam or bubble cushion to make two equal-sized pieces for both sides of the wrap. This will be much faster and easier when you’re using a dispenser. Secure the edges with packing tape and insert it into your preferred shipping container.
Always remember to keep things tight. Any movement in the record and sleeve sandwich, as well as the bubble/foam-wrapped sandwich, should be avoided. Finally, once you’ve loaded it inside your shipping container, double-check that its snug.
3. Ship the Records Securely
Seal the box properly
Make sure the mailer is adequately sealed and secured against the weather. Nobody likes to be greeted by dripping cardboard or see their new record slip out of its packaging and crash all over the floor.
Label the package correctly
Check all of your written addresses and shipping information. You wouldn’t want something so valuable to end up in the wrong hands. To avoid damaging the cardboard sleeves, write the labels before putting them on the box.
Indicate the fragility of the records
“FRAGILE” and “DO NOT BEND” stickers should be used (or use a marker). It will make it more probable for delivery personnel to treat it with the care and respect it deserves. Although there is no certainty, every little effort helps.
Consider purchasing insurance.
If you’re transporting valuable or rare vinyl, consider insuring it for the duration of the journey. Not only from potential harm but also from other individuals. Someone who knows what to look for in a package can notice that it contains vinyl and try to intercept it.
Arrange for Drop-Offs and Pick-Ups.
To make the delivery process less daunting for yourself and your recipients, you should have your vinyl packages dropped off or picked up at the nearest specified locations.
Keep track of your order.
Just because the record has been sent does not mean your work is finished. You need to track your order if possible till you’re certain it’s been dispatched to your clients. You can also give the tracking number to your customer to monitor the delivery process as well.
Which Couriers Can Deliver Vinyl Records?
When it comes to transporting these records, there are numerous courier services to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include:
USPS Media Mail is a low-cost, convenient shipping service that is commonly used to send records worldwide. The only downside to this service is that it can be very slow.
This courier can deliver your very valuable records to buyers while also providing insurance, making it one of the best shipping options for vinyl records.
UPS has a solid reputation for local and worldwide deliveries, and its offerings include insurance, tracking, and on-time delivery. The only disadvantage is that it is frequently the most costly option.
How Much Does Vinyl Shipping Cost?
The cost of transporting your records is difficult to calculate because numerous factors influence the shipping cost of your records. These factors include:
- Your preferred courier.
- The cost of vinyl record boxes
- The cost of cushioning materials
- The recipient’s location
- The quantity being transported
- Insurance coverage
The cost of using USPS Media Mail, for example, starts at $2.63 and has a weight limit of 70 pounds. A 10-pound package (about 15 records) could cost around $7.
If shipping your vinyl records as part of your relocation plan, you can check our previous article on How To Pack For Moving Houses.