What is the best way to package vinyl records for shipping?
The very best way to ship vinyl records is to use three things. First, get LP mailers for your records, and put each record in its own mailer. Then, you can put all of the LPs in a box together, but you want to use packing foam. You can put foam between each mailer, and you can use additional foam to secure the mailers inside the box. Then, you can ship the whole box.
What is an LP mailer, and why do I need one?
LP mailers are packaging materials designed specifically for shipping vinyl records. They are made in standard record sizes so that the vinyl fits snugly inside the mailer. Each mailer is lined with impact-absorbing materials (usually air bubbles) to protect the vinyl from damage. Additionally, the mailer materials are soft enough that they will not scratch the vinyl. If you want to ship vinyl records, LP mailers are essential for keeping the records safe.
How do you safely pack LPs for shipping?
Assuming you are using LP mailers and filling a box with records, the key to safety is to make a tight fit. Once all of the records, inside of their mailers, are in the box, you want to use packaging foam rolls to fill the gaps in the box. The goal is to secure the records so that they cannot shift or slide when the box moves. That will ensure that they do not get damaged or scratched in transit.
Do vinyl records need climate-controlled shipping?
Sometimes. In general, vinyl records are fine in shipping vehicles, but there are exceptions. Extreme temperatures — both hot and cold — can damage the vinyl. So, if it’s winter and your records will pass through very cold weather, then consider soliciting climate-controlled options. Likewise, if your records will pass through 100+ degree weather during shipping, climate control is a good choice. Otherwise, the records will be fine with standard shipping.
Can you ship LPs in a box?
Yes, but you need to be careful. If you stack naked LPs in a box, they will likely shift in transit and scratch each other. Even if you use record sleeves, the risk is high that they will shift and break. Instead, you can put them in record mailers to secure each record. You then want to pack the box with soft materials (like packaging foam) to prevent the records from shifting within the box. Do that, and it’s fine to ship your LPs in a box.
How do I choose the right size for an LP mailer?
LPs come in a few standard sizes. So too do LP mailers. Simply match the LP mailer width to that of the record. You can find 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch mailers pretty easily.
Where to buy record mailers?
Cutting Edge Maintenance sells LP mailers in all of the standard sizes.