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How to Package and Ship Vinyl Records
I recently sold a few vinyl records on Amazon - awesome! - but it's been a long time since you can readily find vinyl record shipping mailers.
Rather than sinking a fortune in bubble packaging, I decided to take a swing at creating my own packaging and shipping out the vinyl to the best of my ability.
This hub will show you a few different techniques I used to properly package and ship vinyl records - how knows, maybe you have a collection that's worth a bit ...
Step 1: Size the cardboard
Old vinyl album shipping packages were pretty much heavy duty sleeves but since few people do this these days - I went to my local Walmart and grabbed up a large packing box which I proceeded to chop up into squares.
As you can see, I made sure that the size of the package was larger than the album - this was so the vinyl didn't sit right against the edge and, therefore, bend the record sleeve.
Using an exacto blade, I cut out my base packaging material - not bad considering the box was only $1.50 and could handle 4 records.
Step 2: Reinforce the structure
I also snagged a bit of bubble wrap (about $2) while at Walmart which went well with wrapping the albums to ensure that they don't get scratched up and have a bit of additional support from the wear and tear of shipping.
Secondly, I found a few 12' sticks in the craft section for $1 which I wanted to use to reinforce the structure of the package - just in case the mail person decided they wanted to bend the package into oblivion.
There were a few ways I tried reinforcing the packaging:
- Place the sticks directly over the bubble wrap
- Place the sticks along the sides of the package cardboard
- Place the sticks along the spine of the album sleeve (worked really well)
In all, vinyl can be very brittle when it's getting thrown around and shipped around the country so spending that extra $1 or $2 for reinforcement can definitely go a long way.
Step 3: Wedge it closed
I didn't want the vinyl albums to sit flush with the edges of the packaging so I made sure that the cardboard was a bit larger than the album itself.
Having the cardboard allowed the vinyl sit in the very middle of the package which helps prevent the sides of the sleeve from being bent - the package is a bit large but it's better than an irate message from someone that received broken vinyl.
Additionally, the extra space allows you to wedge the vinyl album right in the middle as you tape it down. I suggest do a strip on each side to make sure it's nice and tight before going back over it with a long strip to seal up the edges.
Other than that, you're good to go - slap on a label, write a huge DO NO BEND on the back and hope for the best. Hey, it's not the most attractive packaging in the world but it gets the job done (especially on the cheap).
Total Cost? About $5.
Add in the box (which you could find for free). Packing tape, wooden sticks (for support) and the bubble wrap, I was able to do four vinyl albums for about $5 (and I still have some tape left over).
The normal bubble mailers will run you almost $3 a piece - this method is along shot and you can ensure that it's getting the support it needs to avoid any hassles of being bent and roughed up during its transit.
Hope this helps - good luck!