So you need to Package Records for shipping?
Maybe you’re a collector that has decided to try his or her hand at selling on EBay or even Etsy and you need a foolproof method for packaging records. Finding a good home for a relatives vinyl stash? Whatever the reason let’s sort this out and give you some simple step by step direction to get this done.
I have seen people packaging records using various materials and methods like turning free priority boxes inside out, used pizza boxes and duck taping every seem on the exterior of the package. I would not suggest any of these methods. When I’m sending a record to a customer on EBay or Etsy I want it to look like a professional service has sent it. The Label needs to be square to the package and centered properly. The sides of the package need to be flush to the top and bottom edges not pushing out or in. I also want it to be stamped “FRAGILE DO NOT BEND” so that extra care will be taken to deliver it safely to its new home. I’m very picky about the process when I’m packaging records.
To achieve vinyl record packaging bliss you will need the proper materials:
• Shipping boxes appropriate sized for the item your shipping
• Cardboard inserts
• 2″ Packing tape
• 1″ Packing tape
• Plastic record sleeve
• Fragile Stamp
Having the proper boxes and inserts is very important. To ensure that your records arrive unharmed and secondly you want to have a repeatable process which includes secure reliable packaging every time an order is processed.
There are companies like ULINE and Bags Unlimited that supply every type of sleeve, box or inset that you would ever need. There are many regional suppliers that may be cheaper and easier on the shipping burden for supplies. I have been using a company Called Something Special enterprise in the Pittsburgh area. They can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org 14124872626 . Tell them that Ed from Meadville sent you. I randomly looked on Amazon and found LP shippers for .60 and insert for .20 each if you can buy in bulk and get you cost of shipping supplies below $1.00 per order that’s very good or NM in record terms.
Prefold the shipping box
Remove the record from the jacket
If the record is left in the jacket and shifts back and forth during shipment it could possibly damage the jacket.
The simple solution is to remove the record and inner sleeve from the jacket. Place it in a plastic sleeve with the jacket. I will often put the original inner sleeve in side the jacket to protect it from handling wear and tear while placing the vinyl in a clean new sleeve.
• Prefold the shipping box
The LP shippers I use are simply flat cardboard squares with flaps and perforated fold marks with gives you some choice as to the thickness of the box that you need. If you’re shipping only one record you simply fold at the first line on all four flaps as show in the images above. To gauge larger stacks of vinyl place an insert on either side of the stack and fold the side up to find the line you need to fold to accommodate the stash. At times you will have to put in an extra insert to make the package snug. You don’t want any movement inside the package during shipment.
Secure vinyl in record shipper
Place your record in the center of the pre-folded box. Fold the small flaps up and over the top of the record. Hold the smaller flaps in place and fold the larger one securely on top of the vinyl.
Adjust the smaller folds so they are flush with adjacent sides of the box. Put a piece of tape over the larger flaps securing the package. Next take your 2″ packing tape and circle all the way around the package following the middle seem where larger flaps cross over one another. Place another loop of tape all the way around the top and bottom of the box just as you did the middle seem.
I prefer to basically wrap the whole box in tape. I don’t like any exposed seems on the box open to get snagged during the post delivery process. Bubble wrap and additional packing materials are not necessary with normal shipment but could be used in place of extra inserts to insure that your record is packaged tightly enough to ensure no movement within your package.
When I’m sending a single LP especially domestic I don’t feel that it’s necessary to reinforce the corners, but when there are thicker packages it’s a must. Simply use 1″ packing tape on the outside corners so that the corners don’t expand exposing the vinyl during shipment.
High value items
When shipping high value items (items over $100.00) double boxing may be an easy way to add extra piece of mind when sending more valuable records. Package the record as you normally would and then place it in a “pizza style” box which is available through most record supply companies.