Everything you Need to Know about Vinyl Record Packaging and Mailing Vinyl LP Records
The vinyl LP record market is definitely on the up and we're not surprised if you are selling more vinyl than ever before! We've been talking to several online shops that send their vinyl out in the post or by courier and trying to find out how we can solve some of the issues experienced when mailing your LP record internet orders so you can send your records in better vinyl record packaging.
What are Vinyl Record Mailers
Vinyl record mailers are specialized packaging designed to safeguard vinyl records during shipping. Constructed with durable materials and padding, they provide impact resistance and protection against bending or moisture. These mailers often feature secure closures and adjustable sizing to accommodate various record formats. Vinyl record mailers ensure that cherished records reach their destination in pristine condition, making them essential for collectors, musicians, and businesses in the music industry.
Vinyl record mailers are extra stiff mailers with strengthened corners to prevent creasing and corner damage while they travel through the postal service. The main types of mailers used for mailing vinyl records are twistwrap style record mailers and record envelopes which are both manufactured from stiff cardboard.
When mailing vinyl records special attention needs to be given to making the lp mailer boxes as stiff as possible so the flexible records are not creased and damaged during transit. Damage to the corners of the record sleeves is also important so you need to consider boxes with good corner protection. Below we consider the main problems with choosing LP mailers and give you some hints and tips on what to look out for.
The Importance of Proper Vinyl LP Record Packaging
In an era where online marketplaces have transformed the way records change hands, the responsibility to ensure that a vinyl LP arrives in pristine condition rests heavily on the shoulders of sellers, collectors, and enthusiasts. A single dent, crease, or moisture intrusion can irreversibly mar the audio quality and diminish the collector's joy.
Beyond protection, proper packaging conveys a message of respect and care. It speaks volumes about the sender's dedication to preserving a shared love for music and culture. It transforms the act of receiving a vinyl LP record into an experience, allowing the recipient to feel the weight of the past, the authenticity of the present, and the promise of a future where the vinyl's magic endures.
In a world of convenience and expediency, it's easy to overlook the significance of proper vinyl LP record packaging. Yet, it is in these seemingly small details that the heartbeat of a vinyl collection thrives. It's a statement that says, "This music matters. This history matters. And I am committed to ensuring its safe passage into your hands." So, whether you're a seller, a collector, or anyone who holds a vinyl LP record, remember that how you package it is more than just a step in the shipping process; it's an act of preserving and sharing the soul of a generation.
Types of Vinyl Record Mailers: Features and Varieties
Vinyl record mailers come in various types, each designed to provide different levels of protection and accommodate specific needs. Here are some common types of vinyl record mailers, along with their features and varieties:
Cardboard LP Mailers:
- Features: Sturdy corrugated cardboard construction, typically designed to fit one or more records snugly.
- Varieties: Single LP mailers, double LP mailers, and multi-record mailers with varying thicknesses of cardboard for added protection.
Padded LP Mailers:
- Features: Cardboard mailers with built-in padding or cushioning material to absorb shocks and prevent record movement.
- Varieties: Padded LP mailers with foam or bubble wrap lining for extra protection during transit.
Self-Sealing LP Mailers:
- Features: Mailers with adhesive strips for easy and secure sealing without the need for additional tape.
- Varieties: Self-sealing LP mailers with tear-open strips, ensuring convenient opening for the recipient.
Gusseted LP Mailers:
- Features: Expandable sides (gussets) that allow the mailer to accommodate thicker records, box sets, or additional padding.
- Varieties: Gusseted LP mailers with various levels of expandability to fit different record configurations.
Die-Cut LP Mailers:
- Features: Precision-cut mailers that provide a snug fit around the record, reducing excess space and minimizing movement.
- Varieties: Die-cut LP mailers for single records or custom-cut options for unique vinyl sizes.
Printed LP Mailers:
- Features: Cardboard mailers with printed designs, branding, or album artwork for added visual appeal.
- Varieties: Custom-printed LP mailers with personalized graphics, logos, or messages.
Mailers with Inner Sleeves:
- Features: LP mailers that include protective inner sleeves to prevent direct contact between the vinyl and the cardboard.
- Varieties: Mailers with anti-static, poly-lined, or archival-quality inner sleeves for enhanced record protection.
Rigid LP Mailers:
- Features: Stiff, non-bendable mailers constructed from rigid materials like corrugated board or hard plastic.
- Varieties: Rigid LP mailers designed for ultimate record protection, often used for valuable or fragile records.
Eco-Friendly LP Mailers:
- Features: Sustainable and recyclable mailers made from eco-friendly materials, promoting environmental responsibility.
- Varieties: Eco-friendly LP mailers crafted from recycled cardboard or biodegradable materials.
Custom LP Mailers:
- Features: Tailor-made mailers designed to specific dimensions or with unique features to accommodate special requirements.
- Varieties: LP mailers customized for specific vinyl sizes, limited edition releases, or promotional purposes.
Choosing the right type of vinyl record mailer depends on factors such as the value of the record, the shipping distance, and personal preferences. It's important to consider the level of protection needed to ensure your vinyl records arrive safely and in excellent condition.
Best Practices for Shipping Vinyl Records
Shipping vinyl records requires careful consideration to ensure they arrive in pristine condition. Here are some best practices to follow when shipping vinyl records:
Choose the Right Mailer Size: Select a mailer that fits the vinyl record snugly to prevent movement during transit. Avoid excessive space within the mailer to minimize the risk of damage.
Use Inner Sleeves: Place the vinyl record in a high-quality inner sleeve to protect it from scratches and static. Inner sleeves made of anti-static or archival materials are preferable.
Add Padding: Use additional padding within the mailer to prevent the record from shifting. Bubble wrap, foam inserts, or cardboard stiffeners can provide effective cushioning.
Secure the Record: Seal the inner sleeve with tape to prevent the record from sliding out during shipping. This provides an extra layer of protection against potential damage.
Place Record in the Mailer: Gently slide the protected record into the mailer, ensuring it is centered and secure. Be cautious not to force the record, as bending can occur.
Seal the Mailer Securely: Close the mailer and seal it securely. If using a self-sealing mailer, follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper closure. For non-self-sealing mailers, use strong packing tape to seal all edges.
Label Clearly: Clearly label the package with the recipient's address and your return address. Use legible handwriting or printed labels to ensure accurate delivery.
Add Fragile Stickers: Place "Fragile" or "Handle with Care" stickers on the package to alert postal workers to the delicate contents.
Consider Tracking and Insurance: Opt for shipping methods that provide tracking and insurance coverage. This helps you monitor the package's progress and offers financial protection in case of loss or damage.
Communicate with Buyers: If you are a seller, provide clear communication to buyers about the shipping process, expected delivery times, and any additional protective measures you've taken.
International Shipping Considerations: When shipping internationally, research customs regulations, declare the contents accurately, and include any necessary documentation to prevent delays or issues at customs.
Test Packaging: Before shipping valuable or delicate records, conduct a test packaging to ensure the chosen materials and methods offer sufficient protection.
Environmentally Friendly Packaging: Whenever possible, opt for eco-friendly packaging materials to reduce waste and minimize your environmental impact.
Record Inspection and Playback: Encourage recipients to inspect records upon delivery. This can help identify any potential damage incurred during shipping. Sellers may also suggest cleaning the record before playback.
By following these best practices, you can enhance the chances of your vinyl records reaching their destination in optimal condition, whether you're a collector sharing your love for music or a seller catering to a passionate audience.
How to Avoid Creasing Damage to Vinyl LP Records
By far one of the most common problems with mailing LP records is their flexibility, the thin vinyl can be bent and creased very easily which means that keeping them flat while been thrown around in the back of a courier van is quite a challenge. Before choosing record mailer packaging you need to test the rigidity of the mailer by trying to bend it. Before testing make sure you seal the flap down if it has a peel & seal closure as this will give the mailer extra strength.
As always you need to get the balance between the cost and protectiveness of your packaging, here's a few products you can use to pack vinyl records that give good rigidity and will help sandwich the record and stop your LP records from creasing while travelling through the postal service.
- Rigid Envelopes for Mailing LP Records - These stiff envelopes give a great balance between cost-effectiveness and protection.
- Tuftwist® Corrugated Twistwrap Style Record Mailers - Manufactured from thick corrugated cardboard these mailers are super strong and sturdy.
Eliminating Corner Damage to Vinyl LP Record Sleeves
Keeping the vinyl record sleeve in pristine condition is one of the big factors that determines the price so keeping the corners of the sleeve well protected is very important. As the sleeves are often only made from thin card they damage quite easily, you only need to drop the record sleeve once to scuff the corner and make it look a bit tatty.
The good news is that if you choose the right packaging your record sleeves can be kept in perfect condition during their journey to your customer. Here are a few ideas which protect the corners of your LP sleeves well and will help to eliminate corner damage.
- Protective Bubble Bags for LP Records - Bubble bags surround your records in a layer of shock absorbing bubbles and help to cushion those bangs and bashes.
- Twistwrap Style Record Mailers - These record mailers have strong crumple zones protecting the corners of your record sleeves so if your parcel is dropped on a corner it crumples and absorbs the shock much like a bumper on a car.
Protecting against Water Damage to Vinyl LP Records
Vinyl record sleeves and English weather definitely don't go together a lot of the time. Your LP record outer sleeves are generally made from thin card so if they get wet it can seriously damage them, although some are covered with a thin plastic film water can still migrate in and be absorbed by the card inside. If a record sleeve gets wet the ink will run and the print will look smudged as well as the card losing some of its integrity and becoming weak and floppy.
By putting your mailer in a waterproof protective plastic bag you can prevent the water from migrating through your packaging and soaking the record inside. Below are some different plastic bag options that will protect your LP records from water damage.
- Water Resistant LP Record Mailing Bags - These thin plastic mailing bags will cover your packages in a plastic film and protect your records from water damage.
- Protective LP Record Bubble Bags - These bags, although mainly designed to add impact protection, will also help to stop water migrating through the pack and damaging your records.
Our Ultimate Vinyl Record Packaging Suggestion
By considering all the points above we've combined a few different vinyl record packaging solutions to develop the ultimate record mailer and help you pack vinyl records safely and securely. This solution gives protection against most of the common areas of damage that a vinyl LP record could sustain during its journey to your customer. This is by no means the only solution but if you need the best LP record protection then give this a try.
- First pop your record into a protective bubble bag, this will give shock protection and cushion your records with a barrier of air pockets. **Extra Tip** If your record is an antique consider wrapping in an acid free tissue paper or plastic sleeve first for extra protection.
- Next add extra protection by wrapping your vinyl record in a sturdy twist style corrugated mailer, these strong mailers have cross dimensional fluting which is super rigid and very difficult to bend making them great for stopping crease damage.
- Finally pop the whole package into a water resistant mailing bag or to keep the water out of your LP Record and keep your cardboard packaging looking clean and tidy.
And that's it, your ultimate Vinyl LP Record mailer solution!
Thanks for reading, we're always interested to hear your comments and suggestions so if you've got something to say about this post then post your comment below! Or if you need further help get in touch with our friendly team.