Preparing for Shipping Your Vinyl Records

Posted on June 09 2021

Hand browsing a container of vinyl records

Packing and shipping any kind of valuables can be stressful. The worry of damage through transit is a common concern, as well as costs, or things getting lost. Don’t let those worries deter you from shipping your own vinyl records, though. 

If you’re a collector interested in selling some of your vinyls for profit, or you just need to send records out, you will inevitably need to pack them up and ship them off. Below is the best way to ship vinyl records, along with some valuable tips. 

Gather Supplies

Before shipping any vinyl records, you need to gather some materials. You will need:

  • A flat area to work
  • 12” vinyl inner sleeves
  • Record cleaning supplies
  • Shipping container
  • Protective plastic 
  • Bubble wrap or foam paper
  • Cardboard or Foam board
  • Tape

There are a few different types of container options for shipping vinyl records. Most you can find from delivery companies will be shaped like pizza boxes. Some are basic, while others offer additional protections on the inside, like inner bumps, to prevent the records from sliding about.

You could also consider cutting and taping up your own vinyl shipping box from old cardboard, if you’re crafty enough. In general, the box will need to be about 12 inches wide.

Person preparing a box to ship on a table

Steps To Ship Your Vinyl

The first step to preparing your vinyl for shipping is to remove it from the old inner and outer sleeves. You will probably be shipping your record with it’s original cover, but it’s recommended to replace the inner sleeve with a fresh one. You can place the original inner sleeve somewhere else in the box. Not only does this look nicer, it will help keep your record in good shape during transit. 

Inspection

While the record is out, you should inspect it carefully, especially if you're shipping vinyl records to a customer. Hold it under a strong light and check for any scratches, scuffs, or imperfections. You’ll want to make sure you know exactly how it looks before shipping, to avoid any accusations if it arrives in bad condition later on. 

Cleaning

After you’ve inspected your record and are aware of its condition, you should take this opportunity to clean it off. You can use a cleaning kit, a cleaning machine, or your normal vinyl brush. You’ll just want to make sure it’s dust free before shipping. 

Protect the Record with a New Outer Sleeve

Protect your LPs and their value for your customers (or for yourself) by ensuring you place them in fresh outer sleeves prior to shipping. 

Pack the Box Securely

When you’re packing up the box to ship vinyl records, you want to make sure things are snug, so there’s no wiggle room, but also not too tight either. 

First, check that your records are snug in their inner sleeves and secure within their album covers. Then, check that you’ve protected them all with your outer record sleeve.

Second, you will make a “sandwich” with the record in the middle so you can stack your records carefully. Place the record inside of the inner sleeve. Then, place those inside of protective plastic covering, and stack records similarly until you have enough to snugly package your box.

Wrap It Up

Once those contents are secured, you should place a cardboard stiffener, or foam board on the top, bottom and sides of your stack of vinyl. Then, wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap or foam paper. You can secure it with tape, keeping in mind that you will want each side covered.

Ready For Shipping

Once the vinyl is packed up correctly, you can place it into the shipping container and seal things up. You should consider labeling it with ‘FRAGILE’ and ‘DO NOT BEND’ to ensure it’s handled with care. 

If you are shipping multiple vinyl records, you can repeat each step, and pack them on top in a larger box. Be careful not to pack too many together, because this can lead to warping or damaging of the records.  

You’re All Set

Once you apply a clear shipping label, you’re all set. These are considered the most common and best ways to ship vinyl records, but you can always get more creative with materials. Just make sure your vinyl record is clean before shipping, and remember to leave it out of the outer sleeve. 

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