vinyl record in shipping box

How to Ship Vinyl Records Safely to Fans

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We’ve all been there: The shipment you’ve been awaiting finally arrives at your doorstep. Eagerly, you open your package only to discover that the item inside has been damaged en route to your humble abode.

With vinyl record sales continuing to grow, how can you spare each of your loyal and valuable fans this unpleasant experience? After all, what’s more important than preserving your artistry and keeping fans satisfied?

Tips for shipping vinyl records

Here are five tips for shipping your vinyl records.

  1. Use the right box. Opting for a corrugated box when shipping your vinyl is recommended for the enhanced, multi-layered protection it provides, making it superior to a basic cardboard box. Choose a box that is closest in size to the LP or single to decrease the chance of friction.
  2. Use protective plastic sleeves. It’s important to protect your vinyl by wrapping it in a protective outer sleeve. Three mil flat poly bags are the most affordable type of outer record sleeve and are tough enough to protect your vinyl during shipment.
  3. Use corner protectors to prevent damage. The next level of protection comes in the form of cardboard corner protectors that can be placed on all four corners of your vinyl casing.
  4. Use protective packing material (e.g., bubble wrap or packing peanuts). Be sure to protect your vinyl by covering it in bubble wrap and filling the rest of the space in the package with packing peanuts.
  5. Mark your records as “fragile.” This is one of the most important steps, as it tells carriers and recipients to be careful with the packages.

These simple steps will prevent the vinyl from being cracked, broken, or crushed. If you’re shipping multiple vinyl records, make sure to stack them tightly for added protection. Ordering custom-made vinyl record mailers from the vendor of your choice is an easy guarantee that your cargo is in the most protective package possible.

Couriers that ship vinyl records

When you’ve finished preparing your outgoing packages, it’s important to make sure they are in the hands of the best mailing service possible. Here are some popular courier service options.

  • United States Postal Service (USPS). USPS offers Media Mail, which is a cost-effective way to ship your vinyl records.
  • FedEx. FedEx offers several shipping options, and insurance, which might be a prudent option when shipping records.
  • United Parcel Service (UPS). UPS is a reliable option for local and international deliveries, and offers insurance, as well.

When choosing a courier, there are several factors to consider:

Which courier is the most cost-effective when shipping multiple packages?

Although UPS has a great reputation for their local and international deliveries, they can be a very pricey option, especially when shipping in bulk (as is often the case when shipping vinyl to multiple fans). USPS is probably the most cost-efficient option here.

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Which courier has the quickest shipping process?

Additionally, USPS is often the go-to mailing service for vinyl shipments, especially with their Media Mail option. However, they’re known to have the longest delivery times, compared to their competitors. UPS and FedEx offer several different delivery options and tend to deliver more quickly.

Do they have good customer reviews?

You can eliminate much of the arduous research involved in finding the right courier by seeing what other people’s experiences were with them.

How much does it cost to ship a vinyl record?

The cost of shipping your vinyl records can vary, depending on several factors, including the shipping method, distance (domestic or international), and packaging.

Domestic shipping

Within the US, sending a single vinyl record via USPS Media Mail can typically run about $2.80 to $4.50. Using USPS Priority Mail, you’ll likely pay anywhere from $7 to $15 to ship a single record.

International shipping

International shipping costs can also vary, ranging from $15 to $50+ for a single record.

Materials

The packaging materials also come with a cost — but of course, they’re worth ensuring your records arrive at their destination safe and sound. These costs vary, depending on the type of boxes and sleeves you choose.

No matter where you’re shipping, you’ll also want to consider adding insurance on your shipments for added peace of mind. This will increase your costs but could save you in the long run in the case that your packages become damaged.

What causes warping?

Vinyl record warping is typically caused by exposure to heat, humidity, or uneven pressure. This can happen if the vinyl records aren’t packaged correctly, or if the packaging isn’t high-quality. If your vinyl records arrive warped, be sure to address the situation right away with the shipping carrier. This is also where having insurance can be a huge help!

You can advise your fans to take proper care of their LPs once they receive them, such as keeping their records stored vertically and out of direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. While many fans purchasing vinyl might already know the ins-and-outs of their upkeep, it never hurts to send a reminder of the fragility of records.

Disc Makers: Your partner in vinyl record production

Disc Makers is your go-to partner for producing high-quality vinyl records, ensuring they’re ready for safe shipping. If you’re ready to get your music onto your fans’ record players, start your custom vinyl records order today.

The Musician's Guide to Vinyl

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About Lauren Davish

Lauren Davish is a writer, singer/songwriter, yoga instructor, and voice coach. She received her MA in Creative Writing with a focus on creative nonfiction in 2019. Her favorite types of writing include blog posts and song lyrics.

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