How to Ship Multiple Vinyl Records Safely and Easily

How to ship multiple records safely without damage
This photo was taken by Michael for Devoted to Vinyl

Are you interested in learning how to ship multiple vinyl records safely and with ease from one side of the country to another?  Whether you need to ship a couple records, dozens of records, or even hundreds of records, this article will explain how you can securely pack and ship your vinyl (while also saving some money in the process).

How to Ship Multiple Records Easily (TLDR)

This photo was taken by Michael for Devoted to Vinyl

Here’s the cliff notes version of this article: you can easily ship vinyl records in the mail using vinyl record mailers.  Record mailers are foldable cardboard boxes that are just slightly large enough to fit your record(s).  To save money, I highly suggest buying them in bulk.

When you’re ready to ship your record, take the vinyl out of the jacket.  Place the record behind the vinyl jacket. Ideally, place both the record and the jacket inside a cheap plastic outer sleeve for protection.  Then, carefully place the record and vinyl jacket inside the record mailer.  For extra protection, you can put a little bit of bubble wrap inside, or simply use corrugated pads (which can be purchased in bulk too).

Next, close and tape shut the record mailer.  When you ship it off, I recommend USPS for the cheapest shipping rate, especially if you ship your record(s) via Media Mail.

What Supplies Do I Need?

Before we dive right in, let’s make sure you have the right supplies on hand. You’ll need sturdy vinyl record mailers or boxes, some bubble wrap or mailer pads, some packing tape, and shipping labels.  The shipping labels are easy—in fact, I often just take the recipients name and address, throw it into a Word processor like Microsoft Word or Pages and the print it out—takes 1 minute.  

Conversely, you can hand write the shipping label (or the recipients address), but I personally like to type it into the computer and print it out so that there can never be any confusion that the shipping carrier or mailman couldn’t comprehend my handwriting.

Where to Buy Vinyl Record Mailers or Shipping Boxes

There are a few places where you can buy record mailers:

  • Amazon
  • Bags Unlimited
  • Sleeve City

All three places allow you to buy record mailers and boxes in bulk.  For example, at Sleeve City, you can buy ten Ultimate LP Record Mailers (which hold anywhere from 1 to 3 records, depending on their size) for $15.00 (plus shipping).  

On top of that, you can also purchase what are referred to as “Record Pads.”  These are 13” corrugated pads that ideally slide in on each side of your album inside the mailer.  

These are great, because not only do they provide a bit more protection if your record falls victim to a heavy box being thrown on top of it, but these pads take most of the damage if (for example) your recipient were to take a knife and carelessly cut open the box.  Instead go the album jacket being sliced up, only the corrugated pad would get damaged.

Packing Vinyl Records Properly

Alright, how about we get started here?  First, if you’re shipping a record inside an outer sleeve, take it out of the sleeve right now.  Next, grab the record itself (which should be inside some kind of inner sleeve) and place it behind the album jacket.

Next, place both the album jacket and record inside the outer record sleeve.  So now, the front of the album should show on one side, and behind it should show the vinyl record on the back.  

This photo was taken by Michael for Devoted to Vinyl

We do this for a couple reasons.  One, to ensure we get the best fit possible in the box.  And two, because having your record pressed firmly against an album jacket can cause unwanted vinyl ring wear.

Next, take your foldable record mailer and lay it flat.  In the middle square, place your a record mailer pad (if you have one).  If not, simply put the album (inside of the record sleeve) into the mailer.  After that, place down another record mailer pad (if you have it).  If not, a small layer of bubble wrap will be just fine.

Next, fold the top and bottom ends down onto the record.  Next, fold the left and right sides down onto the record.  Now, it’s all boxed up, and all you need to do is grab the packing tape and tape the box.

After that, grab your printed (or written) shipping label and tape it to the box.  One thing I love to do is fully tape the entire label with packing tape—don’t leave any paper exposed.  I intentionally do this, because if your package is being delivered during a day when it rains, this method will prevent your shipping label from being damaged or becoming unreadable before it can be delivered.  

How to Ship Vinyl Records in the Mail

This photo was taken by Michael for Devoted to Vinyl

Now, of course, you need to find a good way to send your records to your recipient.  And as you know, there are many options to choose from (such as USPS, Fed Ex, UPS, and more).

Well, in my opinion, I most recommend you ship vinyl records via USPS.  It’s going to provide you with the absolute cheapest shipping option.  While FedEx and UPS and even DHL are ideal for big, heavy boxes, USPS is perfect for shipping one or two or even a small handful of records.

Vinyl Record Shipping Costs

The cheapest way to ship vinyl records is via Media Mail at the Post Office.  Media Mail prices start at $3.65.  As such, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $8.00 to $20.00 to ship out one to five vinyl records at one time.

What Is Media Mail?

Media Mail is an affordable way to send media (and educational materials) through the mail.  While vinyl records are not specifically mentioned on the list of items you can send, they often fall within the umbrella of items that can be sent (along with the following):

  • Books
  • Printed Music
  • Video and Sound Recordings
  • Computer-readable Media

Media Mail usually takes about 2-8 business days—but could take longer, so be aware of that.  The maximum weight for a box shipped via Media Mail is 70 lbs.

If you can’t ship Media Mail, you can always ship your records via Priority Mail. The good news is that it will get to the recipient much faster than Media Mail. The downside is that it’s going to cost you more money. Below, check out a video where you can learn how to ship vinyl records via Priority Mail (and inside of a box that is actually not explicitly made to ship records):

How to Ship Multiple Vinyl Records in One Box

If you are planning to ship multiple records in one box (anywhere from 10 to 20 records), I recommend you buy a large record mailer.  It should be 3” deep, and if its 13” x 13,” it should be able to fit almost twenty LPs (depending on how big the record jackets are).

Wrapping It Up

Well that’s about it—now you know how to ship multiple vinyl records inside of a record mailer or record box.  It may seem a bit complicated on the surface, but once you do it the first time, it soon becomes a piece of cake!

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