Learn how to pack vinyl properly using this guide from ParcelHero.
A few years ago, vinyl was in the graveyard, mortally wounded by the advent of first, the CD and then the arrival of iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and their friends. To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, to the extent that today vinyl sales are soaring.
A rare original LP can be worth a lot of money, and its cover condition is a key element of its value. If it’s a new album, arriving dented or torn is unacceptable and if you are a vinyl seller, your customers will expect what they buy to be as you have described.
I buy a lot of vinyl from Amazon and have yet to have something arrive damaged. True, more trees than are necessary get to die while Amazon over packages in a robust corrugated LP mailer, encased in insulating paper and enclosed in a strong box. Surprisingly many established online secondhand vinyl stores and individual sellers still don’t always package their vinyl well – whether you are a retailer or sending vinyl this Christmas, here are some great ParcelHero tips for keeping your vinyl fresh in transit. Don’t just stick albums in an envelope, scrawl ‘fragile’ on it and hope for the best.
Read the guide below:
1. Use proper packing materials
LP covers are prone to tears and denting so it’s important with any parcel that you use the correct packaging materials and good quality, robust LP mailers are pretty cheap (about 30p a pop) or alternatively you can construct things yourself with good cardboard and strong parcel tape. Even better, if you purchase vinyl from the likes of Amazon – reuse the packaging and do the environment a favour.
2. Take the record out of the sleeve
If you leave the record inside the outer sleeve, you’re inviting damage (records have sharp edges) so remove the disc, avoiding touching the actual grooves, and lay the disc on top of its inner sleeve and place the outercover above it – a protective sandwich.
3. Extra protection
Before you place your sandwich into your outer packaging ready for your courier or the Post Office, add extra inserts or protective materials. You can either use LP-sized cardboard cut outs or bubble wrap. I prefer the former as it reinforces protection for the corners, the easiest part of your LP cover to be damaged in transit. If you are using bubble warp, simply cut out two 12.5 inch squares
Basically you are turning your sandwich into a double sandwich.
4. Place in the mailer
The next step is to secure the sleeved LP sandwich in your outer packaging. The key here is to avoid the record moving around in transit. If you are sending more than one record, trial and error will quickly give you a sense of how many you can pack without over-cramping or damaging your items at source.
5. Sealing Your Package
Once you have folded the flaps of your mailer to enclose the ‘sandwiched’ contents, it is important to seal the whole package up correctly. Make sure the flaps are correctly aligned and most importantly check the corners. Once you are happy everything is lined up, seal everything with packaging tape, giving extra attention to the main flap and the corner joints. Make sure the joints have enough tape to hold them securely closed, and run tape in both directions across the box and joints.
6. Label Your Package Correctly
The last thing you want is after all that great packing, is to hit fail on labeling. ParcelHero recommends that you:
- Remove all existing labels and cover any old barcodes (if you are using a second hand box)
- Use a single address label with delivery and return information.
- Place a duplicate address label inside the package.
If you’re located in the UK, send it with ParcelHero!
You need a reliable, responsible courier, especially if you are sending a valuable LP. ParcelHero only works with top-line international carriers and we doubt you want that original copy of Dark Side of The Moon left behind the bin! For more on how to package parcels please see ParcelHero’s labelling and packaging guidelines: