Records are valuable things. Whether you have your hands on an all-time classic or you enjoy listening to the latest music on a classic medium, there’s nothing else quite like a record.
That’s exactly why people collect and trade records, and through that process, the records often need to be shipped. If you’re not already deeply familiar with record shipping, you’ll want to know a few things. Clearly, records can break, and you don’t want that to happen. Follow the three steps below, and you’ll be just fine.
Start With LP Mailers
Do you know where to buy record mailers? We actually make and sell them, and they are specialized packaging that really does help protect your LPs.
The record mailers are made to the exact dimensions needed to snuggly fit a record. They’re also lined with cushioning material that helps protect the record while it is on the road.
If you’re mailing a single record, an LP mailer is your best friend. Even if you need to mail an entire stack of records, each should get its own mailer. That’s the best way to protect these sometimes-fragile treasures of history.
Get an Appropriately Sized Box
If you’re mailing more than one LP, you definitely need to put them all in a box.
Sizing the box is the most important part. If the box is too small, your LPs won’t fit. It’s an obvious problem with an obvious solution.
If the box is too big, the records might slide around inside and wind up damaged. You want a box that fits exactly to the size of the shipment.
Use Lots of Packing Foam
First off, you want the records to fit tightly into the box. Any room that allows them to shift is a liability, as anything that can shift inside of a box will. That’s how records get damaged, and you clearly don’t want that.
You can get entire packaging foam rolls so that you can pack the box as tightly as needed. This eliminates one of the biggest threats to your records right away.
But there’s more to the story.
You might not think about it much, but LPs are pretty sensitive to extreme temperature changes. If they get caught in a winter storm or a summer heat wave, the temperatures can be enough to cause a record to crack.
How do you deal with that?
Packing foam once again provides an answer. It’s actually a great insulator, so when you liberally pack the box with foam to keep things from sliding, you’re also filling it with insulating material that will help keep internal temperatures stable.
If you happen to know that your records are going to face extreme weather, wrap each one individually in foam before putting it in the mailer. Doing that in addition to packing the box will create multiple layers of insulation that should prevent the worst temperature extremes from reaching your records.
Of course, if a record is valuable enough, you can arrange for temperature-controlled shipping. It’s the safest bet to manage heat and protect an LP.