While this generation of millennials seems to embrace only the latest technologies, they’re actually purists at heart, which is why vinyl records are making a comeback.
In 2018, approximately 16.8 million records were sold in the United States alone, a huge increase from the 900,000 sold in 2006 and the 3.9 million sold in 2011. In line with the surge of its popularity, eBay has listed approximately 2.3 million used records from American sellers while Discogs and Amazon have listed approximately 5.7 million and 900,000 respectively. Of course, this means that methods for how to ship vinyl records have been on the rise, too.
If you happen to be an online record seller, you know that after receiving your orders, you’ll have to get down to the real work - securely packing your shipments according to vinyl record sizes and mailing them to their recipients. But how do you do this while ensuring your records’ safety?
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How to Ship Vinyl Records
When you understand how to efficiently and safely ship your records, it significantly reduces the chances of having the records damaged or lost in transit. Here are some tips you should consider:
- Choose the Right Shipping Box: You already know the size of the records you are shipping to your customers and to be on the safe side, you should choose the right sized vinyl record shipping boxes, too. This will reduce any unnecessary space around the records and will reduce your costs
- Arrange Drop Offs and Pickups: To make things easier for yourself and your customers, you should arrange for your record shipping boxes to be dropped off or picked up at the closest designated locations of your courier service
- Get Them Insured: These records can be very valuable, especially rare releases or first editions. To be safe, you should take out insurance for your shipment. While many couriers offer insurance as part of their shipping services, Easyship also offers insurance up to $5,000, with claims dealt with quickly
- Track Your Order: The fact that the record has shipped does not mean that your work is done. If possible, track your order until you are sure it has been delivered to your customers
You should also take note that you can opt for custom-made boxes for your precious cargo. To a large extent, the use of custom-made boxes will protect your records from damage.
Which Couriers Can Ship Vinyls?
When it comes to shipping these records, you’ll find that there are plenty of courier services available. We’ve tracked down a few of the most popular:
USPS Media Mail is an affordable and convenient mailing service that is mostly used for shipping records around the world. The downside is that this is one of the longest courier delivery times.
This courier is capable of shipping your highly valuable records to your customers, and it offers insurance, which is why we consider this one of the best ways to ship records.
UPS has a good track record for local and international deliveries, and the courier’s services include insurance, tracking, and the timely arrival of orders. The only downside is that it is usually the most expensive option.
How Much Does it Cost to Ship Vinyls?
The cost of shipping your records is hard to pinpoint as many factors come into play in determining the cost of shipping these records. Some of these factors include:
- The courier service
- Cost of mailers
- Cost of padding materials
- Recipient’s location
- Quantity being shipped
- Type of insurance
As an example, the price for using USPS Media Mail starts at $2.63, and this has a weight limit of 70lbs. A 10lb shipment - approximately 15 records - could be around $7.
How Do You Safely Pack Vinyl Records?
Before you ship your records, they should be properly packed in order to improve the chances of these records reaching their destinations in good condition. Here are ways to safely pack your records:
- Remove vinyl from its jacket
- Carefully dust using a cleaning machine or your normal vinyl brush
- Put the records into protective plastic sleeves
- Place the sleeves in new cardboard record mailers
- Insert package stiffeners or fillers, including bubble wrap and cardboard
- Fold and tape the record mailer shut
- Attach shipping labels
When shipping vinyls, make sure to write the inscription “FRAGILE” on the sides of the boxes. This further improves the chances of the boxes being handled with care. You can also take a photo of the front and back of your package using your phone. You never know if you might need it - it could come in handy for disputes or insurance claims.
How Easyship Can Help
Considering the increasing popularity of these discs, it’s important that you have a reliable way to ship vinyl records to your customers. Easyship is here to connect you with a range of courier services that can offer solutions for shipping records. Sign up for a free account today.