Collecting records is, for most, a highly enjoyable hobby. 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, and 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.
Don’t just stick albums in an envelope, scrawl ‘fragile’ on it and hope for the best. Us
e proper packaging 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.

•    Take out 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. This is a general guideline but there are exceptions. Vintage vinyl has vintage sleeves and quite a few covers have adhesive or sellotape residues on the covers. The result of sleeve fixes, especially on ‘60s vinyl. You won’t want any residue or any old gunk against bare vinyl, so in this case, keep the actual record in its inner sleeve.

•    Extra packaging - 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 wrap, simply cut out two 12.5 inch squares. Basically you are turning your sandwich into a double sandwich.

•    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.

•    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. No matter what kind of outer packaging you are using, 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 joins have enough tape to hold them securely closed, and run tape in both directions across the box and joints.

•    Label your package correctly - The last thing you want is after all that great packing, is to hit fail on labelling. ParcelHero recommends that you:
a.    Remove all existing labels and cover any old barcodes (if you are using a second hand box)
b.    Use a single address label with delivery and return information.
c.    Place a duplicate address label inside the package.


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