Whether you run a record store or just know an avid collector, sometimes it’s important to ship records across distances. The trick is that records are notoriously fragile, and you want to be sure that they survive the trip.
The key to survival is to use LP mailers. They protect the records and make shipping easy. Of course, these products often come with questions, so you’ll find a few common questions and answers below.
What Are LP Mailers Made Of?
Typically, the mailers are made out of corrugated cardboard. At Cutting Edge Packaging Products, we make them specifically from 32 ECT corrugated cardboard. This designation ensures that they have the durability and integrity necessary for shipping. Yet, the cardboard is not hard enough to scratch the records, making them a very safe option.
It is possible to find record mailers crafted with different types of cardboard. Far less common, you can also find mailers that are made from bubble-wrapped or otherwise protected envelopes.
Can You Reuse Record Mailers?
The short answer is sometimes. If you look over the used mailer, you can see whether or not there are any obvious signs of damage. If it looks to be in great condition, then it’s ok to reuse them. In fact, it’s not an uncommon practice in the record industry.
However, any visible signs of damage to the mailers should convince you to go with a new mailer. You can get them in bulk, which keeps the price down and makes it easier to justify replacing a damaged mailer.
Damaged mailers cannot reliably protect your records, so avoid them.
Is Just the Mailer Enough to Keep Records Safe?
While the mailer does the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting your records, they don’t really get the job done completely alone.
For starters, it’s important to individually wrap each record that goes into the mailer. You can use record sleeves for this — they’re great at it. You can use other safe packing products when a record sleeve isn’t available.
More to the point, even with your records individually wrapped, you want protective materials and spacers in the mailer to ensure the records can’t slide or shift during shipping. Any possible movement can lead to record damage, even when you use the right shipping materials.
The crux of the whole thing is that the mailers are designed to hold a range of records. If you’re on the low end of that range, the records will slide freely, so you need to pack them tight to prevent it.
Standard packaging foam rolls are sufficient in this endeavor. Simply use the foam to secure the records inside the mailer, and you’ll be fine.
Where to Buy Record Mailers?
There are a number of places where you can find record mailers. Those include packaging stores, shipping stores, big box retailers, and countless online retailers.
That said, you want reliable, quality record mailers — since you’re protecting important items. If you want to be sure of the quality of your mailers, then you should stick with a trusted brand. You can purchase record mailers and other important shipping products directly from Cutting Edge Packaging Products.