One more time… LP mailers & corner protection [updated 24.03.2016]

Yeah, header says it all. This post (once again) will be about these LP mailers with “Buffer Zones”  and how marvellous corner protection solutions I have come across. For time to time it’s crucial to remind us all how important part secured shipping plays when talking about purchasing vinyl records (especially from abroad).

Let’s start with these awesome mailers I have seen used more and more nowadays. I have added some great examples here (note, mailers on these pictures are used). Feel free to add more examples on comment fields.

Updated on 24.03.2016, added some new mailers on this list

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Whiplash LP Mailer (one of the greatest..) and yeah, you can buy these! So sturdy that you can even use this again.

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Trouble In Mind Records is using this kind of variation… as great as that Whiplash LP Mailer.

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Different kind of solution with these “Buffer Zones” but seems to work pretty well. This one is from BagsUnlimited. Sturdy one.

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And here’s another. This is so-called “Frustration-free” mailer and for example Amazon is using these (like many other) and seems that these are not available for public, pity.

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These have been popping up lately (my latest purchase from Totem Cat Records came packaged in one of these). Brilliant mailer but I do not recommend using these again without little modification. Available from Planète Disque.

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And here’s a great example that Lil Packaging ALSO have mailers with these “Buffer Zones” not only those ones Juno is using (I wrote about that some time ago..). These are available from Lil Packaging.

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PG Plastique is offering mailers like this one.

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Progress Packaging have these awesome ones. Really like these ones. Page is in german though..

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MerchTable is using these…

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Amazon is selling these Pratt LP Mailers & Covers33 also have good ones available.

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All These mailers do just what those are designed to do, protect corners of your record’s cover.

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But that’s not all, look at these corner protectors I have been receiving along my orders, ain’t these brilliant or what!! For example Rise Above Records is using those ones on the third picture..

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Aren’t these awesome! Here’s some places you could check out these closer:

TOLGES (plastic)
PACKER (plastic)
RIVERSIDE PAPER CO. (carton)
AMAZON (carton)
and another from AMAZON

Blah Blah Blahhh.. about packaging vinyls etc.. once again

Got home from my short vacation and there was this packages waiting for me.

zoydArt Zoyd and latest repress of their awesome “Génération Sans Futur” on black vinyl. Nice experimental & avantgarde modern classical album and so on.. but I have something to say about packaging.. once again.

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Album came shrink-wrapped even though I asked to ship it record and cover separated, well it arrived without seam-splits and I was happy about that. Then I took a closer look and..

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one corner smashed..

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and another corner nicely smashed.. I do not know what to say anymore. It’s like fighting against windmills with these issues of lousy packaging. I do not even bother to complain about these damages anymore.. It won’t help. And I’m tired of reading mails of me being whining shithead because I just wanted to point out how important it is to use proper mailers or just secure those corners of the mailers or ship vinyls and covers separated etc.. fuck-hell-yeah, I’m that greedy/slimy one who is trying to take advance of your tiny business with pictures of free records in my mind.. blah blah blaah..

It’s sellers responsibility to provide best possible packaging for items they are selling and not to accuse customer being greedy/or something if they are not happy with ordered items arriving damaged. And it’s pointless to blame postal delivery for damages, because You all know that these REGULAR mailers are not secure enough!

Should I send my vinyl with these so-called “crucifix” mailers (extra stiffeners included)?

or with these ones?

or would it be better to use these mailers with “bumper” zones?

honestly.. and as a customer I’m ready to pay some extra for mailers like these.

“Please feel free to not order from us anymore!”

Short correspondence about tiny, tiny seam split on the cover of the purchased album.. and how it escalated to something else. Starting with my note to the seller when I purchased the album:

Could you please ship this record taken out of the cover just to avoid possible seam splits during transport and please secure the corners of the cover..

With this I obviously meant that I would like the album shipped record (in inner sleeve) separated from the cover. I got this mail from the seller:

Thanks for your inquiry about the shipping. We do not recommend to separate the record from the sleeve. The record is completely sealed with the plastic cover to keep the whole package safe. So please do not worry about the seam splits during the shipping.

If you still want us to unseal the record, please let us know.
Be aware that unsealed records can’t be returned.

Well, in this pont I made a big mistake and allowed them to ship this album the way they thought was best. Result can be seen on the picture below (album is still sealed in shrink wrap).

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I sent a picture and this note to them:

Well, here’s the reason (in the picture attached) why I asked to sent cover & vinyl separated. Seam split, on the top seam of the cover. Removing vinyl (in inner sleeve) from the cover prevents these things to happen :(

I should have kept my mind in this case but I trusted on You. My bad. Now I have to try to purchase this album somewhere else to get a pristine copy (without damaged cover)

Note that I did blame myself, not anyone else. Then I got the answer to my mail which was understanding and apologetic:

We are sorry to hear about the seam split.

We mostly get positive feedbacks from the people purchasing through our web shop. More than 99% of the orders we sent out arrive in perfect condition. And we could firmly say that we did our best to fix it as much as we could after receiving your email. But unfortunately, it must have been mistreated somewhere on the way to you. This seems like a very unlucky coincidence.

We are definitely aware of the possibilities of damage on records and therefore, a lot of time was spent on looking for the best LP mailers that protect the records as good as possible.

Again, we apologize for what has happened to you and we will continue to deliver the best quality of music.

I should have stopped here.. but I was stupid enough trying to explain what causes these splits on the cover. Seems that I was too offensive or something..

Hi!

There was nothing wrong with the mailer used (one of the best mailer type available). The problem is that the vinyl record itself is moving inside the cover during the transport causing these splits on the cover. That’s why I always ask to ship records & covers separated (trust on me with this one, I have ordered hundreds of records from overseas and I’m very aware what is causing seams to split). This is a good reminder that I should keep my mind.

For example, HR Records have this really nice announcement on their
webstore:

“NO SHIPPING OF SHRINK WRAPPED LPs!
All shrink wrapped LPs will be taken out of the foil and the record and the cover will be separated to avoid transport damages like seamsplits!”

Well, still my bad.

Then the tone of this conversation turned to this following & last message:

Hi,

obviously you are the only one here who has a problem with this. We get a lot of great feedback that the records arrived in perfect condition, even if the vinyl is shipped inside the cover. Also on your picture I can only see that the inside sleeve has a little split. So what do you want us to do? Ship the vinyl without any protection around, so that you can then complain that you have scratches on the record and can’t listen to it, because it was moving in the mailer?

Please feel free to not order from us anymore!

Yep, this was just what I was after.. & some seems to have X-ray vision because in the picture, album is still sealed and I can’t see if the inner sleeve has any splits (even thought I would care).. It was time to blow the whistle. I learned my lesson.

Still my bad but Thanks!

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Third time’s a charm.. and I’m not laughing

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This package is from UK. I picked this up from the Post office about an hour ago. As You can already see, there are some “minor” damages on the corners of the cover.. Mailman (in this case mailwoman) is not the one to blame. I made a deal (years ago)  with this lovely lady who delivers our mail, that she just leaves all packages like this on the Post office and I take care of picking those up. She surely knows that these are holding vinyl records just because we have had numerous conversation about my record collecting :D

Anyways, this is the third time that I have received a record (actually fourth time but that one came in PVC sleeve and had no cover issues) from this artist and let’s look these corners little closer..

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Only one corner out of four has no visible damages. And then we come to the record, actually to the cover. Oh, there were two carton stiffeners inside the mailer though..

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Some ding-bump-fold-bends.. This is the third time with this artist and usage of insufficient mailer (I just can’t understand why anyone bothers to use those, not proper for international shipping, or anything) and YES, I have contacted the artist about these same issues before. I just do not understand why I even bothered to purchase this latest.. I did not pay for this, and it does not warm my heart that my name is mentioned on the cover..

One thing is for sure, I won’t order anything from this artist anymore and now he’s free of one whining idiot. Cheers, keep on making awesome music but pay a little more attention on packaging these jewels because this I got here is not shining.

 

here we go again.. got quite expensive, quite limited album packaged like this (and packing & shipping cost me €15.50). Nice.

A picture paints a thousand words.

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If some one would like to know what is inside this “professional” mailer, just contact me and I’m happy to reveal that. It’s a pity because I really waited this to arrive. After seeing some pictures of already packaged albums on company’s facebook page last week.. I became very worried. Well..

Pizza delivery straight from Australia…

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Haa.. I got this pizza delivery today.. Actually I’m not smiling at all, more like speechless at this moment. Well.. pictures tell more than thousand words.

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Here we can see that this awesome pizza package has nicely bent…

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Oh, even without opening the box I can see what’s inside.. a record.

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And the record itself, placed on the flat surface. How nicely it is twisted.. but that’s not all..

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If I remember right, I asked if the album could be sent without shrink-wrap, vinyl taken out of the cover (in inner sleeve of course..). All this just to avoid possible seam splits.. like seen on the picture. Yes, it is still in shrink and unopened..

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Sorry Aussies, this seems to be very last time I will order vinyl records from Your beautiful country (this is not the first time I have received record, hmmm packaged like this one..). And no, I’m not going to contact seller/band, too long process for me. I just stay here and lick my wounds.

..Isn’t it amazing?

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Nice start for this week. Got this package from the States today. From following pictures you can see how it was packaged.. not good at all.

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Record was packed in envelope like this. By holding this on my hands I already knew that this one is not going to be in condition I though it was when I purchased this one.

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Yep, there was bubble-wrap, but no carton stiffeners etc. Not that bad-looking one but when looking little closer we can see the problem..

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Hmm.. there you are, nice collection of creases and some bends all over the cover but that’s not all. Best part is that the vinyl itself is twisted and there’s no way I’m going to place this record on my turntable, ever. Look at yourself.

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Record placed on the table and surely every one can see what I mean when I say that there’s something wrong about this vinyl. Oh, and I ordered clear vinyl and got black one.. maybe they should check what they are selling on BandCamp..

Isn’t it amazing..

 

One example of awesome packaging!

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Got that Luke Howard’s album today and it was packaged the way I like, the way I asked it to be packaged. Record was taken out of the cover, wrapped in bubble wrap, secured with carton stiffeners and packaged in mailer with lovely “bumper zones” (securing the corners of the cover). And the record, it turned out to be in perfect condition!

The main point is that this package came from Australia to Europe and the record was in perfect condition. What I’m trying to say here is that artists/record companies should take little more effort on packaging LP’s: rip those shrink wraps away (those causes only seam splits), take records out of the cover before sending (seam split issue once again) and use mailers with “bumper zones” (or secure those corners of the cover some other way, read: use your imagination). This may save you from everlasting harms of claims and returned records..

Of course there are those who want their records to be sealed, choice is yours. But keep in mind that You, as a customer, have a right to get what you have paid for in that condition it was when you ordered it. It’s sellers job to make that happen.

Fortunately I have seen more and more companies/artists using these secured mailers nowadays and I’m very glad about that. And those who read their emails..

Mailers with “bumper/buffer zones”:

Brookvale Records has awesome mailers: http://brookvalerecords.com/vinyl-shipping-boxes/

And here is one in UK: http://covers33.co.uk/index.php/record/record-mailers/reinforced-lp-mailer-suitable-for-box-sets

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And thanks to Luke Howard for this one, I really appreciate how well this was packaged and secured!

 

 

Another pile of records.. and damaged covers

Picked these form Post office earlier today. And once again I could see with my bare eyes that there is going to be records with damaged corners. I was not wrong (once again).

From this day on when I’m going to purchase any record I’ll do this:

 Contact the sellers and suggest that I’m ready to pay more if they can promise me that they do everything that the record will arrive secured. Ask them to add carton stiffeners, bubble wrap etc. And  I’m ready to pay extra if they decide to use those mailers with bumper zones (I know that those are expensive but I’m ready to pay that too). I’ll do all this even though it’s not my fault if record is packaged incompletely and arrive damaged.

Package 1.

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On the top of the pile we can see this big carton letter (these are usually used by British..). So let’s take a closer look of this one. First few pictures of the mailer (or can we even call it a mailer..)

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And as we can see, all corners has taken some damage during shipping.. And next we can see few pictures of the cover itself.

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Bends. In the other picture it is not as visible as the bend on first picture. These “mailers” are the worst anyone can use (I have seen Rocket Recordings using these and it’s interesting to see how damaged my upcoming Goat’s live album will be).  Not happy with this one.

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Package 2.

This came from The States. Holding this in my hands reveals that what ever this package is holding, it’s moving freely around the package.. So I expect that this item is not wrapped in bubble wrap etc.

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Let’s see some pictures of the mailer’s corners..

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Yep, doesn’t look very promising. The thing is that I paid quite lot of this (deluxe) item and it is already sold out. Let’s take a look what we got inside.

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Three of four corners ruined. And that is not all, a seam split..

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There was not any kind of carton stiffeners nor bubble wrap or anything to secure the album. JUST AN ALBUM IN THE BOX.. I’m seeing RED right now!!

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Package 3.

I’m so damn angry at this moment. But lets see the package number 3. and what it is holding in.

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From outside the package looks pretty fine. There is just one problem. The item inside the mailer is moving so I expect that there are no carton stiffeners etc.

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I was right with this one too. No carton stiffeners or bubble wrap of any kind. Amazingly just ONE corner of the cover has bump.. but sad to say, this is not enough.

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Package 4.

Let’s see the package number four, and in this point I have lost my hope with these totally.

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Quick look and it does not seem that bad but let’s take closer look..

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Three of four possible corners does not look fine to me anymore. Opened the package and no carton stiffeners but there was little piece of bubble wrap around the record.. and it is just amazing that only one corner has taken minimal damage, with this little bump I can live.

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Uuuuhhh.. This is what it seems to be nowadays. It seems that artists and companies, who are selling and shipping records to fans and customers, do not have respect towards their customers. Or is this just lack of common sense when it comes to shipping items around the world.

At least three out of these four companies/artists will have email from some angry customer within few days. I do not have to accept this.

And once again, feel free to comment if you like

Sincerely, MugWumb.

Here are related posts about this issue:

little post about vinyl mailers..

About packing vinyl records… part xxxxxx

more about packing vinyl records… part xxxxx2

pile of packages i picked up this morning..

Pile of packages I picked up this morning..

Here we are, with a pile of packages I picked up this morning from Post Office. Let’s go these trough one by one with pictures.

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Package 01

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This is that usual mailer most of the companies are using. With this case there are visible bumps in every corner of the package. I can also feel how record is moving freely inside the mailer. Few closer pictures of the mailer’s corner (actually pictures of every corner..)..

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Well, looking quite sad? Opened the package and no carton stiffeners nor bubble wrap. And the result can be seen below.. amazingly only one corner has taken damage..

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How can anyone assume that record packed like that reach the customer in proper condition? Those “Fragile” & “Do Not Bend” stickers can’t help if record is packed like this..

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Package 02

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And then we investigate package number 2. Little better looking package and I can say right away that there are carton stiffeners inside. But lets see closer pics of those corners.

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Not that bad but I got a feeling that it’s not enough. Well, stiffeners have been used but those corners.. see for your self..

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a bump.

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Package 03

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hmm.. picture tells more than thousand words. Packed in thin carton envelope and as we can see, there are visible bands on corners.. Few closer pictures follows..

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Can some one honestly say that this is proper packaging for LP records? And now some pictures of the record cover itself

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no-no.

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Package 04

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Looks pretty fine even though there is visible bend on top left corner of the package. But lets see some closer pictures.

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Actually there is just one bend.. hmm. And then the record..

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Only this minimal bump.. I can live with this one. Amazingly there was no major damages even though this was packed in these common mailers..

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Package 05

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Right away I can see that there are some kind of bumper zones in this package.. Let’s open the package.

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This is the way to do it! Bumper zones to protect the corners. Packaging done right with this one. But. This was purchase from Discogs and record/cover was grated (NM or M-).. well, cover is more like VG or VG+ to me..

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Yep.

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And the conclusion is that there was 1-2 records that came in acceptable condition. Some might say that I’m whining too much, but the THING is that I buy records and I assume that sellers pack those in proper way and customer gets what customer ordered. If it’s impossible task to provide buyer what buyer is expecting, then there should be a mention about that. For example, I do not want to pay full prize from the car that has scratch on the windshield. Frustrating.

You can follow my battle against windmills here

more about packing vinyl records… part xxxxx2

And here is another post about packing vinyl records more secure way.

With this case we need: packing tape, double-sided tape, carton stiffeners, some kind of knife (pink scissors can do), bubble wrap and two large pieces of carton. Oh and of course we need a plan!

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1) We have to plan the body of this mailer. And here are plans how to cut and fold those carton pieces:

The plan of smaller piece, let’s call it hmm.. a small piece :)

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and then we have to make a plan for a… big piece

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This may look little confusing but it will get clearer and clearer when we reach the end of this post.. I hope. But anyways, here are these carton models nicely cut and folded :)

small piece

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big piece

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2) Then we take this nice self titled album by Vixen and wrap it all over with bubble wrap.

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3) Place carton stiffeners on both sides of bubble wrapped album.

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and use tape to get the whole thing together

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4) Next part is to combine this nicely wrapped and secured “thing” with the small piece (that smaller carton piece). Just like shown in the picture.

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Place double-sided tape like shown in the picture below

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And now just fold and attach the small piece to your nicely wrapped vinyl..

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And now we have much nicer package.. but this is not done yet.

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5) Next part is to attach this nice little package to that bigger piece of carton we have cut and folded. Place double-sided tape as shown in the picture

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Then turn the whole thing around and attach it center of that bigger piece of carton (big piece).

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Then place more double-sided tape..

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fold and attach..

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And what we got here. We have created bumper zones to our package! You may ask what are these for? Well, these are created just to secure the corners of the vinyl album. As we all know, during shipping these precious items (vinyl records) without exception will be handled very roughly.

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6) Finally, use packaging tape and tape the whole thing together, for safety’s sake. Package might not be beauty but it surely will secure your vinyl better than some so-called “professional” mailers.

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Oh, then you can attach some nice “Thank You!” card inside the whole thing. Makes the shipment more personal :)

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And once again, this just one way to wrap your shipment together, little more secured. Feel free to comment.

-MugWumb-

About packing vinyl records… part xxxxxx

Here I’m going to show how you can, at least, pack records for shipping. I know that everyone has their own secret ways but this is minimum what you can do..

1) Well, here is what we need: mailer, packing tape, bubble wrap, carton stiffeners (carton, cut to size of the record but it’s better cut those cartons little bigger than the cover, choice is yours), some kind of paper knife (Rambo knife and scissors can also do that job) and little extra pieces (thicker the better) of carton for the corners of the record mailer..

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2) In this example I use brilliant album (latest) by Cloudkicker (do not worry, I’m not going to sell this one). Take the record out of the cover, this is just to prevent seam splits to form. What seam splits? Well, inside the cover, record use to move during shipping and when it bangs all over inside the cover, it usually split seams from inside. And if you have those blank inner sleeves to spare, use those if your record has printed inner sleeves (those are on the line also during shipment). Seam splits are big problem when record is sealed in shrink-wrap. In those cases, I usually politely ask seller to open shrink and send record and cover separated.

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3) Use bubble wrap (lots of it) and wrap it like hell around the record..

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4) Use carton stiffeners, place those on both side of the record (and use tape to wrap this whole thing together).

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5) And here is the mailer itself (use these regulars if you do not have already those with bumper zones.. I have mentioned about those earlier in my blog).

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6) And now we come to the most important part.. using these extra pieces of carton just to secure corners of the mailer (usually corners of the mailer take the most of the damage during shipping). Use packing tape (or glue) to attach these on the corners of the mailer.

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7) And here we are. At least you can do it like this, in my opinion. I do not say that this is the best way but this is one step closer to secured shipping of the vinyl record.

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And thanks, I hope that this is useful to some of you out there. Feel free to comment on this one.

-MugWumb-

Galactus says YES to Southern Lord Recordings!!

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“At first I was afraid, I was petrified..” Package looking like this came today. Big envelope and I was sure that whatever it was holding is in thousands of pieces..

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For my surprise, there was a record mailer inside of this big bubble wrap envelope..

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Inside the mailer I found a bubble wrapped vinyl record! No seam splits, dings, bumps, bends etc.. perfect condition!

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And this is the point when GALACTUS says YES!! Approved by Galactus and I have to thank Southern Lord Recordings for securing my order like this, Thanks!