Record Store Day Sale! 10% Off All Sleeves and LP Mailers!

Vinyl records have resurged in popularity over the last few years, becoming cherished items for collectors and music enthusiasts alike. Whether you're a seller on platforms like eBay or Discogs or simply looking to send a thoughtful gift to a friend, finding the cheapest way to mail vinyl records can save you money and ensure your precious cargo arrives safely. This guide will walk you through the most cost-effective methods to ship vinyl records without compromising their protection.

Understanding Shipping Costs

Before diving into the specifics, it's essential to understand that shipping costs are determined by several factors: weight, dimensions, distance, and the speed of delivery. Vinyl records, due to their size and need for protection, can be slightly more expensive to ship than other items. However, with a strategic approach, you can minimize these costs.

Packaging Is Key

The first step in cost-effective shipping is proper packaging. A well-packaged record reduces the risk of damage and can also cut down on shipping costs by avoiding unnecessary bulk and weight.

Inner Sleeves and Outer Jackets: Ensure the record is placed in a protective inner sleeve and original outer jacket. This provides the first layer of defense against scratches and dust.

Cardboard Mailers: Invest in cardboard mailers specifically designed for vinyl records. These are typically 12.75" x 12.75" and provide a snug fit for one LP or a few singles. Consider using a more oversized mailer or box for multiple records, but be mindful of the weight.

Stiffeners: Adding one or two cardboard stiffeners around the record can prevent bending. These are extra pieces of cardboard that match the size of the LP Mailer.

Bubble Wrap: For added protection, especially for international shipments or rare items, wrap the sleeved record in bubble wrap before placing it in the mailer.

Sealing: Tape the edges of the mailer securely. Clear packing tape is recommended for a firm hold.

Choosing the Right Carrier

The choice of carrier can significantly impact the cost of shipping. USPS, UPS, and FedEx are the primary options in the United States, each with its own set of rates and services.

USPS Media Mail: USPS Media Mail is often the cheapest option for domestic shipments. It's specifically designed for shipping educational materials, including vinyl records. However, it's slower than other services, taking 2-8 days for delivery.

USPS First Class Package: For packages under 1 lb (which covers most single LP shipments), First Class Package is an affordable and relatively quick option.

Consolidated Shipping Services: Consider using consolidated shipping services for heavier shipments or international destinations. These services negotiate rates with carriers and pass the savings on to you. They can offer significant discounts for FedEx and UPS, especially for international shipments.

Tips for Saving Money

Buy Packaging in Bulk: If you ship records regularly, buying LP Mailers, stiffeners, and bubble wrap in bulk can significantly reduce your per-shipment cost.

Print Labels at Home: Printing your shipping labels home can save you money and time. Online postage services often offer discounts compared to in-store prices.

Compare Rates: Always compare shipping rates between carriers for each shipment, especially for international shipping. Rates can vary widely based on the destination and package size.

Customs and Duties: Be aware of customs and duties that may affect the cost of international shipments. Accurately declaring the value and contents of your package can prevent unexpected fees.

Insurance: Consider whether you need insurance based on the record's value. Some carriers include basic insurance up to a specific value in their service, but additional insurance may be worth the cost for more valuable items.


Shipping vinyl records doesn't have to break the bank. By focusing on proper packaging and choosing the suitable carrier and service based on your shipment's specific needs, you can ensure your records arrive safely without overspending. Remember, the cheapest option may only sometimes be the best, especially when shipping rare or valuable items. Balancing cost with the level of protection and speed of delivery will ensure your records reach their destination in the same condition they left.

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