Are Vinyl Records Media Mail? - Vita Audio

Are Vinyl Records Media Mail?

Vinyl records are a great way to enjoy music, but they also come with some unique challenges. Are they eligible for media mail?

Vinyl records are a type of record that uses a plastic disc instead of a metal needle. They were originally created in the 1950s and became very popular in the 1960s. Today, vinyl records are still being produced, but their popularity has declined over time.

Are Vinyl Records Media Mail

Media mail is a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Media mail allows customers to send items weighing less than 13 ounces through the mail without paying extra postage.

Items such as books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and other audio or video recordings qualify for media mail. The USPS charges a flat rate based on weight and size for each piece of media mail sent.

Guide To Shipping Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are back! Even though, this generation of millennials appears to only be interested in the latest technology, they’re actually collectors when it comes to music.

They love old-fashioned vinyl records because they feel nostalgic about the past.

With 16.8 million records sold in 2018 alone, there’s an increased demand for shipping methods. eBay lists 2.3 million used vinyl records, while Discogs and Amazon list 5.7 million and 990,000 respectively.

That means that people are selling their old vinyl records online, and we need safe ways to ship them. Vinyl record sellers need to pack their shipments securely. They also need to ensure that the shipment reaches the recipient safely.

How Do I Ship My Vinyl Records?

There are many ways to ship your vinyl records. You can use an online shipping company like FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another similar business.

You can also take them to a local post office or dropbox location. If you choose this option, make sure that you have enough time to wait for the package to arrive at its destination.

Vinyl records are fragile items that need to be shipped carefully. To protect your records, you should use the right-sized shipping box. If you do this, you’ll save money by reducing the amount of space used up by the records.

Arrange Drop-Offs and Picks ups: To make things easier, drop-off/pick-up locations should be arranged by your courier company. For example, if you’re sending a package to Singapore, you’d better drop it off at the nearest post office.

Track Your Order: Once your package has shipped, you need to check whether it arrived safely. This is especially important when there is an urgent delivery involved.

In this case, you should contact your courier company as soon as possible. Custom-made boxes may help protect your shipment from damages.

What Happens If My Vinyl Records Get Damaged During Shipment?

If your vinyl records are damaged while in transit, it may be difficult to determine where the damage occurred. It’s best to contact the shipping company directly to find out what happened.

If the damage was caused by the postal service, it will likely cost more money to replace the records.

Can I Ship My Vinyl Records Using Media Mail?

Yes! If you want to use media mail, you must first register with the USPS website. Once registered, you can create a label with information about your item(s) and add a tracking number.

After creating your label, you can print it out and attach it to your package. Your item should weigh under 13 ounces when shipped.

Are Vinyl Records Media Mail?

Vinyl records are shipped by the US Postal Service (USPS) via Media Mail. This service costs more than other services, but it offers better protection for your records.

You’ll need to make sure you have enough time to wait for your package to arrive. Your records should be wrapped well and packed carefully to avoid damage during shipment. If your records are damaged, you can file a claim with USPS.

You might also want to consider buying insurance if you think your records could get lost or stolen while in transit.

Media mail is an appropriate method of shipping vinyl records. This includes the included script and instructions for mailing. The question remains if this is the best method of shipping.

How USPS Classifies Vinyl Records

You can ship your records by Media Mail if they fit within the size limits listed on the USPS website. Be careful when mailing your records because they may be inspected. Bring packing tape with you to seal your package.

Sound recording media is eligible for Media Mail shipping rates. You should know that there are certain things you can and cannot ship using Media Mail.

Your record must be sealed in an envelope, and it must contain a label listing the name of the artist and the title of the record.

You must also include a cover letter stating what type of record it is (i.e., LP, CD, etc.) and who the recipient is.

They are not doing this to upset you or make you feel like your parcel is dangerous etc., they are doing it as a protocol which is the standard for something so precious, records. 

Also, if you want to send more than one copy of the same record, you need to put them into separate envelopes. Your maximum weight limit is 70 lbs.

You can ship up to 10 records in a single Media Mail package. You can add as many additional records as you want in separate Media Mail packages.

Media Mail packages must be sent to an address. If your package gets returned because of overage charges, you’ll need to pay the extra postage.

Are LP Mailers A Must If You Ship Records Through The Mail?

What Happens If My Vinyl Records Get Damaged During Shipment

Vinyl records are fragile items, and they need to be protected when being mailed. A professional LP mailer is recommended by the USPS.

Vinyl mailers are absolutely necessary when shipping records. They make sure that the records arrive safely and intact. The quality of these mailers is very high, so you know you can trust them!

It’s also always best to ensure the condition of your records is kept up to standard using these mail services because they can break very easily due to their fragility. 

Why Ship Your Records Using USPS Media Mail?

Vinyl records can be shipped by mail without any problems. You can send them by Media Mail or Priority Mail. Shipping costs are low, but there are certain restrictions.

You need to order your record before the deadline. You must pay attention to the size of the package, and you can check the status of the shipment online.

There are many pros and cons to using media mail in this way, and we’ll get into them below!

Pros and Cons of Shipping Your Records Using Media Mail

Pros:

  • Reduced Shipping rates
  • Free Tracking Number
  • Insured for you
  • There are many packaging options

Cons:

  • Slow delivery, being between 2 and 8 days
  • There are package inspections
  • Currently, no advertising enabled in your box
  • They are low priority
  • You cannot increase the shipping speed by the upgrade

Current Media Mail Shipping Rates

Depending on the size of the parcel and the weight, the price points may alter accordingly. Roughly, according to the official price chart by USPS.com, the difference n price for each pound in added extra weight differs by an added 53 cents.

So, the weight of a 2-pound parcel would be $3.33 and a 3-pound parcel would be $3.65. And so on. Until you get to the highest weight they will cover, which is 70, coming in at $40.00. 

Steps For Using Media Mail With Your Records

Packaged vinyl records should be sealed before being mailed. You should write your address on the package. Leave the package unsealed if you want the post office to check the contents.

Media Mail packages should be sealed before delivery. Ask for a tracking number when you receive the package.

If you ensure to already have the address written or taped to the package beforehand, this will not only save time but also be more convenient for you and the person taking your package from you. 

Do make sure to let them know you’re using Media Mail so that they can inspect the contents of your package for you, and depending on the post office, the person serving you may just blow over this step and ask you to just seal the package off.

How To Buy Or Make Your Own Stiffener Pads

Vinyl records should always include at least one stiffener inside the box. This can many a time really be the difference between a ruined and cracked record, and a record in perfect condition.

So, don’t let the reason your records don’t make it be down to the lack of stiffener pads or packaging protection.

We’ve had cases where many sellers ship to us with no added stiffeners. And, unfortunately, every time the record has been completely tarnished or broken, it’s usually because when it was shipped, it was sent without any stiffeners.

When using USPS, the majority of the time, the records make it to the buyer unharmed and within the condition that they were before being sent.

Best Vinyl Record Packaging for Media Mail

There are absolutely a huge amount of methods and options when it comes to packing your vinyl records to then send them via Media Mail.

This ends up resulting in this shipping method becoming rather appealing compared to other methods, like Flat Rate, that require the size and shape of the package to be specific.

Some senders actually like to use the USPS Priority Box under the numbers 2DPCON-13-B-0018, which comes in at 12.25 x 2.875 x 13.375 inches when assembled.

However, if you fold the box instead of assembling it, then the record is reported to be able to fit much better.

If possible, we wouldn’t really recommend or condone this, as it is a priority-based box and should be labeled as fragile for the media mail shipments and deliveries system.

If you do not mark this as fragile, there’s an increased likelihood that the record or records will be damaged or at least the jacket and sleeve will be ruined or damaged beyond repair.

We recommend using vinyl records instead of CDs because they last longer and sound better. Vinyl records also protect your albums and jackets from damage during shipping. You should use a sturdy box when shipping your records.

If you’re looking to send off one album in the standard-sized box, you can obtain some sort of cardboard pieces that can be cut to size and sandwiched between the album inside the box. This adds an extra layer of protection.

Do ensure to secure tape around this cardboard when placing it inside your parcel, as it also gives extra protection which you wouldn’t get elsewhere when sending vinyl records.

Do remember that the post office you go to may still want to inspect the parcel’s contents, so don’t seal it completely until this has been carried out. 

Are Vinyl Records Media Mail? A Final Conclusion

Overall, based on the contents of this article and our independent research, we believe vinyl records to indeed be Media mail.

This is the most viable method for shipping vinyl records, as it protects their warranty and overall condition better than other options out there.

There may be some issues throughout, however, there can be issues with most postal service options when it comes to records, so you may as well be using the most appropriate place to protect your parcel.

The worst-case scenario is likely to look like the server at the post office disagrees with you, so, to solve this, simply show yourself the link to the USPS website which can state otherwise.

Or you can simply upgrade to priority because the same package size applies with only a small increase in the overall cost. Roughly being 53 cents. 

Overall, we think that vinyl records are Media mail, and you should be taking greater priority over the condition that your records are sent in, rather than the cheapest option to send them.

Records are one of those things that you cannot skip out on with the quality of the packaging and shipping because they will break very easily.

Jacob Stable
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