Shipping Vinyl LP's

My brother-in-law is giving me 200 vinyl jazz albums from the 60's. The LP's are in Milwaukee and I'm in Los Angeles. Has anyone ever shipped a large quantity of vinyl before? I'm going to Milwaukee to pack them myself and to arrange shipping back here. Any help on this would be appreciated.


Make sure you pack them *really* well. When my wife moved here from CA, she used USPS to ship her LPs..they never got here. She used book boxes, and media mail. The box must have disintegrated..You may want to have many small packages, no more than 6-8 inches high, with the LPs flat. USPS will give you the best rates, however, if you use media mail.
Call Amtrack. Very reliable and cheap.
I shipped 200 Lps across the country twice in the same boxes via USPS media mail and they did arrive just fine.
I used thick imported wine boxes. Hard to come by I admit.
But as long as the boxes can be dropped 3 feet and survive completely intact, you are covered. If the box is so heavy/flimsy that it cannot pass such a test, you are asking for trouble.
The Amtrack advice may be the solution... never used them, but sounds worth a shot.
I mailed a bunch of LPs USPS to Hong Kong. I went to U-Hual and got the box that is just right for albums and the next size bigger (12x12x12 and 14x14x14 I think).

Put the albums in the small box and it in the larger with wadded up newspaper between to absorb some shock. Tape well. It worked great and all 500 arrived safely in about 12 boxes.
Hey Mitch,
Try going to your local pack and ship and getting 13x13x4
or 13x13x6 boxes. You want to use multiple boxes as they
will be smaller and lighter and less likely to be damaged.

Plus you want to pack your albums "tight" to help prevent any possable warping if they spend time in a hot truck,
warehouse,etc... Put your padding around the albums, not
between them.

USPS Priority insured would get them to you fast, if you
are going all that way to do this yourself why go slow mail
to get them home.

Too bad I dont live closer to you, you could borrow my VPI
to clean your new vinyl.

Use Fedex Ground and insure them for $2000 [so they won't screw around]. It will still be your cheapest and safest option. However, make sure you pack well.
I've used the U-Haul boxes sized 13x13x16 with great success. The trick is to cut up a second box such that it fits inside the first box and you end up with a double bottom that extends up the two 16" sides a few inches. It keeps the bottom from blowing out.

About 110 albums per box. Weighs in around 65 pounds. I've had good luck with USPS. Cost is about $25 with their Media Rate, but some of their counter help isn't aware of the rate or isn't aware that it applies to albums, but it specifically does.

Overinsuring does not get you better service!
NO handler or employee looks at the insurance on a package!!! It's just another box, period!
FedEx ground totally sucks... Do NOT send them via FedEx ground. (FedEx air is a different company, who bought some crummy ground service, and renamed it FedEx Ground.)
I think the dude telling you to use FedEx Ground is jealous of you luck with the Jazz LPS!!

With the addition of the LP's I'm getting from my brother-in-law, I will have approximately 900 LP's. I do plan to buy a first rate record cleaning machine one day. I'm going to Milwaukee to pick them up soon because my sister has threatened to throw them out if he doesn't get them out of her house soon. Admittedly, I just haven't had the time to seriously listen to my vinyl....I've played only about a dozen LP's a year for the past 10 years because of time constraints. BUT ONE DAY, when I do get the time to listen, I will be set...then I'll buy a record cleaning machine.

Thanks, to all of you for your tips. I think I will go with the 13 x 13 x 6 boxes and ship multiples of smaller boxes rather than bigger boxes.

Heck, Mitch, I'll be in MKE in three weeks. If your sister is going to throw them out, I'll save her the trouble!
Get 12.5x12.5x4.5 inch boxes. Each one of these boxes will fit about 15-22LPs depending on the thickness of the jacket, etc. There will be no excess space on any sides of the box. Then pack these smaller boxes in a larger box and you should be all set. I have shipped a number of LPs in this fashion and it works perfectly because they are not able to bounce around in the box at all.
Hey, I live an hour and a half's drive from Milwaukee. I'll take any LPs you don't want! ;)

Good advice above, though I really think you're best using ANY air service over ground service, and the faster you have them shipped (3-day, 2-day, etc.) they might have less chance of getting tossed around, and certainly will have less chance of sitting in hot areas for long periods. Warping really is a bummer! My only other advice is to stay as FAR away from UPS as possible! Those people are careless idiots, regardless of insurance, size, packing or value! Bad UPS, bad bad bad!

Otherwise, if you don't mind spending a little more on freight, I have had great success with Yellow Freight. Had them ship a very heavy, expensive audio mixing console from Boston. It showed up on its own anchored pallet in an otherwise empty truck without so much as a mark on it! Couldn't ask for any better...
Right on Mitch,

Mike shure to thank your sister for not throwing them out
when you get there, maybe a small gift? Becouse seriously,
receiveing that many lp's of good music is really quite a
treasure when you consider how much hunting it takes your
average listener to find just a few good record albums.

One more thing, when you do buy a cleaning machine, be shure to get one with a vacuum. Even if you have to spend
a little more than you planned, I have cleaned my share of
lp's and I think it would be nuts to not have it, it's a
HUGE help.

Happy Listening.

Mitch, you really need to heed the advice of Elizabeth and/or Herman above. You are simply begging for shipping damage and trouble with single boxing. You need to use a wooden crate or double cardboard boxing with at least 2 inches of firm insulation (available at Home Depot)on all 6 sides between the 2 boxes. Shipping insurance will not pay unless you pack properly according to their published guidelines. Good luck.

I intend to test market some "gorilla-proof" wooden audio shipping crates on Audiogon in the near future. I have already built 4 units and I am simply waiting on my professional photographer before I advertise on Audiogon. Let me know if you are interested.

I could ship a deluxe reusable crate (that will hold all 200-plus albums) direct to your sister in Milwaukee for a very reasonable price. The top is hinged with a hasp lock...your brother-in-law could pack it with little effort and save you the trip to Milwaukee. You and your sister would simply have to make plans to have the crate shipped out of Milwaukee. UPS and FedEx drive me crazy, but I think they could be trusted to deliver your albums safely in this quality glued and screwed crate.

I think it costs about $50 to ship an empty crate from coast to coast and just a little over $100 when loaded up to 150 pounds via FedEx. This could be a very cost effective solution for you.

Additionally, you would own a reusable safe crate for future audio sales and purchases. This crate is ideal for preamps or CDP's with its internal dimensions of 30"L by 30"W by 14"H They are even somewhat attractive with a walnut polyurethane finish or clear oiled finish. I am currently using one as my coffee table.

I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide.

Dan Lay

I'm interested in your crates...send me some photos at:


Mitch, I hope to get pictures to you no later than this coming Sunday. I also hope to have an ad up and running on AudiogoN by Sunday for everyone to see.

I encourage AudiogoN members to copy my design for their own personal use for free. Details are forthcoming. Of course, I will be happy to make them for members who are too busy for DIY, at a fair price.

Hello Mitch. Photos were taken Sunday and will be emailed to you sometime Monday, barring any additional unforeseen crisis. My beloved big brother had a stroke. We got him to the emergency room Friday morning, and I have been a basket case ever since. All prayers are appreciated, as he may not fully recover, nor even survive.

I'm confident you will be impressed with the shipping crate photos and YOUR price of only $199 delivered via FedEx or UPS ground (2 or 3 days to Milwaukee). I have deliberately over-designed the crates for the safe shipment of expensive high-end audio gear. They will retail locally for $299 for the safest possible shipment of valuables, such as antiques and original artworks.

I will post ads on A'gon and share my design specs with the DIY'ers when time permits. Everyone, please pray for my dear brother "Johnny." Thank you.

Dan Lay
Mitch, I hope you like the photos I emailed to you Monday. I have decided to market the crates as a complete shipping kit including the Home Depot dense pink foam insulation inside and a locking nylon strap to insure the top stays closed tightly. But...I am intensely busy right now and don't know when I will get the ads on Audiogon. Please post the pictures here if you like; I do not know how to post photos yet.

You are certainly not going to hurt my feelings if you choose to go with double cardboard boxing, with at least a couple inches of foam between the boxes. You can save a lot of money with the USPS media rate, as others have mentioned above.

I highly recommend that you and everybody read Lester_ears thread entitled "A Packing and Shipping Manifesto." I consider it to be the most informed and intelligent thread I have ever read on the subject. Been there, done that, seen it all at GE Aircraft Engines.

Dan Lay
Dan, I never got your photos. Did you send them to as I requested? If you sent them to the address listed on Audiogon, I won't be able to retrieve them until the weekend.
Mitch, I'm glad you finally received the photos, and I'm sorry about my email error.

I agree...the crates are not the answer in your situation. Hopefully, they are just the ticket for the A'goners who do a lot of buying and selling of expensive audio and do not have time to bother with insurance claims.

Dan,...the photos of the crates certainly are worthy of your "gorilla proof" and 'over-built' descriptions. For me a shipping crate has to be disposable...since this would be a one shot deal for me. Considering the price of your item, it seems more than likely.....I'd go with the double-boxed cardboard. Your box would make more sense for me if I auditioned or bought and sold a lot of this time, I do not. From reading a lot of the posts on Audiogon from the guys that buy and sell often...your crate is just what the doctor ordered.

You might want to consider hinging all sides of the box so that when not in use, it could be broken down flat.
In my experience, anything heavy and fragile that could be damaged, trucking is the best (bax global) Trucking guys are kind of professional movers, they know how to lift and place correctly. I got my full range ribbons from Denver to Newfoundland,Canada (combined weight of $155 lb) and it arrived here standing upright in perfect condition.

The shipper recommended, I have never heard of them before.
Good luck