I’m not usually one for lists, but it’s been such an amazing year for Vinyl Mailers.
Here we go.
[DNQ] (Did not qualify). Jiffy Bag.
Yes, I received a 2LP in a Jiffy Bag this year (or it might’ve been last year sorry for bending the rules). And no it wasn’t from a random Discogs/Ebay seller doing it for the first time, it was from a reputable label in France. No stiffeners, nothing. It happened. France to USA in a Jiffy Bag. Not even a personal note with a happy face included.
Pros: Easy to spot on your porch. Fun popping bubbles after crying. Ripe for memes.
Cons: Zero protection.
[DNQ] (Did not qualify). BAGS UNLIMITED LP FOLDER / (OR ULINE EASY FOLD) Available here.
Firstly, just don’t. This makes the list because I see so many people using them. There’s ZERO corner protection. Unless you’re willing to wrap the hell out of a record or include actual plastic corner protectors yourself (I’ve seen it done). You’ll be better sending your records into a washing machine — you’ll save on the postage and emails at least, and it will probably sound better after.
Pros: Disguised as a good mailer for amateurs which makes you feel happy about your purchase because someone on a Discogs forum recommended it.
Cons: as above.
4. MIGHTY MUSIC MAILERS Available here
These are very similar to #3, so sliding in at #4, but from my experience, I’ve found them to be weaker than #3. In a similar construct to #3, they have a corner/safety zone, and a self-adhesive strip, but the strip is never nearly enough on its own and will come undone if the mailer is left out in the cold or heat. They’re an acceptable mailer if you’re willing to take some risks or can’t buy in bulk like the mailers below.
Pros: Available in lower quantities
Cons: weak adhesive and cardboard — especially if it gets wet.
3. CLP BUKWRAP (LIL PACKAGING) Available here
I like to use these mailers as primary, as they a) are quick to assemble, b) require less to pack-out (therefore saving money and materials) c) they have a sticky strip to save on tape, and most importantly d) are very well designed to carry your record safely. They have a special lip/zone that ensures the only way the record is getting damaged is if the full force of someone or something is bending the entire package. Random dings and bends are very rarely ruining the record it seems, but yes, these can sometimes succumb to damage. I would say out of every 100 records I send, 1 comes back / complaint of damage.
Pros: Great corner protection, easy to assemble, minimizes other packing materials, keeps pass-through costs down.
Cons: Not always the strongest if someone is out to break it, they will.
2. WHIPLASH (STANDARD) MAILER
Long known to be the industry standard and rock-solid corner-keeper, these mailers are indestructible when combined with cardboard stiffeners and bubble wrap. Unless someone is jumping on top of them, these will keep your record corners intact. You can also get extra-large versions for people shipping more than X2 2LPs.
Pros: Strongest option on the market.
Cons: Expensive, need added packing/wrap if a single 12", timely to construct.
- WHIPLASH (FULFILMENT ONLY) MAILERS
This is a bit of a cheat, but I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2020. If you’ve purchased vinyl from Ghostly lately, you may notice they have a superhuman mailer. Upon closer inspection, it looks like Whiplash may be testing (or using as a secret) a new type of Whiplash mailer, that works in a similar manner to the BUKWRAP with a great saftey zone, but with added stiffness and a solid tear-strip.
Pros: Yet to get a damaged record in these
Cons: Not available to purchase — only available as a fulfillment partner. (As far as I know, I’ve emailed to confirm)…
(Picture to be added if I can find one).
This was written after receiving the above busted up record. Hopefully, some people pack their records better after reading it.