Some old records are becoming very collectable! The problem is, of course, the old 33's and 78's are very fragile and are an unusual shape to post. Aussie post doesn't make a suitable box for them and there never seems to be a box the right size at home to store them in. Guess what - there is but it's not at home! It's the humble pizza box! Basically, all you'll need is one pizza box (large/family size, hold the anchovies), some Glad Wrap, bubble wrap, packing tape and some of that polystyrene filling (preferred) or shredded paper (second choice).
Remove the record from the cover but keep the record in its plastic sleeve. Seal the record cover entirely with the Glad Wrap. This is to ensure that the edges of the cover are protected during shipping and to keep it dry just in case it comes into contact with water.
Place the record, still within its plastic sleeve, on top of the sealed record cover and then Glad Wrap them both together. This will keep the actual record protected better than if it were kept in its cover. If the record is kept inside the cover, during transit, if handled roughly, it can end up breaking through the cover, especially with older, more worn record covers. this can also cause damage to the record itself.
Wrap the record twice in bubble wrap and tape it closed.
Open the lid of your pizza box and pop in a layer of polystyrene filling. Lay the covered record down flat on top of these then sprinkle in some more polystyrene filling to fill in any gaps at the side and the top. Polystyrene is the filling of choice over the shredded paper due to the light weight. (You can actually skip this step - I've successfully mailed records to other countries just by taping the bubble-wrapped record to the base of the box. So far, so good!)
Close the box up and seal all edges with packing tape.
Done! Weight of the packaged record? It should be under 500 grams which means postage will be just $4.65 to most places in Australia. If you're posting internationally, Economy Air will set your buyer back around $11.00 and Air Mail around $13.00. Prices will vary by a couple of dollars depending on the country you're mailing to.
Packing costs? Depending on your local pizzeria, the pizza box will be anywhere from free (thanks Johnny Boys) to $1.50. You shouldn't really pay more than 20-30 cents. Factor in the cost of the other packing items and it shouldn't cost you more than a couple of dollars to securely pack a record. Whatever you do and as tempting as it may be, DON'T use a used pizza box.
The best part is the posting. Pizza boxes will not fit into your standard mail boxes so you're going to have to front up to your local post office with pizza box in tow and staff having a bit of a chuckle.
The whole process is a little time consuming but your buyer will feel relieved when their purchase turns up exactly as described - in one piece! (Although they might have a sudden craving for pizza...)