Suggestions for Shipping LD's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Steininger, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. Michael Steininger

    Michael Steininger Auditioning

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    Folks,
    This week I posted to sell LD's as I'm thinning my collection. Had a good response and am in the process of working out final details with people that responded. What
    I'm looking for right now is suggestions on how to ship LD's. I want the the shipping charges to economical, yet want the discs to arrive without damage.
    What have people used in regards to shipping materials and shipping methods.
    Thanks for your input.
    Mike
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Oh boy! There are all sorts of ways to pack LDs. There are two problems to solve: 1.) Preventing the discs from bending and breaking. 2.) Preventing "disc breakthrough".
    Most people get #1 right. Just don't use those damned bubble mailers - they simply do not offer the needed bend resistance. Every broken LD I have received was shipped in a bubble mailer. Free priority boxes (and other stuff) are available of the right size from your local post office, or you can order them online USPS Supplies . Some people use crushed newspaper as filler, which I hate (newpaper has no crush resistance). Others use peanuts, which is a lot better. I'm pretty extreme - I use solid foam insulation board, cut to size. This is a pain to describe but I will if you really want me to.
    Or, better yet, get some of those flat boxes that are used to ship LPs - same size, work really well. Try Bags Unlimited - they got what you need. The more you order, the cheaper it is per unit.
    #2 is tougher. Most people get it wrong. Laser discs are heavy! They will move while in transit. What can happen (it doesn't always) when a laser disc moves? It can wear through the jacket. Sometimes it will break through the jacket. You may own an LD with "disc breakthrough". Look at the center of the jacket, any side, for what appears to be stretch marks from the inside. That's "disc breakthrough". I hate it with a passion. And it's easily preventable. How? By taking the damn disc out of the jacket! If it's out of the jacket, what does it matter if it moves? However, there is a potential problem with this. Some two-disc, non-gatefold jackets will crush if you use this technique. In this situation, I cut some cardboard and insert it into the jacket for support.
    Now, with flat packing, you can do this or you can leave the disc in the jacket. Add filler so that enough pressure is placed on the disc so that it can't move. After you've packed, shake the box. If you can hear or feel any movement, you haven't packed snuggly enough.
    Another point: A lot of people will tell you that the disc can be left in the jacket if it's wrapped tightly with bubble wrap, maybe adding some tape. These people are full of it. Get some bubble wrap. How much side pressure do you think it can exert, even stretched? Practically none.
    Here's another trick, if you're shipping more than one LD: Leave the discs in the jacket. Cut cardboard the same size, maybe a little bigger, than the jacket. Stack the LDs with the cardboard on the top and bottom. Wrap all this with newspaper. Finally, tape this affair as tightly as you can several times around the middle, both directions. Then use a right-sized box.
    Box sets are another matter, but I'm out of steam right now - maybe later.
    ------------------
    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
    [Edited last by alan halvorson on August 18, 2001 at 05:54 PM]
     
  3. Lucas Dang

    Lucas Dang Stunt Coordinator

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    SHIP MEDIA MAIL!
    For all dvds, VHS, cds, video games, computer games, including cartridges, and Laserdiscs, they qualify for media mail rate. Its slower by a few days, but will save you about 50% or more. Dont let the postman tell you LDs dont qualify, I had them try this a few times, they do qualify, its simply easier to tell them that they are Vinyl Lps, Records, which also qualify for media rate. The USPS site defines Media mail as computer software, film, books, ect. LDs are both computer software (remember pioneer ld players hooked to PC's) and film.
    I have sent many single LDs for about 1.50 each, across the country.
     
  4. Andrea W

    Andrea W Supporting Actor

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    I have received a shipped laserdisc with "disc breakthrough." It was such a disappointment since it was mint and perfect in every other way. Please do as Alan says and take the disc out of the jacket when you ship it.
    ------------------
    http://darius.mobius-soft.com/~andrea/ht/
     
  5. Michael Steininger

    Michael Steininger Auditioning

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    Thanks everyone for your inputs. I understand what Alan and Andrea are referring to regarding the covers. Lucas confirmed the rate I thought I could use. I have to admit I'm kind of real uncomfortable about the disc out of the jacket. What about scratches?
    Now here is what I have done for the first couple boxes I'm sending out. Each of these discs are currently in a heavy gauge plastic protective cover. This makes the disc a little bit bigger than normal, but the plastic covers are nice and snug. I then bought 14" square boxes and placed the discs in the center of tightly packed popcorn. When sealed I can't detect any movement inside.
    I just wasn't comfortable with a loose disc. I'm hoping the plastic cover compensates. I'll be prepared to eat my humble pie if I'm wrong.
    Mike
     
  6. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    There are some Pizza boxes out there that are the perfect size for shipping Laserdiscs. I think Little Caesar's has a box just the right size. I have a large stack of old laserdisc shipping cartons from Ken Crane's and EAV laser that I've kept around just in case.
    ------------------
    -Jin
    My Theater
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Michael: If you can't hear or feel any movement, you're all right. When I use peanuts, I overstuff the box a little so that when it's sealed, things are under pressure. Where did you get the 14" boxes? They're just the right size for box sets, if they're thick enough.
    You should not have a problem with scratched discs if you remove the disc from the jacket. They're in their own little sleeve already; I often wrap them with newspaper or a right-sized plastice bag (my local grocer just happened to have the perfect plastic bags for LDs).
    Media mail is fine - I use and request it all the time - but be aware that it's slower although my experience says it's not bad. 5-7 days typical, but it can take two weeks and longer. Some people may request priority anyway. Be certain to charge enough! Use the USPS Rate Calculator . My standard for priority shipping is: 1 disc = $3.95, 2 disc = $5.20, 3 discs = either $5.20 or $6.45, depending on how it's packed. Always use delivery confirmation - saves arguments when your package goes awry. 40 cents for priority, 50 cents for media mail (not available on 1st class). Give the person an insurance option but make certain that the buyer understands that it's his total risk if he declines it.
    Finally, just a little note about box sets. I always wrap the box with newspaper and then tape several times around the center, both ways. Why? Some box sets have rather weak sides and now and again those discs slam through, causing a box split. Wrapping the box at that crucial point adds support.
    Good luck!
    ------------------
    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
     

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