I was walking down the aisle in Walmart the other day when a display caught my eye. It was an entire shelf FULL of vinyl albums! I haven’t seen those in stores in so long I can’t even give you an approximation. That made me curious so I did some “Googling” and came up with some pretty interesting stuff. According to Nielsen’s 2018 album consumption report, the sales of vinyl LP’s were up a whopping 15% from just 2017! With that in mind, I thought about my customers. How will this impact my business? What are some tips I can share if someone asks about storing their record collection at one of my facilities. Let me share with you what I will share with them!
- Be aware of Temperature Fluctuations. Keeping your vinyl at room temperature (59-77 degrees) is optimal for maintaining integrity. An attic would be an example of a poor storage location because of the high temperature that it can get to which would cause warping. Basements would be equally as bad because of the same problem except with the cold. Climate controlled facilities are what would be ideal for such a precious collection.
- Watch for UV light exposure. Vinyl is especially sensitive to light. Because of this any direct exposure would want to be avoided. Keep them away from windows to avoid damage!
- Change in humidity is bad. Just like the head, too much humidity can ruin an entire collection at great speed. They need to be in a drier place to prevent them from distorting or warping.
- Pressure from the force is bad. And I’m not talking about Star Wars here. Vinyl records should never be stored flat, especially if other heavy things are sitting on top of them (like more records). They need to be stored upright in containers preferably made of wood to reduce static. Dividers within that container every 4-6 inches will help to support those even further.
- Let them breathe! They aren’t puppies or kittens, but they need some airflow. Taped up boxes or plastic bins just are not sufficient.
It doesn’t matter if this is an old collection or new. Knowing about vinyl and then educating your customers will save them heart and headaches in the future.