Unlike digital media, analogue media such as VHS tapes cannot be sent over data streams like e-mail. If you want to send a VHS videotape from one location to another, it will have to be properly packed and shipped via a mailing service. For the most part, the process of shipping VHS tapes is the same as shipping other types of packages with a few considerations that you should be aware of.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Video mailers
- Cushioning material
For smaller shipments, purchase packing materials created specifically to ship VHS tapes. Websites such as The Find (see Resources) has video mailers which safely hold one or two VHS cassettes. Each cassette should have a plastic tape case to protect it from possible water damage.
To ship VHS tapes in bulk, obtain a box proportionate to the amount of tapes you have to send. Boxes can be bought online but can also be obtained free of charge by going to your local supermarket and asking for them. If you are reusing a box, cover all previous markings on it. Add cushioning material such as newspaper or bubble wrap to keep the VHS tapes from shifting in the box during shipping. Tape it up firmly. Write the shipping address and return address clearly on the box.
Ship the tapes via Media Mail at your local post office. Although Media Mail takes longer to ship, it is a very cost-effective way to send VHS tapes. The USPS has a rate chart which shows how much this costs (see Resources). You can also ship the VHS tapes through other shipping companies such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service, but they do not have Media Mail pricing.
Tips and warnings
- Since higher humidity deteriorates magnetic tape, it is best to ship and store them in cooler temperatures
- If you're worried about magnetic detection devices hurting the tapes, write "Magnetic Media" on the box to alert the shippers.
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