How to Shop for Vinyl Records In-Store and Online – Review Geek

Someone looking through a crate full of vinyl.
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In my experience, shopping for vinyl is often more fun than playing a record. There’s nothing better compared to digging through a milk crate plus finding something cool—especially if you’ve never heard it before. But where should you shop for vinyl records? And should a person skip retailers like Walmart?

Visit Local Record Stores and Retailers

Milk crates full of LPs.
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The best way to get familiar with vinyl is to dig via a couple thousand records. Shopping locally gives you a hands-on experience with vinyl and the joys of crate digging. All you need to do is look up record stores in your area on Google, Yelp, or Facebook.

Most new record stores are very small and “boutique, ” which can be a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, these little stores sell a ton of brand new releases, which may be exactly what you want to buy. But the prices aren’t always great, and some genres get the short end associated with the stick. I’ve never had much luck finding R& B at the particular smaller shops in my region, for example.

But small report stores can be excellent, especially if they’ve been around for a while. You’ll find that the best record stores often carry a mix of new and vintage vinyl, which usually gives you a ton of stuff to choose from at a variety of prices. (When buying used, check the vinyl with regard to scratches, warping, or other damage. You can clean a vinyl record , but a person can’t fix a broken record. )

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a massive record store nestled in a weird corner of town. These huge stores are usually operated by old-timers who impulsively buy other peoples’ record collections. So, the selection is outrageously varied, the prices are low, and hidden gems are constantly rolling in. But if you’re looking for brand-new records, these large secondhand shops aren’t always the best choice.

You can also shop regarding vinyl information at Walmart , Barnes & Noble , and Target .   Yet unless you come across the good discount or a limited-edition LP, I don’t suggest buying vinyl fabric at these locations. They don’t offer a very strong selection, plus their prices tend to be a bit high. (Of course, if you live in the rural area, these merchants may be your only local option. )

Oh, We should also mention antique stores. In my experience, antique stores  really overestimate the value of old records. If a person go shopping for plastic at an antique store, be critical associated with its prices. (Read the following section for an easy way to check what a record is worth. )

When Shopping Online, Start at Discogs

Discogs digital vinyl storefront

Modern record collectors love to shop online. Not only is it convenient, but  hey, some records just aren’t available at your nearby stores.

Whenever searching for information online, I actually suggest starting at Discogs . It’s the most popular database and marketplace for vinyl records, CDs, tapes, and other music media. You may find plenty of affordable records on Discogs, including new and classic releases. (Naturally, Discogs is also one of the greatest places to find rare and expensive vinyl. )

To become clear, Discogs isn’t a retailer. It is an online market place, kind of like eBay. I’ve in no way had trouble shopping on Discogs, as most of the sellers are usually record collectors and small businesses. Still, you should pay attention to the particular feedback left on seller profiles. At the very least, use Discogs as a price-checker tool when buying records elsewhere.

Once you’ve looked at the prices upon Discogs, go shop around the bit.   Large report stores like Amoeba Music   and Dusty Groove sell records online, and suppliers like Amazon , Walmart , and Barnes & Nobel regularly offer discounts on brand-new vinyl.

Also, if you don’t mind getting a not-so-great price, you can buy information directly from an artist’s website or Bandcamp page . Or, try visiting the music label’s website— Blue Note regularly reissues its classic jazz albums, which are hard to find (or expensive) when shopping secondhand. Plus Third Man Records is a good place to discover limited-edition vinyl fabric, especially on Record Store Day .

Hit a Flea Market, Swap Meet, or Pop-Up

An open-air market selling vinyls and CDs in LA.
Hayk_Shalunts and Shutterstock

If you aren’t afraid of vintage vinyl, try visiting the flea market or swap meet. You’ll find a glut of old records, often at decent prices. And some flea markets have proper  indoor record stores, which aren’t usually listed on the search engines or your own GPS. (If you live in a rural area, a flea market is usually the best alternative to a “real” record shop. )

Obviously, you need to end up being careful when buying records at a flea market or even swap meet. Check that records aren’t scratched or warped, and check prices upon Discogs in order to make sure that you aren’t overpaying. Some people think that old vinyl’s worth the ton associated with money, but unless a vintage record is extremely rare, it should only cost the few dollars.

You may also attempt searching for pop-up record stores in your area. These are usually hosted simply by record enthusiasts at farmers’ markets, small concerts, along with other events. Most vinyl pop-ups are advertised on Fb, though a person may need to do a bit of searching to find one locally.

Try a Vinyl Subscription Box

an image of the Vinyl Me, Please subscription options.
Vinyl Me, Please

While this won’t give you the particular experience of a crate digger, a vinyl fabric subscription box can help you discover new plus impressive information at a reasonable price. These services furthermore tend to offer limited-edition plastic, which may have got some sentimental or resale value.

Now, there are a lot of vinyl subscription boxes to choose from. The most popular option will be Vinyl Me personally, Please , which sends out a deluxe-edition vinyl and exclusive booklet each month. Your subscription also unlocks access to the Vinyl Myself, Please store , which usually carries a ton of exclusive pressings.

If you want something convenient, Amazon’s Vinyl from the Month is a straightforward option. Subscriptions start at $25, and you can select from styles like “ The Golden Era , ” pop , country , hip-hop , and rock . (Amazon occasionally discharges a “featured” album, which is usually the limited-edition pressing. )

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