Where To Find Vinyl Records
In The Real World
I recommend starting in the local thrift and Goodwill stores in your area. You'll find anything from a small, moldy box in the corner to large bookshelf's full of records. The price is typically always right in this situation as the clerks have no idea what they have in most cases, and don't care. In my area I stumble upon great albums anywhere from ten cents each up to two or three dollars. But be advised to always take that extra few minutes to inspect the albums you purchase from thrift or used stores and make sure that the correct record is inside and that it isn't too damaged to enjoy. That record may have been cheap but do you want to expose your needle to decades of dust, splashed drinks and warped grooves that rival a motor cross track?
And speaking of used vinyl, there are plenty of great music stores out there stocking new and used vinyl. Check the state by state list of where to find stores selling vinyl in your area.
Some other great places to find rare gems are garage and estate sales. Typically you can haggle your way into a good price on a nice stack of records.
Lastly, my favorite place to score new records is from family members. Hit up that old weird uncle, your grand-parents, your older brother, anyone! For starters, I'm sure they would love a visit and what better topic than music to start up a conversation. Anyone who has some records, has memories and emotions tied to them and it’s always a great bonding moment when life experiences are shared. And they will usually just give you the records if someone is "actually going to listen to them."
There are lots of sources for wax on the inter-webs, here are a few of the major ones.
Amazon.com has a pretty extensive list of vinyl with many of their new, sealed records coming with a feature they call Auto-Rip. Essentially this is a digital download that is made available along with the album. It's a nice little bonus, but with the streaming situation as it is these days, who knows how long that will stay around. There are independant sellers that offer used and new vinyl through the Amazon market as well.
eBay, of course, has everything from that specific record you are looking for to wholesale lots. I’ve not use this method, as I don’t typically use eBay for much purchasing over all. If you have used eBay for buying or selling records, I’d love to hear about your experience.
Another great site to find reissued versions of some great records is PopMarket.com. They offer collectors box sets and other great bundles as limited time daily deals. I signed up for their daily email and every product they offer is very tempting. A lot of the sets are $60 and up and they always seem worth the money.
There is a new player in the field that is being called the Netflix of vinyl. With a clever name and an even more clever business model, I hope they do well. Essentially, for a small fee, they send you a bundle of records that are tied in themes that they refer to as #Vibes. These Vibes range from #betweenthesheets to #cooking and everything in between. You send them back when you are finished they send you another bundle. If you like any of them, you can pay 8-12 dollars a record and keep them. They are expected to ship the first bundles of records in February of 2015.
Lastly, if you are a vinyl fan at all and you don't have an account on the Discogs site, then shame on you. No really, shame on! That is the single best place for record information, cataloging, searching, buying, selling and so much more. You can create wish lists of records and filter for days through almost 15,000,000 records that are for sale as I write this. You are buying from individuals and sometimes stores, so your experience will be different with every purchase. I have bought from more than 10 different sellers and I've seen very good packaging and relativity accurate grading of the records and covers. Be aware that most all sellers use media mail and it will take over a week to receive your order. If you are ok with this going into it, you will likely have a very good experience on this site.
copyright 2015 by a guy who just really loves records