With the invention of the CDs, digitalized music, and online streaming, vinyl records were expected to become obsolete. It has become increasingly more simple to file share and pirate music, leaving the music industry struggling to regain their footing in this new world of free downloads. Despite its predicted downfall, vinyl has surprisingly grown in popularity. "Sales of vinyl in 2016 reached a 25-year high as consumers young and old have once again embraced physical formats of music. More than 3.2m LPs were sold last year, a rise of 53% on last year and the highest number since 1991....... This was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads." In our modern era, vinyl has become a popular way to collect both music and nostalgia.
It's no secret that vinyl collecting is a very expensive hobby. Records in a record store often range from "12$-40$ each." Not to mention the expensive set up you need to hear the maximum experience of your purchases. So here are a few tips on becoming a penny-pinching record collector that gets the most for their buck.
1) Hit the thrift stores to find great deals.
The piles of records in your local thrift store may seem never ending, but this is where you can find great stuff at incredible prices. The task may seem daunting but filing through all of the crap can be well worth it! If you are not a frequent thrifter there are a few things to watch for while on your record search: always check inside the sleeve to make sure the record you are buying is inside, and always inspect the record to determine if it is playable.
2) Search eBay for specific records that you are looking for instead of paying high prices for rare vinyl at record stores.
Shop on eBay if you are looking for a specific record. You can traditionally bid on items or offer a lower value. If the record is priced at "buy it now" with no "best offer" option, you can message the seller and offer them a lower price. Sometimes, if the seller has listed the item multiple times without it selling, they will accept a price far below the value. Whatever purchasing system you choose to use, eBay has an incredibly large selection of affordable vinyl.
3) Skip Urban Outfitters and Barnes and Nobel. Support your local record store and get better prices!
Urban Outfitters and Barnes and Nobel have become some of the more popular places to buy records these days. They have a decent selection of new releases and re-releases of artists but they range from about 25$-40$ each. You can get these same records used at a fraction of the price at your local record store. They usually have 1$ sections as well. If you learn one thing from this article it should be to support your local record store!
4) Check Goodwill.com to get great prices for your sick turntable set up.
Let's be honest, cheap Crosley record players might look cool, but they certainly do not do your records justice. You need a sweet set up to fully taste the fruits of your labor and appreciate the music you have collected. But high-quality equipment can be expensive. Check goodwill.com for great prices on high-quality equipment. You can get great deals bidding on turntables, speakers, and receivers both old and new. The only issue with goodwilll.com is that many of their electronics are not tested so you do run the risk of buying equipment that does not work well, but the prices are so good it can be well worth the risk!
5) Check out sweetwater.com for great deals on equipment.
If you are not interested in running the risk of buying untested used equipment, you have to check out this site. I was introduced to Sweetwater.com by a friend and have bought countless amounts of music equipment from them. This is a great place to get unbelievably good deals on music equipment. You can compare prices and they offer a monthly payment service if you don't have the cash on hand. You also get amazing customer service you get when you purchase from Sweetwater. I have received free gifts and awesome extras when ordering from here!
Discogs is a fantastic place to buy and sell vinyl. It is also a great place to research your finds. You can search catalog numbers to see if you got the first edition of a record and find out more about the records you already own. You can also get some great deals on records in their marketplace. https://www.discogs.com/
9) Hit record store day.
If you have not heard, Record Store Day is a nationwide event where record stores give great deals and labels produce exclusive vinyl for one day every year. It was started to help get a buzz going for struggling record stores. There are some pretty amazing deals on record store day so when it comes around next year, have your cash ready! Record store day 2018 is on April 21st.
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