Having a hobby is what keeps us thriving in the busy world we live in. Some people are movie lovers, book lovers, keen on gardening, regular members of gyms, and some of you enjoy the sophisticated sound of music coming from vinyl records. No matter what music genre you are into, the vinyl makes it sound unique.
One may think that vinyl records are outdated and old-fashioned. However, that is far from the actual market situation. They are becoming trendy more than ever, not just to people who collect them, but to all music lovers. The question of where to buy vinyl records has come to attention even more recently.
Table of Contents
Shopping Vinyl Records Online vs. Shopping in Regular Stores
Market and demand for vinyl records started growing in the last decade. The market researches show that it won’t stop or slow down soon. Although vinyl records are not a new item for music lovers, the way of shopping has changed in the last 20 years.
Thus, the vinyl fans are disoriented about where to buy them. Two options are available, online purchasing and classic in-person buying. Both have advantages and downsides, and you should take a closer look to determine the most suitable solution for you.
With the developing digital world and the Internet, we have become accustomed to another way of shopping. Nowadays, you can buy almost everything online from the comfort of your home. The same goes for vinyl records.
Deciding whether to buy records online or in person is hard. In most cases, the best solution is to combine these two. As many regular stores have online shopping options, the combination can be an excellent idea.
Pros of Vinyl Records online shopping
All the vinyl sites offer fun facts, details, and information about the vinyl record you want to buy. You can inspect everything just with a click or two, from the catalog number to the appearance of the vinyl record itself.
Listen to the record
Many sites offer to peek and listen to the record you are buying. Usually, it is free of charge, apart from some rare membership sites where you need to pay yearly, quarterly, or monthly membership.
Differences in price
The online market is huge and confusing, but comparing prices doesn’t involve walking from store to store when you shop this way. In other words, online buying vinyl records allows finding the best prices without wasting time and energy.
Regular retailers can’t store so many articles as the online store. It is easier to browse the database on the site than in an actual store.
No need for a shop assistant
Most sites offer various menu options, and you can browse through the site easily and look for different genres, artists, years, and album releases. No shop assistant can bare as many pieces of information as one online site.
No regular shop on the sight
Online vinyl stores are a perfect solution for places where regular stores are not accessible.
Pros of Vinyl Records shopping in person
Digging through the record boxes
The experience of listing and skimming through piles of records is irreplaceable. Feeling the covers under your fingers and being excited about the next one you flip. For people passionate about collecting vinyl records, browsing in the natural record shop is the pinnacle of their hobby.
Inspecting the physical state of the record
Buying second-hand vinyl records online can be tricky as you never know their condition. On the other hand, purchasing in the shop means taking the desired vinyl record out of the cover and ensuring its surface is without scratches or chirps.
Spending time with people who have the same interests as you
The store allows you to exchange opinions and thoughts about the music and listen to it with people sharing the same preferences. Regular vinyl shops are like book clubs, where you chitchat with other customers and shop assistants and feel like a member of one music family.
Regular Vinyl Records Stores in the USA
As you may guess, it is tricky to list all the stores selling vinyl records as the US market is significant. Therefore, you can divide the search into two groups by checking bigger record chains and independent record stores.
Independent Vinyl Records stores
The best way to support the local economy and market is by buying vinyl records in independent record stores. Plus, these record shops give more significant cuts to less known musicians.
In other words, buying vinyl records in the shop means supporting the local economy and ensuring that less famous artists are fairly paid. Let’s see some of the American favorite independent vinyl records stores:
New York – When it comes to New York, local records lovers can enjoy regular shopping by visiting Rough Trade NYC, Record Grouch, and Captured Tracks in Brooklyn.
Rough Trade is a cozy store with an enormous capacity, cafe, bookshop, and space for the artists. You can also find newly released and old indie records here. For instance, Record Grouch has all sorts of classics, from jazz to good old rock ‘n’ roll.
New Orleans, Louisiana – Euclid Records NOLA is an independent store where you should find some interesting jazz editions.
San Luis Obispo, California – It is possible to buy online classic vinyl issues in Boo Boo Records, the store with an ultimate bohemian atmosphere. You should drop by for a unique experience if you are nearby.
Washington, DC – HR Records is a new place but very popular, thanks to their R&B, jazz, and soul vinyl record collection.
Charlotte, North Carolina – You can find an indie store in this town, Lunchbox Records, that sells vinyl records from 1999.
Des Moines, Iowa – ZZZ Records is the most popular vinyl record store in this city.
Princeton, New Jersey – You should visit the lovely Princeton Record Exchange when visiting this city.
Vancouver, British Columbia – Visiting Red Cat Records located in this town is a fantastic experience. A local indie rock band owns this store, ensuring that all records and CDs are well-organized and neatly dealt with.
This list includes only the best-known independent local vinyl record stores in the US and Canada. As you can imagine, many more are to be listed and mentioned. You can always ask around wherever you are to see if there are other local stores worth visiting.
Big Box Vinyl Records stores
As the market for vinyl records is blooming, the big box record stores are opening. You can find new and the most popular issues in some of them for a fair price, even cheaper than in local stores. However, remember that you often can’t find used and rare vinyl records in big boxes.
The Wal-Mart – This record store is where it is possible to find trendy vinyl records. They sell pieces for a larger market and offer affordable prices.
Amazon – It is another attractive place for selling records. They have a rich collection of artists, and their online database offers numerous albums and an extensive selection of genres.
Target – This store sells exclusive albums and offers a significant collection of various artists. Target is accessible and sells brand-new vinyl records.
Online stores to sell vinyl records
When it comes to online shopping, numerous sites offer vinyl records. You already know some of the commercial sites, but some new fantastic sites are also worth visiting. Options you should check include:
Amazon – This dependable and trustworthy site has a decent selection of vinyl records for online shopping. You can browse their database and find all the details you want.
eBay – It is another familiar place for selling vinyl records. However, here you buy from other people, not from a company itself, so be cautious about who you buy from.
Tower Records – Not only do they have regular stores all over the USA, but their website is one of the most popular. They tend to organize and update the site regularly, so their customers are informed on time about their stock and latest vinyl records.
Discogs – Some say it is the best online store for vinyl records. They have a vast marketplace worldwide, and their database is respectful. Moreover, you can find amazing facts and information about artists, albums, and publishers.
Ameoba Music – Besides having several independent regular stores, Ameoba has a reputation as one of the best online record stores ever. It has a comprehensive collection of vinyl records, the classics and new ones, CDs, and DVDs.
Experience Vinyl, Dusty Groove, and EIL – These sites are some smaller but popular places for online purchasing vinyl records. They all offer a wide range of genres and vinyl records, including brand new and vintage.
Many vinyl record companies have websites making online sales and have started selling vinyl records that way. As a result, some local stores were closed. On the other hand, there is no need to worry if there are no regular stores in your neighborhood. You can always order online and enlarge your vinyl record collection.