So, you have the itch for vinyl and you want to stack your collection high—figuratively speaking, of course.
One cool part about vinyl is that everyone has a different first step into the hobby. Some record collections are inherited from generations past, while others are built from pure curiosity and love for music. From there, collecting records grows into a “choose your own adventure” story, leading you to record stores around your hometown (or possibly the country). But there are plenty of other places to find records that you’ll love.
Today, there are brick-and-mortar stores, private sellers, estate sales, online marketplaces and more that offer treasured vinyl for your collection. You might even find unique and rare vinyl records hiding in plain sight.
As fellow music lovers, the House of Marley team knows where to get vinyl records. Keep reading, and we’ll show you where “X” marks the spot!
Independent Record Stores
It’s hard to think of “vinyl” without imagining the maze of LPs you’ll find at an independent record store. Shopping at brick-and-mortar record stores is the traditional way to grow a collection and cement your spot in the vinyl community.
When you walk into a record store, a lot hits you at once—the smell of old paper, the collage of vintage posters and hundreds—if not thousands—of vinyl records. Where you go next is up to you. Whether you browse the “New Releases” or “Pre-loved” section, the behind-the-counter rare finds or the “10 for $10” bin, there’ll always be something new to take home.
Of course, every shop offers a different experience, which makes “crate digging” even more exciting. Some record stores have smaller, but carefully curated selections. Others have a little bit of everything. The anticipation of discovering what’s in each bin is what will bring you back time and time again.
Garage sales are goldmines for record collectors like you. If your neighbor is going “out with the old,” take the opportunity to find new—and possibly rare—vinyl records.
Digging for records at a garage sale is a great way to get amazing records for cheap. Unless the seller is a vinyl expert or had their collection appraised, they probably don’t know the exact value of their records. Take the opportunity to barter and get the best prices you can.
In addition, there’s a solid chance that you’ll come across unique vinyl records that’ve been untouched for ages.
Used Media Stores
Used media stores carry a broader range of secondhand items—books, DVDs, CDs, video games, collectibles and more. Every shop is a little different, so you never know what you’re going to find. However, you can dig up some incredible records every now and then—sometimes much cheaper than usual.
We recommend used media stores as an alternative to traditional record stores. Even if the vinyl selection is tiny, there’s still a chance of scoring big. Though some used media stores will research their vinyl, not all dig deep when it comes to pricing their offerings. That leaves plenty of opportunity for you to find some screaming deals.
Seek out the best vinyl records clubs to join. Record clubs deliver vinyl records straight to your door. The concept originated in the ‘60s, but the vinyl comeback gave them a new life. Joining a record club will allow you to passively grow your collection monthly.
Services like Vinyl Me, Please give you a few different subscription options to choose from. Depending on which subscription option you choose, you’ll receive records from a certain genre or era regularly. But that’s not the only upside. Aside from being simple and affordable, record clubs give you access to limited-edition vinyl you won’t find anywhere else.
Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Turntable Lab is the epicenter of DJ culture in New York. The TTL team follows the pulse of music and pop culture, so they keep their online store loaded with the latest releases “on wax.”
Founded as a DJ equipment retailer in ‘99, Turntable Lab caters to musicians and fans alike. In addition to their trendy collection of hi-fi gear, their vinyl selection is second to none. We highly recommend this site if you love hip-hop or R&B. From breakbeats to underground classics, Turntable Lab has it all.
The shop also stocks essential vinyl record accessories. We recommend grabbing a pack of archival-quality inner sleeves to keep your records static-free!
Discogs is the world’s biggest online marketplace for buying and selling music. 17.8 million items were sold through their website in 2021 with vinyl making up 74% of all sales. If it was pressed on vinyl, you can find it on Discogs.
According to the website, there are 62 million items actively for sale ranging in price from a penny to the mid-to-high five figures. Their marketplace is a worldwide network of record stores and private collectors who buy, sell and trade. Finding the record you want is easy. Just search the marketplace, compare prices and place your order.
Discogs is also a useful resource for both cataloging and determining the value of your records. Their database, which is managed by 602,000 community contributors, has information on over 15 million music releases. With a catalog or matrix number, you can pinpoint the approximate value of any vinyl record. The database records the lowest, average and highest price of every record sold through the marketplace.
eBay, the world’s most popular online auction site, is an excellent way to buy rare records—if you know what to look for.
Shopping for records on eBay can feel unpredictable, but that’s what makes it fun. True, there are more than a few sketchy-looking listings, and you don’t want to enter a bidding war over a valueless bootleg record. But you’d be surprised at the number of amazing vintage records listed for low prices. Not every seller knows what they have, which means you have a better chance of getting rare records for cheap.
It’s not uncommon to come across records that are overpriced (or in terrible shape). We recommend using Discogs to price-check anything you find. Learning how to grade vinyl records will also help you hunt for vinyl on eBay.
The Artist’s Website
Before you consider streaming your favorite album, visit the artist’s website to see if you can buy a vinyl copy. Buying records directly from the artist’s website or online store is one of the best ways to support musicians.
Did you know that on average, musicians receive a third of a cent per stream on Spotify? Artists earn more money when you buy a copy of their album, whether it’s a vinyl record, CD or digital download. And buying direct is a win-win because artists often sell limited-edition records through their website that you won’t find in stores alongside bundles with exclusive merch. Sign up for your favorite musicians’ mailing lists and keep your eyes peeled for those exclusive vinyl drops!
Shop Until the Needle Drops
Now that you know where to find vinyl records, you can start growing your record collection. To get a warmer sound from your records, check out House of Marley Stir It Up Turntables and premium Bluetooth speakers.