Shopping for vinyl is a unique, personal experience. Even if you venture out with a friend, the moment you enter a record shop, you enter your own reality comprised of rapid eye movement, quick reading, and dusty, yet nimble fingers. Ahh..
But for the weekend worker, the night owls, and those bedridden from flu season, making it out to the neighborhood record store proves to be a more trying process. Also, winter is coming. So, for the days you’re sick in bed, stuck at work, or procrastinating on that paper, here are a few online locales that can get you a quick vinyl fix.
From records to posters to t-shirts to hats, there’s a little something for everyone at Insound. While the average price hovers around $20, they offer a decent Sale section (Right now, you can score Arcade Fire’s Reflektor for jus $21.23). Though the real deals are found under the Staff Picks tab. Their Daily Discount offers 15% off select items from around the site.
Discogs is the perfect place to buy from and sell those sweet, dusty discs. Right now, there are over 2 million albums in circulation on the site. Before that number becomes overwhelming, filter your vinyl search from style, format, decade, and even country. Looking to sell? Discogs makes it easy. It’s free to list and 8% to sell. Since ‘by owner’ albums range widely in price, filter you search from ‘under $5’ to ‘over $40’, depending on whether you’re in for a quick fix, or spoiling your collection.
Why does this site works so well? According to one review, “Unlike Ebay or other selling sites, Discogs is a community, together with other users, we often work together on issues or tune fining the latest features.” Need more proof? Check out some other testimonials and poke around yourself.
Whether Reckless within a stones throw, or a Metra/three hour drive from the suburbs. There are plenty of reasons some of us just can’t make it out to the neighborhood locale for some good ole fashioned vinyl pickin’.
Reckless makes it easy to browse all three locations’ updated selections online and ship stateside and abroad. Again, much like in store, the prices range from used to new so there’s something for everyone’s collection. Whether you have the ‘distance’ excuse or ‘it’s Saturday and I jus don’t want to get out of bed’, Reckless is happy to snuggle up with you for a measly $6 shipping fee.
Vinyl Loop is like a little pocket of sunshine in the storm of online shopping. This New York City based site sells newly release vinyls for only $15. That’s right, $15. No hidden shipping or handling costs. How is this possible, you may ask? Well, it’s a service provided for music lovers, by music lovers.
“We get our records direct from labels or direct from distributors. Then, we decrease the amount of money that we make on each unit so that we can pass more savings on to you. We’re really trying to shake things up in the music market.”
To score deals, you need to become a member (which entails the simple gesture of entering your email and creating a password). The only downside- they only receive about 35-100 copies of any articular album, so prepare to purchase at a moments notice.
Gemm is a great place to score a deal on an album in a competitive marketplace. The prices here range from $.25 for an Alice Cooper 7” to $6,000 for a Frank Zappa’s “I Ain’t Got No Heart” 7” Metal Stamper from Japan. Are you looking fro autographed albums? While you may be pinching a few more pennies for your purchase, Gemm has over in their 2,500 pieces autographed selection to peruse through.
From a sellers standpoint, past forums suggest Discogs is the way to go, but if you’re looking for a quick deal on a new piece for your own collection, the numbers don’t lie. Gemm is worth a browse.
Sound Stage Direct
If you’re in the mood to buy, Sound Stage Direct is a crucial stop along your internet shopping route. There are no dusty discs in this lot. All records are sealed and brand spankin’ new. Worthy deals can be found in the LP Outlet, and New Arrivals are upkept daily. SSD is also a ‘one-stop-shop’ selling equipment, speakers, record cleaners, t-shirts, puppies, and more! (Okay, I’m kidding about the puppies).
One of the biggest worries for online shoppers (vinyl shoppers in particular) is the packaging. Sound Stage Direct prides itself in it’s exceptional packaging and shipping. If your order arrives with a defect, a replacement will be processed at no additional charge.
As always, Amazon makes it somewhere on the list, for obvious reasons. Searching for used and new vinyl is made easy with side by side price comparisons, reliable seller reviews, and easy, quick (sometimes) shipping. There’s something about seeing seven of the same albums in from of you, and even though one is just a penny less than the others, I’ve scored the deal of a life time. Ah, the lies we tell yourselves.