Where to Buy Vinyl Records (2023): Find New, Used, and Rare Vinyl
It helps that local record stores are among the coolest places on the planet to browse. Depending on where you live, there might be different local options that specialize in various styles of music or aesthetics. Be sure to inspect the record to make sure it is flat and free of scratches—unless you’re buying from a bargain bin.
Independent record stores are also a great way to buy new releases, as they often give higher cuts to smaller artists than bigger stores do, especially if you’re buying music from someone local who can drop off records on consignment.
Courtesy of Discogs
Discogs is a mix between a personal catalog of your own record collection and a marketplace to purchase hard-to-find records from others. Prices can often be high for super-rare vinyl, but this is a good place to browse to get an idea of the relative prices of releases you’re looking for.
With more than 600,000 contributors since its inception in 2000, Discogs is easily the most popular place on the internet for vinyl collectors to showcase their catalogs (and sell valuable items) to others. The database on the site includes over 15 million releases, spanning 8 million artists and 1.7 million labels (!). Needless to say, if you can’t find it here, it’s pretty darn rare. Discogs also sells CDs, cassettes, and other musical media (though it sells mostly vinyl).
Experience Vinyl is a record club without the hassle of a monthly membership. The company presses interesting and rare releases every month, but you’re under no obligation to buy them. These include a 500-disc limited edition of Eliott Smith’s From a Basement on the Hill, a blue pressing of Leon Russell’s self-titled LP, and a red vinyl pressing of Sly & the Family Stone’s Fresh. Prices range from $25 to hundreds, depending on what you’re buying.
Looking for cool and obscure records? Check out Dusty Groove, a Chicago-based store that was one of the first to sell vinyl online, selling its first records in April 1996. Dusty Groove feels like a local record store on the internet, because that’s essentially what it is. Each day, tons of records are added to the homepage, along with some of the best descriptions you’ll ever read on a shopping site—making it immediately clear that this is a store for music lovers by music lovers.
EIL looks like it hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s, but the rare vinyl marketplace is still the only place you’ll find some exclusive releases. With 250,000 different records in stock, the UK-based outlet is a great place to find rare European music that may never have made it stateside. “Yes, we know the design of our website looks a little bit dated to some, but others think its cool retro looks match the records we sell, and we focus our time on buying and selling mint condition records, not design,” reads the EIL website.
The world’s most popular online auction site is a decent place to find rare records, though you’ll want to be specific in your search. Make sure you get photos of the record’s condition before you buy. I prefer buying from actual stores, or from private sellers on Discogs, but sometimes eBay is the only (or the cheapest) place you can find something.
Courtesy of Secretly Store
The Secretly Group consists of famed indie labels Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, and Dead Oceans, which essentially means that if you like a modern indie band, there is a good shot they are on the label. The company’s monthly record club costs $240 per year (you can divide it into cheaper six- and three-month increments), and it grants you access to limited-edition new releases from its artists. Angel Olsen’s Big Time is the June 2022 release, in stunning pink and blue vinyl.
This is the website for the largest independent record store in the world, California’s Amoeba Music. It’s a great place to find mainstream stuff you can’t buy directly from the artist, and it lets you shop in a way that gives a cut to an independent record store. It also has a pretty cool YouTube channel.
If you’re looking for Western Classical music on vinyl, Presto Music is a great place to start. The site has hundreds of options spanning multiple eras and styles, with everything from solo performances to full orchestras, operas, and soundtracks.
Those hunting for modern obscurities and art music will appreciate this small digital retailer, which shares limited-edition releases from hand-selected musicians around the globe. You always get free MP3s with your records. It’s a nice place to hear everything from jazz to electronic and instrumental folk music, the type of site Radiohead’s Thom Yorke likes.
The 10 Best Online Vinyl Stores
Looking to get started with buying records online? Want to get the inside scoop on where exactly to direct your attention so that you can get the most out of an online vinyl store?
7 Best Music Review Sites (Pros & Pricing Info)
Well, come on in as we explore the ins and outs of buying records online, where to look for the best deals and information, as well as some examples of sites dedicated to specific genres.
Nowadays, Discogs is an institution unto itself, but this has not always been so. Indeed, Discogs has not always been one of the best online vinyl stores. Their place in the popular cultural landscape is a direct result of considered and pragmatic marketing. As well as word of mouth.
This is just about the most extensive record collection available on the market. Discogs may not necessarily have what you are looking for. However, they will certainly have all the necessary information that you would need to go on and find it elsewhere. This can be anything from the year of issue to the differences in inner sleeve art between pressings.
This is an unbeatable and extensive database that should be on the hot bar of any vinyl record collector. Though with an inimitable local record store feel as a result of the hive-mind of admins.
This is a place where music lovers could easily lose whole months in. The stock is to the brim with information and wit. For both buyer and seller, Discogs is difficult to beat.
Still, if independent record stores are more your flavor, then Amoeba Music in Berkeley is the largest and most successful in the whole world.
Of course, what with the age of the internet, you do not have to be in California to reap the benefits of local record stores. Their database is incredibly extensive, and their stock is replete with goodies to explore.
The benefit of a company like Amoeba is that it is technically still a record store. So you are getting a cultivated pick of records when you explore it rather than a database of all the records available.
Vinyl collectors ought to take note, then, and follow where their ears take them next.
Of course, if classical music is more your thing and you want to stay abreast of all the new releases of your favorite symphonies, then Presto Classical has you covered.
This is an invaluable resource if you are looking to search far and wide for your favorite composers.
Modern streaming services do not cater to the authorship inherent in classical music. In this genre, a composer creates music that continues to be performed and recorded for centuries.
The same goes for online vinyl stores. This may be a difficult area to navigate. But thankfully, Presto has designed its whole website with this inherent authorship and reproduction in mind.
Narrowing our scope even further, we can look deep into the crate of the internet and find DustyGroove, another popular online vinyl store. This is a service that offers up some of the latest choices in funk, soul, reggae, and jazz for your record player.
If you are anything like me, then you will be an esteemed fan of that warm vinyl sound. Especially when it is being used as a vessel for deep and bassy music.
This is, after all, kind of what vinyl does best. Its frequencies are incredibly bottom-heavy (in a way that we are thankful for).
DustyGroove does other genres, of course. But its real specialties lie in this area of the vinyl pantheon, where each vinyl enthusiast is truly tested.
Of particular note is the discount and bargain section on the site. Very often, this is simply used as a vehicle to sell LPs that would otherwise not have been sold. But here, it seems well-curated and deserving of attention.
For the inner hoarder and DJ within us all, Boomkat offers a righteous service as an online vinyl store where you can find particularly rare cuts for competitive prices.
This is the kind of outlet that is going to especially sate the collector who thinks they have heard it all already. Places like Boomkat are where you go when you want to hear something you truly have not heard before.
Whether it be hip-hop, electronic, classical, avant-garde, or anything in between, Boomkat have you covered. This outlet does tend to veer towards more recent releases, so do be warned.
If you were reading through the Amoeba section and liked the idea of a curated selection of music for you to choose from, then maybe Experience Vinyl is an online vinyl store worthy of your attention.
This company offers an esteemed service of curation. A record club that cultivates a collection of records without the need to subscribe on a monthly subscription.
The company presses releases that it deems interesting and/or rare each month (which you are under no obligation to buy).
Previous releases have included a 500-disc limited pressing of Elliott Smith’s unfinished final album From a Basement on the Hill. In addition to a blue pressing of Leon Russel’s self-titled LP and a limited red vinyl pressing of Sly & the Family Stone’s Fresh.
The list goes on and is incredibly varied each month. Much like the price range, going anywhere from around $25 to hundreds upon hundreds.
Much has been made of just how dated the website of this online vinyl store looks. But who can complain when the goodies it offers are truly exclusive?
The website itself even states: ‘Yes, we know the design of our website looks a little bit dated to some, but others think its cool retro looks match the records we sell, and we focus our time on buying and selling mint condition records, not design. ’
This is a haven for physical media. It offers forth a suppository of rare vinyl and other media must-haves that can scarcely go wrong.
This is an especially useful resource for collectors in the States who want to get their hands on a lot of the rare and interesting songs that have not been exported there.
Thus, EIL is an especially essential source of new music for those who are particularly bent toward European cuts.
This is not an online vinyl store that is exclusively designed for the buying and selling of media like vinyl. But owing to years of trial and error has become a great place to buy and sell all things.
And vinyl is no exception. I have personally found some real steals on eBay over the years. The main caveat with eBay, at least for me, is the fact that it is not entirely dedicated to selling records and the like.
This makes navigating it a little more difficult than, say, Discogs or Amoeba, whose entire interface is geared toward providing each user with information regarding the releases.
On eBay, this is left up to the sellers. So, if you happen to be buying from a seller who knows their stuff or is at least willing to pass on the information, then you will find it in the description. If not, though, you might have to do some research yourself.
Right here is another great online vinyl store for those who like their selections to be curated in a certain way. Turntable Lab is a thoroughly modern service of this kind that caters to the modern vinyl collector. Whether they be novices in the field or are altogether more experienced.
The most exceptional thing about this brand is its sleek website which is very easy to navigate even for the less tech-savvy. We are not pointing any fingers. But there are certainly some here arrayed who could learn a thing or two about constructing a navigable website from these guys.
Also, much as with eBay, this is a service that not only allows you to buy vinyl but also other things. Indeed, here you can purchase everything you need to start collecting and listening to records. Including speakers, turntables, amplifiers, stands, etc. Above all, it is a company dedicated to informing its public as much as possible.
This is indeed a subscription service. Though I would encourage you to at least hear it out before shrugging your shoulders and walking off. This ought to resonate with those looking for gifts for vinyl lovers at this time of year.
This is a method that has been tried and tested by some of our staff with pretty impressive results. Instead of offering the same records to all of its consumers, the service instead attempts to cater to the music taste of each individual member.
Thus, they send three records to subscribers each month that they will hopefully enjoy and continue to listen to. While this is not for everybody, we would certainly encourage you to give it a try.
This can be a service for the jaded and disillusioned adult who can no longer enjoy the magic of Xmas, for example. And Christmas vinyl records are not doing it for you. This is a way to replicate the surprise of not knowing what you will be receiving as a gift to yourself.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are feeling a little more able to navigate the darned and often-overwhelming world of the online vinyl store. Go forth unto the world wide web and explore to your heart’s content.
FAQs Online Vinyl Store
What is the cheapest way to buy vinyl?
If you are looking to buy a specific record, you can look it up and trawl through all of the listings on an online vinyl store like Discogs. If you are not in so much of a rush to find it, then you can always wait to see it around in your travels to local record stores and attempt to barter for a good price with the owner.
Is it good to buy vinyl online?
In moderation, sure. It is my belief that buying too much online encourages a disconnect between consumer and provider, though. Local record stores are a great place to find new music. But also to talk to like-minded individuals who might also be able to recommend you stuff you have not heard. Sure, the internet has plenty of these kinds of resources. But they are harder to codify and more or less without an anchor.
Is Tower Records website real?
As far as I am aware, yes. Though its reach is entirely worldwide nowadays. The company was initially based in the capital of the state of California, Sacramento. From 1960 until 2006, the company operated within and around the United States, spreading its ill upon the populus. In 2006, however, the company filed for bankruptcy and liquidated, leaving its operation up to the many shareholders and distributors internationally. As far as can be seen, the Irish and East Asian sectors of the company are still thriving and offering incredible deals on vinyl.
Can you order vinyl records online?
Indeed you can. Just as you can order just about anything online nowadays, the vinyl record is no exception. There is still a charm to going to a local record store and seeing what’s what there. but it is well worth checking out resources like Discogs. Even if only for their encyclopedic collation of information around its releases.
Top 5 Places to Buy Vinyl Records Online – Geek
Natalia Deryabina / Shutterstock.com Because of the pandemic, there is a growing need for good places to buy vinyl online. Luckily, many retailers have made their display cases digital and we’ve found all the best places to buy vinyl online.
Online or physical store purchases
Every vinyl enthusiast has a preference for where to buy vinyl. Some people love the tactile feel of spending hours in a store with other music lovers, rummaging through drawers and hoping to stumble upon a rare record. Some people like not to buy their own vinyl and leave the hard work to a vinyl subscription box that collects and sends records to them every month. And others prefer the simplistic convenience of shopping online as it makes it easy to find the exact records we’re looking for in minutes.
In some places that we have listed, in addition to the online store, there are also regular stores. While it’s always fun to dig through a store on your own, buying vinyl online gives you access to a huge selection at once, instead of having to go to three or four stores to find a particular record. Online stores also make it easy to listen to songs before buying a record, a feature that not every music store offers to customers.
Other things to remember
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the turntable is in working order and you have all the necessary accessories for your setup. This way you can listen to music in peace and keep your vinyl clean and properly stored between sessions.
As you browse the listings online, be aware that selections and prices will vary by store, so if you’re looking to find a good deal, you might want to shop around a bit. Rare and out-of-print recordings will cost more than those still in print. Individual vinyl stores tend to specialize in a few genres rather than offering a more general selection. We recommend having a list of artists or genres you’re interested in handy to make things easier – unless you’re just shopping in the windows that we fully receive.
Comprehensive and International: Discogs
Hands down, Discogs is the best online resource for buying vinyl with its huge database and international marketplace. It’s also the closest thing to duplicate store purchases because it’s driven by the hundreds of thousands of users who love this site in a hive mind style.
The site’s database is a great place to explore artists from all genres and styles of music and find the latest popular releases. It’s easy to learn more about a particular artist, view their entire discography, view album track listings or song lengths, and even get album copies with just a few simple clicks.
On the marketplace, you can search for recordings by format, genre, style, artist, media condition, currency, year, and many other useful filters. You can also choose which seller you buy the album from, as all connected stores are displayed on the marketplace; similarly, you can also click on the store to see what other albums they sell. The wish list option allows you to save the albums you want to buy, while the various community pages allow you to chat with other users in groups or forums, view upcoming events, find local record stores, and add other users as friends.
World’s Largest Independent Music Store: Amoeba Music
Based in Berkeley, California, Amoeba Music is the largest independent music store in the world. His vast collection of records (and other cool stuff like movies and merchandise) and the allure of his family success prove that small stores can make it big in the world of Spotifys, Amazons and Walmarts.
The “Music” section of the site contains a huge catalog of vinyl records of the most popular genres, from rock and reggae to hip-hop and country. He even has a fine selection of albums from less mainstream genres such as New Orleans, Underground Metal, Celtic and World. You can filter your selections by format size, new or used. Clicking on an artist opens their full discography, and Amoeba even offers recommendations for similar artists and bands that have influenced that artist. Don’t forget to take your time and look at the iconic store What’s in my bag series too.
Specializing in classic vinyl: Presto Classical
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Presto Classical has a solid selection of classic records to give away. You can browse his overall selection or narrow down your search by era (Renaissance or Baroque, for example), type of music (Opera or Chamber), or awards received. In the store, you can buy vinyl directly and even add other vinyls to your wishlist to purchase them later.
The store has gems such as Dvorak. Stabat Mater performed by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Collegium Vocale Gent under Philippe Herreweghe, Friedrich Gulda plays Mozart’s 20th and 21st Piano Concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic, a complete performance of Itzhak Perlmann’s sonatas and violin scores by J. S. Bach and The legendary game of 1965 by Martha Argerich.
Great for funk, soul, reggae and jazz: DustyGroove
Whether you’re looking for artists like Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, The Meters and Sun Ra, or someone else in the vein of Keith Jarrett, Grant Green or Art Blakey, DustyGroove has the record for you. While the store features music from all major genres, it specializes in soul, funk, jazz, reggae, and other underrated genres.
DustyGroove has a huge selection and really dives deep into many of its genres, which is good for crate diggers. The prices in the store are also competitive and there is an entire section of the site dedicated to a really decent selection of discounted records. And of course, if you’re in Chicago, be sure to stop by the DustyGroove store and check out their selection for yourself.
Rare Finds & Latest Melodies: Bumkat
If you’re all about super rare finds, stop reading now and jump on to Tree Cat.