Aug 10, 2020
Part of the vinyl record player on white background

Five Secrets to Shopping Vinyl Records

While we as people are different and unique in so many ways, music is one of those universal loves that bring the majority of our population a great sense of joy.

Whether it is rap music, pop music, country music, blues music, or rock music, the experience of becoming engulfed in listening to music can bring us close to a meditative state.

Music defines our history and is something that can be shared for generations to come. This is where the magic of vinyl stores comes in. These stores are like a time capsule for various generations—with the vinyl records providing a quick soundbite of the times.

For many, roaming the aisles of a vinyl store is therapeutic and many can easily spend a few hours browsing through the endless rows of circular pieces of musical history.

Each person is likely to browse through the vinyl records different, but there are six universal secrets you should know about when it comes to shopping for vinyl records.

1.       A picture says a thousand words

This saying holds true to vinyl records as well. The image on the cover of the record gives clues to what the vinyl record might hold in terms of music and in regards to the actual condition of the vinyl! If the cover has wears and tears, be wary of scratches on the vinyl record itself as well.

2.       Take your time under the light

Often vinyl stores will be a bit darker—it gives that cool antique and grunge feel to the customers. But it also hides some harder to see wears and tears to the records you are considering buying! Try to find the best light in the store to properly examine the vinyl records you want to listen to at home later on that day.

3.       A vinyl record can still play great with a bit of wear and tear

Just because there are some dirt and scuff marks on the record does not mean all hope is lost. There is a range of methods to safely clean the vinyl records and buff out any scuffs. A great test to really understand any of the wear and tear is to run your fingers over the vinyl record and really hone in on your sense of touch.

4.       Take it for a test play

Vinyl stores come with vinyl records, so make the most of being able to take potential candidates for a test run! There is nothing worse than getting home and having the record not play the way it should. Even if just for a few minutes or so, shop owners are normally always happy to oblige to this request.

5.       Compare your prices

It is important to not get ripped off with your vinyl record purchase! Always do your due diligence while shopping and understand what the market value for that type of vinyl record is. Chances are, you will probably be able to negotiate with the shop owner if you have some evidence to show.

6.       Check your record player can actually play it

While this might seem like common sense, you would be surprised how often this mistake actually happens! Vinyl records are not one-size-fits-all when it comes to record players. Do your homework and understand what type of vinyl records your player can manage and triple check the numbers before purchasing!

These six universal steps when shopping at a vinyl store will bring you to a mesmerizing musical listening experience. Once you get your desired records, just sit back, relax, and listen to the tunes that others have also enjoyed decades past. In a way, vinyl records offer us teleoperation back in time!

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