These days there are countless places to pick up vinyl records. From big box stores to online marketplaces, vinyl is one of the most popular forms of purchasing music. Whether you are looking for old or new, the local record store usually has it all.
We’ve outlined the top reasons to buy vinyl albums from your local record shop.
1. The Expertise of the Staff
This is the biggest one. Record store staff are typically very knowledgeable about music, musical artists, different pressings of albums and everything to do with vinyl. They can often provide great recommendations based on your tastes and help you discover a record you may never have considered. These stores also tend to have the same staff for a long time so you can develop a relationship with them and continue to get great recommendations.
2. A Wide Selection of Records
The selection at your local record store differs from other types of retailers. Most local record stores have a combination of new and used records. In addition to finding the latest pressings from new artists, you can also find some gems from the past in great condition for a great price. Sometimes you can even find some rare albums that are worth much more than they appear. Record stores also typically carry numerous genres so you can shop for many styles of music all at the same time.
3. If They Don’t Have It, They Can Help You Find It
Unlike other retailers a local record shop can help you track down hard to find albums. If you can’t find the record you’re looking for at Target, their staff really isn’t able to help you out. Big box retailers carry specific albums, usually the highest selling albums that you may already have in your collection. This is especially the case if you want anything remotely obscure. At a record store, a staff member can try to order it for you through a distributor, ask people in their network if they have a copy or just keep their eyes peeled for you in case that record comes into the store. This is especially valuable when a record store sells used records.
4. Avoiding Costly Shipping/Import Fees
Some record collectors resort to buying from international online stores. Records are a global hobby and there are labels throughout the world that offer unique pressings. Getting a record shop to track down a desired record can help you avoid those extra shipping costs as the stores often have those import costs built into their pricing. Since they often buy in larger quantity at wholesale prices, or in batches with various other records from a particular label that cost to ship goes down.
5. That Sweet Sweet Instant Gratification
Sure, you can go online and order a record to arrive the next day, or perhaps in the next few weeks. But nothing beats buying a record and going straight home to listen to it.
6. It’s About the Hunt
You can conduct some robust online searches or scroll through deals online but sometimes you miss out on some great finds. You might find an album you wouldn’t consider searching for but catches your eye when flipping through record bins. Flipping through records at the record store is almost a meditative activity for some.
7. Not Having to Worry About Damage
What you see if what you get. You don’t have to worry about a record getting damaged in transit or someone not disclosing the true condition of the product. At a record store you pick up the record. You can judge the pristine packaging condition. If it’s a used record you can evaluate the record itself to ensure it is not scratched, warped or damaged. Local shops also typically have very reasonable return policies on new and used records so if there is an issue, they can get you a replacement. In that worst-case scenario of returning it you don’t have to worry about printing return labels and getting it shipped off to the seller.
8. They Have Accessories!
You can get accessories elsewhere as well but maybe you didn’t realize you needed something until you saw it in the store. The staff can also provide recommendations on which accessories are worth buying as sometimes vinyl related accessories can lean on the snake-oil side.
9. Helping the Local Economy
By shopping at your local record store, you are also supporting local mom and pop shops directly in your community. You contribute to the local economy and members of your own community. When you shop local you’re not helping a big box store gain stock value, you’re potentially helping parents pay for dance lessons for their kids.
10. And Finally…. Because It’s So Much Fun
Going to the store is part of the fun. Even if you don’t buy anything it’s often an enjoyable experience to just go browsing. For a lot of us, we remember the exact moment when we bought a specific record. Part of the entire experience of being a record collector is visiting a store, meeting other vinyl enthusiasts and participating in another physical experience outside of clicking on a music playlist.
Bonus Track Answer
Record Store Day was started years ago to celebrate local record stores and encourage record shoppers to go to their local stores. RSD exclusives offer unique and special edition pressings that are not available elsewhere.
If you are looking for a record player to listen to all of your records on, check out our Kingston 7-in-1 Record Player
Kingston Vinyl Record Player
Backed by over 100 years of manufacturing high fidelity audio products, Electrohome has paired the design of vintage record players with the technology of modern music systems.