A guide to buying vinyl records

A guide to buying vinyl records

Penned by Liz Edwards


The art of buying vinyl records seems to have gone over the heads of some people, after running an infamous record shop in South london for more than a decade and the good and fond memories are starting to flood back. I feel that some guidance is needed to some folk who have recently discovered vinyl. Consider this, how can you buy records for your up and coming sets online, listening to snippets of the best part of the recordings in a room alone has no advantage or appeal at all. Sifting through records recommended by someone who makes sure his tunes, or his mates tune, or his mate’s mate tune is in the Top whatever. I also heard of one online shop that uses Discogs to decide whether they should stock a release or not, its down to the tune surely, and intuition, but thats another story.

The only and more enjoyable way is face to face with the person behind the counter who can pick your selection, and eventually get to know what you like, plus he or she selling the records can make suggestions to gauge the taste, you as the buyer gets to have a rummage too amongst the racks. You also get to listen to the A side, the B side and the A1 and B2 or the whole album, then you can set aside your certainties, maybes, and no no’s thus not buying records that will be bought in error, getting what you pay for, time consuming maybe. But you have to make time for that gig, its just as important picking the right tunes.

Plus, you get to meet like-minded people who are also there to do the same thing, you can compare notes so to speak, have random conversations about production, events, disecting recordings, state of the industry. Or ignore everyone, apart from the person selling the vinyl. Much more fun than on your Jack in a room, so make the effort, the rewards are endless…