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If you consider yourself something audiophile and Spotify doesn’t cut it for you, you may want to start (or grow) your own record collection. The transition to vinyl opens doors to an entire musical universe that may not even be available on Spotify or other streaming services. Whether you want to start DJing or just love the warmth that a needle creates that caresses your favorite LP, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying and selling wax online.
Determine your taste
Part of the thrill of keeping records is finding something rare in the wild or digging through boxes for hours and getting empty just to find a gem at the last minute. While everyone can and should listen to whatever they want, I recommend looking outside the realm of mainstream contemporary pop if you want to put together a massive record collection. The reason for this is – and forgive me if I sound a bit smart – the appeal of records comes in part from their physical reality, which often entitles you to rarities like decorated vinyl and exclusive bonus tracks. You don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money on a basic album that replicates material that you can easily listen to on Spotify, right?
But that’s just me – and you should definitely do it while head first into the world of vinyl.
Buy your documents online
If you’re looking for the vinyl answer on eBay – this isn’t eBay – you won’t do any better than that Discogs. It’s not a bidding site, but it’s similar in that it has a huge library of records that are being sold by sellers around the world. Looking for some Brazilian disco? Detroit house? Japanese or Peruvian Psych Rock? Discogs has it all – and that’s no exaggeration.
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On Discogs, you can sort by artist, album, producer, or anything else you can type into a search bar and quickly swim through records, CDs, and tapes for sale. There are a few things to consider: According to Joe Rihn, a writer, DJ and the host of Audio days, broadcast by online radio station DubLab, “It is extremely important to evaluate the condition of your recordings” when buying recordings on Discogs. This is because sellers ship your purchase to you. It is therefore important to know that whatever you buy is already in good physical shape.
When I’m looking for a specific recordThe one I’m most likely to buy displays a price, condition category, and shipping location (your records may be from Europe, South America, or some other far-away location).
As an alternative, Rihn suggests checking your local record store to see if they have any online offers. (It also doesn’t hurt to support the local business during these difficult economic times.) “Most local record stores have online stores. Even if the pandemic is preventing you from going in person, you can still support small retailers, ”he says.
Of course, you can buy vinyl in similar capacity on eBay and even throw records in with your bulk orders on Amazon. But the community thrives on local providers and grassroots activities, so I would recommend staying away from the corporate giants.
How to sell records online
If you want to sell records on Discogs it’s easy: just navigate to the “Marketplace” button at the top of the website and enter the various criteria to create your listing. You may not be inundated with inquiries straight away, but when you have something good on offer, a potential buyer will eventually discover that they are “interested” in one of your items. You can haggle from there.
Selling records on eBay is similar to selling other products on the platform. There is other resources too, but I really wouldn’t recommend anything other than Discogs and eBay – the former for robust buying choices and the latter to maximize your potential profit on sales.