Vinyl because of its age has a truly thriving second hand scene. Vinyl was the dominate media for music from the 50s to the late 80s, which meant many records were sold in huge quantities. Because of this you can pick up some great bargains, rarities or even records that are no longer available. Since starting my record collection back in January 2015 I have had the great pleasure of finding some great second hand records from lots of different places. If you are on a tight budget then the second hand market will be your friend and will definitely be somewhere to explore and help grow your collection.
This may sound strange but the smell of old records adds to the overall experience of owning a vinyl record. Some of these records can be 30 to 40 years old and the cardboard has a certain smell, it’s not bad or good it’s just there when you take the record from the sleeve. You don’t get your senses invoked like this with digital music. With an old vinyl record it can hit four of your senses:- touch, feel, smell and of course the sound, hisses pops and all. Also think about where this record has been, it’s given someone years of enjoyment which has now been passed on to you! Each record has its own story.
Here is a my mini guide to getting into the second hand market.
eBay – The on line flea market is a great place to find almost any record you want, but as always with eBay be aware of the sellers reputation and carefully read the item description. Also watch out for high postage costs. Personally I have never bought any records from eBay but don’t let that put you off, I have seen that wholesale/job lot or large collections are sold here so you could either make some money or have an instant collection.
Amazon – as well as new records Amazon also has a marketplace for most of its listing including records. Most of these sellers are covered by Amazon so you can buy with confidence of good delivery and returns policy. Prices are reflected in this however and can be higher.
GumTree – A great on line market place that has the added benefit of having local sellers so you can call and chat with the seller about the item and see the record before a purchase. Another great place to pick up wholesale/job lot or large collections for very low cost.
Discogs – The on line database and catalogue of all things music also has a very good on line market. As well as private sellers most independent record stores have shops on the site, which means the choice is massive and prices are very competitive. One of the other great features is it provides items from the UK, Europe, US and Canada. But be careful with postage costs. This is my personal favourite on line store and have purchased a number of records without any problems.
Second hand record stores – Depending on where you live there is usually a record store that sells new and second hand records. The great advantage of a store is your can check the records physical condition before a purchase. Have a good look at the sleeve and the actual vinyl itself, don’t be afraid to get the record out and have a look. If possible have a listen, most second hand stores have a turntable you can use. Another plus is you have a place where you can return the record if you are not satisfied with it.
Markets and car boots sales – A great resource for the unexpected. I have had great fun looking through boxes of records and going home with something totally unexpected. You never know what you are going to find and that is part of the fun. At many markets and car boots sales I have ended up going home with 3 or 4 records for about £20 total, so it can be cheap to.
And the essential purchase when buying second hand records is a microfiber cloth and cleaning spray!!!!!!