Independent record stores are also a great way to buy new releases, as they often give smaller artists higher discounts than larger stores, especially if you’re buying music from someone local who can drop off consignment discs.
Discogs is a mix between a personal catalog of your own record collection and a marketplace for buying hard-to-find records from others. Prices can often be steep for super rare vinyl, but it’s a good place to browse to get an idea of the relative prices of the releases you’re after.
With over 600,000 contributors since its inception in 2000, Discogs is easily the most popular place on the internet for vinyl collectors to showcase their catalogs (and sell valuables) to others. The database on the site includes over 15 million releases, covering 8 million artists and 1.7 million labels (!). Needless to say, if you can’t find it here, it’s damn rare. Discogs also sells CDs, cassettes and other musical media (although it mainly sells vinyl).
Experience Vinyl is a record club without the hassle of a monthly subscription. The company releases interesting and rare releases every month, but you don’t have to buy them. These include a 500-disc limited edition of Eliott Smith’s From a basement on the hilla blue pressing of Leon Russel’s self-titled LP, and a red vinyl pressing of Sly & the Family Stone’s Costs. Prices range from $25 to hundreds, depending on what you buy.
Looking for cool and obscure records? Check out Dusty Groove, a Chicago-based store that was one of the first to sell vinyl online, selling its first records in April 1996. Dusty Groove is like a local record store on the internet because it’s essentially what that it is. Every day tons of records are added to the homepage along with some of the best descriptions you’ve ever seen on a shopping site which immediately shows this is a store for the music lovers. by music lovers.
EIL looks like it hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s, but the rare vinyl market is still the only place you’ll find exclusive releases. With 250,000 different records in stock, the UK-based outlet is a great place to find rare European music that may never have made it to the US. “Yes, we know our website design looks a little dated to some, but others think its cool retro look matches the records we sell, and we focus our time on buying and selling records in mint condition, not over the design,” reads the EIL website.
The world’s most popular online auction site is a decent place to find rare records, but you’ll want to be specific in your search. Be sure to get photos of the condition of the drive before purchasing. I prefer buying from actual stores or from private sellers on Discogs, but sometimes eBay is the only (or cheapest) place you can find something.
The Secretly group consists of famous indie labels Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans, which basically means that if you like a modern indie band, there’s a good chance they’re on the label. The company’s monthly record club costs $240 per year (you can break it down into cheaper six- and three-month chunks), and it gives you access to new, limited-edition releases from its artists. by Angel Olsen Highligths is the June 2022 release, in stunning pink and blue vinyl.