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BlueSpirits

New to the world of Online Vinyl Shopping

49 posts in this topic

 

I used to get all my vinyl the traditional way, going to brick and mortar stores and just scrolling through all the records. I'm not sure when we will get back to "normal" shopping here, and I'm really itching to get some new records.

I would love to hear any recommendations about any good online shops you guys have had dealings with. I've stumbled upon DustyGroove in Chicago and I really like their website and the format it is in- I've already ordered a couple of records from there(not sure when they will get here, as I live in Canada and apparently the records are coming from Sweden...it's been a month so far..)

Any other stores like that?

I guess there's always the Blue Note and Verve websites. I'll probably order some of those Tone Poet records.

I've also just made a Discogs profile, and will use that site for tracking down specific albums, but I kind of like just scrolling through a store's inventory and finding gems, know what I mean?

 

 

Thanks!

Edited by BlueSpirits

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For me discogs is super close to the usual record store experience when you try to economize on shipping... Once you've put something into your shopping cart, you can spend hours looking for additional stuff from the same seller... Like last week I saw a cd I wanted for 6 euro plus 13 euro shipping... Crazy but it turned out I could add six lps from their stock without additional shipping...clicking through a seller's 2000 or 3000 other offerings isn't the real thing but for me it comes close

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Euclid Records in St. Louis is an excellent store.  They don't have the write-ups like Dusty Groove.  But their selection is very good -- maybe even better than DG's -- and their prices are reasonable.

But, like Niko says, I probably buy more records -- both CDs and vinyl -- off Discogs than any other single online store.  If you're like me, you'll likely end up finding Discogs sellers that you like and checking in with them often.

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Sonic Boom in Toronto is doing curbside pickup plus other delivery options for GTA.  https://www.sonicboommusic.com/collections/jazz/Vinyl

Now at the moment it doesn't look.like they list used LPs on website (and I know they aren't buying used vinyl right now).  So I only order very, very sparingly.

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1 minute ago, ejp626 said:

Sonic Boom in Toronto is doing curbside pickup plus other delivery options for GTA.  https://www.sonicboommusic.com/collections/jazz/Vinyl

Now at the moment it doesn't look.like they list used LPs on website (and I know they aren't buying used vinyl right now).  So I only order very, very sparingly.

Yeah, I've been checking out there site. I used to go there all the time, in person. I went through their entire jazz discography the other day(new), and picked a few out, but there weren't too many there I didn't already have or want.

 

17 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Euclid Records in St. Louis is an excellent store.  They don't have the write-ups like Dusty Groove.  But their selection is very good -- maybe even better than DG's -- and their prices are reasonable.

But, like Niko says, I probably buy more records -- both CDs and vinyl -- off Discogs than any other single online store.  If you're like me, you'll likely end up finding Discogs sellers that you like and checking in with them often.

Thanks for the link. I'll check them out.

It's looking like Discogs is the way to go, and yeah it makes sense that if you find a seller that has something you want, they will probably have more.

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You can sign up for weekly emails from Dusty Groove; they come out every Tuesday. 

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I by 'new records' you mean NEW records... But if you mean new USED records, I have not had great luck. Over the last 2 decades, I bought maybe, at most, 2 dozen used records on-line. Most of them were not the way they were described. I don't buy any more used records sight-unseen.

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Why are records sent from Chicago going through Sweden on their way to Toronto? Did they miss a left turn at Albuquerque or something?

I do like Discogs, but I also like Dusty Groove. DG will sometimes get stuff before "official" release day, they will sometimes have better prices than anywhere else, and if you know what you're looking for, even roughly, their bird in the hand is....etc. Plus, their selection of anthologies is always interesting and often fascinating.

Now having siad all that...what I want is to find what I'm looking for at a price that isn't stoopid. Discogs often gets me that. But sometimes...DG does.

Get to know both palces, you can never have too many options. Just figure out why the hell your Chicago-sent mail is going through Sweden, that just seems all kinds of wrong.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Why are records sent from Chicago going through Sweden on their way to Toronto? Did they miss a left turn at Albuquerque or something?

I do like Discogs, but I also like Dusty Groove. DG will sometimes get stuff before "official" release day, they will sometimes have better prices than anywhere else, and if you know what you're looking for, even roughly, their bird in the hand is....etc. Plus, their selection of anthologies is always interesting and often fascinating.

Now having siad all that...what I want is to find what I'm looking for at a price that isn't stoopid. Discogs often gets me that. But sometimes...DG does.

Get to know both palces, you can never have too many options. Just figure out why the hell your Chicago-sent mail is going through Sweden, that just seems all kinds of wrong.

Yeah, I asked them that a couple weeks back and this was the response ; 

"Thanks for the message and apologies for the confusion. All international-bound packages (including Canada, Mexico, and South America) are sorted in an international facility in Sweden. Our economy shipping has always used this facility -- even before economy packages had tracking -- and unfortunately, is something outside of our control. Once these packages are sorted to your country, it is handed over to your local post office for final delivery. "

It still doesn't make any sense to me, but I trust that they are legit and I'll get my records eventually:mellow:  The shipping cost was about 20 bucks, which is somewhere in between the realm of "a lot, but not too much." If it was coming straight from Chicago it would probably only have cost a couple of bucks.

 

One thing about Discogs that I've noticed so far is that you have to select which pressings you want to be notified about, and I'm not up on my knowledge of pressings, so that is a bit daunting.

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Dusty Groove is totally legit. Their international shipping method is totally stupid.

I never heard of such a thing until now, but there it is.

Way to lose a spending customer, Bastards.

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48 minutes ago, BlueSpirits said:

 If it was coming straight from Chicago it would probably only have cost a couple of bucks.
 

Maybe in the old days, but not anymore.  :(

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3 hours ago, Dmitry said:

I by 'new records' you mean NEW records... But if you mean new USED records, I have not had great luck. Over the last 2 decades, I bought maybe, at most, 2 dozen used records on-line. Most of them were not the way they were described. I don't buy any more used records sight-unseen.

I’ve had pretty good luck through Discogs. Only once (so far) have I had a record that wasn’t as described. 

1 hour ago, BlueSpirits said:

Yeah, I asked them that a couple weeks back and this was the response ; 

"Thanks for the message and apologies for the confusion. All international-bound packages (including Canada, Mexico, and South America) are sorted in an international facility in Sweden. Our economy shipping has always used this facility -- even before economy packages had tracking -- and unfortunately, is something outside of our control. Once these packages are sorted to your country, it is handed over to your local post office for final delivery. "

It still doesn't make any sense to me, but I trust that they are legit and I'll get my records eventually:mellow:  The shipping cost was about 20 bucks, which is somewhere in between the realm of "a lot, but not too much." If it was coming straight from Chicago it would probably only have cost a couple of bucks.

 

One thing about Discogs that I've noticed so far is that you have to select which pressings you want to be notified about, and I'm not up on my knowledge of pressings, so that is a bit daunting.

That is very strange. I can’t see how that makes any economic sense. 

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

 

That is very strange. I can’t see how that makes any economic sense. 

We have very efficient sorting facilities in Sweden. :rolleyes:

As for used LPs, I buy from Japan, the US and Europe both on discogs and eBay and once you've found trustworthy sellers it works fine. Feedback plus the way they have worded their item descriptions usually tell how professional they are. I realize that caring for many different pressings, like on discogs, can be problematic, but it also removes the old eBay problem of trying to identify what is really on sale from insufficient item descriptions. 

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8 hours ago, HutchFan said:

Euclid Records in St. Louis is an excellent store.  They don't have the write-ups like Dusty Groove.  But their selection is very good -- maybe even better than DG's -- and their prices are reasonable.

 

I used to buy quite a bit at Euclid through the mail about 10 to 15 years ago (when shipping rates from the US to Europe were still reasonable) as they had a good selection of fairly affordable originals or off-thebeaten-tracs items. But then things fizzled out, though I kept checking their website listings for a while. One caveat, however (though things - or may not - have changed since then): I often found their gradings a bit on the optimistic side. I.e. I was not so sure a VG+ item would be VG+ with everyone else. I dont mind the occasional surface noise but even a VG+ record shouldn't skip or stick even after cleaning. Their "optimism" overall wasn't totally unreasonable and things still were OK (complaining or sending back from overseas would have been of no use anyway) but I do know that finicky collectors (I understand there PLENTY like that out there  :D) would take offense at such grading differences.

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A discogs seller I would heartily recommend:

https://www.discogs.com/seller/carolinasoul/profile

(they are also on eBay with weekly themed large-batch auctions of rarities.)

But on discogs they have very fair prices, low shipping domestically (I wanna say unlimited Media Mail for $5 or something), and IIRC they also clean every record before sale and ship with polybags, if that's important to you. Oh - and they are open to just about any offer, though I have gone that route only on the low price point ones. $4, offer $3 I guarantee they'll take it. And you can easily find enough records to do that and cover your shipping cost.

Grading is not egregiously wrong and if you concentrate on the $2-$10 range what have you lost if they mess up? 

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10 hours ago, Brad said:

I’ve had pretty good luck through Discogs. Only once (so far) have I had a record that wasn’t as described. 

 

I've had mis-graded records sold to me enough times to stop buying on-line. The used vinyl I'd feel safe buying on-line are the Mint-described Mosaic sets. People who bought those new, generally didn't listen to more than one or two records out a multi-record set, in my experience. I've stashed away probably about 1,000 used records , so I'm not buying much these days, anyway.

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2 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

A discogs seller I would heartily recommend:

https://www.discogs.com/seller/carolinasoul/profile

(they are also on eBay with weekly themed large-batch auctions of rarities.)

But on discogs they have very fair prices, low shipping domestically (I wanna say unlimited Media Mail for $5 or something), and IIRC they also clean every record before sale and ship with polybags, if that's important to you. Oh - and they are open to just about any offer, though I have gone that route only on the low price point ones. $4, offer $3 I guarantee they'll take it. And you can easily find enough records to do that and cover your shipping cost.

Grading is not egregiously wrong and if you concentrate on the $2-$10 range what have you lost if they mess up? 

Yeah, their physical shop isn't too far from me. Parking around there isn't ideal though. Still, good experiences to back up the rec of purchasing online from them. 

Edited by Dub Modal

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2 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

A discogs seller I would heartily recommend:

https://www.discogs.com/seller/carolinasoul/profile

(they are also on eBay with weekly themed large-batch auctions of rarities.)

But on discogs they have very fair prices, low shipping domestically (I wanna say unlimited Media Mail for $5 or something), and IIRC they also clean every record before sale and ship with polybags, if that's important to you. Oh - and they are open to just about any offer, though I have gone that route only on the low price point ones. $4, offer $3 I guarantee they'll take it. And you can easily find enough records to do that and cover your shipping cost.

Grading is not egregiously wrong and if you concentrate on the $2-$10 range what have you lost if they mess up? 

How do you remember them as somebody you’ve used and may want to buy from them again? By adding them as a friend on Discogs?

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Just now, Brad said:

How do you remember them as somebody you’ve used and may want to buy from them again? By adding them as a friend on Discogs?

Bookmark their main page in discogs.

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26 minutes ago, Dmitry said:

I've had mis-graded records sold to me enough times to stop buying on-line. The used vinyl I'd feel safe buying on-line are the Mint-described Mosaic sets. People who bought those new, generally didn't listen to more than one or two records out a multi-record set, in my experience. I've stashed away probably about 1,000 used records , so I'm not buying much these days, anyway.

I tend to purchase only what’s described an NM or M. On Discogs I also look closely at their feedback. If there are any recent neutrals or negatives, I will try to avoid using them. 

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I have made purchases from several Japanese dealers on eBay and discogs, and almost all EX rated items have been close to mint. However, Japanese covers are very often stained for some reason. 

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Impossible to get a good read of condition of vinyl online (and still not a sure bet checking in person, you really don't know how it's going to play until you play it).

Keeping that in mind, I fully accept that:

  • vinyl, especially used vinyl, is never going to be a "given" in terms of quality.
  • most sellers give visual gradings, which are more useful the more obviously trashed the vinyl is, but again, not a 100% surefire indicator.
  • the "rarer" the record, the more likely there are to be imperfections, if not in the wear, then in the pressing.
  • hardly ever (in fact, damn near never) do sellers underprice.
  • some sellers do play the record and/or give a conservative grading, but you don't know who they are until you've already gotten something from them
  • Dusty Groove is very big on the VG+ thing, and the older a record is, the more grain-of-salty that "+" is.
  • vinyl is not, and hasn't been for decades now, the "perfect" medium, nor is it really necessary or most (ah, but not all!) records.

Bottom line for me - buying vinyl is like any other form of gambling - don't spend more than you can afford to lose, and know what you're there for. If it's for an object, hey, there's fun galore awaiting the eager player! And if condition is not a driving concern, like, you just want to hear this record once or thrice to see what's up with that? then a $5 record beats the hell out of a $15 CD.

Otherwise, if you want a sure thing, vinyl is not for you, and I would strongly dissuade anybody who thinks that it will be, some day, to forget about that fantasy. It is what it is and it ain't ever going to be otherwise.

Eyes wide open, ok?

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I’ve sold a fair number of used records at Audiokarma, they have a feedback area where everyone can comment on the transaction, which I think really helps. I also offered to accept returns and had only one out of 60-70 transactions. I would not be comfortable buying online personally but I’ve got more than enough music to keep me occupied. Fortunately I’ve got a really good used shop in Providence, Round Again Records, that won’t put out records in bad shape.

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16 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

I have made purchases from several Japanese dealers on eBay and discogs, and almost all EX rated items have been close to mint. However, Japanese covers are very often stained for some reason. 

The staining is created by the humidity I think

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24 minutes ago, Brad said:

How do you remember them as somebody you’ve used and may want to buy from them again? By adding them as a friend on Discogs?

I checked my order history.

Often my searching is for a specific LP heard about somewhere, and then comes the consideration of who has it, and what else do they got, because normally I won't buy a single LP without serious consideration of overall costs if I find other fairly priced things of interest.

Condition ... I don't go lower than VG+ and I already expect to dump the vinyl into the PC and manually clean it up in Goldwave. I don't have a proper rig wherein I can listen to vinyl but I will take time to make it as quiet as possible for digital transfer.  And then most of my listening is in the car, or while working, thru the same PC I use for the LP transfer process. (sometimes I listen to the unedited raw file on the PC).

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