Retro Cool: Vinyl Shopping and Gift Giving
by Kristin Battestella
Get ready to go knee deep in vinyl—and I’m not talking about cheap boots. Long play records are popular once again. Whether it be the quest for a special volume, unique gift giving, or a beloved holiday record, this snap, crackle, and pop of old adds extra warmth to the chilly seasons. Getting dirty in thrift shops for vinyl is a niche hobby. However, the pursuit of music from yesteryear can be an affordable and fun quest—if you know what sellers, pricing, shopping, and equipment work best for completing your collection or finding that perfect, sentimental holiday gift. Why not drag all the family members along to sift through the often unorganized, messy, perilous piles for more fun?
If you’re looking to add to an existing vinyl collection or are a newer enthusiast, here are a few tips when going hunting.
In thrift stores, records often sell for around $3 or less, significantly cheaper than Ebay bids, shipping fees, and potential in transit damages ruining a rare vinyl gift. At any second hand or thrift store you can examine a record for imperfections, smell it, even ask to test it—if there is also a working record player. Always check that the right record is in the right sleeve or a sleeve isn’t empty. Be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dusty and keep wipes handy. Searching through piles and piles of vinyl can be a little dirty. Most corner thrift shops think of vinyl as an afterthought and generally don’t sort inventory, increasing one’s chances for finding a gem. If a run of the mill junk shop is charging higher prices for records, then they should not be moldy, coverless, and disorganized. Some sly places will mark up old records or all material by a particular artist just because…continue reading.