Best Places to Buy Vinyl Records

How to purchase Rock, Jazz, Classical and Country albums online

Why Vinyl

There are two reasons for buying, collecting and listening to vinyl recordings. The first is because the sound of the analog record in better, warmer, more "real". The second is for the aesthetics, the physicality of the record – these records are more beautiful and substantial than CDs, which mostly have the look of office supplies, and, let's face it, digital downloads have zero physical presence.

There is a sentimentality about albums – there’s a tactile quality, a ritual to pulling a record out of a sleeve and putting it on and focusing your attention on the act of listening for a side at a time. Even if you still mainly listen to music on your computer or iPod, it gives you the option of having a more special experience with your favorite albums, and an object you can display in your home.

Vinyl Bonus Tip: Vinyl records might be ancient in some cases but you can still keep the sound pristine. Record cleaners can help your protect your collection.

Best Places to Buy Vinyl Records 

Vinyl records have soul, so let's discuss online sources for vinyl that also have soul – the inventory and reputation, and the love and expertise.

Rock

Take a look at SoundStageDirect: "Vinyl. Our way of life since 2004." They have a wide array of vinyl for sale. At the time of this writing they featured 1540 rock albums (new to vintage) plus jazz, soundtrack, holiday, country, soul R&B and funk, and blues.

If you have a question, knowledgeable reps are a chat away. They ship worldwide and offer free shipping on domestic orders over $49.99.

You should know about their LP outlet. These record are denoted with a "Bend" in parenthesis which indicates some physical damage to the covers, such as a bent corner or seam split, but only physical damage.

The records are sealed unless otherwise noted, and are marked down from their original price. Of courses, these are in limited quantities.

SoundStageDirect is more than just vinyl, They also offer equipment – turntables from Clearaudio, Marantz, Music Hall, Pro-Ject, Rega, Thorens, VPI and more; amplifiers, cartridges, speakers, headphones, record cleaning machines, brushes and fluid.

You should also know about their 365 day upgrade plan. Equipment that was purchased from SoundStageDirect, and is in its original box with the original manual can receive an upgrade at full original purchase price. Their are specific terms, to be sure, but this can be the road you travel to get the equipment you want.

Jazz

DustyGroove has a great and deep selection of jazz and funk, and an inventory that branches out into Brazilian, Latin, deep funk, and neo-soul. Prices are very competitive, and they have a discount bin. They are online, and have a store on North Ashland Avenue in Chicago. 

Everything they sell online is also available at the store, and at the same prices. Inventory is updated daily. Hundreds of new titles are added frequently so browsing is always rewarding. Orders are shipped within 24 hours of payment.

Sign up for their weekly or monthly newsletter to stay abreast of new additions and music news.

You can also sell your collection of LPs and 45s to DustyGroove, but only at the store.

Classical

Watson Records is an excellent and informed source for classical music on vinyl. The depth of their inventory is impressive. Their story is fascinating and inspiring.

Founded in 1985, Watson Records has grown to become the largest supplier of fine classical vinyl records in the UK today. The company continues to prosper both locally and abroad. Watson Records is a privately owned family firm: Alistair Watson taking over the running of the company from his father Jim in 2009.

Jim began collecting 78rpm records in 1973 and, by the late ’70s, began trading records. By this time he had also started collecting LPs of various orchestral and chamber music. In 1985 Jim published his first sales catalogue and sent it to collectors worldwide. The idea was a success and, in 1992, he decided to run Watson Records as a full-time business.

Alistair joined his father in 2002 and moved the focus of the company online. Watson Records now trades exclusively online and the company continues to seek and sell vinyl records to collectors throughout the world.  

Country

eil.com is worth checking out. Their site features a list of every Country artist I can think of. Click on the artist of your choice to Buy New, Rare, Collectible, Used and Hard to Find CDs, CD Albums, Vinyl Albums, Vinyl records, Rare CD Singles, Picture Discs, Rare Vinyl, 12" singles, 10" singles, 7" singles, Limited Editions, Promos, Promotional items, Imports and Music Memorabilia from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s along with Full Discography's. And their prices are pretty good, too.

Record of the Month

Vinyl Me, Please is a record of the month club that believes in the power of the album as an art form. For them, music isn’t just something they listen to, it’s a part of their lives. They believe that albums are meant to be connected with and enjoyed as a complete work of art. Vinyl, as a medium, creates an environment for this connection through deep, active listening. The music is the focus, rather than just background noise.

Each month Vinyl Me, Please features one album that is worthy of your time & attention, work with the artist & label on a custom pressing with exclusive features available only to Vinyl Me, Please. They package each record with a 12” x 12” album-inspired art print and custom cocktail pairing recipe and send it to your doorstep.

Rare and Out of Print

LPNOW is a proven source for rare and out of print vinyl LPs – original artists and original recordings – with many from the US and UK still factory sealed. They also offer imports that are unplayed but not sealed.