The best source for vintage vinyl
If you’re like me, a musicholic, you know what time the record store opens and closes. More importantly, you know how to find some of the best records around, as physical stores aren’t the only place anymore to find that missing album from your collection, or your next favourite artist. It’s in the second-hand economy, where the music community can come together and exchange treasures and stories.
I know what you’re likely thinking…wait…what? That’s not just for bargains on cars and smartphones? Well, no. In fact, entertainment products like vinyl, CDs, and DVDs were the second most exchanged set of goods in Canada last year, making it a pretty popular place for audiophiles.
Vinyl is booming – and so is the cost to music fans. Revenues from vinyl sales last year were higher than those of on-demand ad supported streaming services, such as YouTube, Vevo and Spotify’s free service. But what’s forgotten is that there are hidden costs – not just the materials but replacing old vinyl presses. That is the primary driver of prices – records are expensive to manufacture.
But if you want to save money while finding that missing piece of your collection – and who doesn’t – this is where the second-hand economy leads the way. Music lovers are giving new life (or a second, third and fourth life) to items they don’t need anymore or have outgrown (or change your listening habits in the case of music.) Second-hand helps extends the lifespan of music products by putting them in the hands of other vinyl collectors.
If you take a quick look in my office you’ll find many remarkable records I’ve bought from various collections I’ve found used. There’s the very first single, The Silent Sun, from my favourite band Genesis long out of print and almost impossible to find for less than $1,000, a 45 single of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls Of Fire, and even an autographed copy of Level 42’s World Machine from 1985 that immediately took me back to Grade 8 that would have pleased the 15-year-old me to no end. I’ve read dozens of books about The Beatles, The Who, Nirvana and pretty much anything Nick Hornby wrote, all found from sellers who are also avid music listeners.
Being a radio show host, I love talking to people of all occupations, and meeting the first-rate owners of these collections are part of the joy in buying second-hand vinyl. I’ve met middle-aged men, possibly bearded (OK, usually bearded); young adults looking to move into smaller places with no room left for their records, women no longer on speaking terms with their ex-husbands (who left their records in the house), widowers who always hated Pink Floyd, widowers who will always love Pink Floyd, but can’t stand the memories of their late partner, those looking to change their leisure room into a new baby’s room, and a lot of people who have chosen to part with their collection just for some extra money in their pocket. Essentially it’s people like you and me.
It’s been said there are now two buyers of vinyl these days – one saves records as an artifact, the other for the art that’s on it. I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dry as that. You can easily be both, especially with easy and affordable ways to find that old treasure lost long ago, and the cover art from a classic to hang on your wall.
Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!
If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!