By Kasper Delaney-Petersen
The first step on your way to getting good music for dirt-cheap is, of course, to stay away from going to just one store. Sure, a bit of brand loyalty can go a long way, but charity shops, second-hand and vintage stores, as well as your average record specialist will allow you to get the most out of your money. As is the case with all of life’s plans, there are quite a few drawbacks to keeping away from professional retailers. Which brings me to my next point:
This is by far the most important piece of advice anyone can give, and it took me quite a long while to figure it out myself (just because I’m an eejit). Once you find a good deal, make sure you check the quality of the vinyl and to see if what you’re buying is actually what you wanted. If you really want to know why this is the most important tip, just see the picture (see below!). Checking your sleeves can be an excellent opportunity to find thirty year old bags of drugs too, that’s why you should check out ‘thingsifoundinrecords’ on Instagram.
‘Blind buying’ is a term myself and many others use to describe purchasing a record or any piece of music based solely upon the look of the cover – having never heard either the music inside, or of the artist that made it. Some of my favourite albums of all time have come about simply because I saw a picture of a bunch of long-haired metal dudes on the back cover. Blind buying is also one of the best ways to ensure that your collection is both diverse in look and musical style. Always be wary of blind buying however, as you will end up with some absolute stinkers because of it.
Try to Save as Much Money as Possible
This tip can be given for anything really, but when it comes to building a collection of something, be it video-games, music, high-heels, or even multilingual bibles, the best thing you can do is save money to buy extra. Sure, splashing out once in a while for that super-rare third-and-a-half pressing of Pope John Paul II Live in Drogheda (shout-out to co-ed “Dab” Grennan) can be great to ensure you love everything about your record shelf, but setting yourself back can lead to missing out. I would recommend checking prices on discogs.com if you are unsure whether or not €15 is a good deal. The only downside to checking prices online is the extra expenses like postage or import duty.