The issue with vinyl is that it takes up a ton of flipping space. With MP3 versions of a whole house full of records able to fit into just a small box, there is no mystery why the digital method is preferred these days. This space-saving technology has inspired many collectors of vinyl to sell off their collections, creating a very cheap market for audiophiles, collectors, and hipsters to be in phonographic bliss. Even though “The Great Sell Off” of the 90’s and 00’s has winded down, there is still a ton of great deals and for the crafty, even free records can be found.
For anybody looking to get into spinnin and/or collecting vinyl records today, there are numerous ways to discover. The best way to get a ton of records is to browse vinyl lots on Ebay. These can be a collection of 25 to 100 to even more, and the general price range is less than a dollar per record. Numerous classic House lots can be found and can give a beginner vinyl DJ an instant collection.
If you want to put in a little work, you can buy multiple lots. Sift through and keep the records you want and put the ones you don’t to the side. After you have 25 or so that you don’t want, you can then sell them yourself on Ebay in a lot. If you play this game right you can end up getting back your initial investment and getting your records for free. If you find valuable records in the lot, you can even make money. Now that’s straight pimpin.
An alternative to Ebay is Craigslist. You can also find lots here but the prices can be all over the place. Negotiations are necessary. The good thing about Craigslist is that you can also barter which is a great option. Make sure to check the free section as well because sometimes people are moving or just need the space and will give you all of their vinyl.
Facebook can also be great to obtain records, especially if you have cool DJ friends. I see all of the time people selling their vinyl here or giving it away. Also, a simple post asking if anyone has any vinyl records that you can buy will be very useful.
Another free method, although a little controversial, is to break into houses. It might sound a little risky but I ensure you that it’s okay. Just make sure there is nobody living there anymore. Boarded up houses and ones with missing roofs are all fair game for an adventurous audio hustler. Detroit is full of these and in many basements of old cribs you can find some badass Motown records, 45’s included. All the copper will be gone but those heavy records will be there. Make sure to wear boots and watch out for needles. If you find a crack head just give him a cigarette and ask where the vinyl is. Crack heads are people too.
The best records in a collectors arsenal are ones with stories shared with friends over a glass of dynamite. Although the last method is a little crazy, depending on your circle of friends, it adds an artistic depth to both the collection and collector. You don’t necessarily have to break and enter for a good story though. Keeping an eye out and an ear to the street can bring you across some great finds.
I was driving home from a DJ gig recently and got a tip from a friend that a record store in Ferndale went out of business and threw the rest of their vinyl on the sidewalk. I busted a U-turn and came upon a mountain of records, and took them all. Filled my whole ride with a ton of stuff that is actually collapsing on me as I type this article. One of these days I am going to sell them in a lot on Ebay, maybe for you to purchase.