Thrift Thursday - Vinyl

I've mentioned it before, but it's worth going over again. Thrift stores are great places to find vintage vinyl for your personal collection. Here are some pro's and con's regarding this venue for finding records.

The Good
  • Thrifted vinyl is CHEAP! 0.50 cents to $5. Easy and satisfying retail therapy!
  • Since you're not spending a lot of $, you can pick up a record just for fun, try new bands, or just grab it for the cover art.
  • Sometimes, you can find a real score that will make your day!
  • Looking at so many albums can prompt you to discover something you didn't realize you were looking for.
  • It's cool to see the name of the original owner on the sleeve, and sometimes the date they purchased the album so many years before you picked it up.
  • The cracks and pops from a well loved record are cool with me. If I wanted clarity, I'd listen to my ipod.
  • It's no biggie to upgrade to a nicer copy when you see a double.
  • When you need to get out and de-stress, flipping through stacks and stacks of albums is fun, and can be done with a coffee in hand.
  • Keep chilling at home on the sofa with your new vinyl, a few candles, and a glass of wine (or if you're preggo like me, a decaf coffee). 
 The Not-So-Good

  • Flipping through these stacks is a dirty job. Your hands will feel grimy quick, so bring sanitizer.
  • Digging is fun, but if you're determined to build your collection FAST - you're going to get really frustrated. Expect to see a lot of Nana Mouskouri, Neil Diamond, weird gross polka and kids records before you come across something you dig, even a bit.
  • Don't hold your breath for perfect (or even good) sleeves. It's the used and abused that usually make their way to the second hand market. I'm personally ok with names, pen marks, warped and ripped covers as long as the record is good.
  • Watch for bends and warps in the record itself (they're pretty durable tho). Second hand stores don't give a shit about how they pile their records, and most of your fellow customers won't care how they rifle through them either.
  • Scratches. Always examine the vinyl before buying. You probably won't be able to return it if it skips. Superficial, shallow scratches usually won't make the record skip, but they can damage your players stylus and add extra distortion (crackling). Take a chance on light scratches, but pass deep ones by with a sigh...
  • Dirty records are bad for your player too. Clean with a microfiber cloth to remove dust. If the vinyl has a film, try a soft microfiber cloth damp with luke warm soapy water. Dry extra water off then rub record with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove any soap residue. Dry and spin!
  • If you're looking for a collectible copy of your favorite albums, visit your local record store. It's worth it if you really love it.

Do you collect vinyl records? What would be your perfect score?