You gave up convenience.
You gave up on-the-go flexibility.
You gave up crystal-clear digital clarity.
You gave up space for equipment.
Music, Music, Music
Why? Because of the music. There’s magic in vinyl. And you know that there is no substitute for music played on a good record player or turntable. Science bears it out (sort of): a vinyl record can simply—or not-so-simply—hold more musical information than a digital file. At least for now.
But you? You aren’t concerned with scientific facts that your ear—your soul—already knows to be true. You are only looking to expand your vinyl collection. To that end, let’s take a journey to the best places to buy vintage vinyl records online and help you start or further expand your record collection.
See? Modern-Technology is good for something!
#1 AMOEBA MUSIC
The self-proclaimed largest independent record store in the US, Amoeba Music boasts 3 large brick-and-mortar stores in California and a very impressive online presence. At nearly 27,000 records for sale (including LPs, 78s, 10”, 12” and 7” records), Amoeba has one of the largest selections of vinyl records, including rare and hard-to-find vintage treasures.
Live near one of their stores? Amoeba makes free house calls to evaluate and purchase large collections of 500 records or more. Live out of state? No problem. Amoeba Music will send a rep to wherever you are if your collections contain 1000 or more records. This dedication to finding hidden gems and keeping their inventory stocked is why vintage vinyl seekers come back to them again and again.
#2 REVERB LP
Reverb LP definitely gets our vote for the “Community Spirit Award.” No time to research shops, sites, and private sellers to find your vintage treasures? Don’t worry—Reverb LP has done it for you. Their angle? “We’re a marketplace, bringing together the vinyl community to buy, sell, trade, and discuss all things record.” On their platform, you can:
- Buy one record or a whole collection.
- Sell your vinyl records on their free listing platform (small 6% fee when your record sells).
- Chat about vinyl history.
- Trade with other collectors.
Reverb LP covers all the bases. At the time of writing, they have 19K records to buy outright and over 3K to bid on in their auction. And their “Deals and Steals” section has nearly 400 handpicked records, updated daily.
EIL call themselves “the world’s best online store for rare, collectible, and out-of-print vinyls since 1987.” And with a nearly-perfect trustpilot.com rating and almost 3,500 positive reviews, the online vinyl world agrees.
Speaking of the world, one thing that sets EIL apart from other online vinyl sellers is their scope of buyers, sellers, and seekers. Their reach spans 500,000 buyers and sellers in over 100 different countries. With their worldwide maps, you’re able to see lists (and more lists) of most-wanted records as well as prices offered should you have any such collectible.
If rare vinyl records from around the world are your jam, get ready to grove. With their “rarest collectibles” category topping 500 records at first glance—including a copy of The Beatles’ Abby Road on red vinyl (only 1 of 4 copies in existence)—you know this is where true collectors “Come Together.”
Looking for something specific? EIL has 100 (give or take) “Collector’s Stores” to help you find the artist and the record you want with less searching.
If you’re an audiophile who loves to spend hours at record stores digging for hidden vintage treasures, Vinylhub is a must-visit site to grow your collection. Their goal? An ambitious one: “to document every physical record shop on the planet!”
With their list currently at 8,720 brick-and-mortar shops and counting, their site encourages community documentation and is a great place to list your favorite local record shop or find a new one. Their easy search tool allows you to query city, country, region, or genre. And their directory listings are robust and include:
- Store description
- Hours of operation
- URLs (both website and social sites)
- Maps and directions
Taking a vacation, a business trip, or a weekend drive to a new city? Use Vinylhub to find a local record store wherever you find yourself. Who knows—what Yelp did for the retail/service industries, Vinylhub may one day create for the vinyl community.
#5 AUCTION HOUSES
For the patient, open-to-almost-any-genre-of-vinyl person, online auction sites are an economical place to expand a vinyl collection. Often these sites will offer large lots of records for very little money; and if you’re lucky, there just might be a gem hidden among the variety.
Two of the largest and easiest-to-use sites for vintage records are:
- Live Auctioneers “brings an international audience of millions to the bidding action in art, antiques, jewelry and collectibles auctions across the globe.” Their current vintage record offerings include 268 different lots for sale—most of which have 10+ records per lot, with new lots added daily. A user-friendly interface allows you to search by categories or specific keywords; their registration process is minimal; and their notifications make sure you don’t miss out on bid increases, new items, or followed-searches.
- Omega Auctions UK is a must-visit site for vintage vinyl lovers! Their claim to fame is this: “We’re the #1 worldwide auction house for rare and collectible vinyl records.” And with their international database of collectors and dealers selling roughly 500,000 records each year, they certainly deliver on their claims:
- Unlike other auction houses, Omega Auctions specializes in MUSIC
- Their vintage vinyl lots are organized into genre, musician, era, region, and other creative categories to make searching fun and intuitive.
- Their records are each graded for quality so you know exactly what you’re getting.
- They offer free valuations should you want to sell vinyl to them.
#6 HONORABLE MENTION
Our honorable mention shout-out goes to a Facebook group called “The Original Vinyl Auctions Group.” (TOVAG) While not comparable to the big guys of the vintage vinyl world, TOVAG has an impressive community of about 11,780 vinyl lovers who chat about, trade, buy, and sell vintage vinyl.
- Exclusivity – TOVAG is a closed group, meaning that you have to request membership by the admins of the page; but the 4-question process is painless, and you will most likely gain access to the group within 24 hours. Once in, you can browse the sales, request your “white whale” vinyl requests to the group, join a discussion, ask a question, or just keep tabs on the vintage-record scene.
- Bidding – The group’s bidding rules are clearly laid out on their page, and each item is intricately detailed, so you know exactly what you’re getting. The bidding process is straightforward and familiar, with most records starting at $1-$5 and increasing in whole-dollar increments.
- Payment – For the majority of items, payment is made by PayPal, giving both the buyer and seller the added assurance of arbitration, should it be necessary.
- 24-Hour Auctions – If you like quick wins and instant gratification—who doesn’t?—you’ll love the speedy format of this page’s auctions. The maximum length of a listing is 24 hours, which means you won’t have to follow an endless auction only to lose in the final minutes (we’re looking at you, Ebay).
It’s All at Your Fingertips
So whether you’re a classic vinyl aficionado or a vinyl novice—there’s a world of music at your fingertips and plenty to love about each of these online marketplaces. Now that you know the “where” to buy vintage vinyl records, head over to our “how” to collect for tips on getting started or learn how to clean vinyl records to preserve your new collection. Happy treasure hunting!
How Stuff Works. Is the Sound on Vinyl Records Better Than on CDs or DVDs? https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/is-the-sound-on-vinyl-records-better-than-on-cds-or-dvds.htm
Amoeba. CD & Vinyl. https://www.amoeba.com/music/cd-and-vinyl/#/
Reverb LP. Deals and Steals. https://lp.reverb.com/handpicked/listings/deals-and-steals
EIL. Collector Stores. https://eil.com/artist/store_index.asp
Vinylhub. Recent Additions. https://www.vinylhub.com
Victrola. Vinyl Records Collection Guide. https://victrola.com/blogs/articles/vinyl-records-collection-guide
Victrola. Best Vinyl Records to Collect for Beginners. https://victrola.com/blogs/articles/best-vinyl-records-to-collect-for-beginners
Victrola. 8 Classic Vinyl Records You Should Own. https://victrola.com/blogs/articles/8-classic-vinyl-records-you-should-own