So, you want to get into record collecting but don’t know where to start? Record collecting has become one of the biggest new trends in music consumption, and with all the content surrounding them on social media, it’s no surprise that many people want to start their own collection. The only thing is it can seem a bit daunting at first. Many people have questions about starting their own vinyl record collection. What do I buy first? Where is the best place to buy records? How expensive are they? How do I store them? Is there any upkeep? As with starting any hobby, when trying to figure out how to start a record collection, it’s best to start with figuring out the basics. So here are some tips on how to start a vinyl collection:
How to Start a Vinyl Collection
1. Do your research
First, figure out why you want to start a vinyl record collection and find what works for you. This looks different for everybody. Research what goes into record collecting and make a list of things you may want or need. This could be a fairly small list or as lengthy as you want. When I first began getting into vinyl records, I didn’t know much about them at all. Doing research allowed me to set expectations for what I needed and helped me figure out my options. Because there’s more to record collecting than you may expect, doing research will help a lot when it comes to building a foundation for your vinyl record collection.
2. Start small
Because record collecting can be an expensive hobby, start small with your record collection. Don’t rush to buy 20 different vinyl records and an expensive record player, just focus on getting the essentials and building your vinyl record collection. When starting out, I only had a couple of vinyl records and an inexpensive record player. From there I eventually got more vinyl records, but I was never in a rush to get everything all at once. Giving yourself time to build your vinyl record collection allows you to appreciate the vinyl you have and to ensure that you find exactly what you want instead of rushing to have the perfect record collection.
3. Buy a record player
Of course, get a record player. Go for something cheaper but still good quality, something that works for you aesthetically and budget-wise. There really is no definitive record player, and because everyone’s needs are different, you may find that you do not need the most expensive record players on the market. I started with a budget vinyl record player and still use it because it fits my needs. However, it may not be the ideal player for someone more heavily into the technical side of records. At this point, there are so many options on the market, so do your research and determine exactly what you would need, but you’ll likely find that what works for you, in the beginning, will be something more basic.
4. Find your favorites
Here comes the fun part of starting a vinyl record collection. Obviously, you want to get your favorite albums for your record collection, but it isn’t always as easy as you would prefer depending on what you’re looking for. The best way to start is by going to a local record store. Depending on your nearby options, odds are you can find at least a few of the records you’re looking for. If you can’t find what you want in person, try searching for your favorite albums online. There are plenty of websites that sell used or rare records for fair prices. In my experience, I’ve found multiple records on the app Depop. However, there are many scalpers online as well, so it’s best to wait for the best deal instead of buying it the first chance you get. I’ve had to wait months for the right price before, and I learned that being patient often pays off with records. Once you get your favorites, though, you can expand your collection from there.
Check out my list: Cheapest Places to Buy Vinyl Records Online
5. Storage and upkeep
Be sure to store your vinyl records properly so that they don’t get damaged and that they will play at their highest potential. Many people don’t know how intricate vinyl record storage can be. For a long time, I didn’t know that you are not supposed to stack your vinyl records on top of each other because of potential warping that could happen over time. Also, another thing many don’t know is that you’re only supposed to grab the record from the edges, as touching the middle sections can cause the record to get dirty or scratched. If you’ve done either of these before, don’t worry, because I’ve done the same, but getting into the habit of treating your vinyl records properly will ensure that your record collection lasts longer and is better protected.
Consider buying a shelf or some type of storage for your vinyl records as well. Having a designated space for your vinyl records not only helps protect them but also gives your record collection a chance to shine and gives character to your space.
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About Elijah Cross
Elijah Cross is a 22-year-old writer in Orange County, California. Originally from Tennessee, he moved to Irvine to pursue a career in media in hopes to become an author. In his free time, he enjoys thrift shopping, record collecting, and occasionally skating.