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The basic guide to finding great records at thrift stores.

Here's some advice and other odd and ends on finding great records at thrift stores.

1. Do some research to find all the thrift stores in your area, and read the reviews, If the store consistently receives poor reviews don't go their it will only be a waste of time and maybe money. High prices are the only thing to check on as all other factors such as disorganization, quality of staff, etc are based mostly on option.

2. The records are almost always near or in the media section but sometimes they are somewhere else. If you can't find them, then ask the owner or an employee, they will know where they are (hopefully), if there are any at the store of course.

3. If the price is not noted, ask the owner or an employee, if they say some over the top high price,  look for a minute or two to see if there is anything worth the price they are asking, and leave. A great price is $0.25 to $1.00, anything over 2.00 is not usually worth it. Something to note, a "normal price" varies form area to area, For me this is the typical range of what a good price is for me.

4. Decide before hand what you are looking for and how much you want to spend and stick with it, otherwise you will walk out with lots of stuff you may not actually end up listening too. Don't just buy it because it's inexpensive, and just so you know not all records are rare.

5. Look at the stacks of records and look for the 78's, 45's and the LPs (they are usually separated in different groups, but some times they're mixed together).

6. Always flip through the records individually and pull out anything that catches your eye. Then after going through them all the records the store has, take your records and decide whether you really want the records you have selected. If you are on the fence whether or not to purchase the item, go with your gut feeling and act on it, better safe then sorry. Once you have done this take your finds to the counter and pay for them.

7. Remember, bring as much cash as you can, otherwise you will kick yourself when you could get all the records you wanted to get.

7. Listen and enjoy your records, if you find an artist or group you love then keep a look out for them the next time you go to crate digging.    

Happy digging!


My Dejay SP-20 record player

This was a portable turntable I bought when I started collecting records. This video shows me demonstrating the turntable shortly before I donated it to a thrift store because I need space for my Newcomb record player.