How to start a record collection on a budget

Tips and tricks on collecting vinyl that won't break the bank

How to start a record collection on a budget

Thinking about collecting records but on a budget? Vinyl record sales in 2021 were at their highest level for 30 years, so now is a great time to get started! Here are our best tips and tricks for when it comes to collecting vinyl.

You don't need an expensive record player

If you're just starting out there's no need to spend hundreds of pounds on a record player or turntable, you can get fairly inexpensive ones online and in some music shops. Look at reviews of products within your price range and decide which one suits your needs best. Remember, you can upgrade later if you decide collecting is something you enjoy and you're unhappy with your setup, but for now, keep it simple.

Second hand is sometimes better

ABBA for 50p anyone? If you're on a budget collecting records can be incredibly pricey, but car boot sales and second-hand listings on sites like eBay allow you to own your favourite music for less. At car boot sales you often see stands filled with records, usually meaning the seller knows a lot about their collection ie, how much it's worth. Whilst there's no harm in looking, try to find a stray box on the side of a different stall that isn't centred around music. Here the price is usually much cheaper and you really can find some cool stuff! 

Support local

Nothing brings me more joy than being able to browse record stores on the weekend.

While secondhand is a great place to start, when you're looking for something specific or want to treat yourself, supporting local record shops is the way to go! Many often have sales in-store and online, meaning you can pick modern records up for less and get exclusive pressings that aren't sold in chain music stores.

Set yourself a limit

It's super easy to spend, spend, spend when in record shops – they're exciting, full of stuff you love and have albums you have yet to discover. But you should set yourself a limit on how much money you can realistically afford. Maybe you buy 1 a month or can only stretch to 3 a year, the important thing is collections can be added to over many years and you don't need everything all at once.

Think about how much space you have

Records take up space so it's worth a thought about how you're going to store them. Whether you've got a clear shelf or a case in the corner of your room, know where you're going to store them and keep in mind how much space you have when shopping. Pro tip: it's best to stand the vinyl up rather than stacking to avoid the weight warping the vinyl! 

Records are meant to be played

Did your parents ever tell you to keep away from the collection in case it gets scratched? Don't let the fear of scratching put you off enjoying the music, be careful when handling and place softly on your turntable and you should be fine! Some collect records just for the aesthetic but for me, vinyl is about the music, no skips, no rewinds, an album in its entirety how the artist intended, it's about an experience that's personal to you.

Header Image Credit: Wokandpix


Faith Martin

Faith Martin Kickstart

Faith worked as a freelance journalist for a year after finishing her studies at Portsmouth College, writing for a number of esteemed publications as well as running her own music blog before joining Voice Magazine as a Kickstart Trainee Journalist. An avid vinyl collector and gig-goer, Faith also campaigns for disability rights and better disabled access at live music events.

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