There’s nothing quite like dropping in to your local record shop and digging through crates to find the records you didn’t even know you needed in your collection. But, you simply can’t beat the convenience of the internet. Maybe you’re looking to expand your collection with a curated subscription. Maybe you’ve been searching endlessly for that one obscure record but no stores seem to stock it. So you head to the world wide web. But, where do you buy vinyl online? We’re glad you asked. We put together a list of our favorite online record stores that make it easy to start a new collection or grow an existing one–without ever having to set foot outside.
The World’s Largest Independent Record Store, Amoeba Music is a California-based mom-and-pop outfit that has exploded into one of the best online music retailers in the world. Want to pre-order the latest upcoming release on vinyl or CD from your favorite modern band? They have you covered. Looking for a particular rockabilly, country, experimental, spoken word, or underground metal release? They have you covered there, too. What’s more, each of the pages is built out with a Dig-Deeper section that recommends related purchases, lets you see an artist’s other releases, and similar releases from the label. They even have Amoeba Exclusive releases you won’t find anywhere else. All of this is packaged in an easy-to-use site that also includes a lot of knowledge from their expert staff to give it the brick & mortar feel. Buy
Vinyl Me, Please
To this day, Vinyl Me, Please remains one of our favorite monthly delivery clubs. Their combination of excellent curation, exclusive repressings and a focus on the vinyl album as a piece of art has made them a modern powerhouse in the space. While you can purchase many of their options without becoming a member of the monthly club, members get preferred pricing and access to special releases you really want in your collection. They recently celebrated their 100th Essentials Record of the Month and decided to bring back some past classics for members. Outkast Stankonia. Miles Davis & John Coltrane Live in Paris 1960. Al Green Call Me. Queen A Night At The Opera. Gorillaz Demon Days. The selection might be limited, but every monthly release is, as the kids say, an absolute banger. Buy
Founded by a bunch of crate diggers from Chicago the better part of thirty years ago, Dusty Groove is the online home for jazz, soul, funk, hip hop, R&B, and reggae vinyl. That’s not to say they don’t have plenty of new releases that run the gamut across the most popular genres as well, but they specialize in the sounds of the past that made vinyl a thing in the first place. The website can be a bit overwhelming with all the options, but the categories are well-sorted and easy to browse. They even have discounted used vinyl records categories divided into full LPs, 12″, and 7″ options for you savvy deal hunters. The online platform became so successful over the years that they expanded into a brick & mortar shop on Chicago that is a must visit when you’re in town. Buy
Yes, yes, we know. Amazon is the big box devil putting all of the local mom-and-pop record stores we know and love out of business. But there is something to be said for the convenience, damn near unbeatable prices, free shipping, trackable delivery and release day arrival that you’ll only find on Amazon. They’ve even launched their very own monthly vinyl subscription service. We would skip the used and independent seller options because there are more reputable sites on this list when it comes to used vinyl records. For modern releases and reissues ranging from The Beatles Abbey Road Anniversary and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to Leon Bridges Gold-Diggers Sound and Prince’s Welcome 2 America, you could order them today and be listening to them tomorrow. Buy
If we were forced to choose only one place to buy vinyl records online, it would absolutely be Discogs. Don’t get us wrong, we love all of the other options on this list, but there is no site that has replicated the in-person community of record collecting online quite like Discogs has. With their editorial pieces, trending releases, events, forums, and groups, Discogs is its own social media network and valuable music news destination, and that’s before you even get into the massive online marketplace. Hit the Marketplace section to find millions of records across all of the genres for sale from independent sellers and record stores all over the world. Looking for that recent Röyksopp release with the Banksy cover art? It’s on Discogs. How about close to 500 different versions of Bowie’s The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in various languages from the last half-century? They’re on Discogs. If it’s weird, limited, international-only, or long since sold out, Discogs is the place you should be looking. Buy
What about the turntable?
Whether you’re an experienced collector or you just bought your first vinyl, you’re going to need a turntable to play all your vinyl. It doesn’t matter if you want to spend a couple hundred bucks or thousands, there are a lot of great options on the market. Check out The Best Turntables for Every Budget feature for a complete list, but if you’re only buying one, we’d recommend the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO Turntable
In addition to being downright gorgeous, the build quality and features of this turntable are outstanding. It has a carbon-fiber tonearm, Sumiko Rainier phono cartridge (that’s factory mounted and aligned), stamped steel platter with TPE damping and Electronic Speed Selection to switch between 33s, 45s and even 78s. We bought one ourselves years ago and it looks, sounds and performs just as well today as it did on the day we took it out of the box. Buy