Vinyl Shopping: the second-hand way. Kathryn Houldcroft

This week, blogger Kathryn @secondhandtales, shareskatheryn her tips on all things Vinyl!

Vinyl is on the rise. Last year saw the launch of the UK’s first ever weekly record chart and in 2014 sales reached 1.29 million.

If you are one of the many households who have recently purchased a turntable, or dusted down your old one, charity shops are a great place to add to your vinyl collection.

While prices can vary and the selection can be eclectic, it’s still worth a good rummage to secure that classic you’ve been looking for – or to try something new.

Here are my tips:

1) Get to know those shops that stock records. Most charity shops no longer relegate their dusty vinyl donations to the storeroom. However, how records are priced and displayed vary widely from shop to shop. Vinyl savvy stores will make their vinyl donations a feature, with wall displays and sought after albums on show. The prices may also match the rarity of some of these records. However, if you are prepared to sift through a lot of Richard Clayderman LPs, then there are still plenty of bargains to be found.

2) Check the condition. This is an obvious point but worth following each time. Carefully take the record out of its sleeve and look for obvious scratches or smears. If there are only a few small scratches it may be worth buying anyway, particularly if it’s an album you really want. Some charity shops even provide their own listening booths, so you can ‘try before you buy’.

3) Be realistic. Although most new releases also come in vinyl format you are not going to get that Foals album on sale for 50p. From my own experience the seventies and the eighties are the decades most represented in charity shop record bins.  Even if you weren’t born then there are still some timeless albums to add to your second-hand wishlist. I’ve picked up classic Abba, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, and even ‘Now That’s What I Call Music Vol 1’ for a few quid from charity shops.


4) Be open to new music. Even if you haven’t heard of the artist, if buying an album for £2 you could always give it a go. If you decide the music isn’t for you, you could re-donate it, or try upcycling the vinyl or get artistic with the cover.

5) Make it fun! We regularly hold record player nights for our friends to bring their old vinyl along to play (yes, we remember it the first time round!). We also have a £1 challenge to see who can pick up the best (or worst?) LP from the local charity shops. After all, one person’s cheesy tune is another’s guilty pleasure….

The Barnardo’s store in Brixton is the first charity shop in the UK to specialise in Vinyl, musical equipment & memorabilia.  

Head down today or find a store closer to home here and start adding to your collection!



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