Vinyl Buying Strategies (for DJing)


#1

Hey all…

Just wanted to share my little journey into the fascinating world of vinyl DJing. And today I wanted to focus on the buying aspect. Where I buy my vinyl and how I choose them.

When I first started, I just used discogs. I would pick a vinyl I like, check the cheapest most connivence place that had it, buy three more records and wait.

This works like anything else. The downside I discovered is that some places took forever to even ship. Some places had expensive shipping. It was just hard to predict.

Doing that, I discovered two places that I have had consistent good quality service with. HHV, needs no introduction. It’s one of the biggest records stores I guess. I’m no expert but that’s what it seems. Their service is top notch. Easily the fastest to ship and get back to you.

My second favorite is a small record shop in Italy called trenta3giri. The owner/seller is amazing to deal with. They ship fast and have a really good small collection that suits my needs, mainly house and minimal house type stuff.

That’s all nice and dandy, but then how do you pick which records? (Plz share your process if you wish)

Again, when I first started, I just picked a name that I knew, found few that sounded like it and called it a day.

Now, I’m more likely to go over the whole collection of records a shop has in a sub genre that interest me. See if any covers speak to me or if I recognize a label or an artist. Put everything I like in my shopping cart then comb through it.

I usually take out releases that I added too quickly and didn’t sound good on a second listen. Then I take out releases that are available on beatport or bandcamp. I do dj digitally so I would just buy them there. It gets tough when you’re down to a really good collection of say 50 records or so and can only buy 5-7.

Unless the records is truly amazing, I take out anything by artists/labels I already have. Then prioritize based on genre needs.

It gets cumbersome and messy. Some records I bought sound different when I get them. Some work some don’t. Lately I’ve had more success than failure.

I want to experiment with new sounds, but I also want to have quality mixes and learn to do play consistent quality sound.

What I have been curious about is websites like Deejay and Decks. I think I will try to browse them on my next purchase and see how that goes.

Anyway just love sharing things here. any suggestions stories are welcome.

I have also been noticing that more and more labels are available on Bandcamp, which I like. I think vinyl/bandcamp are two very good platforms.

Beatport is nice and has a lot of labels on it. I just wish it had an app where you cna listen to the music you bought like bandcamp. To me that’s a BIG miss.


#2

I’v tried to cut down on my vinyl addiction on and off in periods since the nineties.
Lately i’v also started testing djing digitally.

The only advice i have on what/how to buy your music is don’t overthink it!
Go with the initial feeling of whats right.

Do you have any way to go diggin ?

Diggin in old dusty cellars can make you find things that you didn’t know you needed.
Later you might regret it. But years after that i’v seen that some of the misses are actually serious finds. My brain can never decide, and perspective changes.

Its a completely different vibe than buying online.
Its a bit like playing live vs making a mixtape. You have to make it work at first try hehehe
Might end up wasting a bit in the start but you will get a slight feel of how much more control you now have with online browsing and the ability to listen to mostly everything before buying.
So it might make it easier to enjoy the online only approach.

Personally I really miss taking the rounds to my local record stores, but musically the selection now, is so much better.

Happy hunting!


#3

Yeah, I totally feel you.

I would go dig, but I’m there is only one record shop in my vicinity and it’s more of a pop/rock type thing. But whenever I’m traveling next, I will definitely stop by record shops to get a feel and buy few.

Now, I mainly ‘dig’ online. It’s a much more calculated decision than buying from a shop. I kinda crave that physical experience.


#4

Yeah this is a fun thing to do - I usually try to get something from the city or country I’m in, and make a note of where I got it in my discogs.

As for regular buying, I pretty much use juno/bandcamp alerts to stay on top of what’s coming out. I suppose I slightly prefer juno for vinyl because it works out cheaper to ship multiple things, but I like bandcamp for usually getting the digital as well when you buy things.

I also go to record stores mainly to get second-hand stuff. I’m lucky to live somewhere with quite a few options so I try to take advantage of it. I usually just have a set amount I want to spend but no particular record in mind, so I just dig about a bit. With a lot of genres I’ll take chances on what I buy but for house/techno/club stuff I don’t have a vinyl dj set up so I’ll only buy things from those genres on vinyl if they’re classics that I know I’ll hang onto forever.


#5

Funny enough I actually do enjoy online buying.

Top experience would be a mix of online/instore shopping. Where you pick bunch of records then go hear them in a store. It’s still a bit hard for me to tell how big the kick is on some records and that’s really important to keep track of.


#6

Agreed with some thoughts in this interview:

Back in the day you actually had to buy everything on vinyl, including the simple tools you only use for DJ sets. Nowadays I wouldn’t buy a record that was only made to be carried around in your record bag for no longer than a month. I don’t necessarily need to buy every single 12” there is. Rather I go for a record that is good and timeless. I’m always on the hunt for good songs. Back in the day, you had to buy those club-tools on vinyl because there simply wasn’t any other format you could play them on. This is different now. Those tools are now often available as digital files straight away, and there’s no need for me to buy them on vinyl.

I think i’m the same way. I dig for emotional, end of the night, all-timer status stuff on wax and play it from wax – classic NYC house, current ambient house like Giegling, etc etc. The I typically buy DJ Tools, “vibe” centric, aesthetically oriented, loopy or minimal stuff on digital. It’s just not that important to me to have the stripped back stuff on wax.

It’s not a hard and fast rule because some tools are wax only, and if they’re bangers i’ll buy, but its digi first if I can find it.