Record Store Day: How to afford your collection

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For music lovers, thumbing through crates at a record store might be the stuff dreams are made of. What rare treasures will you behold? What hidden gems can you add to your collection? And wait, it’s how much for that rare overseas pressing?!

Like any collection, building a vinyl library can take time, patience, and a fair amount of money. In honour of Record Store Day, we chatted with music fan, Ryan, on how he built his 700+ record collection without breaking the bank.

HonestMoney: First things first. How many records in your collection?

Ryan: A few over 700 right now, at last count.

HM: How long have you been building your collection?

R: It’s been just over 10 years. I bought my own turntable at a boxing day sale. There’s a small portion—maybe 10 to 15—that I’ve accumulated from my parents, but the rest I’ve collected on my own over the past 10 years.

HM: What’s the first vinyl record you ever bought?

R: The deluxe version of In Rainbows by Radiohead.

HM: What’s the most recent record you’re purchased (as of our conversation)?

R: I bought a trio of used records from one of my favourite local record shops: Damn by Kendrick Lamar, The Whole Love by Wilco, and the one I was most excited about—a first pressing of New Wave by Against Me! which is on yellow see-through vinyl.

HM: What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single record?

R: A copy of REM’s Monster, which is funny because it’s probably one of the most popular bargain bin CDs. Like a lot of albums in the 90s, it wasn’t mass-produced on vinyl so when you do find original records from the 90s, they usual cost a little more.

HM: How do you make room in your budget for your collection?

R: It was tougher to show restraint when I was starting out because there were so many records that I wanted. But now, my collection is large enough I don’t feel the same need to buy a record as soon as I see it. I try to focus on the records I really want at this point. When I do want to do an impulse buy, I weigh the pros and cons of buying it and try to be really deal conscious. I’m also willing to let go of records I don’t listen to that much. If I see a record I really love, I think about what I have that I could trade in.

HM: Any advice for budding collectors?

R: Record fairs are a great way to build your collection quickly and affordably. Focus on records you really want, not just grabbing them because they’re available. There’s never been a better time than now to find the kinds of records that can really fill up a collection quickly.

HM: What’s your desert island disc?

R: This is such a hard question. For the sheer sake of not going mad by listening to one record for the rest of time, I would choose Dark Was the Night which is a compilation record benefitting the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. It’s like a time capsule of all the bands I loved from my 20s.