For vinyl enthusiasts across the globe, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Throughout the history of Record Store Day (RSD), thousands of record collectors and shops have been brought together to celebrate and share their love for music and vinyl. The ritual of crate-digging through masses of albums is both thrilling and exciting as your eyes get hopeful to land on that record you’ve been searching for. Above all, RSD is a great opportunity to connect with your community and support local indie record shops.
Each year record collectors get overwhelmed with the buzz and anticipation of “what can I get and where can I get it”. With the high demand, any advantage helps increase your chance of checking off the items on your RSD wishlist. So as the second drop date approaches, we’ve put together some pro tips to help you get prepared for Record Store Day.
- Record Store Day Shopping Tips
- 1. Be prepared, have your list ready
- 2. Contact record stores in advance
- 3. Arrive at your local record store early
- 4. Scope out the record store in advance
- 5. Stick to record store day titles
- 6. Scour record store social media accounts
- 7. Utilize online vinyl communities
- 8. Meet other vinyl enthusiasts
- 9. Browse unpopular or hidden record stores
- 10. Browse RSD lists for difference countries
- 11. Be mindful of shopping online
- 12. Plan ahead for weather
Record Store Day Shopping Tips
1. Be prepared, have your list ready
This step is VERY important. Most record collectors who line up at the doors know which RSD releases they are looking to purchase. With all the drop list hype, it’s never a good idea to show up without being prepared. The most efficient way to stay organized and avoid becoming overwhelmed in the heat of the moment is to do research and have your RSD wishlist ready in advance.
An easy method to ensure you track everything you want is to print the online RSD drop lists you are interested in, then highlight your top picks. Then, write your list of wanted record titles in order with your most desired release being number one. This will ensure you search for what you want first when you enter the store.
2. Contact record stores in advance
Another preparation tactic is to call or email your local record shop beforehand to ask about their anticipated RSD drop list stock. If you’re a regular at your local shop, pay the store a visit to ask in-person. Not all shops will be willing to relay this information, but it’s worth the effort. If your local shop doesn’t have the record you’re looking for, call other record stores in towns around you before resorting to purchasing online. You could even ask a friend or family member to make a trip to a different store for you so you can shop in two places at once.
3. Arrive at your local record store early
Get your patience ready for long wait lines. It’s not uncommon for the most anticipated RSD releases to sell out fast. Expect to arrive well in advance to get your hands on the vinyl you want. Oh, what we do for the love of vinyl, am I right?
4. Scope out the record store in advance
This is a very advantageous strategy. Visit the record store you are planning to shop at a day or two in advance, especially if you don’t often visit. This will help you get familiar with the layout, where certain genres are, and where new releases are placed so you can navigate around quicker to get your hands on those prized limited releases. At this point, hopefully your RSD wishlist has already been thought out, so you can make a mental note of where you’ll need to go when you arrive on Record Store Day.
5. Stick to record store day titles
Many of us can spend hours crate-digging through albums, but try to stay focused and remember what you’re there for. Prioritize the RSD releases you wish to purchase and come back another day to explore the used titles so other excited vinyl enthusiasts have a chance to shop their RSD wishlist. Especially with covid restrictions still active in some areas, it’s courtesy to get in and get out of the store as quickly as possible.
If you aren’t currently following your local indie record shops on social media, we recommend you do! Many record shops will post teasers and RSD announcements in advance as well as do a virtual flipping through their current stock. Keep an eye on their social feeds day-of event for photo and video updates. You may spot an item that’s on your RSD wishlist and need to take a trip to another store!
7. Utilize online vinyl communities
Another method to RSD shopping is making friends with other like-minded individuals in online vinyl communities. Join a virtual group on Reddit or Facebook and get to know the members so you can help each other track down your desired vinyl releases. If you’re part of a good community, you can keep an eye out for their picks and ship internationally for one another.
8. Meet other vinyl enthusiasts
There’s nothing more satisfying than having an energetic conversation with other passionate vinyl-heads. While you’re waiting, stay off your phone and use the RSD line as an opportunity to meet and chat with other record collectors. Good conversation starters can include asking who their favorite artists are or what their top targets are inside the store.
Sometimes finding your RSD wishlist item is like searching for a needle in the haystack. With the overwhelming crowds and excitement of RSD, you can try visiting a record store you think will be least busy. RSD is a great opportunity to take a trip and go further out of your way to support a less busy or hard to find indie shop. You never know what you may find!
10. Browse RSD lists for difference countries
RSD is celebrated by many vinyl enthusiasts around the globe. There are different drop lists that may not be released in your country, therefore you may want to research what is available at international record shops that you could buy. Help support indie shops by reaching out to record stores individually to see if they’d be willing to ship to you. Check out the list of RSD websites and participating stores here.
11. Be mindful of shopping online
As a rule of thumb on RSD, buyers are encouraged to shop in-store and support local indie shops over purchasing from chain-stores or aftermarket resales. For many small record shops, RSD brings in a bulk of their annual revenue, and they rely on local vinyl enthusiasts to support their store. Keep in mind many local shops will post their remaining stock online after Record Store Day. You may want to contact local record shops first if you are planning to purchase online.
12. Plan ahead for weather
Don’t let the weather ruin your day. Keep an eye on your local weather network and prepare for heat or rain by bringing water and an umbrella. Maybe throw a small snack in your bag to avoid getting “hangry” while you wait in line.
Check out the July 17 RSD drop list for participating stores near you here.
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