Guest Post From vinylstall.com: Learn More About Record Collecting Online

Photo by  James Debono   
Today's post comes from a guest blogger at vinylstall.com; a great new site to help you find those hard-to-find titles on the ever-precious vinyl format. If you would like to guest post on my blog, please feel free to email me, I would love to feature your post. Please keep subjects around vinyl records, or any facet thereof. 




Learn More about Record Collecting Online

The Internet has opened up a whole new world for record collectors. Not only can people search for rare and vintage recordings, they can contact other collectors from all over the world to find online auctions, estate and private sales. Websites like MusicStack and Gemm make searching for available records very easy - search by artist, album title, or genre. Additionally, the site www.vinylstall.com actually makes a comparison of these marketplaces, so that you don’t have to go to each one individually.

Online Tips and Resources

Websites like the Record Collectors Guild, provide tips, advice and search capabilities for those searching for album. An international record collecting community, members can join online forums to ask questions, post records for sale, or provide tips about buying, selling, and appraising records. Other online resources include:


Use these resources to meet fellow collectors, search for available titles, or just learn more about vinyl. Even if you're new to record collecting, you'll have fun meeting new people from different countries that have a passion for records. The advice and tips you'll learn will help you become a savvy collector.
Popular topics on record collecting forums include

·       ways to buy/sell vintage and rare recordings
·       book and magazine recommendations
·       ways to maintain/repair records
·       where to purchase turntables
·       upcoming collector events
·       places to find rare recordings
·       music reviews
·       music store reviews
·       vinyl record news

By talking with other people, you can learn much about record collecting and places to go to find the best or rare recordings.


Reasons to Search Online

If you have a local music store or book shop that carries vinyl records, visit to see how much inventory they have and when they restock. By seeing records up close and personal, you will soon be able to recognize records of quality and those that have defects (even small defects such as hairline cracks in the vinyl or small tears on the cover art or liner notes).

In addition to visiting local stores, use online resources to build your collection or to find special recordings. Over the years, the Internet has exploded thanks to advances in technology. With higher quality images, the ability to instantly contact people and conduct searches on large databases, you can easily find what you're looking for.

Searching for records online also allows you to take your time instead of making a snap decision when visiting a store. You can also research the value of specific albums to determine a fair price. You may find several online outlets offering the same album. And with increased competition come competitive prices. Using a site such as www.vinylstall.com you will be able to see which one of the competition has your vinyl record at the lowest price.

Online Record Collecting: The Future

With increased popularity of social media, particularly websites like Facebook and Twitter, you can join contact lists to learn when records go on sale via email or by text message. This will reduce the time spent searching for titles. The future of online record collecting looks very bright. As most people now have smartphones and other portable devices, you can post a question on a forum or make a purchase when on the go. This makes record collecting even easier.




Vinyl Record Carrying Cases: Platter-Paks and Beyond

Oh how I LOVE these vintage record carrying cases! OK, so they're not the ideal thing to have in a state where it rains nine months out of the year. They are, after all, just made out of cardboard and most are at least 50 years old. but I love 'em all the same, and they are highly collectible among record collectors and vintage lovers alike.. Sadly, most of them have not held up well in the test of time, mostly from improper storage.









The 45 boxes, like all of these pictured above, are the most common, and easier to find. It's the LP boxes (pictured below) that are really hard to find, and go up in value as time goes on. They really don't make 'em like this anymore. The box on the left is a true Platter-Pak, which were almost always brightly colored, and/or patterned. The box on the right is literally from RCA Records, and is by far the sturdier of the two. Winnie-the-Pooh of course speaks for itself and comes from the 70's.

Most all of these record cases are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop and website.




Nowadays, Crosley is a popular maker of staunch LP record cases, making transport not only easy, but safe as well. There are plenty of DJ quality vinyl cases out there too, but be prepared to shell out some serious bucks for them. This case holds 30 LP's, perfect for an evening of record playing at a friend's house.

 

Then if you're super serious about transporting your vinyl, the Odyssey case pictured below is as staunch as it gets and holds up to 200 LP's. It's heavy, but you gotta protect your babies, right? What's nifty about this one is the top is detachable for easy flipping through the stacks and display, if you so choose.


Whichever cases you like to use, they're the perfect way to protect your babies while giving them portability, and they look great just hanging out near your record collection too. Even if you find cases which are not in good enough condition to carry around, get them anyway (if the price is right) to use as decor and actual storage. Keep spinning those little black records!

BIRTHDAY SALE IN MY ETSY SHOP!


I've decided to to celebrate my birthday a little early this year, and now have a BIRTHDAY SALE going on in my Etsy Vinyl Shop! All vinyl is 15% off for a limited time. Prices have already been discounted, so you're good to go.

AND don't forget to pick up the COUPON CODE located on the sidebar of this page; enter at checkout (before making payment) and you will receive a further discount on your entire purchase as my way of saying THANK YOU for checking out my little vinyl blog. Please remember to use the coupon code before making the payment so the system can calculate your discount. Reductions after the fact will not be honored.

Help me celebrate my birthday by purchasing some bitchin' vinyl. It's a win-win situation!

80's Bands Better Than Their Top 40 Hits On Vinyl: Bow Wow Wow

Here begins a recurring series about 80's bands that I have come to love because of vinyl. These are not bands I was unfamiliar with, but ones that I explored beyond their top 40 hits of their day. What's really interesting about this is that it's like finding new music, amongst all the garbage that is 'radio friendly' today...only some of the music within this series is at least 25 years old. And we begin with Bow Wow Wow...

While it's true that no 14 year old should understand (much less be singing about); the trials and tribulations of sex, lust and love, among other things. But Annabella Lwin sounds mighty pretty up against the tribal beats and dirty grooves of The Ants (Sorry Adam, you know I will always love you). Of course, they are probably best known for 'I Want Candy' cover, which is fine, but Bow Wow Wow are so much more than that...

This album in particular is a non-stop party of hits from beginning to end. I was so pleasantly surprised when I 'test-listened' to it, thinking it would fit in nicely in my shop, and deciding to instead add it to my personal collection. There is some really solid musicianship ship here, with a special nod to Leigh Gorman for his deliciously wicked bass work. Totally fresh, totally relevant. Kick ass.

Stay tuned for much more to come within this series of bands I have discovered on vinyl who were so much better than their Top 40 hit(s). Who have you discovered?

Disney, Marvel Comics, Star Trek & Power Records Monster Series On Sweet, Sweet Vinyl

Recently, the planets have aligned perfectly for me to have come across several collections of 1960's and 1970's Disney, comic book hero, Star Trek and Monster Series 7" records. Literally, I came across all of them one by one, one right after the other. Simply astonishing. Now, I don't usually like to inundate my Etsy Vinyl Shop with Children's Records, but when they are this good, there is no passing them up. Let's have a look, shall we?






Star Trek fans will be happy to see several offerings available in my shop, I was stunned to see the condition of these babies, absolutely unbelievable. Children's records are so often trashed and unplayable, I couldn't believe that some of these were still SEALED!







And last, but never least, I found a few Power Records Monster Series sets, but of course I collect those myself, so this is the only one I have available at the moment...but I am always on the hunt for more!


I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. Did you have some of these when you were a kid? I wasn't that lucky, but that doesn't mean I can't relive my childhood now with the things I missed out on! How about you??

Review of Michael Fremer's 'It's A Vinyl World After All' DVD

My goodness, this guy is indeed a self-proclaimed 'Vinyl Nazi!' Wow. When I noticed that the running time on the program was nearly 3 hours, I thought, 'That's a lotta info!'. Well...

While Mr. Fremer certainly knows his stuff, and is very comfortable on camera, he could have easily whittled this puppy down to half the length. The tour around the German pressing plant was interesting, although the sound quality suffers in some areas, but I'm not here to nitpick production values, I'm just interested in the content. Audiophiles everywhere will definitely appreciate his...thorough explanations of sound quality and record care. But honestly, no one in their right mind is going to perform the necessary steps he takes just to play a freakin' record (which he doesn't actually do because of song clearance issues). Alrighty.

I have to call him out on a couple of things, being that I am my own form of "Vinyl Nazi". He goes to great lengths to explain how you should, and should not hold/touch a record (by pinching the edge between thumb and forefinger), particularly when removing/replacing the vinyl from its inner sleeve. Then, in a later segment where he rants on endlessly about certain 'oddities and collectibles' in his collection, he removes the vinyl exactly how he tells you not to! Yeah.

Also, he barely touches on the poly outer sleeves for protecting the covers (and helping to avoid the 'dreaded' ring wear), and when doing so, uses a crappy 1-2 ml Polypropylene with a sealer flap, warning against getting the sticky part on the cover or worse. Um, really?? Perhaps what Fremer doesn't know, is that Polypropylene sleeves crystallize when they break down, creating a nightmare of a mess, not to mention barely protecting your covers properly. What you want, ideally, are 3 ml Polyethylene (think Alice Cooper's 'Cold Ethyl' that's how I always remember the difference!) sleeves, which will do a marvelous job of protecting your covers and vinyl from dust, dirt, debris, temperature changes, moving and daily wear and tear. Here's a few links for buying them from reliable sources that I like with near exact prices:

On Amazon     
On eBay (from Rock-o-Bilia perfect if you're on the West Coast)  
From BagsUnlimited (great if you're on the East Coast/Midwest)

All of these suppliers will have options for sleeves with or without sealable flaps, and slightly different sizes.

Anyway, back to the review... Overall, it was mildly amusing, super long, and I didn't feel there was a lot of valuable information for someone who is new to the vinyl scene, and just wants to play and care for their growing collection properly. Which, I might add, Fremer states in the beginning that's exactly who he made this DVD for--new collectors. If I were a newbie, it would scare me right out of collecting vinyl in a heartbeat, but that's just my humble opinion. Great for Audiophiles, Jazz enthusiasts (he takes a trip to Blue Note records to 'sit in' on a re-mastering session) and those with a LOT more patience than I have.

SINGLES SALE: All 45's & 12" Singles 15% off in my Etsy Shop

The Cure - A Forest Live 12" Single
I don't know why I never thought of this before...having a sale on a specific section of my Etsy Shop. For a limited time, all sweet 45's and bitchin' 12" singles are 15 % off! There are some amazing titles in there, so grab 'em while you can. Although the vinyl revival is coming along nicely, singles have yet to regain their popularity of an earlier time. Admittedly, I wasn't always as infatuated with them as much as I am now. But as you know from my previous Seven Inches of Heaven posts, they have quickly become an obsession-within-my-vinyl-obsession.

The Jam - Bitterest Pill Import 7"
All the singles in my shop have picture sleeves (just as in my personal collection), I'm kind of anal about it. Even if the song is an amazing collectible, if it doesn't have a picture sleeve, I ain't interested. These tiny records just seem so special--particularly the imports which almost always have their centers still in them. See? Told ya I was anal...

Ministry - Everyday is Halloween 12"


As always, don't forget to pick up the coupon code located in the sidebar to the right of this page. Enter it before you checkout so the discount can be calculated properly. Discounts will not be honored after the fact, sorry. But this is a great chance to pick up some hard to find titles and some super fun songs to add to your singles collection. Here's a small peek at what you will see in my shop, but please click on the above link to see everything I have available:


Adam and the Ants - Friends 7" Picture Disc 

Peter Murphy - Blind Sublime 12" Single


The Stray Cats - Sexy & 17 7" Single
Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday 12"