Recently, I started to go to a Goodwill near where I live. The store is right next to my closets Joann’s Fabric and Craft store and is in the same strip mall. I like to visit the area for Joann’s, but after deciding I will need to move, I decided to stop by Goodwill to see if the location gets a frequent supply of furniture. I’m not ready to buy anything (I haven no where to store it) but I’ve seen some awfully high quality couches, desks, coffee tables, and other furniture in very good shape for shockingly low prices. (And if there was something wrong with the furniture, I could spend the money I saved for furniture to get it repaired or buy supplies to repair it.) In order to force myself to stop looking at furniture, I started to look at books, DVDs, CDs, and vinyl records on a hunt to see if there are anything I would like to buy.
I decided to start buying some vinyl records. The records are extremely cheep at $1.49 and I found many records from artists I would love to own vinyl records of. After searching through the records and buying several of them, I learned a few basic things about buying records from Goodwill.
The Record Sleeves Will Probably Not Be in Good Shape
Since the vinyl records are donated, the sleeves will probably be used and in bad condition. The problems can include wearing on the edges, tears, holes on the corners, and possibly old tape from an old repair still left on the sleeve. If you want a sleeve that is in more pristine condition, then you may need to look at an actual second hand vinyl record store for records with sleeves in better condition.
Vinyl Records Will Probably Not Be in Good Shape Either
Just like the sleeves, the vinyl records themselves may not be in good shape. If you do find one in bad shape and cannot be played but still want to own it, consider it for decor.
Always Check the Sleeves to See if the Actual Vinyl Records Are Still in Their Sleeve
During my last shopping trip for vinyl records, I began to realize some of the records I was interested in buying didn’t have actual records inside of them. Because of this, I pass on them and focused on finding records I would like to own but still has the records inside the sleeves. It is easy to check to see if the records are still in the sleeves, but if you’re not sure if you can check, ask a sales associate if it is ok to check.
You Won’t Find The Collectable Records Easily Unless You Frequently Shop at Goodwill
Vinyl records are very cheep at Goodwill, especially compared to what they cost at Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Because of this, finding popular and collectable records are harder to come by unless you shop Goodwill frequently, especially if it’s an original printing of the album. Shopping frequently will allow a better window of opportunity to find the record and buy it before someone else buys it first.
If You Do Make A Mistake Buying a “Bad” Vinyl Album, Use it As Decoration
I already mentioned this, but I’m very serious about it. If there is an album that you really want to own, but the album sleeve isn’t in great condition or the vinyl isn’t in playable condition, or you bought it thinking it would be in good shape but turns out it isn’t, consider using it as decoration. Doing this really does depend on the the album and what your intentions of owning the album are, but if you really do want to own an album and cannot use it, don’t try to throw it away. Enjoy the album as part of your decor. Put it with other vinyl records or in a special section for albums that cannot be played but you still want to keep. If you really want to look at the album on a regular basis, there are vinyl album and record frames that are easy to find at Michael’s, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. Just make sure you hang the album frame out of direct sunlight.