After three vinyl-filled months, Record Store Day 2020 has finally come to a close. Unlike the 13 previous Record Store Days, which was a single in-store drop in April, the 2020 version offered three socially distant events throughout the fall. This past Saturday, October 24, was the third and final of the RSD trio.
All in all, RSD was a massive success for record shops and collectors.
Discogs saw 57,000 orders during the October weekend, up 24% from 46,000 orders in 2019. That means 103,500 vinyl records were sold, up 34% from 77,000 in 2019. Keep in mind that is just one of three weekends in 2020 compared to the single weekend that has defined RSD since its inception. While the September and October versions were not quite as impactful as the August drop, orders and vinyl purchases on Discogs throughout all three Record Store Day drops were up in 2020 over the past year. In total, there were 177,000 orders (a 284% increase from 2019) and 301,000 vinyl purchase (a 306.5% increase) during RSD 2020.
As we first predicted in August, we are attributing the awesome outcome of RSD to two different trends: 1) shops could list their own RSD inventory online for the first time ever and 2) people are still purchasing records despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
In all previous editions of RSD, record shops could only sell their inventory in-store and online shoppers would have to wait for others to “flip” RSD releases. To help those who couldn’t come in-person and shops that couldn’t open their physical locations due to the pandemic, new for 2020 was the ability for store owners to list stock online directly, whether it was through their own site, Discogs, or another marketplace. It was a win-win all around; sellers could utilize their online presence more effectively and buyers could shop their favorite local store from the comfort (and safety) of their homes.
That being said, we’d like to add a third reason to our breakdown of RSD success: 3) the socially distanced drops were another win. The shop owners we spoke with consistently saw either foot or web traffic on each Record Store Day, but they were not overwhelmed by crowds or orders. The bottom line? RSD organizers’ three-event solution worked, and separate drops could be a great strategy for 2021 depending on how the pandemic situation evolves.
The main Record Store Day run has ended for 2020, but there is still RSD fun scheduled for later this year. RSD has confirmed a Black Friday drop, which is slated for November 27. Honestly, we’re pretty excited about the lineup. One of the common observances for the three “regular” drops was that August had the best release list. This Black Friday edition in November is the second-best, in our opinion. We’re anticipating this streak of record-breaking sales to continue. When you’re ready to start prepping, we’ve got you covered:
- Where to find all RSD releases on Discogs.
- How to make the most of RSD online.
- A growing list of Black-owned record stores.
- Tips for opening your record store during the pandemic.
- And, just for fun, here are the priciest RSD releases of all time.
Editor’s note: The data in this article has been updated since it was originally published in 2020. Discogs has since been able to analyze Record Store Day numbers more accurately.