record store day

Record Store Day 2021 Was Big for Online Sales and Bigger for Record Stores

Record Store Day launched 14 years ago as a way to bring the vinyl community together, celebrating the impact that record stores have on music fans and diehard collectors alike. RSD is traditionally a single in-store drop in April. However, the 2021 edition was split into two separate events on June 12 and July 17. The multi-drop solution was introduced in 2020 to accommodate for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept crowds manageable and demand high.

Orders and vinyl purchases in the Discogs Marketplace over both drops of Record Store Day 2021 were impressive. Overall, Discogs saw 116,000 orders, which translates to 199,000 sold during RSD 2021. That breaks down to 60,000 orders and 102,000 records in June followed by 56,000 orders and 97,000 records in July.

Orders and sales were comparable to the individual RSD weekends in 2020 but ultimately lower since 2020 was the highest Discogs ever witnessed. The 2020 drops totaled over 177,000 orders and nearly 314,000 records in the Marketplace, which is 50% more than the 2021 totals.

record store day rsd 2019-2021 orders record sales

So why the dip in sales between 2021 and 2020? There are a few important factors.

For starters, we’re comparing two drops in 2021 and three drops in 2020 to the single weekend that has defined RSD since its inception.

Secondly, RSD organizers introduced another new feature in 2020 that continued in 2021: Store owners were allowed to list stock online to help shoppers who couldn’t come in person. In previous years, online customers would have to wait exclusively for people looking to “flip” albums. For the first time in 2020, sellers could list their RSD stock direct to their web store or an online marketplace like Discogs so collectors can purchase directly from their favorite local shop.

Last but not least, 2020 was an unusual year in modern history, and the Discogs Community of buyers and sellers rallied online. As pandemic lockdowns lifted in 2021, record collectors committed to visiting their local stores in person to show support and score new RSD releases. Looking ahead, we anticipate foot traffic at record stores to increase compared to 2020 and online sales through marketplaces like Discogs to increase compared to 2021.

Trending RSD Releases Right Now

The July lineup for RSD 2021 was stacked with wonderful new releases. Czarface’s Czar Noir, Aretha Franklin’s Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live In Philly 1972, and St. Vincent’s Piggy / Sad But True 7-inch are trending on Discogs while, Champions by Miles Davis, the Harold and Maude soundtrack by Cat Stevens, and a reissue of Hot Rocks 1964-1971 by The Rolling Stones have garnered the highest number of orders through the Marketplace so far.

Pearl Jam’s Alive 12-inch is among both the trending and best-selling RSD releases from the July drop. However,  it’s Dee Gees’ Hail Satin — which is really just the Foo Fighters covering the Bee Gees — that currently boasts one of the highest RSD listing prices in the Marketplace, partially because there were only 12,000 copies and partially because, well, it’s the Foo Fighters covering the Bee Gees.

Head to Discogs’ trending release list for an up-to-date look at the hottest records right now.

About the Data

  • Orders include at least one vinyl record.
  • Record Store Day “weekend” is defined as the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the RSD drop.

Support Record Stores

The main Record Store Day run has ended for 2021 but we’re looking forward to more RSD fun later this year. Typically, RSD organizers also offer another drop on Black Friday. Although a Black Friday list has yet to be confirmed, we still have November 26 blocked off on our calendars so we can be ready to support record stores. Check out Record Store Day for more news. Discogs is not affiliated with the RSD organization but we agree with their mission of bringing more people into record stores.

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