Record Store Day 2019 is almost upon us. Every year, there’s chatter that it won’t be as crazy as the last one. And every year, it seems to get worse: more to keep track of, higher demand, longer lines. Whether you’re brand new to record collecting or you finally want to take that next step, any tiny advantage helps.
Since we’ve always got your back, here are a few tips for getting the most out of Record Store Day. If you’re a seasoned pro and know exactly how win big every time, then you can skip ahead to all the RSD releases flooding the Discogs Database. If not, read on intrepid collector.
Step one is the most important. In order to get prepped for the madness, you need as much info as possible. This includes figuring out how many stores in your area participate, making a list of every single release you want, which records might be good to flip (you need to pay for that 13th Floor Elevators picture disc somehow), and the way you’ll get your hands on everything.
This may sound a little self-evident, but many a Record Store Day has been ruined when an unprepared rube rolled up to a shop 10 minutes before the doors open, assuming they’ll be able to find a bunch of good stuff. Do your homework.
Ask Ahead To See What Stores Have
Not all stores spill their guts about what’ll be on the shelves, but your luck increases if you frequent a store regularly. Most RSD stock is in hand a week or two before the event, so shop owners know what they have ahead of time. If you stroll in early this week and nonchalantly ask your bud behind the counter about that Brett Smiley LP, you’ll probably get some answers.
If you’re around often enough, you might even be able to bring a list of your must-haves and get a comprehensive rundown of which titles they’ll have and how many copies are on hand. Hit a couple of shops like that, and you now have a very clear picture of what you can realistically expect to nab on Saturday. But remember, this comes with trust. If you aren’t hanging around on the reg, it won’t work.
Work Together With Friends
Now that you know what you can get and where you can get it, chat with a friend or two and develop a plan of action. Share your lists, prioritize who gets what when there are only one or two copies, set budgets, and establish protocols for communication. This might seem like overkill, but three people standing first in line at three different stores with a clear strategy can make Record Store Day dreams come true.
This is admittedly a little self-serving, but we can help on a few different fronts every April and November. One way to wring as much value out of Discogs as possible is to keep track of your Record Store needs with Wantlist or Collection functionality. More and more RSD releases are being added to the database every day, so you can simply add them to your Wantlist and mark them off when you purchase. You can also get more sophisticated and categorize stuff you’re digging for in Collection folders, so you can keep track of priorities and the needs of any tag team partners.
Then there’s the incredibly obvious way we can help: buying and selling stuff after the fact. With some regional releases numbering in the low hundreds, you have almost no chance to find them in a store on Saturday. On the flipside, there will be vinyl you can find that almost no one else in the world can. So much is made of the downsides of Record Store Day flipping, but at the end of the day it helps. You get to subsidize your record-buying habits through selling a few hard-to-find regional releases. Then you get to find the one album that makes your RSD haul complete.