Music Connection

woman buying a vinyl record

Just for the Record: Should You Buy That Second-Hand Vinyl?

Technology has had a significant influence on the art of making music. Modern-day inventions made tremendous changes to the way music is composed, performed, and heard. Along with technological advancement came new genres, like Electronic Dance Music and concerts without singers, thanks to the Vocaloid software. Everything that was thought to be impossible is now beginning to seem quite possible.

However, even with these innovative and futuristic creations, the appreciation and love for classic, old vinyl remains.

What to Do Before Buying a Record

Over the recent years, vinyl records have made a comeback and have been rising in popularity. Perhaps you have also grown interested in vinyl and are looking for one that’s still in good quality. Here are a few things you should do before buying that second-hand record:

Scan the Cover

You can usually tell by the cover whether the previous owner handled the record with care or not. Little tears and bent corners are normal; you can’t avoid them. Meanwhile, battered covers indicate that they probably were not handled that well at all. 

On the other hand, if the record is placed inside a protective record sleeve, it was most likely well-taken care of.

Look for Light

Check the quality of the record under good lighting to see any damage. Dirt and a few hairs aren’t a problem, as they can easily be cleaned off with vinyl cleaning products. What you have to watch out for are tiny marks, or worse, scratches. 

Inspect for Scuff Marks and Scratches

Most records are decades old, so it’s not a big deal to see a few marks here and there. You can easily wipe off dirt, and scuffs are tolerable as long as they’re shallow—but scratches are the ones to watch out for. Scratches on vinyl significantly affect the audio quality, as they can either cause the stylus to skip or make loud, surprising pops while playing.

You can gently run your finger through the record to make sure you didn’t miss anything, but the safest way is just to ask the shop owner to give it a quick dusting.

Listen Before Buying

Giving the record a listen is the best way to assess if it’s in tip-top condition. If you’re in a record shop, look for the turntable and play it. Listening to the audio should tell you if the record is warped, or if it has deep scratches that you may not have seen.

Check the Price

Always make sure that you’re getting a decent deal for the record you’ll buy. Sometimes, record shop owners may not keep up with each product’s varying costs in their store. 

You can quickly check out a record’s price online by entering its catalog number or serial number on a music database website. There’s a good chance that you can buy the record for the price you want by bargaining with the owner as well.

Try Going to Auctions

Looking for great records in charity shops or record stores will often lead to naught. Unless you go in every day to check, discovering a rare gem will be unlikely.

You can, however, take a chance at auctions and record fairs. Blind lots often contain boxes of vinyl. The seller may not have had time to check, so the chances of finding a great record are high! Blind lots are usually affordable, so you can sell the records you don’t like together with other random items from the lot to make a bit of profit.


Buying records can be thrilling for a novice—but don’t let excitement cloud your judgment. You must always carefully examine the record before deciding to buy it to ensure that you aren’t wasting your money. 

Are you looking to buy vinyls in Manchester but don’t know where to start looking? At Music Connection, we have an extensive collection of new and pre-loved vinyl records. We also stock a large assortment of new and gently-used vinyl players and Hi-Fi Equipment, vinyl cleaning products, and more. Visit our online store to shop now!

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