Digging through crates is fun and all, but it can be difficult to find a good, playable record for a reasonable price. Thankfully, there are subscription boxes that make record collecting more affordable and easy.
Even with the rise in popularity of vinyl over the last decade, it may still come as a surprise that there are a ton of vinyl subscription boxes on the market right now. They all have their own perks (exclusive records, old records, new records, indie records, etc), but the general idea stays the same across all sites—build your record collection without wasting any time or money.
Many of these subscription services allow you to choose a preferred genre or even specific records that you’d like each month, so you won’t end up with anything lame. And some of these subscriptions offer exclusive records, art, and inserts that could increase in value as time goes on.
Of course, depending on your budget or your listening preferences, one subscription box may appeal to you more than another. Subscribing to more than one of these would be … expensive. That’s why we’ve taken the time to find the best vinyl record subscription boxes for everybody’s needs.
Update, 3/11/22: Updated pricing and images for each. Replaced discontinued Feedbands with Black Box Record Club, and replaced VNYL with Vinyl Moon.
The concept of a vinyl subscription box is pretty straightforward, but before you sign up, it’s worth having an idea of what to expect. Here are the features and important points you should consider as you look for a subscription:
- Selection: You (probably) don’t want a random grab bag of records, so make sure you find a subscription with the genres and bands you like, as not every service covers all of them. Also ensure the service works with vinyl in at least Very Good condition and that features the pressing you want (vintage, re-issue, 180 grams, etc).
- Fair Pricing: Does the box come with multiple records or just one? Does it come with art or other goodies or services? Does the asking price seem fair, or a ripoff? New vinyl can go for about $20-$30 a pop, so factor that in as well as shipping and the cost of any extra stuff before ordering to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
- Quality Packaging & Shipping: Because this is a vinyl subscription we’re talking about, and not t-shirts or DVDs or snacks, they should be carefully packed so they can withstand the toils (and drops and so on) that accompany shipping. We favor companies that use lots of padding as well as a hearty box or case for good measure so they’re ready to play on your turntable as soon as you get them out of the box.
- Robust Return Policy: Vinyl is fragile, and throwing records in the mail is hardly the best thing for them. As such, the subscription service you choose for them should not only do a good job of packaging the vinyl they ship but have responsive customer service and welcome any returns should there be any damage incurred during shipping. Avoid companies that deny returns, charge you for them, or are otherwise problematic in this department.
We originally had popular vinyl service Feedbands in our lineup, which sent out listener-voted records each month. It centered around new and great indie music and gave its users exclusive first pressings and a tight indie music community. The company, unfortunately, said its continuation was unsustainable and was ultimately ceased in 2019.
Vinyl Me, Please (starts at $33 per month) is one of the most popular record subscription services out there, and for good reason. Each month, Vinyl Me sends you an exclusive record, usually with a colored disc, a lyrics insert, or special artwork. And these aren’t some lame-brain records you’ve never heard of, they’re classics (and new hits) from all genres, including hip-hop and funk.
You get to decide which track you want each month: Classics (soul, blues, jazz), Essentials (must-haves across all genres and eras), Hip-Hop (old school to SoundCloud), or Country (classics through contemporary). But if you don’t like what Vinyl Me is offering, you can opt for a different record, or one that had been sent out a previous month. Some of Vinyl Me’s exclusive records have become popular collector’s items, so you may as well hop on the bandwagon now if you’ve got the dough.
Vinyl Me, Please
Whether you’re new to vinyl or want music across a variety of genres, Vinyl Me, Please is great for all.
If you’re a fan of subscription boxes, then you’ve probably heard of Cratejoy. The website’s full of unique subscription boxes, but we especially love its Vinyl Record Club subscription (starts at $32.08 per box). Records are all used originals, not re-issues, and have a VG grade (jackets and vinyl may have wear but are playable and look nice).
With the Cratejoy Vinyl Record Club, you get six used LP’s in the mail every month. But this isn’t some blind bag, Cratejoy sends out good and popular old records from your genre of choice, with options like Country, Folk, and Southern; Classic Rock 1960-80s; Soul, Funk, R&B; Movies, Soundtracks, Musicals; Hip-Hop/Rap 12″ & EPs; EDM, Disco, DJ, Dance; and Jazz, Blues, Pop, Vocal, Bands.
For roughly the cost of a single new record, this is a great way to pad your vinyl collection with some classics and some hidden gems.
Cratejoy Vinyl Record Club
Love vintage vinyl? Get six originals each month across multiple genres.
Want only the most premium vinyl that matches your unique music tastes? Black Box Record Club is the subscription box you want, as it sends out two curated records each month. You’ll select your plan, connect your Spotify account, and complete your taste profile. Easy peasy!
This is an easy way to flesh out your vinyl collection according to your specific tastes. Black Box Record Club analyzes your most listened-to artists on Spotify then sends you records accordingly. And if you don’t have Spotify? No worries. You can still fill out the thorough “Taste Profile” survey, which logs your favorite artists and genres. Shipping is free for members in the United States, and you can even return unopened records that you already own (or don’t want) and get a replacement in the next box.
Black Box Record Club
Get two premium curated LPs delivered to your door each month.
Vinylmnky (starting at $28.99 per month) is the leading subscription service for new, breakthrough records. Each month, you’ll get a copy of a brand new record, along with some exclusive items like artwork and inserts. Vinylmnky allows you to choose which genre you’d like and even gives you the opportunity to swap your monthly record for something else if it disappoints you.
Some of the recent artists that have been featured on Vinylmnky include Dropper, Girl in Red, and Wilderado. For those who appreciate established bands and artists, don’t fret. Vinylmnky has tons of great records from popular acts like Jimi Hendrix, Duran Duran, Joy Division, Fleetwood Mac, Animal Collective, Outkast, Deftones, Aesop Rock, My Morning Jacket, Gorillaz, Neil Young, Prince, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Olivia Rodrigo, Beastie Boys, Madlib, Daft Punk, and many more.
This service focuses on breakthrough artists with exclusive merch, but also has other popular genres.
Trying to scoop up a variety of new music? Prefer your vinyl and jackets to have a bold colorful style instead of the same old boring black disk? You want Vinyl Moon (starts at $31 per record). This creative service sends you a vinyl mixtape—yes, you heard me right, a vinyl mixtape—every month.
Every vinyl is a different color and features new music from around the globe. And what’s more, they each come with original interactive artwork inspired by the artists. Vinyl Moon curates 10 songs the presses them onto an ultra-deluxe LP. You can opt to subscribe to a new record each month or to past releases.
We’re all for colorful vinyl mixtapes and gorgeous award-winning art, which is what Vinyl Moon offers.