Between vinyl skyrocketing again in popularity (more than they have since 1986) and brick-and-mortar stores having limited in-store hours due to the pandemic, there’s been an increasing need for good places to buy vinyl online. Luckily, plenty of retailers have now made their storefronts digital, and we found all of the best places to buy vinyl online.
Update, 8/26/21: Checked all picks for accuracy. Updated some images.
Shopping Online vs. Shopping in a Physical Store
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Comprehensive and International: Discogs
World's Largest Independent Record Store: Amoeba Music
Specializes in Classical Vinyl: Presto Classical
Great for Funk, Soul, Reggae, and Jazz: DustyGroove
Rare Finds and the Newest Tunes: Boomkat
Every vinyl enthusiast has a preference on where to shop for vinyl. Some like the tactile experience of spending hours in a store with other music enthusiasts, digging through the crates, and hoping to stumble upon a rare LP. Some like to skip buying their own vinyl and leave the hard work to a vinyl subscription box that picks and ships records to them each month. And others prefer the streamlined convenience of shopping online as it makes it easy to find the exact records we’re looking for in a matter of minutes.
Some of the places we’ve listed do have a brick-and-mortar shop along in addition to an online store. And while it’s always fun to dig through a store’s selection on your own, shopping for vinyl online grants you access to a huge selection all at once, instead of having to trek to three or four stores to find a particular record. Online shopping also makes it easier to listen to the songs before you buy the record—a feature that not every record shop offers to customers.
Whether you’re brand new to vinyl or thinking about dusting off your trusted old turntable, you’ll want to ensure your record player is in working condition and that you have all the proper accessories for your setup. This way you can have a fuss-free listening session and keep your vinyl clean and properly stored in between sessions.
While browsing records online, keep in mind that selection and pricing will vary by store, so if you’re hip on finding a good deal, you might want to shop around a bit. Rare and out-of-print records will cost more than those that are still in print. Individual vinyl shops tend to specialize in a handful of genres, rather than offer a more generalized selection as well. We recommend having a list on hand of the artists or genres you’re interested in to make things easier—unless you’re just window shopping, which we totally get.
Hands down, Discogs is the best online resource for buying vinyl, thanks to its enormous Database and international Marketplace. It’s also the closest you’re going to get to duplicating the in-store shopping experience because it’s run hive-mind-style by the hundreds of thousands of users that love the site.
The site’s Database is an amazing place to explore artists across all genres and styles of music and scour the latest trending releases. It’s easy to learn more about a specific artist, view their entire discography, see album tracklists or song lengths, and even snag copies of an album in a matter of a few easy clicks.
From the Marketplace, you can search for records by format, genre, style, artist, media condition, currency, year, and tons of other helpful filters. You can also choose which seller you buy an album from, as all connected stores are shown in the marketplace; likewise, you can also click on a store to see what other albums they’re selling. The wishlist option allows you to save albums you want to buy, while the various Community pages let you talk with other users in Groups or in the Forum, view upcoming events, find local record stores, and add other users as friends.
Find good deals on international vinyl now on Discogs’ site.
Based in Berkeley, CA, Amoeba Music is the largest independent record store in the world. Its vast record collection (and other entertaining things like movies and merch) along with the charm of its mom-and-pop success prove that it’s possible for small stores to find success in a world of Spotifys and Amazons and Walmarts.
The site’s Music section offers an enormous catalog of vinyl across the most popular genres, from rock and reggae to hip hop and country. It even has a fine selection of albums from less common genres, like New Orleans, Underground Metal, Celtic, and World. You can filter your picks by format size, new, or used. Clicking on an artist brings up their full discography, and Amoeba even offers recommendations of similar artists and bands that influenced that artist. Don’t forget to take a moment to watch the shop’s iconic What’s in My Bag series, either.
Support an independent record shop and its large vinyl selection now on Amoeba’s site.
Presto Classical has a solid selection of classical records up for grabs. You can browse its general selection, or narrow down your search by era (like Renaissance or Baroque), by music type (Opera or Chamber), or by awards won. In the store, you can purchase vinyl directly, and even add others to your Wishlist to purchase later on.
The shop has gems like Dvorak’s Stabat Mater played by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra & Collegium Vocale Gent and conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, Friedrich Gulda playing Mozart’s 20th and 21st Piano Concertos alongside the Vienna Philharmonic, Itzhak Perlman’s complete playthrough of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin, and Martha Argerich’s Legendary 1965 recording.
Specializes in Classical Vinyl
Check out new and rare classical vinyl now on Presto’s site.
Whether you’re looking for artists like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Meters, and Sun Ra, or something more along the lines of Keith Jarrett, Grant Green, or Art Blakey, DustyGroove has a record for you. Though the store carries music across every major genre, it specializes in soul, funk, jazz, reggae, and other underappreciated genres.
DustyGroove has a huge selection and really dives deep in many of its genres, which is nice for crate diggers. Prices are also competitive at the store, and there’s an entire portion of the site dedicated to an actually decent selection of discounted LPs. And of course, if you’re in Chicago, be sure to stop by the DustyGroove storefront and browse their selection in person.
Great for Funk, Soul, Reggae, and Jazz
Dig through a fantastic selection of funk, soul, jazz, and reggae vinyl now at DustyGroove.
If you’re all about scoring super-rare finds, stop reading now and head over to Boomkat. The store is renowned for its smartly curated collection of innovative and overlooked music that’s exactly the type of stuff seasoned record collectors are always on the lookout for. Even Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is a fan of the store.
The independent online store does tend to focus on newer tunes rather than decades-old classics, but if that’s up your alley, then it’s a win-win. Where most music stores focus on popular tunes and time-loved standards, it’s nice to have somewhere you can go to learn about all of the new music being made.
Rare Finds and the Newest Tunes
Dig for interesting, lesser-known new albums now on Boomkat.