The Record Store Day 2016 Survival Guide!



Here we are, just mere days away from the latest incarnation of Record Store Day – April 16. By now, if you plan on leaving the house to acquire a whack of special edition, aesthetically pleasing and eardrum popping vinyl, surely you should have a plan in place by now. If you haven’t gotten to that yet, please let be of assistance to you.

Get Up Early:

The early bird is said to get the worm, but on RSD, the early bird has the best chance at getting the most desirable vinyl out there. Sure, not every store will have everything you hope to buy, but by getting to your store of choice by the time the door gets unlocked, you’ll have a better shot at likely coming out with something that’ll sound great once you finish your afternoon nap.

Have a List:

If you’re going to get up early, be damn sure to have a list either written out, saved on your phone, or mentally memorized. Chances are, your store will be filled with tons of vinyl fiends frantically searching for the goods. Having a list will allow you to take a breath and focus solely on what you want. Plus, it’ll help you avoid the distractions that wind up becoming impulse purchases.

Set a Budget:

It is very easy to exhaust your credit card or emergency money fund on RSD. But, if you have a list of vinyl on your mind, you should have an idea as to how much each piece will cost you, as well as what you’re comfortable with your overall tab for the day being. Being a music fanatic without a budget on this day can lead to a truly damning feeling when you get back home and have to justify your purchase to yourself, your partner, or judgmental parents.

Know Your Store:

Anyone who has done enough RSD’s in their life knows that it is crucial to have an understanding for the store in which you select to shop at on this day. While it’ll be hard to predict their pricing for RSD products, you can certainly ballpark said pricing by considering what the shop usually prices its vinyl at. If everything is always expensive – be it new releases or albums in the scratch and dent section – then maybe you’ll want to reconsider where to go for RSD. It’s also doubly important to go somewhere that’ll have a large enough selection to appease your needs, because doing well on RSD comes down to how awesome the first store you visit is. While you still may find the odd vinyl treasure at a second store hours later, you’ll definitely not do as well than you would’ve had you entered the right store at the right time.

Be a Respectable Shopper & Collector:

RSD can be a pretty intense event for your fellow shoppers and those manning the stores. With that in mind, please do your best to be kind, polite, patient, humorous and understanding. If you overhear someone hunting for a record that you’ve already seen, tell your fellow soldier where it is. If someone is slowly flipping through a bin you want access to, take a breath – your turn will soon come. Lastly, don’t treat those working at the shops like shit if you can’t find an album, if you don’t like a price, or if you have had to wait in an exhausting lineup. Like you, they’re doing their best to survive and thrive on RSD. Remember, we’re all in this together – might as well make it enjoyable, right?

Don’t Be an eBay Vulture:

It’s very tempting to snag a whole pile of limited edition RSD vinyl and think about how much money can be made from it on eBay. Yes, it effing sucks to miss out on an album as a regular consumer and enthusiastic collector. But, it effing sucks even more to later see said album on eBay hours later for an inflated price, likely being sold by a cash-hungry opportunist that likes to prey on vinyl lovers. Don’t be that type of dickhead, okay?

Tune Out the Haters:

As fun as collecting RSD vinyl can be, you’ll still run into a lot of folks that summarily dismiss the event as a cash-grab for bands, labels and stores that winds up slowing down general vinyl manufacturing practices and brings too much of a spotlight to the vinyl community. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean these opinions should slow you down on RSD. You know what you love, you know what you want. Go for it all and let the haters moan online about people like you.

Play It Loud:

Sure, some people will buy a certain album on RSD with the hope that one day down the line it’ll be worth way more than what was originally paid. That may (may!) be the case, but there are no guarantees in life. If you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on a piece of vinyl you consider to be a true treasure, tear off the shrink wrap, power-up the turntable and put your speakers to the test. Albums are meant to be played – not admired from a far.

ICYMI, here’s a look at the full RSD release list. Good luck to you and may all of your vinyl dreams come true this Saturday!

-Adam Grant