Online vinyl retailer recommendations

Recommend me somewhere to buy records from online!

After years of happy buying I’ve finally had it with Norman’s. They’ve instituted a new system whereby if you have an open order anything new you order is automatically added to it and nothing is dispatched until everything is in stock. This is hopeless when release dates are so unpredictable and so often delayed. If you want to have things dispatched individually you have to email them each time and pay the extra postage separately. Worse still, they use money you have paid for previously ordered records to pay for new ones you order if those get dispatched sooner. This means you can never predict how much you will have to pay unless you spend ages doing the maths, and that you suddenly find that records you ordered ages ago and thought you had paid for now have money outstanding on them.

I don’t know why they have done it. I’m sure they must have their reasons but it is just so needlessly complex that I can’t be bothered with it anymore. It’s a real shame, because they are a great bunch of lads and have been very reliable.

So, I’m looking for recommendations for good online vinyl retailers to get my money instead.

Priorities are:

  • if they say they have stuff in stock they actually do;

  • reliably deliver stuff quickly, in particular new releases arriving on the Friday they come out or the Saturday;

  • website well laid out and easy to use;

  • good varied stock;

  • easy to deal with if things go wrong;

Not too worried about bargain prices - within reason I don’t mind paying a little bit more for a good service. Of the other shops I’ve used I think Monorail are the best. Resident are ok but deliveries are a bit tardy. I’ve given up on Rough Trade as completely unreliable.

Ideally I’d like something in the North of England, preferably Yorkshire, to keep it local but that’s not crucial.

Any ideas?

Crash in Leeds have been good for me. Although I mainly order online and pick up in store.

Obviously I know the shop in Leeds - had thought of trying them or Jumbo but I’ve not used them online. Jumbo is a better (physical) shop I think but that might not apply to the online service.

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Piccadilly & Bear Tree are great. Resident too, but they use a 48hr Royal Mail service I think.

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Haven’t used them in ages, but never had any issues with Piccadilly Records

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Crash’s website is much easier to get round than Jumbo’s. (I prefer jumbo as a shop too.)

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i always found Boomkat to be very quick and reliable. not used them for a while though, and i previously would’ve said the same for Norman!

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That tracked 48 service that Resident use is why I don’t like them - it’s completely unreliable. You can choose a faster postage but it costs a fortune.

I’ve bought stuff in the sales from Bear Tree and it’s been ok. I’ve used Piccadilly in the past but their website is not great.

Boomkat are great but they are quite narrowly focussed musically.

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That would be the direct opposite of the physical shops. The basement of Crash (the second hand bit) is as close to hell as a record shop can get I think. Upstairs is ok but they don’t carry much stock.

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Drift is pretty decent from the few times I’ve used them, though I don’t think they have as much stock as Norman - often seems like once things are gone they’re gone.

Obviously Resident too, although they could really use a website upgrade

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Drift is good but postage is more pricey than some.

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I know I’m asking for recommendations rather than giving them, but for anyone who doesn’t know it Monorail is really good, especially since they recently upgraded their website.

At the moment they are favourites to get the bulk of my business but I’m interested in any alternatives.

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Ones to avoid:

Banquet
Pie & Vinyl
Rough Trade

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Agree with both parts of this.

All three already tried and ruled out, thanks. I’ve done ok with the first two compared with some people but Rough Trade are awful and their website is a disaster.

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Resident’s website is very 2005 and postage (other than the awful tracked 48) is pricy. One thing I have noticed about them though is that they seem to have much more stock than other comparable shops. Things which are sold out everywhere else are often still available at Resident.

I love Monorail but they don’t seem to put everything on their website. The new site is a lot better, granted . I’ve often gone looking for something on their site only to find it isn’t on there. They are not the quickest at putting pre-orders up either. Lovely people though, and great service if they have what you want.

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The changes Norman have made are definitely a bit counter intuitive. Might be worth emailing them about it tbh.

I don’t think I’ve found anywhere that does the combo of availability, value and service that Norman does tbh.

Juno seems reliable and decent but they don’t handle pre-orders very well.

Being in Europe I use hhv a fair bit but post brexit that will be no good. They do flat €9 shipping so if you don’t mind waiting and building up an order they are good. Also they sell 2nd hand stuff as well so can be good. Packaging and delivery is excellent and website, once you’ve found your way around, allows you to add/cancel/merge easily to deal with pesky delays. Disadvantages are that the pricing can be a bit all over the place, most stuff is good value but the odd thing will randomly be really expensive which is frustrating. Also quite often have odd versions for some reason like U.S. editions.

I buy obscure random electronics/soundtracks/modern comp type stuff from Soundohm, who are sort of Italian boomkat only more so.

Will check out Monorail now as I haven’t looked at them for ages.

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Yeah Banquet have the cheapest postage for CDs which I like but it’s a real lottery ordering anything that’s not newly released or in a sale. I ordered a Wand album from 2017 before Christmas and it’s been on back order ever since - I’ve since bought it on Rarewaves instead but can’t work out how to cancel my 4 month old Banquet order. Should probably email them.

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