Online vinyl retailer recommendations

I’ve had long email exchanges with them. They’ve been very responsive, as they always are, but seem to be sticking to the new system. It ended up with me being asked for £16 for two records I’d ordered and paid for months ago (a year ago for one of them) and them having to send a massively long and complicated explanation for why I owed the money.

I don’t doubt their honesty at all and I definitely don’t think they are trying to rip me off, I just don’t know why they have chosen to make things so complex. If I’ve ordered and paid for something I like it to stay paid for.

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Only discovered Monorail have a new site yesterday when I went on to order Stuart Braithwaite’s book, hadn’t been on in a year or so. Only used them once or twice before (plus a couple of visits to the actual shop) but they seem good for including nice little extras and exclusives for Scottish releases sometimes

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I’ve been trying to support them post brexit but it’s making it really tricky tbh. The vinyl delays when you order online are doubly shit as well.

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One problem is that if you had an account on the old site that account has now disappeared and you can’t view the orders (although they promise to honour them). That annoyed me a bit but on the other hand the new site is a big upgrade.

I also like using them because they are musician owned and very much embedded in their local musical culture. I don’t think their stock is as broad as Norman’s though.

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ever heard of a little shop called 365 games??

4 Likes have always been good for me

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Actually the main issue I’ve had since Norman made the changes is that I now have absolutely no idea how much shipping is going to cost. This is to Europe, think it’s still free in the UK over £50.

If you add to an order it used to be it would tell you how much extra it would be and it’d be capped at £20 (I think). Now it doesn’t apply until you are at PayPal and even then you sometimes ‘owing’ them extra for shipping. And there doesn’t seem to be any logic, sometimes it can be an extra couple of quid, sometimes 7 or 8. I’m guessing this is to do with weight etc but it’s a real mess.

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used to use Norman for CDs a bit until they enacted their ‘£5 for everything no matter what it is’ postage policy at the start of Covid and then just kept it in place even after the initial Covid chaos calmed down

i’ve just checked and it’s come down to £3.99 now from the looks of it but still not worth it

i remember when they used to ship CDs for free, then they started charging a little over £1 which was perfectly understandable, but anywhere that charges the same to post a CD as they would to post an LP is off my list


This is pretty similar to the problem I’ve had - requests for seemingly random amounts of money for postage or for the records themselves, all based upon them bundling things together without you asking them to and then separating them again. You never know what you are going to have to pay and what you’ve already paid for unless you spend ages working it out (and who can be bothered?).

I’ve told them (politely, I think) that they’ve lost my business as a result. They were very nice about it but didn’t seem that bothered, despite the fact that I would guess that I was one of their best customers. Apparently the response to the new system has been ‘broadly positive’. I can’t really see any way it makes things easier for the customer- the best you could be is indifferent to it (rather than positive).

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I’ve only made one order since they made the changes but for the way I order stuff, especially factoring in the delays, the changes are actually a big fail.

If I have an order with say 4 records in with the last one being released say April 18th I don’t then want that order being delayed if I pre-order something that isn’t coming out for 3 months. Now there is no option for creating a new order so I’d have to order, then email, then rejig for delivery charges.

Yeah they’ve f’d it for me tbh.

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Other than the ones mentioned have you tried assai? Maybe a little more mainstream (slightly) but I’ve had good service.

I’ve got a load of stuff at Norman’s, will have to see how it pans out

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Also Scottish which is clearly a benefit

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Banquet are probably my main “go to” but only because I tend to collect in store.

Both Bleep and Rough Trade are good, although the former can be a bit narrow. Neither are particularly cheap but them seem to have most things.

Boomkat are ace but agree their selection is fairly narrow (good for dance/electronic stuff mainly).

Have used Piccadilly Records and they are good but find their website a bit unwieldy.

General rule of thumb for me is to use somewhere where you can collect in person if at all possible. Had so many records stolen from my doorstep despite asking the postie not to just dump them there that it’s my preference nowadays.

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Monorail looking good as they (theoretically) have eu tax and shipping sorted. Might give them a go.

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Specialist Subject are great for punk / hardcore / some metal stuff and always have accurate stock. Ship quickly too.

Resident are also great but spenny.

Vinilo super reliable.


I feel kind of torn if I’m honest… Norman have been great to use for years. They’re clearly staffed by people who know and care about records and they almost always have the stuff i want (unlike boomkat), their packaging means things survive the post (unlike when i used to use evil amazon).

Under the new system everything I’ve ordered with them since about Christmas is being cock blocked by the fact that the Converge/ Chelsea Wolfe collab Lp has been pushed back to late June. So i keep buying records and they keep not coming.

On the one hand i kind of like this in a weird way… its going to be like a second Christmas half way through the year. Plus my wife thinks it’s great that I’ve reigned in my vinyl spending. Mwah hah hah.

On the other hand, it kind of sucks that they’ve got the Wet Leg lp in and it’s sitting on their shelves but i wont get it til June and will i be sick of it by then anyway?

Also have just remembered that i did get one lp early. Was taking my youngest to Big Thief in early March and wanted to listen to the new lp together first. I emailed them and they set it up for me to PayPal them £5 and then my big thief lp showed up. Don’t remember it being any bother at all and i guess i could do the same with wet leg if i really wanted to.

Tl;dr i don’t really like the new system but i don’t think it’s the end of the world. I think it might make me less willing to pre order stuff that won’t show up for ages but i don’t think I’ll stop using them yet.

Still Tldr :person_shrugging: :musical_note: :moneybag:


You can ask them to send stuff that is in stock - that’s what I kept doing - but prepare to get very confused about what you’ve paid for and what you owe. It’s just a load of hassle I can do without.

I have a record I bought last year that has been delayed for about fourteen months so everything I’ve ordered since has been tacked onto that order and then I’ve had to ask for it to be untacked. It’s stupid. I’ve now told them to cancel that and just send me my one remaining order (the Kathryn Joseph record that is due out next week) and then that will be it.

Yes, they are decent lads and I feel a bit sorry about it, but they are not the only decent people running a decent record shop.

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Pretty sure that’s a completely different business. I like Crash because they have a better metal selection than Jumbo. I’ve ordered from Crash and had vinyl delivered, it was fine.

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It barely deserves the description of ‘business’. A second-hand record shop where it’s almost completely impossible to see what records they have…

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I still use Picadilly whenever I can. They were great in store and great online. The only complaint I’ve ever had is that they don’t get much metal or pop stuff in.

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