Online vinyl retailer recommendations

Fair enough. I think I’ll suck it and see for a bit longer but don’t blame you for jumping ship.

Someone should link them to the thread!

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I quite like Reflex in Newcastle, although I’ve used it way more for in-person than online. Website is again very mid 00s but generally prices are reasonable, they get new stock, have a good 2 for £22 section that is regularly refreshed and often isn’t just the same stuff on sale everywhere.

https://reflexrecordshop.com/

Juno send stuff out at startling speed, and if they say it’s in stock then it usually is.

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Usually shop at Piccadilly cause instore pickup but have had good experiences with relevant in Cambridge (website is very MySpace era WordPress but yknow) https://www.relevantrecordcafe.co.uk/

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Reflex is a good shop in a city with more than it’s fair share of good record shops. Not thought of them for mail order but they just about fit within my definition of ‘local’ so I might give them a go.

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It’s interesting to me that the two other people in the thread with direct experience of their new policy have enjoyed it almost as much as me.

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Definitely Juno - good broad selection, pre-orders won’t be charged until day of shipping and very quick. They literally shipped a record the afternoon of the day I ordered it.

Only thing I find frustrating with Juno is not being able to group shipping if part of your order is a pre-order. Although I’m sure you used to be able to do this so might be I’m just being stupid and not seeing that option.

Resident is my fave, good stock and polite and quick to get in touch if any problems. Agree with the comment about the website.
Specialist Subject great for hardcore type stuff.
Norman’s I really like, but not experienced the new system yet. Don’t like the sound of that.

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Juno are very active on Discogs and I buy a fair bit of stuff from them on there, sometimes without realising it is them until I get to the checkout. They are cheap and, as you say, quick.

Their actual website is not great unfortunately, but perhaps it’s just a case of getting used to it.

Yeah, we know about this one. Sorry!

The problem is that the only cheaper shipping option available to us from Royal Mail is their bog-standard, untracked, badly-misnamed ‘First Class’ service.

And no matter how many times we tell customers, “No, we can’t track your order because you didn’t pay for tracked shipping” it never satisfies.

People expect fast, tracked shipping these days and get very antsy when they don’t get it.

So we decided to default to a flat fee (currently £3.99) - but it’s always tracked and always insured.

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Nathon from Norman Records here.

It’s definitely fair to say that the new system has not been universally popular, and we are working on ways to improve how it works. (That said, it certainly hasn’t been universally unpopular either.)

The reason we introduced it is because we actually wanted to simplify things for everyone involved. We had a lot of customers with multiple orders on the go - one had 23 - and things were getting very messy for them:

  • inceasingly insane vinyl delays meant that every other order was being held up
  • this, in turn, was leading to constant jiggling and splitting and merging of orders
  • which, in turn, was leading to constant friction around what had been paid for and what hadn’t
  • as well as constant friction over things like shipping costs.

The new system is intended to help with these issues, not make them worse. Rather than having to check multiple orders to see what’s in-stock and what isn’t, what payments you’ve made, etc. you just have to check one. That’s the aim.

The main objection has been that keeping all items together in one order blocks the delivery of the in-stock records. But that really isn’t the case. Ask us to ship the in-stock stuff and we will. Splitting an order will usually mean paying a shipping charge, but that charge is absolutely no different from the charges under the old system of placing and paying for all orders separately.

Which brings me to the other main reason for merging orders into one: cost. We are trying to save customers money here! It is always going to be cheaper (esp. for overseas orders where the shipping costs are much higher) to combine orders and save on postage. The trade-off is that your order will take longer to ship, but if you get sick of waiting then you are always completely free to split your order and get the in-stock stuff quicker.

It does seem like we’ve fucked up here somehow, to be honest. It’s never a good thing when you have to explain how something works. There is something counter-intuitive about it all that’s causing definite problems. But, overall, across all customers, we think the new system is helping more than it’s hindering. We are keeping a close eye on it, though, and if we need to change back then we’re not wedded to the new system.

To bornin69x, if you’re the customer I think you are then we have emailed you with a proposed solution. Totally understand if you’re too frustrated with us to continue, but you know we’ll always offer you the best service we can.

Cheers,

Nathon

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Thanks for responding Nathon. I genuinely didn’t want this thread to be a dig at Norman’s because I’ve been a loyal and satisfied customer for years and because I’ve always liked you guys a lot.

I knew that there were other customers on here and I was interested in their view of the new system (turns out they pretty much agree with me) and in what other options there are out there (lots).

As for solutions, it seems to me that you have to give customers the option as to whether they want to combine orders or to keep them separate, to make it easy for them to make the choice and to make the costs of the choice absolutely clear. For some people cost will be a priority and for others getting records as soon as possible will be key. I know those options are available now, as you say, but it is unwieldy to keep having to order then to email and say ‘no please don’t combine’ and you end up having to pay twice for everything (once calculated on the basis of a combined order, and then again when you split it). That’s just an unnecessary degree of hassle. Can’t we just have account settings that say ‘combine’ or ‘don’t combine’?

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