Are you noticing a spike in vinyl prices?

This image arrived with my email the other day.

Nearly fifty dollars for a slab of vinyl? That’s nothing. Crawdaddy on Twitter posted this.

And it’s not just Hip records, either. Twitter tells me that most vinyl, both new and used, have spiked in price lately. What has your experience been?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

14 thoughts on “Are you noticing a spike in vinyl prices?

  • August 15, 2021 at 8:57 am
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    Prices have skyrocketed, eventually people will ditch vinyl for some other format. I love collecting vinyl but it’s becoming very expensive. I’m some instances I have opted for the cassette version because A) it’s cheaper to buy and ship B) the quantities are lower making it more desirable. The music industry is killing itself once again, will they ever learn.

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  • August 15, 2021 at 10:20 am
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    I have pretty much stopped buying new vinyl. High price, and poor quality have killed it for me. I guess I’ll keep my existing 1,000 or so

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  • August 15, 2021 at 10:25 am
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    The cost of vinyl is now well above my usual threshold, which wouldn’t be a big issue EXCEPT the quality is pathetic. One in five new vinyl pressings I buy are warped or have at least one side pressed off centre. Sure they come pressed on nice 180g vinyl but if I am unable to listen to them because or warbling sound, not worth it. Also the amount of records that are scratched coming straight out of the sleeve for the first time are becoming an issue. Dimples are an ongoing issue as well.

    Used vinyl for mediocre titles are now what brand new records should cost.

    I love my vinyl but unless the prices remain reasonable and quality control is better I will not continue to spend more my money……

    I realize there are issues keeping up with demand but once again the recording industry shoots itself in the foot getting greedy with the vinyl resurgence. Will record companies ever learn from their mistakes from their greed? Based on history, likely not!!!!!!!

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  • August 15, 2021 at 12:38 pm
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    Absolutely love vinyl, but it’s pricing itself out. I realize it’s not cheap to manufacture but the mark up cost is quite steep. I feel bad for indie stores trying to make a few bucks but whomever is responsible for the price point needs to reevaluate before it’s too late. My target is $25 give or take a buck or two. Anything above that requires serious consideration before purchasing.

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  • August 15, 2021 at 12:54 pm
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    Yes the price of new vinyl is ludicrous. A double CD album never actually cost twice what a single cd did but vinyl seems to simply double or triple the price if it’s a two or three LP set.
    I started my vinyl collection in the mid 90s and I miss the days when no one wanted it and used records were cheap. First used record I ever bought was a VG+ copy of The Wall for $7. Today I see used albums sometimes hitting $20+ as well.

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  • August 15, 2021 at 1:01 pm
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    It wasn’t too long ago I could find vinyl for $20…now they’re north of $40. I’m happy to support any band producing great music, but not when albums are costing what they are now. Even when I try to purchase the album directly from the band’s website, I find the cost of delivery is too much. I look forward to going to shows again where I find the price of vinyl at the merch table the most reasonable.

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    • October 1, 2021 at 1:10 pm
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      I work in a big record store, and most importantly I have been collecting vinyl since the late 80ies. I have seen used records go down in price during the 90ies and rise again after the mid 2000. New records’ prices during the same period were steadily rising. The last 4-5 years however the price of new releases has become excruciating. Until last year when the spike in prices took a new leap. A most characteristic example being the Queen records. The cheapest price I can find to stock up the shop is around 24 Euros (before tax) This means that if I sell at 34 Euros, I am merely breaking even. And my clientele simply can’t afford to buy such an expensive record anyway.

      I believe that the companies are trying to get rid of record shops. The consumer behavior has changed during the lock-downs, and the companies believe that they can get all the profit without any middle man. It is evident when you see the prices on their own online shops. I wonder if the artists that desire their work be issued on vinyl, obviously having fond memories from their hang-out record store places, have knowledge of the results of the price spike.

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  • August 15, 2021 at 1:54 pm
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    Wasn’t there a lacquer plant that was destroyed a year or two ago? I believe it was one of the only ones in the world? Could we now be seeing the effects of this?

    I enjoy collecting vinyl and won’t stop but if the prices keep rising like this I will be buying much less, focusing more on albums that I really enjoy instead of branching out into music I don’t know as well.

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  • August 15, 2021 at 9:15 pm
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    Yes Vinyl prices have increased but I find that with independent labels and new artists you can still get new albums in the $20-$30 range. In the last few months I have picked up new lp (some with download codes): Black midi, Julien Baker, Black Country New Road, The Beths, Squid, Sturgill Simpson, etc. The real expensive ones. I have seen crazy prices for bands I enjoyed in the nineties growing up. I still enjoy them but I feel that I am paying a nostalgia tax. There are so many new creative artists on indie labels that are releasing great music. I would rather spend my money on them. Hopefully the other bands I enjoy the price will come down eventually.

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  • August 16, 2021 at 8:48 am
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    Seems like the major labels are intentionally choking the market again. They must find into doesn’t make enough profit compared to CDs or digital copies so they’re going to flood the market with overpriced crap and slow down the process for any smaller label, so they lose out too. Yes, there are a limited number of pressing plants but machines are still being made and the vinyl comeback is like a decade old now – if someone like Sony really wanted to make vinyl LPs and hoped to do so for s long time, don’t you think they could afford to purchase they’re own presses?? As others above have said – but from indie labels and indie stores. They actually care about getting customers a decent product for a decent price.

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    • September 29, 2021 at 9:04 pm
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      Sony have their own pressing plants. Think they may be the only Major that do. The price hikes are.not just down to label greed, pressing plant hikes, back logs, fuel price surges, pvc and cardboard shortages and hikes have led to ALL labels increasing their prices. Both Indie and major.

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  • August 17, 2021 at 11:51 am
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    I’ve stopped buying vinyl as a result. Just not worth it. It’s weird, I have a microcosm of a music collection and my taste from like 2010-2018 when I was collecting.

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  • August 19, 2021 at 9:47 am
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    It’s a bit rich hearing this complaint about high vinyl prices from Tiny Record Shop, the place that buys reasonably priced records from The Record Guys at vinyl fairs and marks them way up in their store. The phenomenon is real though.

    Ten years ago or so you could still buy records from indie labels like Matador, Sub Pop, or Kill Rock Stars for around $15 but those albums go for $25 and up nowadays.

    I used to balk at paying $30 for a new record but now that’s the norm. I’m also getting a bit tired of the hideously expensive box sets with exclusive bonus discs that aren’t also released in stand-alone versions (looking at you, Bowie estate) so you have to re-buy albums you already own to get the new material.

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    • October 2, 2021 at 11:00 am
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      You are so right. I have complained to companies for this tactic of releasing old or new artists in various editions with extra tracks and forcing you to buy 3-4 times the same thing to have it all. The reply was a most dry:”Nobody forces you to buy it” which I imagine it comes from the lips and minds of marketing managers that used to work in the food and furniture industry and immigrated to the music industry, trying to make it big by milking the desire of the keen fans, without taking into consideration that the love of music and for a specific artist should be also be rewarded, and not just be exploited to death.
      I have seen many artists (or their managers) start this kind of schemes. Since most fans have only a couple of artists that they follow faithfully, they don’t notice it as a more general trend, but I see it happening more and more

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