Record Shop Etiquette

Is there such a thing as proper record shop etiquette or unwritten rules on the do’s and don’t when out shopping for records?  We all see things from different perspectives weather being a buyer who wants something at the cheapest price possible or the seller who is providing a service and trying to keep his / her lights on.  As a buyer and collector of many things, I understand both sides of the coin, but one of my pet peeves when walking into a record store is looking around the room and noticing a percentage of people looking on their phones, comparing prices and often times just buying a record online just to save 5 bucks without taking into consideration of a few things. So many record buyers complain about buying online but would rather buy it cheaper online instead of paying an extra 5 bucks to help keep a sacred gathering place for music lovers open. Remember, the shop owner is running a business and trying to provide a service, he did the digging which should count for something. I was pleasantly surprised when seeing this “please feel free to check your phone” sign hanging in a local shop because it lets you know that they are trying to move product, not let it sit on the walls like art.  Also take into consideration that many times you never would’ve known about that record if you didn’t hear it in that store so it seems disrespectful to discover it there, only to go online and buy it. If it’s a record shop that you frequent, approach the owner and see if you can get it for a lesser price. If you’ve spent money there in the past the owner is usually more than happy to take a few dollars off but if it’s one of those types of owners that we all hate, then you shouldn’t be shopping there anyway.


I love shopping online, but I love the atmosphere of being in a store, weather its a well organized boutique or a dusty old box thats been in business since 1978 and as record lovers, we’re all in the same boat, both buyers and sellers.  As a collector of various things from records to toys to whatever, haggling definitely seems to be a stronger trait in the record community with people wanting top tier mint records but only willing to pay VG- prices. In other collectors markets, prices are usually spot on fluctuating very little so people know that their going to have to pay for that gem so you either want it or you don’t.  If you want the choice pieces you have to “pay to play” and thats the name of the game.