The Price Of Vinyl (In America)

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Well-known member
Feb 2, 2023
I was going to start a thread on this topic but saw this. I recently saw an IG thread where a few were complaining about vinyl prices in the US and saying they can pick up CD's for a couple of dollars in thrift stores record companies are making a killing out of selling vinyl.
I don't know about the US but in the UK I don't think they are-unless you buy limited editions- my reason for saying this:
I first got into hifi in 1989 although my first system wasn't proper hifi, it was an Aiwa midi system with a CD player as an optional extra that I decided against because in 1989 I was paying £7 for chart albums on vinyl from Asda and Woolworths and the CD equivalents were £15. I remember the British press going mental about how record companies were ripping off those who bought CD's because they were so much cheaper to make than vinyl, maybe now CD prices are reflecting the true cost.
I did got an inflation calculator up on the internet and the £7 I was paying in 1989 is now worth just over £25. At the beginning of the month I bought a brand new pressing of Pink Floyd's, The Wall, a double album for £27. So record companies ripping vinyl users off....not to my mind but I'd welcome the views/ experiences of others.

As with anything, the cost of materials, manufacturing, and shipping has gone up ridiculously over the last 5-20 years. On top of this, and this is just a guess on my part, with the rise and rise of vinyl over the last 15/20 years, I think record distribution companies are raking it in while they can, knowing that one day there’ll be a peak that could potentially never return - is this vinyl’s last surge? Make hay while the sun shines…

And records are expensive to produce, unlike CDs. You’ll see CDs drop in price shortly after release, and get cheaper and cheaper, because there’s margin there to play with - that’s the real story here - people being fleeced by the new price of CDs. You won’t see vinyl drop in price because there’s not enough margin there to do so. Yes, you’ll see some reductions on the shelves or online, but they’re likely returns or just stock the company wants to clear, so the company is willing to take a bit of a hit. Having worked for a store previously that sold vinyl, I can say it’s a surprisingly hard job - one person ordering, taking in deliveries and checking it, booking it in, producing new profiles on the tI’ll system, pricing it up, putting on display what needs to go on display and storing the rest (all in a certain order), keeping the shelves restocked after customers have purchased, and the most annoying thing of all time, straightening vinyl back up so that it stands up after customers have left it all messy and leaning forward!

Having said all that, I’m just about to start selling vinyl, but it’s tough to create a good sized range to browse, due to the high trade prices. Going to be a slow process….


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