7 Essential Tips for Starting Your Vinyl Collection
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Define your musical taste
  2. Set up a proper budget
  3. Get a good record player
  4. Learn about vinyl grading
  5. Find reliable vinyl sellers
  6. Organize and store your collection properly
  7. Care and maintenance of vinyl records

There's a certain charm to vinyl records that digital music just can't match. Maybe it's the crackle before your favorite song starts playing or the satisfaction of flipping the record to hear the other side. Whatever the reason, you've decided to dive into the world of vinyl and start your own collection. But where do you begin? This blog post will guide you with 7 essential tips on how to start a vinyl collection, even if you've never touched a record before.

Define Your Musical Taste

Before you rush out and buy the first record you see, take a moment to think about your musical taste. Knowing what you like is the first step in your journey of starting a vinyl collection.

Maybe you're a fan of classic rock artists like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. Perhaps you prefer the soulful voices of Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday. Or maybe your heart lies with modern artists like Billie Eilish or Arctic Monkeys. No matter your preference, it's important to define your musical taste. This way, you can build a collection that truly reflects you.

Here are a few steps to help you figure out your musical taste:

  • Look at your existing music library: What artists or genres make up the bulk of your playlists? These will likely form the foundation of your vinyl collection.
  • Explore different genres: Don't limit yourself to what you know. Part of the fun of starting a vinyl collection is discovering new music. Try listening to a few records from different genres. You might just find a new favorite.
  • Ask for recommendations: Friends, family, and online communities can be great sources of music recommendations. Don't be shy to ask them for their favorite records.

Remember, starting a vinyl collection is a personal journey. Don't feel pressured to buy records just because they're popular or "classic." What matters most is that the music speaks to you.

Set Up a Proper Budget

Let's talk about money. Starting a vinyl collection, like any hobby, can be as affordable or as lavish as you make it. Records can range from a few dollars at a thrift store to hundreds of dollars for rare, collector's editions. That's why it's important to set up a budget before you start shopping for records.

Here's how you can set up a budget for your vinyl collection:

  • Decide how much you want to spend monthly: Consider your income and expenses. How much can you comfortably set aside for your vinyl collection each month?
  • Research record prices: Spend some time browsing online stores or visiting local record shops. This can give you a sense of the average price of records and help you adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Don't forget the extras: Remember, collecting vinyl isn't just about the records. You'll also need a record player, cleaning supplies, and storage solutions. Make sure to factor these costs into your budget.

With a budget in mind, you can start your vinyl collection without breaking the bank. After all, building a record collection should be a joy, not a financial burden. So, be smart about your spending and remember that it's not about how many records you have, but the enjoyment you get from them.

Get a Good Record Player

So, you've set up your budget and you're ready to dive into the world of vinyl. But wait, you're going to need something to play those records on. Here's where the record player comes in. And not just any record player, but a good one. The quality of your player can make a significant difference in how your records sound, so it's worth investing in a decent model.

Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping for a record player:

  • Consider the type of record player: There are two main types—direct drive and belt drive. Direct drive turntables are more durable and provide more consistent speeds, but belt drive turntables offer less vibration, resulting in a better sound quality.
  • Look for adjustable tonearm weight and anti-skating control: These features can help protect your records from unnecessary wear and tear, and can also improve sound quality.
  • Don't forget the speakers: Some record players come with built-in speakers, while others require external ones. Keep in mind that the quality of speakers can significantly affect the sound of your records.

Choosing a good record player is an important step in learning how to start a vinyl collection. It's the heart of your setup, and spending a bit more on a quality player can enhance your vinyl listening experience immensely.

Remember, you don't need to buy the most expensive model right off the bat. Start with a player that fits your budget, then consider upgrading as your collection—and your passion for vinyl—grows.

Learn About Vinyl Grading

When you're starting a vinyl collection, understanding vinyl grading is a must. But what's that, you ask? Simply put, it's a system used to describe the condition of a record. From mint condition to poor, knowing the grades can help you decide whether a record is worth adding to your collection.

Here's a quick rundown of the most common vinyl grades:

  • Mint (M): The record is in perfect condition, with no signs of wear or damage. It's never been played, or it's been played so sparingly that any wear is barely noticeable.
  • Near Mint (NM): The record shows only the slightest signs of wear. It's been handled and played carefully.
  • Very Good Plus (VG+): The record has been played, but it's been well cared for. There may be some signs of wear, but they don't affect the overall sound quality.
  • Good (G): The record has been played so much that the sound quality has noticeably deteriorated. There may also be significant wear and tear to the sleeve or cover.

Understanding vinyl grades is crucial in determining the value of a record. It can also help you avoid paying too much for a record that's in poor condition. So, as you learn how to start a vinyl collection, take some time to familiarize yourself with these grades. You'll be a pro in no time!

And remember, while mint condition records might be tempting, don't be afraid to buy records in lower grades. They often have their own unique charm, and can be a great way to add some character to your collection!

Find Reliable Vinyl Sellers

When you're figuring out how to start a vinyl collection, knowing where to buy your records is a key step. There are many places to find vinyl records, but not all sellers are created equal. Some are more reliable than others, and finding the good ones can be a bit of a treasure hunt.

Here's a tip: start local! Check out your neighborhood record store. They're usually run by fellow vinyl enthusiasts who can offer you advice and recommendations. Plus, you're supporting a local business—a win-win situation!

Garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets can also be gold mines for vinyl records. You never know what gems you might uncover. The thrill of the hunt is part of the fun of collecting!

If you're shopping online, there are many websites where you can buy vinyl records. But be careful—make sure to read reviews and check seller ratings. And don't forget to ask about the record's condition and grading before you make a purchase.

Remember, starting a vinyl collection isn't just about buying records. It's about the joy of discovering new music, the thrill of finding a rare album, and the satisfaction of building a collection that reflects your unique taste. So take your time, do your research, and most importantly, have fun!

Organize and Store Your Collection Properly

Once you have started building your vinyl collection, it's important to keep it organized. Not only will this make it easier for you to find your favorite records, but it will also help extend their lifespan. Vinyl records are delicate and need to be handled with care. So how do you go about organizing and storing your collection?

Firstly, sort your records. Some people prefer to sort by genre, others by artist name, and others by album title. Whatever method you choose, make sure it works for you. The goal is to be able to find what you're looking for when you want to listen to it.

Next, get some record sleeves and storage boxes. These will protect your records from dust, scratches, and other damage. You can find these at most record stores or online. It's a small investment that can make a big difference in the long run.

Lastly, remember to store your records vertically. Stacking records on top of each other can cause warping over time. A vertical storage system, like a shelf or a crate, will keep your records in the best possible condition.

Organizing and storing your vinyl collection properly is a labor of love. It might take some time and effort, but it's worth it. After all, your records are more than just objects—they're a reflection of your musical journey. Treat them with the respect they deserve!

Care and Maintenance of Vinyl Records

So, you've learned how to start a vinyl collection, you've organized it well — now what? Well, the journey doesn't end there. Caring for your records is just as vital as the music they hold within their grooves. Let's explore a few simple ways to keep your vinyl sounding great for years to come.

First off, always handle your records by the edges. Touching the grooved surface can deposit oils from your skin, which can attract dust and cause the record to skip or sound distorted.

Next, invest in a good record cleaning kit. Regular cleanings can help extend the life of your records, preserving the music and keeping the sound quality high. A typical kit should include a brush and a special cleaning solution. Some kits may also include a microfiber cloth for drying.

Consider investing in an antistatic brush as well. Static electricity can attract dust to your records, and using an antistatic brush before and after each play can help keep your records dust-free.

Lastly, always return your records to their sleeves when you're done listening. Leaving them out can expose them to dust and other potential damage.

Remember, a well-cared-for record can provide a lifetime of listening pleasure. So, treat your vinyl collection with the care it deserves, and it will reward you with endless hours of high-quality sound.

If you enjoyed learning about starting your vinyl collection and are interested in expanding your creative horizons, check out Daisie's classes. Discover a wide range of workshops and tutorials to fuel your passion and help you grow as an artist and collector.