Whether you’re just starting your collection or you’re down to just filling out your shelves with rare albums, being a music collector can be an expensive hobby.

Thankfully, there are some great resources out there that can help you keep from spending this month’s rent check on that album you just HAD to have.

1. VinylDeals on Reddit: This is an absolute must follow if you’re a bargain vinyl hunter and on Reddit. Members track down and latest online deals, including direct links that make it easy for you to click and purchase. You know how you keep checking Amazon to see if your favorite band’s pricey boxset has been marked down yet? You’ll likely be one of the first to know when the price drops if you’re following this Subreddit.

2. Vinyl On Sale on Twitter: This account promises to give you the latest “price drops and price mistakes on vinyl.” Vinyl On Sale uses Amazon Associates affiliate links, so the account owner is likely getting a cut of the sales. Whether you go directly through their links or visit Amazon on your own to catch the deals, you can easily find some deep discounts. I was recently able to nab “Trouble Will Find Me” from The National for just $12.99 thanks to this account. That album usually runs closer to $20 on Amazon.

3. Colored Vinyl Club on Instagram: I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for albums in colors other than black. If you’re like me, you’ll likely enjoy Colored Vinyl Club. The account shares photos from a variety of sources, including collectors and stores, that feature colorful editions of your favorite albums. Many include information on where the user purchased their colored vinyl so you can add one to your collection.

4. Rough Trade’s Cheap Thrills: Rough Trade has four storefronts in the UK and one location in the US in New York City. Thankfully for those living in the Midwest and not in the UK or NYC, Rough Trade has a robust website chock full of vinyl finds in user-friendly sections. Easily peruse their albums of the year picks or check out some of their own exclusive releases available for online purchase. For the bargain hunters there’s the Cheap Thrills section of the site featuring selected releases for $15 or less.

5. Your Favorite Record Store’s Bargain Bin: Even if you’re not buying music on a budget, don’t sleep on the bargain bin. It’s easy to walk right past it in search of well organized stacks of new releases and notable used items. There’s likely a lot in there that you’ve never heard of. And if you set out to find a specific album, chances are you won’t find it in the bargain bin. What you will find is a cheap and easy way to open yourself up to new music. Sure, you’ve never listened to Austrian speed metal polka, but why not check it out for a dollar? And just think how excited you’ll be if you DO happen to find a bargain bin album or artist you’ve actually heard of. I recently unearthed a well used copy of “Frampton Comes Alive!” from the crate pictured below. When it’s only a dollar, who cares if the packaging is in rough shape.

Rob Carroll photo

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