How to To Buy Vinyl Records On eBay
The best way to buy records on eBay is to narrow down the search results so you see only the records you care about. Otherwise the shear number of choices will overwhelm you. I've bought and sold records on eBay for over 20 years and I follow the steps below to quickly locate records for my personal collection and also to find records similar to those I want to sell so I can price them competitively in my LpGeeks eBay store.
1. Search using the artist's name and the title. Leave out punctuation because you don't know if the seller used any. In other words "less is more". Follow the artist's name with "self titled" if the title is just the artist's name.
2. On the right top change the default of "Best Match" to "Price + Shipping: lowest first".
3. On the left under "Categories" find and select "Vinyl Records".
4. On the left go down to "Buying Format" & "Item Location" and select only the filters you want to see. For me it's "Buy Now" and "US Only" respectively because I want the record now, not in 3 to 7 days from now when the auction ends and I don't want to pay international shipping. Winning auctions is an art in itself and will have a blog dedicated to it alone.
5. On the left choose in this order when possible: The Release Year, Record Grading and Sleeve Grading. (These are the most violated item specifics entered by sellers. Some unscrupulous sellers will try to lure buyers by entering a Release Year earlier than the actual release of the one they are selling because they know buyers usually want the original or earliest release for the record for which they are hunting. Sometimes sellers will enter the year the record was originally released even though the record being sold is a re-press. This is called search manipulation. But many times the seller is just ignorant about re-issues and re-presses and always enters the original release year. Record grading is a very specific process with very detailed guidelines but some of it is subjective. "Not Specified" is short for this seller didn't care, doesn't know or wants to mislead the buyer. Casual record sellers tend to embellish the grading to appeal to more buyers and make more money. These sellers also have more than normal returns. I see a lot of sellers claim not to be serious record people so they can only give vague descriptions of the condition. Probably hoping to claim ignorance when a return is requested. They don't realize that if you misrepresent your items on eBay you will take it back and issue a refund.) Ok, I've vented enough.
Now you have eliminated all but the records you would buy. Don't rely on sellers to include more specifics that these. Sometime they don't or won't include even these basics which I don't understand because if you want people to find your items without a lot of extra work...? Those sellers don't deserve your business.
1. Now you need to click through the remaining items to view the "seller ratings", "return policies", "Item Specifics" and the "Description" to weed out a few more.
2. Maybe use "Add to Cart" button to isolate all of the items you really like in your shopping cart for a last look. Delete the ones you don't want from your cart.
3. Place your order. ridge at LpGeeks