Princeton Record Exchange

While on my quarterly foray to PRE, I couldn't help but wonder how many people were in there browsing vinyl that they sold to PRE; now that vinyl is "cool" again.

IMHO, the best deals are to be found underneath the racks in the 1.00 bins. Hard as hell to look through them though with the crowded and narrow aisles. The stuff I got out there for a buck is in better condition than things I paid 3.99 - 4.99 for (same items last time were 1.99 -2.99).

It was my 14 YO daughter who wanted to go on this trip. Granted, she bought CD's, but I was really surprised at some of her choices, including The Ramones!
Been there a few times in the past for CDs, but I'm planning my first vinyl visit in the near future. Is there a lot of decent stuff in the $1.00 bins? I mean, is it all obscure/niche stuff or are there a lot of solid classics and mainstream albums in there?

Also, is there stuff in pretty good shape (all VG+ or better?)

The reason I ask is because while I am very new to vinyl (3 weeks in!), the few places I've been that have a large selection of used vinyl have been much higher priced (ie. nothing below $7-8, most in the $12-15 range). The concept of $1-2 bins and $3-4 bins for decent stuff seems like a pipe dream. Please tell me that I'm not just dreaming :-)

Welcome to the world of vinyl! I'm sure you will enjoy this aspect of the hobby, and I am sure you will be really glad you explored it, when you hear how vinyl sound when reproducing music in your home!

A tip on shopping PREX for vinyl: for a while, stick to the "new arrivals" bins (on the left if you are facing the back of the store). Lower pricing, and a mix of mainstream and obscure music. Prices usually range from a low of 1.99 to 9.99. Check the condition of each LP. Pricing has as much to do with the label and relative availability as it does with surface condition.

Regarding the 1.00 bins: more of a crap shoot there, mainstream and obscure, good and bad shape. Shopping the 1.00 bins, takes the desire and willingness to sit on the floor in the dirt and dust, the ability to allow yourself to get stepped on and over for the rewards. There have been times when I have left there with 20 LPs for 20.00, other times, one or two. Last week, I got a VG+ condition Marshall Tucker Band debut LP on Capricorn for a 1.00.

The main bins, arranged by artist and genre, have been filling up of late with new sealed stuff that can be bought online for less.

A really good place to shop for used vinyl at great pricing are Library Book Sales, as well as your local Goodwill outlet.

Best of luck to you in your pursuits. Just remember, the ends justify the means when you come across that great recording, and drop the sylus for the first time.
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Very important that you bring gloves, the grim and dirt will provide a very unpleasant experience. I've been to the PRE often when I lived in Princeton, its a feast or famine affair. I've often wondered why they don't offer a cleaning service on site. It would be a money maker.
Make those...boxing gloves, now that I know the source! FatghOst, I enjoyed reading of your turntable quest. Search out those cheap treasures. I used to routinely pay $.25 per record. Enjoy!
Several times I have been on the receiving end of an exchange that went like this: "you should have been here last week. We took in an entire collection of (insert genre here). But a Chinese (or Japanese) gentleman bought everything"

I agree on the gloves for looking through stuff there. However, I think the grime has become part of its iconography.
Fantasyland in Atlanta is a great source of used vinyl if you ever travel South. it sounds very similar to the Princeton exchange.
In addition to a chair and gloves I recommend an LED headlamp and a pair of your favorite billy bob teeth. The headlamp for checking surface scratches and the teeth for staking territory.
Wow, you guys are hardcore. At least I'll know I'm amongst friends if I go in there and see people with headlamps and roller carts that look like they're ready to throw down at the drop of a hat!

As far as PreX is concerned, if you want to scuba dive into the $1 bins do visit during the less crowded weekdays. On Saturdays there is cigarette and bong breath and plumber's crack afoot.
I've been buying vinyl at PREX since 1986-those were the days for incredible finds and deals. If youre looking for 1 to 4 dollar great buys, go to Vintage Vinyl in Fords NJ, just off of Rt. 1 near the Menlo Park Mall. Great classical rock selection and new stuff as well as cd's. You can also find collectible vinyl there. They also have dvd's and record collector magazines.Some of the older stuff is scratched and scuffed but lots are in near mint condition.--Mrmitch