In this sad world of downloading and streaming music, there are still great sites online to purchase the real thing. There is nothing like holding the CD case in your hands while listening to uncompressed beautiful sounding audio. Taking it one step further (or perhaps one giant leap ahead)there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in your room staring out a 12 inch album cover while listening to the sounds of pure vinyl spinning under a diamond of joy.
While most record stores across the nation have long gone out of business, there are plenty of online sites that sell music CDs and vinyl albums. Many of these sites also sell DVDs and Blurays. But we are just going to focus on audio CDs and vinyl records. Here are our choices for the Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl online. We are not going to rate shipping cost because the stores tend to change their shipping polices often. However, Amazon primes is the one shipping service that has been the most consistent as far as shipping fees go.
So have fun because there ain’t nothing like the real thing. As far as rating the stores, there are just too many variables in buying online that we think it would be unfair to any of the retailers to rate them in a particular order. However, if the store is listed here, than we have already judged them as being among the best websites to buy CDs and vinyl.
To connect to any of these stores just click on their names and you will be taken to their websites.
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl: “The Corporates.”
Easily the most dependable place to find CDs and Vinyl. If you purchase many CDs and records, than opening up a prime membership is a no brainer. With Amazon Prime there is no shipping charges for items brought from Amazon. However, if you are buying from a third-party vendor on Amazon, you will pay shipping charges. We rate Amazon as the number one place to purchase cds and records for two reasons. The first reason, is for how quick they ship their items. How do they do it? Does it matter? We have ordered so many CDs from them and have received a great portion of them the very next day with prime two day shipping. Pretty incredible. The second reason is their stock. They may not have everything, but they are pretty close.
This great site specializes in just about every cd you may search for. The site is completely dedicated to CDs. We put in a search for Willie Nile and the site came up with his entire released CD catalog in stock. The prices and shipping is higher than Amazon, but their catalog is deep. They also accept paypal which Amazon does not accept.
If your under twenty, chances are you have never been to a Tower Records store. Or at least if you were there when you were younger you probably hated it because your mom or dad may have spent hours insides there huge stores that stock virtually every genre of cd ever released. For music fans, Tower Records was a wonderful and yet sometime frustrating shopping experience. The stores were so big that actually had dividers in the CD bins that not only labeled the artists but also their individual releases.
Their online site seems to feature the same vast musical catalog that their stores used to host. However, every CD that we put into our cart was labeled as shipping from Amazon.com. So in essence, the site seems to be owned by Amazon (however we could not confirm that)without the offer of Amazon prime shipping. So anything that can be found on Tower.com can also be found on Amazon. Easy choice here.
Well speaking of last man standing, FYE Music stores are the last of a kind of the corporate mall chain music stores. It’s hard to believe that you can still go to a mall and find a store selling CDs and records, but FYE has hung in there. They also have a online presence in which you can purchase a wide range of CDs and vinyl albums. However, navigation was difficult at times and prices seemed much higher than other sites like Amazon.com
Editor’s note: As of 2019, most Fye store are now phasing out CDs in their mall stores. CDs are still available online, however the days of flipping through bins of CDs in retail outlets are coming to an end everywhere.
One of the oldest book retailers in the world maintains a large web presence. The site has a very deep catalog of CDs and vinyl records. And their book catalog is not too shabby either.
Prices change often,and their catalog is based on best sellers and popular artists. You wont find any rare CDs or deep catalog at Walmart. We did the Willie Nile test on the site and they only had two of Willies albums in their catalog as opposed to the more than a dozen titles found on Amazon.com But Walmart does have some super deals and they do give Amazon a run for the money during the fun Black Friday bonanza.
This music store has both an online presence and a chain of three brick and mortar stores in California. They have a very nice selection online. Not sure if they are corporate or privety owned but since they have three stores we have listed them under the corporate banner.
Great online site featuring a wide variety of CDs. The site contains many used CDs sold at very low prices.
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl:
# mrcheapocds.com Commack, New York
This great site is actually one of the last mom and pop owned record stores still open in New York. Talk about the last man standing, Mr Cheapo records has out lasted the giant chain stores in New York like Sam Goody, Record World, and off course Tower Records. The store which originally opened in the mid 1980’s as a used vinyl store, eventfully became a haven for CD enthusiasts. Nonetheless, even as the CD boom exploded in the 80’s and 90’s, the site continued to sell used vinyl. Now with the recent revitalization of vinyl records, Mr Cheapos is a dream destination for fans of vinyl and CDs. If you ever get to Long Island New York, you should make the time to visit Mr Cheapos. If you can’t get there , well their online site will deliver some very rare CDs and vinyl records to your doorstep. Check them out.
# FeelItRecords San Diego, CA
There is nothing like supporting an independent record store that supports independent musicians. The record store’s website features a great display of some very rare record albums and 45 singles. We particular liked the display of the Blue Note singles which are extremely rare.
Brick and mortar store in Chicago that also maintains a nice website that can be used to order a wide variety of CDs and Vinyl.
Great online retailer located in Tennessee. This site specializes in hard to find vinyl and CDs.
The Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl will be constantly updated so check back often as we search for new sites to add to the list that we gauge as reputable sites to buy music.
If you know of a great music store that you would like to share with the world, just leave the name and website in our comments section.