We've Been Ready for the Revival of Vinyl Records! 

Is it possible for a store to be enthusiastically retro yet ahead of its time? We think so. At Thrift Trader, our vast selection of vintage clothes and accessories keeps customers well-equipped to rock fashion trends when they come back in style, and our long history of selling used vinyl records predated the vinyl revival that’s currently taking the music industry by storm.

According to Forbes, vinyl records are projected to sell 40 million units this year, with sales nearing $1 billion for the first time this century. That might pale in comparison to sales during their heyday—total sales in 1981 surpassed 1 billion units—but considering demand for vinyl has steadily grown over the past 10 years, it’s clear this miraculous resurrection isn’t a passing fad. Here’s why:

Quality vs. quantity

Music lovers in the 80s would be astounded by our ability to carry thousands of songs around in our pocket, but quick access to our entire music library has its drawbacks. Vinyl connoisseurs claim vinyl has a richer, warmer sound compared to digital files, which can often strip complex musical arrangements of their nuance in the quest for technological efficiency. Whether that makes digital music storage inferior is a debate we’ll leave to the experts.

The collection connection

With endless amounts of music available digitally through purchased MP3 files or streaming services and the ability to select songs with the flick of a finger or voice command, modern music fans are missing out on the dedication involved in caring for a physical music library. That dedication forges a stronger, more intimate connection between the fan and the artist, which is why vinyl collections—and the tangible fandom they represent—are becoming so popular again.

Cover art advantage

Another benefit of vinyl’s tangible nature is the opportunity to appreciate amazing cover art. Digital files and even CD booklets can’t quite match the grandeur of an entire square foot of artwork space. Newer bands taking advantage of the vinyl revival are taking that into consideration, with a visual feast of gorgeous, striking, or controversial cover art to accompany our auditory enjoyment.

Best of the past and present

One of the best aspects of the vinyl revival is that it’s not limited by genre or time period. Many current artists offer new releases on vinyl as well as CD and digital files, while many vintage albums that were originally released on vinyl alone are being remastered and re-released (check out the special releases on Record Store Day, April 22). Combine that with a resurgence of vinyl record sales to and from secondhand outlets like Thrift Trader, and you can find almost anything to satisfy your individual music taste.

Trading vinyl before it was cool

Before there was Thrift Trader, there was Music Trader, a San Diego-based chain that helped popularize the buying and selling of used vinyl records, cassettes, and CDs. And even though we’ve expanded into selling DVDs, books, clothing, accessories, and other vintage and secondhand treasures, our origins are still apparent in the sheer volume and variety of our music stacks.

So come lose yourself in our vinyl record inventory or bring in your own to trade for cash or store credit. Buying hours at our Pacific Beach and North Park locations are 10am-6pm daily.