How to Start Collecting Vinyl

 Two individuals talk as they look at an album in a record shop

There’s no doubt that collecting LP records is an art form, and mastering any art form takes time, dedication, and a little bit of wisdom from those with experience in the field. If you’re curious about how to start collecting vinyl, you’ve come to the right place. 

We’ve put together a handy, step-by-step guide to record collecting, with a simple list of materials and instructions to help you start the collection of a lifetime. Read on to learn what you’ll need, how to identify the best vinyl records to collect, and more useful tips from the experts at Big Fudge


What You’ll Need

  • A space to store your vinyl records

    Opt for an area that’s high-visibility but low-traffic, and consider choosing a section of your home where it’ll be easy to find more space as your collection grows. 

    • Storage and display materials

    A key element in how to start collecting vinyl is deciding how you’ll safely stash them or show them off. Shelving, boxes, and display stands can all be good options.

    • Protective gear

    As you start to find the best vinyl records to collect, you’ll want to keep them in pristine condition. Protective gear like inner sleeves, outer sleeves, and vinyl jackets are essential for beginners and serious collectors alike. 

    • A cleaning kit

    Going hand-in-hand with protective gear, a high-quality cleaning kit is a must as you begin collecting LP records. This should include record-safe cleaning fluid, a soft fabric brush or roller, and microfiber cloths. 

    Person in plaid shirt sits on edge of bed looking at vinyl record


    How to Start Collecting Vinyl

    • Make a budget 

      While this doesn’t have to be set in stone, having a clear(ish) picture of how much you’d like to spend will keep your passion for collecting LP records from spiraling out of control. 

      • Dream big, then start small 

        Make a list of the top albums you aspire to have in your collection. Whether you’re in it for the music, the album art, or the investment potential, the best vinyl records to collect are ultimately specific to each individual. 

        • Do your homework

          Some collectors get their intel from their favorite records blog, while others conduct intensive research through the National Archives searchable database of sound recordings. Whatever your proclivities may be, conducting homework on album availability and value can be a key part of collecting LP records, and can lead to even more interesting discoveries as you build your collection.

          • Make a cleaning schedule (and stick to it)

            Keeping vinyl records clean is an important part of how to start collecting vinyl and continue collecting vinyl in a sustainable way. While cleaning individual records will be contingent on your listening habits, it’s also important to keep your record player and storage area clean with routine dusting and maintenance. 

            • Enjoy your collection 

              Once you’ve come up with a few of the best vinyl records to collect, half the fun is showing them off. Choose well-crafted record stands to feature your latest find or whatever you currently have on deck, and consider hosting listening parties to make the joy of collecting LP records even sweeter. 

              At Big Fudge, we love helping people start, build, and showcase their record collections. Explore our curated selection of vinyl storage and display options, or get in touch with our expert team for help finding the perfect gear. And now that you know how to start collecting vinyl, read on to discover 10 of the most valued vinyl records of all time