What percentage of your music purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?

If the answers to last week's Vote is any indication, record stores are indeed in trouble. What percentage of your music purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?

What percentage of your music purchases in the last 12 months has been at a brick-and-mortar retailer in your area?
17% (34 votes)
9% (18 votes)
7% (15 votes)
6% (12 votes)
4% (9 votes)
8% (17 votes)
3% (6 votes)
6% (12 votes)
8% (17 votes)
16% (32 votes)
15% (31 votes)
Total votes: 203

James Kousbaugh's picture

Our local Silver Platters chain in Seattle carries a large selection of SACD and DVD-A releases and they will order anything. But prices are sometimes better and rare items easier to find online, plus there is no sales tax.

Al Earz's picture

I never seem to find what I am looking for locally. Especially vinyl, that just doesn't seem to available anywhere but the Internet. Audiophile issues are not available locally.

James's picture

In Vancouver, Canada, record stores seem to be quiet with empty shelves (in the jazz and blues sections), with fewer interesting titles and higher prices compared to the US. I've been buying CDs in the US more and more. I don't buy CDs online or download music. My preference is for SACDs.

Allen's picture

Don't do downloads.

Harris Haft's picture

I have not been inside a "record" store in years, since I can hear a sample of almost any CD, no matter how arcane, on line. Also the shipping charge is often less than the sales tax. Nolo contendre!

tonye's picture

Internet only. And the best kind is Internet radio, where buying the song is only a click away.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Subsequent to Aron's Records going belly-up here in Los Angeles, I'm very sorry to report that the majority of my purchases have been made online.

Dan's picture

It's usually cheaper to purchase online, but the instant gratification and in-store impulse buy (not to meantion the pleasure of browsing the aisles) really can't be beat.

Bubba in SF's picture

I still do not download MP3. If I purchase it is at Hastings (used) or Charlies Records in Albuquerque on Menaul. Borders once in a while. There is good music out there. You just have to wait for an older recording or take a chance on a newer recording by someone you follow. Try watching the Documentary Channel or PBS and you can find someone you would'nt consider before once you hear their music. Since radio stations are all the same, that is the only way to hear new stuff. Record stores used to play or have kiosks to listen to the new releases but, that is passe. Best Buy has online terminals you could almost listen to if they weren't always hijacked by the store employees showing how hip and technological they are. Ugh! Records to Die for works sometimes, although they come with the reviewers sense of bloom and detail they've never heard on other recordings.

David Aiken's picture

There's nothing like real, as opposed to virtual, shopping. I like getting what I buy when I pay for it, not one to two weeks later due to postage delays, and I like being able to see what I'm buying when I do so. When I do buy online, it's because I want something specific that isn't available locally.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

What few music purchases I have made have been entirely over the Internet. Furthermore, I have tried to not support the RIAA and their lawsuit happy lowlife sharks!!!

Yuri's picture

I spent more money online, but I bought more CDs at the used CD stores. Occasionally I'll buy music at the big stores like Borders and Best Buy.

Joe Hartmann's picture

Because of the decline in record store classical music departments, I infrequently don't even look for selections. This month for the first time I made a purchase from foreign online store. The cost was prohibitive but I had tried to secure the two selections for months from US sources.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

I always try to buy from local independents when I can.

Mike Agee's picture

I would greatly prefer to buy local, but usually don't. The problem is selection. My tastes lead to the obscure and 90% of the time the local place just doesn't have it. I usually end up on line. Amazon's "New and Used" can take you far afield.

Anonymous's picture

It's getting harder to find the kind of music I am interested in. The brick and mortar shops are concentrating on mostly pop and area ethnic titles, while the specialty stores are disappearing.

Chris S.'s picture

During the whole content protection uproar I cut way back on my CD purchasing. Since then I've started buying again, but almost exclusively through an online music club. When I did venture into a local "Big Box" store in search of music, I was surprised at how much the cost of CD's had gone up there in the last few years. I refuse to buy music from download services as I can only think of a few that provide lossless formats, and do so from dubious legal ground. I will continue to buy discs, but the vast majority of my purchases will be via a music club.

Brankin's picture

At least a third of my purchases have been at second hand album shops. Many treasures to be found as people continue to dump their album collections—poor sots! The trick is to check at least weekly to get the good stuff. The rest of my purchases are on line because of price, free delivery to my door, and deep catalog selection below list price. If the local B&M stores could come with $2 of on line they'd get my business—but they aren't even close. Sigh...

Doug Taylor's picture

As a classical music fan in Ann Arbor, a few years ago I bought everything from a specialty store here and from Borders (the first and one of the largest in the nation.) Now the specialty store is gone and Borders' classical stock shrinks almost daily. And this is a town that regularly hosts performers like Renee Fleming and the Berlin Philharmonic! Much as I'd like to support brick-and-mortars, where I am to go but the Internet?

Nick's picture

I love to browse and discover new music or find things on sale. This is an experience that the online stores can't yet match. However, since it costs more, I keep my brick-and-mortar shopping to a minimum.

OvenMaster's picture

90%. No credit card equals no online purchases, except for using a prepaid card for Wal-Mart downloads. Otherwise, all brick and mortar retailers.

Randy's picture

For classic jazz and swing, the selections in Borders and the local CD store are just too limited, so I use the Internet. But there are quite a few spontaneous purchases of recent releases together with a family visit to our local Borders and a coffee or latte. Talk about satisfying two addictions at once!

Gary's picture

None. Once upon a time, the brick-and-mortar stores had employees who were knowledgeable about music and recordings. They no longer offer that very valuable service. Now the stores have a smaller selection of "best sellers" at higher prices than online sellers and employ the musically ignorant.

Larry Lewis's picture

All LP's, hate CD sound!

Nate's picture

I answered 10%, but frankly, that probably is a high estimate. There are few stores around, no one carries vinyl.

Dan Landen's picture

I get some from BMG music club and what they don't carry, I get at a local store. For older and out of print music, I buy on eBay. Downloading is not really a choice for me, since much of the music I like is simply not available for legitimate downloads or even non-legitimate downloads. Plus, I prefer the richer sound of the original CDs rather than MP3s or other compressed formats. I can tell the difference as can many of your readers!

Ron in Vancouver's picture

I will buy some stuff at 20% off weekends at one local store. Mostly I now buy off EBay for two reasons—they have cheap prices and most of the things I want are never stocked at brick stores. I also take extreme pleasure in not paying 14% taxes to the government as most small purchases don't get dinged with tax or duty. In addition, the lack of staff music knowledge in most record stores is truly saddening. I just end up wanting to shake the stupidity out of them.

Neil D.'s picture

All purchases were from a "brick-and-mortar" outlet. However, 90% of all albums listened to were from the public library.

John V's picture

I probably spend on average about $150 a month on music, primarily CDs, some vinyl. I buy almost 100% of it online. There are no independent music stores near me and the Barnes and Nobles or Borders almost never have what I want. Given the fact that I can find what I want all the time on line and almost always get free shipping I almost never look for music in a store anymore.

Joe L's picture

I get about half of my music from archive.org. They have a lot of new local, regional, and national bands represented. It reminds me of when I was younger and I would go up and down the radio dial looking for new and interesting music late at night.Once I found something that hooked me,I would try to find it in a store and buy it. Same thing happens today except I have a lot of choices as to where I can purchase the music.