If you buy a record on eBay you have to trust the seller to grade properly. You see and feel the actual item at a record show.
Record show dealers are more willing to negotiate prices because they don’t necessarily have the time and expense invested in any single item as they do on eBay.
There is actual competition and experts in the room at a record show. And they have to sell their inventory that day or wait quite possibly a long while before having another chance. They don’t have those competitive pressures on eBay.
You can get your questions answered immediately instead of waiting for the seller to check his e-mail and respond. You can get the same question answered honestly by another customer or vendor with no stake in your purchase.
You can browse faster through boxes of records at a record show than through listings on eBay.
You see inventory that never makes it to eBay. No intelligent seller lists his dollar records online. They brings hundreds of them to record shows.
Bottom line: if you have fifty dollars to spend you can get a few records on eBay, or a whole lot more at a record show, with less time spent shopping. You can browse thousands of records and buy dozens, and bring them home (undamaged by delivery services) to listen to later that same day. NO ONE offers “hours from now” shipping.
Written by Brian Boyer September 30, 2014