Reliability of Discogs sellers?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Samson7, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Samson7

    Samson7 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've never purchased anything from Discogs but today I was searching for a Capitol purple label White Album. I noticed right away that several different sellers were using the exact same photo of the record with varied prices. This is obviously very sketchy.

    What's the best way to buy off Discogs?
  2. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    That's not sketchy. Sellers on Discogs can't post their own photos. So it's up to you to ask for them via e-mail.
    Vinyl Addict, AidanB, Blackie and 6 others like this.
  3. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    I've had 25 successful buys on Discogs, 0 negative, and hopefully a 26th, as I'm waiting on a $100.00 copy of the Classic Records 200g of Deja Vu.

    As Comboplate said, contact the seller that catches your eye ( high feedback ), get a feel for their attitude, their honesty, or lack of it.
    George P, timztunz and tmtomh like this.
  4. Samson7

    Samson7 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ok. Did not know that about the pics.
  5. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    For LPs, I would read through the seller's feedback, even if it's 100% positive, to see how positive it is - can give some insight into how accurately they grade their stuff, how well they pack it, if they ship promptly, if they often make mistakes (send wrong pressing, don't actually have the item), etc.

    For LPs, I also would ask them to email photos of the actual item if you have any questions or concerns.

    And of course for LPs and CDs, there's nothing wrong with emailing to reconfirm their item is exactly the same pressing/version that's advertised - discogs' database has different entries for many very similar pressing variations, and even a good seller can sometimes make an honest mistake and list their item under the wrong variation/entry.

    All that said, I also would recommend being polite as possible (not saying you wouldn't, just saying because some people treat discogs sellers like they are Amazon customer service reps or something...). And I would recommend asking only for the info/photos that you really need to see. Many discogs sellers are one-person shops and (rightly or wrongly) they sometimes will not want to sell to someone if they think the person seems like trouble or will be impossible to please (again, not saying you are like this - just a general point).

    I've had very good luck on discogs. I think I had one transaction where the person sent me the wrong pressing and it took a couple of tries to get them to respond and give me a partial refund. Otherwise, pretty much perfect. But I only buy CDs off discogs, and that's a less risky proposition than vinyl.
    lucan_g, George P, sami and 3 others like this.
  6. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I've been consistently more successful on Discogs than on E-Bay, but I agree it is incumbent on you to ask the questions. Many times, buyers will put a record in a particular tranche, e.g. mastered by X, pressed at Y plant, when, in fact, they just picked that subcategory haphazardly--that's usually the first question if you are chasing a particular pressing. You can also read a little between the lines on how knowledgeable a seller is, but condition is always a bit of a crap shoot. That said, I bought one record from a guy who said it was VG+ and the thing was really flawless, and another copy of the same record from a different dealer at the same time who claimed his copy was "mint" and it had a slightly off center spindle hole and had some wear marks.
    For more elusive records, it is a good place. And, for some EU issues, you can find a U.S. seller if you are so inclined and avoid the hefty shipping costs for an otherwise modestly priced records. I've had a few losers on Discogs, but not many. (Frankly, even dealers that I have bought from regularly fall down sometimes, and overgrade). It's a jungle out there....
  7. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Greater Vancouver
    As @Bill Hart says you have to be cautious regarding lazy sellers posting a sale under a "similar" pressing because there isn't a listing for it yet. Kind of a PITA when people post the cover and possibly, only possible though, the back panel, but no CD. :doh:
    Top this off with those 90's re-issues that kept the same catalog # and UPC code and it's party time. Thank goodness a majority of what I sell I have to create the listing so I know it's done right.
    klockwerk and tmtomh like this.
  8. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Very much agree with the part I've bolded above - this is a huge problem. Some sellers list only based on UPC and it creates chaos if you're looking for a specific pressing.
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  9. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    When in doubt, I ask some preliminary questions.

    And then wait for a reasoned and credible response, before ordering.

    Overall, I have had good experiences there.

    One time, a seller was not being fair and "above board" after an order was made.

    When a "bait and switch" took place regarding the initial listing of the shipping price.

    I tried to communicate reasonably...clearly showing his bait and switch...with no response except to grade me as a bad buyer for not going through with the purchase.

    Discogs made things right when I took it to them...
    Dave likes this.
  10. adamos

    adamos Forum Resident

    I've generally had good experiences on Discogs. I'd say about 25% of the time the media condition ends up being overstated but that happens on eBay too. And Discogs' policy is that if you don't agree with the grading you have the right to return it for a full refund. I agree with others that asking questions before buying, especially to make sure that both sides interpret the grading system in the same way, helps a lot.
    DRM likes this.
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Don't is the best way. If you feel compelled ask lots of questions, demand pictures of the actual record for sale. Many sellers are too lazy to even respond, you can avoid those. Lots of rip-off artists have been invading Discogs over the last couple years and overgrading and misrepresentation is rampant. The people running the show just want their commissions and will only police the site up to a point, just like eBay. Paypal is there of course, but there is time and rigamarole involved in getting a refund. Overseas transactions can get really nasty when things go wrong. One collector I know of recently got ripped off on 10 pricey jazz records when a seller decided to abruptly close up shop after getting payment. Nothing was ever sent, and they are going through a lot of back and forth with Paypal and their bank to get it sorted out.

    Personally I got tired of all the back and forth, too many records showing up overgraded, etc. so I've curbed my Discogs purchases substantially.
    Samson7 likes this.
  12. Raynie

    Raynie Hyperactive!

    Portland, OR
    Discogs sucks.
    LordThanos1969 and Jimmy B. like this.
  13. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    Because... ?
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  14. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    Now 26. Going on 27...

  15. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    Jay_S, adamos and GentleSenator like this.
  16. thoutah

    thoutah Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    Most of my experiences buying on Discogs have been totally fine. You really just have to look closely at a seller's feedback. I only buy from sellers who have outstanding feedback, and who have feedback for at least a few hundred transactions (ideally more). And if you feel you need photos, always ask for photos.

    The problem is not that Discogs sucks, but that buying used vinyl anywhere online is always potentially dicey (especially since grading LPs is apparently very open to interpretation), so you have to make sure you're buying from a seller with feedback showing that he/she is extremely reliable and honest. And even then, there can still be problems, since the vast majority of sellers grade visually, and unfortunately that just isn't a truly reliable way to grade a record's condition.
    klockwerk, adamos, Dave and 4 others like this.
  17. Spsesq

    Spsesq Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    I have had good experiences buying on Discogs. I did have one negative experience on one album that the seller graded as VG + and was terrible, even shipped without an innersleeve and I left a negative review. Generally the good sellers are conservative graders and only use M or NM on records that truly deserve it.

    My suggestion is to do you research on the seller. I will only buy from sellers with 98% or better.
  18. Deaf_in_ LA_1974

    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 Forum Resident

    I have good experiences selling and buying on discogs for over ten years. if you do your homework, Which you should regardless of online or store, its usually fine. don't buy from Russia. and realize peoples definition of NM is widely different.

    If you are super obsessive, it might not be for you, but most people on there I have encountered are very fair, the shipping norm is probably a day or two longer that the ebay standard so know that going in, its mostly hobbyist sellers rather than mega sellers like ebay.

    I love it

    most of the CDs and LP, 45s I buy from there are in the 2-8 dollar range, I would be more carefull on 100 dollar stuff for sure
    Spsesq likes this.
  19. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Greater Vancouver
    This is a denigrated statement. If you are unable to be savvy purchaser don't blame the seller. Having purchased at least a half a dozen times from both Russia and Spain, with perfect grading I might add, I call foul!
    tmtomh likes this.
  20. Deaf_in_ LA_1974

    Deaf_in_ LA_1974 Forum Resident

    Well there are tons of known bootlegs originating from Russia, to the point I am comfortable excluding them.


    What's Spain got to do with it.

    Also PayPal does not guarantee things from some countries, restricted countries depend on your location. Discogs forum Russia problems discussion page
    Discogs Forum - Russian fakes sold as original CDs - beware
    patient_ot likes this.
  21. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    That's what you should do. Always ask for photos.
    I had one large boxed CD set I was thinking of buying where the seller wrote "minor tears on sides, nothing big" and I asked for a photo and he sent a couple and it was a disaster, just torn apart on the top and bottom.
    I've also twice bought CDs from sellers that were supposed to be originals but weren't.
    There's really no protection for a buyer on Discogs. It sucks more than ebay in that regard.
    patient_ot likes this.
  22. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    I just got off the phone with paypal and was refunded for a discogs purchase I returned to Spain from the US.This company in spain sent me a very defective vinyl pressing I bought a couple cds way back wich were okay.The guy says yes sure no problem send it right back,wich I did.I patiently waited and every email gets me a reply oh I`m out sick this week,nothing yet blah blah blah for a over a month.First I kind of felt bad for the big company and the owner.Eventually I filed a claim because he was blatently giving me the runaround.I got burnt once before years ago when there wasn`t much paypal protection.Another topic,Ebay has become like the Wild West haven of internet scammers.I can`t believe the things I`ve seen other people go through.
    Still I`ve had some really good things happen on Discogs,the only reason I still buy stuff there but it can be risky.
    GentleSenator and Matt Starr like this.
  23. GentleSenator

    GentleSenator what if

    Portland, OR
    use paypal. you're very protected.
    Vinyl Addict and Matt Starr like this.
  24. Matt Starr

    Matt Starr Musician who happens to play drums

    100% this!

    As a buyer, PayPal has gotten me through a couple of very difficult, disputed transactions which involved expensive records from Europe.
    GentleSenator, timztunz and Cassius like this.
  25. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The thing about Discogs is they encourage all the boots, counterfeits, etc. They could just institute a policy where "unofficial" pressings are not allowed to be sold on Discogs but they don't because they want to collect seller fees. Same thing with other "questionable" stuff which was sold on Discogs for years until they caved to internet PR pressure. It's all about the $$$ with the people that run the site. If Paypal decided to change their buyer protection policies lots of Discogs buyers would be up a creek...

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