Buying records from Amazon

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Oelewapper, May 18, 2022.

  1. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor. Thread Starter

    I’ve not had much issues with buying records from Amazon Europe last year (their quality has improved quite a lot in the past few years).
    However, some records are only available on, which is located in the US, so I’ve been considering to import them.
    Some are only available on Amazon Warehouse (returned products).

    I don’t know if it’s worth the risk, but according to some YouTube channels it’s a nightmare.
    From larger channels like 33RPM:

    … to smaller YouTube channels like 6AM.

    What are your experiences with Amazon US/CA?
    And what about Amazon Warehouse?
    Dave112 likes this.
  2. JohnT

    JohnT Senior Member

    I'm still an Amazon US Prime subscriber as the delivery aspect of it is very convenient. Took delivery of Marvin Gaye What's Going On 50th Anniversary LP last week. Other than the tight sleeves (talked about in that thread) it's perfect. I don't buy a lot of vinyl but when I do, it's usually through Amazon. So no complaints here.
    Front Row and April Snow like this.
  3. forthlin

    forthlin Senior Member

    Don't think I've purchased from Amazon Warehouse, but the regular Amazon service has been very good. Most of the vinyl I've purchased is shipped in a cardboard mailer which is then put in a box or that plastic/mylar stuff they use.
    Front Row likes this.
  4. hitmanhart408

    hitmanhart408 Forum Resident

    Miami, FL
    Amazon is very hit & miss. Personally, I've never received a record with the shipping label slapped on it or in a plastic baggy like in the above video but there have been many complaints online from people who have. The worst i've received a record is in a "frustration free" LP mailer and the best is typically the LP mailer inside a bigger box. The plus side to amazon is that you can exchange/return with no questions asked up to a certain point. The downside is if you're exchanging, you're likely getting the replacement copy sent from the same wharehouse where they either have improper training for shipping or there was a bad batch of records and they're sending you another bad one.
  5. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    I continue to order records from Amazon, but that is largely because of how convenient returns are, which I could understand possibly not holding true ordering from outside the US. If I get a record that is defective or damaged in transit, I have a replacement two or three days after requesting it, before I even have to send the first one back.

    As for actual experiences with condition of records received, I have had a couple of titles that had the same dish warp for every replacement copy, but then ordering the same title from Music Direct resulted in my having a perfect LP, so I attribute this to probably incorrect warehouse storage, or something. But that’s only been like two titles out of all I have bought. I have had a couple of records that were shipped loose in a box with other items, but those were exceptions.
  6. Davey

    Davey NP: Luke Howard ~ All Of Us (2022)

    SF Bay Area, USA
    Mostly good experience, though they aren't a primary source for me, and I've never bought from the warehouse. I did get this new Principe Valiente Barricades record about 3 weeks ago, and it just came in a lightly padded paper envelope, don't remember them doing that before, pretty disappointing, just left on the porch, but fortunately no major damage, just one corner of the jacket bent a little. Great record, though, one of my favorite releases this year, they are a Swedish dark new wave/shoegaze/post punk type band ...

  7. innocent_bystander

    innocent_bystander Forum Resident

    Anaheim, CA
    Never had and issue ordering or getting my records from amazon. Sometimes they even over pack. I received a huge box when they shipped my Tool Fear Innoculum boxset.

    plus there are a lot of great deals too if you are patient enough.
    Crimson Witch likes this.
  8. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    For new issues that aren't " bespoke, farm to table pressed by hand on an antique press"- fine and cheap with easy returns if a problem. Their storage conditions seem to have improved in the last 10 years, even from EU (where I'm not sure all parts of the warehouses were air conditioned). Sometimes, they pack in a wasteful manner, but I think they got a clue at some point. Every once in a while, something goes awry, but that can happen with any seller.
  9. JamieLang

    JamieLang Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    Everything I've bought from them is how he actually says half way through the video: OVER packaged. The labels put them into boxes with a little SKU label...and Amazong put that into ANOTHER box...and it's not "shipped"--they deliver it. So, honestly....the single label provided box would be fine in most cases when it's going from a warehouse here to THEIR truck to my front stoop.
    forthlin likes this.
  10. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 Dazed and Confused

    Do cd's count?
  11. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    I've never heard of the Amazon Warehouse as such, I've bought lots of records from Amazon up to three years ago or so. Main problem was the packaging, I will buy mixed lots with movies and the LPs would be loose in a big box being knocked around with the other contents. individual orders did not suffer that problem but packaging was never the best. Being overseas returning a faulty LP is almost out of question and I prefer to swallow the loss. Other than a very noisy Elton John compilation my recurrent problem have been warped records. I am not sure I have any huge complain, There were a few reason why I stop buying from them, I think it was the warps and the fear that return are not practical from Australia but then for some time they would not sell to Australia anyway because of a tax issue.

    Most of my new vinyl I buy now locally and I can't say I find anywhere near as many warped records as I used to when buying from Amazon, now I have no interest in resuming my purchases with them. I buy movies from time to time but I can find better prices and postage cost for movies elsewhere so I don't deal with them a lot anymore.
  12. Brad2021hk

    Brad2021hk Forum Resident

    Sacramento, CA
    On occasion, they get things really wrong. Like put a record directly in a plastic bag and ship it wrong. This has happened twice in probably hundreds of orders. The ease of returns for pressing defects is unbeatable. No making a video of the pressing defect. No emails back and forth. Just fill out the online form and they ship the replacement immediately. I can do it on my phone while doing something else. Plus the fast shipping. Ignoring price, the service is really good.

    I really like to order multi-disc sets from Amazon. If you get a set with one bad disc, you can get the replacement shipped right away. Then, you can cobble together the best overall copy from the original set and the replacement set.
    rockin_since_58 likes this.
  13. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    sweet VA.
    I don't order from whse deals, and I only order from Amazon in my country.
    Out of many purchases I've only had one ship in a soft sided bag
  14. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 Dazed and Confused

    OK I will just take the plunge and if you don't like it too bad lol. My cds always always always show up damaged in a plastic or paper bag. I'm done with them. That is all.
  15. Summerisle

    Summerisle Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA, USA
    Amazon ships their records very well. Often times a box in another box. I try not to use them because to me they represent failures in capitalism. Pure evil but they always know how to ship records and have a good return policy.
    bob fett likes this.
  16. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    As for Warehouse deals… I assume they were returned for a reason, so I avoid them for records.
    April Snow, nosliw and patient_ot like this.
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Unfortunately the high rate of defects with newer vinyl, which has only gotten worse over the last 4 years or so, has forced me to buy more and more new LPs from Amazon. I support local shops with used vinyl purchases and the occasional new LP. Flushing money down the crapper on non-returnable defective vinyl is just something I won't do anymore. Anyone else can do whatever they want.

    Generally the records are well-packed but they do make mistakes. I wouldn't recommend ordering box sets from them if you can help it, and if you do, I recommend splurging on gift bag packaging since that protects the LP more. Single LPs are generally sent in record mailers, which are then placed in a bag or box usually.

    The whole "record in a bag" thing is relatively rare IME. I think it's happened to me twice out of many many orders over a period of years. Generally that is something I would return unless the product miraculously arrived without damage.

    Of course this is only my experience with the U.S. division of Amazon based on the places I've lived in. In other parts of the country different distro hubs may operate differently and not package things as well. I have very little experience with AMZ CA or EU sites for records.

    Amazon Warehouse is generally selling defective/damaged merchandise or customer returns. You can decide if it's worth the risk for you. I used to get CDs from there and sometimes they were as new with only a crack in the plastic case. Then one time I got a CD in a plastic bag that was broken into a hundred or more very sharp plastic shards. That was my last Amazon Warehouse order. I have never purchased LPs or anything else like that through AW and would not, personally.

    My 2 cents.
    COBill, nutsfortubes, nosliw and 2 others like this.
  18. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    I order most of my vinyl from Amazon due to ease of returns/exchange and the almost-always excellent packaging. It's often appreciably cheaper than other sources as well. I wouldn't bother with used/returned records through them.
    forthlin and Big Blue like this.
  19. Mark Shred

    Mark Shred Fiery the angels fell..........

    Support Independent Record stores.
    Chrome_Head, abescan, myles and 2 others like this.
  20. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    The big issue with Amazon Warehouse is that these items are sold as damaged goods. Ignore that you're buying records. They are also processing returned kitchen appliances like coffee makers which have been returned. All they are doing is determining if they can recoup losses from the return. Often they just put the items that are returned back in the packaging it was included in and shipped as it to the Warehouse buyer. A lot of the times they just put postage directly on the packaging. These aren't new items, so they really don't care much about preserving the packaging. Now stop ignoring that you're buying a record. Well the same kind of treatment goes for that coffee maker. But a record doesn't have much in packaging, just the jacket. While you could get a packager who knows that a record requires further packaging, you might get someone who doesn't. Typically Amazon has been pretty good about packaging. I will say that there are new policies to reduce the costs of packaging, so the Warehouse is now in a state of flux. New policies are are suggesting the reduction in added packaging. This makes sense since itself Amazon is taking a much bigger role within the delivery, and has more influence to extend handling all the way to the doorstep of the customer. But likely the packaging of something like a record which is more delicate than an item that is packaged in Styrofoam with a retail box is going to suffer until the policies have matured. At this point I would stay away from buying records from the Warehouse.

    People can make videos and complain. That's what those guys do. More clicks means more revenue because Google is increasing ads with each click of a video. And rallying against the industry giants is something we've been conditioned to do. We all want to be David taking down Goliath to some degree. But common sense should dictate whether or not Amazon is an evil company. I first purchase from them when they were just a book store. I thought it was great that they expanded to other things I wanted. Prime was a game changer. I didn't have to run all over town to find that what I needed was an out of season item and wasn't available. They would just deliver the item I needed 2nd day. So shop early in the week and you'd have it before the weekend. But growth is problematic. They have to deliver in 2 days and they are taking an a larger role with delivery. In some cases they are improving the world by using more environmental friendly delivery vehicles. But they are also employing more people to do less automated tasks. In a distribution center, you just take the items out of the containers that are presented to you a place them in a box. The containers are picked mostly through automation. So just shoving the items is box is relatively easy to manage. But they are cost cutting to improve profits with packaging. Covid is still causing them problem. They are struggling with getting inventory. And when the items are received they aren't delivered on time or packaged in the way they were negotiated. This causes problems. If the item isn't received the way it's expected, then it's not inventoried the way it's supposed to. So automation is being replaced by human tasking. People don't like it because the truth is that automation does it better and more efficiently so they are paid with funding that was earmarked for more efficient methods. This means relatively lower wages. Who's right here? Nobody likely. People deserve wages that feed their kids and even allow them to save enough to get them through college. But budgets are made years in advance. And when you have to bring in a larger wage force to handle the chaotic supply chain that we have today, the shareholders don't care. They still want Amazon to be profitable and budgets can't increase all that much if profits are to be met. I think Amazon is trying. But they have a lot of work to do. But at the end of the day, I'm still a customer who now pays $150 upfront for 2 day delivery throughout the year. I expect it. I paid for it. But I know that in 2022, this isn't a promise that I'd want to be held accountable to keep.
    nutsfortubes and nosliw like this.
  21. gakerty

    gakerty Forum Resident

    I'll only buy Tone Poets from Amazon these days. IME Tone Poets tend to be packed well also. Seems anything else has a very good chance of being warped. Perhaps they store their normal records in direct sunlight on loading docks.
  22. aunitedlemon

    aunitedlemon Garland fluffer.

    Mixed bag for me as well. I've acquired albums on vinyl I'd never thought I'd own just because I searched Amazon for the hell of it.
    I've received LP's packaged in proper media mailers that arrived perfectly but also in plastic bags or padded paper mailers that did not arrive in good shape.
    I prefer to go into a local shop or comb the classifieds here but once in a while dip into "Planet's Gone". Hopefully they'll teach the robots to only allow vinyl records to travel in media mailers.
  23. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    KC Chiefs Kingdom
    innocent_bystander likes this.
  24. Raiderdave

    Raiderdave Well-Known Member

    Chino, CA
    Thanks for the description/overview of the band - went to Spotify for a listen and liked a lot! Cheers!
  25. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow I never got over it, I got used to it

    Last year I ordered the three James Taylor Analogue Spark vinyl LPs from amazon US - they were only available there, for some reason - and I cannot fault them at all. Both records arrived in Italy in a timely manner and very securely packaged.

    Great albums, btw. Huge soundstage and a great job by Kevin Gray and Ryan K Smith.

    I don't care for warehouse stuff, especially records, so I can't help you there.
    Oelewapper and Andrea_Bellucci like this.

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