Availability of cheap vinyl in SF?

I am moving to San Francisco and thinking about getting a turntable. I would be looking for cheap, say generally under $3, mainly classical records. So what is the scene like?

Would it be possible to amass a decent collection?

Cheers, Shawn
Goodwill is the only place I can think of. Don't rule out Ameoba (sp?) in Berkeley. ($4 bridge toll) But the best used vynil and CD collection I've seen in the area.
you don't have to go to berkely! there's an amoeba records over by golden gate park on haight street. great selection!
Of course Amoeba is also on (upper) Haight St. with possibly the widest selection of used and new vinyl in the Bay Area. There's also Rasputin, down near Union Square which is also good.

Classical lps are relatively cheap at Amoeba, except for the usual audiophile favorites (RCA shaded dogs, Mercury Living Stereos, DG tulips). The Berkeley store has a larger selection of classical, including a lot of dollar albums. Also check out Saturn Records on College Ave in Berkeley. They are more expensive but I've found some hard-to-find classical lps there.
I just bought 25lbs of vinyl at Ameoba for $98 including three new lps. Only one has excess surface noise and I got two pops in four hours of listening - I've bought new audiophile lps that perform worse than that. You can inspect the cheaper lps at the racks. Ameoba will open the more expensive lps ($10+) at the cashier. This was my first time at Ameoba and I'm very pleased.
Amoeba is the biggest game in SF if you want quality - the prices (for classical) are pretty good. Their $1 classical record bins often have some very decent stuff. Ditto with the Berkeley Amoeba. Stores like Streetlight and Rasputins are worth a drop in even though their stock is small, mostly because they're less knowledgable with classical and occasionally underprice a rare album by a considerable margin.

Saturn Records in Oakland/Berkeley has a good selection of moderately high end stuff - if you're willing to splurge $10 you can find some worthy purchases there. They're fairly sharp - with an active internet business, so it's rare to find an undervalued item. In fact, the owner sometimes comes across the bay and cruises the SF record stores for underpriced lp's.

The thrift stores in SF are a waste of time if you have a life AND you're looking for "collectible" records. There are some decent $1 records once in a while, but the good ones are gone long before you get there. Most are before the public has a chance to see them, and the rest go to a few Ebay hustlers who check every store early every day.

If you want the best shot at glory, Estate Sales - advertised on Thursdays in the S.F. Chronicle - are the way to go, but you have to be prepared to go EARLY on a Friday AM and wait with the other sharks. If it's a good one (and the word does get out ahead of time) record buyers will be there at 4 or 5am for 9am start.
Agree with above post, Amoeba in Berkely and San Fran is great, Rasputin in Berkely also good but the Rasputin in San Fran is not so good. Streetlight can also have some good stuff but stock is small. The Analog room in San Jose is also good, stock is small but there are some hard to find stuff and quality is most always great, just a tip, the boys down there love there cigars!!! You'll also see some Killer TT at the Analog room. Welcome to the Bay Area!
There's a cozy shop on West Portal Avenue in San Francisco:
The Music Store: CDs, LPs, videos, laserdiscs and DVDs bought and sold. 66 West Portal Ave. (between Ulloa and Vicente streets), (415) 664-2044.

Upstairs, I found a small but well-rounded collection of classical, opera, big band jazz, and various old box sets. Very low-key and comfortable and not overwhelming like some of the other larger shops.

Take the money you save on vinyl and grab some lunch at one of the nice restaurants on the street.
there are a couple of place in north beach where they have PLENTY of records at $3 or less....you barely have enough space to walk there as it is all packed with records....it is also very dusty. i forgot the name of the stores but you can easily find them after you cross the columbus avenue and pass the park, going towards coit tower...very helpful and fun staff as well. enjoy it.
All this talking is making my hands itchy! I've not gone vinyl shopping for over a year due to a not-so-recent additoion to my family. And he's a handful at the age of 1 1/2 years, so my vinyl playing time are much limited these days. But I guess I should visit Berkeley soon before this new guy grabs all the good stuff. ;-)

Thanks everyone. Looks good in SF, and should get me started.

Cheers, Shawn