How do you buy music?

Be it CD's or LP's I am sure we all have different approaches to obtaining sofware. I tend to binge buy, I'll get 30 CD's in one day then I won't buy anything for 2 or so weeks. I am sure some of you out there stop at your favorite(s) music shops daily, and some that are even worse then me! Just curious, no particular reason I want to know this, trying to further classify the audiophile.

When I traveled for work I'd find the local CD shops and check out their selections. It's cool to have a place to go when you're far from home. Most times I carried away some treasure, five or ten at a time.

Nowadays I keep up a collection of the ECM label by buying online from big jobbers like CDNow and Tower. I'll only buy in shops if they're on sale or I find some oddity by a jazz magician like Sun Ra. For new stuff my game is finding out what's released, who's stocking it and surfing for the best prices and shipping.

Shops seldom reorder the more obscure titles if they carry them at all. Some titles slipped literally thru my fingers because I was low on dough or justification. Those few are the ones that got away never to be seen again.

For ECM titles not yet available stateside I'll let the list build until it hits about 15 or 20 and then splurge by ordering direct from Munich. They'll usually throw in the shipping on largish orders. It never hurts to ask.

For pop, female vocals and old favs I only buy used, usually on a whim, and recycle whatever's lost its flavor.
Pawn Shops. Usually pay between $1.00 to $3.00 a CD. Can find Jazz and classical CD's there.
I buy from the clubs for backfilling of my collection and for the bigger hits new-ish stuff I want when it gets there. Great prices if they have what you want. I regularly browse the AMG site (one of the best sites on the planet, IMO) and create lists of desired CDs. Several times a year the local Streetside records has a 20% off everything sale which I put to full use. Probably once every three weeks I purchase ten CDs from one of these sources. If I really have to have a CD, I'll buy from CDNow or at a local shop, but I have found the online prices to not be all that compelling, especially CDNow which is showing the signs of their financial troubles. -Kirk
Though I do a lot of my buying online (Amazon and especially for used, demo, or brand new at significant discounts), I regularly stop by my local Borders to browse through the jazz, country, and folk sections and listen to some of their 50 listening stations. That way I develop a wish list for online shopping. Borders often has new issues on sale for good prices, so I buy a lot of stuff there during my browsing trips. There used to be a lot of smaller record shops for me to stop in and browse, but almost all have disappeared, at least near where I live, so I am reduced to relying on Borders. At least they have a big selection and get all the new releases on the release date. I also regularly check Music Direct's online listings and mail order catalog for XRCD's and SACD's. I get several other mail order catalogs, but Music Direct's prices are the best. Great outfit! Website is and they sell hardware and accessories too.
I buy my records from Germany I trust them and this is my first choice for records.
Their records have only two conditions either mint or like-new. The average price+shipping is under $7 for each record.
I like the pressing quality of german and netherland records. I've aquired the full collection of Marillion, 10CC, Van Der Graaf Generator and lots lots more from these gentlemen(arround 200 records) and seen only two above described conditions.
The second choice for US/UK rock is East Village in NY. Just buy walking accross the streets of East Village you can find a huge number of vinyl stores that sell them for a misurable prices $2...3(just watch the condition).
I buy CDs partially from clubs and partially in St. Marks street in Manhattan.
If you're interested more about music store locations in NY you're free to contact me.
Hey Tim,
I consider myself lucky in my music selections. Starting in the 1970's at a hi-fi shop in Iowa City..I began making my "software" purchasing choices based on what I heard and learned to like on Great FM stations and live performances. And I still do.

I know this is repeating myself, but the current is not much different than the past. If you want your music money spending to be more accurate....have a good-to-great FM tuner and go to live will be surprised at how wise your buying becomes.