Vinyl Haul

Digging for Vinyl Records in Havana, Cuba

Sometimes we go to extreme lengths when it comes to finding vinyl records. Whenever I end up in a new city or a new country I always try to find some records. Unfortunately I can’t always buy them but I try.



In March of 2017 I went to Cuba for 7 days. Before leaving I tried to do research on record stores in Cuba and was always led to one single place, Seriosha’s Record Shop.


Havana’s Only Record Shop

“Tienda Seriosha” is on Neptuno No. 408, between San Nicolas and Manrique in Centro Havana. It’s one of the oldest record stores in Havana and probably the only one.

I was very happy to find the shop but I wasn’t as excited when I saw the records. They have been obviously neglected and are simply stacked up all over the place. Most come with sleeves although they’re still dirty inside and out. Many of these records are badly scratched and some of them are broken in pieces. Don’t freak out when you spot cockroaches running over the crates and records but do make sure there aren’t any inside the sleeves when you leave the shop, you don’t want to bring those back home (or even to your hotel).

You will mostly find Cuban records which is really awesome. There is a lot of latin, African and jazz records. You will also come across quite a few Soviet pressings of western artists such as Abba, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and many others. Don’t be surprised if the covers don’t look “official”. Most of these LPs were pressed on Melodiya label in USSR and are unofficial releases although legit.

The price of these records is quite high in my opinion. The owner of the shop told me each record is 5 CUC (about $5 USD) regardless of the condition. Don’t forget that you will not find a single record in near mint condition. The price is obviously made for tourists as most Cuban earn about 20 CUCs per month.

Since they weren’t open to negotiating the price I decided to only purchase 4 or 5 records instead of the initial 20.

Here is what I got at Seriosha’s:

More info on discogs

More info on discogs

More info on discogs

Lazaro Ros & Olorun – cannot find it on discogs so I will be adding it there.

Songs and poems of Chilean revolutionaries, also not on discogs (yet).


Records on the 26th street, Havana

We had a friend in Havana who mentioned that he saw a guy selling used records in his backyard. This intrigued me and I certainly had to check it out. The seller is located on the 26th Street between Calle 19 and Calle 21. You’ll see the book and records in his yard from the street. Basically you can simply walk in and ask him for the records.

That man brought out a few piles of records and I started looking through them. Mostly Cuban and Americans LPs there. Once I selected a few the man announced the price of 5 CUCs per record. I took one and was about to leave. At this moment he announced that he had more records in the back that he sells for 1 CUC but they’re “not as good”. Once he brought them out I realized they were in the same condition as his “expensive” pile. Some of the same records were in both piles and oddly enough the cheaper copies were in better shape than the expensive ones. To be honest I think he always sold them for 1 CUC a piece but as he noticed the demand growing he raised his prices. Only when you end up not buying anything he offers you the 1 CUC records.

I bought 2 records from him after all.



More Vinyl Records in Cuba

As I was walking through the city I came across a few used book shops. They also had a few dozens records but these folks were asking for 10 CUCs per record. The condition of these LPs was also pretty horrible. Once again, no one was willing to haggle, apparently that’s not a big thing in Cuba.

I also came across records in various street markets. The sellers asked 10 CUCs for albums that have been left out to bake in the sun for years. They don’t seem to realize that ripped covers, deep scratches, exposure to sun and water, mold and lots of dirt all lower the value of these records. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything at those markets. If you are curious to see them (since you are on a vacation and have loads of free time) check out Plaza de Armas on Saturday. There is a used book sale and many sellers have records. Who knows, you might get lucky and find something in decent shape! (but I doubt it…)

Another great way to find records in Cuba is by simply asking the people around you. You’ll certainly come across someone who knows someone who has some old records. Turntables are pretty much non-existent in Cuba at this point and people can’t afford new ones. Cubans don’t want to throw the records in the garbage and are willing to let them go. Friends brought me some records from Cuba and they found them by asking around.

Last but not least, there is It’s Cuba’s Craigslist and although there aren’t many ads, you mind be able to find vinyl records from time to time. Search for “vinylo”, “discos” or “discos viejos” and you might find something.


Final Thoughts

You can certainly find old vinyl records in Cuba. However most records will be dirty, scratched up and severely damaged, especially at the markets. Your best bet is asking around, this way you’ll have a chance of finding records in good condition for a 1 CUC or even less.


buying records in bulk

Huge Vinyl Haul (1,000 Records) – What To Avoid

This past summer I made my very first bulk vinyl haul. This was a big deal for me and I think it is important to share this experience with you.
If you aren’t into reading, simply check out this video:


Finding Used Records

It all began when I stumbled upon an ad online where someone was advertising 1,000 vinyl records for $250CAD. That’s about $190 USD for my American readers. There were only a few pictures in the ad but I was able to spot some Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin records which intrigued me. A “good condition” of “The Wall” often goes for $15-$25 in Montreal. It’s not uncommon to find people asking $50 for it (although I am not sure if they ever end up selling it).

I call the guy up, he says he doesn’t have a list of the whole collection. However the pictures in the ad give me a good idea. He was located about 30 minutes away from me so I decided to go and check it all out.

When I got to his garage the seller mentions that he has an appointment and needs to leave in 15 minutes. He also made it clear that he wants to sell the whole lot and wasn’t going to sell the records individually. I explained that I understand but I still need at least those 15 minutes to look through his boxes. I wasn’t going to make a blind purchase. Unfortunately I didn’t spot any Pink Floyd or other records that were pictured in his ad so I asked him about it. He replied that someone passed by and picked some records. He thought it was a waste of his time so now he wants to sell the whole lot.


Making An Offer

His answer upset me and I told him that he should have mentioned it when I called. I thought to myself: “there goes my vinyl haul”. I figured that “someone” picked the most known stuff and I was left with the rest. However, I did spot at least a dozen records that I actually wanted: Kraftwerk, Queen, Van Morrison, Kiss, Bob Dylan, The Who, Tomita, quite a bit of disco and so on. I’ve decided that I’ll bite, however I offered $100 ($75 USD). The guy made a face like he wasn’t happy with my offer but he agreed. So I started loading the records in my car.


Bying records in bulk
Station wagons are natural vinyl haulers 😉


I got all the records in the car (of course the guy said to leave him his boxes) and drove home. When i started unloading the records I realized I had a problem – where the heck will I store them? In the end they went on the floor against the wall.

used vinyl records haul

Sorting Through The Records

In the image above you see a part of that collection. I started looking through each record and picking the obvious ones to me. I did this several times and ended up with an interesting pile of “keepers”. The next step was checking each record through Discogs which took a while. However I am happy I did it because I managed to find a few gems. Here are a few examples:

Richard Cocciante ‎– Atlanti – 1973 Psychadelic Rock from France

La Banda Del Paraíso ‎– La Banda Del Paraíso – 1973 Hard Rock from Argentina

Dashiell Hedayat ‎– Obsolete – 1971 Psychedelic Rock from France (I love this discovery!)

The Grass Roots – Where Were You When I Needed You – 1966 American Folk Rock (Canadian pressing)

There were some valuable records however most of them aren’t worth more than $10.

All in all there were about 800 vinyl records, most in great condition. I ended up keeping 100-120 records. I will probably sell some of them eventually. Pookie came by and picked some records that he wanted to keep. Free of charge of course. I listed the leftovers on Kijiji for $120 and sold the whole thing. Besides adding 100+ records to my collection I also ended up making a $20 profit 😉


Lessons Learned

Always take your time when buying records in bulk. It’s great to end up with an awesome vinyl haul but you have to know what you’re buying. Look through the artists. Take out the records and check out their condition. If possible take a look on Discogs/Ebay if you are clueless about a specific record.
Try to bargain if you think the value is unfair. I could have tried to sell the remaining 600-650 records for $1 each. However I decided to sell them for $120 because it was just easier.

Have you ever bought records in bulk? Please share your story in the comments.

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Pricing Error That Resulted in Amazing Record Deals

Yesterday I published a post called “Incredible Amazon Vinyl Haul” where I showed you 15 records I got from Amazon for a ridiculously low price.

In this post I will explain what exactly happened and how I got such amazing vinyl deal.


The Amazon Super Sale

On August 11th I was chatting with Pooks about The Beatles in Mono box set. I kept saying that the cost of box set is hovering between $300 and $400 (Canadian $) while Pooks was sure it was at $400 or more. He sent me the link to the Amazon listing and I couldn’t believe my eyes, $92 CAD!!! So naturally I placed an order.

While I’m ordering the Beatles Pooks sends me links to a few other records which were being sold at a huge discount. So I start placing more and more orders, ending up with 30 ordered items for less than $300! Many of these were “limited edition” box sets of some sort (Queen, Flying Lotus, Led Zeppelin, etc). Some of these items are in stock, others aren’t but I still order. Hey, who doesn’t want Tom Waits’ Alice LP for $5?

vinyl sale on amazon
Example of prices paid for some of these items.

Amazing record deals indeed.

Since I do not have a Prime account I go for the “free shipping” which should take from 4 to 8 days. Of course Amazon estimates 8.


Wait, where are my orders?

Several days later I log into my Amazon account to see the status of my orders and I am noticing something abnormal. Several items aren’t showing within my orders. Some orders are completely cancelled (that includes the main the Beatles in Mono). I start freaking out a little, telling myself it’s just a glitch. As time passes, the records aren’t showing…

The next logical step is getting in touch with Amazon’s customer support: “Hello, where are my amazing record deals?”. It takes quite a while for the support rep to figure out what’s up and she says she never saw anything like it. It turns out there was no sale at all. Amazon did not offer any amazing deals on vinyl records. The price I ordered the LPs for was an “error”. This means that Amazon reserves all rights to NOT honor the order. This is why they cancelled my items. They caught the error early enough.


Amazing Vinyl Deals

Fifteen (15) of the 30 items I ordered weren’t going to be shipped out to me. If Amazon realized the “pricing error” sooner, they would have cancelled everything. However because it took them a little while, 15 items were already on their way to me through Canada Post, Purolator and UPS.

More details in this video:


I could have gotten The Beatles as well.

When I saw these amazing deals I had to jump to a few Facebook groups and to Reddit as well in order to share the joy with others. Some folks ordered the box set and a few other records and some of them actually received The Beatles in Mono for about $75USD! How did that happen?

People who decided to not wait 4-8 days and paid for the fastest shipping got lucky and received the box set in 2 days. I imagine Amazon fulfills the order to the addresses closest to their warehouse. Of course paid shipping also gets a priority. By the time they got to my order they already figured out the issue and cancelled the order.

Lesson learned, Sasha. Don’t be cheap and pay for the fastest shipping in a situation like this one. Amazon will write this error off as “business loss” while making lots of vinyl collectors incredibly happy with their score.

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you want us to notify you in case there is an incredible deal like this, simply like our Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram, that’s where we will share the news.


Incredible Amazon Vinyl Haul: 650$ worth of records for 100$

When it comes to vinyl hauls we’re usually talking about finding a mint record collection, or nice thrift store finds or even yard sale scores at low prices. I’ve seen a few videos on Youtube where people brag about their “Amazon haul” where they simply spent $50+ on a 2014 re-issue of The Wall. That’s not a haul. That’s not a deal in anyway.

However, in this instance I was able to get AC/DC’s Back in Black 2009 limited edition UK pressing for $5.50USD, brand new on Amazon. Also Led Zeppelin (Deluxe Remastered Edition) [180g Vinyl 3LP] for just $7.40 when Amazon usually sells it at $50+ and many other awesome deals.

Check out this video where I show off the 15 items that I got from Amazon at a fraction of their real cost:

And here is the full list of the items I received:

  • 2x Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems (LP + CD)
  • Flying Lotus – You’re Dead 4LP
  • Suicidal Tendencies – No Mercy
  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (3LP)
  • The Beatles – Live at the BBC (3LP)
  • The Rolling Stones – Sweet Summer Sun (3LP + DVD combo)
  • Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills 7″
  • Iron Maiden – The Evil That Men Do 7″
  • Iron Maiden – Wasted Years 7″
  • Iron Maiden – Twilight Zone 7″
  • Iron Maiden – Infinite Dreams 7″
  • 2x AC/DC – Back in Black
  • Radio Radio – Havre de Grace (2LP)

By my standards it was a pretty awesome haul! I have shared these deals through different Facebook groups and even on reddit and lots of other folks were able to get some of these items at a discount. In the next post I’ll explain what happened and how I was able to get such low prices.

If we come across another sale like this one we’d happily share it with you! In order to do this, please go ahead and “LIKE” our Facebook Page. This will make things easier 😉



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