There are a surprising number of vinyl record stores in Charleston, South Carolina, but only several made it to this list. Here are five of the best vinyl record stores in Charleston, SC worth your visit!
From classic rocks bands like The Rolling Stones to iconic pop singers like Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan, you’ll find them all in these record stores:
1. Record Stop Charleston
Located in downtown Charleston at 426 King St., Record Stop Charleston is a family-owned record store that has been in business since 1974.
It specializes in all sorts of audio accessories, including new and used vinyl, CDs, cassettes, turntables, speakers, and many others.
Record Stop Charleston offers over 3,000 vinyl records to choose from, from old classics to modern pop. Those who have shopped in the store have found some unique gems they’ve never come across in other record stores, so if you’re searching for a specific record, you might want to try your luck with this store!
The Record Stop Charleston website lists everything the store has to offer, allowing you to look up the record you’re searching for before visiting the place. You can place an order online and collect it in the store or order online and have it delivered to your home with same-day delivery.
Record Stop Charleston is a bit pricier than other record stores I’ve visited. It also doesn’t have loyalty programs or incentives if you make a large purchase, making me feel less inclined to visit the store often.
Most of the store’s vinyl falls in the $20 to $50 price range, but exclusive albums surpass the $150 mark.
That said, it regularly offers discounts and deals. It also has a “Deal of the Week” section that offers discounts of up to 30% off. For those on a budget, the store offers gently used vinyl that looks untouched. These records cost between $10 to $30, depending on the record.
- Organized and clean
- Friendly staff
- Huge collection of vinyl to choose from
- Offers weekly discounts
- No loyalty programs
- Even with discounts, some records are still too pricey
2. Monster Music & Movies
If you’re a collector, you’ll love the massive selection of vinyl that the Monster Music & Movies record store offers. It’s like Toys “R” Us but for music lovers!
The store sells unique reissues of past classics, limited edition pressings, indie exclusive releases, and rare, gently-used vinyl that are hard to come by.
The Monster Music & Movies store asks fair rates for its vinyl. In its Vinyl Clearance section, you’ll find records for less than $2 each. You can also buy used records for a couple of cents. Plus, the store regularly hosts holiday specials and weekly discounts.
- Great prices for both new and old vinyl
- Friendly, knowledgeable staff
- Sells store-exclusive merch
- Accepts trade-ins
- Buys used vinyl for really low prices
3. Gray Cat Music
Gray Cat Music isn’t the biggest store around, but it’s clean, well-organized, and full of charm. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, too. When I visited, the owner—Drew Anderson—was more than willing to help me locate a record I was searching for.
Apart from vinyl, Gray Cat Music sells used CDs, used cassettes, and band merch.
It’s a new store that opened in early 2022, so it doesn’t have much to offer. However, it has most of the classics and in-demand items in stock.
Gray Cat Music is a family-owned store, but unlike Record Stop Charleston, it doesn’t have multiple chains across the US. As such, its pricing is a bit higher than most. It offers discounts from time to time, but they’re few and far in between.
Still, shopping at Gray Cat Music is a great way to support local small businesses. If you live in the Montague Avenue area, it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Charming and clean store
- Helpful staff
- Offers a great selection of records, tapes, and discs
- Doesn’t have a wide selection of items
4. Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More
Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More is an independent, family-owned used store that sells new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and more.
It’s a massive store, with over 10,000 feet of space. It’s more books than music, though, so if you’re searching for an obscure record, you might not find it here.
Before visiting the store, check out the website to make sure they have the item you’re planning to buy. If you don’t have a specific record in mind, it’s worth visiting the store if only to look at the massive selection of items it offers.
Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More sells vinyl at reasonable prices. They’re not too overpriced, and the store often gives out bulk discounts for used records.
- Extremely tidy and organized
- Incredible deals on used music items
- Regularly changes inventory
- Mostly book oriented
5. Black Circle Records
Black Circle Records is a cozy shop located inside Katie Mae’s. It offers a great selection of vinyl, CDs, and music accessories, but it isn’t as comprehensive as the other record stores in this list. However, Black Circle Records bring in new inventory every week, so you can request for a specific record to be brought in.
Black Circle Records hasn’t been around for more than three years, but it’s already been nominated for Best Record Store in the Best of Charleston City paper. This proves that, although it’s small, it has a decent selection of records that’ll satisfy a music enthusiast.
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Alongside vinyl, Black Circle Records also sells antiques, collectibles, music players, and furniture.
Black Circle Records sells its items at affordable prices. Some records cost as low as $5! The store regularly hosts discounts, too, so you’ll always leave with something without burning a hole through your pockets.
- Cozy and clean store
- Growing supply of new inventory
- Incredibly friendly staff
- Though the inventory grows by the day, the vinyl selection is still limited