Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Independent Record Store Spotlight - Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ

I now conclude my Holy Trinity of local independent record stores.  First it was Randy Now's Man Cave in Bordentown, NJ.  Second, Positively Records in Levittown, PA.  Lastly, not only has this store been listed as one of the top 20 independent record stores in the country, it has been listed as one of the top 20 independent record stores in the world.  What can I say about the Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton NJ that hasn't already been said.  I don't really know...but I am going to try.

Although the Princeton Record Exchange first opened its doors at it's original location in 1980 I did not make my first pilgrimage until the early 90's at its current location.  It is situated right at Princeton University at the heart of Princeton.  The first thing that impressed me about the store was its vast selection of new and used music.

Not only is this store big but it is packed to the rafters.  Beside the fact that the selection large it is reasonably priced with many new releases prices well below suggested retail pricing.  To top it off there is a huge Dollar Bin.  It has been interesting of the years to watch the Dollar Bin transform from Vinyl, to Cd's, back to Vinyl.  My very first visit to the store made me a life long believer.  Not only did I find a disc that I could not find anywhere else, I found it in the Dollar Bin. 

I grabbed the copy of Earth vs. The Wildhearts and also Hats of to the Insane by Therapy?.  I was now a faithful and devoted customer. 

The hardest part about visiting PREX is managing your time...and your money.  It is hard when there are so many titles at your fingertips.  And interesting titles they are to boot.

They boast over 140,000 CD, DVD, and LP titles in stock.  50,000 of which are priced under $5.00.  You are guaranteed to find something without braking your budget.

I allotted myself enough pocket change for 30 minutes on the parking meter and $15 in my pocket for vinyl on this trip.  Unfortunately, I am too smart for this.  I realized if I were to make a small purchase to start it would allow me enough change for another 30 minutes on the parking meter.  Fortunately, it was good that I had done this considering that I was so excited when I get there that I never locked my car.

There is just never enough time.  The gentleman in front of me in line had said he planned on making this a 30 minute stop.  That was 3 hours and 200 dollars later.  He should have left his credit card behind as I had.  1 hour and 15 dollars later this is what I had to show for myself.

The album on the far right is the original version of The Roof is On Fire in great condition.  Not bad for a dollar.

This Princeton Record Exchange has come a long way since the owner, Barry, started buying and selling record at flea markets and street corners while living in a van after college.  I feel fortunate to not only have one store like this but to have three within a 30 minute drive.  For this I feel truly blessed.  It is not too often you can have this much culture in your backyard.  It just seems a shame that I have to lock up my wallet as a result.  Until next time.

Hopefully, I will see you digging in the crate next to me.


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