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Multiple Music Seller Databases

These sites are known as "Music Marketplaces" or "Seller Sites", the principle is simple, allow multiple vendors to upload into a searchable catalogue and then charge them a small percentage of the value of each sale.
On the plus side these sites make locating rare items much easier, they are an efficient shortcut to the chore of reading through endless lists of records.
Disadvantages include a fairly high percentage of out of stock items, also there is a lack of direct contact with the seller. If you order lots of stuff, chances are it will come from several different sellers, so there will be no postal discount!
The best way to use these sites is to find a real toughie, rather than for general buying.

For sellers there are real advantages, the fees are low, and some of the sites make it easy to alter your prices to cover the extra costs. You also no longer need to maintain your own website!
However, each site requires the data in a different format, uploading to all means hours of fiddling around with spreadsheets.
We hope most sellers will maintain their own sites! If all the collectables on the web end up on a few big sites, the chase will become a little less fun!
If you are considering selling on these sites, read our notes on Seller tips Page We plan eventually to write a sellers guide to all these sites.

Sites reviewed

The best sites are listed first!
  How the sites were reviewed 
  Ratings  
* Poor
** Mediocre
*** Good
**** V. Good
***** Excellent
 
SEARCH
Based on ease of use and ability to personalise your results.
USE
Covers both the simplicity and clarity of the result page and the ordering process. Also the quality of the information supplied.
INVENTORY
Based on size and accuracy, Inventories heavy on backordered titles lose points.
OVERALL
Weight was given to search and inventory, You can probably live with a hard to use site if you can still find the title you want!

Last Updated December 2002

Search Terms,

  • "Part string" this means you can search for parts of words, (E.g. "Ash" will also return artists such as "The Clash" it is a two edged sword, on the plus side it allows you to widen your search, on the minus, it returns irrelevant results
  • "Part string (whole word)" Here parts of artist names only match if they are separate words. (E.g. "Ash" will return "Ash Ra Temple" but not "The Clash"
  • "Full string" means that you must type the full name or title to get matches.


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GEMM (Global Electronic Music Marketplace)
GEMM is the oldest and largest of the Database sites Claiming to have over 11 million items on its inventory.
It is quite complicated and not 100% user friendly, try out al the features, lots of useful things are hidden away!
Prices are in US dollars.
  Ratings  
  Search  ****      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  *****      
  Overall  ****      
  SEARCH   Part string
Allows by artist, title, artist and Title category or label as well as letting you look up individual sellers. You can also filter your search to remove all new or used items or regionally (well, USA or Rest of World!) GEMM have also very cleverly double entered artists, so that a search for "David Bowie" will return results where the seller has entered "Bowie, David"
Tip 1 filter out "backorder" which is where dealers list items not actually in stock.

Power search is another method of narrowing results, recently GEMM have split the power search into 4 main sub categories.
Most valuable are Detailed Search which allows you to specify such things as items by as specific artist on a specific label and Search Filter which allows you to remove items that are too expensive or on formats you cannot play.
Remember that if you create a power search your settings may be saved and used on future visits to GEMM, If you do not want this to happen, return to power search and click the Clear All Settings link before you leave!

  RESULTS  
Shows most info you need right away. If more than one copy of a title is available you see the cheapest with a links to view those copies available in each format. This substantially reduces the size of the page returned and is a big plus.
You cannot see who the seller is from the initial result page, but you can see their quality rating.
Seller ratings contain a lot more info than other sites, and even include information on their shipping performance. When you select an item by a seller with a poor record GEMM warns you and gives you stats on their "fill" rate.
Can add your wants list to GEMM and be notified by email when items matching your list turn up!

Tip 2: If you fail to find an item GEMM will offer the use of it's "Want List Agent". Use it, it will email you if the item becomes available on GEMM in the future.

Tip 3: GEMM compress results to save space, this means that if more than one identical match comes up only the cheapest item by the best GEMM rated seller is shown.
At the far right of a listing you may also see a number. It is worth clicking on this to see other matches as, while more expensive they may include different versions of the same item such as promos. They may also include identical listings from sellers who have a better "fill" rate.
It can be worth paying a little extra to be more sure of getting the item!

A massive site, so take your time and try all the options!
Go To GEMM | Back to list




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Netsounds
Netsounds is based in the UK, and has been running since early 1999.
As it is not US based the stock is substantially different to most of the other sites.
Prices are British Pounds
  Ratings  
  Search  ****      
  Ease of Use  ****      
  Inventory  ****      
  Overall  ****      
  SEARCH   Part string
You can search by artist, title or both.
Netsounds recently updated the site to allow visitors to search within individual dealers inventories and also to set the number of results returned. You can also delimit how the words you enter are processed, with the following options:
  • Containing All Of The Words,
  • Containing any of the words,
  • An Exact Phrase Match,
  • An Exact Match
Tip 1 Stick to "Containing Any Of The Words" Unless you are getting too many results, as this option is most likely to return the item you are looking for

  RESULTS  
The results are well laid out, Seller names are shown, so if you know the good sellers you can buy right away. Click on the seller name to view feedback, which is in the form of customer ratings (1-5) Note: Composite feedbck profiles as very generous, it a sellers rating is less than 4.5 check the actual feedback comments before buying!
One gripe is if 10 dealers list the same title you see it 10 times, each with slightly differing descriptions.

An easy site to use. The inventory is good.
Go To Netsounds | Back to list




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Musicstack
Musicstack is run by Dave stack.
He is almost always online and helpful, he has also composed a site which is undoubtedly the easiest to use of those I checked.
The inventory is not huge, but Musicstack lists secondhand titles only, thus eliminating backordered titles.
Prices are US Dollars
  Ratings  
  Search  *****      
  Ease of Use  ****      
  Inventory  ****      
  Overall  ****      
  SEARCH   Full string
by far the best! Can search by artist, title, label or Genre, and can further limit your search to any format, all in easy drop down menus.
Finally you can select what cuurrency you wish to view the prices in!
HINT: Most sellers don't list label or Genre, making these searches less effective.


  RESULTS  
Lists all matches in pages of 100. The results have recently been tidied up so that where there are many identical items you see just one, click the item name to get a full list. Where there is just one item you can see the full description simply by passing your mouse over the name, very slick!

A big Plus is that you are immediately told where items are, so you can estimate the postage before adding items to your cart. Seller's names are listed, clicking the name allows you to view that sellers inventory, feedback is another click away and is in the form of customer comments.

You Can join mailing list to get updates on specific Genres but not individual titles. Musicstack also accepts your wants lists and emails them out to hundreds of sellers.

Musicstack does not process payments, it merely puts you in contact with the seller. For this reason I reccomend extra care be taken in examining seller feedback before you buy.

The easiest to use, the inventory is also good.
Go To Musicstack | Back to list




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Half.com.
Half.com totally geared up for US residents, If you live outside the US you cannot sell. Also it can be more complex to buy from outside the US
Half.com is fundamentally different to the other seller sites. Here you will find no rarities or obscure collectables. What you will find is bargains!
Mainly CD albums are listed, sellers have to list the UPC (Barcode Number) in order to sell, half.com then cleverly ties this in with graphics and reviews of the album.
Popular titles appear to be always sold out.
Prices are in US dollars. There is no vinyl.
  Ratings  
  Search  **      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  ***      
  Overall  ***      

  SEARCH   Part string
Remember to Select "music" as Half.com list lots of other stuff You can search by artist, title, UPC or Keyword. Artist brings the best results.

  RESULTS  
Only 4-5 matches are initially listed, Click the "more" link to see the rest. The search also returns items not currently in stock, which is a bit of a waste of time, however these are listed at the end.
Results are sorted by price, so you will need to scroll though the lot to check for a particular title. Each item is listed with the half.com price compared to the recommended list price, Seller feedback is an average of customer ratings between 1-5. Check feedback as sellers are mostly not established dealers and Gradings may be a problem!

Not a collectors site, but if you want a cheap CD, then it is spot on!
Go To Half.com.| Back to list




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Amazon Zshops UK | USA
Amazon Zshops are a bit of a disappointment.
Amazon have blundered into this in a rush and made a poor job of it, the mistakes are slowly being corrected.
They have many sellers who don't list elsewhere, so the inventory is worth the look.
Prices are in Pounds or dollars
  Ratings  
  Search  **      
  Ease of Use  **      
  Inventory  ****      
  Overall  ***      
  SEARCH   Full string
Limited, There is an option for "music only" exclude items outside of the UK/USA, neither that useful. Beyond that you have no options, and you get matches from the artist, title and description. (It does seem to give priority to the artist field)

Tip 1 Type in multiple words on your search to narrow it, if you type in the artist name and a word from the title you will get much more meaningful results.

Tip 2 Click on a sub category such as vinyl, Then enter your search words in order to get results from that category alone.

  RESULTS  
These are not well sorted, if you do not use the tips above you may struggle to find your item! The results are further compromised by the fact that certain sellers appear to be given priority.
There is very little info on the first page, click on an item for more info, or the seller name to go to their "Z Shops Homepage" which includes feedback ratings.
You must join Zshops to buy.

They have the inventory, so don't write them off, This site is slowly improving. DJ Corner is an Idea other sites should follow
Go there.. UK | USA | Back to list






.
Recordcollector.co.uk
Recordcollector.co.uk is the kid on the block, they have nothing to do with Record Collector Magazine who have their own site, RC Setsale
Prices are mostly in British pounds, but also in dollars or Euros
  Ratings  
  Search  ***      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  ***      
  Overall  ***      
  SEARCH   Part string
In the Standard search there is one search box, but you can select from artist, title, label, composer, genre or media by using the radio buttons above, this is good, but prevents you from narrowing results within popular groups using artist and title. To do this go to the Advancedfs search, where you can search for artist and/or title (and/or label/media/composer/genre)

  RESULTS  
These may be slow to appear....... Be patient!
You can specidy how the results are presented: Standard display in 20s Or Minimum information in 100s The latter format is much easier to use.
Whichever format you chose you will need to click the more info link to contact the seller.
Tip Results currently appear in reverse price order, most expensive first, so make sure you look at all the results before you buy!
For Small Sellers You can list up to 25 items on ths site for free, this has resulted in the avialability of some nice items not seen on the other sites!

Recordcollector.co.uk will not process payments, when you fill out the form they will email the seller and you must then wait for a reply, for advertisers who do not have their shopping trolly linked in you may find it easier to click through to the seller's website and buy the item direct.
A good inventory and slick presentation. Needs to take payments or at least provide secure ordering.
Visit Recordcollector.co.uk | Back to list

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Musicopoly
quite small, Musicopoly have around 30 dealers + a number of small private sellers. Most of the inventory is new release.
(Site down 29th Dec 2002)
Prices are US Dollars
  Ratings  
  Search  ***      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  **      
  Overall  ***      
  SEARCH   Part string (whole word)
The search is easy but very limited you can only delimit by artist or title. You can also browse by genre.
There is also and advanced search Link, which gives options allowing you to narrow the search by typing artist and title, you can also delimit by format.


  RESULTS  
Considering the limited search options, the results are surprisingly tight. However the same titles are repeated and are not well sorted.
A bonus is that the price of shipping is listed alongside so you can work out the total cost. However it this feature only works for US users.
Nearly all the inventory listed is new, if the repetition were removed the total number of titles available would probably be quite small.
It is not possible to see who the seller is until you click on the Item title. A feedback forum has recently been added.

An easy site to use, but inventory is lacking. Knowing the total cost is a good idea.
Visit Musicopoly | Back to list




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VIP-24
VIP-24 is the online arm of the well established UK record fair promoters.
You can enter the site in 2 ways:
The "virtual hall" is a representation of a record fair where the dealers have "stalls" (actually banners on the page).
Alternatively use the search box, this will search the whole site.
Prices are in British pounds.
  Ratings  
  Search  ***      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  ***      
  Overall  ***      
  SEARCH   Part string
There is one search box, for artist or Title, This may well return too many results in which case try the advanced search. This offers artist, title and description, the more fields you fill in, the narrower your results. You can also search within a particular vendors inventory. It is basic but pretty effective.

  RESULTS  
The results offer Artist title and Price, the description is shown only in part, condition is not noted.
Clicking on an item will display fuller details, usually including condition; it will also allow you to find out who the seller is. There is no seller feedback, though VIP does offer buyers an email address to send particularly good or bad reports to.
Results are sorted by artist name.
If you have an old PC with a small screen you will find the frames tiresome, with the results crammed into a tiny view pane.

VIP havs now removed their high upfront fees and as a result the number of sellers is increasing. There are also news stories, links and classified ads. The inventory is very strong in rock and indie.

Strong on UK Pressings, particularly rock
Visit VIP-24 | Back to list




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promusicfind.com
Promusicfind.com attempt to embrace the entire music industry, with everything from CDs to Cellos.
You can also buy sheet music and midi files, this revue relates only to their collectable music.
Their relatively high fees have deterred all except the larger sellers
Prices are in various currencies.
  Ratings  
  Search  **      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  **      
  Overall  **      
  SEARCH   Part string (whole word)
You can only search by artist, there is no option to refine your search
An Advanced search option is available, with options for Artist, title and Keyword. use the keyword function to eliminate formats (E.g. if you type CD here you will see only CDs). The advanced search is good, use it as the simple search is too vague.

  RESULTS  
You get minimal information; there is no space for description or condition.
Having said that, most of the dealers are established players, so you should not have problems.
Promusicfind.com do not process payments, they merely put you in contact with the seller, You can build up a cart full of goods and contact all sellers by filling out a single form at the checkout.
The inventory is not strong, and is heavily backordered

They have also attempted to create a database for all manner of music/musician resources, this relies on customer submissions and is weak
The recorded music inventory is weak, useful if you are after instruments
Visit promusicfind.com | Back to list




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RC Setsale
The Internet arm of Record Collector Magazine, Launched Spring 2000
Record Collector is the UK's oldest Music collecting Magazine, they pioneered much of the market today.
The inventory listed is the same as that advertised in the printed mag, though dealers can add items online.
Prices are in British pounds.
  Ratings  
  Search  *      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  ***      
  Overall  **      
  SEARCH   Part string (whole word)
There is only one box, where you can search for artist or title.
The search actually looks through all the text and includes any item where the string occurs, this means you get plenty of irrelevant results.

Tip 1 Eliminate irrelevant results by typing artist and at least one word of the title

  RESULTS  
The results are the same as in the printed Magazine, however items added online often seem to have the descriptions cropped mid-word. All items are graded which is a plus.
Advertisers are not listed by name, but you can click next to the item to get contact details and/or view the advertisers full inventory. There is no feedback, however Record Collector are well known for refusing sellers with a poor reputation.
RC Setsale does not take payments, you must contact the seller direct.

The inventory is mostly unique to this site (a Big Plus), though it is quite small. It is strong in Rock, Pop and indie.


This site is a lesson in how not to run an online database. However this is not a disaster as the inventory is small. RC have the resources, expect better to come!
Visit RC Setsale | Back to list




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Vinylsale
Vinylsale is a small European based Database. as the name suggests only vinyl records are available
Prices Euros and US Dollars.
  Ratings  
  Search  **      
  Ease of Use  ***      
  Inventory  *      
  Overall  **      
  SEARCH  
Search is simple but works due to the small inventory.
You can search by Artist, title or Genre.
  RESULTS  
These are easy to follow but are very scrappily presented. Important info like condition is often missing.
Sellers are not linked to or easily contactable.


Not a great site, however they run an excellent records wanted email list.
Visit Vinylsale | Back to list




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101
Recently many dealers have been dropped or have pulled out, now only 4 remain. 101 handle and guarantee the entire process, you never need to deal with the supplier.
Prices are UK pounds
  Ratings  
  Search  ***      
  Ease of Use  ****      
  Inventory  *      
  Overall  **      
  SEARCH   Full string
Search is easy, you can delimit by artist, title, description and format. You can also select which sellers to look at from a drop down menu.
There is also an option to select "Exact" matches only, this is useful where your query is more than one word long.
Finally, you can delimit the price range to cut out overpriced titles.


  RESULTS  
The results are easy to follow, the seller name is listed, but there is no rating, as you will not deal with the seller.
With popular artists you will need to be very exact in your search as the results come up in tedious small pages.
101 will handle the whole process, they order and buy in bulk from the dealers, then supply you. This has a big plus, you pay very low postal charges if you order a large amount, however the system is very slow and items are quite often unavailable.

Now that most dealers have left this site has little to offer. The Main 101 Shop has a good selection of new titles
Go To 101 | Back to list




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Silverdiscs
Silverdiscs is a small UK operation with perhaps a dozen dealers on it's books.
You need to complete a rather laborious signup before you can buy.
Prices British Pounds.
  Ratings  
  Search  ***      
  Ease of Use  **      
  Inventory  *      
  Overall  **      
  SEARCH   Part string (See Note)
You are offered 3 boxes "artist", "title" and "Seller", to see everything by an artist, fill in only that box. if you fill in the title you will see only items by the artist with that title.
You can similarily use the "seller" box to exclude all other sellers.
Note: The Title search is strictly whole string. If you do not type in the full title you will get no matches. For this reason it is best to ignore this feature.

  RESULTS  
The pages are easy to follow. you can not see the identity of the seller or the condition unless you click on the item number and this feature is only avliable once you have regestered.
If you place an order you must then wait for confirmation before returning to the site to pay, contact with the seller is kept to a minimum, you can obtain their email address if you need to ask for more information.
The stock is small and is mostly the same a that on Netsounds.

A little slow to use, needs a bigger inventory.
Visit Silverdiscs | Back to list




And the ones that got away...

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Musicfile
Has been offline since Febuary 2001, presumably closed



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Music1search
Now part of Promusicfind.com




Related pages (full index is below)
Rare Record Finder Help looking for elusive items
More Record Finding Links....



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