Whether it is saving money on a newer album or rediscovering an old favorite, there are many merits to buying your CD’s used. Austin has no shortage of record stores that sell old CD’s at a fraction of the price that they would be new. Here are three of the best spots to get a lot of music for not a lot of money. They each have their own unique qualities and knowledgeable staff that can help you find what you are looking for.

Waterloo Records (600 N. Lamar): Regarded by many as Austin’s flagship record store, Waterloo Records boasts a sizable collection of used CD’s, and vinyl for those who are nostalgically inclined. Their selection is wide and varied, with most older albums costing around five or six dollars and newer ones costing around eight or nine. There is a special section dedicated to albums they have received that week, with each day being separated to ensure you can find the newest arrivals. Occasionally, you can find an artist’s entire discography in the used section, or you may leave disappointed of you have an idea of what you’re looking for before you go. Some good advice is to approach Waterloo’s used section with an open mind.

Cheapo Discs (914 N. Lamar): A few blocks north of Waterloo is another staple in the Austin record shop business. While it may always be in the shadows of it’s rival, Cheapo Discs can boast a wider and more diverse selection of used CD’s and a completely unique atmosphere. Like Waterloo, the store has keeps all of it’s latest arrivals in the same area. However, the new arrivals section at Cheapo is absolutely daunting, as you can easily spend a couple hours looking through their massive selection of recent acquisitions. Another thing that is unique about Cheapo is that they mix in used CD’s with new ones. So if you are looking for a certain artist, you can find a used copy of their newest album along with a brand new shrink wrapped copy. Another way to save money is to find CD’s that have a green price sticker on them. This entails that the CD is more scratched than your average disc, but it knocks down the price significantly. If you are just going to rip an album into your iTunes library, it’s a great way to get albums extremely cheap, as the green sticker albums usually run anywhere from four to six dollars.

End of An Ear (2209 S. First St.): If you’d rather avoid the hustle and bustle of downtown, End of An Ear is a great place to get your used discs fix in South Austin. Aesthetically, it feels more like a record store you would stumble into in New York City or San Fransisco, and this gives the store a unique charm. Of the three record stores profiled, End of An Ear has the smallest selection of used discs, but that is because it is a much smaller store. However, if you do find an album you want, chances are that you might not have to pay that much for it. I have gotten CD’s there for as low as three dollars, and they were in really good condition. Additionally, the store has a massive selection of vinyl, both used and new.

(Photo Credit: The Austin Chronicle)