MANILA -- With the resurgence of records, we’ve seen sellers and shops pop up throughout the archipelago. Outside the Metro Manila area, you will find shops in Cavite, Pampanga, Baguio, Bacolod, Leyte, Davao, Zamboanga City, and even in Pagbilao among many others.
Meanwhile, here is an updated March 2021 guide to crate digging in the Metro Manila area (with a few notable mentions outside Luzon) and we tried to mention the best and widest in terms of catalogue. You will also note that some shops appear more than once and that is because there are qualifiers for various categories.
And for newbies, it always helps to cross reference prices because they vary. Many shops carry the same titles, but others have cheaper or more expensive prices. Some have promos like the occasional free delivery or sale.
When we mention each store, you should look for them on Facebook or Instagram.
Happy crate digging.
If you’re looking for a wide array of titles (brand new and sealed)
When we say this, we mean various genres that are brand new and sealed.
Grey Market – The biggest shop of them all with three branches (White Plains, Greenhills, and Salcedo Village). There’s a lot of vinyl gold here. Not everything gets posted on their social media and you’d be surprised at what you would find. The best is to head on over to their White Plains branch when their new crates arrive. Now, if they only arranged their records according to genre...
Backspacer Records – My how they have grown. And they have a physical shop in Kapitolyo in Pasig and have been producing their own records. Perhaps among all the top sellers, they are the most diverse and adventurous. You’ll find stuff here that many others do not carry.
Plaka Express – They have a physical store in the Project 6 area and you really have to frequently check out their site because they do get records that others do not get. And they do have promos as well.
Also check out: Spindle Hole Records, Riverside Records, M.E. Records, Noisy Neighbor, Blue Spin, Markarvin Records, and Jamfactory.
If you’re looking for a good selection of hard rock and metal albums
You have to check them out every so often because the stuff each store gets has differences: Black Circles by Alice, and Plaka Express.
If you are looking for punk and hardcore records
These three have reasonably-priced records whether new or used. Your best buy. Others outside this list sometimes have crazy prices.
Mutilated Noise - Every now and then they will post used but original presses of some hard-to-find and gold titles from legendary acts from the '80s and '90s. They also have a lot of obscure bands from all over the world. Their physical shop in Makati is a punk and hardcore fan’s treat. It will remind you of Bleecker Bob’s in New York.
Still Ill – These guys hold a torch for the fans of this music. Reasonably priced. Superb selections.
Roundabout Records – Well-curated in terms of the legends as well as up-and-comers. Lots of gems every now and then. Based in Leyte, but worth the wait.
If you are looking for reggae and ska records
Black Circles by Alice – Bob Marley might be reggae’s icon and global ambassador but the listing of titles is a dream.
If you are looking for 7-inch records
Treskul Records – Nice mix of OPM, Japanese pop, and US and UK singles.
VinylZone Wreckordshoppe – Located along Marcos Highway in Cainta, the prices are cheap with the records in good condition. A sleeper of a shop and that means you have to constantly check them out because there are a lot of surprise goodies.
Jamfactory – Great selection by its friendly proprietor Jamie Lim.
If you are looking for bootleg records
Southern Groove Records – Love the selection of live bootlegs.
If you are looking for a nice selection of used 12-inch singles
MG Records – Best selection. They usually post new records for sale every 8 p.m.
Vinyl Wreckordshoppe – They oft place new records on their racks on a daily basis.
Bebop Records – Happy hunting here.
Also check out:L Plaka Planet, Treskul, Traxx Manila, and Music Depot.
If you are looking for indie
This Is Pop – Eclectic is an understatement. And throw in the world “trailblazing” too. One of the coolest shops ever. Located along Legazpi Street in Makati, chances are you’ll come in not knowing what you want. Then you’ll be in trouble because there is a lot to like from '80s New Wave to '90s indie to dance music to Japanese city pop to bands from Asia to even French and Italian bossa nova and soul. Always a fun visit here.
Analog Daily – A gem of a find. They specialize in getting indie stuff that also don’t show up on the catalogues of others.
On the Corner – They specialize in shoegaze, dream pop, and indie rock and pop fare.
Also check out College Dropout Records, an up and coming one.
If you are looking for second hand records
Northwest Estate and Collectibles – Hands down, the best in terms of second-hand US records. Super wide collection with over 20,000 records on their shelves. Whew. Can’t go here without opening your wallet.
Music Depot – Located in Greenhills just a stone’s throw away from Greenhills Theater, it is a collective of various sellers and it’s a fun dig for brand new, second-hand, and OPM. With record fairs shut down because of the pandemic, this is the next best thing!
Traxx Manila – Located in the heart of Marikina, you’ll find good titles here and the occasional best buy.
Plaka Planet – Always a nice place to check out.
Vinylhead – One of the best. Good prices too.
New Vintage Culture – They have a shop along Maginhawa Street. Reasonably priced stuff.
AVCD – A good balance of new and sealed as well as used records. Always a pleasant transaction.
Also check out: Bear’s Den, which you will also find in the Legazpi Street market and record fairs, Spins, and Lahn’s Records.
If you are looking for Record Store Day releases
Check out: Backspacer, Plaka Express, and This is Pop.
If you are looking for used and hard-to-find OPM
Without mentioning the reissues (because most people sell them), let’s define this as the old stuff from the 1960s-1980s. With, of course, the newer indie releases of recent years.
Check out: Treskul, Plaka Planet, and Spins Records.
If Japanese vinyl is your preference
Grey Market – Widest selection of Japanese pressed records.
N-Rich Vinyl – You have to love their bargains and selection.
Wilson Lim – He usually sells his stuff at Kagatan and other record fairs. But you’ll find him online as well. Well-curated too.
Also check out: VinylZone Wreckordshoppe and Lahn’s Records
Best curated used and occasionally new or sealed records
Treskul Records – DJ Arbie Won knows his stuff. ‘Nuff said. And you have eats and coffee and drinks while digging and grooving to the live spins. How cool is that?
Bebop Records – The granddaddy of them all. Still at Makati Cinema Square. Bob de Leon is not only a legend in crate digging and re-selling, but his shop is superbly curated with hundreds and hundreds of gems.