The Beatles Stereo Box Set Challenge Part 2

Vinyl Help Beatles Box Set

Help! These charity shops are piled high with bad records…

Looking For Beatles Records In Charity Shops

Part 2/6

The story so far: A bet has been struck: Buy a complete set of Beatles records on vinyl for less money than the Re-issued Box Set. The clock is ticking and the stakes are high…the loser has to listen to a Mariah Carey album. Ten times.

Having struck a bet with my friend Chris to buy The Beatles records on vinyl for less money than the box set costs, I started to plan my campaign with his parting words still ringing in my ears. “You’ll never do it! Mariah is waiting!” I shuddered at the thought.

I started by trawling through some charity shops. With autumn drawing in it wasn’t the time of year for boot sales, and frankly I have better things to do with my time than get up at six am on a Sunday morning to trawl through row upon row of broken Power Rangers, John Grisham novels, baby clothes, and Other Things That Aren’t Valuable Enough To Sell On eBay, whilst elbowing other crate-diggers out of the way to get hold of any potential undiscovered bargains. Charity shops were the low cost option, and didn’t require an early start. If I could find something for a pound, that might give me leeway for some of the more expensive records…

That was all very good in theory of course. And to be fair, charity shops are good for records. They have loads of them. If you ever want a record, that’s where to go. So long as you’re a big fan of Max Bygraves, Big Band music, Peter Frampton or Now! Compilations from the eighties or want to buy no small number of Billy Joel and Linda Ronstadt albums. As I surveyed the detritus in the shop I couldn’t help but reflect that these records seemed to possess an air of gloom about them. They were dog eared and sat in these crates of sadness probably destined never to be played again. It was like a Greek tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet – or perhaps more like Toy Story 2 – you know, the one where the toys get sad because they’ll never be played with again.

One shop – my local Dr Barnardo’s – was especially galling as they had what appeared to be a complete set of Elton John’s ’70’s records. If only I had bet on Elton!

As I came out of my fifth Phil Collins and Shalamar- infested charity shop however, my spirits were lower than that of a teenager who has just received an invitation to appear on Jim’ll Fix It.

Just as I was going to give up I found a bric-a-brac shop. Miraculously, David Bowie’s Low, his Stage double album and The Jam’s Sound Affects were all on sale for a pound each. They might not be The Beatles, but they were in perfect condition. Bargain. “Have you anything by The Beatles?” I enquired, more in hope than expectation. “Oh yes” said the shopkeeper. My hopes rose like an iceberg from the sea. What did he have? As the shopkeeper went out back to look for whatever it was he had I began to dream: perhaps he had a full set – all for a pound each? Maybe he’s just a nice bloke who doesn’t realise the value of the things…

“Here it is” he said, and triumphantly held up a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of The Yellow Submarine from the seventies. It was lovely, and came with a poster, but it wasn’t a record. And he wanted thirty quid for it…he was no mug.

It started to look like the chances of finding a complete set of Beatles records in charity shops might be a lifetime’s work rather than that of a few weeks.

Time for a change of tack. Time to try eBay…

Click here for part 3: A How-to Guide To Buying Beatles Records On eBay

Record #110: The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows (OK – The Mission)

Categories: Music

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Question for those of us across the pond: What are charity shops?

    Judging by your description it sounds similar to a place we have here called Value Village. They take donations from people and sell them (kind of like a big indoors yard sale) and donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.

    I guess here we just call them second hand or thrift shops. Same thing?


  2. Would the Beatles puzzle at least qualify as an extra, to make up for the lack of a booklet?


  3. Oh man, no luck eh? Keep the faith, and I look forward to the eBay results.


  4. This is a great series of posts. I’m looking forward to the next installment – although I’m already fearing that your well-being is about to be severely undermined by a heavy dose of the Mariahs…


  5. Charity shop volunteers are always good for a laugh though. One had labelled a box of 45s ‘SMALL RECORDS’ and these cost more than the LPs (‘BIG RECORDS’, I presume). Today I saw a handful of singles or possibly EPs, one by Susan Hayward for £15! The albums just looked too depressing to even look through and were piled on top of each other so not very easy to access. Good luck.


  6. Thanks for posting this.. It’s been a pleasure to read 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: