is discogs legit

Is Discogs Legit? Should I Trust A Vinyl Selling Platform?

Despite the development of Spotify and YouTube, finding specific music can be difficult. Particularly if they are limited editions or upcoming.

Discogs is a great place to browse for these types of music alternatives. A collection of music from all over the world is available in one database. You can share your love of music by trading, buying, and selling.

But, with so many imposters out there, is Discogs legit?

Discogs is a legit music release database and marketplace mainly useful to any music fan. It’s developed as an engaging database that tracks the progress of recorded music. Secondhand sellers can sell vinyl to make a profit. All transactions are managed professionally. There’s hardly any chance of fraud.

This information hardly covers everything about the platform, which has been operational since the 2000s. Why not continue reading this review to find out if Discogs is genuine?

Is Discogs an Authentic Site?

Yes, the company is legitimate. There is no question about that. This website has been accessible online since the 2000s. It was initially created as a database for music collectors.

Around 2005, they launched the marketplace option for authentic customers and dealers. Therefore, there is no doubt that Discogs is a legitimate marketplace or place for information about records. 

The real question is whether the people that purchase and sell on this platform are genuine. Because that’s where the problems started. The business has a stellar history up until 2017.

But new regulations have created significant loopholes in legalizing a buyer or a seller. And some people have taken advantage of this.

However, the business is working to identify and remove any fraudulent sellers/buyers from the platform. But, managing a platform with 617,939 users (as of February 2022) is a challenging task.

an image of discogs logo
Source: Internet Archieve Blog

How Long Have They Been Active?

DJ Kevin Lewandowski created Discogs in 2000 intending to create a database for electronic music. He regarded it as the complete music resource as a music enthusiast.

By 2003, it had expanded to include various musical genres like rock, pop, hip-hop, and more. Reggae, funk, and classical music had all been introduced by 2005. It currently has more than 16 million releases stored in its database.

Building the largest and most complete interactive public music database has always been their goal. This is  a website with clickable links that cross-reference all label and artist discographies.

As of 28 July 2021, the site had 14,246,546 releases from 7,663,244 artists. And the master releases are around 1,964,238. Additionally, it contains 1,734,786 labels and about 593,087 contributors.

Releases had crossed the 14 million milestone by the middle of 2021. And artists had surpassed the 7.5 million mark.

How Many Countries Do They Operate In?

This is a global platform with users from every nation. Based in Portland, Oregon, they mainly provide services to the US, Germany, France, UK, and Japan. 

Additionally, they include coverage of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Brazil, and Mexico.

Below are listed the top five countries that use the platform:

CountriesPercentage
USA19.5%
United Kingdom8.5%
Germany11%
Japan6.3%
France6.1%

USA appears to be the nation that uses the website the most frequently out of all others. Germany is also consistently quite engaged in this. 

Users from Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have also expressed interest in addition to these nations.

Have They Been Featured in Big News Media?

Noted as the only place where Kate Bush outsells Taylor Swift, The Mercury News has done comprehensive research on Discogs.

The New York Times recently conducted an article on Discogs. They claimed that it has grown into a crucial tool for record collectors and the music business.

Billboard’s special Independent Record Store Month feature mentions Discogs and their aspirations to open more physical stores.

Discogs has also been featured on many online blogs and review sites. Some are solely for educational purposes, examining how algorithms function and record logging is carried out.

While others have conducted extensive studies to evaluate the marketplace and their own experiences.

Social Media Review Rating

Trustpilot Group is a Danish consumer company that runs a review website. It assists in understanding and general evaluation of a company.

From their review, we can see  62% of reviewers gave Discogs company one star. Along with that most recent comments were all unfavorable.

RatingPercentage
5 Stars22%
4 Stars4%
3 Stars4%
2 Stars8%
1 Star62%

And the 22% of reviews with a 5-star rating are primarily from four to five years ago. This creates an obvious doubt about their service in recent times.

Discogs has received 1.81 stars out of 114 reviews on Sitejabber, another review site. This suggests that most customers aren’t happy with their products overall.

SectorRating
Service1.5 star
Value2-Star
Shipping1.5 Star
Returns1.5 Star
Quality2 Star

Customers that complain about Discogs most typically bring up customer service, bad reviews, and persistent issues. In terms of Music Discovery websites, Discogs comes in at number 31.

Google Trend Review

If we examine Discogs user base over the past five years, it has been essentially consistent. Despite occasional declines in popularity, it remained one of the most talked-about websites for music-related objectives.

Greece displayed the highest level of interest, followed closely by Belgium and Finland.

The United Kingdom was also one of the top regions that expressed interest. The United States, where this website is most often used, was surprisingly not among the top 5.

How Does Discogs Work?

Discogs can be comparable to the model used by Wikipedia for gathering and publishing information. All of the data in the database was gathered from music releases and other publicly available information.

The database is open for editing and updating by all site users. This was available since it was created and modified by the community.

Discogs do not guarantee the accuracy of the data placed into the database. This is stated in their Terms of Service.

If you find any information that you believe is incorrect you can update or otherwise alter it.

Let’s take a closer look at how Discogs’ purchasing, selling, and product return/refund policies work-

Buying Process

Before purchasing any records, you must first create an account. This guarantees real customers with specific information required for registration.

The next step is to search. Use the search field at the top of each page if you’re looking for a specific item. You can use Marketplace’s filters to look through things that fit your preferred criteria. 

Sellers are advised to send orders solely to the Paypal address provided. Make sure your PayPal and Discogs addresses match.

For any concerns about the item(s), shipping costs, etc contact the seller before placing an order. You are not expressing a desire to purchase the item. By clicking the “Place Order” button, you fully intend to purchase the item.

Unless an alternative shipping period is specified, vendors must ship packages within four days. You can submit a Seller Not Responding report. But only in case, the seller takes longer than four days to respond.

The order page allows you to track the progress of your order. You can locate all of your previous and current purchases, along with all of the essential information. 

It’s optional to provide feedback. But should be left once you have got your item. So that other customers can learn from your experience. All of your recent and ongoing purchases can be found together with the appropriate data.

Selling Process

The first step on your path to becoming a seller is to complete the prerequisites. Your settings include the shipping address, chosen payment methods, and tax information.

Create Shipping Policies to instantly calculate buyers’ shipping charges all across the world. Regarding your shipping, refund, and tax collection policies, be as specific as possible. For a trouble-free checkout experience, you must have a validated PayPal account.

Be specific about the release you want to sell, and the condition it’s in. Mention the price you want to get for it. Utilize the extensive Discogs Database to determine precisely the edition of a record you possess.

Discogs Dashboard is the simplest way to add items to inventory after identifying, rating, and pricing them. Use the List Item for Sale tool to rapidly search and list multiple products.

Global music lovers will be able to view listings in Marketplace with active items in your inventory. To get in touch with customers and keep tabs on status updates. You can use the order page on your Discogs Dashboard. 

What Percentage of Sales Does Discogs Take?

The listing is free. When a customer puts an order with you, they take an 8% processing fee. This depends on the cost of your goods. Discogs automatically collects sales taxes and fees, so all the money you make is yours to keep.

Shipping Process

Discogs’ shipping policies make sure that every item has a shipping fee less than the item price. Additionally, it automatically processes the addition of shipping charges to incoming purchases.

Sellers decide which nations they’re willing to ship to and choose the shipping costs for each continent. They can also provide many methods to track. For example, Standard to track and Trace the insured.

The Marketplace is now easier for Buyers to access because all Sellers must now have shipping policies. However, some initial setup is required on the seller’s end.

There are also domestic and international shipping rates that apply. The seller needs to set up some specific Terms and conditions which indicate buyers’ guidelines. This assures the return policy, regional taxes, and other FAQs for the vendor and their store.

Currently, free shipping is also an option. A banner at the top of the seller profile indicates which sellers provide free shipping. 

This relates to the minimum purchase quantity required to be eligible for free shipping. When a vendor offers free delivery, it is noted in the cart.

Return & Refund Policy

It’s difficult to keep track of every seller on a platform that hosts millions of them. Therefore, a return policy is generally not applicable in this situation.

You must speak with the original seller, though, if you do decide to return something. You can get in touch with them and ask for your refund in a message. The details of any return are up to the two of you if you both agree. 

One positive aspect of Discogs is that they take user feedback seriously. They, therefore, offer a “vendor not responding” link to make refund requests easy. 

Seller accounts will be suspended until a refund is made. This occurs if they don’t reply within a given time frame.

Product Verification Process

Discogs’ data is composed of contributions made by verified users on the website. Four significant updates have been made to the system.

The First Version (V1)

The authorized users known as “moderators,” or “mods,” reviewed all incoming submissions for formal and factual accuracy. They were chosen by site management.

It took at least one “mod” vote for submission or edit to make it visible or searchable. A group of super-moderators known as “editors” had the authority to change the artist and label data.

The Second Version (V2)

Submission limits” were first made available in this version. This stopped new users from submitting more than 2-3 releases for moderation. 

This was done for two reasons. It made it easier for moderators to manage and maintain the submission queue. Secondly, it allowed a new user to gradually get used to the formatting requirements and submission standards.

For releases to be added to the database, there had to be a certain number of votes. Initially, four separate moderators had to cast votes. But over time, only three and then two moderators were needed.

The Third Version  (V3)

Limits on submissions were lifted after the release of V3. This made it possible for each user to add an infinite number of modifications and new entries. New releases added to the database were identified as “Unmoderated” with a top banner.

The Fourth Version (V4)

New submissions and revisions are now immediately effective. Every time a new release is added or modified, it is marked as requiring “votes.”

Even if an item is not tagged, it is always possible to vote on it. Votes are an evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of an item’s full collection of data. 

Voting is only open to users who have been selected automatically using an undisclosed algorithm. Along with the item’s data, the item’s “average” vote is shown.

The ranking system has also been altered in v4. In version 3, rank points were only awarded to submitters when their submissions were “Accepted” by moderator votes.

While in version 4, rank points are now given right away after a submission is made. This is irrelevant to the accuracy of the information or the number of votes it receives.

Price Listing

As we all know, genuine vinyl albums are quite expensive. It can be challenging to tell the genuine ones apart from the counterfeit ones on the market. Moreover, vinyl records in pristine condition are quite expensive!

Discogs is aware of this as well. So, they have a guide to explain how to identify a genuine vinyl record. It also teaches you how to assess the worth of your record and its condition. 

Music prices range from $5 to several hundred or thousands. Music is shipped from all over the world. So, prices are organized in a variety of currencies based on the music’s origin. 

Payment Procedure

Checkout is quicker and more convenient for consumers and sellers with the  PayPal payment option. The majority of orders are paid for right away. When a buyer makes a purchase, they will be provided with all possible payment choices. 

PayPal, credit or debit cards, and payment methods like Sofort, and iDeal, are available for buyers.

When the buyer pays for their order, fees and taxes are subtracted and submitted automatically. This will appear as the Partner Fee in your settings. You keep the entire amount of money that is deposited into your account.

Local currency will be used for the fees, so you won’t need to convert them to USD. Because probable fees will be provided in local currency, it will be easier to view and understand.

Along with USD, Discogs accepts Pound Sterling, Euro, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand dollars, and Japanese yen. There are also Swiss francs, Brazilian reals, Mexican pesos, and Swedish krona.

So Why All the Backlash?

Every service-based business or online platform has both types of consumers. One who is incredibly happy with the service. And those who are so enraged by the company.

Discogs have both of them as well. Some consumers are really pleased with the broad range of options offered by the platform. And, for a small shipping price, consumers can obtain their most desired recordings from a collector.

Others, on the other hand, have been equally disappointed. For instance, sellers may not always include the range of delivery costs with their stated product prices. 

When people see something they like, they frequently become eager to purchase it. But then they are served with this outrageous shipping expense, which destroys their morale.

And occasionally users are met with some seriously distorted vinyl. How warped is too warped vinyl varies per user, but some are simply too far gone. Yet, some vendors neglect to state their vinyl’s proper conditions.

The listings are another issue. They can be very complex. Any inaccurate listing directly impacts the buyers. Additionally, there have been instances of illegal goods being listed with false information.

If you look closely at the reviews, you will notice positive ones from 5-6 years ago. However, the majority of the current reviews are negative.

The primary cause of these is the fourth version policy. As the tight policy has loosened over time, there are loopholes for dishonest users to exploit.

But if you visit any other selling websites, you’ll notice that this problem has affected them all. There will inevitably be three or four negative reviews out of ten reviews. 

Even companies like Google have 32% negative reviews on the Trustpilot website for tracking user data.

In addition to this, the return policy and delivery have received a majority of negative evaluations. People have complained about their service.

But the seller has always been in charge of the shipping, from the very beginning.

That was not handled by Discogs.

an image from discogs showing someone picking up vinyls
Source: Discogs

Should You Use Discogs?

Yes, you should use Discogs. Similar to how Popmarket is legitimate, it is a legitimate website. But double-check the item you’re buying, and the seller’s delivery terms before making a purchase. Verify the feedback and points of the seller as well

Never purchase from a seller with a rating below 98%. Avoid buying from outside of your country. Here’s someone who bought a beautiful vinyl copy from Discogs.

And if you are a seller, get the accurate address and customer information as soon as possible. Make it clear what your payment policy is and whether the terms differ depending on the region.

An image of a quote by henry rollins about record stores
Source: LinkedIN

Alternative to Discogs

There are various alternatives to Discogs if you are looking for additional music and audio. Two of the best are listed below:

Libre.fm: 

Another incredible database containing both well-known and obscure music. You need to look no further than Libre.fm to share your passion for music.

Jamendo: 

A Luxembourg-based music community, Jamendo is a haven for all music enthusiasts. You can save your own music there as well as share and download your favorite artist’s music.

FAQs

How Many Albums Are Available on Discogs?

There are more than 14 million releases in the Discogs Database. This is supported by a wide and dedicated group of contributors. They consistently contribute new music and provide updates to existing works.

How Much Do Discogs Charge?

Listing your goods for sale is free. With a minimum fee of $0.10, Discogs only charges a 6% commission. This is calculated by the selling price of each item, bought and sold on the marketplace. This fee cannot be transferred to the purchaser.

How Can I Take Payments With A Credit Card on Discogs?

Instead of logging in and entering card information, your customers can pay with a card through PayPal.But they need to add their credit card to their PayPal account. PayPal will automatically deduct money from credit cards, in case of insufficient funds during a purchase.

End Words

That is pretty much it on is Discogs legit. With one or two things in hand to worry about, you are all good to go. 

So which popular record are you gonna order from them? Share some of your musical insights to spread among the community. We always love to know.

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