VNYL Subscription Box Review – June 2015
VNYL is a new, invite only, and pretty interesting subscription service for record collectors. When you are invited to sign up for this service, you fill out a pretty lengthy profile that includes not only your likes and dislikes, but also links to all of your profiles on digital audio services such as Spotify and Sound Cloud. They then ask you to choose a “#VIBE,” which is an activity that you would like them to select the music for, such as studying or pool party. They then select 3 used albums and send to you based on all these criteria. My mind was kind of blown by this concept, and since the first month was free, I decided to give it a try!
No one pays for this subscription yet. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: VNYL
The Cost: First month free, $32 per month (free shipping) after that
The Products: Three used records chosen by a curator specifically for you, based on your profile, other digital audio services profiles, and selected “#VIBE” for that month
Ships to: US only
This is a note from my curator, Ace. He’s totally cute! Cuteness aside, I love that he is holding the three albums they sent me in this picture! It says:
“Hey Anna! You’ve got a guitar-heavy cooking session ahead of you. Of the three records we’ve pulled, my personal favorite is the Ten Years After record, followed very closely by the White Snake album. That and the BTO album definitely have some kick. Hope you dig! Peace – Ace”
(By the way, I chose #COOKING as my “#VIBE.”)
A Space in Time by Ten Years After
This is definitely my favorite of the three albums that VYNL sent to me, too! I actually wanted this album, so this is a big win for me! This album is from 1971, and the single they always play on classic rock radio stations is “I’d Love to Change the World.” Score!
Whitesnake – Self-Titled
I actually laughed when I pulled this album out of the box! Ace may be cute, but he is clearly much younger than me! I say that because if anyone my age ever wanted this album, believe me, they already own it. This album was HUGE back in the day (1987)! Unfortunately, this album is not for me. While it’s true that I do like hard rock, I don’t like heavily produced sound – I prefer a bit more fuzz.
Four Wheel Drive by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Sadly, this album was also a miss for me, but I can totally see what my curator was going for with this selection from 1975. I think most people enjoy BTO’s iconic tune, “Takin’ Care of Business,” at least on some level. To me, however, most of their music is too repetitive to enjoy for an entire album, and I don’t like most of their lyrics. Lots of people really love this album, though, and it’s a closer fit to my style of music, so it was a nice try!
Verdict: I have pretty mixed feelings about VNYL at this point!
My first criteria for this service is: Did they send used records that are clean and have no skips, and are the covers / sleeves reasonably intact? The answer to that is yes, across all three albums, they arrived in good to great condition, clean and with no skips.
My second criteria is: Did they choose records that I like? In this case they only scored 1 out of 3. I could see why my curator would have picked these records for me, though, and since the first month was free, I decided to add more things to my likes and dislikes for next month, change my “#VIBE,” and give it another try.
My third criteria is: Value. This month was free! Awesome! Next month will be $32. That’s a perfectly reasonable price for three used records plus shipping plus curation, so I think the value overall should be good as long as I like the records next month.
The only other thing I need to say about this subscription is that their website keeps everything kind of a mystery. I signed up for the first month because it was free, but I wasn’t really sure what I would be getting or what the terms were until after my first month had been sent! I think this is a coolness / intrigue tactic, but I also think they are keeping away a lot of potential subscribers by not being completely clear and forthright.
What do you think of VNYL?