If you are thinking of going to Utrecht for the bi-annual records fair that takes place on the jaarbeurs convention center for the first time, here is some useful advice that the e-Record Fair team has been faithfully following for a few years now.
Utrecht is a city, about 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam, which you can visit by train from Amsterdam or directly from Schiphol, Amsterdam’s International Airport.
The Mega Record & CD Fair Jaarbeurs Utrecht has been hosted, for over 20 years, in a huge space. More than 500 different professional and private vendors attend it. It manages to gather more than 35.000 record collectors from all around the world, who visit Utrecht only for the Mega Record & CD Fair.
If this is your first time going there, do not forget to read the following tips:
Book your hotel room as early as possible
The first thing that you must arrange is your accommodation during your weekend in Utrecht. The town is small and hotels are relatively scarce. However, even if you decide to go on the last minute, do not forget that Amsterdam is just 30 minutes away.
Book your ticket online
Book your ticket for the record fair via the official website so you can skip the morning queues and start your search for vinyl records immediately.
Buy vinyl records for a better price, on the second day
The first day of the fair is for those who are urgently looking for something and are afraid of missing it. The second day is for those who are more relaxed and don’t have something specific in their minds. That’s why on the second day, many vendors ( especially private vendors who do not want to carry cases with unsold discs back home) usually drop their prices and make sale offers.
Always have the proper equipment to carry your records.
Depending on your purchase moods, always have the right equipment to carry your records around. After four hours of standing, the vinyl records you are carrying will wear you out. The problem is solved with a simple satchel or a suitcase with wheels that opens from above and can fit around 70 vinyl records (LPs).
If you spot a vinyl record that you really want, buy it on the instant and do not leave it for later.
The convention center is huge. The crowd is big. Therefore, it is a law that when you see something you want, buy it on the spot because even after 5 minutes, someone could buy it or possibly you might not remember where you found it.
Haggle the price
Do not even think of buying vinyl records without haggling! Do not be ashamed, it is an integral part of the whole process. Most record sellers are expecting it and some…even want it. If haggling doesn’t match well with your temperament, consider that the money you will save from haggling will go on buying more vinyl records.
Do not fall behind with the first stands you will see
If it is your first time attending Mega Record & CD Fair Jaarbeurs Utrecht, once you enter the fair and see the first stands with vinyl records, you will be extremely excited but do not spend much time there. Further inside, in the main hall, you will find more interesting stuff.
If you eat healthy, grab some food outside the fair
Make sure you get something to eat before you go to the fair because, although there are many food stands within the fair area, there is mostly junk food.
Treasures are where you least expect them
The fair is divided in genres. Heavy metal, Reggae, Soul, Jazz, Electronic Music, Rock n’ Roll, Goldies, Ethnic etc. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a small box with 100 good Heavy Metal vinyl records from a record seller that, for example, sells mainly Italian music. There is a high chance you may find something really good on a fair price. Therefore, keep a watchful eye.
Be well rested and… in good shape
Take your time and control your pace. Do not start running up and down the hall like a mad man because you will get exhausted quickly and the record fair lasts for 10 hours! Inside the fair there is a bar where you can catch a beer and cool off, so organize your time and schedule your breaks to see as many stands as possible.
Utrecht is a beautiful town and the perfect destination for vinyl collectors, record store owners, record sellers and anyone who just loves vinyl records. It is worth it for any record collector to visit the Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht.
See you there!
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