Skimming swiftly through a box of records while Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” surrounds the room, puts one in the mood for a day of crate digging.
Located in sunny Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, California, CD Trader has been the place for music enthusiasts to find new, used and even rare records.
With just a few steps inside the store, one is quickly welcomed by the employees behind the counter. Toward the left, there is a bookshelf full of books about bands and music culture. There are a couple dozen racks of band t-shirts and CD Trader logo shirts on hangers. Turning to right, an entire room of CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and records is revealed.
CD Trader is divided into sections. Their rare box collections are behind the counter. A fair amount of 45s and their sale selections of used CDs and DVDs start as low as $2. In the middle of the store, and along the window, are rows of CDs of every genre. Once passing the CD section, rows of records appear.
Before exploring, check out their recent arrivals. They have a good selection of new and repressed albums.
Though visitor’s eyes tend to follow the rows of CDs and records, make sure to look up, for they have dozens of rare and collector’s records decorated on every wall.
In a nice air-conditioned building, spacious room and entertaining music, there’s a good vibe and ambiance to this place that makes one feel like they’re in “Pretty in Pink.”
Sure, purchasing CDs and movies at Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics can be quick and convenient, but nothing beats a cool day searching for treasures that could appear in this store.
As far as prices go, used records can start at $.50 and can range up to $40, depending on the condition and how valuable it is. Customers can find some used CDs at $3 or new ones for $12. Cassettes, depending on how popular the artist is, can be as cheap as $3. As for movies, used are $4 and new are $20.
Parking is conveniently available up front and there’s more behind the building. It only gets busy in the morning because of the cafe two stores down.
CD Trader is crazy organized and it’s only one floor. They categorize it alphabetically or by genre, and they never fail to make sure their used items are in good condition. It’s very much unlike Amoeba, which can feel overwhelming and make one feel like there’s a never-ending selection.
Don’t get me wrong, Amoeba is great. Their collection is spectacular, but CD Trader has a small, cozy feel and it’s small enough to meet with a few people who have similar music and movie taste.
The employees are friendly and are full of music and movie knowledge. If a customer is looking for something specific, they’ll be happy to help them find it or if they’re out of stock, they can help order it.
Have a collection to get rid of? Their buy and sell policy is reasonable. CD Trader offers the seller a fraction of what the item is worth.
They also have a stamp card. After every 10th purchase of an item of at least $5.99, the next item, $7.99 or less, is free. They have a few sales every so often, so take advantage of those.
This record store recently celebrated their 20-year anniversary of business. Of the few independent record stores left in the digital and streaming age, it’s one of the best records stores in the San Fernando Valley.
A relaxed atmosphere makes combing through bins a lot more enjoyable. It’s definitely a good place to kill some time while waiting for a table next door at CiCi’s Cafe.
CD Trader is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located at 18926 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356 Phone: (818) 705-3544.