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Princeton Record Exchange

Princeton Record Exchange
Record store
Industry Music industry
Founded 1980 in Princeton, New Jersey
Founder Barry Weisfeld
Owner Jon Lambert
Website .com.princetonrecordexchangewww

Princeton Record Exchange, located at 20 South Tulane St. in Princeton, New Jersey, is an independent music store. PREX (as it is often referred to) was founded in 1980 by Barry Weisfeld. He had spent five years, beginning in 1975, selling used records from his van at flea markets and college campuses, and wanted to settle in one location. Princeton seemed ideal because of its central location on the east coast. The store opened in 1980 at 20 Nassau St, and moved to its current larger location in 1985.[1] Barry is a quirky disco-loving music aficionado and a Met fan, and a semi-pro shuttlecock player.

The store spans 4,300 square feet (400 m2) and houses 150,000 titles;[2] one of the largest selections of any independent music store in the Northeast.

In spite of the growing competition that the internet has bred, the store maintains profitability by purchasing used cds, used dvds and used lps for resale. In contrast with most other internet business models, they do not sell music or movies online, but they do purchase many collections online.

They have also utilized social media to engage their customers with a popular Facebook page and a YouTube channel which features store tours and shows videos of newly arrived collections.

Positive publicity in leading music journals has also contributed to their ongoing success. The New York Times is quoted as saying, "Customers come from as far as Scotland and Japan or as close as around the corner. Since 1980, the Record Exchange here has flourished ..." [3]

Rolling Stone magazine has rated Princeton Record Exchange as a top 25 record store in the country, GQ and USA Today has ranked them in the top 10, and the Wall Street Journal has listed them as one of the top five.

Billboard has added, "With both bargain hunters and serious collectors, the Princeton Record Exchange has established a secure niche for itself." And major music groups have contributed, as LCD Soundsystem is quoted in Wire, "...if it wasn't for the Princeton Record Exchange, I might as well have grown up in the armpit of the world...The Record Exchange saved my life."

While the store offers an extensive selection of mainstream categories like rock, alternative, hip hop, and punk, it also features a selection of over 15,000 classical cds and jazz cds. In addition to music, Princeton Record Exchange also carries over 10,000 DVDs. The store employed Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) of Ween before the band's rise to fame.

In 2015, founder Barry Weisfeld sold the store to longtime manager Jon Lambert. Weisfeld will continue to serve as a consultant and as coordinator of purchases of large music collections.[4]

In popular culture

  • In the episode "DNR" of the television series House, which takes place in Princeton & Plainsboro, a supporting character is seen entering the elevator holding a bag full of CDs from Princeton Record Exchange.


  1. ^ Princeton OnLine article about the store
  2. ^ Applebome, Peter (April 10, 2008). "In Princeton, an Offline Haven for Music Shoppers Thrives".  
  3. ^ Raghunathan, Abhi (October 22, 2000). "Where Obsessed Hunters of Music Still Prowl".  
  4. ^ Knapp, Krystal (July 31, 2015). "Princeton Record Exchange Sold to Longtime Manager Jon Lambert". Planet Princeton. 

External links

  • Princeton Record Exchange Official Site #1
  • Princeton Record Exchange Official Site #2
  • Facebook Official page
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