Zzz Records' Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to your store?

We are located at 2200 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, about one block west of MLK Avenue. Our store is in the same building as Audio Labs and Van Ginkel Sporting Goods and right across the street from Mediacom.

Can I take the bus to your store?

DART route #11 goes right by our building. You can, of course, take any other bus line to downtown Des Moines, then transfer onto westbound route #11 to get here.

Do you buy records, tapes, or CDs?

You should always check with us first, as it depends on our current stock. As of mid-June of 2011, we are pretty overstocked on just about everything. We took in three very large collections recently, and are trying to work out way through them as fast as we can. If you have good, solid, quality titles on LP, we're probably interested. We no longer offer cash for tapes or CDs, as the demand for those formats have been plummeting recently; however, sometimes we will offer store credit.

Prices vary quite a bit depending on condition, demand, and what kind of mood we are in. We're actually pretty nice people, so if you have any questions about your collection, just give us a call!

How many vinyls do you have?



The plural of "vinyl" is "vinyl".

To answer the previous question, though, we have about 12,000 LPs in stock, as well as some assorted 12" singles and 45s.

When did they stop making records?

Record production has NEVER halted. It only seems like it, since you don't see them in the big stores any more. Not everything is pressed onto vinyl, of course, but we try to carry a large selection of records by new artists.

Do you sell DVDs or video games?

We do not carry video games at this time. We have a nominal selection of new DVDs (no used ones), although we do have a small selection of about 50 titles, and have the ability to order many titles. If you are having trouble finding something, we may be able to get it for you. If you are looking to rent DVDs, we highly recommend the excellent Best Place Ever.

So, why don't you carry anything by my favorite band?

It's nothing personal. Keep in mind that we do not have unlimited space -- or funds for that matter -- to stock everything. We try to keep a decent variety of titles in at all times, but we can't carry everything that we'd like. If you are looking for something that's not in stock, let us know & we'll special order it for you. Special orders usually can be shipped to us within a few days.

Where can I get a turntable, or parts for my turntable?

Brand new turntables can still be purchased from many electronics stores. Some local shops carry high quality turntables, and cheaper models can be found at the chain stores.

Parts are a little tougher to find, but we highly recommend our new neighbor: Audio Labs. (Audio Labs also has an experienced service department if you need repairs!) Out-of-towners may want to contact Needle Express or Needle Doctor.

Where can I get a used turntable?

Garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, DAV, etc.). Occasionally, you can find something at Audio Labs, too.

What are my records worth?

You're not going to like this answer, but they are only worth what somebody is willing to pay for them. As we have found out time and time again, book value is usually quite different than real-life value. Some records that are supposedly worth $100 or more will only sell for $5 (or less!) in the upper midwest. Our best advice is to frequent E-Bay or GEMM to see what the going rates are for your items. If you still prefer to look at a price guide, our favorite one is "Rockin' Records" by Jerry Osborne. There are also lots of other price guides for specialized interests... such as soundtracks, 45s, and jazz records. Most of these books can be ordered locally from shops like The Book Store or Beaverdale Books.

Can I sell my record/tape/CD on consignment?

We only sell items on consignment for local artists. If you or your band has a recent release that you would like us to sell, give us a call at (515) 284-1401 or email us. See our Local Music Home Page for more information.

Can I post my flyer or advertisement there?

Sure! We have plenty of room to advertise upcoming shows or festivals. We also have a bulletin board inside the store for people wishing to sell items or advertise services.

Would you be willing to let my band play an in-store performance?

We would like to say "yes"; unfortunately, the city of Des Moines put the kabosh on that long ago. Our new space is also extremely small, so in-stores are impossible now. If you're curious, you can view the list of occasional shows that were held in our shop in 2002 & 2003.

Are you hiring?

We have a very small and stable staff, so openings only arise occasionally. If you do want to nominate yourself, though, you can come by and fill out an application.

Are you also a record label?

No. There does seem to be a Russian punk label called Zzz Records, but we are not affiliated with them. There also seems to be a European label called Zzz Records, but from what we can tell they have only released one reggae single. We are merely a record store.

Why did you pick "Zzz" as the name of your store?

When we were trying to choose a name, somebody suggested "A-1 Records" so that we could be first in the phone book. Unfortunately, there are so many businesses that start with "A-1", "AA", "AAA", etc, that we decided to go the opposite route and be listed dead last in the phone book.

Where's your MySpace/Facebook/Twitter/HackHackCough/etc. page?

The owner really does not care for social media websites, but he finally gave in and allowed the store to get a Facebook page in 2010. Enjoy!

Where's your reggae section?

We RARELY get any reggae here. I think we're about 1,000 miles too far north to get anything. Typically, if we do have any reggae, it's just mixed in with our rock section.

What are these record shows you keep mentioning?

A record show is sort of like a small flea market, except that everyone is selling music or memorabilia. We happen to sponsor the Des Moines Music Collectors' Show.

Do you have a mailing list?

We have a snail-mail AND e-mail list. We recommend signing up for the email list, since we don't send out many mailings any more.

Why does your website look like it was created in 1999?

Because it was created in 1999. 8^)

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