Shuga Records started by accident. Now one of the largest online record stores in the world, it all began a decade ago when a car accident landed Chicago DJ Adam “Shuga Rose” Rosen on an operating-room table and, later, out of work. To pay the bills, he logged onto Ebay and reluctantly started selling off his library of more than 5,000 albums, earning enough to pay the rent – and then some. With his profits, he began rebuilding his collection, which, like his expertise of vintage and audiophile vinyl, grew quickly and exponentially. Now a six-employee family company run by Adam, Shuga Records has an inventory of nearly 400,000 highest-quality recordings, which are each approved by Adam himself, updated in real-time.
Shuga stocks many of the bands that got Adam hooked on DJing as a teenager, from Underworld and Nine Inch Nails to the Future Sound of London. But its specialties have expanded to include the widest range of audiophile pressings from classical labels, 1960’s folk and psych, and rare first editions by some of rock’s biggest legends, as well as the kind of esoterica DJs crave, from spoken word records and private-label pressings to regional rarities, novelty albums, reissues, and new collector vinyl. While buyers from around the world are drawn to the store’s range of albums, the way Shuga does business – consistent, on-the-mark grading; prompt, secure shipping; and a commitment to music that shows – keeps them coming back: Shuga Records has a nearly perfect 99.9 percent approval rating on Ebay.