95 Berwick Street;
Tel- +44 (0) 207 434 2939
The Music and Video Exchange is a chain of stores specialising in laboriously scrutinised second-hand CDs, records, and DVDs. There are locations in Camden, Soho, Notting Hill, and Greenwich, among others - the locations indicate the level of 'cool' that each store pulses with. Living on the Isle of Dogs, we had been to the Greenwich location several times before, buying literally dozens of second-hand DVDs from them over the past couple of months, and had always been very happy with the quality of the products. Speaking to the guy behind the counter about the refund policy, he assured us that each DVD's play quality was checked by a member of staff - if even minor scratches existed, the product would either be sold for a massive discount, or would be refused entirely. To indicate the kind of bargains we were able to get, we were able to purchase seasons 1-5 of Morse for less than £15 (very exciting - and no, we don't get out much)!
We wandered into the Soho branch this past Saturday, having spent the day window-shopping in Covent Garden and Seven Dials. The atmosphere was very similar to the store in Greenwich - old record and gig posters up on the wall space that isn't covered with bookshelves containing DVDs and CDs for sale. I'd say 75% of the DVDs are less than £6, including box-sets. The staff was very helpful - I asked one assistant if they had 'Quantum of Solace' in, and he seemed to have an encyclopaedic memory for all of the films they had in. When you see the stock that they've got, this is more than a little impressive.
Ultimately, we didn't buy anything this time around, but were definitely pleased to find another branch of one of our London favourites (we'd been talking about going back to Greenwich that night to search for a new DVD). It's a far superior alternative to HMV - the breadth of choice (especially for cult film and foreign film-lovers) and unbeatable prices, plus guaranteed, quality products, means that for us, there's only one place to go for films!