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Shops / Discogs / prices etc. A possibe debate. But possibly not.

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  • Shops / Discogs / prices etc. A possibe debate. But possibly not.

    Right, so I went to a record shop to sell some records today. I had some old cool jazz, some old 60s Brazilian, some new, sealed reissue LPs (that retail at about £20/£25/ £30 a pop) that I've been sent that I have doubles of etc. Also a couple of Xmas LPs. So about ten LPs in all. I worked out that retail in a keenly priced shop should be about £80. So I'd (optimistically) expect about 40% of that in reddies. So maybe £30. I was offered £20. I asked why so little (basically about £2 per LP). They then showed me examples on Discogs of some of the ones I was selling that were £15 (for brand new represses), £3 for the jazz etc. I overreacted mentally, left the shop and gave the LPs to a charity. But this started me thinking about a few things, mainly that now Discogs seems to set the price for all secondhand LPs, regardless of where they are or even if you can be bothered to look on Discogs for them at all. So, for example, I bring in a cool and reasonably obscure Xmas LP to a shop. If you are aware of the LP and fancied buying one you would go to Discogs and see what was about, and might get A VG- one for £3, plus approx £4 postage (or of course pay £100 for a mint one), so £7 for something in below average condition etc. But I bring in the same LP to a London record shop, they do not have one in stock, they may be completely unaware of it until that moment, but then look it up on Discogs and will only pay base "Discogs" price for one, assuming that any punter coming in the shop would immediately spot it in the racks for say £8-£10, then look up the record that they may not have ever come across, and check that £8 - £10 is far too much in a shop as they can go home and buy it on Discogs for £3 plus £4 postage possibly saving £1. This works terribly on many levels - firstly that the shops are now beholden to Discogs (home) sellers who often have no overheads, no rent, staff etc. Also, it destroys the idea of a shop believing in it's own taste and staff experience, as everything now has to be looked up and calibrated against Discogs, regardless of the overhead and human interaction values that should be added for a shopping experience. For the first time in a while I found today quite oddly sad. Are we heading for a homogenized vinyl world where everything everywhere is all priced based on Discogs and on line activity - or are we already there?
    Tune in to OST on Resonance 104.4FM. Saturdays at 4.30pm, and now podcast legally too! Film music, TV music, rare library recordings special guests and anything to do with soundtracks. Listen on-line at www.resonancefm.com

  • #2
    isnt it just the modern record collector price guide - only you can see max lowest and median price for a record sold rather than the random number generator of the old paper price guide.

    bizarrely i had totally the opposite experience where i took few records into a shop and got twice as much as i was expecting - no price guide, no internet search - he just sized them up like a man and gave a price i found more than fair.
    Chimptown, now twinned with Cockermouth, Penistone and Big Beaver, Pennsylvania..

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    • #3
      If a record will generally sell for £100 in
      mint condition, most discogs sellers will price a vg- copy of it on discogs for £150.

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      • #4
        I can see how Christmas LPs might not be a wise investment to be fair.
        All the Wolpertingers

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cacapo View Post
          I can see how Christmas LPs might not be a wise investment to be fair.
          Surely a month before December the 25th is the exception to that rule?

          To the initial question - do I check every record I want to buy in a shop against Discogs? No - only expensive ones that I am not familiar with. Do I bother to match the condition to the one I have in my hand in the shop? Most definitely. Do I check that my best comparison is not located in Australia? Of course. If the record is available online cheaper do I opt for that? Actually I'd say 50/50.... I have happily paid more in a shop (within reason), and also - hating myself because it's like walking into Waterstones finding a book, checking it out, and then ordering it on Amazon - delayed the purchase until I get home and doing it all via paypal.

          I don't think we are doomed, though how many times are you pleasantly surprised by the Discogs comparison? Often shops do seem to be just as optimistic in their pricing as some naive online sellers. I bet in your case that they tried to offer you the lowest price match to Discogs, but would happily try and sell at the highest, and that's where it gets a bit daft. If they offered and sold somewhere in the middle then everyone would be happy!
          "Ridicule is nothing to be scared of"

          www.myspace.com/illustratedlondonnoise*********illustratedlondonnoise.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            I don't sell/trade in very many records, but I have had very different experiences. I have taken records to some of the let's say faster turnover London s/h record shops. and, like Mr trunk, walked out with the same records, following indifferent reaction, and a paltry offer. I have also been pleasantly surprised. The difference was I took some records to Platform One in Bexhil. I have fairly similar tastes to the owner, and have to put aside a few hours every time I go there, as most of the time I spend nattering about music/records. He liked the records I took down to trade, and offered me much more than I was expecting. There was no checking prices on Discogs or popsike. The ones he didn't know, he played and made an offer based on that. I know this is to an extent "how it used to be (groan!), and what marked out a "good" secondhand record shop. Knowledge built up over years was the shop owners main tool (that and the RRPG and a stack of well thumbed RC mags), now this is vastly expanded at the click of a mouse, to anybody who fancies jumping on the latest hipster friendly trend and has a few bob behind them.
            I think it comes down to engaging with the owners, building a rapport, which hopefully sees you selling the right stuff to the right shops.
            The poor response from some shops is probably what drives ever more people down the selling on Discogs route. Which is bad for the shops (less coming in) and the people that like to buy in the "real world".
            Back to your final point Johnny, I think we are nearly there, as Discogs becomes the favoured tool on both sides of the counter.
            Everyone tear down your own little wall
            That keeps you from being a part of it all
            Because you've got to be one with the one and all
            You've just got to be close to it all

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chimptown View Post
              isnt it just the modern record collector price guide - only you can see max lowest and median price for a record sold rather than the random number generator of the old paper price guide.
              I think this is right, but there's still a lot of random noise generation in the system. Various outliers skew the ranges (top price for a signed copy, rock bottom price for a 'sleeve only' copy), the confusion over which version you are looking at (unclear what actually differentiates releases - matrix numbers, cover lamination, label variations etc. etc.), many records have too few sales for any value to be statistically significant, a record's value may fluctuate according to geography or over time, it's unclear how accurate the grading is for sold copies, and so on and so on. So just like the old RC guide, it's a pretty blunt instrument that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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              • #8
                I apologize for the egregious mixed metaphor above.

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                • #9
                  Jonny, i suspect despite the lengthy explanation from the shop in question, they were just trying to rip you off. And wonder why they don't ever get any good collections. And once a year a little old lady stumbles in with her husband's jazz collection and thinks a quid a record is fine because that's what they cost 50 years ago...

                  I was in my local shop today and the owner was slavishly pricing every item to Discogs - what did these people do before the internet? I quite agree with you - if a record is on Discogs for a tenner, shops don't need to match that price. It would actually cost you £14 inc. postage on Discogs, and you'd get your record in a week. You don't walk into Pret A Manger and start arguing that if you bought two slices of bread, and some brie and a couple of grapes you could make your own sandwich for 40p...
                  Club stuff: www.facebook.com/DivineGlasgow

                  Mixes: https://www.mixcloud.com/andrewdivine/

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                  • #10
                    I now love the Pret A Manger argument. I am going to start using it.
                    Tune in to OST on Resonance 104.4FM. Saturdays at 4.30pm, and now podcast legally too! Film music, TV music, rare library recordings special guests and anything to do with soundtracks. Listen on-line at www.resonancefm.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Senor Trunk View Post
                      I now love the Pret A Manger argument. I am going to start using it.
                      And me !!
                      Rockwell
                      Banned (DJ Anchovy)

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                      • #12
                        Am I alone in thinking that the shop did nothing wrong here?

                        You took the records to the store, they looked up what they were going for on Discogs and offered a price based on this. If the records in question are freely available online at low prices to a (in theory) worldwide market, then if I owned the store I'd have to question how long they would take to sell to the infinitesimally smaller amount of people that would browse my racks, if at all.

                        Also I'm interested as to how did you work out that retail in a keenly priced shop should be about £80? I'd have though one or a combination of Discogs, RRPG or the likes of Popsike?
                        it's OK to head out for wonderful, but on your way to wonderful, you're gonna have to pass through all right. When you get to all right,
                        take a good look around and get used to it, because that may be as far as you're gonna go.

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                        • #13
                          Isnt discogs just an update to "the book"? Plenty of rants about that ten years ago. A sandwich with brie and grapes?
                          All the Wolpertingers

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cacapo View Post
                            Isnt discogs just an update to "the book"? Plenty of rants about that ten years ago. A sandwich with brie and grapes?
                            and walnuts
                            some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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                            • #15
                              Call me a Luddite but it really irritates me when you drag something interesting looking out of a box on the floor that you have a vague inkling of the value and then the shopkeeper goes straight to discogs and asks for top end. You argue politely then put it back.
                              As a customer I'm prepared to take a leap of faith on something based on the date, the label, the cover or the title but the shopkeeper is not prepared to use his own initiative and experience to do the same.
                              Endless Music in Prestwich, Manchester is terrible for this.

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