Market Report – Vinyl

The market for pre-loved vinyl is pretty much constrained by the price of pre loved CDs, and both are constrained by the prevailing price of CDs and vinyl in Op shops, which tends to be from $2 to $5. My aim is to actually get rid of some vinyl to free up some room in the entertainment cabinet, so after a discerning cull of about 60 or so vinyls it’s off to market with a price of $2 per LP. A last minute review consigns Will Powers, Talking Heads and Julie Brown to the out pile, but the Ozarks and a couple of RRR compilations get a reprieve.
Mr Vinyl, the local market trader, drops in early and takes off with about 10 LPs, 10 singles and the old vinyl single box. This is a vote of confidence in the sale items, but also represents a serious inroad art the quality end of the sale items: the indy singles by Models and Men at Work, and LPs by the Grateful Dead, Traffic, and Neil Young, albeit it is only the banal, mistaken Blue Note LP. On the other hand he has paid exactly the same price as I would have asked of anyone else. Mr V is able to sing along with Mick Jagger c1965 “Time is on my side”, whereas I am humming along to Wreckless Eric c1978 “Take the KASH”. Such is the economics of the Sunday market for the itinerant trader.
I had initially hoped to display the records for sale in the traditional milk crate because I have one in the shed. Sadly I could not do this because I had too many vinyls for the crate. People I mentioned it to thought it would be a good display, but trying it out revealed the traditional flaw in the milk crate storage technology. They were exactly the width of an LP, so the LPs had to be displayed on a 30 degree angle.
A few people fossicked through the bin and I made the odd sale through the morning. The oddest sale was to a teenage girl who picked out three seemingly random singles. Her reason for buying them was so that she could scan the interesting record sleeves and use them in her scrap booking. Maybe one day she’ll even listen to the music. Another guy purchased an original 50’s English Bill Halley EP for the tasteful cover.
A bit later Mr Eclectic dropped by and spent an age poring through the piles of records, turning them over, reading the liner notes, looking for scratches and generally aiming to ensure that he got value for money with any purchase. In the end it was a well spent $6 to buy three records including the Les Mis cast album and an old 1960’s classical Christmas compilation. Money well spent, sir.
Near the end of the market a 30’ish guy dragged his wife and child along and managed to somehow surface from the bin with Benny Hill, which I found frankly astounding. I commended him on being the person with the most refined taste at the market. He later returned like a moth to a flame 10 minutes from the finish and I told him the price was now $1 a vinyl. He then demanded that I sell him 5 more vinyls to be going on with. He sounded like he had a job somewhere in the radio or sound engineering sector and he had been gifted 8 or 9 boxes of vinyl by an old DJ mate of his; old as in elderly. This was great – a captive market at the end of the day. What could I convince him to buy? I sent him happily on his way with Carly Simon, Herman’s Hermits, Flying Pickets and JJ Cale. I was only sorry I couldn’t get him over the line on Will Powers or Julie Brown as I think he would have appreciated them.
Over 5 hours I sold about 30 vinyls and most of what sold was what I considered the better stuff. I was barely able to sell a Compilation “Big Hits” type album and no-one looked at either George Thorogood or Rod Stewart. On the other hand no one went anywhere near either Heaven 17 or Dave Warner, which I thought was unfair.
On a more positive note we did manage to offload the incredibly tacky Michael Jackson Neverland tribute t-shirt to a guy who actually seemed pleased with his buy.
The second hand music business: dealing in people’s (my own) mistakes.


About Greg

Middle aged male, resident at the finest of all latitudes, 37. Reputedly an indoor cricketer.
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