Another Record Store Day (RSD) drop is here. Many record collectors and vinyl enthusiasts will brave heat waves, rain storms or hours of standing in long lines to get some of those sweet sweet RSD releases.
Many record collectors eagerly wait for the RSD list to be released and then go into planning mode about what releases to get. Perhaps prioritizing based on budget or availability, and then getting ready for the big day to rush into the store and scoop up all those prized albums.
When Disappointment Strikes
We’ve all had those years. That one limited record is snatched up by someone else in the record store. We waited for hours for ONE record. So, we frantically travel to all the nearest record stores in the area desperate to try and get our hands on it. Everywhere we go. It’s gone.
The Next Step… Ebay?
For many collectors, the next logical step is eBay or Discogs. You search for that prized record only to see it marked up 5x or 10x. The frustration builds as you know it is clearly just a flipper who bought the record with the intention to sell at a marked up price rather than to listen and enjoy.
The Problem With Record Flippers
“Flippers” are a hot button topic in many vinyl communities. There is a growing frustration of how many people are buying hard to find records, simply to sell them for profit on the secondary market. This is not exclusive to vinyl, you see this happening frequently with any hard to find item such as the newest generations of gaming consoles.
Many collectors point to bots buying up records on websites, or even accusing some record stores of some shady tactics during Record Store Day. It’s an emotional situation with a lot of grey area that is fueled by frustration in not getting a highly desired record.
The reality is that flippers will continue to exist and prosper if people are willing to pay, and many of us do succumb to that purchase when we desperately want a particular album.
One Thing We Can Do As Collectors: Consider Letting Go
It’s very easy to say, just let it go. Very hard to do in reality. The hype machine of Record Store Day makes us want those limited releases. But when a record does “get away” maybe letting go is better than paying $200 for one record and fueling the actions of flippers. Consider redirecting those funds to other records you can buy for retail price, preferably at local indie shop, and perhaps enjoy more than that one record alone.
If more and more collectors adopted that attitude eventually those flipper prices would have to go down due to lowering demand. But again that is easier said than done. Ultimately it’s your hard earned cash and its up to you to evaluate the value of every record yourself.
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