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What OP needs to do is focus on a few, hand curated titles focusing on the customer’s unique taste and then send those out automatically every month so they can spin them on their Crosleys and post pictures in Instagram.

 

Maybe he can called it VINL?

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5 hours ago, sinking_in_design said:

There's a lot of competition now a days. Ive seen a lot of online vinyl shops come and go. You might survive if you sell a niche genre but  your market dwindles in buyers. Im not too familair with the Canada market, so maybe you can make an impact, but how will you advertise and get traffic to your site?

Bingo. In order to carve out a corner of the online marketplace, you need to either have a lot of money upfront and/or inventory flow OR find a niche market for yourself like experimedia, mount analog, two headed dog, etc. They aren't getting rich either, but they are, in large, able to compete with Bullmoose, Amazon, and the like by carrying very specific types of music. They have relationships with niche labels and distributors. Get shipping breaks by importing in relative bulk. That sort of thing. They hustle a lot, but it works and they have really loyal followings. The one thing none of those stores, or any others of a similar ilk, are attempting to do is sell Wilco, Bowie, and Taylor Swift. That just generally does not work.

 

Unless you've got some white hot stampers on your hands.

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3 hours ago, Sidney Crosley said:

Canada is a really shitty market. Canada Post is one of the main reasons, but there are other factors too. Start with the fact that it can cost anywhere between $11-20 to ship one record, and that taxes can be as high as 14%. The few places in Canada that you can order online usually have limited supply or charge for shipping (take our overlords, SRCVinyl, for example, who don't have a free shipping threshold at any point. I once bought $100 of clearance vinyl - but it cost $130 by the time shipping and taxes were factored in.) This means that it will be mathematically impossible to sell a $16.99 record for under $30. And then even if Amazon.ca has it for $24, it would still be cheaper (and at times quicker) to order from them. 


As a Canadian record buyer, I would love for this to work, but with no Media Mail, and Canada Post rates continually getting to comical amounts, I find it easier to buy from Amazon.ca, ImportCDs/Collector's Choice, the occasional German store (sometimes 4 Euros shipping to Canada), and go in person. Means I don't get anywhere near the amount of deals most Americans get from Amazon.com, Discogs, Bullmoose, etc. but it's the best we can do here.  

 

Not intending to shit on your idea. Canada Post has done that for you.

This.

 

My suggestion?  DO focus on the Canadian market, what you're describing is quite appealing for us Canucks where even local stores (if we have one) have limited and expensive selection.

 

Shipping costs will be your biggest hurdle.  I tend to not buy only one record at a time because of this, any time I can combine shipping I do.  This does mean I miss out on some limited run releases that come and go too quickly.

 

Recognize that, at least initially, you won't be able to compete with Amazon for prices.  Get as many titles as you can, and definitely get as many titles as you can that are NOT sold through the large retailers.  Reach out to all of those smaller labels, get some stock in.  I'll gladly pay a little more per record if I can save on shipping on the other side of the purchase.

 

Offer some sort of layaway.  I've done this with smaller labels, bought something then asked if they could NOT ship it to me right away since I knew something else would be released later that I wanted to buy and I'd rather wait then pay more for shipping twice.  I've left orders sitting for as long as a year doing this.

 

If you're near the boarder definitely source a shipping outlet for your own stock, I have one and ship a ton of stuff there.  I drive down a couple of times a year and pick them up.  Even with the fees associated with it I can sometimes save $10-15 per record.  Be careful of the taxes you might pay at the boarder though.

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Oh Canada, where it’s cheaper and faster to get a record shipped from Germany than Toronto. Where 1 record costs almost as much to ship as 5.

 

There are a few online retailers in Canada who are doing what you plan to. Get a CP business account it’ll cut your shipping a little. The big hurdle will be low cost high quality used records. The region you’re in will have a lot to do with what’s available to you.

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13 hours ago, SpinAgain said:

The plan for marketing is through different outlets. Facebook will be a huge marketing tool for us. I have a Facebook page ready to roll and we plan to roll out advertising campaigns through Facebook, such as contests, giveaways, paid advertisement etc. Also I will be sponsoring a couple record fairs that are set to go ahead this summer locally. 

I deactivated my Facebook account a ways back. It just seems a little obsolete like myspace. I mostly use Instagram now, but its purely dedicated to my hobbies like record collecting. I think if you can tap into building a community somehow you might survive for a while, but you will have to constantly evolve to understand the market.

 

Good customer service is nice, but it won't lead to sales per se. Soundstagedirect.com has awesome customer service, but price is king. 

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On April 2, 2018 at 3:36 PM, Sidney Crosley said:

Canada is a really shitty market. Canada Post is one of the main reasons, but there are other factors too. Start with the fact that it can cost anywhere between $11-20 to ship one record, and that taxes can be as high as 14%. The few places in Canada that you can order online usually have limited supply or charge for shipping (take our overlords, SRCVinyl, for example, who don't have a free shipping threshold at any point. I once bought $100 of clearance vinyl - but it cost $130 by the time shipping and taxes were factored in.) This means that it will be mathematically impossible to sell a $16.99 record for under $30. And then even if Amazon.ca has it for $24, it would still be cheaper (and at times quicker) to order from them. 


As a Canadian record buyer, I would love for this to work, but with no Media Mail, and Canada Post rates continually getting to comical amounts, I find it easier to buy from Amazon.ca, ImportCDs/Collector's Choice, the occasional German store (sometimes 4 Euros shipping to Canada), and go in person. Means I don't get anywhere near the amount of deals most Americans get from Amazon.com, Discogs, Bullmoose, etc. but it's the best we can do here.  

 

Not intending to shit on your idea. Canada Post has done that for you.

I am set up with a supplier who will do drop shipping for me for a small fee.  Therefore I cut out completely using Canada Post. This way I can offer free shipping on most of what I sell within Canada. They will also ship to the states for exact same fee as in Canada so there is potential to expand my business across the  border, biggest thing will be record prices. I feel this will give me a competitive advantage versus the big retailers such as amazon.

 

If anyone is interested in checking out some of our prices head over to www.spinagainrecords.weebly.com. Prices Always include tax.

 

 

Edited by SpinAgain

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I checked out your prices. They are still significantly higher than Amazon. I can't figure out why I wouldn't just buy from Amazon.ca. I see too that you plan to price-match. But then, when you're selling Bon Iver's For Emma for $30, and Amazon has it for $18, you're out 1/3 of the cost once tax is added in. Are you going to make any money like that? 

 

I'm glad you found a way to do cheap shipping. That makes a huge difference. But if you want to actually find a market in Canada, don't just go for the major label releases. Contact US and European independent labels and try to become a distributor for some of the stuff that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to order directly from the label. Especially if you can get access to a few of the rarer variants from certain labels, this would help.  Or even get stock from some of the bigger Canadian Indie labels (Arts & Crafts, Paper Bag, Dine Alone, etc.) so that someone could order all of their stuff at once rather than from different labels.

 

I hope you can succeed. But I think you need a bit more refining as to what you want this to be. If you want it to be the place where Canadians buy records, you'll need to up your inventory into the tens of thousands. If you'd rather keep it small, pick a niche and stick to it. My advice would be to sell stuff that Amazon doesn't - small indie labels with no organic Canadian distribution (or limited distribution). If you can get labels to send stuff near the border and then pick up, you might be able to make a few bucks (Chisel Records was doing a great job of this for a while with mostly punk stuff, but have slowed down in the past little while). Otherwise, I can't see this doing well enough to survive.

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14 hours ago, Sidney Crosley said:

I checked out your prices. They are still significantly higher than Amazon. I can't figure out why I wouldn't just buy from Amazon.ca. I see too that you plan to price-match. But then, when you're selling Bon Iver's For Emma for $30, and Amazon has it for $18, you're out 1/3 of the cost once tax is added in. Are you going to make any money like that? 

 

I'm glad you found a way to do cheap shipping. That makes a huge difference. But if you want to actually find a market in Canada, don't just go for the major label releases. Contact US and European independent labels and try to become a distributor for some of the stuff that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to order directly from the label. Especially if you can get access to a few of the rarer variants from certain labels, this would help.  Or even get stock from some of the bigger Canadian Indie labels (Arts & Crafts, Paper Bag, Dine Alone, etc.) so that someone could order all of their stuff at once rather than from different labels.

 

I hope you can succeed. But I think you need a bit more refining as to what you want this to be. If you want it to be the place where Canadians buy records, you'll need to up your inventory into the tens of thousands. If you'd rather keep it small, pick a niche and stick to it. My advice would be to sell stuff that Amazon doesn't - small indie labels with no organic Canadian distribution (or limited distribution). If you can get labels to send stuff near the border and then pick up, you might be able to make a few bucks (Chisel Records was doing a great job of this for a while with mostly punk stuff, but have slowed down in the past little while). Otherwise, I can't see this doing well enough to survive.

Amazon's price on For Emma is $28.07 plus tax, I'm offering for $30 tax in, both 2012 pressings. Not sure where you found $18 for that title. (Maybe a flash sale? Amazon does have those. Thats why I offer the price match guarantee.) And before I set prices I compare with Amazon to make sure I am competitive.

 

I agree with you about  selling stuff that amazon doesn't. I'm scanning through a few labels to see what I can muster up. Anything you would like to see that you personally find hard to get in the Canadian market?

 

 

Edited by SpinAgain

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11 hours ago, SpinAgain said:

Amazon's price on For Emma is $28.07 plus tax, I'm offering for $30 tax in, both 2012 pressings. Not sure where you found $18 for that title. (Maybe a flash sale? Amazon does have those. Thats why I offer the price match guarantee.) And before I set prices I compare with Amazon to make sure I am competitive.

 

I agree with you about  selling stuff that amazon doesn't. I'm scanning through a few labels to see what I can muster up. Anything you would like to see that you personally find hard to get in the Canadian market?

 

 

Bon Iver was under $20 for the longest time...didn't actually look before writing that.

 

Personally I'd love to see labels that have distro in Canada that often ends up adding a lot to the price, such as Light In The Attic, Paradise of Bachelors, Numero Group, Fire Records, etc. (but that's just me, and I have a rather esoteric taste). Further to that, some smallish punk labels like Topshelf, Run for Cover, 6131, etc.  Lots of folks love Mondo/Dealth Waltz stuff, which I know can be pricy in Canada.  To me, what would be best would be to try to access a small fraction of rare variants from labels that can be sold only in Canada. That is often the reason a lot of buyers still buy from US labels, despite the exorbitant shipping costs.

 

I'd be very curious to find out what you are successful in selling. As someone said before, seems like every store possible is getting in the Bowie, Flaming Lips, TSwift, Kendrick,  etc. I'd be curious to know if that sells in your store, or if stocking rarer/smaller label stuff will get the job done. 

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Again, not trying to shit on you. I've thought about this too - as have most Canadian record buyers - the landscape for online record buying in Canada is pretty barren outside of Amazon. There are plenty of folks here who would be thrilled to see you succeed, but are just skeptical because it is really fucking hard to make this work.

 

If you ever run any discounts, I run a Facebook page called Cheap Vinyl in Canada, which is exactly what it sounds. Send me a message and I'll share a post.

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Why not just buy and collect records and get a job that will always yield you a pay check? I've sold records on the side for 10 years and while it's a nice help to my income, it just turns into more fucking work. I like records less because I'm bombarded with the need to sell all this shit I've bought. Literally have an extra bedroom with 1,500-2,000 records that I plan on selling but lack the motivation to do anything about. And this year makes twenty years since I bought my first record.

 

All this to say, I'd prefer to make a steady paycheck and just randomly sell when I feel like it (which I do, at record shows 3-4 times a year). I hate needing to rely on 'record money' and needing to hustle when I don't make enough. It's stressing, trust me.
 
Anything, even the cool hobbies, turns in to an annoying job eventually. 

Edited by somethingvinyl

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3 hours ago, somethingvinyl said:

Why not just buy and collect records and get a job that will always yield you a pay check? I've sold records on the side for 10 years and while it's a nice help to my income, it just turns into more fucking work. I like records less because I'm bombarded with the need to sell all this shit I've bought. Literally have an extra bedroom with 1,500-2,000 records that I plan on selling but lack the motivation to do anything about. And this year makes twenty years since I bought my first record.

 

All this to say, I'd prefer to make a steady paycheck and just randomly sell when I feel like it (which I do, at record shows 3-4 times a year). I hate needing to rely on 'record money' and needing to hustle when I don't make enough. It's stressing, trust me.
 
Anything, even the cool hobbies, turns in to an annoying job eventually. 

I’ll never quit my day job, I’m not in this to get rich as I’ve mentioned a bunch of times. It’s just something I’m interested in and would like to persue. 

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3 hours ago, somethingvinyl said:

Why not just buy and collect records and get a job that will always yield you a pay check? I've sold records on the side for 10 years and while it's a nice help to my income, it just turns into more fucking work. I like records less because I'm bombarded with the need to sell all this shit I've bought. Literally have an extra bedroom with 1,500-2,000 records that I plan on selling but lack the motivation to do anything about. And this year makes twenty years since I bought my first record.

 

All this to say, I'd prefer to make a steady paycheck and just randomly sell when I feel like it (which I do, at record shows 3-4 times a year). I hate needing to rely on 'record money' and needing to hustle when I don't make enough. It's stressing, trust me.
 
Anything, even the cool hobbies, turns in to an annoying job eventually. 

not about records specifically, but I think it depends on the person and the situation. I have been self employed as an irrigation repair/install tech for 5 years and have a few landscape maintenance accounts for guaranteed recurring payments. I make okay money. What helps in a successful business? Multiple enterprises. I also resell(fine call it flipping) toys that I find from Goodwill, Craigslist, friends, etc. Adds to my income nicely when I really try. On top of that, I dabble in investments, which has yet to do much for me but still learning. I am by no means rich, but I LOVE the hustle every day. Sure there are days where I may make only $50, but I put that on me as the person doing the work; I need to work harder I tell myself. As it stands I make comparable doing what I do, working ~25 hours a week, to what I would make at a 40 hr/wk job with a steady paycheck. There are extra headaches like getting your own insurance, quarterly taxes (UGH), finding inventory or customers, handling marketing, etc. I can't see the next time I will go back to working for someone else, but hey that's just my opinion man.

 

TLDR: Some people enjoy the hustle over a paycheck from a company. To each his/her own, but I enjoying compounding my "bad" stress into "good" stress which, in turn, lights a fire under my ass to work harder and pay da bills.

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1 hour ago, kjkenney said:

not about records specifically, but I think it depends on the person and the situation. I have been self employed as an irrigation repair/install tech for 5 years and have a few landscape maintenance accounts for guaranteed recurring payments. I make okay money. What helps in a successful business? Multiple enterprises. I also resell(fine call it flipping) toys that I find from Goodwill, Craigslist, friends, etc. Adds to my income nicely when I really try. On top of that, I dabble in investments, which has yet to do much for me but still learning. I am by no means rich, but I LOVE the hustle every day. Sure there are days where I may make only $50, but I put that on me as the person doing the work; I need to work harder I tell myself. As it stands I make comparable doing what I do, working ~25 hours a week, to what I would make at a 40 hr/wk job with a steady paycheck. There are extra headaches like getting your own insurance, quarterly taxes (UGH), finding inventory or customers, handling marketing, etc. I can't see the next time I will go back to working for someone else, but hey that's just my opinion man.

 

TLDR: Some people enjoy the hustle over a paycheck from a company. To each his/her own, but I enjoying compounding my "bad" stress into "good" stress which, in turn, lights a fire under my ass to work harder and pay da bills.

Yep, it's headache both ways - self-employed or working for the Man. It's just a matter of which headaches suit you best. I used to work for the Man, but I prefer the headaches that go with autonomy. To each his own.

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On 4/11/2018 at 5:53 PM, SpinAgain said:

I’ll never quit my day job, I’m not in this to get rich as I’ve mentioned a bunch of times. It’s just something I’m interested in and would like to persue. 

That's good. I'm just offering my thoughts. I've been through this and it didn't work for me on a small scale.

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On 4/11/2018 at 6:07 PM, kjkenney said:

not about records specifically, but I think it depends on the person and the situation. I have been self employed as an irrigation repair/install tech for 5 years and have a few landscape maintenance accounts for guaranteed recurring payments. I make okay money. What helps in a successful business? Multiple enterprises. I also resell(fine call it flipping) toys that I find from Goodwill, Craigslist, friends, etc. Adds to my income nicely when I really try. On top of that, I dabble in investments, which has yet to do much for me but still learning. I am by no means rich, but I LOVE the hustle every day. Sure there are days where I may make only $50, but I put that on me as the person doing the work; I need to work harder I tell myself. As it stands I make comparable doing what I do, working ~25 hours a week, to what I would make at a 40 hr/wk job with a steady paycheck. There are extra headaches like getting your own insurance, quarterly taxes (UGH), finding inventory or customers, handling marketing, etc. I can't see the next time I will go back to working for someone else, but hey that's just my opinion man.

 

TLDR: Some people enjoy the hustle over a paycheck from a company. To each his/her own, but I enjoying compounding my "bad" stress into "good" stress which, in turn, lights a fire under my ass to work harder and pay da bills.

Ah. I think your situation is slightly different than OP's. But you're right, it's one's preference to which way they're built. For me, having a child, I can't handle the stress. I like getting paid if I'm on vacation or sick. But I see the appeal in the freedom in working for yourself.

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Update for anyone who is curious.

 

I have been live now for about a week. I have done over a $1000 in sales. Most sales have come locally I have also shipped records across the border as well as ontario. I have been getting extremely positive feedback locally as well as from those who have ordered from me.

 

www.spinagainrecords.weebly.com

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