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List of Record Stores that overcharged for RSD releases

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Not to say that there aren't people being assholes out there but please keep in mind these ABSOLUTE FACTS.

 

1. MSRP doesn't really mean shit in the real world. Not only is the MSRP set by the original label/distro but it many times doesn't match up with typical mark ups. For instance for things like $25 or under on the floor the MSRP matches pretty closely with your typical stores mark up. Essentially a 50% mark up (which is really shitty for a retail business by the way.) But when you get in to box sets lets say and the MSRP is like $60 that's essentially saying "yeah you invested $50 in this but you can't get your mark up which would put it at $74.99, so yeah only make $10 on this big investment instead". Which as you can imagine...stings, and isn't going to happen most places.

 

2. These records start out in one distro and then go to others and then others from there. So what may have started out as a $10 wholesale originally once you get down to a third or fourth hand place could end up being $25 wholesale. I have seen this happen first hand as I watch these RSD releases hit the waves of distributors. It gets insane. Especially at a place like Cobraside who essentially were charging the same prices I had out for retail as their wholesale prices. If you ordered from them because you were stuck or didn't know better you'd end up with prices waaaaaay higher than anyone else.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to drop that little bit of knowledge on the subject and say that while I'm sure there are jerks, just because you saw it for more than MSRP doesn't mean someone was trying to get one over on you.

 

 

Well said, man! I know of a store that marked up the GZA box set to almost $100 because they had to pay over the MSRP just to get a copy smh

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3 of the 4 stores I went to around here(Rediscover Records, Algonquin Records, and Rainbow Records) I paid about retail for.  I know two of the owners personally and I am happy to say that I stood in line just like everyone else and got what was available.  They do not reserve/hold and I would never put them in that position.  The prices were right in line with what is on Bull Moose, maybe a couple dollars more here or there.  The 4th place I went to, Vinyl Frontier in McHenry, was on the filp side.  I did not get there until 12:30 as it was my last stop.  They had quite a few things I would have picked up, however the prices were too steep for me.  They had the All That Remains for $30, At the Drive In for $50, Cake for $11, Flaming Lips for $85, Joan Jett for $30, Mad Season for $45, 

 

Those were the ones I remembered.  They put the price on the back so you have to grab and look at it to figure it out  

 

When I got home yesterday I looked up Mumford and Sons on ebay as I really wanted it for my wife.  I found a store on there, Zions Gate from Seattle, that had it listed right away BIN for $30.  They have a ton of RSD releases listed.  AtDI is listed for $100, Blind Melon for $90, Jandek for $120, Flaming Lips for $130.

 

What gets me about this place is they are listed on RSD website and have signed the pledge.  What they are doing is going against that pledge.  This is what drives me crazy and really pisses me off.  This is not what RSD is about, this is about bands giving to the fans, not record stores gouging the fans.

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Report them to the RSD people!

 

3 of the 4 stores I went to around here(Rediscover Records, Algonquin Records, and Rainbow Records) I paid about retail for.  I know two of the owners personally and I am happy to say that I stood in line just like everyone else and got what was available.  They do not reserve/hold and I would never put them in that position.  The prices were right in line with what is on Bull Moose, maybe a couple dollars more here or there.  The 4th place I went to, Vinyl Frontier in McHenry, was on the filp side.  I did not get there until 12:30 as it was my last stop.  They had quite a few things I would have picked up, however the prices were too steep for me.  They had the All That Remains for $30, At the Drive In for $50, Cake for $11, Flaming Lips for $85, Joan Jett for $30, Mad Season for $45, 

 

Those were the ones I remembered.  They put the price on the back so you have to grab and look at it to figure it out  

 

When I got home yesterday I looked up Mumford and Sons on ebay as I really wanted it for my wife.  I found a store on there, Zions Gate from Seattle, that had it listed right away BIN for $30.  They have a ton of RSD releases listed.  AtDI is listed for $100, Blind Melon for $90, Jandek for $120, Flaming Lips for $130.

 

What gets me about this place is they are listed on RSD website and have signed the pledge.  What they are doing is going against that pledge.  This is what drives me crazy and really pisses me off.  This is not what RSD is about, this is about bands giving to the fans, not record stores gouging the fans.

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I know that MSRP is just a suggestion, but that doesn't excuse stores from using the sheer number of releases and the investment they had to make to get the items, as a reason to jack up the prices higher than normal.

 

I think this year, by far, was the most expensive RSD/Black Friday event.  I've seen countless stories and saw first hand several people that had to put back releases because they just couldn't afford them.  How the prices of vinyl continue to increase baffles me.  Let's use the Coheed Demos releases as an example.

 

On Black Friday, I paid $15.99 for the clear vinyl Coheed Demos LP that was limited to just 1000.  For RSD, they made a similar clear vinyl Demos LP for Descension and this time pressed 1500 more copies (2500 total) and yet, my price was $20.99??  WTF?  Did the same item really basically increase $5 in just 6 months?   Aren't we told that when you press more copies of a LP, the cheaper it is to manufacture?

 

I saw the Section 25 7" for over $25 at a store, the Husker Du 2x7" was nearly $20 at several places.   

 

I know that several of the CIMS/AIMS stores created a "RSD Master" spreadsheet that listed what the MSRP was and what the price was wholesale from the label and what the prices were from each different distributor, so they knew where to buy what items at the best prices. So unless some of the stores were buying items from a UK distributor, then some of the prices are just outright bullshit.

 

Let's look at a few more examples:

 

Cream Boxset direct from Warner was $58.   So the list was really supposed to be $90?  Stores really needed $31 per box?

Botch LP---direct cost was $18.65, suggested price was $27.99....yet several charged over $30.

Dazed & Confused Soundtrack --direct cost was $21.25, suggested price was $32.98---I've seen prices at $38.99 and up.

 

So who's fault is it?  Is it the label's for over pricing items to capitalize on the RSD/vinyl sales craze?  Is it the stores fault, for being forced to try and get in multiple copies of over 400 items (thus going over $20K in debt to the labels/distributors) and trying to charge an extra markup because they know RSD will be publicized and they'll only see people on RSD that will never venture into their store the other 364 days?

 

All I know is that RSD is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth as it continues each year.  I had a very generous tax return that I set aside to buy the items I wanted (which were a lot) and it is a sad fucking day when I can buy everything I want because the prices are just too much.  I hope if anyone who owns a store or works with RSD reads this, to at least give serious consideration to lowering prices for Black Friday, because if the trend is to continue to increase prices and release more product, then RSD will become a joke and all you'll see is stores stuck with leftover RSD product for years----which is already happening.......I've already seen Facebook posts from several national stores I follow stating they still have "hundreds" of RSD items in stock!!  

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"On Black Friday, I paid $15.99 for the clear vinyl Coheed Demos LP that was limited to just 1000.  For RSD, they made a similar clear vinyl Demos LP for Descension and this time pressed 1500 more copies (2500 total) and yet, my price was $20.99??  WTF?  Did the same item really basically increase $5 in just 6 months?   Aren't we told that when you press more copies of a LP, the cheaper it is to manufacture?"

 

Not always the case and take it up with the label about that.

 

"I saw the Section 25 7" for over $25 at a store, the Husker Du 2x7" was nearly $20 at several places."

 

Once again not everyone orders from the same places. I went direct for the Husker Du so I had them for $13.99.   

 

"I know that several of the CIMS/AIMS stores created a "RSD Master" spreadsheet that listed what the MSRP was and what the price was wholesale from the label and what the prices were from each different distributor, so they knew where to buy what items at the best prices. So unless some of the stores were buying items from a UK distributor, then some of the prices are just outright bullshit."

 

Not every store is apart of CIMS/AIMS. I'm not. I had no access to any such list nor is it widely circulated. Also just because distributer X has it for $x doesn't mean that distributor will deal with that store. It took me three years for WEA to set me up with an account because of their arcane rules. My next best option for that stuff was SuperD which is often marked up way beyond the intial asking price. These are facts of running a business and a record store in this day and age. Distribution is not a clear path from label to store. It just isn't.

 

 

"Cream Boxset direct from Warner was $58.   So the list was really supposed to be $90?  Stores really needed $31 per box?"

 

Mine was at $87. And yeah. I do need that. It's called return on investment. You don't just invest whatever and get the same $10 back on it no matter how much you put in. That's not how a business works.

 

 

"So who's fault is it?  Is it the label's for over pricing items to capitalize on the RSD/vinyl sales craze?  Is it the stores fault, for being forced to try and get in multiple copies of over 400 items (thus going over $20K in debt to the labels/distributors) and trying to charge an extra markup because they know RSD will be publicized and they'll only see people on RSD that will never venture into their store the other 364 days?

 

All I know is that RSD is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth as it continues each year.  I had a very generous tax return that I set aside to buy the items I wanted (which were a lot) and it is a sad fucking day when I can buy everything I want because the prices are just too much.  I hope if anyone who owns a store or works with RSD reads this, to at least give serious consideration to lowering prices for Black Friday, because if the trend is to continue to increase prices and release more product, then RSD will become a joke and all you'll see is stores stuck with leftover RSD product for years----which is already happening.......I've already seen Facebook posts from several national stores I follow stating they still have "hundreds" of RSD items in stock!!  "

 

Your ire is your fault. You have a little bit of knowledge but you don't actually know what's actually going on because the businesses you're talking about...aren't your business. I get the frustration from an outside perspective but being on the inside here I can tell you that you're off base in a lot of places.

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Well said, man! I know of a store that marked up the GZA box set to almost $100 because they had to pay over the MSRP just to get a copy smh

I find it hard to believe that a retailer would pay more than MSRP for an item that wasnt in high demand and risk having said item sit on the shelf because of an eBay-like price. Sorry, I just don't buy it.

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Blue Groove sucks. The store is a mess. They never return emails. And they are way over priced. You should have just drove into DC and went to one of the 4 shops on 18th ST NW

I did later, after visiting a surprisingly still stocked cd cellar. I found everything I was looking for for normal price except Elephant. But with a black vinyl version coming later this year, I'm ok with not paying too much or stressing over color vinyl.

And I agree on all things you said about the store and then some, but I figured he'd have a lot, and he did. I just didn't expect that much of a price gouge.

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I find it hard to believe that a retailer would pay more than MSRP for an item that wasnt in high demand and risk having said item sit on the shelf because of an eBay-like price. Sorry, I just don't buy it.

 

Well, 1. some people are stupid or rather they're ignorant. 2. sometimes if something is in such high demand you may do what it takes to bring it in.

 

On a related note I didn't bring in that box because i thought it was expensive and hardly anyone would want it. It was one of the most requested items yesterday though. Had I brought in some I could have sold them easily.

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Correct me if I'm wrong people, but normally the larger stores get away with marking up the price a little bit (think $5 to $10 more) because they get guaranteed foot traffic whereas the tiny record store usually has to price things cheaper than the larger stores to move inventory.

 

Obviously if the tiny record store overprices by say 40%+, then they will get no business whatsoever.

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Correct me if I'm wrong people, but normally the larger stores get away with marking up the price a little bit (think $5 to $10 more) because they get guaranteed foot traffic whereas the tiny record store usually has to price things cheaper than the larger stores to move inventory.

 

Obviously if the tiny record store overprices by say 40%+, then they will get no business whatsoever.

 

Not always the case at all. In general big stores have lower prices becuase they can buy in volume. Smaller stores may not get those discounts. It's really down to how on top of shit the buyers are and what they end up marking it up.

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Not always the case at all. In general big stores have lower prices becuase they can buy in volume. Smaller stores may not get those discounts. It's really down to how on top of shit the buyers are and what they end up marking it up.

Right. I just said larger stores can get away with it, not that they all actually do it.

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Well, 1. some people are stupid or rather they're ignorant. 2. sometimes if something is in such high demand you may do what it takes to bring it in.

On a related note I didn't bring in that box because i thought it was expensive and hardly anyone would want it. It was one of the most requested items yesterday though. Had I brought in some I could have sold them easily.

So in hindsight, if faced with the scenario the other user described, you would have paid over MSRP and put it on your shelf for $100?

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Not always the case at all. In general big stores have lower prices becuase they can buy in volume. Smaller stores may not get those discounts. It's really down to how on top of shit the buyers are and what they end up marking it up.

 

 

MSRP is suggested retail. You also have to take into account that larger stores buy in volumes, but they also get stuck with stock that doesnt move. My largest local store must have had at least 15 copies of the Lips set by 3 still left. I am sure they sold a few but still are going to get stuck with them. Not all of these releases sell like hot cakes and alot sit.

 

They also have staff to pay, overheard of inventory, leases, etc. Just because you are a big store doesnt mean that you charge less

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Not me. Ever. I would have gotten it directly like I had an opportunity but balked on. I used to pass on all kinds of shit like Joan Jett or Elvis Costello or whatever there are millions of in dollar bins because I figured no one would pay $20 for some 180gram version. I was way wrong. So many titles I laughed off ended up being top requests. That GZA thing was something I should have taken another look at but it just seemed so out there. I'm just saying I get where some people come from/fuck up.

So in hindsight, if faced with the scenario the other user described, you would have paid over MSRP and put it on your shelf for $100?

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MSRP is suggested retail. You also have to take into account that larger stores buy in volumes, but they also get stuck with stock that doesnt move. My largest local store must have had at least 15 copies of the Lips set by 3 still left. I am sure they sold a few but still are going to get stuck with them. Not all of these releases sell like hot cakes and alot sit.

 

They also have staff to pay, overheard of inventory, leases, etc. Just because you are a big store doesnt mean that you charge less

 

This too. There aren't these hard fast, everything is the same for everyone rules out there. RSD presents it like it's this grand even playing field and it's not. Not even a little.

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Not me. Ever. I would have gotten it directly like I had an opportunity but balked on. I used to pass on all kinds of shit like Joan Jett or Elvis Costello or whatever there are millions of in dollar bins because I figured no one would pay $20 for some 180gram version. I was way wrong. So many titles I laughed off ended up being top requests. That GZA thing was something I should have taken another look at but it just seemed so out there. I'm just saying I get where some people come from/fuck up.

I think you're missing the point. The scenario he described is essentially unbelievable. It just doesn't add up. Period. Look, I get what you're saying about getting a lot of requests for this yesterday but I'd bet a months salary that the majority of those people were completely oblivious to it being $60-$70. Each and every year there are a new crop of "vinyl enthusiasts" that show up to their first RSD and you hear them in line talking about things they want and they have no clue about the details. Just a couple of examples—while sitting in line yesterday a few people were talking about the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. I chimed in and said that it looked nice but $35-40 was just too much. None of them had a clue of the price and all but 1 guy said fuck that. Same scenario with Zaireeka. So I understand you had requests, I highly doubt you would have been able to move them easily. I can purchase one right now with free shipping from the comfort of my sofa for $59.97 from one of the most renowned hip hop websites in all the land. If they couldn't move them all, I doubt there was a serious demand.

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I think you're missing the point. The scenario he described is essentially unbelievable. It just doesn't add up. Period. Look, I get what you're saying about getting a lot of requests for this yesterday but I'd bet a months salary that the majority of those people were completely oblivious to it being $60-$70. Each and every year there are a new crop of "vinyl enthusiasts" that show up to their first RSD and you hear them in line talking about things they want and they have no clue about the details. Just a couple of examples—while sitting in line yesterday a few people were talking about the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. I chimed in and said that it looked nice but $35-40 was just too much. None of them had a clue of the price and all but 1 guy said fuck that. Same scenario with Zaireeka. So I understand you had requests, I highly doubt you would have been able to move them easily. I can purchase one right now with free shipping from the comfort of my sofa for $59.97 from one of the most renowned hip hop websites in all the land. If they couldn't move them all, I doubt there was a serious demand.

 

I think you may be missing the point that things are different on a case by case basis. I don't know anything about this hip hop website you're talking about. I can't speak to where they got the stuff or why they're selling it for that. I can speak to the fact that I laughed off a $20 LP and I could have sold dozens. I wouldn't have gone heavy on that box but I would have brought in 2 if I could go back in time and get them direct. I'm just saying that maybe this other store had so many phone calls they were like "shit, we need to get this, I think even though it's a lot people will buy it" so they made a tough call and dived in. The window on RSD releases is wide open on RSD and gets smaller and smaller every hour you get away from the actual day. On RSD that store may have sold those for whatever price but the following days that possibility of sales gets smaller and smaller. It's a gamble and some times you lose/make stupid bets.

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I think you may be missing the point that things are different on a case by case basis. I don't know anything about this hip hop website you're talking about. I can't speak to where they got the stuff or why they're selling it for that. I can speak to the fact that I laughed off a $20 LP and I could have sold dozens. I wouldn't have gone heavy on that box but I would have brought in 2 if I could go back in time and get them direct. I'm just saying that maybe this other store had so many phone calls they were like "shit, we need to get this, I think even though it's a lot people will buy it" so they made a tough call and dived in. The window on RSD releases is wide open on RSD and gets smaller and smaller every hour you get away from the actual day. On RSD that store may have sold those for whatever price but the following days that possibility of sales gets smaller and smaller. It's a gamble and some times you lose/make stupid bets.

 

 

This also. I always wonder why people are standing in line for 3 hours to pick up Joan Jett. Like other people say, people goto these things and dont goto stores any other day of the year. The window for selling a 20 dollar Joan Jett lp is pretty much RSD only. People who frequent record stores weekly know that they can get this for 3 dollars used and will never buy this 20 dollar version

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This also. I always wonder why people are standing in line for 3 hours to pick up Joan Jett. Like other people say, people goto these things and dont goto stores any other day of the year. The window for selling a 20 dollar Joan Jett lp is pretty much RSD only. People who frequent record stores weekly know that they can get this for 3 dollars used and will never buy this 20 dollar version

Precisely why the only things I try to get on RSD are new 45s/LPs/EPs. Reissues and Represses are a big no-no to me.

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I think you may be missing the point that things are different on a case by case basis. I don't know anything about this hip hop website you're talking about. I can't speak to where they got the stuff or why they're selling it for that. I can speak to the fact that I laughed off a $20 LP and I could have sold dozens. I wouldn't have gone heavy on that box but I would have brought in 2 if I could go back in time and get them direct. I'm just saying that maybe this other store had so many phone calls they were like "shit, we need to get this, I think even though it's a lot people will buy it" so they made a tough call and dived in. The window on RSD releases is wide open on RSD and gets smaller and smaller every hour you get away from the actual day. On RSD that store may have sold those for whatever price but the following days that possibility of sales gets smaller and smaller. It's a gamble and some times you lose/make stupid bets.

Jesus Christ dude. Go back and look at the comment you chose to interject yourself. I simply stated that the users story from a shop owner sounded suspect. I really don't give a shit about what you could've sold at your store. It's obvious you have the tiger by the tail and the best part is that you personify every typical preconceived notion people have about record store employees. I'll stick with my theory that the majority of your customers were clueless to the price tag when they inquired about it.

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Jesus Christ dude. Go back and look at the comment you chose to interject yourself. I simply stated that the users story from a shop owner sounded suspect. I really don't give a shit about what you could've sold at your store. It's obvious you have the tiger by the tail and the best part is that you personify every typical preconceived notion people have about record store employees. I'll stick with my theory that the majority of your customers were clueless to the price tag when they inquired about it.

 

 

You are setting a theory based on your interaction with a few people and calling him out. That is what we call a hypocrite

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