That’s Entertainment!

Paul Weller is no longer sanctioning any releases for Record Store Day. Statement. This is a welcome move as there have been grumblings for some time. It’s a complicated issue though. Here are some figures.

A normal 7″ single costs a shop £3-£4. It will retail in a shop for £4-£6. No one makes much on a regular single as they cost £2-£3 to make in a small run. **

A Record Store Day single probably averages £5-£6 for the shop to buy. The shop wants a margin and will sell for £7-£10. Eyewatering prices tend to mean the shops have had to pay quite a bit for the records. In fact the amount a shop pays is often a decent RRP. This is a picture of me finding out the cost of one particular RSD release.

 

How Much for the Notorious BIG?!

How much for the Notorious BIG?!

 

The Paul Weller single was incredibly limited. Only 500 for all of his fans in the UK. That equates roughly to 2 per RSD shop. Not all shops deal with his distributor though and they are free to sell none to some and a fair few to others depending on the regular business they do.

We deal with the distributor a handful of times a year so getting one copy is understandable.  Mind you, we deal with them more than some larger shops. I’m nae sure how many were allocated to Scottish shops. Allocating 2 per RSD shop would give Scotland about 32 out of the 500.

With 1/10 of the UK population we’d expect 50 copies assuming our Weller fan ratio is the same as the UK. Enough of this speculation though, RSD allocation should not be the main reason for wanting Scottish Independence. Mind you, I didn’t see anything about “RSD Scotland” in the White Paper… Write to your MP.

So, VoxBox was allocated 1 copy.

We opened at 0930 and took orders before opening. We asked the front 10 people to write in order their 3 preferences. One person in the first 3 had written.

“Weller single”

Nothing else.

I don’t remember if he was first in the queue, but he was in the queue only to get that record.

He bought the record and I hope was then a happy customer. As the saying goes; Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man first in the queue.

No-one, Paul Weller included has made much money on the Weller single other than the folk selling on ebay. That is their right though and Paul and VoxBox have enjoyed the free publicity. Shops getting caught not putting it on the shelf at all? I’d like to think they’ll be punished appropriately by the RSD organiser, not by the artists themselves but Paul has highlighted something that has been causing increasing cynicism every year…

That is, the touting and the overpricing of things to take advantage of fans. It is a very complex issue and Record Store Day is not the problem per se. I love Record Store Day and if I had my way, the day would be about REALLY cheap releases readily available. Everyone likes a bargain. He’s right about the problems with RSD. I’d prefer if Paul and other artists spoke out first about overpriced gig tickets, the legal touts (Get Me In and Seatwave) and the likely corruption there, as well as RSD’s problems that others have documented.

This photo was taken by me sitting in Row BB at Paul Weller’s Edinburgh Castle gig last year. I paid about £45 for a (non tout) ticket but refused to pay £30 for the T Shirt. Like I said, it’s complicated.

That's Entertainment!

That’s Entertainment!

 

** For a few weeks I’d been pondering how much to charge for ‘The Weller Single’. Cost £6. Resale value about £35. (Normal sale price for a single £4-£6). Normal margin on a single 25-50%. It should have been £9. I inflated the price to £15 as there is no RRP on RSD stock and I simply felt that £9 is too little for something so rare. What if the early riser was a known ebay chancer? Can I increase the price on the spot? Can I refuse to sell it? That’d look really bad. Should I make the buyer dance like Billy Elliot to a Town Called Malice? Or start naming JAM B-sides? I have my thinking hat on for next year.

 

  • Michael Moloney

    The main issue lies with the record companies who make no effort to match supply to the demand for these releases and for that reason I decided not to indulge them this year. For retailers the RRP is just a recommendation – the day is supposed to support independent retailers so I see no reason why you couldn’t boost the price.

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VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.

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