Checklist for b&m music stores – Are you ready for Record Store Day?

Are you ready for Record Store Day? Here’s some last minutes things to check on to make sure you’re really ready!

1) Have all your product? If you’re in dire straits, make some calls and ask for Saturday delivery. Yes, it’ll cost you, but you’ll have the product.

2)Price all the product you have – and locate all the product you have! Make sure there’s no boxes stashed away in the office or back closet. Nothing like discovering Monday that long lost box of Stones RSD only releases!

3) Credit card paper – if you’re still paper dependent, make sure the roll on the credit card machine is full, or near full. If not, replace it now with a full roll and make sure you have more rolls. Place them by the register so you know where they are and won’t waste valuable time looking for it tomorrow. And if you replace the roll, make sure it feeds properly – you don’t want to mess with it tomorrow.

4) Ditto the above for cash register tape. Replace a partially used roll, have spares readily available, re ink the print mech, or install a new ribbon. You do have more ribbons just in case, right? RIGHT? Might be time for a Staples run tonight.

5) Check your bags – plenty of ‘em? Yes? Good. If not, add to the Staples list. You should stick bounce back coupons in all the bags so all those new customers have a reason to come back and see you. Don’t forget facebook address, website, phone, email, etc. so those new folks can easily get a hold of you.

6) Update your facebook, website, Linkedin profile etc. with extended hours if any for tomorrow, band list, special deals, etc.

7) Have signup sheets by your register so people can sign up for your store newsletter with their email address.

Good luck, and sell that vinyl!

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Discogs to raise commission rates May 1, 2012

Just got an email from Discogs – they’re raising their rates from 6%/8% to 8%/10% depending oh how you list your records and cds.

Here’s Discogs rundown on their pricing increase (excerpted from their letter)
To enable the hiring of additional staff and improve our level of service to you, we’re going to be increasing Marketplace selling fees effective May 1st, 2012.

Items sold on or after that date will have the following fees:

8% for Standard Listings
10% for Product Search Listings
(a $0.10 minimum fee will remain in place)

Invoices sent on or after May 1st, 2012 will now be due 10 days after the invoice date.

The other change is the sped-up oayment for your invoice. I sell little music there, so this won’t affect me much. Besides, eBay gives you ten days as well, so this isn’t any huge thing.

Good luck, and sell more vinyl!

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Need more space in your Dropbox account? Here’s a free 500 mb….

If you need more storage, need to share with others, or just need emergency backup for your files, here’s a quick link to Dropbox – you’ll get a free 500 mb and I’ll get a free 500 mb for helping you out. You can build up to 16 gb just by sharing with friends.

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Record Store Day 2012 – Warner Brothers complete list of releases

Here’s a link to the complete list of RSD 4/21/2012 releases from Warner Brothers. Feel free to share with your customers – get those preorders in!

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Where to Sell Your Vinyl Records Online: 5 Places With Updated Reviews

Here’s a roundup of the places I use, or have used in the past, to sell my vinyl online.

First up is the 800 pound gorilla in the room – eBay. For the rare items where it’s hard to set a price – obscure local Northern Soul 45’s, deep groove original pressing Blue Note lps – eBay is the place to set the price, since the buyers determine the final selling price. If you have popular, in demand titles, this, along with Amazon, is still the place. For obscure items waiting for the right buyer, this is also a good place to list it. Unfortunately, eBay’s fees keep getting higher and higher. If you have a store with 5000 items, this will cost you $50 for the storefront and $250.00 just for listing every month. And that’s before you sell anything. Tack on another 15% – 20% to cover selling commissions – and don’t forget eBay takes their cut out of your lowest shipping price too! I still use it for the rare items, but for obscure stuff that needs to wait for the right buyer, I’m sticking more on my own website. I still keep some up on eBay just to let people know that I stock blues, jazz, and Northern Soul.

Number 2 on the list and closing fast is Amazon. Listing is lots faster, especially for barcoded cds and lps. If you have more than a few hundred, it’s worth becoming a pro merchant for $40/month – you won’t pay the extra closing fee. They charge a 15% commission, a closing fee of $1.35 per item, and a 99c fee if you’re not a pro merchant. I wouldn’t list obscure stuff on there – it’d get lost, nor would I list auction quality items there. For classic rock and r&b, I’d sell it there rather than eBay. If you have mainly cds – look into their FBA program – saves you lots of work. Amazon handles all the shipping – the added dollars you can add to the selling price since your item now qualifies for free shipping more than covers their fee. I haven’t tried this with lps yet. I’ll give a report on listing lps on FBA next year.

GEMM – no listing fees, takes a 15% cut. They’ve upgraded their search, but problems still dog it. People don’t list consistently so it’s hard to compare – The Beatles vs. Beatles vs Beatles, The all show up differently. For more obscure titles, it’s not a problem as there are only 1 or 2 listings. But for more popular titles – say you’re trying to locate a particular pressing of “The Wall” by Pink Floyd, it becomes more problematic. Sales also seem to be lacking over there – I’ve only had one sale in the last 3 months. You upload your bulk listings in an Excel format, so if you’re already inventorying your records or uploading to another site in that format, you might as well list them here too.

Discogs – this is the newest site I’ve tried. See my early review last week. Easy to list – as easy as Amazon. Search still leaves something to be desired – the more obscure stuff is not in their catalog and prices don’t seem to be best. No listing fee, only a final value fee of 6% to 8%, and you handle all the payment issues with the customer. Sales also seem to be slim – some Neil Young vinyl I listed hasn’t had a sale in months.

Craigslist – If you just want to get rid of a bunch of stuff cheap, this is the way to do it. I wouldn’t fool with trying to list stuff individually for $5 or $10 – you’ll end up sitting around at home twiddling your thumbs waiting on no-shows. But for getting rid of 50 or 100 at a time, this is a great way of doing it. I usually get 25 cents to 50 cents a record on classic rock, a quarter a piece on r&b and other rock outside of classic, and up to $1 or $2 apiece on jazz. List some titles in your ad so people get a feel for what you have.

There’s some other sites that do vinyl as a sideline – Etsy and Alibris come to mind. And there’s tons of other auction sites out there – but I think the number of sites outnumbers the bidders on them. A lot of them just seem to be a bunch of friends trading amongst themselves. I wouldn’t waste time listing there.

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Discogs.com: Review of new site to sell your vinyl on!

My friends at Omega Music told me about this site. I went ahead and listed about 100 items on there this week – here’s my review and early thoughts on using it.

Registration is free, as is listing. You pay a 6% to 8% final value fee. You set up your own payment terms, postage costs, and related items. Once you set those parameters, you’re ready to list.

It can’t get much easier to list items than on Discogs. All you do is type in the artist’s name and title (if it’s a band like the Beatles that has tons of records – you just need to type in the artist’s name if they only have 1 or 2 lps). On the right hand side, Discogs pops up its choices for your search. Click on the one that has the correct label and catalog number. All the info regarding personnel, track listing, year released, etc. has already been entered for you. Just check off the menu for vinyl condition and sleeve condition (they use Goldmine grading standards), add a note in the comments box – I use this to expand upon condition, noting why that lp is vg, or whatever – and your price. Click ok and you’re done, off to the next one!

When someone buys your lp, you get a message from Discogs. From there, you send an invoice to the buyer with the proper postage for foreign or combined lp purchase. and then they pay you. There seems to be a fair number of non paying buyers – a little annoying – my first sale was cancelled due to a npb.

I’ll list a few hundred more this weekend and see how it rolls. The advantages are no listing fees, no store fees, and only a 6% fvf. Disadvantages seem to be slower sales. For the casual seller, this site is probably great – list a couple crates of records, then sit back and let the sales roll in. For me, an internet only seller, it’s a good way to get rid of lower priced (under $25) stock that is too good, or too obscure, just to do dump in a wholesale lot or at a yard sale.

Please let me know your x

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“Sell Vinyl: A Profitable Sideline” e-book is out – get your discount!

Just published my new e-book “Sell Vinyl: A Profitable Sideline” . From the sales blurb …

“Want to know which one of those 25 cent records are worth $50? Should you pass on the lot of 500 classical music 78s? Are those Blue Note jazz lps worth anything? This book, written by Mike Chlanda, online vinyl seller, blogger on the vinyl lp marketplace, former owner of a brick and mortar (b&m) record store, and with over 25 years of selling vinyl fulltime, is the definitive guide to picking vinyl as a sideline. It lists the top selling lps in the major genres, including rock, jazz, r&b, rap, blues, and country. This guide also includes the high priced sellers in 45s and 78s. Also included are essential reference books, instruction for packing 78’s, 45’s, and lps for safe shipping, where to get cheap packing supplies, and even a section on how to purchase United States postage for up to 25% off face value!

This nearly 50 page guide comes with a 30 day no questions asked refund policy.

Get this book and hit the next yard sale to make some money!”

As you can see it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, and if you use the promo code “iknowmikey”, you’ll get a 50% from the $17 cover price.

Order here:

Discount Code:

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Record Cleaning Fluid: Clean your records & save money by making your own lp cleaner

Tired of paying $5 for a little two ounce bottle of cleaning fluid? Well, here’s an easy way to make your own and save some bucks at the same time.

Supplies – you’ll need lab grade isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, and a surfactant to break the surface tension on the lp. If you really want to be picky, use steam distilled, triple de-ionized water. The isopropyl and the water should be available from a local chemical supply house. I use Ivory dish soap – just a couple drops per 2 oz. bottle should be fine. Others recommend Trton X-114 from Rohm-Hass and Monolan 2000 from Diamond Shamrock. Whatever you use, don’t use the Kodaflow from Kodak – it leaves behind a nasty residue on the record. Bad for the vinyl, bad for the stylus. Even Kodak warned against this use.
Here’s the “secret brew” recipe. One part isopropyl alcohol to four parts water, plus 2 drops of surfactant per 2 ounces of brew.  That’s it!
Use a good nylon brush from Discwasher or Bags Unlimited to get the gunk out with the homebrew cleaner. Let the record absolutely dry before putting away in storage – otherwise you’ll have some nasty mildew on that Barry Manilow record next time you play it. Oh wait, that was already there, engrained in the grooves.

If you have a b&m record store, or do a lot of shows, bottle up some of this, stick on some cool labels, and sell your own magic elixir! Record collectors are notorious for looking for the next new cleaning fix – you might as well make some money off their addiction.

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Blues Records – Top 100 lp sales from last week

Here’s last week’s top 100 blues albums from last week – not many high priced sales, but plenty of relatively common stuff, but still sealed, going for good prices $30 and up. A lot of younger folks have grown up with the clean sound of the cd and want the same sound from the vinyl, driving the price of the audiophile reissues and sealed copies of the original lp up. Me – I’ll take the extra dollars and “invest” it in still more vinyl!

1) Sonny Boy Williamson “Down and Out Blues” Checker LP-1437 $360

2) Sonny Boy Williamson “Down and Out Blues” Checker LP-1437 $355

Two copies this week within $5 of each other – great album, tough to find, as reflected in the price.

3)Robert Johnson “King of the Delta Blues Singers” 1961 Columbia CL-239 mono lp 6 eyes logo $239

4) John Lee Hooker “The Healer” Original Master Lacquers from Chameleon on Classic Records. Unique sealed, RTH 1591-45, 45 rpm lp $228

One of a kind original master lacquers cut from the original master tapes and used by Classic Records to produce stampers that pressed their vinyl reissue editions.
Here’s how it works: In real time, the master tape was running along with the cutting lathe cutting the groove modulations in the master lacquer.  The master lacquer was then electroplated and produced a Master plate used ultimately to make stampers that press vinyl records.  Once the master lacquer has made its metal master it can still be played like an LP and represents the CLOSEST transfer to the original master tape used to cut it!  The sound of lacquer is as close to the sound of the master tape as you can ever get – with the least amount of information lost in the transfer and the highest fidelity.  The master lacquer of a Classic Records title offers the ultimate collectible given there is only one set per title*.  For these special “one of a kind editions” the master lacquers have been delicately trimmed down from 14″ to 12″ in diameter so that they can be played back on any modern turntable.  Each disc is single sided and perfectly flat for playback sound that is nothing short of breathtaking.  Each set is packaged in its own custom box and sealed and numbered to preserve their collectibility. 

5) Robert Johnson “King of the Delta Blues Singers” Columbia CL 239 1961 mono lp 6 eyes logo $222

6) The Best of Little Walter Original pressing on the Chess label # LP 1428 $213

7) Muddy Waters “Muddy Waters – The Chess Box” Japan 11 lp box set $213

8) Lightnin’ Sam Hopkins “Lightnin’s in Town” Folk Art FLP 5003 $171

9) Howlin’ Wolf “Moanin’ in the Moonlight” Chess LP-1434 $160

10) V/A “Walkin’ By Myself” Chess LP-1446 $132

11) John Lee Hooker “The Healer” RTH-2018-45 4 lp set Classic Records 200 Gram SV-PH $131

12) Terry Evans “Puttin’ It Down” Audioquest AQ-LP1038 1995 lp $135

13) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Lightnin’ – The Blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins” Prestige Bluesville BVLP-1019 $121

14) Mighty Sam McClain “Give It Up To Love” Audioquest 1995 lp AQ-LP-1015  $115

15) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins” Folkways Records FS 3822 $113

16) B.B. King “Lucille” MSFL 1235 1994 lp $111

17 Denny King “Evil Wind is Blowing” Specialty 1972   $102

18)  Robert Johnson “The Complete Recordings” Columbia C3 46222 $102

19) Muddy Waters “Best of” Chess LP-1427 1957 $102

T- BONE BLUES/ T Bone Walker Atlantic  LP8020 Orig 1959

20) T- Bone Walker “T-Bone Blues” Atlantic LP 8020 1959 $102

21) Jimmy Davis “Maxwell Street” Elektra mono lp   $100

22) Bobby Bland “The Soul Of The Man” Duke DLP 79 mono $100

23) T-Bone Walker ‘T-Bone Blues” mono wlp Atlantic  $100

24) Lonnie Johnson “Blues By Lonnie Johnson” Bluesville $89

25) Son House  “Negro Blues and Hollers From the Archives of Folk Song Edited by Marshall W. Stearns” Library of Congress (AFS-L59) 1974. With booklet $80

26) Albert King “King Of The Blues Guitar” Stax  lp 1969 $75

27) Muddy Waters “Folk Singer”  200 gram, 45 rpm sealed lp set reissue $80

28) B.B. King “Lucille” MFSL 1-235 $70

29) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Greatest” Prestige Bluesville  BV 108 $67

30) Lightnin’ Hopkins “On Stage” Imperial LP-9180A  $67

31) Muddy Waters “The Muddy Waters Chess Box” Chess MCA 1990 6 lp box set CH6-80002 promo sticker on back $61

32) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Texas Blues Man” Arhoolie F 1034 $60

33) Chicken Shark “100 Ton Chicken” Blue Horizon 1969 BH-7706 UK lp $57

34) Eddie “The Blues Man” Kirkland “It’s The Blues Man” Prestige 15010 mono dark blue label

35) B.B. King “Singin’ The Blues” Crown $60

36) Bobby Bland “Two Steps From the Blues” Duke 617 1961 lp  $60

37) Skip James “Devil Got My Woman” Vanguard VSD 79273 $60

38) Albert King “Born Under A Bad Sign” Stax 1967  $52

39) Joe Willie and His King Biscuit Boys “Memphis Blues Caravan Volume 1″ Adamo ADS 9507  $52

40) T-Bone Walker “Sings the Blues” Imperial $52

41 ) Buddy Guy “The Blues Giant” Isabel Records, French LP 900.500 1973 $53

42) John Lee Hooker “It Serves You Right to Suffer” gatefold lp $51

43) Muddy Waters “The Real Folk Blues” mono lp  $52

44) B.B. King “Lucille” Bluesway 6016 lp sealed $51

45) B.B. King “Live at the Regal” Ace sealed lp $50

46) Ma Rainey “Ma Rainey & the Classic Blues Singers” CBS M-52798 UK 1970  $5047) Steve Cropper & Albert King “Jammed Together” Stax DJ lp  $50

48) Mildred Anderson Person to Person, Prestige Bluesville BVLP1004 $50

49) John Lee Hooker “It Serves You Right to Suffer” Impulse A-9103 mono lp gatefold $49

50) Albert King “Born Under A Bad Sign” Stax lp $52

51) Robert Johnson  “The Complete Recordings” Columbia 3 lp set  $47

51) Jesse Graves -self-titled lp Gazebo G-B 1000 $47

52) Muddy Waters. “Folk Singer” Classic 200g,  2001 $47

 

JOHN LEE HOOKER: “ENDLESS BOOGIE”, STILL SEALED ABC $45

53) John Lee Hooker “Endless Boogie” ABC double lp $45

54) William Clarke “Can’t You Hear Me Talking” 1983 LP  Watch Dog (Torrance, CA) $45

55) Big Mama Thornton “Stronger Than Dirt” Mercury SR 61225 $45

56) Howlin’ Wolf “The Howlin’ Wolf Album” aka “This is Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album…” 1969  Cadet Concept LPS-319
Stereo $45

57) Howlin Wolf: Evil. Chess LP-1540 $45

 

58) Lonesome Sundown “1956-58 LONESOME WHISTLER” Flyright UK lp $45

59) v/a “Memphis Harp and Piano Jam” Japan lp P-Vine Sun PLP-350 with lyrics insert $47

60) Taj Mahal “Giant Step – Old Folks” Sealed 2 lp set 1969 $42

61) Dave Allen Color Blind Blues LP WLP Promo $42

62) Muddy Waters “Muddy Waters Live” Chess 55001 $42

63) Urban Holiness Service Elder Charles D. Beck Folkways Records FR 8901 with booklet $40

64) Doctor Ross “Memphis Breakdown” P-Vine Japan PLP-352 $40

65)Muddy Waters “Muddy Waters’ Woodstock Album” Chess gatefold lp $41

66) Brownie McGhee Sonny Terry “At the 2nd Fret” Bluesville 1058 mono with RVG on deadwax 1962 $40

67) Brownie Mcghee Sonny Terry “Back Country Blues” Savoy MG 14019 mono RVG on deadwax 1958 $40

68) Otis Rush “I Can’t Quit You Baby” Japan Vivid Cobra with Obi VS-6001 $40

69) Muddy Waters “Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live” Columbia 35712 sealed lp $41

70) Howlin’ Wolf “Back Door Wolf” Chess 50045 sealed lp $41

71) Tampa Red  “Don’t Tampa With the Blues” Prestige Bluesvile  BVLP-1030  blue with silver lettering labels.  1961 $41

72) Mighty Joe Young “Bluesy Josephine” sealed lp $40

73)Buddy Guy “I Was Walking Through The Woods” 180 gram audiophile sealed lp $40

74) Blind Lemon Jefferson “The Folk Blues of” 10″ lp Riverside Jazz Archive 1014 mono lp. This very rare eight-song 1953 10-inch album of music recorded in Chicago in the late 1920s by the legendary blues singer, which is not available on CD $40

75) Lightnin’ Hopkins with Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee “Blues Hoot” 180 gram Pure Virgin Vinyl Analogue Pressing on DCC Compact Classics, Limited Edition No. 2371, LPZ-2007 $40

76) Artie White “Dark End of the Street”  WLP Ichiban 1117 1990 $40

77) Willie Dixon “Catalyst” QBQD 1433 Ovation Quadraphonic, stock white sleeve  $40

78) B.B. King “The Electric B.B. King” Bluesway sealed lp $40

79) Muddy Waters “Folk Singer” MFSL 1-201 lp $40

ALBERT COLLINS - Cold Snap Audiophile MFSL LP #1812

80) Albert Collins “Cold Snap” MFSL LP  $40

81) Slim Harpo “Tip On In” Excello 8008 $40

82) Robert Johnson “King of the Delta Bluesmen” 180 gram audiophile Vols. 1 & 2 $40

83) Bukka White “Mississippi Blues Vol. 1″  Takoma B1001  $40

84) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Talkin’ Some Sense”  Jewel 5001 LPS $40

85) Reverend Gary Davis “Pure Religion” Prestige Folklore FL 14028 mono lp 1965 $40

86) Pete Kaufman “The Legendary Pete Kaufman Plays the Back Alley Blues” Herwin Records (H-302-A/B)  Mono lp 1977 $40

87) Josh White “Josh White’s Blues” Mercury MG 20203 lp $40

88) Little Milton “Alone and Blue” P-Vine Sun 1953-54 Recordings PLP-31 with obi $40

89) Memphis Slim “Real Boogie-Woogie” 1960 Folkways LP $40

90) B.B. King “B.B. King Wails” LP Red Vinyl Crown Records CST 147 $40

91) Reverend Gary Davis “A Little More Faith” Prestige Bluesville mono BV-1032 1961 lp $38

92) Lightnin’ Hopkins & Big Mama Thornton “Ball and Chain” Arhoolie 1039 $38

93) Harmonica Slim “The Return of Harmonica Slim” Flying Dutchman Bluestime BTS-9005 $38

94) Sonny Boy Williamson “Bummer Road” Chess CH-1536 stereo 1969 lp  $36

95) B.B. King & Bobby Bland “Together for the First Time…Live” ABC Dunhill DSY-50190/2 $36

96) Chicken Shack “Accept” 1970 Blue Horizon LP BH-4809 $36

97) Son House “Real Delta Blues” Blue Goose LP 2016 $36

98) John Lee Hooker “How Long Blues” 1963 mono Impulse  $36

99) V/A “Harmonica Blues” R. CRUMB cover art Yazoo 1053 lp $36

 

Muddy Waters Folk Singer Chess 1483 Orange/blue lbl

100) Muddy Waters “Folk Singer” Chess 1483 Orange/blue label $36

101) Tampa Red “Don’t Tampa With The Blues” LP Bluesville $36

102) Snooky Pryor “Snooky Pryor and the County Blues” Today 1012 $32

103) John Lee Hooker “Serves You Right To Suffer” Impulse mono lp  $36

104) V/A Son House Skip James etc. “Living Legends” Verve Folkways FT-3010 wlp $35

105) John Brim “Little Hudson” Flyright 568 UK lp $35

106)  Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon “At the Village Gate” Folkways FA 2386 $35
107) Fred McDowell “My Home is in the Delta” Testament T 2208 $35
108) Lightnin’ Hopkins “Something Blue” Verve Folkways $35

109) Dirty Blues Band self-titled Bluesway  $35

100) Blind Gary Davis  “Live At Allegheny College, PA 1964 – Afternoon Workshop” Document  DLP-527  mono 1988 Austria import $30

 

 

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