From its inception, we have been a bit leary of RSD. It’s a huge phenomenon at this point and all of the pomp and circumstance gets lost with us. Overpriced, limited vinyl records produced once a year just seems a bit too much. It’s been said that this invented holiday has a direct impact on the country’s record pressing plants, clogging up channels to get records out by people who make records every day. Although we do think the attention it draws to independent record stores around the world is a good thing, it’s always been a bit campy to us. We tolerate it. It’s gone from something small to a huge business that has become the norm several times a year. We’ve already debated this formula with RSD founders and record heads alike, so we don’t need to get into it again. However, we saw some stuff yesterday that caught our attention. Usually after RSD (literally minutes after a participating record store opens), you will see the day’s releases up on ebay. However, some seller with moxie listed over a hundred RSD 2015 releases for sale at crazy, inflated, Buy It Now prices. The fact that RSD isn’t until April 18th and there for sale already throws up a red flag. Capitalism at it’s finest (or worst) people. It’s either a RSD shop that is not selling the records to the public, or some go getter who will buy each one of these releases and fill the pre-orders (if you will) as soon as they can. Risky business we’d say. Illegal? Not as of yet. While RSD co-founder Carrie Colliton had this to say: “The majority of [RSD] listings on EBay in advance are people who do not have the releases, but are listing titles in hopes of getting people to pay for them in advance. Then they go out and try to fill the orders on Record Store Day. We think selling something you don’t have in your possession and can’t guarantee you will have is fraudulent.” But is it really? A check through the ebay selling policies had no mention of selling something you didn’t have in hand. If the party who was silly enough to bid on this make believe item didn’t receive it, then there might be a problem and ebay would have to intervene. This seems like a grey area to us, but personally we wouldn’t advertise something for sale we didn’t have. No comment from ebay on this topic either as of yet, but we are curious on how they feel on this topic. Oh the humanity of Record Store Day!
Some of the listings such as The White Stripes reissue Get At Me Satan are $149 already, as well as a variety of 7 inch slabs that are $99. A-Ha “Take On Me” picture disc at $100? Even Crazy Eddie would find this insane. This supply and demand is nothing new with vinyl record commerce, but as RSD comes into the picture, these often inflated prices jump through the roof when sellers who want to make a quick buck off of some unsuspecting rubes who don’t support their local record store any other time decide that they need to have a $100+ copy of Bruce Springsteen you could otherwise buy for a buck if you just hit your local’s dollar bins. That’s what we find insane. If I were new to the vinyl game, I wouldn’t base my purchases on over priced new releases. Granted these special editions aren’t available every day, and they are specifically created for RSD, but it doesn’t feel right. You want a Zombies or Deep Purple record? Hit up a flea market, garage sale, or again, your local record shop and get it any day they are open. It will be good to see how these pre-sale for RSD ebay auctions play out, and how it could change the playing field for how consumers continue to buy these releases a few times a year. On that note, I’m off to my local record shop to buy 99 $1 records. You should too.