I have purchased many record collections from Craigslist sellers over the years. When I first started, people asked reasonable prices… something around fifty cents per record, sometimes even less. It’s not a scientifically proven fact or anything, but I would bet the majority of record collections purchased from a Craigslist ad have, at minimum, 15% throw away records due to condition issues. Let’s face it. The people who care for their records and maintain them in immaculate conditions aren’t the ones selling their collections.
The collections sold on Craigslist generally have been beaten up pretty good… they have that musty moldy old man smell, frayed covers, missing covers, missing albums, and all other sorts of wrongness. I’ve seen covers that were undoubtedly bitten by a dog (hopefully), dead cockroaches inside covers, and records caked with some dried up crunchy human stuff that my fingers just did not want to touch.
So even in today’s inflated market, fifty cents per record is still reasonable. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, there was as much shit music at any point in history as there is today. Listen to enough collections, and you’ll know what I mean.
For every Beatles or Zeppelin, there are at least 20 bands whose total talent doesn’t equal Ringo’s ring finger. And that’s Ringo…
Anyway, the common person has caught wind of the vinyl revival. And these people have flooded the Craigslist market with downright criminal, insane, ignorant, and just wasteful ads.
It’s Ebay’s fault.
Because the one thing prefaced before every asking price, whether it be in person or on the phone or in the ad itself, is “On Ebay, this record goes for…” Or some variation of that general idea. The ignorant seller pulls out some records they recognize; Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd… stuff like that. Look it up on Ebay. See the asking price. Average out the ones they look up. Figure all the records are worth the average price. Add it all up. Divide in half. And proceed with, “On Ebay, these records average out to one thousand dollars. But I’ll take half that. Call me. Dude.”
Ugh. This is a travesty, capitalism run amock.
The fact is if you want Ebay prices, go sell on Ebay. Ebay and Craigslist are entirely different markets. That’s like telling an Eskimo a bikini in the Bahamas sells for $100.00. You think he gives a fuck?
I’m going to do the record selling and buying a favor and write an open letter to Craigslist sellers. Feel free to post to your local Craigslist if you see a loony trying to gouge people for his Grandmother’s Al Martino collection.
Stay tuned for the open letter.