Record Stores Going Out of Business

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  • Even worse was when Mr. Bongo closed a few years back. Very sad. Armands in Philly as well. I heard Cues Records will be closing..not sure if this true, but that's what I heard.

    amir

  • [digging props because you didn't spend half a day and a full tank of gas to find a $15 record for $2.


    DOG YOU DON'T WANT IT WITH ME! FALL BACK OR FALL BACK! I-IGHT! WHAT I DO IN MY NEW BALACNES, CARGO PANTS, AND SNOWBOARD JACKET IS MY OWN BIZNESS! JUST CHILL OUT AND LET ME ENJOY THIS FUNKY SKUNKY 45 FREEZE BREAK MIX.




    And also:

    Open Mind is having a 75% sale, basically someone bought the building and is selling it right away so they need to unload shit quick. They might move into a place nearby or just say "fuck it". But I'll be real bummed when that shit closes.

  • Joe's Record Paradise in Baltimore closed like six months ago. They still have the Rockville location, but the Baltimore store had been there for a long time.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    Music Exchange in Kansas City. I could get lost in there for weeks (not to mention the legendary VIP second floor). The owner set up another shop elsewhere and was later found dead inside.

    http://search.pitch.com/Issues/2006-09-07/music/wayward.html

  • music tourism helps our shop A LOT. With Sun studio close by and Stax just a little further away we are lucky those museums mention us to the people who go through the museum...ebay is an absolute necessity...none of our customers(except maybe manship) would pay $500 for a northern 45...if it wasnt for ebay, we would have to put $100 on it for it to move. A perfect example is the Frank Frost "Hey Boss Man" test press we just got...easily a $1000 record, maybe $2000 since it is the test press, but we would never be able to get top price for that in the store...ebay is a necessary evil.

  • He (Village Music owner) has a point. If it wasn't for tourists and the occassional ebay auctions I'd have a real hard time keeping my store afloat. With a few exceptions its the foreigers and out of towners who buy my most expensive records.
    Mill Valley is lovely but its not exactly the Haight or North Beach as far as out of town traffic goes.

    Really, if you stop to think about it, how has that place stayed in business so long? We're talking about a very large retail space in a very well-to-do town where I can't imagine rents are even close to affordable. And while if you spent enough time you might find some interesting titles in there, the place wasn't exactly brimming with baller pieces that would bring in enough revenue to make the store successful. Anyway, sorry to hear it's closing but my only surprise is that it lasted this long.

  • Hey Big Stacks,

    I had a reply all set and typed, then left my desk for a bit and 'poof' ... reply form is no longer valid.

    In brief:

    Great Lakes Records sold their entire stock to a store overseas. However, they kept a lot of stuff for themselves as 'not-for-sale' personal inventory. That means the cream of the crop may not have even been included in the sale.

    I loved that place, as it was a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. When I was just out of college and sending hundreds of resumes out, I would usually take an afternoon a week to clear my mind and look through all of their stuff. A lot of inventory was still in boxes, so once in a while I'd find some decent albums before they hit the shelves. The literally had a million or more records, and while a good chunk of the stuff was junk, because it wasn't all sorted there were some gems amongst the junk. Plus, the owner was a decent guy - he made a lot of money with a business he started so the record shop was more or less a hobby. And his one employee was a decent guy, too.

    While I miss Great Lakes, I'm grateful that there are still quite a few quality record shops in Milwaukee. I do my best to spend my record dollars locally rather than online, as the best way to help keep the local stores around is to support them.

    One of these days Big Stacks we'll have to get out and do some record shopping, just let me know.

    If I'm not mistaken (check me on this, Hank Scorpio), Great Lakes Music in Milwaukee closed not too long ago. Shit was a gigantic warehouse full of wax.

  • He (Village Music owner) has a point. If it wasn't for tourists and the occassional ebay auctions I'd have a real hard time keeping my store afloat. With a few exceptions its the foreigers and out of towners who buy my most expensive records.
    Mill Valley is lovely but its not exactly the Haight or North Beach as far as out of town traffic goes.

    This is the unfortunate truth. Aside from a few well-heeled and well-intentioned collectors in every city, Americans are not supporting their own local establishments. I hear the same shit from almost every shop owner/worker I talk to. A lot of the shops that "put all the good stuff on ebay" wish they could do it differently... but their customer base won't support the high end prices. Can you really blame them for following the money?

    Guys, support your local shops. Even if that means losing some "digging props" because you didn't spend half a day and a full tank of gas to find a $15 record for $2.

    Word up - especially at a store like yours. i stopped in before x-mas. i could have spent hundreds there. Prices are extremely fair too! So glad I finally had the chance to stop by. LA needs a store like it.

    It's a dying breed, but there will be a select few that'll last.

  • if it wasnt for ebay, we would have to put $100 on it for it to move.

    ... and it would probably move to a "private dealer" soulstrut-type who would turn around and sell it on ebay anyway!

  • UnherdUnherd 1,880 Posts

    Guys, support your local shops. Even if that means losing some "digging props" because you didn't spend half a day and a full tank of gas to find a $15 record for $2.

    REAL TALK!!!



    Time to get off my ass and go by Jonny's ...

  • if it wasnt for ebay, we would have to put $100 on it for it to move.

    ... and it would probably move to a "private dealer" soulstrut-type who would turn around and sell it on ebay anyway!


    OR neatly lay it on his x-men 3 bedsheets and take a picture of it with his thumb up.

  • if it wasnt for ebay, we would have to put $100 on it for it to move.

    ... and it would probably move to a "private dealer" soulstrut-type who would turn around and sell it on ebay anyway!


    OR neatly lay it on his x-men 3 bedsheets and take a picture of it with his thumb up.


  • nzshadownzshadow 5,516 Posts



    OR neatly lay it on his x-men 3 bedsheets and take a picture of it with his thumb up.


  • dgriotdgriot 388 Posts
    Armands in Philly as well.

    Wait - how long ago was this?

  • kwalitykwality 620 Posts
    It's happening in Australia too, Rhythm and Soul in Melbourne closed one of its stores due to a decline in sales. Their stock was mainly electronic/dance stuff, and that's been an area hurt even more by microwave and cd's. Also stores in Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania, although I don't have names sorry.

    John Idem's store has also closed, although I think that had more to do with him wanting more time for his family than anything else. Someone came in and bought up most of his stock, making the decision even easier.

    Do you think that these stores closing will raise the overall standard, or make the remaining shops gouge prices?

  • i get a little pissed when stores dont even offer their customers the nicer things as they funnel them directly to the bay. but i have no problem with stores selling on ebay...id rather these spots stay open than fold up. shit, if record stores gotta sell dime bags to seventh graders in order to stay in biz....act like a nike commercial!

  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,371 Posts
    Well.. The death of the record store is really just forecoming the death of the record. Even the Swaps are dry. Ebay killed the record imo. Soon.. it's all going to be trade based. What's the point of putting out new wax if people are only going to Microwave it anyways... Death of the 12" and now Ipod is the death of the CD.

    In Vegas we lost, we gained Zia records which to me is pointless anything good that comes in that store immediately goes to EBay even if it's a $10 record. Complete bullshit. That store brought the death of Big B's. One of our only shining lights of independent music in town. Dead in the water. Now we're left with Record City, Hip Hop Site, and Wack trax. On top of losing Tower Records in the same year it's been a tough hustle for records in the desert.

    - spidey

  • i get a little pissed when stores dont even offer their customers the nicer things as they funnel them directly to the bay. but i have no problem with stores selling on ebay...id rather these spots stay open than fold up. shit, if record stores gotta sell dime bags to seventh graders in order to stay in biz....act like a nike commercial!

    Dude what did I tell you? Don't talk about the "side hustle" on the board...



    But for real though, I don't know of a whole lot of stores who are that harsh... maybe they are to people they don't know or out-of-towners but most of the folks I talk to just want good money for their records... not such a terrible thing

    Some of the folks I buy from at WFMU have shops in smaller markets and they HAVE to do ebay. Shit, I have to do ebay and I'm in NYC!

  • biscuithead records

    That was a cool spot - I got the nice double-LP
    Wild Style reissue there in the 90's...
    ...actually, there was a hip-hop store across the street
    from there, on the corner of Mass & Comm - Boston Beats?

    Beat Non Stop. The second (?) location of the LA record store of the same name. I remember i used to roll up in there and rap to target- who held down the register at that spot. The LA one closed recently right? It ain't there anymore. Is the lady that owned that spot crazy?

    Been closed for at least 2 years - was converted into a clothing shop when I was in LA in summer of '04. I used to be the hip hop buyer there back in the day: the lady (and husband) who owned the spot were a little crazy, but you kinda have to be to own a shop on that strip of Melrose. Besides, how many SANE record store owners have you met in your life?

  • oripsorips 238 Posts
    Well, speaking of Toronto. Isn't or didn't Play De Vintage close it's doors?

    I'm pretty sure it's going to be closing soon. Early 2007 from what I was told.

    What!!! Where did you hear this? Is this a fact?

    'Tis true. Vintage will be closing their doors at the end of January, when their lease expires. I've been there twice already, and it's getting hard to find good records.



  • But for real though, I don't know of a whole lot of stores who are that harsh... maybe they are to people they don't know or out-of-towners but most of the folks I talk to just want good money for their records... not such a terrible thing


    true. I always pull stuff off the "ebay shelf" in the back if a customer comes in who I know collects a certain type of music, or even if a customer I dont know asks about a cetain type of music and I have something I am planning to ebay they might be interested in, im gonna offer to them, always with a price up front...thats the dealer's responsibility to have a price for a piece...fuck wishy washy "I could get more for it on ebay"... as a record buyer that drives me up the fuckin wall...have a shop show you a piece you are interested in and when you ask the price, they make that squinty face and say "well, I could get such and such for it on ebay so...." have a fucking price ready before you show someone a record. You make money by selling/moving records out of your shop, if someone wants it and his willing to pay your price, sell the muhfugger, dont second guess yourself and say "I might be able to get $15 more for this on ebay"...that is where the salty customer comes from, dealers/shops that piss them off over stuff like that, waving shit in front of their face and not giving them a chance....on the flipside, as a customer ask the dealer/shop what you are looking for...shops cant read your mind, with ebay being so important to shops now, there are records in the back they are planning on putting on ebay, just ask to take a crack at them, if they wont let you, then they arent a shop you should be going to anyway.



  • But for real though, I don't know of a whole lot of stores who are that harsh... maybe they are to people they don't know or out-of-towners but most of the folks I talk to just want good money for their records... not such a terrible thing


    true. I always pull stuff off the "ebay shelf" in the back if a customer comes in who I know collects a certain type of music, or even if a customer I dont know asks about a cetain type of music and I have something I am planning to ebay they might be interested in, im gonna offer to them, always with a price up front...thats the dealer's responsibility to have a price for a piece...fuck wishy washy "I could get more for it on ebay"... as a record buyer that drives me up the fuckin wall...have a shop show you a piece you are interested in and when you ask the price, they make that squinty face and say "well, I could get such and such for it on ebay so...." have a fucking price ready before you show someone a record. You make money by selling/moving records out of your shop, if someone wants it and his willing to pay your price, sell the muhfugger, dont second guess yourself and say "I might be able to get $15 more for this on ebay"...that is where the salty customer comes from, dealers/shops that piss them off over stuff like that, waving shit in front of their face and not giving them a chance....on the flipside, as a customer ask the dealer/shop what you are looking for...shops cant read your mind, with ebay being so important to shops now, there are records in the back they are planning on putting on ebay, just ask to take a crack at them, if they wont let you, then they arent a shop you should be going to anyway.

    T R U T H [/b]

  • Armands in Philly as well.

    Wait - how long ago was this?

    its not closed yet. they put upstairs' inventory on ebay a few months ago. they are still purchasing new stuff but its on it way out. they dont plan on closing downstairs but now they are renting space to a jewelery shop and cell phone kiosk.

  • parenparen 537 Posts
    Rockin' Billy's Records in Indianapolis was another 2006 casuality.

  • Deep_SangDeep_Sang 1,081 Posts


    But for real though, I don't know of a whole lot of stores who are that harsh... maybe they are to people they don't know or out-of-towners but most of the folks I talk to just want good money for their records... not such a terrible thing


    true. I always pull stuff off the "ebay shelf" in the back if a customer comes in who I know collects a certain type of music, or even if a customer I dont know asks about a cetain type of music and I have something I am planning to ebay they might be interested in, im gonna offer to them, always with a price up front...thats the dealer's responsibility to have a price for a piece...fuck wishy washy "I could get more for it on ebay"... as a record buyer that drives me up the fuckin wall...have a shop show you a piece you are interested in and when you ask the price, they make that squinty face and say "well, I could get such and such for it on ebay so...." have a fucking price ready before you show someone a record. You make money by selling/moving records out of your shop, if someone wants it and his willing to pay your price, sell the muhfugger, dont second guess yourself and say "I might be able to get $15 more for this on ebay"...that is where the salty customer comes from, dealers/shops that piss them off over stuff like that, waving shit in front of their face and not giving them a chance....on the flipside, as a customer ask the dealer/shop what you are looking for...shops cant read your mind, with ebay being so important to shops now, there are records in the back they are planning on putting on ebay, just ask to take a crack at them, if they wont let you, then they arent a shop you should be going to anyway.

    T R U T H [/b]

    I agree with this, but from a seller's perspective, wouldn't it make sense to put the ebay shelf up on a wall so walk in customers who might not be inclined to ask could still see/buy the heat? There are also plenty of shop owners who do not like to be asked about stuff in the back and will get testy very quickly if you do ask.

    I mean, if you've got crates upon crates of stuff for ebay this obviously wouldn't work for all of it, but increasing the amount of exposure for those records seems like a good thing to me. Keeping em in a box in the back doesn't help anyone.

  • Honestly, that's how it should work in theory but in reality there is almost always limited space and you can't just wait around forever for the right customer to walk in and buy stuff.

    Most sellers try to strike a good balance. Most of my ebay stock is stuff I've judged as being better online than in the shop, but one man's terd is another man's treasure. When a big collection comes in, you've gotta turn it over and a shop can't wait for every single record to sell in person.

  • Deep_SangDeep_Sang 1,081 Posts
    Absolutely, I completely understand the need to ebay stuff. What I am trying to get at is that in the interim, from the time it comes in until the time it is ebayed, why not put it out for walk in customers instead of behind the cash register?

    I can't speak for the majority, but I know that I make more trips to shops that display heat, even if it isn't a rec that I want, than those that only have lower dollar items (and I drop the loot when a shop has a high dollar item I do want). I've been to your shop and I know that you have nice wall pieces, so this isn't really directed to you, or anyone on SS in particular. More a general gripe about stores that hide and ebay all the heat without giving local customers a chance first, that just doesn't make good business sense to me.

  • Its just a logisitics/organization thing, most shops dont have the floor/bin space...our store for example, we constanly have 100s of records that still need to be gone through, priced, cleaned...we keep those in the back obviously...the pieces we plan to go on ebay go a special shelf. Since I do the ebaying, I like to have the stuff that still needs to be photgraphed/scanned in one place...when it goes online, it goes to another shelf and whne it sells, to a "needs to be shipped bin"...if stuff was kept out front, on the floor, shit might accidently get left out out on the floor, sold when I wasnt here and then someone would win it on ebay, but it I wouldnt have it anymore to ship...it would just be a mess.

  • faux_rillzfaux_rillz 14,343 Posts
    shops cant read your mind

    [reynaldo]Why is it so unreasonable to expect a level of customer service that includes mindreading for people who can afford it?[/reynaldo]
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