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Record Store Day - Unfair Competition [an Opinion]

Posted by Christopher Carter on

Indie Vinyl Den is an independent record seller that resides on the internet. Because we do not have a physical store, we cannot sell any of the Record Store Day special releases. I am okay with that to an extent, but what is unfair is when those same physical indie stores then offer the Record Store Day releases in their online stores. That creates unfair competition.

I come from 20 years of working in a physical record store and I know that it is hard to run a physical store, but the reason for that is the small margin that the record labels allow on the product. Margin is simply the markup that the store adds to the cost of an item to make money. In retail it is common to markup an item 100%, meaning an item that costs $5 dollars is sold at $10. With records the margin in more like 25%, meaning a store buys it at $15 and sells it for $20.

Often you will see higher prices in your neighborhood store because they claim to have more expenses. Having worked in both environments, and if you want to do an online store right, the work and cost are the same. Basically the difference is they allow you to walk into their warehouse of records and we do not. Is that all that separates us? I guess I could open my doors tomorrow and all our issues would be solved. 

The problem arrises during Record Store Day events when these same stores that hold an exclusive on product then puts it up for sale in their online stores. So they compete directly on our turf with product we are not allowed to even offer to our customers. This is what we feel is unfair. We do not want to stop the physical indie record store from having their special day, but there needs to be a limitation to selling online as well.

There have been many articles written about how Record Store Day is killing the fun of collecting, one of which you can read here. The whole idea continues to grow and it has turned into a money grab by the record labels and the physical indie record stores.

At Indie Vinyl Den we want to always offer our customers, many that do not have a records store near them, a chance to have the same access to music. We appreciate you supporting our independent record store on the web.

Christopher - the guy that built the Indie Vinyl Den


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