I enjoyed your RC Investigates on record shop service (RC 399). A lot of my customers meet up as much for the banter with like-minded friends and free tea in grimy mugs as for the records, CDs and DVDs on sale in my shop. I agree with your observations, the social side of the second-hand music business is gaining in importance: faceless chains and online stores appear to dominate to the outsider but cannot compete with the excitement of walking in the door just as a large pile of records which have just been sold to the shop are being priced up (or in my case down!) in front of customers. This is something even overpriced charity shops can’t equal as the discs are hived off to head office or creamed off by the resident specialist! As for customers waiting for the shop to open late in all weathers I’m guilty of this! With high overheads, I often work seven days a week and several evenings buying stock often some distance away and by the time my three kids are at school and the dog has been walked, the shop often opens a bit late! Perhaps RC could start an occasional feature on the ramblings of shop owners?
We did plan a feature written by shop owners – but the copy turned up late! Seriously, there’s Support Your Local Record Shop in every issue, and the letters page welcomes the record dealers’s opinions.
by Ben Darnton, Ben’s Collectors Records
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