Slowly but certainly, a lot of shop of my favorite as well as newly discovered shops have opened back up to the public and with the exception of needing to wear a mask at all times and the usage of hand sanitizers (both have already been in our bags as diggers), things feel rather normal. One thing that I didn’t realize that I missed so much was the social interaction with friends and shop owners. The last few weeks have been about road trips with the homie Ron to some of our favorite record, comic, toy and food spots with discovering a few new places while circling the map. We’ve new a few old owners (new to us) and there is definitely a pattern with the older guys who have been in the business for 50 years and have built great reputations with the first being their knowledge. These guys are a treasure trove of information like stories of yesteryear that only they and their peers would know, tips on who has what you’re looking for and recommendations on where you need to dig.
The other thing that I’ve noticed from a few of them is their very fare pricing on items. I knew there was a reason why I continued to spend money with certain guys and dare not step foot in other stores. The best sellers to do business with has always been those who greet you upon entering the store, try to find out what you’re tastes are and pointing you in the right direction. The guys that price records based on their below market value because they’re in the business of selling records in a brick and mortar shop, not having things sit on the wall priced at virtual Discogs and eBay prices. Guy’s who have been in the business for so long that they actually have heavy loads of inventory where they can price things to sell.
We’ve all dealt with or heard stories of the disgruntled seller at shops or conventions that everyone hates because they’re an asshole or really over priced and would rather lug all of those crates of records back to his storage than actually sell them. Often times they’re the only ones that have the record that you’re looking for and you have the choice to either pull the trigger and buy it, or walk away from the table which most times it’s seems we just buy it. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t even give them satisfaction of them seeing me browse their booth and stroll right past.
As these old guys get older, one just can’t help to think that a certain era and generation is coming to an end. The days of someone being in business for 50 years and knowing that there is a lot of unsorted inventory sitting in the basement that eventually makes it rotation into the bins above to be sold. Knowing that these guys lived in and experienced an era on the scene that you were way too young to be a part nor did you have an interest in but now you do your best to cram their stories and knowledge into your own memory bank for future preservation. I’ve definitely come across many new shop owners that are pricing thing very fair and not based on auction listings. They may not have the same overstock of inventory but what they have in store is quality which continues to be refilled with more quality and keeps buyers happy.