So how was it for you? Did you manage to get what you wanted, or perhaps find some dusty gems you didn’t even know you wanted? Did you get your hands on these tracks?
I personally had a great time on Portobello Road, watching an acoustic duo (whose names elude me) outside Rough Trade West before picking up a few 12”s and heading to the Parlophone pop-up across the street where a bearded giant was playing bass-heavy remixes of Creedence and other such oddities. The sun was out, the drinks were flowing and the shops were full. Cash registers tinkled in defiance. The prognosis for the indies was positive.
Little did we know, though, that there were some scavengers in our midst, some nefarious tykes who set out to buy up everything they could at Record Store Day and flog it online. You may have seen them, busting through the doors as they opened and spending indiscriminately.
Meet eBay’s Tom Lovejoy. He’s got everything you need online, from Radiohead’s two tracks (currently at £67) to the Ed Banger box set (£215), and stands to make about £600 from all the sales so far. And he’s not the only one – numerous others have already cashed in on short sales already.
So, here’s the question. Should these, shall we say, entrepreneurs be condemned or celebrated? Are they loathsome roaches crawling over the palsied body of an industry trying to live out its twilight years in dignity, or just shrewd businessmen making a quick buck through a free market? And do they provide a valuable service offering limited edition releases to people that might not live near a record store, but are prepared to be the highest bidder for something they love? Or are they laughing in the face of Record Store Day, accelerating the indies’ demise and racing towards a circle of hell between those reserved for heresy and ticket touts?
They’re certainly not breaking the law. And Record Store Day is powerless to stop them. While the organisation has asked participating shops to sign an agreement that precludes them from selling online within a week, selling for more than twice the cost price, and flogging for a profit on eBay, they can’t stop individuals buying and reselling. And eBay won’t police it.
What do you make of the whole thing? And did you pick up what you wanted during RSD?