Jack White has defended his decision to auction material from his record label Third Man Records on eBay.
The White Stripes man faced up to the label’s paid subscribers, members of the Vault club, on his messageboard at Thirdmanrecords.com, after some accused him of fan exploitation. The label sometimes auctions limited-edition releases on eBay, with bids regularly exceeding the original selling prices.
White claimed that Third Man is simply “giving fans what they want” by eBaying the limited-edition releases, reports Antiquiet.com. “We’re not in the business of making flippers [eBay touts] a living,” he added.
He later returned and responded to a member who had written, “Is this a big FU or something to Vault members? I ran home all excited to see what was going to be posted and this is it? Seriously this is a bunch of crap. I pay my membership and have really got nothing extraordinary for it in return really?”
In response, White wrote: “You’ve gotten NOTHING extraordinary in return? I’d have to disagree with you, as the records you’ve received you can ONLY get with a Vault membership.”
White posted again after the fan accused the auctions of being equivalent to fan exploitation.
“Fan exploitation? Really?” he wrote. “If you don’t want it, DONT BUY IT. And if you do want it, don’t act like you DON’T want it. Get in line like anyone else, hunt for it like anyone else. You act like we bury them in tunnels in Vietnam for God sakes, you can get one randomly in the mail if your lucky, in line at a store if you’re lucky, in your hometown if you’re lucky, etc. Who is guaranteed a rare hard to find record? Only Vault members and their quarterly subscriptions. There’s luck in every other version.”
White advised the dissenting fan to “kindly send us those records back so we can sell them to some other fan who didn’t get to have them.”
He added: “Don’t get mad at Third Man for giving you exactly what you’ve asked for. And seriously stop all of the whining, because what you communicate to us is that all of the trouble we go to isn’t worth it because nothing we do will make you happy.”