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Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:25 am
by Decibel_Rebel
Apart from the fact that this forum is almost dead, did you also notice that there is not much movement/activity regarding the vinyl collector scene in the last months? Even on facebook, where the posters from here seemed to relocate and stay active, there's not much going on anymore. Is this just due to a few people who reduced their activity? I've always enjoyed reading some hunting stories or watching some pics of obscure records etc.
What are your thoughts on that issue?

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:41 pm
by Aiden
I'm not on Facebook but it's clear that most forums have died. A pity really as, even though I have a very modest record collection, I loved reading the stories that appeared on this site.

Maybe a lot of the older collectors have finally ran out of money! :lol:

Are metal fans under the age of say, 25, collecting records in the same way as years ago or has streaming had a big effect on those who grew up with it?

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:46 pm
by humus
Might be a member of the wrong groups on facebook but those got uninteresting really fast. 'I've been a collector for 6 months and have now reached 100 records' posts interspersed with 'Here are my 6 coloured versions of the last Nuclear blast band'. I posted some old shit but if you can't get an interesting discussion going then there's no point is there?

Also, while 5 years ago I was spending 75% of my budget on second hand stuff and 25% on new releases, I think this year it will be the other way round. Bargains are becoming increasingly hard to find. And market prices have been through the roof for years.

Those are just some personal impressions that came up when I read your post. I'm wondering if other people feel the same way.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:05 pm
by Avenger
I don't personally use social media myself as I prefer to keep my personal information private rather then harvested by third parties for profit without my consent.

The trend whores seemed to have moved on to the next popular activity and only the real enthusiasts in it for the long haul are left.

On an economic level I know here in Canada there's been a pretty serious recession since about 2013 where the Canadian Dollar lost 30 cents to the US due to the oil industry nearly collapsing with a record low price per barrel. It has only recently started to rebound with an economic diversification. A few collectors that where pretty big in the game here and didn't make it through have dropped off the map.

I've also noticed an increase in those that "collect" MP3's or at least very rarely actually purchase a physical copy of the material. Odd given that outside of the high end rarities a lot of prices have dropped from the ridiculous highs they were at 5-10 years ago (at least when it comes to the CD market).

So my guess would be a number of factors.

I'm not really sure on the status of many other forums. I haven't really had the time lately to keep track.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:15 pm
by laasgaardh
Aiden wrote:I'm not on Facebook but it's clear that most forums have died. A pity really as, even though I have a very modest record collection, I loved reading the stories that appeared on this site.

Maybe a lot of the older collectors have finally ran out of money! :lol:

Are metal fans under the age of say, 25, collecting records in the same way as years ago or has streaming had a big effect on those who grew up with it?
I'm 23, and I think I have a relatively decent collection. Don't think I know anyone in the same age who buy as much though. Most seem to use streaming and only have a couple of records on their wall. Maybe buying something new once in a while to look trendy.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:29 pm
by Khnud
The scene is quite dead for me, at least compared to what it was in the mid 00's, when I started, up to the early 10's. I get the feeling the number of active collectors has shrunk, and those who remain tend to keep to themselves. Not many newcomers are around, and the die hards already have almost everything so they have no reason to be active.

If I look at eBay, there are not many items of interest offered anymore. If something does show up, most of the time it's ridiculously overpriced BIN's. My watch list it mostly empty nowadays. Same with Discogs.

I'd say the bubble has burst. I don't think prices will drop because many sellers are greedy and will keep an item rather than selling it for a price that's anything below the highest price ever paid for that particular item.

Rant over.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:00 am
by msp
Hard to find bargains anymore. Most dealers price by what it sold at on ebay or the highest price on Popsike. Even your most basic metal vinyl lp such as 'Pyromania' is now priced as a £15 record.Iron Maiden Lp are now £20+

I understand dealers and stores wanting to get a decent price but surely better to price to sell rather than sit with records in their boxes for the next 10 years because the price is too high.

As for activity on forums... other things get in tge way. I joined here in 2006. I was 31 years old with a lot more time on my hands. Eleven years later.. now married, more demanding job and other things take over.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:01 pm
by Nightcrawler
yes, indeed bargains are quite impossible to find. This year I have not found even one.
I still love collecting records, but I'm definitely not that mad anymore as I used to be a couple of years ago. As much as Youtube brought a lot of good things like listening to albums that I'll never own or prevent you from buying a shit record, I also think it ruined a bit of the magic. When I started collecting records, it was very excited for me - seeing the cover for the first time in it's real size, then for the first time the backcover and of course listening for the first time to the music (or at least in good quality). I sometimes spent quite big money for my bugdet, and even though there were some disappointments, I felt like getting something in return as I used to spin a record over and over again for at least a week.
Nowadays, things have changed a lot. You can find almost everything on the net, from the cover in high resolution to the music in good quality. Most of the items from my old wantlist I still have not found, but most from them I'm not even searching anymore. If they were cheap, it would be different, but I definitely don't feel like paying huge money on a record that I already listened to death. At least the last couple of grails that I could find were archived after just one spin and for me personally just to own a record is not worth that much money anymore. That's why I also rather buy some new releases, that I will spend some time with than a record, that is just sitting in the shelves.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:47 am
by Levi
Same here more or less.

I'm happy to have bought a lot of stuff years ago, before the prices inflated to the level they are now. Mostly buying recent releases now too, as I have less time for crate digging or am not willing to pay incredibly high prices for some things on my wantlist. After years of collecting, there is a lot in the collection already, so the wantlist gets a little less extensive too.

Same goes for this forum, I just lack the time to post a lot, I'm assuming it's the case for more people because I don't think everyone turned to social media nowadays.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:37 am
by Noisenik
Previous three posts described my situation almost perfectly.

Am glad, I have found most items I sought after when they were still relatively inexpensive. Also other priorities have set in, and naturally lp hunting has shrunk on the minimum (to almost nothing).

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:33 pm
by Cyrcka
The same as mentioned in the last posts.

In the last years I have not bought almost any rarities. I stopped practically for several reasons, the main one because the prices inflated a lot (and I say incredibly a lot!), And because I got what I really wanted (well some). Nowadays it is very difficult to find bargains.Unfortunately nothing compared to the demand and prices from 10 years ago.
Maybe in a few years prices will come down, who knows.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:14 pm
by Decibel_Rebel
Cyrcka wrote:Maybe in a few years prices will come down, who knows.
That is what I am waiting for at least 7 years now, and it seems to last forever or even won't stop rising :D

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:48 am
by Khnud
The problem is many people would rather be buried with their records than selling them at a less than record high price.

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:02 pm
by Hans
The hunt is not as exciting, as it used to be, before you could read anything on the web (mp3 / photos / prices / reviews etc

Re: Current vinyl collector scene

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:25 pm
by nightsblood
My second post in a week, I think that makes three this year :)

It's highly unlikely that collecting is dying, but it is going through a downswing in interest right now. But that's not unusual; I've been involved with several hobbies over the years, and it's not unusual for them to go through cycles of increased interest, then decreased interest.

Re: metal records, 10 years ago you saw a big uptick in collecting due to a combination of factors. My generation (Gen X) was hitting the full time workforce and thus finally had disposable income to spend on collecting records. You also had the rise of the Blogspots and other d/l services that allowed people to finally HEAR old, obscure records so they could decide if they liked the music enough to buy the record or not. You also had the Corroseum become a hub for collector interest, and the years-long auction of Jim Cranford's massive collection captured a lot of people's interest as they saw a lot of records offered for sale for the first time on ebay. That all led to a boom in collecting.

But now it's 10 years later. My generation's disposable income is now tied up in day care and mortgage payments. The d/l phenomena has largely been shut down/marginalized, and (almost) everything is on Youtube. The Corro went through a serious downturn in readership due to an overabundance of trolls. Collectors finished their want lists. And yes, prices got out of hand. The rise of popsike contributed to this, because people still don't understand how to use popsike prices; they're not 'the going rate' for a record, they're just a random sampling of what a few copies sold for, often spread out over years, and the prices are skewed towards high-dollar auctions, such that the cheap copies that are sold rarely get archived.

All that said, things may turn around again at some point. Metal does a good job of crossing generational lines, so as the next generation grows up and gets real jobs, they may want to start spending some of their disposable income on collecting the stuff they downloaded as teenagers but couldn't afford to purchase back then. Some grizzled old collectors will decide it's time to sell, and copies will start to come back on the market at fairer prices (cause they won't sell otherwise). And they all do eventually sell- you get older and it's harder and harder to maintain your possessions. You think you're gonna move all that stuff into the old folks home? Will it to your kids who probably couldn't care less about it? Or keep it til you die and it all gets thrown in the dumpster when they clean out your house? You gotta know when it's time to get out.

Or maybe the next generation won't have the money to collect, or they'll be content to listen to things on Youtube and not have a physical copy. Digital objects are becoming the norm for the younger generation.

To personalize the above observations:
My dad has collected 'golden oldies' records for about 50 years. Has a great collection. He visited last weekend, and for the first time he started discussing the possibility of selling some of his collections off. He still buys a few records- chasing those final want list items- but he's in his 70s, health problems are starting to add up, and he's gotta decide how long he wants to keep messing with his hobbies. If he waits too long to sell, he risks leaving my mom buried in piles of collectibles she knows little about and would need years to sell even if she was familiar with the items.

For my part: my music budget in 2006 was around $50 a month, maybe I could afford to spend $75-100 if something really, really good turned up and I skimped on groceries and beer. I gave $60 for a copy of Salems Wych one month and agonized over whether to buy it- ate up all my 'fun money' for 6 weeks.

In 2008, I was earning 'real money' at a full-time job. I was single and was able to finally afford some of the rarer records I had wanted for decades, having started collecting in the late 80s. So I could spend a few hundred a month on records, and many months I did exactly that! I knew that, if I wanted them, this was my opportunity to get them, because things would change a few years later, and change they did....

In 2017, I'm married and have a three-year old son. While my salary has gone up, I have a lot more expenses: mortgage, day care, groceries, and utilities easily run > $3,000 a month, and that's living in a pretty average neighborhood, driving a very average car, and using one of the more affordable day cares in our area. We don't eat fancy, dress fancy, or go out a lot. haven't taken a vacation in 7 years. I'm in my early 40s now and yeah, you lose some energy along the way; the energy I do have is spent playing with my son and doing house work. I've spent over $3,500 this year out-of-pocket on doctor bills and car repairs. A lot of space in our house is now full of kiddie toys. Thus, I don't have as much disposable income as I used to, I have very little free time, and I don't have unlimited storage space; I actually sold off a couple of hundred CDs last year to clear out room to store other things.

Re: older items, my want list contains only about 50 singles, all of which are hard to find. It also contains only nine LPs, five of which typically sell for over $1,000. I've never paid that much for a record and I won't be doing so any time soon. Am I gonna drop $1,000 for an Iron Cross LP with a $600 car repair bill and 2 surgeries in the past month? Hell, no! There's only 1 CD on my want list.

Re: new releases, it's hard to keep up with everything that comes out. I don't need reissues. Rereleasing old NWOBHM LPs? That's great, but I have the originals I want... why should I spend $$ on another copy made 35 years after-the-fact? There are some newer bands that I'll usually buy releases from, but not many. How many generic-sounding power metal CDs do i need? How many retro-thrash albums are gonna get serious time in my CD player when I could just play the classics of the genre instead? New doom band out? OK let's hear it. Hmmm, sounds like another Candlemass copycat. I've got over 100 doom discs on those two rows of shelves already. Pass.

And yes, digital access influences my decisions too. I stopped at the local record store two days ago for the first time in 6 months. Here's my internal monologue:

"Hey, there's a new Pallbearer album out! Hey, there's a new Danzig album out! Wonder what they sound like? Let's check Youtube on my phone! Eh, Danzig sounds pretty bad- not gonna pay for that. Pallbearer sounds like Pallbearer, not bad not bad... geez, when's the last time I played the other two Pallbearer albums? Hmmm, maybe I'll play it some more on Youtube for a week or two and decide if it's really good enough to demand that I own a CD copy. Oh hey, they've got an old CD pressing of Enslaved's 'Bloodhemm'. That's cool! Geez, haven't heard that in probably a decade. Was it any good? Hmmm, I remember it being OK, but I certainly never followed up on it. Eh, probably wasn't a must-own then. Guess there's no reason to buy this; it'll probably just sit on the CD shelves going unplayed and taking up space."
End result: no record purchases, just save my money instead. Even 5 years ago, I would have immediately bought the Pallbearer and probably the Enslaved. Today, I'd rather have the blank slot on my CD rack than buy the used Bloodhemm disc, and that $6 will buy my son a toy airplane. I'll have more fun watching him play with that than I will re-visiting some 20-year old black/viking metal CD.

My mantra these days is simple, "just enjoy the stuff I already have". I can spend YEARS going back re-listening to the stuff I've accumulated over the past 30 years. In that time frame I've owned approximately 5,000 hard rock/heavy metal releases; that means on average I've acquired a new item about once every other day for THIRTY FREAKING YEARS! Why the heck do I need to buy more? Sure, if someone has one of my last want list items for a reasonable price, I'll look into it. But I just don't need to keep buying anything and everything I come across. I've got most of what I want, and I'm not about to skimp on the things my family needs, so now I'm pretty particular about what I'm gonna spend my money on.

OK, time for this grizzled old collector to get back to work. That car ain't gonna fix itself!