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  #1  
Old 23rd January 2018, 04:59 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Not for profit record fairs

Not all WD members are from the UK and not all have access to s/hand record shops and lots of record fairs. For me there is one big record fair per year in Toulouse 250K and Villefranche de Rouergue 120K round journeys.

However small communities in Europe are always eager to attract visitors and nearly all have tourist offices and friendly mayors. Eg. Just over the road from my present home there is a pre-school/ ecole maternelle which is used on a Sunday, twice a year by the 'neighbours association' to hold a 'beanfeast' which is where we all meet and enjoy a very good meal for a few Euros.It has a covered area which would be ideal to hold a small record fair.

I don't believe renting it for say 6 hours on a Sunday would be much. It has modern toilet facilities, power for lighting,loads of free parking (important) a train station 2 minutes away and a Route National also 2 minutes away.

Such places exist all over Europe. Why small communities - cheap to rent, no hassles with parking access to quite large populations. The other benefits are obvious - buying directly, ergo no chance of being ripped, no big postal charges and the ability to advertise gear for sale that local/near local people can see directly, again no chance of rip-off for buyer or seller (think Ebay).

True, someone has to get off their **** to kickstart each record fair but the advantage today is social media. I intend to visit the Rodez radio station to see if they will let people know. If the idea catches on then quarterly fairs might be possible.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 11:37 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Seems to me you are best placed to organise and make this happen. Well done! Being in the UK, it’ll be a non starter for me. I don’t need to travel to France for a Recordfest! There are plenty here although these days, not being interested in the qwerty side of collection, I’m more than happy with what I can get on eBay etc.

Here’s a thing. A while back there was a very popular classical 1st edition recording being promoted on several forums. It was exchanging hands for between 100 and 200. My mate searched for it on Australian eBay and picked up a copy from there for 3/6p (about 18p) I kid you not.

So, lesson to be learned. Don’t do record fairs where all the dealers have collectively, even inadvertently set the prices unless you have money to burn and are lazy or don’t care. Do a bit of work and you’ll often find what you want elsewhere for a singe price.

How many Audiophools do you have within your catchment area to make it worthwhile?

Last edited by Greg.; 24th January 2018 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 24th January 2018, 11:17 AM
Richard Richard is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Ah you're right down there are you Stuart. We've holidayed in France many times and like it very much. They seem to have a more relaxed way of life, perhaps being less densely populated than the UK has something to do with it, smaller communities further away from other smaller communities.

A few years back we were camping in Normandy over Bastille week. Great celebrations, fireworks and a rock band on the 14th. Spent a very pleasant few hours at a classic car meet/auto-jumble on one woodland road. Then later in the week stopped at a busy village market/car boot where there was an excellent record seller and bought 20 albums at a euro a piece. They were also around at UK car boots and charity shops back then but, looking recently, it seems a lot have now gone.
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Old 25th January 2018, 01:54 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Greg,
you seem to have misunderstood my post. I wasn't suggesting anyone travel long distances - the complete opposite.

You mentioned Ebay - I've bought from there and discogs, all deals very good except one - now going through the Paypal performance to get my money back. Your buying blind, relying on good faith/integrity of the seller, another point in buying face-to-face, unless your blind, no rip-off is possible.

You are talking about professional record fairs, again you missed the point completely. I was suggesting that local people can get together to organise buy-and-sell fairs. Renting a stall would be cheap and friends could share a stall, establish contact. How much is postage for heavy audio items. How many times do you see - pick-up only.

You said your friend bought something from Australia - now tell us what the postage costs were - not cheap were they.

Would you make say a round trip of 20 miles to check out amateur vinyl/CD/DVD sales where people might have a list of gear they want to sell and you could visit after a fair to check out the items - no postage, no possibility of a rip-off.With easy parking/travel.

You have an established system but what about those who don't - who are looking to buy vinyl etc. who want to buy a deck/amp/pre-amp/speakers. Who might like to chat with others who may have experience and advice they could use.

For an Ebay/discogs seller there is all the hassle of packing LPs, getting them posted and the cost. If you buy on ebay you must have seen how high those postage costs can be.

Sometimes the only option if you really want something is Ebay/discogs. For some time I have wanted to replace a brilliant country freak LP from the mid 70s - Pure Prairie League - Bustin Out. Originally I bought it s/hand anyway. I looked on discogs and a woman living in Paris had a Mint Canadian copy for a good price, postage 6.50 - normal for France. I thanked her for her honest description and she replied that 'so often I have been disappointed' in the seller's description ergo she had been ripped off.

There is only one seller in the USA that I will buy from why - they charge a flat $6.50 postage (note, cheaper than inside France) - Collector's Choice. All other sellers charge from $25 +.

Richard, the person you bought from probably was'nt into vinyl but in a way you've proved my point. Someone finds out about the local fair, has vinyl/cds whatever, they can turn up and for a few s sell them, without fuss, without packing/posting.
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Old 25th January 2018, 08:53 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Stuart, sorry, I was being a little facetious. Don’t take too seriously what I wrote.

The last time I bought LP’s from a boot fair, there were plenty of ‘dealers’ present who referred to the bible of disc values before they considered a price. All their prices were inflated. I haven’t done a boot sale for a while, but I quickly learnt to ignore the dealers and single out those simply selling on personal collections.

Likewise, I don’t do record fairs because the prices are all dealer driven. I search for music recordings I like, rather than what might be considered valuable. Consequently on eBay it is not uncommon to pick up an LP for 1 plus postage which in general is reasonable considering I’ve found an album I want for only 1.

Trying to organise such a local event without attracting the money grabbers would be difficult which is probably why they don’t happen here. In my area, there have never been equipment bargains or boxes of old valves etc at boot sales. That seems to be a north country thing. I recently offloaded a pile of my excess gear and components at the well regarded Tunbridge Wells Audio Jumble. There were plenty of dealers there asking silly prices and also trying to buy my kit from me with stupidly low offers. Also plenty of tables trying to sell rubbish. I’ve never been before and considering the reputation and heritage, I was a bit disappointed although I did well personally on the day, but my prices were well below market value. I just needed to off load some stuff.

On the Australian buy, considering the small pence for the item which at the time was exchanging hands here at up to 200, postage was totally inconsequential.

Also, be wary of discog valuations. I have albums listed there which apparently have very high value. Then go check what they are actually selling for and you’ll find they are much lower. I think discogs base their valuations on an average of the price being asked rather than the actual price being paid. Still bargains to be had though, to be sure.

Since I’ve bought into roon, I’ve not bought an album for ages. Even with my lifetime subscription and my monthly payment to Tidal, I recon up until now, I’ve saved money. However, following a change to some of my kit, I am now experiencing a personal vinyl revival and will no doubt once again be looking for nicely priced records. They probably won’t be collectable, but will be music I want to listen too. I’ve given up on a lot of so called remastered new pressing stuff on heavy vinyl. Much of it is flawed and substandard and not a patch on the quality of the original pressings even up to third edition. Not long ago, I paid 40 for a new release of an old favourite, Todd Rungrens ‘Something/Anything?’. All in heavy vinyl. All four sides sounded dull and uninspiring. I returned for my money back and got an original pressing in A+ condition for 10. This was very listenable and will get used again and again.

There you go, horses for courses, but I really can’t see your suggestion of local fests working here. Things have moved on.

Last edited by Greg.; 25th January 2018 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 26th January 2018, 05:30 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Greg,
it's all about keeping control of an event,which I would. You mentioned going to Tunbridge Wells - that's a hell of a distance to travel and on English roads as well. I have a Route national within 2 minutes that has only been built in the last few years - plain sailing all the way to Toulouse and Blangnac airport.

I concur about new vinyl but I was buying and wish I had bought more at the beginning of the 90s - fantastic sounds from the like of Sarah McLoughlin/Janis Ian and a wonderful hand checked EMI boxed set of Ravels' complete orchestral works, goes for silly money now. Check out Ebay's site that gives actual prices paid. There are 'collectors' of vinyl that have no intention of listening to music - they buy for a perceived value and for the sleeve. Look at what Floyd/King Crimson fetch.

I'm buying what I should have bought a long time ago or to replace what I've worn out over the decades but I really do want to transfer everything to the digital realm. So much easier in not more than a few years to have it all stored on a small silent PC,(not connected to the net so no chance of viruses etc), a keyboard, small monitor, a h/amp and cans, that time will come, I've always believed in forward planning, I've seen what happens to those who don't and the hassle they leave for others to clear up.
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Old 1st February 2018, 02:13 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Greg,
yes you can buy on ebay or discogs very cheaply and if your only buying in the country where you live the postage is OK, with exceptions like France or the Netherlands.

However if you want to buy from outside your own country it's a different story. Postage costs - I used to buy a lot of stuff, not LPs from the USA, not anymore. Loads of LPs for sale at really good prices, then you look at the postage costs - $23.50 is what it costs to post to Europe, they aren't ripping you off, I checked.

Collector's Choice who specialise in re-issues and new sealed LPs sometimes from decades ago. They have a flat rate to Europe of $6.50. How they do this I don't know and I don't suppose they are going to let you know.

There is a particular LP I want to replace, I bought it originally s/hand @ 1.70. There are a few sealed copies for sale from 1972. One seller almost certainly a private one with a 100% rating has it @ $9.95, that's about the price it was new in the UK at that time, in the US it was $3.99, as always much better prices in the USA. He's actually quoting a slightly lower price for postage than USPS @ $20.40 but that's still 2 x the price of the LP and guess what, he's offering free P&P within the USA.

If I was a young man I'd be looking for partners in the USA to organise container shipping for those who don't want something yesterday but are prepared to wait.I think there would be very good business in both directions, low value items especially. EG. -
EU countries, there's no import or customs duties to pay on items under 45.

There just doesn't seem the get-up-and-go in Europe, especially western Europe anymore - discogs, Massdrop and of course Amazon all American. Massdrop organising really good prices for European products aka Sennheiser for Americans but not prepared to set up a European office for Europeans and Europe is a bigger market.

The first online shopping site was British, they blew it, think big, think long view. If a European Amazon happens it will be German.
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Old 4th March 2018, 12:26 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Saw something in my old local paper - the Evening Argus. A car boot sale that has been going for decades in the grounds of a Brighton school. The organiser has decided to stop - the school now wants 592 for a car boot that starts at 7.30AM and finishes at 2PM on a Sunday. All rubbish has always been cleaned up and the only cost for the school is cleaning the accessible toilets - unbelieveable price. The school says it is short of money, maybe that's a lie and they want to set up their own car boot.

I've yet to ask at the pre-school site across the road - I'd be very surprised if it's more than 50 but I could be wrong.
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Old 24th March 2019, 10:39 AM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Not for profit record fairs

Last Sunday as usual took one of our dogs to get the excellent crusty bread for breakfast. Had to pass the big Mitterand hall.

Saw there was a marche de puce going on and noticed a pro vinyl seller set up. Normally in France they have crap at high prices, decided to take a look on the way back.

Very surprised to find that all hi stock was in very good shape and not unreasonable prices. Saw a Peter Tosh - Equal Rights @ 14, since 77 mine has been played to death. Went home and checked out the prices on 3 different sites for an NM copy.

Went back and saw a Little Feat - Down On The Farm and a Neil Diamond - J/L/Seagull, something I meant to buy back in the day. I got all 3 for 25.

Here's the thing - not living on a small island where big cities and lots of record shops are normal and never far away I have to buy online. If i bought these 3 LPs online in France the postage would be 20 - 24 and from counties like the Netherlands or most sellers in the UK an awful lot more.

I got talking to the pro seller, mooting the idea of a local record fair, when I get the time I will visit the relevant radio stations to promote the idea. I'm sure the DJs will give air time.

From Toulouse to Rodez - a big catchment area - train travel is relatively cheap (unlike rip-off Britain) - excellent fast road connections - free parking.

Once again buying these 3 LPs reminded me of the benefits of buying directly - the postage would have been about the same as the cost of the LPs and I was certain of the quality, not having to rely on the integrity or otherwise of distant sellers.
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