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Old 07-03-2003, 11:01 PM   #1
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Normal Are record stores akin to dinosaurs that need to be put down?

Several days ago, I went shopping around for CDs. I went to the Borders book store to pick up a Pulp Cd and some other stuff. Anyways, I decided to buy me some Radiohead, "Hail to the Thief." To my shock, this Radiohead CD which is a fairly recent release was $15.99. I was like, "Whoa! That's some expensive sheet!" I laid down the CD and decide to buy from Best Buy or Circuit City which lo and behold was either $13.99 or $12.99. It then crossed my mind that sooner or later, almost every CD that loses its new release status, will go up in price. Hell, the new Radiohead could be looking at a $17.99 price tag in the future at major chain such as Borders. I then got thinking about the small record store (the mom and pop/ college types). These places sell CDs usually at even higher prices then the big chain stores. Sure opening releases/ really popular releases might sell at competitive prices but that is not case all the time and their is no guarantee that the low prices will stay the same after the week of release. Also, from experience, non-new releases and non-popular CDs receive the jacked up prices that range close to $17.99-$19.99. With the internet around as well as the superchain stores, are these smaller record stores even necessary anymore?

People say, well the obscure bands and records get the attention that big companies wouldn't care about. Well these days, big chain stores are selling local stuff and exposing the public to them. Even if the big chain store are lacking, the internet supposedly makes up for it from downloads to band websites.
Even local bands are geting some play/ exposure in the big chain stores.

People would say well there is the used CDs that are sold at the small stores. IMO, its these used CD sales that help keep some of these stores in business. However the more I scope these places, the more I notice the used CD section is lacking in terms of the bands/ people I want to hear. Hell, even the prices seem to high for used CDs when compared to new CDs of the same band sold in major chains.

So what more can these small stores do? Are they, at this point, going the way of dinosaur? Is it even worthwhile to support the record store? They are only the middleman.
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Old 07-04-2003, 12:27 AM   #2
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The only purpose they serve is for the collector... vinyl and deleted media. If you want mainstream easy-access type stuff, then the franchise stores and internet mp3 sites are the route to go. To me though, it takes the personal touch away from music. I much prefer forking out a few extra bucks, just so that I can purchase something of substance... not to support the artist necessarily, but to see their work in it's whole. Instead of hole-filled, bad quality burned CDs.

That's just me.

I'm old.
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:20 AM   #3
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Urbana-Champaign, or Champaign-Urbana?

Fu -

I want to take this down to a local level for you. If you look at this area (C-U) and the local mom and pop record stores (Record Service...what else? I haven't seen anything else in my short time here) compared to Borders, Best Buy and Circuit City.

When I went out to buy "Hail," I went to Record Service (because in the places I have lived in the past, I wanted to support the "mom and pops"). The problem with Record Service is that it doesn't stand out like the other "mom and pops" that I have grown to love in other cities (unique imports, CD singles, etc. etc.). I priced it there, and then went to Best Buy, where I (like you said) purchased it for $4 to $5 cheaper.

In addition, I spent a evening in Borders (still a good sized chain) listening to CDs (playing stations) that I could not even find in Record Service (little alone in their playing stations). In addition, I found a BETTER local music section at Borders than Record Service (with the ability to listen to a few of the CDs - Absinthe Blind is better live - exact opposite for Red Hot Valentines).

Best Buy (due to volume) beats em all in price. they just don't have the local selection.

Now, this is just C-U I speak of...get me back to Minneapolis, and I will be in the "mom and pop" were I know they will have the album/cd I am looking for, as well as tell me about a limited edition they have, and mention another band that I may like (allow me to listen to them and give me a poster and sticker). Not found here - and the size of the city should not be the excuse, we have a major university to support this type of shop.

I think an even BIGGER threat to "mom and pops" are the chains such as Virgin and Tower, where I can find the unique stuff, and cheaper than the little guys.

Okay...too much.
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Old 07-05-2003, 06:00 PM   #4
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Yeah... I hear ya about Record Service... There is CD Exchange (I think on Neil St and used to be on Green). There is another used CD place in downtown Urbana (the name sort of escapes me though). Just to tell you about the local stuff. I think there was a another music store in downtown Champaign that was akin to Record Service but they closed down.

Its just that even Chicago (like the Lincoln Park area) I felt like encountered the same deal in terms of the small independantly owned mom and pop stores. High prices for both new and used CDs. Maybe in the past I would have shelled out junk at the local stores but now I'm like, "I don't think so." I mean when I talk about internet, I'm talking about Yahoo shopping/ Ebay as well as the file sharing networks. They are totally being a big influence on me as a consumer. What more is there to do besides that? Some people seem to make a big deal about record shops needing to be saved... but again what for? So that one can meet Jack Black types, LOL. It reminds me of the whole buy American thing that happened when the Japanese first started dominating the car market, except its buy at record stores b/c of big corporations are evil.

I didn't care for Absinthe Blind when I saw them live... funny thing is I saw Red Hot Valentines live and thought they were great. Bought the CD on the day I had this though about small stores. Listened to album and decided I wanted to give it away (I didn't care for their album).
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Old 07-05-2003, 11:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
Yeah... I hear ya about Record Service... There is CD Exchange (I think on Neil St and used to be on Green). There is another used CD place in downtown Urbana (the name sort of escapes me though). Just to tell you about the local stuff. I think there was a another music store in downtown Champaign that was akin to Record Service but they closed down.

Its just that even Chicago (like the Lincoln Park area) I felt like encountered the same deal in terms of the small independantly owned mom and pop stores. High prices for both new and used CDs. Maybe in the past I would have shelled out junk at the local stores but now I'm like, "I don't think so." I mean when I talk about internet, I'm talking about Yahoo shopping/ Ebay as well as the file sharing networks. They are totally being a big influence on me as a consumer. What more is there to do besides that? Some people seem to make a big deal about record shops needing to be saved... but again what for? So that one can meet Jack Black types, LOL. It reminds me of the whole buy American thing that happened when the Japanese first started dominating the car market, except its buy at record stores b/c of big corporations are evil.

I didn't care for Absinthe Blind when I saw them live... funny thing is I saw Red Hot Valentines live and thought they were great. Bought the CD on the day I had this though about small stores. Listened to album and decided I wanted to give it away (I didn't care for their album).
We are opposites on the local scene You'll have to give me ideas of other good locals....

I am up in Chicago for the weekend. I went into a store in Evanston today, and found "Hail to the Thief" FAR cheaper than what I even saw it at Best Buy. More credit to them. Despite just coming from Lincoln Park, we didn't stop in too many "mom and Pops" - I wanted to go to Tower. Didn't even buy anything, but still saw a ton of stuff that I wouldn't find in most shops.

I am still new to the whole Chicago record store scene....hopefully I will find a good, dependalbe one for my weekend visits.
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Old 07-07-2003, 08:44 PM   #6
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I wish I still had the source with me, but I read somewhere that retailers garner the vast majority of the profits from CD sales, not record companies or artists.
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