It’s all gone quiet

For those of you who are following this blog / project, my apologies for the deafening silence over the last few weeks. Truth is, I’ve had a lot of work on and FGTeBay activities have had to take a back seat.

The current state of play is that there are now 176 records in the Inventory (sold and unsold), and most of these were picked up in September and October as I’ve hardly bought or sold anything in November. That amount of records from a 50p standing start is quite astonishing. I have no idea how much this would have grown by had I been able to continue at the blistering early pace I set off at. Hopefully, now that I have cleared the decks somewhat of the non-crate digging, actual work I had allowed to pile up, I can resume my 2nd hand record activities.

Here are the headlines

TOTAL RECORDS PURCHASED SO FAR: 176

TOTAL RECORDS SOLD: 29

I carried a £60 profit into October following a great start in September. In October (and early November), the following financial Ins and Outs happened.

I spent £22.50 on yet more records
I spent £20 on my pitch at the Moseley Record Fair
I spent £28.73 on postage and eBay fees

A total of £71.23 going out. However, and including Record Fair takings, I made a total of £83.50 in sales. Meaning that FGTeBay PLC is currently £72.27 (and many, many records) in the black, which is nice.

Just a note on the Record Fair. I’m unsure whether I’ll go back as a vendor, certainly not for the time being at least. At the Record Fair in early November I made £36.50 in sales, so I covered my £20 costs and made a little on top for basically sitting on my arse and reading a book for 4 hours, but I think I would need a lot more records, and a few considerably rarer records, to make the exercise worthwhile in future. We’ll see.

So, as we head towards the deep, deep winter I have £72.27 to spend. Let’s see what it brings me.

Thanks for those who have taken an interest in this thing. Normal service (if you could call it that) will now be resumed.

Cheers!

Craig

Oh Shit, I’ve Become A Record Shop

I started with 50p and a Frankie Goes To Hollywood tour program just under 8 weeks ago. Now I have a pile of records that seems to be growing in quite an alarming manner. Tomorrow morning I’ll be present at The Moseley Book & Record Fair as a stallholder.

There’s no escaping the fact that I’ll be there in the hope of flogging some of this stuff on to other hopeless vinyl nerks. I’ve accidentally become a very small and disorganised record shop. How did that happen?

September was rather sedate and fun. During September I went around and purchased records, and I sold some of them, and Frankie Goes To eBay was born. It all seemed so simple.

In October things took a turn for the strange when people started to give me records, and this seemed to send me into some kind of overdrive in my search for charity and junk shop GOLD. The long and the short of it is that there are now over 250 records in my house.

I already have lots of records that I want to cherish and keep and pass on to my son one day. These Frankie Goes To eBay records are extra records. I’m stockpiling them with the intention of not falling in love with them. I don’t like to look at them too much in case they wink at me and try to be my friend.

Here’s a thing: Despite amassing this large pile of lodger vinyl, I’m somehow not out of pocket.

I just about understand how that has happened, but I want to find out more, which is kind of the point of starting this thing in the first place.

September was a shiny new idea month.October was a somewhat fortuitous stockpiling month. November will be a Nuts and Bolts Month.

In the meantime, here are some action shots of my preparation for tomorrow. My wife kindly agreed to make me some dividers to help the punters navigate their way through the stock. Meanwhile, I cleaned up and priced the vinyl.

The dogs were no help.

If you live nearby, come along to Mungbean Village tomorrow. The fair is on from 1pm-5pm in St Columbus, which is on Chantry Road (B13 8DD). I’ll be the man yelling “No haggling!”

I’m Going To Need A Bigger Boat

I mentioned in a post last week that two friends had offered me ‘some’ records for the FGTeBay project. Over the last few days I have taken them both up on their kind offers and, along with one or two charity shop purchases, all told I have taken possession of a pretty amazing pile of records. The full list is below.

It’s taken quite a while to photograph and log them all. If you follow this project on Twitter or Facebook then I apologise for the bombardment of photo posts today, but I decided to bite the bullet and do them all in one go, and there were 59 of them! I somehow doubt I’ll be processing such a large number of records in one go again, but then I didn’t expect to be given piles of the things, so I should probably never say never.

There are some amazing and quite rare/expensive records in the pile, and its worth remembering that these records were going to be literally thrown away unless I took them, which is just bizarre. In particular the early 1990s releases by UK indie acts, including the likes of (The) Verve and Ride, often fetch tidy sums on sites such as eBay and Discogs, and there are some stone cold classics of 1990s indie, including Galaxie 500, American Music Club and Bob Mould. Beyond those obvious highlights there is a fairly good seam of late 80s and early to mid 90s stuff in amongst it all that might make just someone’s day.

There were also some records that were either slightly the worse for wear, or else missing their sleeves, or (if I’m being brutally honest) were just a bit rubbish. These have gone into ‘The Bargain Bin’ which will be sold at 20p at record fairs. There’s a copy of Out Of Time by REM in just an inner sleeve in there, for instance. I’m not going to log and photograph these ones.

I have a few decisions to make about how to proceed this month following this haul. I sold a few records on eBay last month but I can’t help thinking that I might have done better with some of them at records fairs. A lot of the records sold for their £3 reserve to a single bidder. Once fees and postage are removed from a transaction of that size there isn’t a great deal left to play with (i.e. – buy more records). I’m not being greedy here, and I appreciate that I’ve just been handed a huge pile of (very close to) free records, but I think perhaps that I’ve got my processes the wrong way and that it would be better to try certain records at the fair before I try them on eBay. This feeling comes in part from the advice of the other vendors at the record fair I visited, many of whom suggested I only ever sell the very, very rare records online and simply keep the less valuable ones for a rainy day at a record fair.

I will give all this some thought over the coming days. In the meantime, if any of the records listed below (or in the full inventory) happen take your fancy and you can’t wait for me to stop dithering like a eejit, email me and make an offer.

Incidentally, storage is already becoming a minor issue.

Onwards….

Kate Bush – The Sensual World, 1989 LP, EMI, EMD 1010
The Triffids – present The Black Swan, 1989 LP, Island, ILPS 9928
The Blue Nile – Hats, 1989 LP, A&M, CHEN 21
XTC – The Loving, 1989 12”, Virgin, VST1201
Magazine – Play, 1980 LP, Virgin, V 2184
808 State – Quadrastate, 1989 12”, Creed, State 004
Ride – Nowhere, 1990 LP, Creation, CRELP4
10,000 Maniacs – In My Tribe, 1987 LP, Elektra/WEA, EKT 41
Moose – XYZ, 1992 LP, Hut, HUTLP5
Kitchens of Distinction – Strange Free World, 1990 LP, One Little Indian, TPLP 19
The Blue Aeroplanes – Beatsongs, 1991 LP, Ensign, CHEN 21
Karlheinz Stockhausen – Stimmung, 1970 LP, Deutsche Grammophon, 2543003
Orbital – The Box, 1996 12”, Internal, PY 122
Marillion – He Knows You Know, 1983 12”, EMI, 12EMI5362
Rebel MC – Rich Ah Getting Richer, 1992 Promo 12”, Big Life, Promo
Pan – Panology, 1993 LP, Big Cat, ABB49
Front 242 – Front By Front, 1988 LP, Red Rhino Europe, RRELP7
Immaculate Fools – Dumb Poet, 1987 LP, A&M, SP 6 5151
Cowboy Junkies – The Caution Horses, 1990 LP, BMG, PL 90450
Pale Saints – Half Life, 1990 12”, 4AD, BAD 0015
Lush – Sweetness & Light, 1990 12”, 4AD, BAD 0013
Fields of the Nephilim – Power, 1986 12”, Situation 2, SIT 42T
Galaxie 500 – Fourth of July, 1990 12”, Rough Trade, RTT249
Various – The Food Christmas EP 1989, 1989 12”, Food, 12 FOODG 23
Jesus Jones – Liquidizer, 1989 LP, Food, FOODLP3
They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul, 1990 12”, WEA Elektra EKR104T
The Chills – Submarine Bells, 1990 LP, London / Slash, 828 191 1
U2 – The Unforgettable Fire, 1984 LP, Island, U2 5
Verve – A Storm In Heaven, 1993 LP, Hut, HUTLP 10
Toasted Heretic – Galway & Los Angeles, 1991 12”, Solid, LQD 112
Indigo Girls – Closer To Fine, 1989 12”, Epic, 6549076
Bob Mould – Workbook, 1989 LP, Virgin, VUSLP2
Blue Pearl – Naked, 1990 LP, Big Life, BLR LP 4
Steve Hillage – Motivation Radio, 1977 LP, Virgin, OVED 32
Durutti Column – Amigos Em Portugal, 1983 LP, Fundacao Altantica, 1652071
Fishbone – Everyday Sunshine, 1992 12”, Columbia, 658193 6
Ozric Tentacles – Sploosh!, 1991 12”, Dovetail, DOVE ST3
Swervedriver – Son of Mustang Ford, 1990 12”, Creation, CRE 079 T
The Lemonheads – Lick, 1989 LP, World Service, SERV 007
Marillion – Incommunicado, 1987 12”, EMI, 12MARIL 6
Birdland – Hollow Heart, 1989 12”, Lazy, Lazy 13T
American Music Club – Everclear, 1991 LP, Alias, A015
The Blue Aeroplanes – Broken & Mended, 1993 12”, Beggars Banquet, BBQ 26T
Goldie – Temper, Temper, 1998 12”, FFRR, PY122 LC7654
Mary Margaret O’Hara – Miss America, 1988 LP, Virgin, V 2559
Warren Mitchell – Alf Garnett sings Songs of World War I, 1967 LP, Allegro, ALL 840
Swans – Can’t Find My Way Home, 1989 12”, MCA, MCAT 1347
Galaxie 500 – This Is Our Music, 1990 LP, Rough Trade, Rough 156
The Sound of Music – OST, 1965 LP, RCA, SB 6616
The Chills – Heavenly Pop Hit, 1990 12”, London / Slash, LASHX 22
Daniel Johnston – 1990, 1990 LP, Shimmy Disc, SDE 9015 LP
Johnny Cash – The Magnificent Johnny Cash, 1972 LP, Hallmark, SHM 777
The Everly Brothers – Don & Phil’s Fabulous Fifties Treasury, 1974 LP, Janus, 6310 300
Lua Kiwii – Hawaiian Medley, Late 1920s 78rpm 10” shellac, Ariel Grand Record, No. 1037
Lord Rockingham’s XI – Hoots Mon, 1958 78 rpm, Decca, F. 11059
Frank Sinatra – Sinatra Sings Mercer, 1963 LP, Capitol, SRS 5167
Frank Sinatra – Sinatra at The Sands, 1966 Double LP, Reprise, K 64002
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard, 1986 7” w. Gatefold Pop Up sleeve, ZTT, ZTAS 22/ZTD 22
Tom Jones – This is Tom Jones, 1969 MONO LP, Decca, LK 5007

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You can see full size images of the records listed above aswell as the rest of the FGTeBay stock over on the Tumblr. I’m also (slowly) adding a track from each record I buy to a slowly growing Spotify playlist. You can also follow this blog on Facebook and talk to me on Twitter. If none of the above float your boat but you have a question, then you can always email me.

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Now, I wasn’t expecting this…(File Under: Flexible Business Models)

I’ve had two very interesting electronic messages in the last week or so, both of them from friends.

I should point out that these two friends of mine do not know one another. In fact, to my knowledge, each is completely unaware of the existence of the other.

Here is the first electronic message. It came from my pal Mike about a week ago.

….you get the idea. Mike’s mate is throwing out records. Mike has grabbed them for me. Isn’t Mike nice!

Here’s the 2nd electronic message. It arrived today, this time via Twitter, from my pal Nick:

What about that, eh? Nick (also a nice man) has had the very same idea as Nice Man Mike. He has grabbed a pile of records for the purpose of passing them to me and this project.

Free records. Twice in a week. Quite weird.

What this means is that I’m going to get a big pile of records from the 1940s, ’50s and ’80s, which is a lovely thing to happen, and it represents a ludicrously timely windfall given that I have less than one month to stock up for a record fair. However, and without wanting to come across like a miserable, ungrateful bastard, it should be pointed out that this sort of thing falls slightly outside of the boundaries of the project I set out on, and as such it requires a bit of thought and justification.

On the one hand, when I started this project I did not anticipate the possibility of people GIVING me records, so that eventuality was not part of my thought process when I set my ground rules. (TRANSLATION: I cannot be blamed for this). On the other hand, if I hadn’t started this project in the first place people wouldn’t be giving me records! (TRANSLATION: I deserve those records!)

Now, I’m quite clearly not going to turn down these free bits of vinyl, but I nevertheless need to incorporate them legitimately into the FGTeBay process. Here’s what I’m going to do.

1) I’m going to give Mike and Nick some money, even though they have both said they don’t want any. To make them feel better about this, it won’t be a lot of money – but it will be some money, and that’s important. By handing over a token amount per record it means I have still technically purchased them.

then..

2) If and when I sell any of the records that Nick and Mike have so kindly ‘sold’ me at these bargain prices, I’m going to split the profit on each of the sales 50/50 with them.

This, to me, seems like a fair and logical way of not looking an unforeseen gift horse in the mouth. I hope you agree. If you don’t, please tell me what I should have done. I’m hoping to pick up both sets of records in the next few days and will be posting photos shortly afterwards.

At The Record Hop

On Sunday I went on a reconnaissance mission to The Moseley Book & Record Fair. I went to scope out the lay of the land for when I make my record fair debut at the very same event next month.

The fair was celebrating its 2nd birthday and my friend Jerome, who is jointly responsible for the existence of this lovely monthly event, was rightly proud of the milestone he and his band of record and book sellers had reached.

I had a mooch around, chatted to some stall holders, who were keen to give advice, and had a listen to the sounds of the makeshift DJ booth. I then went home and had a mild heart attack about the fact that, unless I pull my finger out in October, I may be setting up a stall with only 30-odd records on it.

See you there next month!

Month 1 – The Edited Highlights

The eBay sale of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood tour program that started me off on this whole idea happened on the 3rd September. I reckon this is as good a date as any to be the end of the month, so from now on I’ll be posting ‘Monthly Accounts’ shortly after the 3rd of each calendar month. In the meantime, here are the edited highlights for September 2012.

TOTAL RECORDS BOUGHT: 39

TOTAL AMOUNT SPENT ON RECORDS: £40.67

TOTAL RECORDS SOLD: 14

TOTAL eBay SALES (excluding postage): £69.33

There are of course eBay and Paypal charges to be taken out of this figure, and there will be either a small profit or loss on the postal charges I have added to the items sold. All of this boring detail will come out in the wash when I publish the actual numbers, which I’m hoping will be at some point in the next week. Bet you can’t wait.

The less boring and the short of it is that I now have over £60 to reinvest into more records, having started this project just over a month ago with just 50p. In addition to the £60 ‘war chest’, I also have 25 records which are all bought and paid for and would further boost the invest-in-records fund were I to shift them.

All in all, then, not bad for the first month. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:

  • I’m having a lot of fun doing this.
  • I’m not going to get rich..
  • …but it also looks like I’m not going to put me and the family in the poorhouse, which is nice.
  • It’s very hard not to keep all the records you buy, even if you already have them

Doubtless I will learn more as the months go on. Here are the 13 records I sold this month, plus the Frankie Program that kicked it all off.

You can see full size images of the records listed above aswell as the rest of the FGTeBay stock over on the Tumblr. I’m also adding a track from each record I buy to a slowly growing Spotify playlist. You can also follow this blog on Facebook and talk to me on Twitter. If none of the above float your boat but you have a question, then you can always email me.