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Discussion: Labels, bands, hype, and ebay prices
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BBR



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Discussion: Labels, bands, hype, and ebay prices Reply with quote

I'm sure we could agree that in general any band would get called out for selling their records for ebay prices even though there is the demand. How come labels are not held to the same scrutiny? Some labels that the band trades copies of its record to pull those records from their sites and put them up on Discogs for 100 euros or raise the price in the distro. The records sell successfully for that much. This happens even more often in the form of the label owner pulling the records from the distro and putting them on their tradelist, selling under a personal name/alias, etc.

Not to mention the individuals who flip their copy, or had purchased multiple copies for the purpose of reselling.

This phenomenon can be introduced in part by limited pressings (e.g. 250). That much is obvious. And you can always expect anonymous individuals to let their greed drive their actions. But what of the labels and distributors who are revered in the scene for their underground support, who so apparently betray the spirit of bands like the ones they claim to support by holding records less than a few months old for a $100 ransom, or worse? Personally, I refuse to do business with any label that professes adherence to the underground while finding it acceptable to make a profit of ten-fold off of records a band has practically given them.

There are some distributors who even profit immensely off demo tapes less than a year old in the same fashion (once the hype has built up). How can you pretend to be a meaningful contributor to this spirit when you are willing to sell tapes you got virtually for free, tapes that the band paid for by their skin of their teeth originally?

I am positive that any artist would be scorned for taking monetary advantage of their own material. Consumers expect them to be content scraping together change for another demo release while others make hundreds to thousands off of their output. From my observation, it's a prevalent misconception that all artists become rich or even make a single extra dime off of their music being hyped.

This isn't a rant about individuals ebaying records and tapes. I'm trying to open discussion on: a) "true" labels that choose profit over integrity and b) artists selling their releases for ridiculous "going" prices. It would be interesting to see what label owners, band members, and consumers think.

Disclaimer: I dislike arguments about metal genres, rumors, the new poser band down the street, and the like... but this has been on my mind and has less to do with fish wives' gossip and more to do with integrity and the status quo, in my opinion.
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Murustrictus



Joined: 15 May 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have certainly noticed labels selling copies of their own releases for inflated prices on discogs recently and there are also promotional demos (Probably no more than 2 years old at the latest) which actually break a hundred dollars. All bands and releases in question are good releases, but this practise really needs to stop. Unfortunately, as long as certain individuals can make these kinds of profit I cannot see this changing any time soon. Of course, the collector mentality adds to this also. I have no problem trading dubs of demos, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so when people will pay insane prices for said demos and the fear of bootlegs flooding the "market" (Which like you touched upon, most of these demos were probably for free or virtually so, paid for by the band themselves.)
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should we name names here?
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BBR



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murustrictus, I agree about the bit you added concerning labels peddling their own releases for inflated prices. I would much rather trade dubs than pay more than $5 for a (possibly) original tape as well.

Scentofdeath, I didn't start this thread to point fingers, but that's my personal decision.
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think all of us are aware of this "phenomena" and agree that it's despicable, but unless we turn this into a circus with names and pointing fingers, this thread is near useless. Smile
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, seriously now, I've experienced this with some labels, and it's shitty, but nothing you can do, as a buyer.
It happens that I really wanted the damn things, an I bid (!) on them.
Of course I will forever think of them as scum of the earth, but they're not gonna care, are they?

So: buyers can refuse to buy if they stand "moral"
But bands should say something too, I think, if they see this going on.
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thread by the way, but I'm still waiting for it to go nuts with finger pointing Very Happy
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funeralfog666



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scentofdeath wrote:
Good thread by the way, but I'm still waiting for it to go nuts with finger pointing Very Happy


Mgla selling copies of groza lp for 50 euro recently, I emailed about one then got that price and did not respond. Laughing
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Fallen_Empire
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The metal market (vinyl in particular) is growing increasingly depressing. As a result, I am ceasing the production of my 'Black Envelope Editions' after these next ones which are already in progress / planned are done. While I am very pleased and proud with how these have come out so far, I would like to take a firmer stance against the state of things as they stand.

Certain aspects have truly become less about the music and more about who has what and who can lay out the most copies of the same record on their bed sheets and post it in a collections thread. Labels are sometimes directly responsible as many of them actively engage in tricks that will make you spend more than you would have otherwise. Would you have bought 4 copies of the same record if it just came on a single color? Fuck no.

People will collect stuff no matter what, this is a fact. However, they can't collect stuff THAT DOESN'T EXIST. Nobody will be mad that they're missing out on that purple vinyl edition limited to 50 copies if you don't make it.

Edit: I didn't really touch on the subject of labels deliberately hoarding their own releases for after market sales, but I think that sort of behavior needs no comment.


Last edited by Fallen_Empire on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a more recent example:

http://www.discogs.com/buy/Vinyl/Warning-Watching-From-A-Distance/81076803?ev=bp_rel_det

Once the other sellers run out of copies, their "secret stash" of "limited 100" will go to $100. But that's the Kreation MO.
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BBR



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad to see this getting a few replies. Just to clarify, I started this originally with the target being labels that are not necessarily labels that produced a certain release, but ones that in an indirect way disrespect/cheat artists (or possibly the original label). But yes thanks for bringing up the fact that original labels also "hold out".
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Werewolf



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool story bro.

It's their property (label owners, band members, whoever you mentioned over there), they are more than welcome to do whatever they want with stuff that belong to them, including trashing in OR selling it for whatever price they want. Same about promos, definitely.
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BBR



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, it's their property and they can legally do whatever they want with it. You're missing the point though. I am interested in less tangible aspects such as a sense of rightness, fairness, etc. Hell maybe even honor is the word to be used.
If I misread your reply and you mean to say you're ambivalent to whether labels should... Morally not practice opportunistic price hikes, then thanks for sharing your view.
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Reaper's Grave



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i guess it depends on how its done, its a buyers market.

Labels trade releases they spent money to press. I don't care if they keep a copy of a record they like they got "for free" via trading, or even a second one for ebay. If label holds a copy and sells it for $100 later, maybe they can fund a release with that money, which means more releases for us that we've been anticipating.

Maybe label is clearing out stuff that "went missing" or their personal collection. this would be the case with demos and promos for example. If a band sent a demo into nuclear blast in 1994, and now they're huge, does anyone care if nuclear blast sells that tape now on ebay?

In cases of bands and labels too, is it wrong if they list something on ebay for a normal price it went for, but due to demand the price goes up in the auction? I think Agalloch got some heat for this in the ebay thread years ago when they were selling leftover copies or personal copies of their early CDs and vinyl and people were bidding over a hundred bucks for them. If they started the auction at $10 for a CD and it goes for $150 its nobody's fault but the people bidding on it.

The real problem to complain is a lot of marketing gimmicks and how much support we offer for 5 colors of vinyl on a new release with the gotta catch em all motive, or if labels are raising the prices on anticipated releases/bands that would sell better. I'm thinking labels like Rise above where the uncle acid record was going for a ton of money, and they decided to reissue it, but the reissue was selling brand new for $30-35 a piece for a single record? Then the reissues of classic albums via labels like earache, peaceville, and back on black/plastic head that generally hit the states costing $25-30 a piece via HHR or whoever else gets them. Maybe its a british thing, or the markup is high due to the cost for the rights to press these records, i have no idea about this, but if there's any inflation due to band name and knowing they can sell it for higher prices that seems to me a bigger issue than if a label holds on to records to resell on ebay.

Also the pressing of 4-5 colors of any reissue or new release album. I'd much rather see them press 1000-2000 copies on black vinyl, normal jackets (especially reissues or albums that don't require elaborate packaging) and sell them for normal prices. Buy records to play, not to collect.

on the note of kreation records, for some reason they're always above the market, no surprise if they sell simply for the sake of profit, in which case no support.
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scentofdeath



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This record smuggling will go on for as long as there's a buyer.

You also have to look at the reasons labels put out records.
Most people press vinyl because they want that album on vinyl. At the same time, most of them can't afford to press a whole flood of records so they play it safe and make just enough to get them that album on vinyl, for their own collection. It's not fun having a shit load of dead stock in a bedroom operation. So, that album ends up in a small limited run, and god forbid in a combination of colors. This is one of the sources for this "issue".

If the original post questions the morality of things, there is no such thing. At the end of the day, everyone needs to make a buck.
There's a few exceptions, but aren't they in a constant struggle because of that? See Hydra Head. Even they had to pull out their collections on ebay to get their asses out of trouble, for what they thought was fair and moral towards art and the artist and the fans. Which is fine.

In the end, I think the biggest problem is the buyer. There are too many schmucks out there that gotta have every color, or that buy the extra copy(ies) to "jew it out" later (Side note: Betcha' those that bought the extra profit copy of Umskiptar aren't laughing now, are they?). It's probably why some labels make 3, 4, 5 color options. They'll have a guaranteed number of sales due to the above mentioned schmucks.

Obviously the labels that practice fast profiteering from their own releases are pitiful scum, because what's that gonna do for them? An extra hundred bucks and a big "shit face cunt" tag to go with it.
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