Record collectors have always been here, trawling through charity shops and car boot sales to uncover valuable and rare records but things are starting to change.
With the rising popularity of the vinyl format, opportunities to find these gems will be fading. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be plenty of good deals out there but as more and more people start to realise the value of their records the prices are going up. Gone are the days where you could walk out the door of a charity shop with five albums for £1.
With this comes the news that the likes of Tesco are going to start selling records again. With the big chain record stores also seeing the switch back to vinyl the lowly independent record stores face another big challenge, or do they?
Aye, Tesco can probably get you a record or a record player for a few pounds less because they can buy bulk orders that the independents can’t compete with. But can you stand in Tesco with a coffee and chat to someone behind the counter about the first record you ever bought?
For big corporations it’s another opportunity to make some profit. You just have to look at the pictures of record sleeves being vandalised with security tags to know that there is no difference between that product and a pack of ball point pens to them.
Find out where your nearest independent record shop is and go in for a look about. You hear people complaining about how the high street is dying, and that their town as nothing in it. If you just rake about on Amazon or shop only in supermarkets that is the result.
The reason I am harping on about this is because I have been helping out in a record shop for the last couple of months and forgot how great it could be. The shop is called Rare Trade and has only been running for a couple of months now but it is incredible the support it has had and the amount of people coming in.
A lot of people had said that opening a record shop in a small Ayrshire town (Kilwinning) would be crazy but seeing people travel from all over has proved there is a market. Being able to sell online at Raretrade.co.uk is obviously an advantage a lot of record shops that closed down in the 90’s didn’t have too.
The owner, Colin Boyd, has made sure there is a good mix of old and new by not ordering in 20 copies of a new album but opting for a wider selection and this is proving popular with the people coming in. We have seen a lot of people coming in looking to sell old record collections that have been gathering dust for years too which boosts the second hand side of things too.
A big part of the Rare Trade ethos has been to support local music and we have had bands in playing like the magnificent Black Cat Revue (keep your eyes on these chaps!) and are stocking the likes of Crash Club and Colonel Mustard which flies off the shelves. aw swell as selling tickets for local events.
In just a couple of months an independent record shop in Ayrshire has already proved it can do well, support local artists and provide somewhere on a high street for people to look in that isn’t a charity shop, bookies or Greggs. The shop as even had to expand to twice its original space to accomodate all of its stock and have more space for bands.
Moving on there are plans in place for a pop culture related fair/market type thing with everything from records to art and clothes as well as the news that Rare Trade have just acquired a Mono Vinyl Lathe so there should be an opportunity to press some records in the future too.
To find out more about Rare Trade visit their site and follow their social channels. Remember to support independent record shops or you will have to buy your records in supermarkets and nobody wants that.