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Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 2547
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sad but true...open an EBAY shop...
BLAZING OBSCURITY TAPE LABEL| http://blazingobscurity.blogspot.com/
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 670
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah,Mikko opened a shop called Sarvilevyt in here.

Must visit there when i have time.
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Jacy Catlin

Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local guys here have shops in both Madison and Milwaukee (1 hour apart). The shops are metal and punk exclusively with no major label records (besides used). They split their time between the 2 shops and move stock back and forth if people need something. They manage both and have a few employees who probably work cheap part time for discounts and free stuff. They also have a small label, and I'm sure auction off some of their pricier stuff on ebay, though they have a few collectible things in stock and a decent vinyl selection.

If you have a physical store which people know about, you are going to make the most $ buying collections when people need quick cash and reselling. If you do an internet only thing thats the only thing you cant do- have a physical place people can come to drop off stuff when they need to make rent or buy drugs. You can buy CDs for $1-2 each and resell for $6-10 used, and buy LPs for $1-5 and resell for $5-??? depending on what it is.

Big city monster stores like Amoeba are getting pretty good at stocking underground releases of notice in all genres. If you are in a big city they will be you competitors. I'd say a medium sized city with not much competition but enough music collectors to support you and keep a flow of used stuff coming in.
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Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 261

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as someone who's self employed, I can't help but agree with what's been said here already.

However, if you do feel that there could be something there I'd say that what you'll have to think of are other services that you can run from the shop. For eg. if you rent a fairly large space, can you convert part of it into say a practice room for bands or maybe also partition off one bit and sub-lease it to a tattooist?

On product, will you be willing to stock some crap (metalcore, goth, and other shit) and say for example goth clothing or leather and bondage gear? Can you, personally, make stuff out of leather and offer that as another service?

From what I can see, your challenge will be not so much getting people to buy the product in your shop but rather to buy into the "experience" of going to your shop so that even though they can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere they still will come to you.

Sounds like creating a "scene" doesn't it? Well that's why I could never mix business with metal.
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Shadow Kingdom

Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 1801

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'll tell ya, it would be a tough move to make and succeed. I think you would have to give in and cator to more than just metal if you're gonna survive though. Most metalheads now buy online.

But if you're thinking about it and have some questions or whatever, not that I know anything, but if you email me, I'd try to help you for what it's worth.
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3581
Location: ...am Hexenstieg (Germany)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SHAXUL RECORDS has just opened its doors in San Francisco, 1816 Haight Street. Stop by Tues-Sunday 11-7 and support it. Stone used to have a fine selection of stuff in his mailorder list and so I guess the store is great to encounter some cool shit.

Chief Darragh Invictus wrote:
Everything good comes in packs, wolves and beer.
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Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how exactly is the situation in the USA, but it is catastrophic for shops in Europe.
I learn recently that the relapse shop closed its doors too. (never been to the USA, so I cannot tell you if it was a good place or not).

Saying that, if everyone keeps selling stuffs on the internet ..., the "real life" and the pleasures linked to it will disappear. Not only in the musical fields. Many people want a world a bit more 'humanized' when you can discuss with the record seller.
And moreover, I think that the transport costs will keep on increasing, so I guess that having stuffs in a store one day could prevent costumers to pay $11 shipping costs for a $5 cd. Finding the same cd at $10 in a shop could be a good bargain in the end.

So, yes, if the situation is the same in the USA than in Europe, it is hyper-risky. But try it I would suggest. Honor and satisfaction have no price.

I would also suggest to represent all forms of Metal, Hardcore / real punk, and old rock'n'roll music. To keep a wide range that represent all honest styles. Folk / Medieval music also -(specialy for Europe I guess).

Saying that, my personal dream number2 is also to open a shop. Near the sea-side (south of England) where I can also swin every day before opening the shop.

Dream number1 remains owning a vinyl-press machine in my basement - like the rastas do in Kingstone.
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Hellfire Commando

Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 2539
Location: Lac Simon, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would love to open up a record shop one day. In Montreal we are really lucky, because we still have this type of "record shopping culture", althought the new generation of kids don't buy albums but download them... in any case, fucking go for it man - but you will have to have a nice used section as well as a mailorder... you might of course also have to sell some crap, but we'll all know that it won't be your fault! Very Happy

To come back on the mp3 downloading thing though, I heard a pretty creepy story a few months ago, at my metal DJ night. Some guy looked at my CD collection (I only bring originals with me) and he's like "well you know, I download because I'd rather put my money on other things like a cottage..." a few beers later he comes back to see me and says "you know, I already bought a cottage... and I had to sell it because I didn't have enough money for it... but you want to know my real plan? I wanted to bring every person I hated in it and kill them and nobody would know about it.... I'm telling you because I feel I can trust you".... haha I was really creeped out.

This was only an extreme example, but kids these days ALWAYS have an excuse of not buying records. It's fucking unexcusable!
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Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 1615
Location: Surf City

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ideas about combining a record shop with another retail outlet like clothing, books etc. But the REAL money is in BONGS. Open a head shop/record shop, if there aren't too many head shops in your area already. You can't download a bong.
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Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 3359

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it depends on your local situation. Atleast here in Belgium, there's pretty much no way to make it work. The last record store that was really specialized in underground metal (Rataplan in Ghent) closed its doors 5 years ago. 2 years ago, the biggest Belgian hardcore shop closed down. And during the same time some other independent record stores focussing on less commercial music called it quits. In my own town there still is one 'metalshop' left, but they had to downsize seriously, even going out of business for a few months last year. The only ones surviving are the ones from a big retailchain called 'Metalzone'.

But still, some thoughts about how it might work:
-Diversify. Don't go for underground metal alone. Don't go for music alone. Look at for example Repulsive records, in their top sales lists you always can spot 2 or 3 releases from commercial bands. You need mallcore and stuff you hate to keep your head above water. Our local metalpub had to organize occasional houseparties and hip-hop parties a few years ago to not go bankrupt. Now that their situation is better it's just metal again.
Definately sell records too. Sell second hand and rarities.
-Be sure you can deal with a (serious) loss for the first year, because buying stock will cost you a lot of money.
-Try to keep your prices low. Many people know the internet and how to use it to get cheap CD's. The reason why I buy my music online 90% of the time is because I'm not going to pay €15 for a CD when I can get it online for €8. Choose cashflow over profit per item. Also, the more you sell of a CD, the cheaper it will become for you to buy in bulk.
-'Know' people. You need people that will visit your shop on a regular basis and will spend money at your shop at a regular basis. You need people that will come to you when they decide to sell their metalcollection. You need people to tell other people to visit your shop. Look at Neseblod store, they have great contacts with some guys from the old scene which enabled them to get heaps of those original demotapes which they sold for shitloads of money.

All in all, if you're a great businessman you could pull it off. If you just want to do it for the 'love for the music' then please choose another life's dream, because you will end up with debt which will be haunting you for the rest of your life.
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Joined: 19 May 2006
Posts: 209
Location: Blashyrkh

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2 cents -

Very risky from a busniness perspective in the North American market. However, if you cater to a wide spectrum of 'alternative' people, i.e., metal, punk, goth, industrial and even some twat hippy music, you have a better chance of making it. Also can't be opposed to stocking Cradle of Dildos and Children of Boredom and the like. That shiz sells, plain and simple.

Here in Edmonton we have Oktopus Ink and they sell CDs, recrds as well as tapes of the above genres mentioned, and they've been at it for a few years now. The store is run by punk kids but they do a decent job. And I've yet to see a CD marked at over $16.00... but their records are perfectly overpriced for the trendy vinyl collecting boom.
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dead gods

Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 188

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TMA wrote:
I learn recently that the relapse shop closed its doors too. (never been to the USA, so I cannot tell you if it was a good place or not).

It was alright. Cds were about $14-15 each, but there would always be something of worth in the bargain or vinyl bins and in the early days they had a nice power-electronics/noise section. I hadn't visited in about a year. There is also a second-hand shop across the street with a ton of metal where I've gotten some of my best scores ever (like an entire crate of first-edition classic Norsecore discs and Hellhammer bootlegs for $4-5 bucks a piece).
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Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 741

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a shop in an expensive town called Addison not too far from where I reside called Metalheads. I went there once and will never go back. The guy has all his CDs in glass cases, and sells them on average for $19.99 each (these are domestic CDs, too). Plus, all the t-shirts are behind the counter. Ridiculous. I don't see how the guy is going to remain in business.

Then there's another store called Hit Records whose owner looks like the Crypt Keeper, only with flesh (no kidding -- people gave him that nickname behind his back). He always tells his customers "if we don't have it, it doesn't exist". He's wrong, of course.
"Order From Chaos, this band knows how to metal and they know how to satan and they most definitely know how to arghgh. It dosen't suck dick and thats why faggots don't like them. I have entered the stillbirth machine, I suggest you cum too."
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Joined: 16 Sep 2007
Posts: 907
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say: If you can get stuff at wholesale and sell it for as cheap or cheaper in the city as on the internet then go for it. And people can have something tangible after a visit without having to pay extra fees for shipping and all the shit. I could have bought 50 LPs with what I've paid in shipping over the years...
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Reaper's Grave

Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 2088
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies for this thread necromancy.

I've also had a similar idea. I've been pretty decent at business related stuff, and I've always been interested in local and the underground in general.

From the record shops I've seen two that still are in business for years while dealing with 66-90% in vinyl despite the small niche market in vinyl records in comparison to CD's.

The first was one that's been open for 25-30 years, it doesn't specialize in metal or punk, and is very very limited on either, and having general music appeal. The store began with a now 60-70 year old guy who had been collecting records since the 60's or 70's i'm sure. He wanted to sell his collection in the late 80's and opened the storefront for his 25,000 records. Through trades and distribution networks, he still is selling records and has a successful business.

The other specializes in punk, but the owner also is a fan of metal bands, especially older stuff like venom, bathory, first slayer album, etc. The store is in a sort of house/two story building which he owns. The basement/floor level was renovated into a place to put shows on, and is leased to another guy from the area who puts up the shows and gives the guy a cut. The first and main floor is 3-4 rooms divided. the main room is filled with records, the rest of the rooms is all sorts of stuff similar to what you'd find at a thrift shop with old video games, clothes, electronics, etc. The second floor is where the owner lives. I figure it's more economic. The basement venue is a registered club, and national acts play there drawing in a couple hundred people a week. With the record shop ahead it attracts people to come in and buy stuff. Get at least a 25% cut from the $10 tickets that i'm sure there's plenty of profit by the end of the month, not counting throughout the week when people stop buy or when regulars come in to grab tons of stuff.

To get stock, some ideas are both your personal collection, as well as cheap records in yard sales, flea markets, record shows, or anywhere else you can get stuff cheap. You might be lucky and find something cool, but either way you can pick up a bunch of necessary classics to stock.

As others said, also negate any bias. You'll be stocking metalcore, nu-metal, hard rock, alternative rock, indie, punk, goth, and related subgenres to stay afloat, however it's still possible to specialize in metal, as well as carry a wide selection, especially if there's a metal scene in your area or you live in a big city. I live less than an hour from boston personally so there's a wider group to go to these places.

Another suggestion is despite the success stories of vinyl stores in my area, it's best to carry a large amount in CD. I personally dislike the format, but see it as a necessary evil. Most people don't have tape players any more, and vinyl is more a format for die-hards, collectors, and not as mainstream anymore. You can make half your stock in vinyl and such, and the other half in CD's. I'd suggest carrying cassette tapes if/when you can get some, since I know a few select individuals who this caters too, and allows the possibility of selling demo tapes and promoting local and good demo bands in general. However Cd's should be a main feature to the store's experience as it is the most accessible format for the general buyer.

Start a mailorder online as well, if not start out completely that way. This way there's no storefront to worry about, and you just need extra space to store records and stock in general. If you go the mailorder route, you can also avoid having such classic necessities that serve as rent payers, and can just stock the underground material you prefer.

Best of luck with the store!
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