Indie Music

Record Store Day Fallout: Even Its UK Coordinator Is Questioning The Event

Paul-wellerIf you're interested in limited-edition vinyl released on Record Store Day eBay has a nice dedicated section that includes RSD by year. Such resales shouldn't surprise anyone but multiple musicians are expressing dismay at how quickly such items appear on eBay. In particular, Paul Weller discovered his release appearing the day before Record Store Day on an account associated with one of the participating record shops. Unfortunately, given the absence of other remedies, Weller and others will not be participating in future RSD events.

Having quickly become an annual tradition, Record Store Day includes the release of a wide variety of exclusive vinyl in limited quantities. So, of course, people are going to try to take advantage of that leading to such outlets as dedicated sections on eBay.

While there's not a lot that can be done record stores do limit quantities and RSD's Code of Conduct (example from 2011) forbids participating shops from such things as holding back product for later sale. If releases are still available, shops can sell them online but only after a week has passed.

Paul Weller Will No Longer Participate In Record Store Day

This year Paul Weller, formerly of The Jam and The Style Council, was upset to find his limited edition release available on eBay the day before the event and he posted a statement on his site including:

"This is a message to all the fans who couldn't get the new vinyl single on Record Store Day and/or paid a lot of money for a copy on eBay."

"I agree with all of you who have sent messages expressing your anger and disappointment at the exploitation of these 'limited editions' by touts."

"Apart from making the record, the rest has very little to do with me but I am disheartened by the whole thing and unfortunately I won't be taking part in Record Store Day again."

"It's such a shame because as you know I am a big supporter of independent record stores but the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting and goes against the whole philosophy of RSD."

It turns out the account selling Weller's release early on eBay belonged to a record shop.

RSD released a statement in response to Weller expressing their concern and pointing out that offending record shops will not be allowed to participate in future events.

The UK Coordinator Was Already Concerned

However, even before this year's event, UK RSD coordinator Spencer Hickman expressed concerns:

""I loved Record Store Day because it was about celebrating the culture that I grew up in and around…I know people have said this about the last couple of years but, for me, this year feels like the first time it's been entirely driven by capitalism. I say that on behalf of myself. It now feel like it's not celebrating the culture of the record store and why they're so good; it's about the releases.""

Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre pointed out:

"This is 'Record Store' Day, not eBay Day, not Online Shopping Day. We do this to support what we know to be a collectors’ market for people that love music – the records are expensive to make and vinyl is a medium we love … so it sickens me that touts jack up the price on something that already cost more than, say, a digital release."

What to do about this situation is unclear. Spencer Hickman breaks down some possibilities including taking a year off. Given that for many shops RSD is now bigger than Christmas, that's unlikely to occur.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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1 Comment

  1. Maybe Weller should have released more than 500 copies if he wanted more fans to get it. My local store was allocated 1 (one) copy and that was snapped up by the first person in the queue, who had been queuing since 4:30am! But I agree something needs to be done to stop people abusing RSD.

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