Life’s bad guys are pretty well defined. Tax collectors are pretty unpopular, as are traffic wardens and traffic policemen hiding behind hedges holding speed guns. But we all know these are not inherently evil people. It’s the job that is evil. The people who choose to do these jobs may well, when they remove their uniforms, pat their children on the head, kiss their loved ones, tickle the cat behind the ear and instantly rehabilitate themselves into society on a daily basis. One might question whether by choosing such a career to put bread on the table for their families they have somehow made a deal with the devil, but on the whole Society accepts such jobs exist, and the weak minded and vulnerable may have to make tough choices about whether the children have shoes on their feet before declining the job offer.
Moving up the scale are Estate Agents, Bankers and MPs. These are not inherently evil jobs, it is the way that some people have behaved whilst doing these jobs that has defined just how evil (or otherwise) they are. Claiming moats on expenses: Evil. Helping the poor: Less evil. Packaging up sub-prime loans to look like AAA bonds and knowingly off-loading them to pension funds: Evil. Cashing someone’s check at the counter: Less Evil.
And then, right at the top of the scale of Evildom, (and yes, that is a word. Now) are thieves, ticket touts and people who sell Record Store Day items on eBay to make a fat profit.
It is irritating beyond all reason when those latter chancers flood eBay with blatant attempts to fleece the public. I think it might be the idea that rock n roll was once a way to make a stand against The Man. Flipping records on eBay is Being The Man. So for me, at least, it is a question of ethics. I will have no part in it, because the idea of fleecing a fellow music fan doesn’t sit well with me. But am I just being an old fashioned hippy?
Here’s ten reasons why I might be, and therefore Ten Reasons Why Record Flippers May Not Be In League With Satan (Although No Doubt Some Actually Are):
1. Somebody has to take a huge loss on buying a fifty quid record with a resale value of thirty.
If you ever want to cheer yourself up, take a look at all the unsold records on eBay. They don’t all go for twice the price, and someone paid full price for those unsold “gems”. Think it is galling paying thirty quid for your favourite record? It can’t be anywhere near as galling as paying fifty quid for a record you don’t actually like by an artist you despise, but you mistakenly thought might rise in value and is now worth twenty. Ha ha! Losers!
2. I have never seen a record collector drive a Bentley.
The idea that someone is scalping you by charging double face value on eBay the day after Record Store Day just because they got up half an hour earlier than you is annoying, but let’s face it, it happens once a year, you can only have one of any item, and if anyone has made more than two hundred quid on Record Store Day even if they bought up the whole shop I’d be amazed. Compare that to MPs claiming moats on expenses and you can see who the real villains are.
3. Brad Pitt didn’t snare Angelina Jolie by telling her he was a record dealer.
George Clooney doesn’t flip records on eBay. They are both already too busy being gorgeous to worry about impressing girls with tales of how they bought a Kate Bush picture disc for fifteen quid and sold it for fifty. And Jolie *really* isn’t interested. Next time you see a picture of a record flipper, ask yourself “Would Clooney be envious?” or “Does he have a film star girlfriend?” or “Do they look like they have washed recently?”
4. They are probably getting it in the neck from their husband or wife about the amount of space that rubbish picture disc by an unknown indie band is taking up in the front room.
5. They got up at 3am to get to the front of the queue.
To make twenty quid. If you count queueing time as “work”, they’re on less than minimum wage. They would have made more money cleaning the toilets at Subway. And have more dignity.
6. Only rich people can justify paying thirty quid for a 7″ picture disc, ergo they are mainly just ripping off rich people anyway.
Let’s not go as far as comparing them to Robin Hood, but no-one objects too strongly to rich people being made slightly poorer, do they?
7. They would have made more money investing their cash in something else.
If you had invested a hundred quid in gold on Record Store Day in 2012, you would now have £75. Okay, bad example. HMV shares. No, even worse example….
8. You haven’t missed out.
Of all the Record Store Day releases in 2012, only two or three from several hundred have appreciated in value beyond all reason. The rest can all be bought for the same money, or less. Unless you are an ardent Arctic Monkeys 7″ single collector, you just need to be patient. Now is a great time to pick up all those Record Store Day bargains – from previous years. Record Store Day is about the records. No one is going to get rich from their record collections. You might as well play the records.
9. It isn’t actually illegal.
You may argue that it should be, but for now at least, we’re going to allow the police to focus the time they don’t spend eating donuts, on catching murderers, thieves and rapists rather than tracking down scumbag-capitalists.
10. They still pay the independent record stores for the records.
If you buy them on eBay you’re not even doing that. They’re not stealing them – and RSD is all about the independent record stores, right? By this logic, the real evil-doers are the ones flaunting their excess cash by buying the records on eBay. These people aren’t going to the local record store and they’re not contributing in any way to the magic of Record Store Day…
Next time: Why record flippers definitely are in league with Satan