Used record discovered defects - how to best deal w it … newb question

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by polchik, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    hi there,

    it's been a while since i dropped cash for expensive used records (i've bought new reissues mainly, since i got back into vinyl a few years ago) …. and i have a question ….

    just picked up a very nice US original pressing from the 70's….. for essentially $40 CAD ……

    side A - fantastic
    side B - fantastic EXCEPT for a nasty skip on one song

    the LP was not graded, and it was a 'new arrival' in the shop (that specializes in used LPs) ……

    considering that it's impractical, if not impossible to listen to an entire record to check for defects on used LPs …..

    i'm not sure what to do ….. should i return it for a refund ? (would a store owner be open to this for a used record?)

    should i try to get a discount ?

    or do i just keep it and accept the situation …..

    i've never dealt with a 'return' for a used record, especially a more expensive one (i'm used to paying $20 or less for used stuff unless it's a real specific LP i'm hunting) …….

    i get the feeling that someone just flipped this LP when they found a better copy for themselves ….. and the shop where i bought it was unaware of the defect ……. as it was priced according to discogs VG/VG+

    any advice would be much appreciated thanks, as i'm not sure what kind of response to expect from the store owner …….

  2. Harbins_Grave

    Harbins_Grave Untitled Original 11383

    Any used record store worth its salt (or worth patronizing in the future) should have a refund/credit policy on defective records, CDs, etc., UNLESS the item was labeled "As-Is." Some stores might offer a full refund, others might offer store credit. If you have a receipt, you should have no hesitation in returning the record to the store so you can work out the refund/credit according to the store's policy.

    It's somewhat unclear if you bought this from a brick-and-mortar store in person or via the mail through their Discogs seller page (you mentioned Discogs grading on the LP in your post). If they sell through Discogs, their policies should be on their seller page. If not, you will have to negotiate with them via Discogs, which can be a touchy process (I'm sure there are many threads on the SH forums and on Discogs discussing return/refund issues with defective/improperly graded items).

    Good luck - hopefully you can work something out with the store.
    Dave likes this.
  3. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    thanks for the quick reply , much appreciated !! it was a brick n mortar store btw ….. just picked up the LP on sunday, so i'll give em a call and let them know …… ultimately i'd be good with some kind of discount/partial refund or store credit, as listening to the album makes me so damn happy lol ….

    re - discogs …. i have used it 3 times ….. 2 ordgers had issues w the transaction …. they both ultimately were resolved but i pretty much stopped buying off of it since then ……… will probably go back there tho …… with a more wiser approach lol.

    once again thanks for the advice!
  4. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    If it's a brick and mortar store and you feel they're cool/aficionados, then I'd recommend paying them another visit, with the LP in hand, and explaining the issue to them.

    I'd recommend being honest and sticking to your problem rather than asking for a solution. So if you feel kind of bad bringing back a used record, but you also don't feel comfortable paying $40 for a record with a bad skip, then I'd just tell them exactly that, as openly and non-defensively as possible (not saying you would be defensive) - and ask them if they'd like to put Side B on their store player so they can hear for themselves.

    If they're not jerks, they'll probably either play the record and hear the skip, or else just take your word for it. Then they'll likely offer you one or more options - take back the record for a refund, give a partial refund, give you some store credit, etc.
    Blackie likes this.
  5. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah return it. A reputable store will refund you for a defect like that. You should get a full refund in cash or store credit for it.

    If you don't mind d saying, what was the name of the store?
    tmtomh likes this.
  6. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    much thanks for the responses ! very helpful, as the worst thing about vinyl, for me, is dealing with shop owners regarding defects …….. which is why i really appreciate amazon and certain other online sellers, but i still really want my money to go out to our community of shops here in toronto, but i am easily swayed to just let certain defects go for all the bitching about 'we can't return this to the distributor so we're gonna have to eat it' line that many stores state (regarding new pressings that are defective)……. so i am considering buying more used records, for SQ / $ reasons (picked up a great sounding used ELO greatest hits for $6 recently that killed the best of rei$$ue i had bought and was disappointed with) ……. so i hope things go well.

    and i will reveal the store after i interact with them.
    Dave and tmtomh like this.
  7. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    ok …. here's what happened ….

    apparently … KOPS records …. i was told, on the phone, has fine print on their receipts that state 'all sales are final' for used LPs …… i first spoke to a gentleman at the location where i had bought the LP, and he mentioned to me, as a long time crate digger, that what he does when he checks used LPs out for defects …. is run the testing turntable at 45 RPM (if possible). since kops has technics players …. one can do that AND run the pitch control at it's highest/fastest speed … so effectively one can check an entire LP quicker than normal ….. listening for pops / skips etc …….

    so that was a nice piece of advice moving forward.

    he was sympathetic to my situation, and so advised me to give the owner a call and let him know what happened and that most likely i would get SOMEthing out of it …. a partial refund, a discount on something, some purchase points etc …..

    i understand their reasoning for this, as they explained that it is possible, for customers to game the system, by being dishonest (replacing what was bought, with a crappier version of the same pressing and then claiming defects for a refund etc etc).

    it's truly unfortunate that honest customers get burned for the dishonest behaviour of past customers …… but what can one do. i can sympathize with the owner, who has been selling records in toronto for many years.

    as a 'show of good faith' …. the owner offered me a $10 gift certificate which i picked up yesterday.

    so now i have a $24.99+ tax copy of a great album, in which one song has a horrible skip, instead of a $34.99 one …...

    i love the rest of the album though ….. and will have to learn to live with the skip until i can replace it with a better copy i suppose.

    live and learn. but i will now be MUCH more cautious with used LPs and will never impulse buy them again (right before the store closes lol) ……. tho i did have a chance to spot check it for background noise and SQ ……...

    some days vinyl can be a real PITA.

    but in the end, sitting down and listening to a great record, that slays the CD, is still worth it, to me.

    once again, thanks so much for chiming in,
    much appreciated !
    i definitely learned something valuable

  8. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Well if you are happy that's all that matters.

    Being cautious with used lps is a good idea, as is being cautious with where you buy from.

    You should know that other stores in town would've given you a full refund for that used lp, even if they were risking you gaming the system. I've been to stores that give you the chance to audition and even if you don't, they'll still refund you.

    I do find it funny that he's protecting himself from people gaming the system considering some of the unethical things the owner has been up to (the Dad, not the kids).

    IMO this is not a case of vinyl being a PITA. The lp had a scratch that someone had to cause that. It's not an inherent problem with the lp itself but rather the handling. This is really a case of poor customer service from a record store.

    Places like KOPS are what drive me to online retailers.

    I would avoid playing the song with the skip though. You really don't want your stylus playing through that.
    polchik likes this.
  9. zongo

    zongo Forum Resident

    Davis, CA
    Well, most stores would take back a record that actually skips, even if bought used. I find it pretty lame that they believed you and were willing to give you $10 but not just take the record back.

    Having said that, you may be able to repair the skip (yes, there are ways that do sometimes work). Most of the time, this involves using a toothpick and dragging it through the area where the skip is, to "re-groove" that area so it doesn't skip. Search on the Hoffman website for threads with more detailed descriptions. Good luck!
  10. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    i'm not exactly happy ….. but my desire for an AAA pressing of this album ATM outweighs the issue of the skip as crazy as that sounds (so maybe i'm being taken advantage of i dunno) ….. but i suppose if i look at it like i could've used the refund to buy the album off discogs instead of being stuck with a copy w a skip ….. i'd be more upset …. but that is just more hassle to go thru as my time is limited these days ……… yeah i assumed they would've taken it back as i had been to june records and was considering buying a used REM LP and had asked them about skips/defects/returns …. and they said they would take it back within a week or something like that but they also brought up the 'gaming the system' issue ….. and figuring that KOPS claims to have the biggest best supply of used records in toronto, and are firmly established within the city, that they surely would've been more diligent grading / reasonable w returns. the owner seemed to believe that the state of the record was reflected in its price. i did not agree with this statement considering what this pressing goes for on discogs (comparable grading - and isn't a SKIP the kiss of death for any record, new or used ? ) ……. i frankly thought that was a bit absurd, for if they knew it had a skip why wouldn't they have mentioned that ? who sells a used record for 34.99 WITH a skip ?


    it is very sad that from now on, even if i see an expensive price tag on a used LP at KOPS, i'll have to assume there MIGHT be a skip on it (as you'd THINK for a record like this, a much coveted one, and one that they'd price at 34.99, that they would've thoroughly play graded it - or IF they KNEW it had a skip and priced it that way, that they labelled it that way - but then, no one would've bought it at that price i am guessing) ……. . i'm now reconsidering discogs much more as i could at least ask for the LP to be play graded before shipping (if possible) …….

    re- my stylus …. that's a point that had slipped my mind actually

    anyway, i appreciate your comments much thanks.
  11. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    your first point is a good one for sure ….. bizarre isn't it ?

    you know i forgot completely about the repair skips threads …. i checked them out and took note, as well, i realized i had even saved these particular threads a long time ago ….. so i am pretty excited in trying to deal with it toothpick style because i never have ……. maybe it'll all work out for the best.

    tmtomh likes this.
  12. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    KOPS! :)

    They claim a lot of things but I don't think they have the best selection in this city by any means. Of what they do have, the condition leaves a lot to be desired at times & I find that they generally price above the actual condition.

    All my friends who collect know, when you shop there, check and then recheck condition.

    In the end you probably did the best thing because the alternative would've been to argue with the guy about it and depending on who that was (the dad or one of the kids) it could've been a real messy affair.
    polchik likes this.
  13. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    Definitely look into repairing the skip. I've found in most cases with used records a skip is caused by some sort of gunk or debris being lodged in the grooves. A bit of distilled water, patience, and careful use of a tooth pick usually does the trick. That said sonetimes it's a scratch that can't be fixed or improved upon and you'll have to live with it.
    polchik, Raynie and patient_ot like this.
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Find a new store to shop at. Seriously.

    A good store will deal with the problem and not shaft the customer like that. You paid good money for the record, it should play without problems.

    If the owner was serious about customer service, they would've AT A MINIMUM, offered to attempt to fix the skip for you. If they couldn't do that or didn't want to do that for any reason, they should AT A MINIMUM, offer a full refund with store credit.
    dee likes this.
  15. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident Thread Starter

    yeah …. lesson learned for sure.

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