Amoeba LA to close?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by zakyfarms, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    Location:
    East of the Hudson
    Good list, but also Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks and Atomic in Burbank, perhaps the two most essential stores for used vinyl in LA county (sorry Amoeba!). Another interesting place is Record Surplus down in Torrance, a ton of records with typically a handful of gems, all quite inexpensive, like a much larger version of Mono Records.
     
    mikeyt likes this.
  2. Chee

    Chee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Record Surplus' "Attic" section is nowhere near like years ago. If you like VG- or Goodwillers, you love it. Rest of store is overpriced. Freakbeat is okay but anything good goes on eBay by the boxload much like any store in Los Angeles except Rockaway but their prices are ridiculous now.At about 7 million per owner, Amoeba is holding on for what? When the pot stores come to Los Angeles County in full force watch for many book/record/clothing stores to go under.
     
  3. Matt Starr

    Matt Starr Forum Troglodyte

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is false.

    Freakbeat is my local store and I am there all the time. The best stuff goes on the wall or in the bins. The only time something wouldn't become available is if one of the regulars, like me, is in the store and grabs it before it gets priced and put out. The other scenario, which happens about 5 times per year, is that buyers from Disk Union Japan come over and grab the good stuff. But again, those are records that are already in the bins or on the wall. Bob Say (the owner) has told me many times that he prefers NOT to sell online because there are too many variables. Things like rare test pressings acetates or some sealed records make it to their eBay or Discogs accounts, that's about it.

    In my opinion, Freakbeat is not only one of the best stores in Los Angeles but among the better stores in the country and even worldwide and I have shopped in most of the notable cities in the world for vinyl collectors.
     
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  4. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    Location:
    East of the Hudson
    Correction: it's Record Recycler in Torrance.
     
    Rodz42 likes this.
  5. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    Location:
    East of the Hudson
    Ditto on Freakbeat, I have a running store credit there even though I've left LA! As for Disk Union, there's no place else like it in the world.
     
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  6. Chee

    Chee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Tokyo in the 90's was great. Shibuya-Ku. I'd bring back a few hundred Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd/Beatles, Ventures etc.. Cheap. Bring over lots of bad soul and sample albums and trade. Customs wanted to know why I had 54 copies of Billy Joel's 52nd Street album on me at Narita. It has changed. Those days are over. Too many stores, too many online dealers in Japan looking for the same stuff. Disk Union does lots of house buys in the U.S.. I hear they are fair and very nice people like Rockaway and Freakbeat buying stuff. I hear they have an office near S.F..
     
  7. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Ditto this as well. Love Freakbeat.
     
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  8. Em.

    Em. Forum Resident

    Location:
    SoCal, USA
    Yep, Freakbeat is great.
    My only complaint is that they don't keep their "wall" (ceiling?) records stocked as quickly as they sell them.
    Sometimes I'll go in and the ceiling/wall will be fully stocked, no empty spaces, and I'll wonder how in The Hell I'm going to walk out of the store without dropping a fortune. Other times, it seems like it's been several weeks since they last restocked the empty spaces up there.
    But I've found some very rare records for very fair prices there.
    Plus, Bob and the crew are all really nice guys.
     
  9. Roosevelt Sykes

    Roosevelt Sykes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis
    Thanks very much everyone for the suggestions and tips.
    I ended up just making it to Amoeba. Found some good cd bargains, but the vinyl I wanted (blues) is all snatched up. Mainly just new reissue vinyl.
    I was also able to park in the free Amoeba lot for 3 hours, but had to side-step a pile of human feces in the parking lot. (!)
    If you'll allow me, in all, a bittersweet moment in my record collecting history. I have a long history with Amoeba. I was one of the first customers in line at the opening of the Berkeley Ameoba and made the trek to Hollywood Amoeba on their opening weekend. I can't count the hours and money I've spent, the trade-ins, the returns, the browsing, the joy of a $2.98 find.
    However, the cd bargains weren't worth the traffic and the used vinyl selection even less so. The collection of 78s in the very back has noticeably dwindled as well.
    With amazon for cds and discogs for vinyl, I'm afraid my Amoeba days are behind me.
    First world problem to be sure, but thanks for memories Amoeba. It was fun while it lasted.
     
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  10. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The business is much different from the early days of Amoeba's history. CDs are pretty plentiful these days at cheap prices and Vinyl is so hot that trade ins are less frequent and the good stuff flies out the door quick in a sellers market. I agree with your Amoeba assessment for the 2nd hand stock. And I too, had to navigate around human feces and urine during my visit there this summer. It's tough for a shop that big to keep up in 2019 LA
     
  11. Chee

    Chee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denver
    If you are getting millions selling it, you can keep it open. CD's are so cheap now at flea markets and thrift stores. Vinyl is so hot 17 year old girls stack Journey, Duran Duran, Madonna etc.. At Amoeba a lot of stores have runners that hit the new arrivals all the time. It isn't like it was a few years ago. Pretty soon it will be all Record Surplus pricing all over, high.
     
  12. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I doubt that they would ever set up in the burbs (they like hip area name recognition it seems). IMHO they will stay in Hollywood or West Hollywood as a 2nd option
     
    Grant likes this.
  13. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    Location:
    East of the Hudson
    West Hollywood is fiscally unrealistic. My prediction is they’ll either move a few blocks further east in Hollywood or, perhaps more likely, close. I hope it’s the former.
     
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  14. mikeyt

    mikeyt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    The last few times I made the trek to Mono it seemed like they'd become another spot that sold beat up LPs for inflated prices. Has that changed? They weren't like that in their original spot in Echo Park so I imagined the rent went up when they moved so they adjusted accordingly. When they first opened it was one of my favorite spots to find inexpensive gems.

    I blew off Record Parklour for also selling beat up LPs for inflated prices, and then the owner's immature replies to comments on their Fremer interview. They came off like real d-bags.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  15. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    I think they'll stay in Hollywood too. Granted these requests from me are over 3 years old, I wouldn't want them to move out of Hollywood now. Glendale or Burbank. What was I thinking?
     
  16. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    Location:
    United States
    But, they can't move much more east as it is unless they cross the 101. Right now they're only something like three blocks from the freeway.
     
  17. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    Location:
    East of the Hudson
    Mono Records’ prices are low, with some gems among the beat up records. From there the 2 freeway will whisk you in 8 minutes to Rockaway Records for a more upscale, and expensive, experience.
     
    Matt Starr likes this.
  18. I don't think moving over the 101 would be an issue, and it gets them closer to Silver Lake which wouldn't be bad for business at all. Maybe they can buy out the Home Depot ;)
     
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  19. Matt Starr

    Matt Starr Forum Troglodyte

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I like this idea!
     
  20. Matt Starr

    Matt Starr Forum Troglodyte

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, Rockaway is amazing. They do price higher but man, do they get quality stuff. I spent an obscene amount there a couple of years back when they slowly dripped out parts of 3 different amazing collections they had obtained.

    Sometimes I fear they may not be in the game much longer since they keep shrinking the store to accommodate adding renters to that building complex they're in (which they own). I'm thinking at some point, the amount of rent they can charge someone to move into the Rockaway space will outweigh the profits they can make selling LPs and CDs and that will be the end.

    Anyway, I'm off topic, but...long live Rockaway!
     
  21. mikeyt

    mikeyt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm aware of their locations. Again, the last few times I went their prices weren't low unless the LPs the garbage, and the decent titles they did have in good shape were over priced.
     

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