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Buyers! I'm running an online record shop for charity. What should go in the descriptions?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by A_Record_Player, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. A_Record_Player

    A_Record_Player Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    United Kingdom
    I've just started volunteering at a charity and we're selling vinyl through our online portal. Rather than being a destination for resellers to buy stock cheap and flip on Discogs, I want it to be a destination for collectors to buy good, well-described records at a fair price. As part of achieving that aim, we need to build trust with customers, so I want to ensure that the descriptions on the records are as good as possible - which is where you come in!

    For every record that looks like its worth over twenty pounds or so, I'm putting them through a SpinClean and trying to playgrade on my Project Debut Carbon with a Ortofon 2M Blue stylus.

    How much/what kind of descriptions would be ideal?
    How many/what sort of photos?
    Anything else you can think of?

    Thanks in advance everyone.
  2. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Only a suggestion.

    Mention anything regarding as to what you did. "Run through a SpinClean machine and played through a Project Debut Carbon with a Ortofon 2M Blue stylus to arrive at the most accurate grading for you." It might not be even a bad idea to use this on all of the Vinyl you will be selling as a means to to solidify your reputation with buyers.

    This way standard front cover, back cover and the LP itself pictures will be sufficient.
    Close ups, front, back and spines with description(s), only if there is any damage.
    A_Record_Player likes this.
  3. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Or... You could institute the V.A.P.® (Vulture Avoidance Program) by not listing a grading system at all and only reveal what it is if contacted. For this you would use a standard photo program of the album cover front and back along with a photo of the LP. You would only use spine photos if there is damage as kind of a heads up to any interested parties.
  4. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    Why doesn't your charity just sell on Discogs?
  5. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    I guess they want to avoid Discogs' fees.

    Some time ago I bought a vinyl that was listed on Discogs and on the seller's site. It cost 30% more on Discogs.
  6. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    That's on that seller - Discogs own take is 8%. There are also Paypal fees that you would incur anyway.

    If I am looking for a record you have, how would I find your site? I already know to look for a record I want on Discogs.
  7. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    Several sellers have a disclaimer stating that their records may not be available because they also sell somewhere else..and even a link to their online store.
  8. A_Record_Player

    A_Record_Player Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the responses all!

    I'd love to do this but the volumes we get through the shop simply doesn't make it worth it. Most of the stock we get through we sell for less than £5 in the shop, so it really wouldn't be worth the time/effort/cleaning fluid to put all records through. Depending on stock volumes, I'm going to try to put as much through as I can though, especially higher priced items.

    A few reasons. Avoiding seller's fees is a big one - 8% is a big chunk and we want to keep our admin costs down as much as possible, for obvious reasons. There's also ethical considerations - not so much with Discogs, but you can understand why a charity might want to avoid eBay or Amazon, given their well-documented business practises. And of course, with the range of stock we have and the decent platform, we want to become a vinyl buyers destination ourselves, rather than directing traffic elsewhere.

    It's the Oxfam Online store, so please take a look around. As you can see, not all the records are listed with the same level of detail because the listings are from shops across the network, but getting feedback from you guys is a first step to trying to create some standards across all our shops.

    This is a Jacques Dutronc record I put up last week - I feel like this is the kinda level we should be aiming at? What do you guys think? Anything you would like added or changed?

    This is a really good point tho. Assuming we want to keep using our own site, what would be a good place to get the word around or advertise?
  9. Quakerism

    Quakerism Monk

    Pennsylvania, USA
    I’m kind of shocked you offer a 28 day “no quibble” return policy on records. If that’s true then the specificity you are striving for is understandable. In the states the one charity site I have surfed has a “no return” policy yet they seem to do very well. It’s a definite crap shoot since you can’t evaluate the vinyl in hand, so I only try to pick off obvious rare items at a bargain but that almost never happens and when it arrives it almost always disappoints. Quality of descriptions range but no one play grades their charity vinyl. That has to be a time consuming task in my mind not worth the trouble.
  10. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Your Jacques Dutronc display looks excellent to me. :thumbsup:
    A_Record_Player likes this.
  11. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    I'd be worried that some folks will try to take advantage of the no quibble policy.

    Those who buy a record, do a needle drop recording and then return it.

    Those who buy a record, put it on eBay or elsewhere and return it in 30 days if it didn't sell.

    Is there going to be any "fine print" with the policy such as a limit of returns per month?

  12. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    14 or 30 days “no quibble” return policies are common in European countries and reflect legal consumer rights situation. I think the UK here is still following the same strategy as the European Union.

    In general buyers are not taking advantage of this. A few do but most don't.
    PH416156 and Gary like this.
  13. When you visually grade records do so while looking at them under (at least) a 60 watt equivalent light bulb. Easy to see any flaws/surface marks that way. It would also be helpful to confirm no smell of mildew! I’ve had horrible luck lately buying LPs in good shape but reek of mildew.
    PH416156 likes this.
  14. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabit!

    Berkshire UK
    :)Apologies in advance if any of comments seem harsh.

    Why aren't you using the Record Collector grading system? Would this LP pass as EX? IMHO you are laying yourself open to accusations of using the Goldmine grading system to "hype" an old LP. Has the LP sold yet?

    Please don't think me anti-Oxfam. I donated over a 1000 LPs when I last moved.
  15. A_Record_Player

    A_Record_Player Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    United Kingdom
    No offense taken at all! Comments and criticism is kinda what I'm after. This forum is populated by experts and I didn't come here for an easy ride!

    And Oxfam thanks you for the donations!

    I've settled on the Goldmine system to try and get some parity with Discogs, as this seems to be the system most commonly used and understood. Am I wrong about that? I'm trying to be as accurate as possible in the descriptions so that people get what they're expecting and aren't misled. I want to grade and price fairly, but at the same time make people feel good about their purchase. There's no point whatsoever in making people regret their decision. After all, we are trying to be ethical here.

    What about the descriptions makes it seem like I'm hyping it?

    The Jacques Dutronc has sold now, but here's a Dr John record I put up the other day. Any feedback would be gratefully received!
  16. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Record Collector and Goldmine grading systems are pretty much the same. The biggest difference is the use of EX by Record Collector vs VG+ in Goldmine. They are the same grade with different names. Goldmine has also changed it to show that sometimes people refer to VG+ as EX anyway. I wouldn't worry about it and VG+.

    I don't think the Goldmine system can be used to hype an old lp anyway. The only thing that can hype an old lp is a lying seller who over grades :)

    Description of the Dr John looks good. Nice touch with the added matrix details.
    Dave and A_Record_Player like this.

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