Save the reissues — please stop returning them!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Joel S, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. Joel S

    Joel S Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm consistently reading online about people returning multiple copies of the same new record because they couldn't find one that suited them. I've bought dozens of reissues at this point, and I've only returned one and then only because it looked like it had lost a fight with a cat.

    These are limited edition pressings, especially the AAA reissues. When they're gone, they're gone. I just read about one guy on Discogs returning seven copies of a Verve series AP reissue until he found one to satisfy his exacting standards. That means six copies that most consumers would probably find perfectly acceptable will get chucked in the garbage, never to be heard again.

    Before deciding to return your new record, clean it first. You'd be amazed how cleaning a record, even a new record, can make it sound better. A noisy pressing can be improved greatly in many cases just by cleaning it. Vacuum systems or US work best and will give you great, consistent results.

    Also, how warped are these "warped" records I keep hearing about? I've never bought a new warped record unless it was new old stock from 50 years ago and pressed from 80 gram vinyl. I'm not saying all new records are perfectly flat, but you can play through a slight warp.

    In other words, don't let the great be the enemy of the good, and save some reissues for the rest of humanity.

    Finally, if you feel modern records aren't good enough because they "just don't press 'em like they used to," just buy old records. For the money we spend on new ones, you can find an original pressing in NM condition most of the time anyway.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  2. andy obrien

    andy obrien Forum Resident

    Seven returns does sound a tad 'perfectionist' but unfortunately thats the nature of many collectors, especially when these reissues cost £££. Amazon make it ludicrously easy to return vinyl but I only do it when necessary. A recent Paul Weller lp arrived with ripped top cover, they just sent a new one, didn't want the first one back, so that will be passed on via charity shop.

    But you're going to get lots of responses along the lines of "if the pressings were sufficient quality for the price we wouldn't NEED to return them". Which is a good point.
  3. Leugi

    Leugi Forum Resident

    Totally agree.

    And all these returns by finicky people ultimately drive up the cost for everyone! Or do people think the cost of absorbing all the returns doesn’t get passed on to the consumer?

    Some people on this board proudly post about how they had to go through five copies until they got the one. It’s annoying as f*** reading these posts.

    If a record has a bad warp or comes with a big scratch I get returning an item. Otherwise suck it up. It’s vinyl. As John Peel said “Life has surface noise.”

    Seriously if you are one of those constantly returning LPs you might want to switch to CDs? Certainly don’t brag about it.

    Amazon needs to ban these serial returners.
  4. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Returned products from Amazon, Costco, etc., gets recycled back at discounted prices from third-party online discount shops and auction houses. I've seen a fair share of many returned records originating from Amazon and I bought one on a whim, only to see the record having issues, including the album cover that was cut up. Never again. Record labels are also refusing returned products and thus forcing the shops to absorb the costs.

    On the same topic but sorry, but the blame should be squared at the label responsible for hiring certain pressing plants. I came across quite a fair share of new releases that have warped/dished records to the point of being unplayable, non-fills, off-centered pressings that causes audible problems, surface noise that cannot be washed away, etc. It was bad pre-pandemic but the current run is even worse due to pressing plants still working around-the-clock to churn out releases as much as possible to the point of QC becoming almost non-existent.

    As for switching CDs and digital downloads instead of LPs? Sorry, but I prefer to buy LPs that uses more dynamic sounding masters and cuts done by reputable audio engineers.

    And many original pressings of albums I want are far too expensive and difficult to find that are at least accurately graded VG+ or above, so there are LPs I resort to buying new.
  5. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    I have returned 2 albums due to bad skipping issues over the last 5 years out of a couple hundred purchases.

    Personally I think if some people are so perfectionistic they should learn that vinyl is not the best medium for that.
    dee, andrewskyDE, ODShowtime and 20 others like this.
  6. Leugi

    Leugi Forum Resident

    I was recently at my favorite record store. Guy walks in talking about a sound problem on the record he had bought new there.

    Store owner puts LP on turntable and we all hear purported problem LP play on store sound system. None of us hear any issue. Guy says “Did you hear it?”

    Owner truthfully says no.

    Plays it again.

    Customer goes “There!!”

    “Did you hear it?”

    Nobody heard any issue.

    Store owner -kind of embarrassed for customer and embarrassed not to agree- goes “yeahhhhhhh I ….think so”

    I felt sorry for the store owner.

    I mean these sorts of customers just always find a problem!

    “Oh my god one of the corners arrived dinged…must return”

    The intersection between OCD peeps and LP collectors is not pretty.
    Kyhl, troggy, zipzapzopzoup and 30 others like this.
  7. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    Part of this is younger collectors who went from CD to vinyl. They don’t understand the medium.

    I am also amazed at people who return perfect vinyl with creased covers. Can you play a cover?

    No… I am not looking to monetize my collection. Nor am I looking to add to existing landfills…
  8. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    WhatDoIKnow likes this.
  9. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    I'd bet the majority of problem customers are...not young.
    dee, troggy, Heart of Gold and 37 others like this.
  10. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I've been buying vinyl for many decades. Sometimes you get a defective copy. But there are two kinds of defects: Those that are problems for the entire run (off center, etc.) and those that are random (non-fill, scratches, etc.). For someone to go through SEVEN copies suggests to me that's a person who shouldn't be buying vinyl. The chances for seven out of seven copies having random issues (and #8 being OK) is pretty low unless you're being ridiculous in your expectations.

    And we all pay for that kind of thing.
  11. Kiss73

    Kiss73 Forum Resident

    I don't do vinyl - CD's only - however we are not void of Digi packs/cardboard sleeves/box sets arriving damaged.

    If I was to return everyone that came "damaged", it would be almost everything that gets sent to me - regardless of who I buy from - I would say it has been a factor in me buying significantly less.

    However unless it is horrendous, I take the view that as long as the spine is ok then its a keeper. I have an issue with damaged spines as those things are on show and sit on the shelf tormenting you. I also generally find if the spine is damaged then the general overall damage is quite significant and needs sending back . The rest of the cover I barely see 99% of my life. So that's my tuppence worth on what I keep and what I send back.
  12. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    People aren't being "perfectionist"...they are rewarding the manufacturer for charging too much for quality consistency that is too lackluster. If it's costing them money to return expenses to retail, maybe it will get back to them that they're not providing value for the consumer.
  13. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I've never had to return a particular title more than once. Having said that, about a third of LPs that buy get returned for an exchange. The reasons I return are:

    1. Visible and audible damage. If it looks scratched straight out of the shrink and I can hear it, it goes back.
    2. Extreme warps. I can tolerate a little warp but if it looks like my tonearm is cross-country skiing in Vermont, it goes back.
    3. Visible and audible non-fill. 'Nuff said.
    4. Lots of audible pops and ticks. If a new record sounds like an old one that was used for first base, it goes back.

    I can tolerate some imperfections. I once ordered a copy of Master Of Reality that came shipped in brown paper and the cover is bent, but I kept it because the LP is OK. My MOV copy of Alice Cooper The Last Temptation has weird bends in the back cover like it got pinched but I kept it. My copy of Pink Floyd Ummagumma has a weird, non-intentional rainbow sheen on the playing surface, but the grooves are OK and there's no audible defect. And I have several LPs that are visibly warped but the warp doesn't seem extreme enough to bother the tonearm, so I tolerate them.
    Aftermath, AnalogJ, ArpMoog and 3 others like this.
  14. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I did have a truly defective copy of Carly Pearce's 29: Written In Stone in that it had edge warp, etc. that really affected playback so I returned it to Amazon, they sent me a replacement and the replacement is what turned out great. I did buy one of the returns of Olivia Rodrigo's Sour album on vinyl that the buyer complained skipped on their Crosley but the record was in decent shape, I made it work on my turntables with some work on the LP.
    MielR and cwitt1980 like this.
  15. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident


    i never thought of that, that seems very risky to try to sell something that's already been returned
    COBill and nosliw like this.
  16. jazon

    jazon A fight between the blue you once knew

    If people don't report and return problems then the companies have no incentive to improve and will continue making a shotty product.
    Satrus, ricks, mpayan and 9 others like this.
  17. speedracer

    speedracer Forum Resident

    Seems kind of OCD to care so much about someone else's OCD. Just sayin
    Kyhl, andrewskyDE, bluejimbop and 4 others like this.
  18. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident


    supposedly there is a limit to the returns you can get away with on Amazon and then they'll ban you but I haven't heard of anyone being banned
  19. Laibach

    Laibach дневник старог момка

    Thanks, but the message is falling on deaf ears, unfortunately.
  20. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    I care about landfill and waste. Don’t think that makes me OCD.
    aphexj, Pretty.Odd. and acemachine26 like this.
  21. hronists

    hronists Active Member

    I don’t have thousands or even hundreds of records, but I returned one with non fill noise. It was brand new record, i made a video of said defect and seller agreed to exchange. They went even further - I asked if i can get coloured one because of I couldn’t trust black one from possibly the same butch and they sent me coloured one.

    other than that I haven’t returned anything. I buy a lot of olde records and have some warped ones, but i also have that heavy thing you put on record and it fixes 5mm warp to 2-3mm I can live with.
  22. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    New York, NY
    I have no problem with other people returning stuff, but I'll admit I'm amazed by how many people here seem to get shipped return-worthy vinyl.
    ODShowtime and hutlock like this.
  23. Jellis77

    Jellis77 Forum Resident

    Brighton, UK
    I have purchased around 1000 LPs in the last 5 years - I have returned maybe 10 of them so 1%. The defect numbers on this post are horrifying - either I am really lucky or some people are really unlucky. I ultrasonically clean every record before I play it and I have a good turntable and cartridge.
  24. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Senior Member

    Carbondale, IL USA
    I wonder how much actually goes back to the label. Most new records are NONRETURNABLE for the indie stores. If you take it back, they just lose the money. Do the big retailers get to send them back? They're so big I doubt they even care. Much of it is probably never heard of. The labels aren't the ones taking the loss. They've given that problem to everyone else.
    troggy, Dave S and Leugi like this.
  25. Curiosity

    Curiosity Just A Boy

    United Kingdom
    Having bought vinyl from the get go in this country in the days where sleeves were on display and the discs stored behind the counter the idea of a totally mint jacket is something you learned not to expect, great condition yes but they'd always be a minor imperfection.

    When it comes to the discs they do need to be at least ex condition new, they may have a slight warp and free from being substanically off centre with no no-fill issues or distortion.

    If it passes that, it's fine.

    My still sealed Late For The Sky 2017 reissue just had a very minor dent on tip of the spine, sold with defect shown played perfectly set me back a mere £12.99 and I've got similar discs with discounts that have been totally acceptable.

    My advice: Just be realistic, live a little and enjoy your rekkids.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
    DolphinsIntheJacuzzi likes this.

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