Friday, January 11, 2008

EBayers, You Have Lost Control!!

^Look at that. An auction that just ended.
Now look at this:

^What it's currently available for, new.

We rap collectors (I'll include myself since I recently paid more than that auction price above for a record... albeit a more legitimately rare one) are paying crazy prices for records on EBay and other places (but mostly the 'Bay). Every couple of months, the standard gets raised even higher. Not so long ago, you were the crazy super collector if you paid 60-80 bucks for a long lost rap classic. Now we've got rap records breaking the four-digit mark just because some corny college DJ included them on his mix CD.

And it's not even like Basquiat's hand-made picture cover of Rammelzee vs. K-Rob's "Beat Bop;" it's often pretty questionable material from the late 90's... stuff indie labels still have boxes of in their parents' garage because they couldn't move them. What's more, a lot of you guys are paying $100+ for bootlegs and represses! (The seller listed that record picture as being "Date: 1990," but of course, that's not the original 1990 Flavor Unit LP, which has a different track-listing and a completely different cover... that's the repress Tuff City put out in 1998 with a couple of bonus tracks).

I know some of you can afford it (note how I've not stopped including myself here haha), and don't feel like waiting for those records you want to turn up a second time in the course of your digging...* but some of the prices you guys are paying are just dumb. Not only are you putting yourself in the poorhouse unnecessarily, but you're inflating the cost of hip-hop music for all of us (though buyers with patience will find the crazy prices won't last on the not-so rare items).

I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what to pay for anything they want... some records are definitely worth shelling out the big bucks for, and surely there can't be a more deserving genre than hip-hop. But remember: you're bidding with real money there. In the words of Special Ed, "please think twice;" ...and at least check to make sure the record you're buying used for over a hundred dollars isn't available new for five. ;)

*And lately there's been a lot of fake, shill bidding to either raise the price on the winning bidder, or to inflate the apparent value of the record (lest we forget the infamous case where Popsike listed Doug E Fresh's "La Di Da Di" as selling for $4000 when it was still selling for... about $10) for future auctions.


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