Please Mr. Postman: Issue 726

Writer ponders health of the hobby

I’m a long-time subscriber with an affinity for collecting vinyl. For years, I was very active, buying and selling/trading records on the Internet. However, due to work, family and other obligations, I fell out of touch with my favorite hobby.

Only recently have I had the opportunity to dust off my books and get reacquainted with the Internet sites that I frequented several years ago. 

From what I can tell so far, it appears that the industry has lost momentum and there seems to be a general lack of interest amongst fellow traders.

Frankly, I’m discouraged and beginning to lose interest in a hobby that used to bring me so much pleasure and satisfaction. The extra money was nice, too!
Is this a dying hobby, or is there still hope?  How does the current industry stack up to what it was three or four years ago? Discouraged, but hopeful!

— Keith Butala
Chatsworth, CA

{Editor’s Note: Well, Keith, if you’re asking for an iron-clad Goldmine guarantee that you will make zillions of dollars by selling your record collection in your spare time, we can’t — and we won’t —give that to you. But here’s what we can report; it’s up to you to judge whether the benefits are enough for you.

The experts that we’ve talked to say the hobby itself remains fairly healthy. Record collecting, just like any other hobby or segment of the economy, will always be based on two key factors: supply and demand. The rarest, most desirable and top quality pieces will rake in the biggest bucks. We’ve seen plenty of 45s, LPs and acetates pull in four- and five-digit prices at market in the past year, which shows that the prices are still there. But, it’s easy to forget that so many other pieces — no matter how popular the artists are, how great the music is or how fine the record’s condition is — will never reach those same market highs, because the supply simply outstrips the demand. Love it or hate it, that is part and parcel of this and virtually every other collecting-based hobby.

When we chat with collectors, we typically find that it’s the love of the hobby, the joy of the music and the thrill of the chase that keeps them inspired and involved — not dreams of making mountains of money.
 Keith, we encourage you to head to some new shows and network with collectors you haven’t met before. Chances are, you’ll find some great opportunities have cropped up in the time you’ve been away from the hobby. We wish you luck in rekindling your passion for record collecting.

Fellow Goldmine readers, we’d love hear your views on the state of the hobby, and what you do to stay involved and inspired. Please e-mail us at susan.sliwicki@fwpubs.com, drop a letter to Please Mr. Postman, Goldmine, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990, or fax us at 715-445-4087. We look forward to hearing from you!}

•••••••

Supergroup list grows longer

More Supergroup contenders:
• Bad Company (Free/Mott/Crimson)
• Plastic Ono Band (“Live Peace” lineup)
• Asia (Ouch!)

I think longevity should play a factor. Blind Faith — one album. Wilburys — two. Bad Company — two-and-a-half good ones.

Anyone I’ve missed?

— Jeff Perkins
Nacogdoches, TX
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