This morning I noticed I’d missed an email with presales for October 8th. One item however was highlighted as released October 1st. I was surprised to see it was the Domino label only release of the James Yorkston box set for his latest album. Clearly it hadn’t sold all 1,000 copies and shops were being offered the remainder. As I mentioned on twitter at the time along with the Dead Can Dance box set only available from the band I was asked for this a lot.
Even stranger I was sure I remembered the price being £35 and yet now I was being offered it for £35 + VAT as the dealer price. There was then a discount but clearly the initial dealer price to a shop shouldn’t be more than the price to the public. I quickly googled to see what came up and immediately got a link to the Fence website who were selling signed copies of the regular vinyl (another mystery solved as I’d been asked if I had signed vinyl) and linking to the Domino site for the box and confirming the price at £35 + £2 p+p.
Checking the sales notes nowhere did it indicate that the box had been on sale for sometime from the label. Also by releasing it on the 1st a shop would receive it late September and therefore be expected to pay for it at the end of October.
I had had a US record shop owner in only last week telling me exactly the same story of how labels selling to the public cheaper than shops had eventually caused him to close.
Anyway I skim down further and there is the PAWS album on Fat Cat so I check their website. As you might expect the label are doing all they can to get fans to buy directly offering bundles and a low price for the CD. I then notice the tour dates. The album launch (where I’m guessing they will sell the album release date Oct 8th) is Octber 4th in Glasgow.
Those shops that are left have survived Amazon and downloads and are still here, many just and no more. What will finish the rest of us off is this constant erosion of sales by labels and of course record companies (don’t mention the latest Sex Pistols coloured vinyl to a shop).
If some labels no longer see any point to shops then fine but let’s be honest about it and not start being all supportive come Record Store Day. However many labels I know see it as putting their own survival before that of shops and I of course understand that. I just think there is a better way forward for all of us and it starts with a level playing field.