The big issue with huge "collections" of mostly used records owned by these long-time stores is that
90+% of the gross weight is either worthless or near-worthless. The smart few of these guys put that
90% of gross weight at the curb and let the accumulators vaccuum it all up. Then they carefully sell
off the valuable 10%, either to long-time collector/customers or via a wider marketplace like eBay.
If a person owns a record store that long and doesn't know in his heart of hearts that 90% of the
gross weight is worthless, he's first of all deluding himself and second of all it's a miracle he's
stayed in business long enough to become an "institution."
By its very nature, a used record store must be an accumulator. The business model works if you
continuously have a nice valuable 10% moving at high prices and if your rent is cheap enough to use
the other 90% to attract accumulator traffic and to look like you have a vast inventory of
Don't get me wrong, the 90% has some value to someone. Just not any of it monetary. I always troll
the dollar bins and free bins at used record stores, mainly to find better-condition covers to
records I have where the vinyl is great but the cover is shot (and I probably therefore got it for a
huge discount). There was a decorating fad a while back, popular enough to make it to the NYT style
section, that seriously crimped this MO. The kids were into buying up dollar-bin LPs to frame the
cover and hang them on the wall. Suddenly, competition for my good-condition dollar covers and
novelty covers! The fad seems to have passed, based on recent success in the dollar bins.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Aaron Levinson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] music man murray record collection & Murray Gershenz, music collector
extraordinaire, is parting with his entire music library.
> There is a reason why it is such a massive collection in the first place-no one wants it for a
> patently ridiculous price! Does this all seem vaguely reminiscent to a guy with a warehouse in
> Pittsburgh?...Someone needs to tell these guys that we are in the greatest economic downturn since
> Black Friday and that whatever you thought you had and how much you (wildly) imagined it was
> worth, things ain't what they used to be.
> On 8/18/10 1:42 AM, Michael Biel wrote:
>> It is interesting that both these postings and the article and TV piece all refer to the stock
>> of a retail store as a "collection". Over on the 78-L there have been comments from several who
>> have been customers and know this shop well that the prices he asked were too high, and even the
>> reduced price he is now asking for the whole stock is still too high considering that it has been
>> pawed thru by thousands of collectors for 50 years. I suppose that if your prices are too high,
>> a store's "stock" becomes a "collection"!
>> On 8/16/2010 7:22 PM, Rod Smear wrote:
>>>> This came up in today's LA times article about a local gentleman here who is looking to unload
>>>> his masssive collection. Apparently from edison cylinders to LP's. Don't know if anyone might
>>>> be interested or know someone or organization willing to buy collection. Sorry i don't have a
>>>> link. I guess google LA times Music Man Murray records? Rod Smear
>> Here's the link.
>>> From: Gerald Segall<[log in to unmask]>
>>> Murray Gershenz, (aka "Music Man Murray"), after having amassed a lifetime of rare and
>>> collectible 45s, 78s, vinyl LPs, and CDs, is sadly selling his entire collection's contents,
>>> for any prospective buyer interested in these hard-to-find musical treasures. As news anchor
>>> Glen Walker of KTLA News remarks, "...building a music library that attracted those who made the
>>> music." If only a public, college, or university library could acquire such a precious
>>> collection for the benefit of use by all music lovers, patrons, music students, music scholars,
>>> and historians.