Do's and Don'ts for Record Store Day 2017
This Saturday, thousands of like-minded music nerds will descend upon record stores around the world to score rare Record Store Day releases. Instead of hashing out a top picks list (we recommend Bull Moose’s video for that), we wanted to offer some logistical advice on how to tackle the big day.
If you’re in a small community that’s not going to be overrun with fellow geeks, a lot of these tips may not apply. The majority of record stores we’ve been going to for Record Store Day in the Bay Area and Denver are usually mobbed. Personally, this will be my first time checking out what the Portland stores are like, but I wanted to offer up some ways on how to make the best of the day.
Do: Compile Your Hit List Ahead of Time
This should be obvious, but it really bears repeating. Record Store Day isn’t something you’re just going to want to show up to unprepared. That’s a recipe for not only getting overwhelmed immediately but also missing out on what you might really want. So do check out the releases, compile a list of your top picks, and bring it with you to the store.
Don’t: Sleep In
It can’t be overstated. Everybody wants to sleep in on Saturdays, but this is one day you’re going to want to get up and out in time for doors at your local shop. I’m not saying you have to line up outside (although many people do), but the longer you wait in the morning, the greater the chance you’re going to lose out. Oh, and make sure to have a solid breakfast. You’ll need your energy.
Do: Plan Your Route
Navigating the cramped aisles of a record store while people are browsing and holding stacks of records can be tough. If you’re familiar with the store(s) you’ll be stopping at, prioritize the bins/sections you want to hit first and in what order, starting with your top targets.
Don’t: Buy Just to Flip
When I was in line at Record Store Day last year, a couple folks behind me had their arms full a variety of records and got to talking about how they were planning on heading home and throwing most of them on eBay.
You can do what you want with the stuff you buy, obviously, but flipping Record Store Day releases with high markups is dumb. That’s some ticket scalper shit. Maybe you’ll make a profit, but you’re also taking away albums from legit fans who really want to buy them without the huge online markup. Don’t be a dick.
Do: Get In Line ASAP
One thing I underestimated last year at Amoeba in Berkeley was the register line. It wrapped around multiple inside walls of the store. I spent at least twice the amount of time waiting to buy my albums than I did searching for them. If you’re on a timetable at all (and interested in visiting multiple shops for instance), and the store has an insane queue, you’re going to want to head for the register as soon as possible.
Don’t: Lose Your Shit
We’re all in this together. Patience will be a must, which is again why you should have a good breakfast ahead of time. You don't want to get hangry while shoulder-to-shoulder with a mob of strangers all hunting for albums. If the store aisles are crowded, move slowly and give someone a tap on the shoulder to let you through if needed. Don’t throw elbows or hips. And don’t fight over a goddamn release. This isn’t Black Friday at Wal-Mart. Be excellent to each other.
Do: Enjoy Yourself!
Just like Rex Manning Day, Record Store Day comes but once a year. Do your thing and celebrate afterwards by dropping that needle on your new scores and cracking a cold beverage. You earned it. Good luck!