I'm starting a record store. Help me avoid critical mistakes!

Triple digits in dollars, or number of items sold?

I use Discogs, but same general principle.

Dollars. He had a customer last week who bought multiple albums that were over $100 each.
He tends to buy albums by the box full at estate auctions, so they are almost pure profit.

Nice. I need to start hitting those yard sales! One of my coworkers bought a $500 Sinatra box for $3.

I was looking at Google Maps for estate auction houses in the Waukegan area. The estate auction places near Chicago (at least according to their websites) seem to have a different business model than a lot of the ones downstate. Near me, you go on a Tuesday evening (or whenever) to an actual live auction, bid on things in person, and walk away with your merch once you pay for it. You are only competing against other people willing to get off their butts and come to the auction house at the appointed time. In Greater Chicagoland, a lot of the estate auction places are mini-eBays that take bids online for days and days, so I imagine the prices have a greater chance of being a lot higher. Blech!

Personally, I would be wary of buying a high priced collectible from a pop up shop. Not that you shouldn’t have them prominently displayed, but I would expect less interest at a fair than you might see if you open a permanent storefront.

I’m glad you had a good experience with the shop, and I’m looking forward to more news.

Great point, and I agree. In fact, I have no interest in collectibles myself – I just want the music. I have a copy of the Shangri-Las’ Leader of the Pack that’s worth (and priced at) $50, but I wouldn’t pay $2 for it, because I don’t care about the music on it.

Displaying it is cool, and if someone wants it, I’ll sell it – but I’m really not looking to be a store where people go to find rarities.

Just a reminder that I’m doing two more pop-ups at 115 N. Genesee St., Waukegan:

  • Sat. 7/13, noon to 5
  • Sat. 7/20, 3 to 9

And all Dopers get a 20% discount! The secret password is “Teeming Millions.”