Some local record shops worried about rising prices of vinyl records
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — A small business owner in Moorhead addresses a growing number of complaints about the rising cost of vinyl records.
Brady Bredell, the owner of Mother’s, says while record companies continue to raise prices for distributors, profits of local record shops are shrinking.
“Universal, Sony and Warner are the three big companies that control 70% of the music you listen to. They control our prices and it’s tough to compete when you’re selling a $30 record when you can go online and stream something for free,” said Bredell.
Record Store Day is Saturday and some local business owners say they’ve seen less store traffic since the COVID-19 and because people are more comfortable buying online and having things shipped to their homes.
Aaron Swinkels, the owner of Vinyl Giant Records in Downtown Fargo, says rising prices are due to inflation.
“When you offset that by what wages have gone up, they really aren’t out of step. A decade ago, you’d never see a $40 or $45 record which you do now, but you see a $30 or $35 record. A decade ago, you worked at McDonald’s for $7-$8 an hour, now you work at McDonald’s for $15 to $17 an hour.” Swinkels says.
Orange Records owner Matt Oland says rising prices will keep new record buyers away from getting more.
He says independent labels will still keep prices reasonable at around $20 per record.
He says, while newer records from major labels tend to be more expensive, even records released last year that have not been repressed, are seeing high costs.
“If you compare to the inflation rates, it makes sense that it would be that high but it’s not a necessity. Records are something for fun. Gas prices, food prices go up, we need that stuff so it makes more sense that you’ll buy them. If records prices get too high, only so many people are going to keep buying them. That’s what’s frustrating mostly, they’re just doing a cash grab I guess because the popularity is up in the last few years,” said Oland.
The three owners have the same goal in that they want to do right by their customers giving them the best deal possible, whether that’s adjusting record prices or offering discounts.
All three stores have different deals to bring people to their stores for Record Store Day.
It starts Saturday at 8 a.m.