πŸ“œ Feature Smart buying practices--a game of opportunity, patience, and a little luck!

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Rudy

Β‘Que siga la fiesta!
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Someone once asked a group of us how we were able to afford the equipment we use to play our music on. At face value, the casual observer might look at our equipment and music collections and imagine years of skipping lunches and coffee, massive credit card debt, dealing in illicit substances, or living in a nearly empty house and riding a bike everywhere.

As us music collectors know, it doesn't quite work out that way. And the same applies to the equipment.

My audio system has evolved over time. My first system as a young teen used a small home-built kit that powered some older speakers pulled from an old hi-fi console my dad had built small cabinets for, and a turntable rescued from a similar console. One by one, things were replaced as money came in. But back then, everything was purchased new.

Most of my system today was purchased as pre-owned. For the audiophile world, we have sites such as US Audio Mart (and Canuck Audio Mart), Audiogon, and a few others, and some of us use a site called HiFi Shark which is a meta search engine which watches these sites and others (including eBay, Kijiji, etc.) and sends us a notification any time the search has a match.

I have long set my sights on certain brands and models, and it has taken anywhere from several months to five or six years to locate a specific component I've wanted. With most of them, I was in the right place at the right time--the item came up for sale, it was priced below my limit, and I was fast enough on the draw to make the move to acquire it. The opportunity arose, my timing was perfect, and I was lucky to have noticed the opportunity to take advantage of it. There is no way I ever could have afforded what I own when it was new, but with a lot of research and incredible patience, those deals do come along.

Short version: Maybe I'm just a cheapskate? 😁

Buying recordings for our collection is a similar game of opportunity, timing, and just the right amount of luck. Like anyone else, I have come up empty many times in my Discogs searches, as I am very particular about the version of the recording I am looking for and, if it's vinyl, I have to get a sealed copy or something that is hopefully play-graded honestly at Near Mint. And, it can't be outrageously priced.

Some of the A&M/CTi records I bought to fill in the series were so reasonably priced, and available sealed, that I still pinch myself for being that lucky. In fact, one I had purchased at too high of a price as Near Mint turned out to be in deplorable condition; taking a chance on the MusicStack site, I found a sealed copy at half the price, and even the foil-based cover was in excellent condition for its age. (This was Nat Adderley's Calling Out Loud.) Had I not remembered to check MusicStack, I would have missed out on this title--I lucked out since it was there at the time I was looking for it.

How about those times you've walked into a music store and saw an entire section on sale? I bought quite a few of those Living Stereo classical SACDs when Barnes & Noble had them on sale for $8.98 each.

I also remember a bookstore chain's outlet (I think it was Border's) having all of those MCA Jazz and GRP titles on cutout CD for $5. (This was when GRP was overtaken by Universal, who cleared out most of the artist roster and dumped the entire back catalog into cutout bins while taking them out of print.) And a few weeks later, I found they had dropped the price in half--two for $5. Had I known I'd never see many of those titles again, I would have bought a lot more of them. But for the ones I did get, I lucked out. They also were closing out some 5-CD sets of Telarc titles for $20; I got a couple of those also. Right place, right time, and lucky to have had the opportunity.

Cutout bins for LPs were also a game of opportunity. I never heard of cutouts until I saw bins of them at the Peaches record store near our house. $1.99, or even 99Β’, I bought a few. There were many in the bins I saw time and time again, but others would show up and I'd take advantage of the price.

While we sometimes splurge on rarities that provide another piece of our collection, it's these opportunities that have allowed us to fill in our collections (and for some of us, build our playback systems) on a budget and provide us with years of enjoyment. I am always watching for the next opportunity for a missing piece in my collection, as I'm sure many of you are as well.

Do you have any lucky, opportune purchases to share with us?
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Do you have any lucky, opportune purchases to share with us?
Yes too many to recall but I will vouch concerning cutouts of which I purchased from every kind of music and department store for as little as 50 cents to $4 this was back in the late 70s onward as a young music collector you can imagine the inner excitement I felt after every shopping trip for example at a Payless drug store ( later known as Rite aid) they periodically had a huge cut out record section separated from their regular priced LPs and many were times I came out of there with a big armload of Records especially stuff I held off buying for years because I was too poor to afford them when they were first released that was also where I purchased my first copy of the Sandpipers foursider for $1.99 along with Burt Bacharach's Reach out for 99 cents and the Sandpipers Guantanamera lp for 99 cents ( yes they were sealed) those were just a couple examples just to give you all an idea
 
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