Here’s one that actually went down very recently—
My buddy and I had been pointed to this place by a woman in a small neighborhood (somewhere in the east coast ( ). After I told her I was looking for record stores, etc, she said “oh you’re looking for records? there’s a guy who we work with a lot who’s got a room full of em. a lot of DJ radio promo 12s”. The woman who had told us was the puffy hair, gold glasses, type—w/ the big red sweatshirt with a pic of a dog on it which, of course, was worn over a white turtle-neck. So I was a little surprised to hear something like “DJ radio promo 12s” come out of her mouth.
Anyway - we made it over to this location with very little hope of turning up anything major, but wanted to give it a shot to see. Pretty interesting in the store up front, the owner seemed very friendly and didn’t seem to really know much about records (he was selling them for a friend). But in the back, sure enough, were stacks of crates. I got stoked, but didn’t get TOO amped bc I’d been that situation before and certainly had it be a chud factory.
This, however, was kind of a craze. There was a lot of techno and house, but every now and again I’d hit a pocket of 12"s organized by label, and they’d all be white label promos—- and there were multiple copies, sometimes as many as four. This was some rare stuff that you never come across, a lot of WLPs from smaller groups on Epic, Arista, A&M, etc. This was rad—- I was getting stoked, and I would quietly tell my buddy that there was some pretty good stuff here. This, however, was getting him pissed bc he knew what this was turning into—- it was going to be one of those 2-3 hour spiels where he would just wait for me to finish (he ain’t really a collectro). BC of this, he’d walk out a number of times for a smoke, etc.
While he was out on one of his breaks, I came across another one of these pockets of 12"s organized by labels. This one was a bunch of white jackets, the spines facing me, and the records inside em were all Heavenly Star, Sound of New York, etc. Nooooow I was getting amped. Got the super giddy feeling, yada yada.
So my buddy comes back in and gives me the “what the f*ck bro—it’s time to get the hell ouf of here” face. I had just hit quite patch of luck, and I wasn’t even halfway through the collection yet. Nothing was priced, but I knew these were going to be cheap. So, quietly but not too quietly, I explained to my friend what was going on, how amazing some of the shit was, and how I was about to come up heavy for next to no dough. I was trying to explain the value of some of the pieces, telling him how this could be a gold mine, all that. He understood, wished me luck, and walked outside. I kept looking, and sure enough kept finding great stuff. The Carol Douglas 12” on New Image, random private boogie 12s, etc.
About 20 mins later, he comes back in and is clearly baked with a big grin on his face. He says “hey did you get that email? someone just sent us a funny email”. I take a break and check my phone. Few new messages, but one of them is from him. I open it up, and it reads “dude….the jig is up. they’ve been watching and listening to us via security camera the whole time we’ve been here.”
I assume he’s either just being an idiot or is being paranoid bc he’s clearly lifted. I laugh. He looks at me dead serious and says “dude I’m not kidding”.
So I put my stacks aside and walk to the front, acting like I’m catching a breath of fresh air. There is NO ONE else in the store beside the two owners up front, and surely enough, there’s a large television displaying the backroom where I’d been killing it / audibly bragging about it with the volume BLARING from the tiny speakers. I’m mortified, and my stomach drops.
Owner looks at me and says “hey if you want to bring some of that stack up I’ll start pricing it for you.”
Pretty sure my voice cracked when I said “cool”. I slink away, bummed out like crazy. Can’t believe my idiocy, but at the same time was sort of creeped out that I was being monitored so intensely. So i figured I’d test my luck.
Anyway, to wrap it up, I did end up pretty much making out like somewhat of a bandit. Got the Paper Dolls 12, the La She Ba 12, a bunch of other Peter Brown joints and a ton of private weird boogie 12s for next to nothing. He priced all the known stuff super high, using Music Stack as his guide (“there’s a copy of this online for $900, I’ll sell it to you for $175”). I passed on some of the more valuable items bc he was charging too much for em, but anything that wasn’t on a major he pretty much sold for under $16.00.
Never really knew if he picked up on everything I’d said—but man that shit sucked for a minute.