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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
I own a record store here in Vancouver, and I get questions on what and where to buy for equipment all day. Unfortunately, these are poor Millennials who want to spend less on their whole system than I spent on just one of my speaker cables.

Cartridges are easy to recommend (not many great choices for under $100) but I can't find any turntables for under $200 that aren't glorified Fisher-Price/Playskool toys. I'm trying to keep these innocents out of the hands of Crosley and Ion.

I usually end up sending them to some reputable local used dealers, but I thought this would be the perfect place to get some opinions on anything you all think is good, new intro equipment for my poor, young customers. Any opinions on amp/receivers and speakers would be most welcome, as well.

Update (unsure if this is where it should go):

I would genuinely like to thank all the sincere replies I've received about my query. You've definitely provided great advice and lots of food for thought. Please keep 'em coming!

I feel I should address some of the advice that's been given so far:

First of all, a serious duh on my part for not recommending CAM; I'll do that from now on (blame it on my noob status here). I feel more comfortable recommending CAM over Kajiji and Craigslist. It seems more knowledgeable and will weed out the clueless and the crooks. This is especially useful as it will dovetail nicely with what a lot of my customers use for vinyl, discogs.com. I have been recommending good, local used shops (Lotusland, The Turntable Shop) and a repair shop that sells gear (A-Tech). I have no problem sending business elsewhere if they're reputable.

Currently my store is packed to the rafters with vinyl and CDs; I simply don't have the room to really sell gear. I was thinking new because I might be able to sell a simple TT/receiver/bookshelves and squeeze it in somewhere. I did attempt selling used TTs, but room was an issue, my staff isn't comfortable selling it (I hired music nerds, not gearheads), and I don't want to spend the time fixing up old turntables (a task that I'd do a dubious job of, anyway).

The entry level good quality TTs (Pro-ject, Rega, Music Hall, U-Turn, etc) are still out of the price range of most of my customers. These kids (I'm in my 50's) just aren't willing to drop $300+ on one piece of gear, especially a fully manual TT. I'm currently selling a feature loaded, good quality, full auto TT for $260, but it's been a hard sell. Even the lion's share of cartridges I sell are the AT95 and AT3600. I rarely succeed in selling the Ortofon Red and Shure M97 I carry.

Also, keep in mind most of my customers spend two/thirds of their income on rent (Vancouver, remember). All the audio electronic stores in town only cater to people who will drop at least a grand on a system. That's probably as much as their total assets (not counting their damn iphones). I do send customers to the chain stores that have good gear (Visions, Best Buy) because they usually have a sale on something worth buying in their price range. I'm trying to steer them away from the plastic platter/plastic plinth/no adjustment drinking straw tonearm/$5 ceramic cartridge/unmitigated garbage of Crosley, Jensen, Ion, etc., but it's a very tough battle. Ultimately I think buying crap will discourage a lot of vinyl buyers because of the poor quality sound and build of these products, and I'll lose customers.

Finally I'd like to address the Millennial/Hipster grumblings. These kids are a decent bunch; more knowledgeable than any generation about music than before, and are digitally aware. They're just intimidated yet intrigued with analog. Sure, there will always be casuals, but that's been going on forever. Remember, people jumped from vinyl to cassette to CDs to MP3's to vinyl again. I just want to get them to appreciate and stick with vinyl beyond fashion (not that I have a personal stake or anything :twisted: )

...and by the way, I'VE got a hipster beard (of course, I've had it since 1985).


Last edited by OWU497 on Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:09 pm
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Why not send them here?

I just checked the Turntable listings, and by order of price, at least the first two pages are $200 or less...

Not to mention the most valuable resource of CAM, which is of course, this very forum.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Location: Regina, SK, CA
Seems like a business opportunity to me. You have the store, you appear to understand quality, so once you identify a few in-expensive items, why not stock and sell, or at least have a demo, and bring them in on order, or send them to where you found the items.
I see only one bump, if your cable is worth more than some systems, you may have a hard time bringing your equipment opinion to an affordability level that these prospective customers can digest. After all, being subjective, your need for expensive hi end and their acceptability of a descent starter sound might be too far apart.
But generally, feed them what they need at a price they can afford,even if you need to suffer through a little sound barrier. (pun intended)

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Vintage has a place.....mostly in my basement.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:39 pm
Posts: 1678
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
U-Turn Orbit Basic is 179 USD, available in Canada.
https://uturnaudio.com/pages/turntables

That's probably as cheap as it gets for easy to setup modern looking decent turntable.

Rega RP1 starts from 449 CDN, Same for cheapest Pro-Ject...

Otherwise, as others have said, maybe send them to CAM to buy used.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 2:48 pm
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Location: West GTA, ON, CA
I always thought that a link between a "high end" store and record store would be a good idea. The stereo store could put together a starter system for cheap and every customer that you send gets a "coupon" as a reward. Similarly, the stereo store would refer customers to you.
Needless to say there would be challenges to such an arrangement. Most store owners are a pretty independent and cautious bunch, so it will likely never work.
But as a record store, selling record accessories (e.g., brushes, sleeves) and turntables sounds like a good business idea to me.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
OWU497 wrote:
I own a record store here in Vancouver, and I get questions on what and where to buy for equipment all day. Unfortunately, these are poor Millennials who want to spend less on their whole system than I spent on just one of my speaker cables.

Cartridges are easy to recommend (not many great choices for under $100) but I can't find any turntables for under $200 that aren't glorified Fisher-Price/Playskool toys. I'm trying to keep these innocents out of the hands of Crosley and Ion.

I usually end up sending them to some reputable local used dealers, but I thought this would be the perfect place to get some opinions on anything you all think is good, new intro equipment for my poor, young customers. Any opinions on amp/receivers and speakers would be most welcome, as well.


I would continue to send them to your reputable local used dealers.
They won't have a clue what to do at this site with used equipment and to buy off Kijiji etc....is hit and miss. Continue on, young man.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
As a borderline Millennial I find these prospective buyers hilarious and idiotic. It's not Millennials, it's hipsters made worse by being in Vancouver.

They're willing to spend $6 on a coffee or $15 on organic eggs from chickens that have been petted daily and then scrap the bottom looking for audio handouts while probably making night-and-day type comments of how their vinyl is so vastly superior.


Last edited by msommers on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
a local record store here in Winnipeg carries a few basic tables and appropriate accessories for just such a market.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Location: Surrey , BC, CA
I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....

-- 10 Aug 2017 05:52 --

I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:35 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
They could scour yard sales and Kijiji. Lots of working Technics direct drive and vintage Dual turntables (and other half decent stuff) still around for next to nothing.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:24 am 
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libor wrote:
I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....

-- 10 Aug 2017 05:52 --

I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....


Those so called "entry level" Regas can only be purchased used unless the buyers want to pay $900+ to get a table as good or better new. A Rega 3 for around $40 is hard to beat or an original Revolver with Jelco 250ST arm, Otherwise, Dual 502 for a reasonably good cheap table.

-- 10 Aug 2017 05:24 --

libor wrote:
I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....

-- 10 Aug 2017 05:52 --

I would also recommend you to go into selling some entry level turntables...Rega, Project....


Those so called "entry level" Regas can only be purchased used unless the buyers want to pay $900+ to get a table as good or better new. A Rega 3 for around $40 is hard to beat or an original Revolver with Jelco 250ST arm, Otherwise, Dual 502 for a reasonably good cheap starter table and your left with lots of choices for the cartridge that goes on the table since it's not an Ortofon (Dual) only table like many of those 500 series Dual tables from the late 70's, early 80's. However, if you can scoop a 701 or 1229 for say $250 or so grab it.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:29 am
Posts: 464
Location: St.Catharines, ON, CA
Multiple Revenue Streams.Sell new,used,consignment TT and accessories.Bongs and Tshirts if they sell.Beat the competition don't give them sales.
Any sale in retail is a good sale.

I think Audio Technica makes a plug n play TT for under $200.

Gary


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:09 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
msommers wrote:
As a borderline Millennial I find these prospective buyers hilarious and idiotic. It's not Millennials, it's hipsters made worse by being in Vancouver.

They're willing to spend $6 on a coffee or $15 on organic eggs from chickens that have been petted daily and then scrap the bottom looking for audio handouts while probably making night-and-day type comments of how their vinyl is so vastly superior.


As an actual millenial with a good vintage hifi system I find your generalizations a bit hostile, even if theyre sometimes true. So a lot of folks have learned that sometimes it's worth splurging for better food - why not point out the same is true of audio? :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:42 pm
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Location: Gatineau, QC, CA
The Record Centre here in Ottawa stock a lot of vintage and new turntables and amps etc . Not uncommon to see a few complete systems going out the door on my visits down there . So if you can get a source of decent used gear nice chance to add another source of revenue ?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:09 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
zhenya01 wrote:
U-Turn Orbit Basic is 179 USD, available in Canada.
https://uturnaudio.com/pages/turntables

That's probably as cheap as it gets for easy to setup modern looking decent turntable.


+diversify....assuming you have a critical mass of traffic that you referred to,who will drop$200-250 on a new turntable,set up one of these in the store with the supplied OM-5e or entry AT cart.....a value leader @ <$250.....properly set up with matching cables,int. & speakers,the Orbit Basic will sell itself.


Last edited by dupont62 on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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