Record Fairs - ever done one?

I went through my records last night and realized there are easily 800-1000 that will probably never be listened to and was thinking of doing a record fair as selling them on discogs just seems like a meteoric pain the gonads as I am sure there are a lot of people saying they didn’t receive the item etc. and I don’t have time for that shit.

So have any of you done it? Seems like a happy middle ground between selling for pennies to a record shop and having to answer emails every morning reminding people to check their tracking numbers.


no - but i’ve been to record fairs many times over (as a buyer) and been fully ashamed-by-proxy for the average record fair shopper around me.

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Why out of interest?

I have thought about it, but it was mostly in the context of wanting to sell my classic rock records, which are much easier to get rid of. I think if you do do it, advertise the hell out of it in your immediate circle of fellow record nerds. The ones who put in the time to go and dig will certainly be happy, especially if you price the records fairly.

Oh definitely will be priced to move.

there’s a certain brand of record buyer (we call them “punishers” or often “ponytails”) who try and break you down from your listed price with with “friendly” conversation, wheeling & dealing, product criticism and every other trick in the book.

sometimes, they aren’t even interested in buying - they have some personal connection to the record and they won’t be satisfied until you - the seller - have heard their story. these folks seem to excel at dominating a conversation while an actual interested customer is trying to get your attention.

the punishers are usually the folks who don’t pay to show up early and try and clean up quick, but they’ll be there to be amongst their own kind - usually in vintage band t-shirts - and are always 10% louder than anyone else.

of course, these people exist on the internet too - but at least when it’s in email form it can be easily dismissed or ignored and you have the time to craft a good response.


I have done a few in the UK, selling a variety of more esoteric dance music of the type listened to on here. I usually took between £150-300 which for the amount of time and effort it took made me think it wasn’t worth it. Most of the buyers are after your average middle of the road dad rock, fairs are a great place for spotting wellends though I discovered. I now sell completely online which works far better for me.

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I generally find discogs to be fine for selling stuff, you get the odd idiot but the buyers are generally far nicer than on ebay, which I have stopped using.

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Ebay is not fit for purpose for more than decade. Discogs works well, I sell a few records there, I need the money.

Marc, you may find people on the scene and make connections. They will all give you the knock, haggle and argue over grade, people are generally pretty out of order in the scheme of things. You may have to try a few fairs to find the more niche DJ type buyers.

I do think you will come back with more records if you get one with dollar bins full of ‘dance music’. you are probably in a position to to make a good return bringing US 12’s to the UK market if you get there on your travels. Personally I want all the big Disco on a US 12, there a plenty of UK dealers who would want to restock them too.

I pay whatever is asked, if a discount is offered I always say ‘you don’t have to’.

Just as a side note. I’m playing records along with anyone else who wants to at the next Letchworth fair. We are trying to bring some of the excitment and buzz of playing records to contrast ‘collector’ mentality. It works well at the twice yearly Hitchin fair where there are many a serious player on the various scenes having a dig.


I think that in the last few years there’s been way too many smaller fairs here in Stockholm with sellers heavily overestimatiing the appeal and value of their used DJ collection from 10-15 years back. It takes a week to sort and price them, a day at the fair with an early start, lots of lifting, a parking ticket and you sell for 100-200 pounds. Not worth it at all in my experience.

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Last time I went here (early 22) it was as always full of overpriced psych, dub and 60s. Then a few of the blokes were selling new release stock at just below retail to make some coin after being shut of trading in lockdowns.

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I’ve done a ‘fair’ few. There’s a big one on my doorstep which helps. Initially I fell into it as had loads of stuff in a lockup that I was paying for and just wanted shot of it about 20 years ago.
I’d regularly go to buy but often come home with nothing.
There’s definitely a certain crowd in attendance and regular dealers who tour around week in week out with the same old stuff. There’s also an emergence of sellers with lots of brand new sealed stuff or dead stock they’ve bought by the pallet which is quite dull.

I find it quite entertaining tbh. You can meet some absolute whoppers but I’m fairly niche- mostly dance stuff and most people are sound. I price to sell, not to take home and have regulars that I sell to. 90% goes to other dealers tbh.

If you’ve not tried before then give it a go, depending on the size/location of fair you could do ok, however the 12” House buyer simply may not be in attendance…

I did a few flea markets in Berlin when I was thinning out the collection there and used to take €200-€500 a day, but then there a ton of vinyl nuts/hipsters there, sort of depends a bit on where you live.

Don’t be scared of Discogs, thats’ where all the buyers are these days - especially dance music. If you want less hassle then grade everything one notch lower, stuff will sell quicker and everyone will be pleasantly surprised and and it’s damn site easier than lugging everything about.


I’ve gone back to eBay in the last couple of years after more than a decade of only selling on discogs. Ive found I can get more for more mainstream kinds of music than I could on discogs, though generally the more obscure dance/House stuff sells better on discogs. The advantage of eBay is you can sell abroad using the faff free global shipping programme and it’s a quick turnaround, particularly using “best offer”.

I see groups of these people at car boot fairs. Most of them are cunts.

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I think I’m going to do a test run of about 100 records on Discogs using that method and see how it goes.

the thing that bugged me with the local monthly fair was that it was the same dealers turning up with the same stock, so wasn’t worth going more than maybe 3 times a year (and even then it might not be any good). I’d imagine new stall might actually see a bit of action on a first appearance, although as others have said, it very much depends on the crowd. I always see a few people milling around the 12" boxes though.
Other record fair bug bears : a lot of overpriced nonsense like some VG copy of Rappers Delight for £10 or whatever.
Also, stalls run by old rock dudes with meticulously organised and divided crates for the stuff they know about, and then a knackered box marked “SOUL/DANCE” which will have everything from Ja Rule to Derrick May and some battered Alexander O’Neal singles.


Problem is here in the states there is little to no market for dance 12’s at reduced fairs so the only way to shift those would be discogs but after going through my records last night I realized these are the only ones that get played. So looks like I’m keeping those and getting rid of the rest.

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I did one organised by Jane Fitz. Thought it was really good. Nice social and took a decent amount of cash. Pretty atypical record fair crowd, I guess. Lots of Italian Fitz-fans mostly in the market for house, techno and trance things.