A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

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Jimmy Hughes

You’ve Never Had It So Cheap

Which is just as well, because it’s shocking to see how cheap things have become. Most old classical LPs – even really nice ones in excellent condition – command no more than 50p to £1 – maybe £2 if you’re lucky. Used CDs fare little better, and can often be found for £5 and under if you know where to go. Very few CDs seem to be collectible – even special limited editions don’t sell for much more than the standard issue.

And what about buying new? Today, the prices of new CDs can be so low there’s almost no point in buying used. One big second-hand classical shop I frequent is now having a real problem obtaining used stock. Basically, new prices have dropped so dramatically, many collectors can’t and won’t sell them their old discs. If they’re only being offered 50p or £1 for discs that originally cost £10 or £15, they’re saying – what’s the point?

Greedy

The shop isn’t being greedy; they buy cheap and sell cheap. Trouble is, if they don’t price discs keenly, people won’t buy. In my case, I definitely need an incentive to purchase. I’ve got more than I could ever hope to listen to. I’m often faced with buying new performances of music I’ve already got many recordings of. It’s Saturationville. I simply don’t need another Rite of Spring or Beethoven Pastoral symphony. But if the disc in question is cheap and looks vaguely interesting, I might still be tempted…

Even though CDs have never been cheaper, much depends on when you buy. If you pounce on a CD the moment it’s released you might end up paying £12 – £15 per disc. But, wait a few weeks or months, and the price will surely drop – often by 50% or more. If you’re patient and can hold on, you’ll almost always find what you want in the Sale – going for a song. Even the biggest names and the best labels are finding it impossible to flog their wares.

To be continued

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