Friday, February 26, 2010

Crazy Van Love

Another one sold this week. A mercury release. Not really big ticket, maybe $7 profit. That’s small potatoes when you are talking about the man (over half my sales have been for $10 profit or more), but still, Van cds are gold. I buy, I list, I sell; sometimes before I even get it out of the bag. The stuff flips like a kid on beans. The right Van is pure money. I can’t believe I can pick it, and I really can’t believe how often I find some of them. Oh, there are re-issues and some of my really big tickets (Veedon Fleece, No Method, No Teacher, No Guru) are penny ante now and some (the Polydor remastering of maybe ten years ago or so) are worth more (way, way more) than others (the aforementioned mercury releases and even some of the warner brothers 70’s stuff).

Did a little excel sorting yesterday and the results are kind of amazing. I’ve never lost money on Van (excluding one Polydor edition that never arrived at the buyer). I’ve never paid more than $9 for a single van OOP disc. (What are used stores thinking?) I’ve made from 2.50 to 29 dollars, all on second market purchases. In the two plus years i’ve been picking and selling (or at least keeping track), i’ve sold 40 various van cds, for an overall profit of $418. Not bad, not bad, even accounting for the write off of that lost van (a swing of $40, btw...damn you delivery confirmation!).

Should I be giving away my secrets? Well...let me tell you this, most of the 70’s stuff isn’t worth the bother. i mean, they are great cds, but no flipping potential. You can forget your astral weeks, your moondances and your tupelo honeys, probably even your st. dominic’s previews (unless it’s on polydor), too many, too common, nothing here folks. However, there are a couple late 70’s discs on Warner Brothers that are worth grabbing, and if you can find polydor versions of those, they are even more worth picking up. These are recordings from a harder transitional period for van, and I’m not a big fan of the music, (listener beware), but they sell.

The 80’s stuff is a little more complicated. A lot of it was OOP until about a year ago and i was going gangbusters on it. I had some really nice sales on veedon fleece (polydor version) and No Guru. But then the record companies got smart and reissued his late 70’s and some of the 80’s stuff and consequently, the market plunged. I’ve heard a couple of the reissues (I love No Guru the most of any van disc) and don’t think the remastering is all that great (Polydor versions sound better), and the bonus tracks are kinda ho hum, so seems like a missed opportunity. But there are still gems/profits to be found in the 80’s. There’s a string of three albums that are extremely desirable in either edition (preferably polydor, but mercury is fine too). I’ve sold 17 copies of one particular jaunty disc. I’d tell my ma about this one for sure, but the next two releases after that have also sold quickly and for nice profit so keep your eyes open for those.

You can ignore most of the 90’s and all of the 00’s. No profit there (and diminishing returns musically as well, i might add) And none of the standard Van compilations discs are worth anything (as of this writing).

However, there is additional gold in the THEM compilations (but be a little wary of the original albums, they’ve been reissued lately). And they are way fun listens.

Can’t really speak to Van vinyl. Melloy has made some nice sales, but I’ve given up figuring out the ins and outs of vinyl sales. I mean it’s all out of print there, so it’s up to the whim of a customer in Seattle, right? how can i figure that?

Love your Van. But stick with the cds. You'll fill your pockets with dollahs.


  1. I often wished I knew what to look for at Cheapo. I think you should share more of your secrets! Except I don't have the patience for reselling. Guess I'll stick with concert tickets :)

  2. Rhiannon, I think he shared too MANY of 'em!