Record Store Day Retailers Find an Unexpected Online Ally: eBay

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eBay has allied with Record Store Day to allow independent stores access to 179 million eBay buyers.

Record Store Day is a celebration of independent record stores across the United States, and a decidedly offline event.  In fact, the entire point of RSD is to steer music fans into physical stores.

That makes a recent deal with eBay a bit surprising, though the alliance could be win-win.  Ahead of the latest RSD weekend, eBay highlighted its partnership with RSD’s Authorized Seller Network to open their inventory to more than 179 million eBay shoppers.

The aim is to complement in-store sales, especially from buyers who can’t easily access a brick-n-mortar RSD location.  Theoretically, that could diminish in-store traffic among nearby music fans, though the records themselves are all flowing through participating RSD store inventory.

Earlier, RSD organizers expressed consternation against eBay for allowing ‘fraudulent’ listings of exclusive RSD vinyl releases.  Basically, go-betweens were selling ‘exclusive’ releases on eBay ahead of the official RSD date, then purchasing them in person and profiting from the auction.

That’s the internet, of course, though we’re guessing that ‘bad start’ led to this more regulated partnership.

Record Store Day began in 2008 as a way to celebrate more than 1,200 independently owned record stores in the United States.

These stores faithfully serve their communities with a variety of physical music. The increased popularity of vinyl records has helped keep these brick and mortar stores open.

Of course, vinyl’s popularity is happening online as well, for obvious reasons.  Unsurprisingly, eBay Vice President of Merchandising Sam Bright says vinyl sales are extremely popular on the online auction site.

“Interest in vinyl continues to soar among today’s music lovers, and the category is more popular than ever on eBay. We remain dedicated to supporting independent retailers who bring music and culture to their local communities, and this partnership allows us to expand their reach to a global audience.”

Anyone interested in supporting independent record stores can shop the official Record Store Day sellers on eBay.

A report from BuzzAngle Music earlier this year showed that vinyl sales are showing no signs of slowing in 2019.

Vinyl saw a 12% increase in total album consumption for 2018, too. In fact, vinyl album sales grew while individual song and album sales fell.

BuzzAngle says the sales were primarily driven by purchases of “older” records released before 2015.

Best Selling Vinyl Albums of 2018

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 – 2014
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller – 1982
  • Prince’s Purple Rain – 1984
  • Queen’s Greatest Hits – 1981
  • The Beatles’ Abbey Road – 1969

The only contemporary album in the top 10 is Tony Bennett and Diana Krall’s Love Is Here to Stay from 2018. eBay’s help promoting the Record Store Day catalog online should further help fuel those old album sales, especially among collectors.