How to Work in a Record Store (Without Becoming a Cliché)

Ever wonder how to work in a record store without turning into Jack Black's character in High Fidelity? Well, Robert Edwin Haines has the answers: He's worked in record stores for 21 years — the last nine of which have been spent at Amoeba Music in the Haight. In addition to setting up and running the punk rock section there, Haines is one of the buyers at the used counter, and prices collectable CDs and 7-inches. Here's his guide to working in a record store — without becoming a cliché.

Don't Murder the Sellers

“The worst thing about this job is how personally people take it if we're unable to purchase what they're selling. We honestly will buy anything we think we can sell for a profit, but, no offense, I can't buy your Cranberries CD or your grandma's Perry Como records — records have a sell by date, too, sometimes. Sure, on a great day you might get somebody who is unloading collectible LPs and it's always fun to talk with a passionate collector about their collection. Unfortunately, most people are selling CDs and DVDs that they no longer care about, and, typically, that means that no one else does either. Millions of people bought that Hootie and the Blowfish CD and that Matrix DVD, and nobody wants to keep either one.”

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