I’ve been selling records for over 20 years now and one thing is quite clear to me: most record dealers pretty damn insecure. Most pretend that they invented the record business, that they have “secrets” that the average music fan can’t quite fathom, that they alone can find rare records and everyone else can’t. Smart vinyl collectors know that this is total bullshit, but few record sellers give too much information about their sources, fearing that the collecting audience for their store will dry up. You need to be confident in your “brick and mortar” business strategy and also believe that being stingy and selfish will get you nowhere fast. Don’t forget that I started this business years ago, record-by-record (mostly as a hobby), sometimes (and still) one record at a time. The question is the where, when and how of finding records. In that spirit, Iris Records is inaugurating RECORD SHOW ROUNDUP, a periodic post that will highlight one great way of finding vinyl (record shows) with lots of dealers selling in one place. We’ll examine one record show per post, give you hints about what is special about that particular show, and provide details about the where and when. I’m happy to share this information for a million reasons: record shows are fun, the more the merrier applies, we run record shows anyhow, and in the end, who cares? One of my great pleasures of this business is providing fun and vinyl—and here’s more for you to chew upon.
SECOND SATURDAY RECORD AND CD COLLECTORS EXPO, WAYNE, NJ, held the second Saturday (duh) of each month at the Firehouse, 97 Parish Drive, Wayne, New Jersey. Early admission is 8 AM ($15.00) and regular admission starts at 10 AM ($6.00), with the show ending at 4 PM. There’s plenty of free parking and also a snack bar. Records encompass approximately 90% of this show. There are two good CD dealers and one guy who has interesting DVDs. There is no one selling new vinyl in Wayne.
This is really a “no-brainer” for those living in Hudson County or NY/NJ, since Wayne is just 30-40 minutes northwest from the Holland Tunnel and is monthly, always 12 times a year. The show has run for seemingly hundreds of years (actually since 1990), and sports a regular cast of dealers and customer characters, somewhat like a television sitcom straight outta Seinfeld. Wayne attracts many of the stores from New York City to shop for their stock, along with a VERY large group of early admission dealer-type customers, so shoot for arriving at 8 AM if you are hunting for expensive (but underpriced) e-Bay sellable records. But for the average vinyl customer, arrive in Wayne at your leisure, even after lunch! There is not a huge retail crowd once the show starts at 10 AM, and there’s plenty of dealers and plenty of records to buy. Great deals abound toward the end of the show. My perspective is that there are always too many good records there and not enough customers, so take your time and enjoy. Wayne is not the record show, but it is always there waiting for you, and there’s plenty of stuff.
Good for selling? At the time of this post, Wayne does not have a big retail crowd in the afternoon, so take that into account when planning a selling date. It’s a very good show to blow out your collection, damn cheap, and don’t look back.
What about CD dealers? And 45s?Wayne has two very good CD dealers and there are usually several decent 45 dealers.
Are there any 12″ dance guys? Generally, no, not on a regular basis. There are always some 12″ singles, but I haven’t seen a regular 12″ dealer there in a while. Join the promoter’s mailing list (see below) for info on this.
Major pitfall for the customer? $6.00 regular admission is a bit steep and the highest of any record show. That plus gas puts you in the hole to start the day. I still maintain that there are enough good deals to easily overcome this cost.
Who’s the promoter? Veteran record show Fred Falk runs the show, and has for years. Friendly, but a bit weary after all these years (he’s heard all the lines and excuses and stories), Fred will set you up if you want to sell and will answer your questions about specific dealers. His website will fill you on Wayne and his other shows, plus you can sign up for his monthly email, which lists dealers who are coming that month. Don’t let Fred’s occasional gruffness scare you, he’s a really nice guy.
Are there other things to do around Wayne to make this into a day trip? Sure, stop at the Meadowlands Flea Market at MetLife Stadium (either coming or going) or take advantage of Wayne’s proximity to the great outdoors. Just Google Map “Wayne” and you will see all sorts of forest lands, parks, lakes, and mountains. Yes, get records, but also some fresh air away from Hudson County.
Next show for review? Arbutus, MD (near Baltimore)