You e-Bay, PayPal or vinyl? Why not?

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Вторник, 5 Октябрь 2010, 3:24
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

By Vladimir Yelbaev, the publisher


Inside Vinilomania, Moscow: digs secondary market, thrives not on E-Bay resales.

Inside Vinilomania, Moscow: digs secondary market, thrives not on E-Bay resales.

THERE’s new exciting game in town – buy online and get it thru… or get thru with it. While E-Bay, Amazon and better shaped shops are safe since being tight about member rating and tiniest rule breach – post service and inspectors have… er, own code, none the lighter for the wages paid. You’d be unpacking your prodigal parcel of speaker boxes to gape at  chipped board, bent grills – and be thankful for state that restorable. Yes, we know about drug and contraband check, but isn’t the issue overdone at times? On your travels, your accompanied luggage of speaker box purchase would never be hurt, not even declared. So what’s wrong with shipping same by post to yourself?

Why hurt nice cute goods under “inspecting” pretext? It’s not that Customs inspector were ignorant about easily detachable speaker grills – he might have same at home — it’s that he: a) by hard breakage will demonstrate prowess and nonchalance lest his corruption were implied, b) is plain overwhelmed with work and thousands… no, millions parcels in waiting, day after day… after day. If anything, E-Bay traders/buyers should be grateful the traffic is alive and processed within reasonable time at all. Losses are reported – so anxious forums claim (ever saw looser live?), but then there’s Post claiming system, PayPal investigating, whatever… Inspectors and postmen are underpaid overworked uncelebrated, report-prone, Karma-laden, well meaning, E-Bay unhonoured… working horses. Our salutation to Customs and Post Ministries! You guessed it – I read Orwell.

So where are you with online buys? Talking of Russia (like in fact I have been, all the way) you are privileged and, well, zapped up. Both of you, seller and buyer. Apart from standing to gain materially against the inside market-going dupes, you are turning the wheel of fortune. All elements of a good gamble are here: big stake, danger risks, dream fortune and, oh yess, a month of making moves or keeping your hand, whatever suits you. Me, I hit my tempo limitations when, on at least two “games”, went hi-jinx – within international ethics too. Even that – raising hell about item stuck in the middle of nowhere — makes one feel good. Unlike beating about red tape routinely, putting to use the wise machinery behind PayPal and, to lesser extent, E-Bay makes you one with the world, one of the Western civilization. You know the item-hurters, their immediate and over-top bosses, know that too. They, alas unsolicited, are also in the game. They may think twice before crushing on that beautiful Fragile and sticker-patched parcel — for it’s their wage and job at stake if the claim “card” were dealt.

There’s yet another lever at play. Prices and vintage hi-fi that auspicious and foolproof (like E-Bay’s) cannot help curbing official imports of new hi-fi, what with consignments’ taxes, payoffs, expenses. Perhaps, hi-fi brand distributors lobby regulations that’d deter E-Bay and online shopping to keep their own sales up. Grand Utopia speakers, dears of local new rich, outweigh Customs private monthly parcel allowance of 31 kg (and outprice the margin of E 1000, too) but then the speakers cost close to a house in Thailand. Going Amazon or, for that matter, InJapan auctions or, better still, direct Japanese Hifido online shop, you will in fact wind up with much superior, prestigious and, finally!, gorgeous looking rare product. Like Diatone/Mitsubishi 3-way floor speakers. Selling at mere $170 or so, the 40-kg pair sets you off another $400 per safest EMS courier shipping to Moscow. That, thrice quicker than regular post ever will. Intact! No board chipping for hidden drugs this time around. Anything for your money.

E-Bay does outsmart Amazon int’l online shop with recognizing posting realities of East Europe… or rather North Eurasia. Russia and more “risky” areas are excluded from the orderly Amazon. The payoff is opportune pricing and newer wider range of music, but who cares? InJapan and host of smaller private Russian sprung-up in-betweens are black cats in a dark room, and blessed are their luck customers. They wield unique prices and mouth watering hi-fi/music, but no PayPal magic applies. You ain’t no cosmo tying in.

Ribbon Pioneers: dramatic buy at, English operating, PayPal payable, EMS shipping Japanese shop.

Ribbon Pioneers: dramatic buy at, English operating, PayPal payable, EMS shipping Japanese shop.

Used stereo gear and vinyl revival are no small fads, and those stem from the respective trades’ deadlock, HD or no HD. Entire marketing and expertise of new CD/HD/download and hi-fi/home theatre stuff is nothing short of sick stupidity, raging arrogance, incompetent diktat. Moscow’s number of publishing houses have been riding a dead hoarse for hi-fi media. And they will! Big Brother approved personalities shoot their mouth and scribble their hype. Brands like Musical Fidelity, Marantz, MB Quart have been turning deaf ear to some earnest pleas of striving pro’s in Russian media, for ages. Now they reap. While no one in Russian marketing has idea of breaking new products – older products break thru of their own.  

It is against this impotent backdrop that old-time records and silver faceted amps deliver. And the offerings’ local market price sums their E-Bay and shipping price plus local expenditure and trader’s interest. Unless you happen to be English non-speaker, principled West-hater or far provincial resident – you have no reason to pay extra locally.

Non-English speakers, alas, are too many – given the pigin toung they teach and transcriptions they soundtrack. Just some on the spur: Raitchel for Rachel, Interneishinal for international, Devvis for Davis, life for live (and to live), and all sorts of terrible mis-accent in communicating on the web. No wonder E-Bay traders are driven to cheat some on the unlikely “buyers” who use “sir” and “do you do to tell me with kindness about how” structures before getting down to business. If you want to be that much sucker – don’t E-Bay, just overpay locally.

Even then, vinyl traders multiply over Moscow. Vinilomania pvt store at Soyuz cellar floor, Novokuznetskaya ul., made vigorous statement earlier this year with impressive vinyl stacking and highish pricing to tackle routine “big time” media advertising to no avail. Soyuz and, across the street, Purple Legion stores carry their new vinyl pressing arrays per $30 a unit. Better shaped and struggling Vadim’s store has its uses in carrying old presses of the likes of Krokodil and Gun (crazy overpriced at E-Bay, only CD listed on Amazon, with quality Japanese traders uninitiated at all). Jems of vinyl records are hunted and traded over town, but the trade is undermined by no meet-me-in-the-middle attitude.

This analysis can turn the tables in no time. Soon as online traders learn new bearings, they may inflate prices and sever terms. Hi-fi is already infrequently refused to Russian Federation even with Worldwide shipping declared. Should this trend prevail, the go-betweens have their day. But hardly these gruesome blokes are welcome in Europe, America, Japan in person – rather on the web. So whoever you are, choice is yours. All I do is highlight options.

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