Alternatives to purchasing from the South American river?

Posted by: ChrisH on 20 October 2018

Ive become increasingly irritated with Amazon's dominance and failure to pay a proper amount of tax in the UK but find it difficult to find alternatives on line that I want to support, apart from buying direct from record labels / bands. This is difficult for older recordings , and Im not happy about paying more money than a physical copy for a digital download of a CD quality album (I guess most of the albums I look at do not have hi-res options).

I do support my nearest record store when I can, but it is a schlepp to get to and we dont have a record store in my nearest town.

Where do you buy from if you are buying online, and does anyone have any good alternatives to Amazon?

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by blythe

I often look at eBay, although their own tax regime leaves something to be desired. Music Magpie work for me too but, they are offshore (IIRC) as well...

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by Kevin-W

Chris, as you're in the UK you could try Bandcamp or Pledge Music. There are also lots of decent indie stores, such as Diverse Vinyl, Norman, recordstore.co.uk, Bleep, TM, the big mail order place in Camden whose name I can't remember... 

Hell, you could even try HMV. They do mail order and seem to pay at least some tax..

All Good Record Shops is a useful resource: http://www.allgoodrecordshops.co.uk/

The River's pricing (especially on vinyl) has become very capricious in the last few years and I've largely stoipped using them.

 

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by AndyP19

 

I admire your ethics and stance on this. Just wondering if you look at the tax status of the sources you listen to i.e. the original artists. The Paradise Papers revealed that quite a few do have some interesting financial affairs and there are some great tales of 70's bands who had some pretty exotic schemes. 

As dear old George said:

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by DenisA

When investigating the spin off band from Field Music, namely You Tell Me, I found the Stranger Than Paradise record store in Hackney. My pre-order doesn't pitch up until 11 Jan, but I will visit beforehand as it looks an interesting place. No bargains maybe, but I like to find new independent stores. As I spend so much money on music, I don't feel guilty anymore about getting bargains on Amazon. I also support lots of bands directly, by going to gig's (around 70 this year).

Stranger Than Paradise Records
Mare Street Market
117 Mare Street (entry via the corner of Westgate Street)
Hackney
London
E8 4RU

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by ChrisH

Thanks so far, some good tips. Keep them coming.

And [@mention:1566878603911195] just waiting for release / advance purchase details of the new album by Ese & the Vooduu People so I can buy direct from the band/label ???? I'm signed up to FB/Instagram, all ready for further details!

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by Kevin-W
ChrisH posted:

Thanks so far, some good tips. Keep them coming.

And [@mention:1566878603911195] just waiting for release / advance purchase details of the new album by Ese & the Vooduu People so I can buy direct from the band/label ???? I'm signed up to FB/Instagram, all ready for further details!

Thanks Chris - hopefully "Up In Smoke" will be worth the wait!

Posted on: 20 October 2018 by Richard Dane

Try What Records or Diverse Vinyl.

Posted on: 21 October 2018 by Clwyd

For mail order Propermusic is reasonably priced with free and fast delivery. I also use Action Records, Coda and Juno. Local HMV is quite good as well. 

Posted on: 21 October 2018 by Innocent Bystander

For downloads there are of course sites like Qobuz and Primephonic, also HDTracks though they have always seemed expensive, and specialist labels like 2L and Linn, and with some bands you can buy either downloads or physical media from their own sites. I sometimes buy secondhand CDs from eBay, but I think only once did I find something on Amazon that I couldnít get, or at a better price, elsewhere.

Posted on: 21 October 2018 by Happy Listener

I concur re the very well-known website's pricing approach of late, especially for vinyl e.g. they now appear to be working to RRPs whereas others aren't - the only rub being the delivery costs and timing aspects when the all-in service aspect is considered e.g. Police's latest re-hashed offering can be had £20 cheaper than A - not that this interests me.

Last Xmas I saw new items (e.g. Stacey Kent) on A which were listed >£25 but were available from others at ~£16. A's descriptions are often less than informing, especially around whether an LP is 180g. 

Increasingly, I now X-refer to the likes of What Records and Diverse Vinyl, and the 'Other Sellers' list. Things like MoFi and Music on Vinyl issues appear to be much better stocked by others (What Records and DV) and are often far cheaper.

I wonder if A's pricing is now being driven/influenced by their role as a merchanting platform for 3rd parties, as often the prices seem to align when the all-in cost is considered.

Posted on: 23 October 2018 by Alley Cat

Interesting to see this thread.

I'm also a bit peeved with Amazon's vinyl pricing, though with Prime next day delivery, reasonable packaging and rarely any issues when you return a product they are still a viable option, especially for CDs where I resent paying £12 or so for CD quality downloads from Qobuz (not their fault I assume) if I can get the CD itself and AutoRip for a fiver or less.

I must revisit Diverse Vinyl on foot as it's not too far away from work.

Posted on: 26 October 2018 by Ebor

It could be argued that buying s/h CDs from Amazon marketplace sellers might be slightly more tax-responsible - quite a lot of s/h shops use the marketplace to bolster their shop sales.

I haven't bought a new CD from Amazon for years - every time I price-check them, HMV are cheaper and I liketo support the one or two shops left on the high street selling new CDs. I suspect Amazon are sick of selling the things now that it's only me and half a dozen faux-retro hipsters in Shoreditch who want CDs any more. I'm sure they'd much rather you subscribe to whatever their streaming service is called so if their CD pricing gets less competitive then their logic might be that people will cave in and stream from them instead.

For older rare stuff, I'm finding Discogs marketplace to be the best. Often cheaper and more stuff than fleaBay and you can be reasonably sure you're getting the exact edition/release you want because of the way the pages are structured.

Mark

Posted on: 26 October 2018 by christoph

jpc in Germany , ships worldwide.

Posted on: 30 October 2018 by Wugged Woy

Is the rainforest river breaking any law ? Or are they just using whatever legal way they can to not pay taxes - you know, probably like most businesses around the world do. I do feel they are being attacked because of their phenomenal success.

They are still my go-to supplier (along with the marketplace sellers on A.'s site, like musicmagpie and momox). Occasionally I use wowhd.co.uk who are well-priced when you take into account their free delivery worldwide. JPC in Germany are higher priced and have higher delivery charges. Discogs sellers usually have very high delivery charges which make the purchase too costly - I use them only for those difficult to find discs.

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by ChrisH
Wugged Woy posted:

Is the rainforest river breaking any law ? Or are they just using whatever legal way they can to not pay taxes - you know, probably like most businesses around the world do. I do feel they are being attacked because of their phenomenal success.

Good point [@mention:1566878604034368] they are undoubtedly working within the boundaries of what they are legally able to do. It just rankles with me though that it leaves such an unlevel playing field as bit by bit, competition and alternatives are disappearing. I think this post has demonstrated that quite well as after looking through the great options here, there are just a handful that have a wide stock and sell CDs that could be good alternatives to the River.

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Timmo1341

I feel like I should know the answer,  but why is it so many contributors insist on using silly synonyms for Amazon (and, to a lesser degree, eBay)? I can find nothing in the forumís rules which forbids mention of these sites by name. Qobuz, Tidal, Bandcamp etc..... all seem to escape unscathed. Please enlighten me!

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Richard Dane

References to items being sold on eBay are forbidden under forum rules. Similarly commercial links to items on sites such as Amazon are forbidden in the Hifi Corner (some may be allowed in other rooms - references to music for example -  at moderators discretion).  Of course, that may have nothing to do with why some prefer to use nicknames for the site..

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Timmo1341

Thanks Richard. I totally understand the ban on links to items for sale, but as I think you know it was not this to which I was referring. As you infer, perhaps some just like to use nicknames. 

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Guinnless

I enjoy the shopping around to see what deals I can get.  Recently bought Yazoo - Upstairs at Erics  on Mobile Fidelity 180g vinyl for £25 (brand new and sealed)

eBay is my first port of call for s/h CDs - Music Magpie have always been good, no scratches etc  As long as I get a perfect rip it's job done.  Failing that Amazon market place have a great s/s cd selection.  If pushed I may buy a new CD unless a download is loads cheaper.

Qobuz hires pricres seem to have gone up recently so I'll vist Highresaudio first as they are usually cheaper.

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by dave4jazz
blythe posted:

I often look at eBay, although their own tax regime leaves something to be desired. Music Magpie work for me too but, they are offshore (IIRC) as well...

I thought Music Magpie were based in Stockport or have I missed something?

Dave

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Clive B

MusicMagpie's return address is certainly in Stockport. I see it on the envelope beside me.

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by dave4jazz

To quote their terms and conditions:

2.1         musicMagpie is the trading name of Entertainment Magpie Ltd, whose registered office is Stockport Exchange, 1st Floor, Railway Road, SK1 3SW and is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 06277562.

Dave

PS for the record I use them almost 100% of the time for cd purchases. Prices on their website, with postage included, are often better than the river. I've had mixed experiences buying cd's on eBay. Some good, some not so good. Music Magpie are consistently very good in my experience.

 

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Chunky

Music Magpie is indeed based in Stockport (and has premises in Macclesfield) and was formed by some of the people who founded the Music Zone record shop chain, which collapsed around 2007.

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by Gazza

Hmmn.....not sure that re-assures me with their customer support recently 

 

Posted on: 31 October 2018 by dave4jazz
Gazza posted:

Hmmn.....not sure that re-assures me with their customer support recently 

 

Out of several 10's of purchases I've had an issue with one cd which they refunded, no problem.

Dave