It's not a green approach like the one you have advanced but you could use the throw away plastic gloves. Not the sterile kind but the cheap ones you see in other industries, such as those used to make a sandwich at a deli.
The lowest cost would be disposable one time use gloves.
I buy boxes of vinyl gloves. 200 for $10.
Latex gloves are a little more expensive, and a few folks are deathy allergic to latex.
The vinyl gloves are cheap, can be powder free. And way better than cotton gloves you are washing.
If you are serious, best to convert your store to a clean room environment, that way your possible customers will know you are a serious seller. Obvious you have not discovered the difference between 'collectors', those that never actually play a record, and one who does. 'Player's could care less about using gloves.
Vinyl gloves are becoming more expensive and we have switched to Nitrile powder free gloves which helps as some patients are allergic to vinyl. Nitrile is not as stretchable as latex but will stretch a little. You will need to purchase boxes of several sizes; say small, medium and large.
Since latex or Nitrile gloves are thicker than those thin disposable translucent gloves worn by those in the food industry, you can be reassured that no sharp finger nail will poke through the glove and damage the playing surface of the LP.
How about finger cots?
They may also double for use as condoms in a pinch for those under-endowed:(
Princeton Record Exchange used to keep the expensive vinyl behind the
counter, only the jackets (which were in a poly bag, if memory serves) were
out in the stacks- if a customer was serious about a record, he/she would
grab the jacket and go to the counter to have a staff member pull the
record for inspection. Not sure going through the trouble of gloves is going
to get you to any better place. Just the process of re-sleeving can create
scratches, even if one doesn't touch the vinyl with a naked finger. Thus, for
the tres cher stuff, it may be better if you or your staff do the handling.
Isochronism, Thanks for your response. My wife and I are still laughing!
Thanks for responses and laughs as well!
I don't think that I can offer my clients to stretch neither vinyl or nitrile or latex gloves.
Chef's plastic gloves are easy to slide and OK as temporary solution.
My store IS a clean room and I'm serious seller with over 30 years of media retailing experience. New arrivals at the store are cleaned inside and out including jackets before shelving and filing pretty much at any price point. In the future still I'd want to have light cotton ones and have a white glove as part of my store logo. Mints, Near-Mints are usually store-sealed with sticker note
Amazon sells cheap cotton gloves used for stuff like photography . I by them by the dozens. You can wash them a number of times before they fall apart.
I would not patronize a business that required me to wear gloves to examine used records. Anyone knowledgable enough to want to examine the condition of a used record should know how to safely take a record out of a sleeve and replace it without leaving any marks. With gloves, you may be running the risk of records being dropped which would cause way more damage than just finger prints that can be washed off. If this is a serious concern, you should consider on-line sales only.
As a photographer who wrestled with trying to actually get a film strip or 4x5 negative out of the sleeve while wearing cotton gloves, I can tell you they aren't exactly great for maintaining tactile dexterity. They're always slipping down your fingers leaving you with a dangling mass of cotton impeding your fingers. They do work to prevent damage, but customers aren't going to like wearing them long. I think Isochronism's finger cot idea is pretty good!
And you may want to increase your liability coverage for the 'one off' customer who doesn't know they are alergic, until they try your gloves on.
I would not patronize a business that required me to wear gloves to examine used records.
Why not? Even if you're considerate and careful, the next visitor may be a buffoon. They're everywhere, as any shopkeeper knows, and you can't keep them out because they don't wear signs around their necks. Many of them aren't even aware that they're buffoons, ignorance being in the nature of buffoonery. You often can't tell that someone's an idiot until they actually do something idiotic, by which time it's too late.
Asking customers to wear gloves alerts the casual shopper that care in handling the goods is expected. It gives the serious buyer confidence in the quality of the goods. Finally, it may annoy the buffoons enough to send them to some other, more trusting (and less careful) shop.
Personally, I'd go out of my way to support a business that was this serious about selling only the best quality goods.
Dougdeacon asks: Why not?
Since my previous explanation was apparently not sufficient:
I would never, ever give my business to someone who has the hubris to presume that I am incapable of the simple task of examining a used record without damaging it. I would feel the same about any record store that would not allow me to inspect a used record or provide adequate lighting to do so.
I'm just stating a personal preference. Please note that I am not questioning your choice of supporting such an establishment.
Why do y'all think that it's going to be mandatory??
It's on voluntary bases. Would you like to wear ones to examine records? It's just to let know that store provides gloves if the client is comfortable using them to examine vinyl.
You can opt out of wearing gloves. My goal is to reduce the amount of fingerprints on the store inventory. Further on, I betcha good portion of clients will start respecting environment and ask for ones. There's also a natural 'repeat' factor among most of people when one sees another one examining records in white gloves...
Not sure what Dougdeacon means by "best quality goods", but why not having best quality goods occasionally for bargain prices?
Voiding the best quality goods is OK since there are ones that are looking for them and apperently more than ones that are not. I would rather describe my location as best value goods.
Every retail store should have its own differences in handling products and every retail store develops its own pattern and clientel as well.
I'm pretty good in internet retailing, but having the storefront was always more convinient.
It's a silly, costly and unnecessary idea.
Any fingerprints can easily be removed by the consumer.
Is this a thinly disguised plug for your record store?
You certainly mention it enough.
Fingerprints are not easily removed unless they're removed within next few min. Than they stick there like a glue and one have to literally rinse to remove it. It also depends on skin and every skin is different. One is more moist another is more dry. There are fingerprints that needle can acctually feel and give a surface noise like ones from the burger grease for instance. VPI would not rinse these off and they'll still be noisy. After ultrasonic cleaning they're back in business sounding very clean. After handling hundreds of thousands of records you will definitely know what is noisy and what is not.
This costly idea can be sufficient by spending $10 for 2 dozen of cotton gloves worn normally by restaurant servers.
There are many confident record listeners who know how to handle them and there are young college kids that do not know and would actually actually ask for gloves if available believe it or not. I have visitors of ALL age categories down to high-school kids shopping for records.
Once again -- the gloves are provided for customer convinience, not for mandatory use
"Is this a thinly disguised plug for your record store?
You certainly mention it enough."
I am curious of where your store is! It's nice
that you care that much. Cheers -Don
My store is in 2 location
one is @discogs iredog and another one is in Raleigh NC
Czarivey- Thank you very much, and long live vinyl.
I think it's a great idea esp. with what used vinyl is going for these days. Good luck with the project.
Czarivey - look at it this way: experienced customer with no gloves will result in a low likelihood of damaged records. Alternatively, an inexperienced customer with gloves would result in a high likelihood of damaged records due to dropping. While I am very used to handling records by only touching the edges and label area, I wouldn't attempt to handle a record that way with gloves on. With the gloves you are pretty much forced to hold the record by grasping the surface. BTW, any decent RCM will take care of those fingerprints - I would not hesitate to buy a dusty record with fingerprints if it was otherwise in good shape. Can't wash off gouges, scratches and excessive wear which is what I'm looking for when inspecting used records.
thanks for being experienced customer who knows how to think from his/her own standpoint. i'm a retailer and must think from DIFFERENT standpoints and that's why i established myself as a retailer.
there are also inexperienced customers who think different and from seller's standpoint it's clearly visible too.
cleanness of records may not b important for you and even for me who can identify that after cleaning they will look and play OK, but not for someone else who don't know or don't have fancy cleaning machine. at the same time the filthiness drives the price down or record would stay on shelves longer. simple math no science at all.
did you ever see ladies shopping for records? they value no dust on the covers as well.
retailing deals with array of various people.
as far as drop damage is going, there are restaurant server's gloves with nylon or latex coating at the fingertips which adds little to nothing to the price per bundle of 2 dozen. even besides that you can simply pinch or grab record with gloves and hold it steady. one would feel comfortable its own way, but statistically $10 investment mentioned will move quality of sales by a notch or few...
it's like audiophiles fine-tweaking the rigs with extra thousands of dollars spent on tweaks to get infinitesimal improvements.
i'm a retailer and must think from DIFFERENT standpoints and that's why i established myself as a retailer.
retailing deals with array of various people.
Exactly. Asking people to wear gloves isn't a personal insult. A retailer can't tell if you're an experienced buyer or not.
As to the suggestion that the customer can remove fingerprints themself, any record retailer will tell you that the vast majority of buyers have NEVER heard of record cleaning, still less machines and solutions dedicated to record cleaning. The Audiogon community (myself included) represents the bleeding edge of expertise/fanaticism when it comes to record care. We are not even remotely representative of a record shop's customers, 90% of whom have far less knowledge and experience with record care or anything else in audio. If you want to sell to them, while protecting your merchandise from them, some precautions are reasonable.
I'm reminded of damage suffered by my local audio dealer, like $2K tweeters destroyed by the poking fingers of brainless visitors, most of whom who never buy anything. What's he meant to do? Survey people at the door to discover if they're expert enough to enter his shop? He'd drive people away. You do the best you can to instill sensible caution and hope for the best.
Granted, this request is overkill for experienced buyers like Jmobray or Dreadhead... or me for that matter. But if a retailer finds that it protects his merchandise from mishandling by less experienced shoppers, where's the harm in cooperating?
Good point on the record machine. Most people don't own them and if they are offended so what they can buy somewhere else. I mean the people who collect records probably would appreciate a record that has been handled with "Kid Gloves" and has no finger prints,it shows you care about your inventory. I would put up signs though that say if you drop the record and damage it you have bought it. I was in a store 2 months ago where they had signs which said DO NOT OPEN SEALED RECORDS,IF YOU DO YOU YOU HAVE BOUGHT IT. and someone had and the police were called. I have no problem with this,an opened copy loses it's value when open.
If you asked me to put on gloves to check out a $5 record, I'd laugh at you.
Nor would I frequent a record shore where other patrons didn't know how to properly handle vinyl. Giving some idiot a glove and trusting him to slide the record in the sleeve properly is silly.
I go to a nice used record store, a lot, and the guys constantly Rome around, making sure it's done properly and offering education, not gloves, when necessary.
Us always bigger and larger than you. Simple math and that's been already explained in details. You can also view quite different responses here. Ones will like the others won't. Each retail spot has its own specific on likes and the other doesn't no matter what you do.
The point was in the original post is the best safest material that could be used as record 'exam gloves' given and provided at customer convenience.
Roaming and tailgating around ones may not like as well and you can put me on that list. Less likely I will come back to purchase anything at the store where I'm being tailgated! Whatever one likes better will work for a particular one. For plural it's a-bit different and sometimes it's hard to understand the difference.
What about implementing a policy: if a customer is very interested in examining a lp. bring it to the front desk. This way, you are one on one with the customer, you have control of the examination, you have complete control of the whole process.
Gloves? What the H...!
Policy is policy. I have various records that are store sealed and OK to inspect only at front desk or by any store personnel regardless of gloves.
Gloves is just a kool feature or maybe some kinda attraction.
Gloves in a record store....audiophiles are nuts.
Better gloves than earmuffs.
Czarivey, if you make em white gloves the customer after his purchase can go out in the street and direct traffic!
Is it a type of fetish?
They might as well jump into the orchestra hole and start conducting.