Vinyl from Barnes & Noble

 Last week I used a Christmas gift card to purchase an LP there. 180 gm , pressed at RTI, new 25th anniversary  remaster.... The album was wrapped in a baggy crinkly plastic. Inside that was the typical vinyl sleeve, which was not sealed. When I took the LP out I was amazed.... Filthy, covered in fingerprints with 2 very prominent scratches covering one entire side.. This was obviously not virgin vinyl. B & N of course returned it. The associate told me " you wouldn't believe  how often this happens ." ???!!!   I asked if it was company policy to repackage used items and sell them as new. He didn't answer that, instead merely insisting that this is a common occurrence. WTF!   Any one care to comment/ have similar experience?

Which artist/title was it?
Is that important?  It was Paul Simon  Graceland.

Never had a problem however i would never buy records at a book store.
In fairness, buying new should be new. Period. Is there no consumer protection against this?

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Yes. Because most of us have buying experience with lps. This relates to the answer one may ask.

For a particular lp, it could be very important as to others’ experience with that lp. Why this info would it be excluded from the original post is of some concern if the main objective is to get a correct answer.

I own a copy of that lp that I bought used. I seriously doubt anyone had a similar issue as you did. Something went very wrong for a singular moment.
Never had a problem. Stuff happens. Get over it and move on.
No, in USA a corporation is a person and actually has more rights than you

Jaybe, I have moved on. I just find it troubling that a major chain is selling repackaged used goods as new.
Barnes and Noble is probably just buying from a distributor.  They aren’t the ones repackaging these records.  In some ways, they are just as much a victim as you were.
No problems so far buying LP's from Barnes&Noble!
I buy there every other week. Never had an issue. Great selection in NY 86th.
This was my first issue...
I have bought a ton from barnes and only had one issue with a warped record 
I've bought from B&N a couple times.  No problems

Purchased many vinyl w/o problems.  The B&N near us has incredible stock and with coupon discounts I have gotten some very good deals.

I have never heard of anything like you experienced but I empathize.  What a hassle!!
Had to be on another  planet to miss the Supreme Court decision on a corporation IS a person , Also ruled a corporation can sue you for libel but you can not sue them for same . Try reading .
Hate you had an issue with a new vinyl purchase but my experience with Barnes and Noble purchase has been very good. I’m glad they took care of it properly.

From inside the record business:

At the end of the original LP era (the late 80’s/early 90’s), retailers like Tower were allowed to return a certain percentage of their LP purchases (THEIR purchases, not those of their customers) to their distributors. There was a return penalty, however (a little over a buck an LP), plus the cost to ship. Every Tower store had an LP resealing machine (see below) in it’s backroom, and once a month the receiving clerk had to go through the LP’s, visually inspecting each, and separate out the discs that looked "new enough" to sell again. Those LP’s were resealed, and put back in the store’s LP bins to be resold

The resealing machine was 2-part: the 1st was a metal contraption holding a large roll of plastic wrap (like kitchen "Saran Wrap", but double-layered; flat, but in actuality a tube open at both ends), and an electric heating and cutting strip. The LP jacket (with LP inside, of course) was placed into the plastic, then the lever arm containing the heating element was pressed down, which sealed and cut the plastic. The clerk left a little slack in the plastic, around 1/4" on each end. Step 2 was to place the plastic wrap-ensconced LP on a short conveyer belt which ran through a small heating oven. The speed of the belt was timed to shrink the plastic wrap snugly around the LP jacket, but not warp the LP inside. Once resealed, those LP’s were put back in the bins on the sales floor. LP’s too obviously pre-owned were returned to the distributors, and were ground up to make new LP’s. "Non-virgin" vinyl, obviously.

Non-audiophiles apparently never knew the difference, as returns for that reason were few. Once you had seen a resealed LP, they were easy to spot: there was a seam at each side of the LP cover, where the plastic wrap had been heated and cut, leaving a rough-edged bead. Lots of factory-sealed LP’s from that era have an over-lapping layer of plastic in the middle of the cover---any LP like that has most definitely NOT been post-manufacturer resealed. Import LP’s were harder to spot, as their plastic wrap was not shrunk, as neither were new ones, generally speaking.

After that time period (though the remainder of the 1990’s and into the early 2000’s), LP’s were still available to Tower buyers (that is, each Tower store’s buyer, not it’s customers) from Indi and Import distributors, but as a 1-way buy only---no returns, for ANY reason, including defects---were allowed. Once a store bought an LP, it owned it; unless it sold, of course. Tower buyers were prohibited from buying LP’s for that reason, unless a sale was guaranteed---either as a special order for a good store customer, or, as in my case, as a personal purchase of the buyer. The hipper Indi labels continued to offer new releases on LP, as did the two best U.S. reissue lables, Rhino Records (with Warner Brothers distribution) and Sundazed (through Bayside, Tower’s in-house Indi distributor).

If Barnes & Noble customers are receiving resealed LP’s, I guess we know where all those Tower Records (and other LP retailers) resealing machines ended up!

By the way, what is never mentioned in the collapse of Tower is the matter of their relationship with Indi distributors. The decades-old retailer-distributor financial arrangement included the provision of "90-days dating", When Tower bought product from a distributor, it had 90 days to pay for it. In the early days of the 2000’s, Tower for the first time in it’s history was unable to repay their quarterly bank loan, which it used for operations. The loan contract stipulated that if two quarterly loan repayments in a row were missed, the bank had the right to take over the operation of Tower Records. They did exactly that. One of their first decisions was to demand 365-days dating from the Indies; that’s right, Tower didn’t want to pay for product until a year after they bought it! What Indi distributor could afford to do that? None, and many refused. Tower buyers were forbidden from buying from those distributors. With no Indi product, what good was Tower Records? You could buy major-label releases anywhere, and for cheaper. Walmart and Target were selling new releases for less than Tower stores were paying for them! And then Amazon revolutionized the whole consumer market, including that of the sale of music. Tower’s impending doom was obvious and inevitable.

bpd24, a similar story can be told by many industries .Great post !
@schubert Surely you have heard of cases where celebrities have successfully sued news corporations for defamation and won.  Are you sure your statement is true?

I hope you all realize that the "new" records you buy from Barnes and Noble are, for the most part, from digital sources.  New recordings are all done digitally, and old ones are from masters that have have been digitally stored due to deterioration of the originals.  In these cases, the "analog" sound so lovingly referred to is a lie put out there by corporations trying to make a buck on the "vinyl revival".
  This has nothing to do with analog vs digital for gods sake. Its about being sold a used item that is presumed and marketed as new.

I think you're lucky just to have a Barnes and Nobles around .. bookshops are an endangered species now...
Exactly, winoguy17. But since jnorris made an overly-broad, sweeping generalization (that all LP's are made from digital sources, and that all new albums are recorded digitally), let me refute that allegation. There are many, many new albums being recorded on analog multitrack (16-24 tracks) recorders, though it is true that a fair number of those master tapes are then converted to digital for processing. But there are exceptions; the great Americana label New West (home to SO many great artists, including Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Steve Earle, Richard Thompson, John Hiatt, many others) puts a sticker on the plastic wrap of it's LP's proclaiming them to be "Audio Mastered For Vinyl". The bassist in Los Straightjackets records them on his 2" 3M multitrack recorded, intentionally avoiding all digital conversion. He is not alone---so does Jack White and other analog purists. Sure, they're in the minority, but a not-insignificant one.

 "This has nothing to do with analog vs digital for gods sake"

Correct, and I have no desire to step into that fray.  My point is that people are buying vinyl at ridiculous prices, putting up with its idiosyncrasies, and are not getting what they paid for.


There are a number of truly analog sourced albums still out there, and I applaud their efforts, but you're not going to find them at Barnes and Noble or FYE.  "Overly-broad" or "sweeping"?  Perhaps a little, but not too far from the truth.

jnorris, I long ago decided to not buy any new LP that was made from a digital source. What's the point, right? Any LP that Barnes & Noble is selling is no different from the same title sold by any other retailer, assuming it's on the same label, etc. For instance, I was in a B & N right before Christmas, and I saw the new Sheryl Crow in stock. I don't know if that LP was made with any digital processing, but if it in fact wasn't, that would prove your assertion incorrect, right? I don't understand your insistence that Barnes & Noble, in contrast to any and all other LP retailers, has ONLY LP's made from digital sources. Upon what do you base that statement?

The one exception to the above are the "special" pressings of some LP's that are Barnes & Noble exclusives---the occasional colored vinyl edition B & N alone has. Whether or not any of them have any digital processing I don't know. Michael Fremer is an invaluable source for information about the source used to make every LP he reviews.

There are some truly bizarre responses on this thread, e.g. "which album", "analogue vs digital", ...

OP - I've not yet had a problem at B&N, though I've not bought a huge amount of vinyl there so far.
@gasbose - perhaps the ultimate irony is that the large B&N that used be at the U Village mall in Seattle is now a much smaller Amazon Books.

Sorry if you misunderstood, but I did not mean that B&N has only LPs from digital sources.  I meant that they only sell mainstream records that are most likely from digital sources.  The truly analog, less well-known records will most likely be found in hard-core record stores.

I would also beware of colored records.  My recollection of them - and this is going back a ways - is that they are noisier than black vinyl.
I've bought vinyl from Barnes and Noble and only once had a scratchy LP and they took it back and refunded me no questions asked. 
As I said previously, B& N returned the LP without hassle, my issue was being told that this happens quite frequently. I foolishly assume that buying new means I am the first person to open that LP.

Are you suggesting that I actually thoroughly read posts? I get that now…I have bought a few LPs from B&N and can't imagine that the quality issues are pervasive since if they were, they'd get all over the distributers to avoid a public relations issue. Maybe.
jnorris, since as you say B & N's LP stock is of more mainstream music than that of a "real" record store, and mainstream music is more likely to have a digital ingredient than does underground music (as we use to call it), you may be right. You are also right about colored vinyl often being noisier than black, and picture discs are the worst of all. Of course, those weren't made to be listened to! 
I bought a Yo-Yo Ma LP Songs from the Arc of Life from B&N which had a free download sticker on the cover. However, the download didn't work and when I contacted B&N they insisted that the album could not have had the download sticker and that they didn't want anything to do with it.  The album also had a lot of crackle and pops - that kind of explains things. I'll never buy anything from those scheisters again.
That sucks.  My son and I had countless experiences like that with Amazon.  In fact, we don't buy new albums or albums advertised as new anymore from Amazon.  Better to buy from actual record stores.  Fortunately we have enough here.

Just a little off topic,I purchased a CD from B&N,was a great price and I was quite happy until it showed up .B&N farmed out the order to a book store in Indiana,they sent me a copy from (remember the old record clubs) like 10 for 5 cents-rca record club deal, then the next 3 or 5 were over priced.This is what they shipped me,I had a real copy to compare.Manufactured under license copy's do not sound even close to real copy's.I would never buy from B&N again,cd or lp.
Update for anyone who cares:  yesterday I returned to B&N and went back to the vinyl. The same album I returned was sitting in the bin! It wasn't sealed, just had a plastic slip cover on it. I took the album out to check: , filthy,scratched and covered in finger prints, definitely the one I had returned Buyer beware.