You too can own your own record/stereo shop

I'd guess that many of you have pleasently spent some time daydreaming about owning your own record or stereo store. It's a fun daydream. Of course it would be very risky and capital intensive to actually open your own store, but there is a way to have a scaled down version of this for relatively little risk or investment.

Last year while suffering from a short-lived bout of underemployment, I got a third job working as a clerk at an anitique mall. For those of you unfamilar with such an operation, antique malls rent out booths, floor spaces, etc. to dealers who sell their stock. The clerks merely facilitate the sale. Clerking was not very challenging and I had a lot of time think and daydream and pretty soon I started to think that I could rent a booth and sell records and stereo equipment. So I did.

I picked up a bunch of vinyl and vintage stereo equipment the usual ways and was able to stuff about 600 lps and a half dozen receivers, turntables, tuners, etc into a 4x7x2 booth. I also picked up a vpi rcm (which I had wanted anyway) and a bunch of new inner and outer sleeves. I spend anywhere for 0 to 6 hours a week buying, cleaning, and repairing. Since I'm an ex-employee my rent is dirt cheap, but even if I paid full price, I would still clear a couple hundred every month (though of course if I was simply interested in making money, my time and energy would certainly be better spent elsewhere).

It's a fun, low stress, hobby business that turned a modest profit in its first year of operation (all profits get pumped into my own stereo system creating a nice little self-sustaining stereo economy).
Best of luck to you.
whatever you do keep records of everything, or else the irs will take the fun out of having your own business
Will you fire yourself when you don't show up to work on Monday to join the solidarity march?
I have funded my "stereo habit" by going to garage sales and estate sales buying vinyl and gear at great prices, then selling on ebay or AudioGon. Got to pick up some great music at great prices, I usually pay no more that $1 for an album and no more that $2 for a CD. If I have heard of the group or actual album I usually buy it, listen and resell.
My best year I made net $900. Not a fortune but it helps.
Jaybo, I did learn some lessons the hard way about keeping better records (an envelope stuffed with receipts does not, alas, constitue an adequate book keeping system). But Mjw55 is right, the best part of this is skimming the cream off the top and depositing it in my own collection. Just found a minty early pressing of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations for fifty cents.
I like your story! It seems that your booth fullfills a few needs. You get first dibs on the stuff, you make a little money, you get to enjoy your hobby and might even meet some interesting people.

However, beware of the old trap! Most people I know that turned a hobby into a business eventually quit enjoying the hobby. Keep everything in perspective and quit when it becomes a job! (unless you need a job!)


Reubent, I hear you. Actually, right after the christmas season, I started feeling a little burned out with all the buying and cleaning. But then I realized that I could just stop working and let the booth take care of itself for a while, so I did. I didn't do a dang thing for a month, and then came back with enthusiasm. Just another benefit of this kind of set up.

And that's why I posted this in the first place. Not to toot my own horn (there's not much hoarn to toot), but to share an idea that's worked out well for me and one that I thought others could use.
i came accross a couple dozen reader's digest classical lp box sets still in the shrink....booklets, etc.....eugene ormandy, bernstein......the best part...each box was 5 bucks...yeaow