Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vinyl, eBay and the road to freedom

I've had some modest success as I start selling parts of my vinyl LP collection at eBay. No surprises yet — over the past 15-20 years I have been one of the last surviving people who preferred to buy records when available, and so as vinyl experiences a reawakening, I knew there would be a market for those limited-edition vinyl copies of albums produced over the last couple of decades.

As I suspected, Neil Young remains cool. I cleared out my collection of Neil's more recent stuff at prices that made me happy. And the recipients of the albums sound pleased, too. Ah, the free market at its best — when buyer and seller both gain something of value.

As much as I love music and vinyl, why am I doing this? Partly to pass along the joy. I've experienced the fun of putting a slab of vinyl on a turntable and the fulfilled expectations of the fresher, more real sound that comes out. Now it's time for others to enjoy it.

Mostly it's because I've finally learned there is no music so sweet as the sound of my voice saying, "No plastic, I'm paying with cash."

For the third time in my life, I pushed my cards to the limit, to the point where too much of my income was going to purchases I made a long time ago, and accumulated interest. In a sense, I don't own this collection; the agents of Visa, Mastercard and Discover do. And so, to pay off my masters, this debt slave is liquidating.

Don't feel sorry for me; I'm so happy about this decision I could bust. It's all about freedom. And passing on the joy of music ownership. (My favorite records long ago were transferred to CD anyway — as wonderful as vinyl is, they never figured out a way to play records in the car.)

So check out my stuff on eBay — right this moment I have only four albums up, including the immortal American III: Solitary Man by Johnny Cash, but I plan to be busy this weekend. And if you want some great info about getting out of debt, check out the work and podcasts of Dave Ramsey.

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