The annual worldwide Record Store Day was held this past Saturday (April 20th) to celebrate independent record stores around the world where music lovers, collectors, and musicians around the world gathered in hearty spirits to celebrate, including a host of unique gigs and activities taking place around Australia.

With a huge list of exclusive vinyl releases put together especially for Record Store Day, it provided the perfect thrill for collector’s to head out and nab some special releases, some queueing up in the early hours of the morning in the hopes of grabbing some of the 400+ limited edition releases.

But while many were heading out with the right spirit, others saw it as a chance to exploit music fans, snaffling up exclusive vinyl and selling it off through online auctions with inflated price tags they know that desperate music fans will front big bucks for. …Others saw Record Store Day as a chance to exploit music fans, snaffling up exclusive vinyl and selling it off through online auctions with inflated price tags.

No stranger to rare and expensive releases, David Bowie seems to be the biggest drawcard, with Digital Music News pointing out that in the music icon’s native country, at least 150 copies of the 7” picture disc of 1973 single ‘Drive-In Saturday’ have turned up on the UK eBay store. The re-issue vinyl single was sold at retail for £12.99 (approx AU$ 20), but is now going for as much as £45 (AU$ 66.98), while on the American eBay it’s going for as much as US$ 49.99.

Fellow British icons the Rolling Stones, Kate Bush, and Paul Weller have also had exorbitant prices associated with their exclusive releases also. ‘Mick and Keef’s’ Five By Five EP, available on record for the first time since 1964, is being auctioned for ten times its reasonable asking price of  £6.99 (just AU$ 10.40) to an unreasonable £69 (AU$ 102).

Bush’s limited edition remix of ‘Running Up That Hill’ has ballooned from £11.99 (AU$ 17.84) to £60 (AU $90.80), while Weller’s ‘Flame Out’ release is going for £7.99 (AU $11.89) to £35 (AU$ 52).

Exclusive releases from Australian acts weren’t safe from enterprising record sellers either, with Tame Impala’s 12″ expansion of their 2008 self-titled EP, pressed onto red vinyl, fetching price tags upwards of US$ 60 – 70 on eBay, while Cut Copy’s debut album Bright Like Neon Love, issued for the first time on vinyl thanks to Modular, has reached similar price levels.

One Greek seller is looking to scam nearly twice the asking price for Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ 7” ‘Animal X’ single, pushing for a $US 50 (or best price) offer on the Record Store Day exclusive.

Other blow-outs include a rare vinyl re-issue of Sigur Rós’ 1999 breakthrough album Ágætis Byrjun, reaching north of the hundred dollar mark for American sellers. Likewise At The Drive-In’s own iconic 2000 release will also have record collector’s wincing, with the re-issue of their last album, Relationship of Command on stunning marbled orange vinyl, is averaging $AU 60+ and one seller has seen bids push the price up to nearly AU$ 150.

The Flaming Lips’ experimental 1997 album Zaireeka has also stirred a bidding frenzy for vinyl copies of the four disc release sending prices up into an average AU$ 120 region, its especially insane when you take into account the difficulty of playing the album, which has the sound split up across the four separate discs designed to be played in unison (across four record players in perfect synchronisation) in order to ‘hear’ the album fully.

The practice of up selling rare musical products to keen fans is nothing new, but much like the increasing trend of ticket scalpers looking to profiteer off the desires of those looking to get tickets to see their favourite band live, it’s one that’s easily frowned upon.

The flipside of course, if you overslept on Saturday, saw the last copy of your record heart’s desire snapped up in front of you, or just really, really can’t live without that Dave Matthews Band live album (“that’ll be a cool US$ 560 thanks – cha ching”), then it’s time to start trawling through the eBay listings.

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