June 29, 2016

Well folks, we survived the Austin Record Convention and our first show as a vendor is officially in the books.  Now that we’re back at HQ and have taken a bit of time to let the dust and our stomachs settle (we’re looking at you Terry Black’s BBQ) it seems like a good opportunity to chronicle our adventures from the weekend.  We met a lot of great people during the show on both sides of the tables, made a few commitments and took the first steps towards some possible joint partnerships down the road.  This post is to hopefully ensure that none of our good intentions were forgotten on Sixth Street after a couple post-show refreshments.  With that we present our

SHOW SPECIALS

To recap the show specials we featured during the weekend in case anyone missed them or was wondering what it was they had bought, here are the products that were offered, the show special price and the link to the product on our website.

Vinyl Jimmy Hats Single LP (outer record sleeves for 12″ records)

10 pack – Regular $10.00.  Show special price of $5.00.

50 pack – Regular $35.00.  Show special price of $25.00.

Vinyl Jimmy Hats Slims (outer record sleeves for 45’s)

50 pack – Regular $25.00.  Show special price of $10.00.

Vinyl Jimmy Hats Magnum (outer record sleeves with flap for 12″ records)

50 pack – Regular $35.00.  Show special price of $25.00.

While the show special pricing was specific to the Austin Record Convention, the coupon code we handed out (austin2016) is still valid online until July 31st 2016.  We also offer free shipping for any retail orders over $50.00 (sorry, free shipping not valid for wholesale orders).

SAMPLES

As a sign of our success (or maybe our lack of organization) we can only estimate the number of samples we gave away over the course of the weekend.  That estimate would be somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 samples.  Wondering exactly what sample it is you’re holding in your vinyl collecting hand?  Well, unless specifically requested, we were handing out our Single LP outer record sleeves.  If you happened to be either carrying a 45 (the record, not the handgun or the malt liquor) you may have also received a sample of our Slims.  Lastly, if you expressed an interest in a sleeve with a flap, we may have given you a Magnum sample to boot (not to be confused with aboot which is Canadian for about).

To keep ourselves sane, at one point on Saturday we began keeping count of the individuals who emphatically did not want a free sample but that’s a topic for a whole other blog post.

WHOLESALE INQUIRIES

Many of you, whether dealers or power collectors had inquired as to our pricing programs when purchasing in larger quantities.  As we may or may not have mentioned during our spiel, prior to the Austin Record Convention, our products have been sold entirely direct to consumer through either our website or Amazon.  One of our objectives in attending the show was to introduce our products to the non-Amazon customer and to independent record stores.  We are definitely interested in further exploring those opportunities and have created a separate contact form for anyone looking to either carry our products in their store or who may be interested in purchasing in large quantities for their own use.  Please complete our wholesale contact form and we will follow up.

WHAT’D WE BUY?


It’s a good thing the purpose of our trip to the Austin Record Convention was to get our name out there and to get our products into the hands of vinyl enthusiasts.  Had our objective been to leave with any Benjamins lining our pockets, we would have failed miserably.  The good news is, while we didn’t leave with Benjamins, we did leave with Dylans, Stevens, Smiths, Hooples, Princes, Kristoffersons, Bowies, Youngs, Springsteens, Bakers, Nelsons, Bells and a bunch of others with an s at the end.  All told, we ended up hauling roughly 150 albums back to HQ so will be spinning pretty for the next little while at least.  Of course as the self-confessed vinyl addicts that we are, we stopped by Waterloo Records and Friends of Sound during our ‘bonus day’ in Austin (thank you unnamed airline for the mechanical delay).  For an airline that was having issues keeping their planes in service their baggage scales seemed to be finely tuned to the tenth decimal as they didn’t seem to have any issues determining that my luggage was over the limit…

A special shout out to all the people who wanted to buy some of the records we had purchased and were using for sleeve displays at our booth.  Glad to see at least some fellow show attendees appreciated our musical tastes (the exception being “Mean Dean Okerlund” whose picks were generally frowned upon).

WHAT’S NEXT?

For the three months leading up to the show we were entirely focused on getting our booth, coupons, samples and swag ready for the show.  With the show behind us, we can now focus our attention back to expanding the Groove Vinyl product line.  First things first, our Slims  record sleeve for 45’s  will be available for US shipping immediately.  Our Gatefold LP outer record sleeve for 12″ records will be available in early July.  In other sleeve news, we are currently working on a 45 sleeve without flap, a 10″ sleeve and a sleeve for box sets.  These should all be available on the website within the next month or two.  In addition to expanding the Vinyl Jimmy Hats line of outer record sleeves, we’ve also got some pretty awesome non-sleeve related products at varying stages of development.  As soon as we tie up some loose ends from the show, we will direct our efforts on getting these new products into production.

Please sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive updates as these are released and to keep yourself “in the know” as to what is going down with Groove Vinyl.

PERSONAL NON-VINYL RELATED STORY OF THE WEEKEND

Groove Vinyl Condo Complex, Friday June 17th 02:30 am.  *Doink Doink* (Law & Order sound).  After my connecting flight in San Francisco was delayed 2 1/2 hours I arrived into Austin just after 1 am on Friday morning.  To further prolong the delay in getting to sleep, the slow moving queue for catching a cab was eerily similar to the blue walking man for Desert Trip tickets.  Finally, after 12+ hours spent at airports or on airplanes, I arrived at our rented loft.  I keyed in the entry code and went in and headed straight to the washroom to get ready for a short sleep before the 9 am show set-up.  I had a strange sensation (no it wasn’t a burning sensation when I urinated) that things weren’t all they should be.  I poked my head into one of the bedrooms and noticed while unoccupied, it held clothing and personal grooming items.  A lot of personal grooming items, I mean an amount that would be considered extremely excessive for a four day trip to anywhere on planet earth.  Upon closer examination, I also realized that the footwear lying on the ground was also disproportionately sized and couldn’t belong to one of the other three dudes expected to be sharing the condo with over the weekend.

I exited the bedroom and made my way back to the entryway feeling something wasn’t right about the situation.  Looking up to the loft I saw a bed from which two, hair covered legs protruded.  I crept up the spiral staircase to the loft to confirm the identity of the owner of said legs only to discover, with abject horror, that this was not one of the three other expected occupants of the condo.  OMFG!  I was in the wrong condo.  I backed out of the loft, pitched my suitcase into the hallway and as quietly as possible shut the door behind me.  It was only then that I noticed the 334 beside the door instead of the 335 I had been looking for.  Seems the door had been unlocked to begin with so when I ‘entered’ the door access code, it really didn’t do anything.  Luckily, I had made it out without alerting the sleeping occupant.  Other than earning the nickname “the home invader” I was mostly unscathed from the experience.  Lesson of the day, cut back on the airport pints before trying to navigate a strange new city in the dark.

THAT’S A WRAP

All things considered, the Austin Record Convention was a great success for Groove Vinyl.  Really the only downside was having to return to reality after it was all over.  We are intending to return in 2017 and are also planning to attend the WFMU Record Fair in Brooklyn in 2017 as well.  Between now and the end of 2016 we will be working on expanding our product line, further developing and improving upon our existing products and will likely participate in some local shows as well.  A very sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to chat, the dealers who were generous with their time and experience in ‘showing us the ropes’, the dealers who cut us some sweet deals so we didn’t leave Austin entirely empty-handed, the prospective partners we met and will continue to work with and to all the individuals who helped get Groove Vinyl to and through the show thanks to their generosity of time and effort.  Thanks everyone for making our first show a success and looking forward to seeing you all again at the Austin Record Convention 2017!


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