THE AGALLOCH EBAY EFFECT
Agalloch are currently criss-crossing the country, playing some cities for the first time ever (like New York, where we saw them slay on Tuesday night… more on that at a later date). They’re selling a tour-only 2xLP called whitedivisiongrey — a combo of 2008’s The White EP and 2004’s The Grey EP — for $30, limited to just 500 copies. Agalloch followers are completely fanatical about their merch, especially vinyl, so I’m quite honestly shocked that there are even any left at this stage of the tour. As usual, they’re already going on eBay for absolutely insane prices:
I mean… WOW, right?
Here’s the thing: tour-only vinyls by some metal band aren’t exactly Hannah Montana tickets. In other words, you’ve got to be a fan to even know they exist, and you’ve got to pay for a ticket to the show and attend that show to even have access. Street scalpers ain’t exactly in on this scheme. Which means the people selling these items online (not just this tour vinyl… this happens EVERY TIME Agalloch release ANYTHING) are big fans of the band who are looking to make a buck (or $150, as it were) on the backs of their heroes. What do we think of this??
Firstly, I have to imagine that the band feels they’re being taken advantage of. This is a band who prides themselves on being underground and honest, and goes to great lengths to ensure everything associated with their brand is all about the music. They’re offering their die-hard fans a chance to have something special, something you have to be there to get, for $30 — not a small sum, sure, but for a 2x limited pressing LP with pretty artwork I doubt Agalloch are making a giant-sized profit on it. By buying two copies, one that could land in the hands of a legit fan later on in the tour for face value, and turning around and selling one of them for a 400% margin… what a slap in the face to Agalloch.
Look, I get it, free market capitalism, everyone wants to make a buck, Agalloch could charge more if they wanted, yadda yadda. It just strikes me as not only un-ethical (which is a slippery slope, I know) but moreso just insulting to the men who created it. And possibly even dishonest fanhood.
Secondly, I want to know who it is that would pay $150 for a fucking vinyl of any band, unless it’s like a first pressing of Rubber Soul or something of that nature. Are you folks out of your fucking mind? Taking this thought a little further… if we accept that selling an item like this is an un-ethical act, is purchasing it via an unethical seller also unethical? Maybe we should ask Randy Cohen.
What do you guys think? Is profiting on a band’s good will wrong? Should Agalloch just sell these things at their shows for $150 to prevent this from happening? Do Agalloch even care??? Share your thoughts.