Jack White Auctions Rare Vinyl, Pisses Off His Fans
A curious back and forth exchange has evolved between Jack White of Third Man Records and his fans. Disparaged by the number of people that have taken up buying his limited edition records, turning around, and selling them for hundreds of dollars on eBay, White decided it was time to auction the albums himself. Rather than empower people who weren't fans of the music to make money off it and his fans. White intervened and ensured the money rightfully went to the artists who created the music.
Well, since fans paid to be a part of a club called The Vault. They immediately cried foul. They claimed that he was exploiting his audience, making it so that only people that had "more money than sense" could buy the albums. White believed that he was merely selling the records for what the fans themselves said they were worth. He even asserts that the fans don't seem to understand the concept of scarcity. The reason why they want the albums is that not everyone can get them. If this rare and interesting vinyl was released all digital, available to anyone on Amazon, at anytime, White contends that it would defy the point. The fans, however, don't seem to see things from his angle. As one candidly replied, "Fuck you, Third Man." This led White to stand up and argue with his fans:
"really? you think we deserve that? would you like us to just stop making limited edition records? you would go so far as to say fuck you to us? for what? we didn’t do anything to you but give you what you want. you’re a vault member obviously, for what reason? limited records you can’t get elsewhere? would you kindly send us those records back so we can sell them to some other fan who didn’t get to have them? don’t want a split colored limited edition record? then guess what? don’t buy one. don’t want them to be expensive? then guess what? don’t WANT them. it’s you and others wanting them that dictates the price and the entire nature of the idea.
make no mistake, we could make twenty thousand split color whatevers for you, and they’ll be worth 20 bucks, and you’ll pay 20 bucks for them, and you’ll never talk about them, desire them, hunt to find them, etc. why should ebay flippers, who are not real fans, dictate the price, make all the profit (taken from the artist and the label) and take the records out of the hands of real fans. there’s a guy who waits in a black suv down the block from third man who hires homeless people to go buy him tri colors when they are on sale. doesn’t even get out of his car. should he be charged ten bucks or two hundred? don’t be spoiled, don’t insult people who are trying to give you what you want. last quarter every vault member got a black and blue live record. a record you’re only supposed to get if you ACTUALLY GO to a live show at third man. are you pissed about that?
we’ve done giveaways, contests, auctions, etc. a lot of different ways for vault members to get first crack at limited records when we don’t have to. we do it because by being a member you’re supposedly making a statement that you’re a real fan who wants the music, and to be involved in collecting rare and interesting vinyl. from some of these comments i take it that a lot of you would like this to be all digital, available to anyone on amazon dot com, anytime. boring, lifeless, lazy, and redundant. don’t get mad at third man for giving you exactly what you’ve asked for. and seriously stop all of the whining, because what you communicate to us is that all of the trouble we go to isn’t worth it because nothing we do will make you happy. we’ll try to do back rubs door to door when we get a chance. sincerely the staff at third man records." (Read on.)