JoCo in Stores

By JoCo December 22, 2006

Zaiem in Seattle related a story to me in which he heard somebody ask for my stuff in a record store, and the clerk said that a few people had been asking, and no, I was only available on the internet. First, this is fantastic, and it warms my cold little east coast heart to think that you hippies in the pacific northwest are asking for me in stores. The game is afoot!

Second, it’s not quite correct. CDBaby has a deal with a wholesale music distributor called Super D, so that any real live record store can order any CDBaby artist from them to stock in their stores. Including me. So if you’re out there in the, you know, the “United States” and you want your record store to carry JoCo, just let them know that I’m for sale through Super D. And if you own a record store and you’re sick and tired of all the people coming in asking for this damned internet-only music, your problem is now solved. Order a hundred! Super D!


michel says

too bad, even before I knew it existed a "cd box" , I bought all the mp3 ! I love them.

and, ho yeah, code monkey is great, and it's even not my favorite song from you :)

Zaiem says

Two things:

First, we're not hippies. We're latte-drinking hippies.

Second, I had a long conversation with some dude-type person who does the ordering for said CD store, and it apparently isn't that easy. Here's the gist of what he told me:

Ordering from Super D is a huge pain. The reason is that Super D doesn't actually have the inventory. So they have to go to CDBaby to get it. But CDBaby doesn't have the inventory, so they have to go to the artist to get the product. Going to the record store and ordering Smoking Monkey (as the girl in line in front of me asked for the other day) would have a turnaround time of a week and a half to three weeks. By that time, a lot of people will say screw it, I can just go directly to CDBaby and get it in less time.

The second problem is that Super D tends to charge higher prices, so it's cheaper for the person to order the CD online directly from amazon or CDBaby. The record stores don't get great pricing from Super D.

One thing that SuperD is *supposed* to be doing is have the inventory on-hand for CDBaby's top 50 or so sellers. Given that three of your CDs are in the top fifteen sellers right now, that's not an issue. But apparently Super D hasn't done it yet. I don't know why.

That said, there are options. The first is to diversify and go with other distributors. The guy recommended getting into contact with Ryko distribution and Redeye distribution. The second is to make it easy for retailers to order inventory directly from you. They could have an account set up through your webpage, they make the order, it gets shipped to them, etc. That's a lot of work for you and it may not be worth your time, but that's another option.

I have the name and contact information of the person with whom I spoke, if you want it. I was going to just put this all in an email, but I figured putting it out here allows other people who might have ideas and/or contacts and/or experience and/or whatnots (especially the whatnots) can contribute.

What's-his-nose from the CD place did note that it's really frustrating right now for the music fan to be able to get a physical CD of these independent artists because of stupid stuff like this. If I want a physical copy of Smoking Monkey, I have to deal with the CDbaby thing, which isn't always ideal. Or I can download it, but then I tend to get poorer quality and I don't get the liner notes and the physical CD in my hands. Believe it or not, there are a lot of sickos like me in the world who enjoy that sort of thing.

There are solutions out there. It's just a matter of finding them.

Sipping his iced double tall sugar-free hazelnut non-fat latte in the shadow of the Space Needle,


JoCo says

Actually Zaiem, CDBaby does keep inventory of all their artists, so I'm not sure what's-his-nose is correct about that - at the moment they're sold out of the Thing a Week Box Set, but that's because I haven't kept ahead of the demand. But I'd imagine it is true that it would take some time, and cost extra. I guess it only really makes sense with large volume - the store could order 25 of them from Super D if they think they could sell that many and wanted to keep them in stock, then there wouldn't be any delay at all. I suspect that the demand in the stores isn't that high though, just because my rock and roll beam is focused pretty tightly on the internet side of things.

Speaking of which, there are other distribution options I know, but I'm just not familiar with how that works (if it does at all) with a little guy like me. I try to keep time spent on this sort of thing to a minimum since it's just me at the moment - time spent on mailing stock, customer service and other administrative stuff has actually gone way up in the last couple of months, and I hesitate to add another stream of stuff I gotta do. I guess this is why there are record labels...

pudge says

Hey man, I live near Seattle, and I dig your music, but I ain't no hippie. I even vote Republican. Don't stereotype me!

Although, I am a native East-coaster, so maybe that's where your confusion lies.