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Paul Weller rules himself out of future Record Store Days, after limited edition single appears on eBay

By | Published on Wednesday 23 April 2014

Paul Weller

Paul Weller has ruled himself out of getting involved with future Record Store Days, after copies of his limited edition seven-inch single, ‘Brand New Toy’, released for the event, wound up on eBay.

Of course, this is a fate that befalls many of the records bought on the day (some listed on the auction site before it has even started), and there doesn’t seem like there’s a great deal anyone can do about it. Except to not release anything, which is the route Weller’s gone down.

In a message on his website, he wrote: “I agree with all of you who have sent messages expressing your anger and disappointment at the exploitation of these ‘limited editions’ by touts. Apart from making the record, the rest has very little to do with me but I am disheartened by the whole thing and unfortunately I won’t be taking part in Record Store Day again”.

He added: “It’s such a shame because as you know I am a big supporter of independent record stores but the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting and goes against the whole philosophy of RSD. There were copies of my single on eBay the day before Record Store Day and I’ve heard stories of people queuing outside their local record shop only to be told there were none left at opening time!”

Of course it’s entirely possible that those stores didn’t order any copies in, rather than somehow managing to sell them all before anyone got through the door. Still, the eBay thing is one of the problems that faces Record Store Day.

Record Store Day responded with its own statement, saying: “We share Paul Weller’s frustration at evidence that ‘Brand New Toy’ has been offered for sale on eBay, and we are disappointed that despite our best efforts to drive out the touts, once again some people are seeking to exploit the goodwill of artists and labels by selling RSD exclusives at vastly-inflated prices on eBay”.

It continued: “At just 500 copies Paul Weller’s ‘Brand New Toy’ was one of the most limited editions available on RSD and so some re-selling was expected. However, thanks to the measures we have taken on re-sales, overall the number of complaints about unauthorised sales this year is well down on previous years, though we continue to monitor eBay on an hour-by-hour basis”.

Responding to the suggestion that stores may have been complicit in some records ending up on eBay, the statement added: “We clearly cannot control the activities of members of the public, but the Record Store Day Code Of Conduct makes it clear that any store found to be complicit in unauthorised sales on eBay faces being banned from future events. Record Store Day would not exist without the support and commitment of artists and labels and we take our responsibility to them very seriously”.

Ahead of this year’s event, Record Store Day’s UK coordinator Spencer Hickman addressed (and in some cases agreed with) many of the criticisms levelled at the event in this interview with The Quietus.