A Crate-Digger's Dream

Last week I was on the road with my wife to the south of Netherlands and Belgian Limburg, and along the way we decided to stop at a thrift store in Zaltbommel that was just of the highway.

Cat Ranja checking out the stack of records bought in thrift stores during our trip to the south of Netherlands and Belgian Limburg.

In that store I encountered a crate digger’s dream: an untouched complete collection of records owned by someone with great taste, dumped in the €0.50-a-record crates of a second hand store. The collection could be recognized by small stickers with a catalog number written on it and contained mainly 60’s-70’s Blues/Classic/Country/Folk Rock, but also some Psychedelic and Prog Rock, some Ambient and even New Wave: Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young), The Doobie Brothers, The Doors, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Janis Joplin, Jon And Vangelis, Klaus Schulze, The Mama’s & The Papa’s, Mike Oldfield, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Stephen Stills, and Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel.

All of the records I bought at De Spullewaard. Seven records are not from the collection with the small stickers, like Al Martino, Eartha Kitt, Simple Minds and the two records from Brazil.

The funny thing was that a regular customer of the store, who was going through the stacks of b-movie DVD’s, asked me somewhat derogatorily whether there was anything in those crates that he had long ago stopped looking at because they only contained “James Last & friends records”. I told him there was, and when he saw me picking up record by record he started paying attention. When he saw me putting a Crosby, Stills And Nash record on my stack he could not keep himself from saying that he was looking for that record for a long time.

In the end I walked away with 35 records for € 20 (10 for € 5, and € 1 a piece)! For karma I gave the CSN record to the poor guy…

I’ve just finished adding the Zaltbommel records to my collection on Discogs (the world’s “biggest and most comprehensive music database and marketplace”), and it has calculated the value of the 35 records for me, based on the last 10 records sold (with the same grading):

  • min. price: €147.95
  • median price: €241.74
  • max price: €402.87

So based on the median price I should have paid more than 12 times the amount I had to pay. That’s a pretty good bargain!