“See you in hell” Jack White says as an introduction on his paid subscription site, the Vault, chat room on Monday night. Jack White’s record company, Third Man Records, just listed the White Stripes extremely limited split color release on E-Bay, the night before it went on sale to the general public. Usually these things go on sale at the Third Man Record store in Nashville, TN and the true fans and eBay flipper alike stand in line for hours to buy a limited edition album for $20. The difference is that the flipper sells it on eBay for several hundred dollars the next day. Jack got one up on the flipper this time and showed up in the Vault chat room to face the music with his fans.
When Jack White sells limited editions split color versions of popular records out of his Nashville TN record store, people are lining up for opportunity to make the purchase. Fans all over the country are wishing they lived in Nashville. EBay Flippers in Nashville take full geographic advantage of their convenient location. Where else in the world can you buy a record for $20 and sell it for over $200 on eBay EVERY TIME. Jack says in the vault chat on Monday “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”
Jack takes control and lists the limited editions himself on E-bay, the day before they are available to the general public. . At least one of the records posted by TMR on eBay Monday closed at over $500. There seems to be a fan backlash brewing in the Vault chat room. People are questioning his dedication to the true fan and are questioning his integrity. How dare he profit from these records on eBay? He should give the money to charity, they demand! I have to agree with Jack on this one. So, let’s pretend that you have created an amazing product that everyone wants and you market it in such as way that it appeals to collectors and fans alike who are willing to pay more for it. You would have every right to make the most money possible on it. It doesn’t matter how much money you already have, or how little money someone else has who may want to buy that product. Just because you are already rich does not mean you have less of a right to make more money. This is a free market economy, based on supply and demand. If no one wanted to buy your special product, then you couldn’t demand a high price for it. Jack White is a musician, yes. But he is a business man too and is successful at both due to his unorthodox and creative marketing. You can’t hate him for the same reasons you love him.