Through influencer gifting on social media, JJJ Records has also effectively reached a younger audience than the average record collector.
“What do you send the person that really loves modern pop music when all our stuff is indie or prog?” says Joel, “it poses challenges but then you’ll realise they’ll dig a nice 70’s pop record, and say in the letter that you will see a lot of influence in Billie Eilish or Lana Del Rey and they enjoy it!” And more often than not, they do. “They say they like Yungblud, we’re going to send them Rio by Duran Duran.”
"We are temporary custodians on these beautiful sound vessels... we hold on for it for a short amount of time before we can find a home where it will be equally loved"
The process behind curating these picks goes further than just checking a customer’s Discogs and asking what their likes are (as well as dislikes) and the size of their current collection.
“From learning who someone doesn’t like, you can get just much of a sense about who they are. And if they say I own 25 records, then we’ll throw a classic in there, I’m gonna throw in Moondance by Van Morrison. If they’ve got 2000 records, we’re going into the more obscure white labels or a little promo 7-inch.”
We asked what Joel loves specifically about records. “We are temporary custodians on these beautiful sound vessels that are often made 20, 30, 40, sometimes 50 years ago. You know it’s been loved by someone, and they’ve given it to someone else and then we hold on for it for a short amount of time before we can find a home where it will be equally loved.”
But even if you end up with an accidental repeat, you can always make a profit on Discogs. “Because we don't have a lot of space so our model is, in and out, we keep on having a flow of records. Our two three and four pound sections in Soho would go for way, way more than that.”
As far as the physical shop goes, JJJ Records has recently opened back up for scheduled visitor slots though probably the best way to go about finding what you're looking for is to join their WhatsApp group.
“When we buy a collection of records, even before I've even gone through it myself I'll film a video going through the records, and I'll put them on a private WhatsApp group that has 200 members and myself.”
From there it’s first come, first serve, but if you’re quick then you can find yourself the perfect gift for either a loved one, or yourself.
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