Bosses behind the annual Record Store Day event have accepted criticisms levelled at them by former Jam frontman Paul Weller.
He reacted with fury after hearing how the limited-edition release of his vinyl single _Brand New Toy _had been snapped up by prospectors instead of real fans, and many of the 500 copies were being sold on eBay at inflated prices.
Weller said: “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.
“It’s such a shame. I am a big supporter of independent stores, but the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting.”
He was furious to discover copies of his single on sale even before this year’s Record Store Day, which took place on Saturday – and added that some fans had been told it was sold out as soon as stores opened.
Weller said: “it only takes a few to spoil a wonderful concept for everyone else. Shame on those touts.”
Now RSD bosses have replied, saying they take his points on board. They report: “We share Paul Weller’s frustration at evidence that Brand New Toy has been offered for sale on eBay.
“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 exclusives at vastly-inflated prices on eBay.
“At just 500 copies, 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. We continue to monitor eBay on an hour-by-hour basis.”
They add that their code of conduct is strictly enforced, and any stores found in breach will be banned from taking part in future events. They continue: “Record Store Day would not exist without the support and commitment of artists and labels, and we take our responsibility to them very seriously.”