This post is all about getting your vinyl to market. Yes quite literally! If you think this means uploading pictures of LPs to ebay or discogs then this isn’t for you. This is about hard graft . If that hasn’t put you off then read on…

As soon as the week starts I’m already looking at the weather forecast. Thinking , what’s it going to be like this Thursday? You see there’s nothing worse than packing the van in the morning and waking up to find it’s pouring down with rain.  So quite often I’ll fill the van a day early. In the winter when the dark mornings make it even trickier, I’ll always have the van full by the end of Wednesday afternoon.

So is there a knack to packing the van or is it just “pile it in” ? Are you kidding?

Not only do I pack records, which have to be  handled rather carefully (as a box full is flipping ‘eavey and 20 boxes is flipping twenty times as heavy) but I also sell turntables so they have to be carefully packed for the long journey over Exmoor (the A399) to South Molton. On the way to market I pass a 1 in 3 hill (33% incline to anyone reading this in Europe) and follow the windy road alongside the River Bray so it’s quite a test for my packing skills. As well as the turntables I’m selling there’s also the turntable, amp and speakers for me to play my tunes on. There’s the record cleaning machine to carefully pack plus a rather snazzy light display in the shape of a quaver (or is that a semi tone? or crotchet ? help me someone !). Like the one Frazer has in this picture below…

turntables, amp, speakers and signs are some of the electrical items transported in the van

 

So you see it all needs carefully packing and there’s a number of things that I do to help me along the way…

I don’t stack things high and if you’re looking to take stuff to market you would be well advised, if you have room, to spread out all your stuff in the bottom of the van and don’t try to get it up to the roof . Watch your back too ! Avoid leaning into the van to pick up heavy boxes, instead push or pull them into position. That’s hell of a lot easier if you have the van plywood lined as it makes it easy to slide stuff in and out. I use a trolley to get the gear from and to the van (or should that be to and fro) and when taking everything out the van , I make sure the stall is ready so I can place all the boxes, equipment and records in the correct place on the stall. That means getting the table cloths out first to cover the tressles when I get to market so I don’t empty the van of boxes and then have to pick the boxes up again later. It really is a pain if you’ve not planned the move and have to move the same thing twice! So think hard, save your back and plan ahead.

When it comes to looking after your records you obviously need to put them in some good solid strong plastic boxes, similar to these below. Don’t carry records around in bags – get them boxed up and if you buy records, then make sure you take an empty box with you so you can protect any you buy when you come home. If you do have a helper then don’t forget to leave the passenger seat free, in fact get in the habit of always leaving the seat empty. You never know when you’ll buy a bumper pile of records and have no where to put them or more likely, the wife rings and wants you to bring back a loaf of bread, pint of milk and six bags of compost.

arriving at the market

Also don’t forget the five things you’re most likely to forget – your phone, table cloths, plenty of change (for parking meter) and extension lead and the most important thing that every trader needs – your hat !

Me with Customer.

… and finally allow plenty of time to get to the market,

…unless of course there is always a massive queue of record buyers waiting with wads of tenners for you to arrive the moment you get to the market. In which case, put your foot down and drive like the wind,  there’s no time to lose!

 

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2 thoughts on “Get it in the van

  1. This reminds me a lot of when I pack the estate car for my wife, Jax, when she needs to go out & about.

    Jax runs Tarka Pottery and if you think boxes of vinyl records are heavy, you should try lugging bags of clay around. They are not only heavy but also irregular shapes and often move when you carry them, so the centre of gravity shifts every time you walk more than about 100yds or go up a few steps.

    Then you have to pack it around fragile pottery and hope it all keeps still as you drive to your destination.

    Fabulous post – keep ’em coming.

    Like

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