Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished! Craft Announces "Small Batch" Alert Newsletter

When Craft Recordings rolled out its exclusive "Small Batch" limited edition "One Step" series last year it thought it had done a good thing.

Unfortunately, the demand for these costly records was far beyond what Craft expected and the titles quickly sold out leaving many consumers in the dust. Yes, you'll have to sign up for a newsletter that will further fill your probably crowded "inbox", but if you want to stay informed about future "Small Batch" releases, sign up!.

jazz's picture

Did they rise their output per small batch and do they tell to how many? If not, what’s their benefit of not being transparent? Or do they have to stick with the “small batch” because it’s named so?

I hope they get back on a meaningful track with this. One ERC with no output, just serving a few and the flippers is enough!

CJB's picture

These companies doing small productions are getting increasingly tedious. Just not worth following anymore in my mind.

Rodan's picture

I'm a Craft newsletter subscriber, but I've found that the small batch LPs I've tried to order are listed as "sold out" when I've gone to the website. And I can tell you that I've responded immediately to the announcements. Bottom line, I think they should change rebrand these releases as "Extremely, Teeny, Tiny Batch." I'll be ignoring their Small Batch announcements in the future.

jazz's picture

all the releases you missed are still out on eBay in dozens since release date for a multiple of the original price. If Craft anyway sticks with the small batches, the reason behind it would be interesting. That the attempt to prevent multiple releases sold to one address is meaningless should be well known and no excuse for planning such small batch releases from start.

shawnwes's picture

The only way to properly do these reissues is a subscription basis. That way everybody who wants one can get one. If the flippers want to buy 10 copies let them. Everybody wins. Otherwise, I don't care and won't scramble to overpay for an lp.

Jeffrey Lee's picture

What exactly would a subscription solve? That would mean that the first 1,000 people to sign up for a subscription would from that point forward be the ONLY people with access to the releases. Do you not see that? The way it’s done now means that many different people at least have a shot as long as they’re fast and lucky.

shawnwes's picture

Subscription means that X # of subscribers purchase a copy. Whether it's 1k or 15k it doesn't matter everybody gets a copy.

richiep's picture

Agreed, there should be a controlled subscription for their releases with a commitment to purchase the complete series. As an Acoustic Sounds subscription customer it was great as someone not having to be beholden to access, codes and able to connect on time to purchase the next item! They have extended a gesture to former subscription customers to purchase new UHQR releases, They remember and treat their customers with respect! GREAT customer service! As they start their new programs they should re-introduce it even if all releases can't be announced, maybe a nice surprise, having pre-committed customers they can judge on production quantities and then have a security type of deposit for assured commitment and slow the flippers. They eliminate the music lovers a copy and frustrate them to a point where they won't purchase anything at all!

rich d's picture

...all my money is currently tied up in $4,000 wall-mounted record storage cubes. I managed to negotiate a small discount when buying several dozen. When they go up in value, I'll be a rich man. So long suckers!

stretch35's picture


billsf's picture

rich d that is the funniest comment yet!

Wymax's picture

I am probably an idealist and a dreamer... My hope for this kind of reissues would be to make good albums in high quality available to everyone. To let us consumers have iconic albums in the highest quality. Made available for music and audio lovers. Instead it is an elitist scheme aimed at making money. Such is the world, I know. But by now they must know that a batch of 1-2.000 copies will be quickly sold out, even at a high price. Some of the albums don't even reach Europe, they are aimed solely at the American market, just like a "world cup". Why not instead make it available to more people, at a lower price, in appropriate volumes? They will certainly earn the money, if not much more. Where I live we have a saying about "closed due to success", meaning that one doesn't need to earn more money, so no new (or even any) customers accepted.

ivansbacon's picture

Even if i had a stroke and my brain somehow thought that paying xxx.00 dollars for a vinyl record was a good idea i just do not have $xxx.00 to spend on a vinyl record.

Michael Fremer's picture
A vegetarian who posts similarly themed comments on barbecue sites?
Anton D's picture

It can be a thin line between getting stuck with inventory vs. spoofing the place up with artificially implemented rarity.

If there is something magical about 1,000 copies and plating/pressing quality, etc. Then pre-sell and figure out how many pressings to make in those 1,000 LP (or 500) aliquots. Not hard.

They'd also be making more money for themselves.

swimming1's picture

Mikey ,what happened to all the comments?

Thing Fish's picture

I shan't be part of their silly small batch scheme.
I hate it when things are limited to the point where they have to be bought a year before they are even conceived!

kramth's picture

I was "signed up" and got the email which I read maybe 4 hours after it hit my inbox and of course, the issue was sold out. Saved me some cash much needed for more important things. This is the second time I fell for this crap and will not buy from this label again.

volvic's picture

Got the email and immediately went to the website, took a peek and it was still available. But frankly, manufacturing scarcity has started to grind me and I too passed. With the money saved I ordered a few of the Analogue Production reissues and felt better supporting something that I consider far more worthwhile.

DFacobbre's picture

When I have to compete to buy a record...having to compete to purchase a record? Being one of the first, so you can purchase a record, at far above market prices? When you can buy 2-3 Analog Productions pressings for the price?

That's not a record I need.

Wymax's picture

"I want to buy your offering"... "You are not worthy, be gone you peasant".

Russo7516's picture

Between Craft, MoFi, Acoustic Sounds, ERC charging crazy prices for these reissues . I am going back to buying first pressings. Sometimes they are more and most of the time they are far cheaper than what these companies are charging.
Plus you walk into your local record shop and there they are on the wall. Cash and the prices are cheaper .I am so lucky to live in NYC. Every Boro has a few shops and what there is really cool. Plus the first pressing is direct from from master usually.

MalachiLui's picture

is absolutely hilarious. y'all are complaining about these records selling out too fast? buy quicker! how hard is it to respond to notifications faster and have paypal one-touch turned on?

sure, it'd be nice if there were more of these small batch reissues available, but the complaints i'm seeing here are the exact same complaints i saw about the music matters SRX drops. it's first come first serve, and while it sucks when flippers grab half of them, it just goes to show that those flippers are faster/smarter than some of you guys.

as for the guy complaining about the crazy prices for these audiophile reissues... well, ERC pricing is far beyond the MFSL/AP/craft stuff, and about 50% of the time, these new reissues are as good/better and a bit cheaper than a clean original. however, i totally get being the "original pressing from the country of origin" sort of collector, because that's usually the ideal way to hear what the artist originally intended.

still, i think the complaints about the american audiophile stuff not being available/affordable in europe is completely valid. the american audiophile labels do not have a good international distribution system at all...

jazz's picture

I was early both times. The first release lasted about 30-60 minutes, so I got the Lush Life. The second release lasted a few minutes only and the site couldn’t handle the requests, most overseas buyers were unlucky, but as we see by the flippers, early US and UK buyers got them if they managed to buy within minutes.

As Craft even doesn’t announce the release day and time, being ready to the minute is even harder in case one doesn’t check the mailbox every minute for a week.

I also think a noticable part of the releases are gone to those and their friends who have connections and know more than others.

So there’s really nothing to relativate, excuse or defend here in my opinion.

MalachiLui's picture

not announcing the time of a drop is absolutely stupid and that's definitely craft's fault. shitty web infrastructure for limited releases also sucks, i had to stick through that with the ecco2k vinyl last year, but was patient enough to grab it. but yeah craft should AT LEAST start announcing the date and time of a release as yeah it's unfair to ppl in time zones where they might release these things in the dead of night.

Jeffrey Lee's picture

You got everything you wanted this time. Two days advance notice, exact day and time, early access password. How’d it go for ya?

volvic's picture

The exact opposite, a lot of us have chosen not to buy and press the “one-touch” option and are just fine with it, for reasons stated by others in the comments section. I had the chance at Lush Life and passed. At some point i and others are just not willing to play along.

Russo7516's picture

Eastern Sounds by Craft Small Batch US $ 99.00 plus tax and shipping & handling
US Mono 1961 U.S pressing sold for on discos 115.20 US in 12/21
My copy U.S mono from Academy Records, Brooklyn ,N.Y. 1961 Mono dead wax Id MVLP # 22 A RVG) 50 bucks. The listed it at VG .
So buying quicker is not the solution. Digging for an OP is the only way .
As for the UHQR I am seeing a lot of QC issues popping uo as well as logistics. All for 125 per and S&H and Tax.
Shop your local record store

MalachiLui's picture

i shop at my local record stores all the time. in fact, a new spot opened right by my house and within the first month of opening i've spent $350+ there mostly on original pressings of classics. but i don't think i'll find a copy of 'eastern sounds' sitting there.

not to mention, the craft small batch pressings will most likely sound better than originals, which had more compression and rolled off the bottom before putting a boost around 80-100Hz to compensate. the small batch ones are much closer to the tape. but again, QC issues (particularly with UHQR's and MFSL UD1S's) are concerning. as far as the "artificial scarcity," there isn't much arguing against that but there's something to be said for doing a limited release, it makes sure you don't press too much.

SloppyJoeBuck's picture

Dude, when EASTERN SOUNDS dropped I spent the couple of minutes before drop time refreshing every 3 seconds or so. The second is dropped, I had it in my basket and was checking out. As PayPal was processing, it sold out and I got bounced back to a "product unavailable" page.

This was all within 30 seconds of the record going live. That is not hyperbole.

Jazz listener's picture

valid comments on this thread. It’s called artificially manufactured scarcity, and it blows.

Anton D's picture

I am an old style consumer, and the consumer used to be the person the company wanted to please.

Now, it seems consumers serve the company and we are supposed to line up on the company's time to hope for a chance to give the company our money and if we don't, it's hilarious.

Record Store Day has evolved into this sort of consumer lotto, as well.

Where did this all start, Beanie Babies? It's not a trend I bother with. (Well, I lie, I will get online at a pre-announced time to log in for concert tickets, but they do me the honor of telling me the exact time in advance.)

I guess the best compromise to please both sides would be to hold an auction for the 1,000 copies and the top thousand bidders get the LP. We'd know as we look at the screen how much it takes to get into the hip crowd. I'd be curious to see how that would price out. Then, us wage earners could keep buying the records we want, we'd know when the sale would occur, and we could keep out the young fools whose only value to the hobby is their total availability for flash sales.

MalachiLui's picture

i've always been used to being ready whenever there's an important limited drop but it can definitely be frustrating. i still stand by the "first come first serve" model but not when there isn't a pre-announced release time.

rich d's picture

I fear that Anton D's (no relation) business model may come to pass, at which point any seemingly worthy record will end up in the hands of hose-nozzles willing to pay four grand or so. Which would be a tragic waste of money when they could have had a wall-mounted record storage cube.

xtcfan80's picture

"artificially manufactured scarcity, and it blows"....Agree 100%

Tom L's picture

and as a result, I don't waste my time hovering over my computer or phone waiting for a drop time which is often a lie anyway.

MalachiLui's picture

that's the reason you turn on push notifications on your phone so you don't have to spend all day hovering over your computer or phone waiting.

Anton D's picture

I don't want freaking push notifications. Just let me buy records.

I don't want to hover over a computer hoping to be 'gifted' the chance to buy an LP.

I turn my cell phone off at work, why do I need to keep it on in order to buy a damned record?

On the whole, I don't care all that much, there are plenty of records out there for me to discover. But, when Craft Records under-manufacturing vinyl is touted as a 'good deed,' then spare me the hyperbole.

Now, excuse my while I go yell at clouds and shake my tiny fist in rage! :-P

rich d's picture

if you looked at clouds from both sides, now

Tom L's picture

that won't fly with my job.
Maybe if the release came out when I'm off work, but that seems to be rare.
Anyway, it's hard for me to justify spending more than $50 or so on a record, so no big deal.

shawnwes's picture

Most of us don't check out phones or emails as soon as we awake. If you're on the East Coast you probably got that e-mail alert 3 hours before me.

shawnwes's picture

I tried 3 hours (9 a.m. PST) after their alert went out. By that time everyone on the east coast had hoovered them up. F'it, until they bring down the cost and move to a subscription type service I'm done with Ltd. edition releases where you have to scramble like you're buying Stones tickets. I've supported this brand for 30 years and now feel like they're playing me.

shawnwes's picture

I've now decided I'm not buying into any more OTT expensive ltd edition vinyl. I'll support fully those doing projects like BN Classic and Tone Poet releases where they're under $50 but these mini releases aren't worth the effort as we rarely are successful and the QC can be disappointing.

beaur's picture

If you want a "fair" way to sell them a lottery seems best. Anyone with interest can register it and then essentially pick names out of a hat. May deter some flippers but I am guessing you will have 10x sign=ups for the copies available so there will still be plenty of disappointed/pissed buyers.

DaveyF's picture

Unfortunately, the new MoFi 'One Step' MJ 'Thriller' is limited to only 40K pressings! This means that as soon as it goes on sale in November, one has to immediately order it or risk it selling out! I wouldn't be surprised if it sells out in less time that the Craft Eastern Sounds! I think if we divide an hour by 40K we see how many will sell in a second... ;0)