There used to be a time when you bought a a copy of MR&R,Flipside,a local ‘zine or maybe you picked an out of state ‘zine up at a show (that a band was selling to help their friend out…). You would get home and comb through the pages, looking opinion columns,scene reports,interviews,photos,comics,adds for labels and other ‘zines and the back pages;the classifieds. There you could find a multitude of things that you may not have been able to find locally. Im talking demo tapes(FOR $2.oo plus postage!),tape trading lists,patches,t shirts,pen pals,bands looking to sell you their own 7″ that they released,because their was not a myriad of labels with the ability to release some unheard of punk band from the middle of nowhere in Iowa(just an example of a location). You would then look at how much $ you had and figure out if you could send well concealed cash or you needed to send a money order, was it in the USA(most were) or was elsewhere, then when you got your order together,include a note stating what you wanted(maybe even throw in a photo from a show or a flyer) slap a stamp on an addressed envelope, and drop it in the mail. Weeks would pass,sometimes several months,and one day your would come home from work or school,and find a package or two in your mail box. Yes! The latest demo from that band in Socal,or that ‘zine from Florida finally came,maybe it was that limited edition euro straight edge record you thought you would never own! . Then you would do it again in a couple of weeks if you happened to have the money. My point is, most of this was done with very little communucation between the sellers and the buyers, there was no instant gratification,no paypal to run too,no way to know that you managaed to get the demo that you were ordering. There was no e mail(or msg board/forums for you to throw a tantrum on,because you missed out on the last pink vinyl copy of _____)phone numbers to call or text,no tracking numbers that you could watch on your computer,almost no communication at all. You took the chance and 99% of the time it mananged to work out. Yeah there were flakes,I only never recived my stuff a handfull of times(4 times to be exact). I wrote this because of a coversation that a friend and I had regarding my store being open while I was away for the holidays,and how “back in the day” we had to wait for tapes,records,’zines,photos,and how people need to chill out,and maybe realize that just because an order is placed,does not mean it seen or filled in the few hours afterwards. How long is too long? Thats up to you to decide. I find my self getting antsy around 3-6 weeks(unless its pre orders,which I try to avoid, as handing over money for something thats not pressed-duplicated OR printed,leaves far too much room for mistakes,confusion,lost info,impatience on the buyers side to set in etc…),but it never fails, that I write someone asking about the order, it shows up that day…this is just my take on it.
Thanks for reading this mess that I typed while half asleep.