Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here is a local story from Oregon about our beloved vinyl.  Thank you to Nancy Anderson at for allowing me to reprint this interesting material:

Hillsboro woman is devoted to vintage vinyl LPs -- and makes it pay

Jan Nissen's home office in Hillsboro is packed with dinosaurs -- thousands of vinyl records side by side and categorized by decades from the 1940s to the 1970s.

The 62-year-old great-grandmother launched a small business to cater to a renewed interest in retro LPs, and she's found customers around the world willing to pay plenty for the pleasure of analog sound and the dramatically illustrated album covers and extensive liner notes.

"I could not have imagined this in my wildest dreams," says Nissen, owner of Gosinta: My store for Turntables, Vinyl Records and More, ( which pretty much describes the contents of her online store, which is in fact that small home office.

Her timing was perfect, just as vinyl LPs became cool again in our digital age. Album sales have resurged in the last decade. The beauty of imperfect analog has been discovered by a generation raised on digital -- and remembered fondly by older audiophiles.

In 2005, Nissen and her husband, Nick, stopped at a garage sale not far from home. It was the last day, and everything was half price. So they pulled over the car and decided to browse. For $20 she walked away with at least 1,000 records and a vague notion she'd try to make a few bucks by selling the records online. But when her first sale to a customer in Russia went for $178, her little hobby quickly turned into a second career.

Today, she sells a few hundred albums online every month. Most go for $10 to $25, and rarely less than $5. The prize in her collection: the 1971 soundtrack to the movie "The Andromeda Strain" valued at nearly $1,000.

"This is a mom-and-pop business," Nissen says, "but mostly mom." While husband Nick works days as a facility supervisor for the city of Tigard, she carefully follows up on more than 150 daily emails, categorizes and prices each record, and processes and ships orders.

Back in the 1960s, Nissen began working in administration in the music industry and stayed for 40 years. Now she's back in an industry she loved and grew up in. She understands the nostalgia attached to the albums, and judging by sales, plenty of her customers do, too.

"It's like visiting an old friend," Nissen says. "The feel in your hands, the pictures and the sound are all a part of it. Records bring people together, back to the days when listening to music was a family affair and something shared with friends."

Her most prized LP is a vintage Van Morrison, "Tupelo Honey." She has one copy. It's not for sale.

Since she started, she's launched a Web site to update her customers and celebrate music history. She's kept her business small and sticks to the basics.

"Catch a hold of your dream and ride it," she says. "That's the first step. Also, be willing to fail. Failure will show you where to make a turn and go a better way."

Five years later records now come to her from throughout Oregon, mostly through referrals.

"Some people want to part with their records and I find them a new home," Nissen says. "It's exciting. Look at all these beautiful records. And I haven't been to a garage sale in over a year."

Written by -- Nancy Anderson

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