Just how dedicated are local Beatles fans? Well, at least one has already agreed to pay $500 for a rare copy of The Beatles In Mono--about $200 more than the set's $299.99 list price.
The mono set is part of the big 9-9-09 marketing blitzkrieg, which also included the release of the band's remastered catalog in stereo (as individual albums and as a box set) and The Beatles: Rock Band video game.
Forever Young Records manager Taylor Eckstrom says the store ordered four copies of the mono box set, but only received one. Despite pricing it at $500--an unusually high markup, Eckstrom admits--the store has a found a willing buyer, and is currently holding the box set.
"It's a limited edition," Eckstrom says. "There are only 10,000 copies, and they shorted us. We ordered four, and only got one in."
Eckstrom says the store experienced similar shortages with the stereo remasters, both as individual CDs and the box set.
Bill Wisener at Bill's Records says he hasn't been able to get any copies of the coveted mono set, and only received one stereo set. In fact, he says he had to pay extra to get it shipped early for an anxious buyer.
The longtime record store owner, however, was not surprised by the shortage.
"It's psychology," he says. "They get people to stand in a line, knowing it will sell out. If there's plenty of it, people won't rush out and buy it. But if they're limited, they know people will have to be there that first day and it will sell out."
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Wisener says he was told by his distributor, Super D, that there will eventually be more of both the stereo and mono boxes available.
Good Records manager Chris Penn was not available for comment, but a store employee said the store received a very limited number as well; he didn't know whether they had sold, or at what price.
It could be worse, though. Jenkins Boyd at Doc's Records And Vintage in Fort Worth didn't think his customers would be interested, and didn't order any of the remasters.
"I've been getting all these calls asking about it, so I'm kicking myself now," he says.