In this episode of Crate Minds, we’d like to introduce Discogs seller, Andy Cann, A.K.A. LilWang. Based in the UK, he has been collecting records for 30 years, selling on Discogs for 10 years, and shares a growing collection of 45s with his 14 year old daughter!
What’s your name and role?
Andy Cann – I buy and sell records, and to a lesser extent CDs, running a music mail order business. Plus, I run reissue label, Spoke Records with a couple of friends.
Where does your Discogs username originate from?
Years ago, I was messing around with friends and we all made up our Wu Tang names. Mine was ‘Lil Wang’…and it just kind of stuck!
When did you start selling records on Discogs?
I started selling on Discogs in 2007, primarily selling duplicates that I had, to help fund further purchases, but I also had some random pieces that I was given when I worked for a distribution company.
How did you get into selling records?
Over the years, I’ve worked in music retail for Andy’s Records, Virgin and HMV. In the late 90s, I started working for a small independent distribution company, Backs Records, so I’ve always sold records in one capacity or another! When Pinnacle Distribution went into liquidation, it detrimentally impacted on our business and I was made redundant. As a result, I increased my listings until it became a full-time job.
Do you have a physical record shop, or do you sell online only? Where are you based?
I’m based in Norwich, Norfolk in UK. I don’t have a physical shop front to keep overheads down, but I have a small local unit that I work from daily with further remote storage for stock I have yet to list!
What is your/the store’s specialty?
Using experience and knowledge from working with independent record shops, I initially focused on various underground genres from Electronica to UK Garage and Black Metal to straight Rock. But with the current revival of vinyl, I’ve expanded my catalogue and I’ll list pretty much anything as long as the condition is good!
What is your favorite record you have in stock right now, and why this one?
Mighty Baby’s – “Mighty Baby” LP, it has a local connection, as I know the drummer’s daughter!
What was the most memorable item you ever sold?
The most memorable items I’ve sold tend to be ones that have been surprisingly lucrative! Some records, you know their value; but I always remember one of my early listings was a Goa Trance CD EP, “Crop Circles – Lunar Civilisation” …. who knew? CDs had value too!
What does your own record collection look like?
I’ve been collecting records for over 30 years and I’ve seen the invention of new genres and sub-genres of music, but as my family grew (and available space reduced), I focused my collection on my obsession with Library music …but I still hold a healthy Hip Hop section and there’s a strong Jazz Funk representation in there too! My children both introduce me to new releases to keep me current, but my 14 year old daughter enjoys the old tunes and the ‘feel’ of vinyl. As a result we share a growing 45s collection! Can’t beat a bit of crate diggin’!
What is your personal holy grail record?
An original first pressing of The Pretty Things – “SF Sorrow“, an amazing album & I’ll always treasure it.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you when selling records?
I picked up a beautiful Disco/Boogie collection a few years ago with some gems – literally, as I was listing the items, a customer was adding them to his cart. He called me and asked to collect them in person. A few days later, he had flown into the UK from Japan and was in Norwich! When my wife got home from work she asked how our meeting had gone but stopped mid-sentence… she caught sight of my Japanese buyer, alone in our garden, jumping happily on our children’s trampoline!!!
What is your number one tip for buyers on Discogs?
I would recommend buyers check that their Discogs address matches their Paypal Address – this anomaly delays postage as I have to contact the buyers to clarify which address to use!
And for Discogs sellers?
If in doubt, it is always better to under-grade a record, allowing the recipient to feel a positive surprise and confidence to place further orders from your listings.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Without sounding sucky, Discogs is the best platform to buy & sell on, as it’s dedicated to music & in my experience, the staff are always helpful when you need it.
Get digging for some gems in LilWang’s Discogs Shop