Crate Minds: Meet Discogs Seller Polynomiel

by SoLil

In our Crate Minds series, we put the spotlight on some of the people behind the Discogs accounts. How did they start selling, what are their personal favorites and what are their best stories? This week, we caught up with Discogs seller Polynomiel, who very recently celebrated his 5th anniversary on Discogs!

What’s your name and role?
Jared Kusmit, Owner/Proprietor of Operator Music.

Where does your Discogs username originate from?
I’ve used the handle “Polynomiel” (misspelling and all) for a long time – since I was 12 years old. If I could go back in time, I’d use a different name when setting up my Discogs account!

When did you start selling records on Discogs? 
I put my long-time collection up for sale in January 2012.

How did you get into selling records?
I’ve been a crate digger/record collector for a long time, because I used breaks and loops to make my own music (hip hop/ambient/electronic) as part of the group, Sars Lip Compromise and solo as The Operator. This exposure gave me the knowledge I needed to start listing and selling interesting records.

Do you have a physical record shop, or do you sell online only? Where are you based?
I sell online only, out of my house in Wallingford, Connecticut.

What is your / the store’s specialty?
I specialize in obscurities (odd/vintage/spoken word releases). Since I started up 5 years ago, I’ve branched out into more genres, including soca/calypso music and a large variety of classical music. I also recently started selling new releases.

What is your favorite record you have in stock right now, and why this one?
That’s a tough question. If I had to pick only one, I’d say The Moving Sidewalks – “99th Floor”. It’s a rare garage 7″, and I’ve always been a fan of early ZZ Top (this is Billy Gibbons‘ first band). It’s a fun listen, and it captures a cool moment in psychedelic rock.

What was the most memorable item you ever sold?
I sold a copy of “Shadow’s Way Way Out / Let’s Get Together“, an early 1980’s release on Kalico. It was always a song I loved, and at the time, it was the highest priced item I’d ever sold – so it was an exciting experience.

What does your own record collection look like?
Today, my personal philosophy – and the way I keep myself from hoarding records – is that if I have a record, it’s up for sale. I appreciate the time that I have these records for, but then they move on to a new home.

What is your personal holy grail record?
I’d love to own a sealed, original copy of Zappa’s “Hot Rats”. I realize its pretty attainable at this point but I’ve never pulled the trigger on this one.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you when selling records?
Most of the “funny” experiences happen when I go out sourcing private collections. I’ve seen it all: from a record collection that shared a basement with a flock of free-range indoor chickens, to an amazing collection that was just piled in a mouldy, waterlogged shed. I emptied that shed out on a 100-degree day while the owners (two guys drinking Kool-Aid out of plastic jugs) got into a huge fight with their neighbor. I got out just as the cops arrived.

In terms of selling: I once had a customer ask to have a record shipped to him in a box that he custom-made. He shipped this box (with 5 layers of triple-wall cardboard) to me, and I shipped the album back to him in it.

What is your number one tip for buyers on Discogs?
Be reasonable.

And for Discogs sellers?
Treat your buyers with courtesy and respect. Always respond with good faith, even when you feel it’s not deserved.

Anything else you’d like us to know?
There’s no other platform that I know of that would have allowed me to grow my business like Discogs has, and I’m really glad to be a part of it. I recently left my day job to do this full-time. I get to be my own boss and do what I love – it’s amazing.

Discogs seller, Polynomiel in front of his record shelves

Find Polynomiel on Discogs, or check out their website.