This page is really only for the obsessives who need to know the minutiae.
To understand how Volver works, you should read the About Volver page.
To learn about how to sell me your records, you should read the Sell Me Your Vinyl page.
WHY DID GOOD MUSIC GO OUT OF BUSINESS?
It didn't "go out of business". I voluntarily closed it after selling my entire inventory to a competitor. At the time, I had other priorities which needed attending and I wanted to do some traveling. When the offer was submitted by my colleague, I took it. I then spent seven months in California and three months in Spain with stints in between back in Toronto.
DID VORTEX CLOSE BECAUSE YOU LEFT? WHAT HAPPENED THERE?
Vortex lasted two years after I left to start Good Music. It was then voluntarily closed when its longtime owner decided to retire after almost 40 years of selling records in Toronto. Its closing had nothing to do with my leaving or the store's finances. All employees were well-compensated and everyone thought it the best move at the time, especially considering the forthcoming hell that would be Yonge and Eglinton construction woes. Though I was no longer the manager, I handled the details of the final sale (as I had the previous sixteen sales) and found a buyer for the leftover stock. Myself and the owner and all staff are on good terms and hang out frequently.
WHAT'S ADRIAN UP TO?
She's busy doing her Master's. Thanks for asking.
HOW ARE MACKENZIE, YUKON, AND BERT?
All good, thanks.
CAN I HAVE YOUR COLLEAGUE'S CONTACT INFO?
WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE NAME FROM GOOD MUSIC TO VOLVER?
I plan to sell non-music items in the future.
COULDN'T YOU MAKE MUCH MORE MONEY JUST RE-OPENING A "REAL" STORE, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU CALL IT OR WHAT YOU SELL?
Absolutely, but I'm more interested in a time-rich life. Only a fool wants to be the richest man in the cemetery.
WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO LIST JUST 3 RECORDS PER DAY WHEN YOU CLEARLY HAVE MUCH MORE INVENTORY?
When I had Good Music, I would sometimes list 100+ records a day. The phone rang non-stop all day. I don't want to do that again. Also, I set a low bar because I didn't want to have an excuse to miss it. There will be at least three records listed every day without question whenever I'm in Toronto. It's possible I'll increase this number in the future, but I'm comfortable with three per day at the moment.
SUPPOSE I COME TO MAKE A PURCHASE. WILL YOU THEN ALLOW ME TO BROWSE THE OTHER RECORDS IN YOUR LOFT?
You're welcome to browse any of the records that are currently listed on the web site. The other records in my home are not yet for sale.
WHY WON'T YOU SHIP RECORDS?
A number of reasons. Here are three:
1. I believe in the value of local, small businesses. I'm tired of a world where people don't venture out to interact with others -- where they order everything online and sit and wait for it to arrive at their door. I have little interest in participating in that economy.
2. I want to do a different kind of retail by my own rules.
3. It's to my benefit to keep the records in Toronto. When someone wants to sell something they've purchased from me, chances are they'll contact me. If I've shipped the record, my ability to do that is eliminated.
HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO DO THIS?
Until I get bored. The benefit of not having a commercial lease elsewhere is that I can close up and travel whenever I wish and start up again when I return.
HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR RECORDS?
Generally, my records are in above market-average condition and priced at or below market value. However, I specialize in rare pressings, which by their nature cost more than common pressings of the same titles.
WHY DON'T YOU CARRY MORE COMMON TITLES OR PRESSINGS?
There is not much point to me carrying tons of $10 records. Since I run Volver out of my living space, I'd be cluttering my home with records that can commonly be found at any decent record shop in the city. Not only is this a waste of my time and space, but to some extent it's unfair to the shops who count on those impulse purchases to make their own livings.
Perhaps one of my competitors will have the records you're looking for. Here's a comprehensive list of Toronto Record Stores.
WHY DO YOU THINK STORES ARE RELUCTANT TO BUY RARE RECORDS?
They're not. They're just reluctant to pay big money for them. Many record shops operate hand-to-mouth, so to speak, and when a customer wants $500 or $600 for a $1000 record the vendor has never heard of before, and have no experience selling, they can perhaps take comfort in keeping their $500 -- a bird in the hand and all that -- or offering $200 for the record. It doesn't make them evil. They're just risk-averse, and possibly for good reason. They may have lots of employees or high rent. I have neither. If they buy one such title a week and have no luck selling them, it'll only take 2 or 3 months before they're having trouble paying their bills.
I'VE BEEN BUYING RECORDS FROM YOU FOR ALMOST 15 YEARS AND HAVE NEVER SEEN YOU SELL ANYTHING IN LESS THAN VG+ CONDITION. HOW COME ALL THE RECORDS YOU FIND ARE IN SUCH INCREDIBLE SHAPE?
Believe me, all the records I find are not in incredible shape. The bulk of records I look at on a daily basis are in terrible shape -- or the same bad shape you see in the bins at many of my competitors. The difference is that I was trained by the Godfather of Toronto used record stores: Bert at Vortex. "Don't buy those records," he said. I didn't and I don't.
Also, when customers offer to give me for free the records I don't want to buy, I decline and refer them to a competitor.
HOW DO YOU FIND SO MANY RARE RECORDS?
I've spent my career not buying crappy records. Toronto vinyl lovers deal with me when they buy and sell stuff specifically because they know I only carry quality records. So, I spent the first part of my career finding rare records and now rare records find me.
WHY DON'T YOU SELL ON DISCOGS OR EBAY?
First off, they take a cut. Second, I tried it once and got taken for a US$450 record I shipped to Japan. I won't say "never again," but that one sale was the first time in 12 years I'd intentionally been screwed over by a customer.
CAN I GIVE YOU A LIST OF RECORDS I'M LOOKING FOR? YOU CAN LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE THEM FOR SALE.
Sorry, but that's not a service I've provided at any of my stores. One of my goals is to give every Toronto music-lover the same opportunity to find the rare record on their want-list, and I'm therefore not keen on providing people an opportunity to "jump the line," so to speak. I post the record and everyone gets the same shot at buying it. Believe me, if the record is truly rare, and I did keep lists, you'd already be the 20th person to ask about it. Your chances are better this way.
YOU SAY YOU CONSIDER A "REQUEST TO HOLD" A "COMMITMENT TO PURCHASE." WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?
If you're the type of person to impulsively call and say that you want something without giving it the required forethought, it's probably best if you don't consider me when shopping for records.
ARE YOU SERIOUS ABOUT BLOCKING PHONE NUMBERS OF CUSTOMERS WHO DON'T SHOW TO PICK UP A RECORD?
Absolutely. Keep in mind that when I owned a store, and someone didn't show up, I had to be there anyway. In this situation, I'm specifically staying in to meet someone for an appointment. A no-show wastes my time.
YOUR PREVIOUS STORES GUARANTEED WHAT THEY SOLD. DOES VOLVER?
DO YOU HAVE A LISTENING STATION?
Yes. A Thorens TD145 MKII through a PS Audio Sprout100 to Dynaco speakers. Feel free to bring your own headphones if that's your preferred way of listening.
I'M INTERESTED IN BUYING THE PS AUDIO SPROUT100 INTEGRATED AMP. AM I ABLE TO HEAR ONE AT VOLVER?
Yes, but keep in mind that I don't keep the amps in stock. You're welcome to listen to my own unit, but once you decide to purchase (in cash in person or through my site), it can take up to a week to arrive (though they usually arrive in two business days).
I KNOW YOU'VE GIVEN "RECORD BUSINESS" ADVICE AND REFERRALS TO SOME OF THE OTHER STORES IN THE CITY. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?
I want as many record stores in Toronto as possible. Competition is great for customers, and, in my opinion, my competition makes me look good.
As for the referral thing, if someone is looking to get rid of their records, and those records are not of use to me, I'd like to help them by referring them to the store that's going to treat them the best. That store can vary depending on the types of records they have. Further, there are a lot of crooks in this business. I'd rather the seller didn't end up with one of those buyers by proximity or sheer chance.
WOULDN'T IT JUST BE EASIER TO NAME AND SHAME THOSE STORES?
A few years ago, I called out a long-running store for lying in ads. I did this privately, online, just between the two of us. Basically trying to get them to knock it off. The owner showed up at my store during business hours, throwing a fit, pointing a finger, swearing and physically threatening me. I literally had to take him by the arm and lead him outside before banning him from the premises. Less than 12 hours later, 1-star reviews of my store started appearing on Yelp and Google. (Every review of my store to that point had been 5 stars.) That store is still running false ads.
YOU HAVE A TESTIMONIALS SECTION -- HOW CAN I BE SURE THOSE ARE REAL PEOPLE?
I assure you my testimonials are written completely by real customers who are real people. In all but one case, those are their real names. The one exception is a rock musician who instead used his stage name.
I have also chosen not to post some of the testimonials I've received, even though they're glowing reviews, because the customer asked for me to withhold their name for fear of being treated poorly by competitors upset at their allegiance. Though I appreciate their kind words, I think it's too much to ask readers to put faith in anonymous reviewers. If you have a testimonial to submit, please use the email link at the bottom of any page on this site.
WHY AREN'T YOU ON YELP?
I am not on Yelp because I believe it to be a racket.
They claim to be on the up-and-up, but my experience tells me otherwise. The previous three stores I ran/owned were plagued with phone calls from Yelp imploring us to advertise. We always declined. Then, when one of my competitors posted false reviews of Good Music on Yelp -- and I was able to prove to Yelp that the reviews were 100% fake -- they refused to remove the reviews and intimated, though didn't flat out say, that they may be able to be more helpful if I changed my mind regarding ads; of course, I declined. Incidentally, the store that made up the reviews does advertise on Yelp and has had negative reviews of their store removed from the site. I know this because customers have told me their negative reviews of that store have been deleted.
I have a series of screen grabs proving the above and one day, when I have the time, I will make a lengthy post about it, similar to how I did regarding Record Store Day a few years ago.
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE DOG ON THE PREMISES?
Sure. Her name is Shakedown and she's the best part of my life. She's a mixed breed, medium sized dog. Shepherd, Husky, Terrier, Gazelle. She spent the first two or so years of her life on a First Nations reserve in northern Quebec and has lived with me since Friday, September 27, 2013.
She's friendly to strangers, but not overly so. She'll acknowledge you when you come in, but will probably return to her bed after determining you're not here to rob us.
I'M ALLERGIC TO / AFRAID OF DOGS...
I'm sorry to hear that. If you're just picking something up, I can meet you outside the building or in the hall. If your visit will be longer, there is a chance that I could put her in a neighbor's loft, but that would have to be confirmed when you book your appointment and would depend more on the neighbor than you or I.
AREN'T YOU AFRAID OF RUNNING A BUSINESS OUT OF YOUR HOME?
No. I find most people to be honest and the majority of my customers have been buying from or selling to me for years. Plus, I have security cameras that upload to the cloud 24/7. Unless you meant legally. in which case, I live in a building zoned for live/work and such a business is perfectly legal here. My neighbors include numerous photography studios and a recording studio. Past- and current-tenants include members of numerous bands (Rheostatics, Tokyo Police Club, Girlfriend Material, The Weakerthans...)
YOU SAY THAT IN THE FUTURE YOU'LL SELL THINGS BESIDES RECORDS. FOR INSTANCE?
Art, vintage furniture, rare books, turntables, pottery. Whatever strikes my fancy. (For a while, before getting into the record business, I made a living selling mid-century furniture out of my previous loft down the hall.)
That stuff will appear on the site in time.
CAN YOU LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU POST THE DAY'S THREE VINTAGE RECORDS?
Text Your Full Name Subcribe to 416 55 66 278 to get a text when I post each day's records. I also have a less frequent email list, though it's not used for daily records.
WHAT'S WITH ALL THE WEIRD PICTURES OF NON-RECORDS ON THE SITE?
I like taking pictures of architecture and environments. Eventually I'll offer prints through Volver. The ones currently on the site are from my travels through Spain and California.
IS VOLVER WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?
I'm sad to say it isn't. The building has multiple entrances but all involve a few steps. If you want to pick something up and are unable to use stairs, I can meet you in front of the building.
WHAT DOES "VOLVER" MEAN?
It's a Spanish word. From the Urban Dictionary:
Although the verb volver typically is translated as "to return," it has a wider variety of uses than that simple translation may suggest. Under some circumstances, its meaning can be as varied as "to turn [something] over" and even "to become."
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? Like Revolver?
No. In English, think of the Vol as in Volume and the Ver as in Very loud. Emphasis on the second syllable. It doesn't sound like the end of revolver.
ARE YOU OR VOLVER ON FACEBOOK or twitter?
DOES THIS MEAN I SHOULDN’T POST ABOUT YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
No. You do whatever you wish. However, if you do post about Volver, I would strongly prefer you link to the About page of the site, or, if you’re encouraging people to sell to me, the Sell Your Records page, rather than just volver.to (the records-for-sale page). I also implore you to not post my address or phone number. Again, this is my home. I’ve already had numerous people call from other countries saying they want to buy things and can I please make an exception and ship to them (“No, sorry.”), as well as people telling me they are “in the neighborhood” and “can’t find your store” — all because (so far as I know) one person one time posted my phone number on Facebook and people didn’t bother to read the web site.