Take, Take Me Home
New To Trading?

Welcome to the world of trading.

0. My History (skip if you get easily bored)
I started collecting Genesis bootlegs back in 1992 in my first year of University. I was on a limited income at the time bootlegs seemed the best way to spend it. Food was an after thought.

During my first year, I bought probably a dozen or so bootlegs of variable quality, my first being Musica. The second was a big come down from that I must say. When it came to my second year, I was unable to buy any further boots as the guy selling them had been busted. It wasn't until about four years later that I discovered the traders circuit. I bought a cd writer for my computer and being an avid reader of Paperlate, I was able to set up my first trade with a fellow Paperlater. I had my first cdr trade - Wembley, 4th August 1987, last show of the Invisible Touch tour. My collection grew from there ....

A question I get asked a fair bit these days is how to start trading when you have next to nothing (or even nothing). There are a number of routes open for the newbie trader these days.

1. Blanks / Postage Trades
Many traders have websites - See Citizens Of Hope And Glory for a list. Many of these will help out newbie traders by offering a "Blanks / Postage" trade. This usually entails either sending blank cdrs and stamps for return postage to a trader who will then copy a show or two for you, or sending enough blank cdrs to cover the cost of return postage (this is often the case of overseas blanks trades where return postage is awkward to arrange). I have done a lot of these over the past couple of years, but I'm taking a breather at the moment.

2. CDR or Tape Trades
If you have found a trader who hasn't got what you've got, mail them! Don't be shy. Most traders are decent people who are usually interested in gaining something to further their collections. If they say no, mail someone else.

3. Record Fairs
In England (at least) most towns have record fairs every couple of months. These are great places for picking up bargains of official stuff, but can also be used to buy bootlegs. Over the past few years, the number of boots available has diminished due to clamp downs. That doesn't mean to say they are gone altogether, you just need to look harder. However, it's fairly common to see prices of around £20+ for a show so be careful.

4. Mailing Lists
There is now a mailing list set up to specifically help new Genesis traders. This can be found on Yahoo! Groups. Subscribe to it. It is a quiet list, but several people put freebie offers on there for new traders every now and then. It's a possible way to get started if you have nothing. You can also use this list if you are after a particular show (prehaps one you went to). Ask.

5. The Official Genesis Site
The official Genesis website now condones the trading of bootlegs! People offer bootlegs on the "Genesis-Swaps" pages of the site for nominal sums, usually just the cost of media. The rules are there so it's pretty straight forward. There is also the newly created official site forum with it's "Boot Info Exchange" forum.

6. Buying Boots from traders - A big no-no.
As I mentioned, record fairs are a good place to buy boots, but don't ask a trader to sell copies of theirs. It is the best way to get no reply at all (no pun intended ;-)

7. MP3s
For those with broadband Internet connections, some people now trade using high quality (256kbs+) MP3s or SHN files. However, burning MP3s to CDr and trading them should only be done if it is made clear that the cds are sourced from MP3s.

8. Make your own!
In true Blue Peter fashion, it's often possible to make your own bootlegs. With renewed interest in Genesis, many radio stations are now re-broadcasting old shows or old interviews. Most of these are already available in the traders circuit, but they're worth taping as some people might not already have them. And besides, it's free!