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Date

September 9, 2020

discogs An Overview of Improvements to the Shipping Policy Editor

Shipping Policies are set to become a requirement for all listings in the marketplace by October 1, 2020. We’ve been working on a few improvements to the Shipping Policy editor to help you ensure the transition to Shipping Policies goes as smoothly as possible and that all your bases (and orders) are covered. This update aims to give you more flexibility to set up Shipping Policies in a way that suits you, while also giving more extensive shipping coverage to your listings. 

Changes To The Shipping Policy Editor 

The Shipping Policy editor will continue to look much the same as it did previously, but with added functionality.

If you’ve already taken the time to set up your Shipping Policies, this update will not affect those existing policies. They’ll continue to work as they do now, but you’ll be able to use the updated editor to add more detail to your Shipping Policies if you choose.

Please note that your Shipping Policies will need to cover all potential orders of all formats, up to unlimited weight or quantity. 

The biggest changes include the ability to combine format with weight or quantity, the ability to name your methods rather than choose from a limiting dropdown list, and a more flexible way to set your ranges to cover all order sizes.

Below is a more detailed overview of each of these changes in the order that they appear on the editor page.

Local pickup and Free Shipping move from a method to an optional checkbox for each policy.

Local pickup and free shipping have previously been included as a method. These will now be a checkbox so you can offer the option to pick up alongside standard shipping. If you choose to offer free shipping, you can set the minimum order amount for this to apply. Free shipping is displayed to buyers on your marketplace listings and in the cart. These are set at the policy level, meaning they’ll apply alongside all methods you set up for a particular region.

The long list of shipping options replaced with two fields: Shipping Type and Shipping Service.

We received feedback that the dropdown was confusing as it contained shipping services that weren’t specific to your country, and that it wasn’t possible to have multiple methods and rates using the same service name. The two fields give more flexibility and control in naming your Shipping Policies so they’re clearer for you and your buyers.

The first of the two fields is for the Service Type narrowed to just three options: Economy, Standard, or Express. The second, Shipping Service, is a free text field allowing you to name your method whatever you want. This will also be displayed to your buyer in the cart. If you offer several shipping methods with different names, your buyer will be able to select their preferred option when they checkout.

Methods can be set for all formats or specific ones

You can choose whether you want your method to apply to all formats or narrow it down with the checkboxes on the left. If you choose to narrow down to format, you can check more than one format type for your method. 

Combine Format with Weight or Quantity for your Shipping Methods

The method ranges are set by either weight (grams) or quantity (number of items) combined with the format(s) on the left. These combinations are often requested and help provide more detail to your Shipping Policies.

Set a fixed amount for orders over a certain weight or number of items, or an incremental charge per additional items/grams.

Enter a flat rate to cover orders over a certain quantity or weight. If a flat rate for “and up” feels too much like laying your shipping costs in the hands of Lady Fate, you can set an amount for each additional item or weight added (e.g. $5 per two additional items or 500 grams). A flat rate or “per each additional” amount will be required for the Shipping Policy to be applied in the marketplace. 

These are the final changes to be made to the editor before Shipping Policies become a requirement on October 1.

Why Update the Shipping Policy Editor Now?

Shipping Policies may already be more common among sellers than you think. Making Shipping Policies the standard brings more consistency to the marketplace, delivering on buyers’ expectations for clear and concise shipping costs every time. There are also a number of administrative responsibilities that we need to meet as the marketplace facilitator, which pay-at-checkout system enables us to meet.

We understand that implementing Shipping Policies takes time and effort, and requires a change in approach to how many sellers charge for shipping. With this latest update, we hope to make it easier for you to set up and maintain your Shipping Policies.

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Stevie Dunbar An Interview With Discogs Contributor Paolo Annicchiarico

With great risk comes great reward. When Paolo Annicchiarico, AKA ocasomarino, left his home country with the only goal of getting into some heavy record digging, he found enough albums and stories to last a lifetime. Luckily for Discogs, as he’s devoted much of his time to submitting a considerable amount of these records and many others he has collected along the way, to the Database. As he nears 10,000 contributions, we caught up with Paolo to hear some of those stories and understand his commitment to the Discogs Database.

As always, S.P.IN (September Pledge INiative) is happening this month. We’re taking a different approach this year, focusing less on leaderboard spots and more on thanking YOU, Discogs’s valuable submitters, for the incredible work you’ve all done throughout the years.

Found something missing in the database but have no clue where to start with a submission? Check out our S.P.IN hub for beginner guides, tips and tricks, and more interviews with some of our top submitters.

Discogs: How did you discover Discogs?

Paolo Annicchiarico: My first contact with Discogs was many years ago. I was looking for a record I couldn’t find on any other marketplace and bought it on Discogs. I didn’t know what Discogs was or what the idea behind it was at the time, so I’d better say I’ve discovered what Discogs actually was thanks to another Discogs user and good friend of mine, Ibtaba.

It was a few days after I returned from one of my digging trips to Colombia and Panama and he suggested that I use Discogs to list and sell my records. A piece of good advice!

D: Any great collecting stories to share?

PA: Too many to mention. I should write a book about it. Searching for records is not something I do in my spare time. It’s my life. It’s the way I live and it’s strictly connected with any other aspect of living: work, relationships, evolution, spirituality.

Probably the most significant story is from four years ago. I left my country totally broke with no money in my pockets and with the intention of doing a serious digging trip around Central America … I didn’t even know if I had the chance to stay for more than one week.

Trading records day by day, I came back home six months later. While I was crossing the ocean by airplane, a container with about 20,000 records was following me on a cargo ship. It’s not been my best deal, but definitely a turning point in my activity.

D: Do you have a favorite submission or a particularly unique find?

PA: Again, there are too many to mention. I’ve lost the count of the submissions I made to the Database. At the moment, it seems like I’ve added more than 9,400 titles just from my personal account. But I’ve been using my friends’ accounts, too, over the years.

Last night I uploaded on YouTube a very rare jazz LP from Panama by Alonso Wilson de Briano. Last April, I also added it to the Discogs Database. Well, after four months there are only four people who have it in their Wantlist. But we’re talking about an amazing record.

There’s still a lot of great unknown music out there. I find many rare gems. I dig deep.

D: Are there any gaps in the Database you personally would like to fill?

PA: Of course. In the last few years, I concentrated on a very small number of Latin and tropical countries and I still turn up thousands of records missing in the database. If I’m experienced enough, I can affirm there are still too many records missing from Africa, Asia, and Latin America in particular. I’d love to have the chance to change location in the future and help you to fill this gap.

D: What does the Discogs Database mean to you?

PA: I think Discogs is a brilliant idea and at the same time, an inevitable thing for the world we live in. Today we assist in the general recollection of knowledge in any field, from many different sources, from any part of the world, any society or tradition. All this knowledge is solidifying in a bigger global knowledge accessible to all human beings everywhere.

Discogs goes into that direction, and I think that’s a big part of its success. Discogs is a universal thing. It’s kind of a music encyclopedia — the place where you can discover the history of the discography of this planet.

D: How would you like to see the Database grow in the future?

PA: I think the Database will always grow because people will never stop recording and releasing music. Also, the gaps will be filled with time. I think Discogs is already very complete as it is and will crystalize its leadership on the market of records even more in the future.

But, since you ask me, let me say I always had an improvement on my mind who may help the website to beat its competitors: Allow users to sell records on auctions and not only on fixed price. It may give visibility to a lot of obscure titles and give a boost to the market. If I need quick money nowadays, I still have to go on eBay, and I may not have the time to add my obscure records on the Discogs Database first.

Feature image by Umberto Cofini.

Interested in seeing more articles like this one?
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CAS Behind the Counter USA 2020

Behind the Counter is a brand new 12-part video series taking you inside the weird and wonderful world of independent record stores of the USA brought to you by Classic Album Sundays Record Store Day & Dogfish Head.

Since 2008, Record Store Day has grown into the world’s largest single-day music event, shining a light on the culture of the indie record store across the globe. In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be too. RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October. For full information head to the Record Store Day website here.

We would like to thank our partner in these videos Dogfish Head. Founded in Delaware 1995, they are known for their straight forward, but unorthodox mission: off-centered ales for off-centered people. Check them out here.

The full series of twelve videos can be found in the playlist below. Get to know your local records stores!

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Wire Mix: Sparkle Division

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Happiest of birthdays to my mate Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello! xM

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