[Collecting IME Rarities]
So, you too wish to be a collector of IME stuff? Well, it's no easy task. It's taken quite a bit of work and $$$ to get my collection of promos where it is now. Actually, the challenge is half the fun! I got experienced in many years of collecting baseball cards, but lost interest because the players are all greedy bastards. Oops, ignore that last remark.

OK, so here are my Top 10 Pointers to keep in mind while collecting and a few good places to check out follow the list. If you want to contribute to either list, let me know.

  1. Have fun
    Don't collect stuff because "everyone else is doing it", collect because YOU want to.
  2. If you think it's too expensive, it is
    Set aside a realistic amount you are willing to spend. Don't jump at the first opportunity to buy something without shopping around first. You WILL regret it one day (I have).
  3. You have to try
    Promos and rarities WILL NOT come knocking at your front door if you put no effort into it. Posting your wants to a newsgroup may be an easy start, but you'll get more junk mail than offers, if any. Dealers and traders don't hang around newsgroups waiting for your post.
  4. Read the newsgroups carefully
    Ah, so posting to newsgroups is often useless, but reading them is not. Dealers/traders DO post forsale postings to newsgroups, more often than not without reading the newsgroup. Use any tool you've got to find these postings. Millions of articles posted to thosands of newsgroups daily. Deja all night, if you're desperate.
  5. AltaVista is your friend
    Yup, if you enter the right search terms, you may find stuff on a web page somewhere. Joe Blow next door may be selling his unwanted stuff.
  6. Be persistent
    Don't give up too easily... that's the worst thing to do.
  7. One man's trash...
    As unlikely as it may seem, rarities do turn up at used record stores and pawn shops.
  8. Laziness will get you a lump of coal
    Well, maybe not even. Ya gotta look everywhere! (But if you're bad, you will get a lump of coal for Christmas).
  9. Overspending is bad
    Nothing is worth starving for. If you have any doubts whether or not you can afford it, you are probably better off skipping it.
  10. Ask around!
    Your best resource may well be other collectors! But don't go around poking your nose everywhere. Personally, I keep my door open to questions and have helped find many an item, or pointed people in the right direction. Be warned though, not everyone is willing to help, so you may want to ask people you know first.
  11. Bonus tip!
    Well, not really. I've repeated these already:
    DON'T overspend. DON'T leave any rock unturned. DO have fun.
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Where to Start?

OK, for those of you who have read this far, here are my favourite places to look for IME promos (as well as non-IME stuff):

  • Subterranean Wonderland - The IME Collection
    That's right! A good place to start is a reference area where you can find release dates, catalogue numbers, pictures, etc. That way you can ask intelligent questions to dealers.
  • The Record Cellar
    This man has helped me find many a CD. And he's right in Ontario too. Quick, reliable, friendly service keeps me going back.
  • Vinyl Vendors
    Ah, yes. I have never failed to find something new here, IME-wise or not. Great selection of all your favourite bands at a reasonable cost. You shouldn't have any problems meeting the minimum $15 US order.
  • Global Electronic Music Marketplace
    GEMM doesn't actually sell anything themselves, but provides a central database which connects dealers coast to coast in the US and around the world. Good place to locate those hard to find imports.
  • Compact Disc Europe
    This American company specializes in European imports. Actually, nothing there except for European imports. Be warned though, they have items listed that may be out of stock or out of print. They cannot check for you before you pay for your order.
  • Deja
    Search the subjects, body, date of newsgroup postings! I have found several items this way.
  • AltaVista
    Is there anything that can't be found on the web? It's pretty limitless out there, and you could go on searching for days without any hints from a good search engine.
  • Yahoo!
    Yahoo has one of the better listings out there, with categories for almost anything under the sun.
Well, thats it for now. Good luck in your searching!

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