Q3 2020 VMP Community Update

On September 5th 2020 » By Vinyl Me, Please Staff

When we started VMP nearly eight years ago, we had one idea in mind: build a place that could bring people together through music. A place that could have an impact by telling stories, by facilitating human connection, and by expanding perspectives. How did we intend on doing this? Through the exploration of the best music history has to offer.

For nearly eight years, this has been the motivating force behind VMP. The goal of this is not just to help you build a bigger record collection, but to facilitate journeys through music that leave a lasting impression. There’s a lot that goes into bringing this to life — from the curation, to production, to storytelling, and every detail in between — and the work is never truly done.

As we continue on this journey, we are excited to share another round of member updates that include details on shipping & fulfillment timelines, a tip on our upcoming Essentials ROTMs, and new features available for members. Plus, you’ll get to know Alex, our Head of A&R, in our employee spotlight.

Lastly, we’ve received a lot of feedback over the last few months about shipping timelines, customer service reply times, and other things that affect your experience as a member. I want you to know that we’re listening to all of it. We see how these issues take away from the joys of being a member of VMP and we’re working on fixing them. We have a lot of work to do, and many exciting plans that we’ll share in the future member updates.

Until then, we thank you once again for being on this journey with us. We are excited to continue exploring music together.

Keep spinnin’,

Matt Fiedler CEO, Co-Founder Vinyl Me, Please

Shipping & Fulfillment, Customer Service Updates

We recently found a bug that affected the order bundling process, resulting in some people receiving multiple shipments over the course of a month (vs. orders being bundled into single shipments). This has understandably created confusion, especially when there are multiple unfulfilled orders from the store. This contributed to an increase in customer service questions, leading to longer reply times.

The good news is we’ve identified the bug, and our team is working on fixing it. We’ve also added agents to our customer service team to work through our ticket backlog as quickly as possible. We recognize the frustration these issues may have caused, and we apologize for any inconveniences.

Starting in September, you should expect to see an improvement across the board. We ask for continued patience as we continue to refine this process as some people may still receive multiple shipments in a single month. We recognize our shipping processes can be improved, and we’re working hard to streamline it as much as possible. Regardless, rest assured, we want to get you your records as quickly, and as efficiently as possible, and we are continually finding ways to fine-tune this part of the experience.

Lastly, like many companies, we’re also experiencing delays in our supply chain and fulfillment due to complications from COVID-19. Pressing plants have either experienced closures, and are/were working on reduced staff, which has resulted in delayed deliveries to our warehouse. Additionally, to allow for proper social distancing, our warehouse team has been reduced, resulting in slower-than-normal fulfillment timelines. Transit times have also increased for all carriers, including DHL and the USPS, which has increased the length of time something may be in transit.

We apologize for any inconveniences related to these issues. Our team is working through everything as quickly and as efficiently as we can and we appreciate your continued patience.

A Look Ahead at Oct, Nov, Dec Essentials ROTMs

Our October Essentials ROTM features someone who was romantically linked to our November Essentials ROTM artist, who was compared often on their first album to our December Essentials ROTM artist.

Can you guess the line up? @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with your guesses.

Member Pricing on ALL New VMP Store Exclusives

Active VMP members will now always receive the best price on our new store titles (and past in-stock ROTMs). So, load up that box resting easy that you’re getting the best possible value on our top-quality pressings.

Swap for credit!

Swapping for credit offers added flexibility to ensure you get something you love every month. Simply ‘Swap for Credit’ and you’ll get credits equal to one month of your term cost (which varies depending on your membership type) automatically added to your account. You can put these dollars towards a future store purchase. Learn more here.

Direct Ship

Shipping (especially in the world of 2020) has its challenges, but we are always working on ways to improve this for our members. As we continue on this quest, you may have noticed we introduced a Direct Ship option. This allows you to break up your order into individual shipments to receive them as they become shippable. You can still always choose to bundle them at no extra charge — just know that any pre-order items will determine when your order ships out. Pro tip: Buying a pre-order product as an individual purchase can help ensure other shippable purchases do not get held up.

Oldies, But Goodies

Thanks to many of you smashing that ‘waitlist’ button, we’ve been repressing some of our fan-favorite and most requested ROTMs from VMP past, like MF DOOM’s MM..FOOD. And be on the lookout for more! These will always be offered to our active members first (whether through Swaps or as Members-Only store drops).

Free Stickers For All ~ Designed By You

We recently launched an ongoing sticker design contest and seriously, you are one talented group of humans. Congrats to VMP Member, Kodi Sershon — our inaugural winner. Be on the lookout for this first one to drop in your boxes this Fall and keep those submissions coming! Winners are featured on the sticker back, receiving $100 store credit and 200 stickers. For full contest rules and to enter, go here.

Meet A VMP Staffer

Alex Berenson is VMP’s Head of A&R. At the helm of your musical journey with VMP, Alex oversees curation for all three of our ROTM tracks, as well as VMP Rising, and many (if not all) of the Store Exclusives.

What does your day-to-day life at VMP look like?

I oversee all aspects of A&R and curation at VMP - which basically means that myself, along with a few other members of the team, are picking every release across all of our subscriptions and in our store. In order to do this, I spend 2-4 hours a day researching and listening to new music submissions, while the rest of my time is served connecting with musicians, managers, artists, and labels to find new projects. A big focus of mine is building out our future schedule and I also help members of the team when there is a curational aspect to an initiative we are running.

What’s your all-time favorite VMP release?

This is a difficult question as it’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! One that has a very special place in my heart is our Blossom Dearie pressing. A good friend and former co-worker turned me on to her self titled album before I came to VMP, and when we had the opportunity to run it in Classics I had absolutely no idea how many people would connect with that record. It’s crazy to see how quickly it flies off the shelves every time we are able to re-press that title.

Who’s been your favorite artist to work with?

I can’t pick just one, as we’ve worked with hundreds of amazing artists during my tenure at VMP. I will however give a LARGE shout out to all of our Rising artists who are, more often than not, completely involved in every aspect of the release and are extremely fun to work with.

What are the last 10 songs played in your Spotify history?

Jessie Ware - What’s Your Pleasure

St. Panther - Highway

Samia - Winnebago

Perfume Genius - Jason

Oklou - Unearth Me

A.O. Gerber - In The Morning

All Things Blue - White Lady Dogs

Pleasurehead - Gaygirl

Baby No More - Anjimile

SHALLOW - Saya Gray

What do you do when you’re not listening to music?

Right now it’s a mix of: cooking, reading, watching (probably too much) television [s/o to anyone who’s seen ZeroZeroZero] and playing Fall Guys.

Favorite record to…

Put on at the end of a party…

Recently I have been putting on our VMP Rising pressing of Junior Mesa’s Peace EP.

Gift a friend for their birthday…

Generally if I gift a record to someone I try to make it personal, so the last album I gifted was an Armenian Pop compilation that I found at Rough Trade to my (also Armenian) cousin - which was the first Armenian record I was able to find in a shop since I started looking years ago.

Listen to on a Saturday morning…

Jessica Pratt -*On Your Own Love Again *

See performed live…

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life [I was lucky enough to see him on this tour and it’s probably the longest amount of time I’ve spent simultaneously crying and dancing]

*Listen to on repeat… *

Currently? Jessie Ware - What’s Your Pleasure? [though admittedly I don’t have it on vinyl yet!]

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