Rock and metal fans missing that long lost gem have unearthed countless classics by leafing through the small print of their local rag.
And if the seller doesn’t quite realise the true value of that numbered special edition etched picture disc with postcards and a patch then all the better.
I look at the said ads at least twice a week in the hope of discovering the final piece of my metal jigsaw. But one, in particular, caught my eye on Wednesday.
LP’s (why the apostrophe? Ed) – 60+ various titles, no rock, £15. Tel 07966 914399.
Ok, so apart from the unforgivable use of the apostrophe and the exceptionally cheap price what’s the problem with the above?
The fact that the seller feels the need to emphasise the fact that there is ‘ no rock’ is wrong on several counts.
For starters there is the frankly ludicrous implication that to include rock in the sale would devalue the purchase as a whole.
Confirming there is no rock within the 60-strong collection reveals the seller to be devoid of any taste, personality or moral fibre.
And suddenly the £15 price tag appears incredibly over-inflated for a box of vinyl without any Aerosmith, AC/DC, Motley Crue or Metallica.
In fact I have rarely come across a more ill-judged classified ad in more than 20 years scouring the regional press for star buys and forgotten favourites.
In the space of two words the largest population of vintage vinyl buyers in the world suddenly turns away. No rock, no chance. Not even the enquiry that might spark a surprise sale. Nothing.
So why refer to the fact that there’s no rock?
Surely there’s a significant chance that there’s no rap, hip-hop, jazz, swing, Dutch hardcore disco or Scandinavian death metal.
Yet rock is what this buyer clearly fears will jeopardise his or her sale more than any genre you’d care to mention. Why?
Perhaps there is a genuine fear of long-haired UFO fans breathing heavily at the other end of an open phone line.
Or maybe the seller just can’t bear to field cold calls from a Def Leppard-loving dweeb with dyed hair and a dodgy beard.
Conceivably this might be a collection lovingly compiled by Cliff Richard’s biggest fan and the very prospect of exchanging pleasantries with an Alice Cooper groupie fills the owner with dread.
Or perhaps this is simply a means of whipping the rock fraternity into a frenzy of indignation at the very inference that rock might ruin a swift sale.