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RIP Columbia House
Old 08-11-2015, 08:54 AM   #1
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RIP Columbia House

Columbia House files for bankruptcy - Aug. 10, 2015

Filed for bankruptcy, I emember in the 60s & 70s in the college dorm, we would order vinyl and make multiple recordings to our reel to reel tape machines, remember those?

Life & technology moves on.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:13 AM   #2
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Ordered lots of vinyl from them in the 60s and 70s, then used them to start a CD collection in the 80s.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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It's amazing they survived this long. I remember the deals where you got 6 albums for $1 in return for agreeing to buy X more at regular (inflated) prices over the next year. I wonder how many people just took the freebies and never bought another one.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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I have most of my CDs from them.... I would do the specials they had... buy a couple more for $1 and then buy the few extras and cancel... rinse and repeat... the avg cost was still less than the local music store...


Yes, a dying form of music distribution.... kinda like the VHS...
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:02 AM   #5
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Wow, I thought they had gone long ago. I lived in the town they operated in. When zip codes came in they got their own, which I somehow thought was so cool. By all accounts they really sucked as employers, lots of long and enforced shifts and overtime. A few high profile (local) traffic accidents and so forth from exhausted employees heading home.

Never actually was a member as I am too cheap to buy music when it is free on the radio.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:31 AM   #6
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Houston billionaire made his initial fortune by buying up their bad debt and pursuing all those deadbeat college kids for their pennies... he made a mint off what the company deemed as 'not worth the time to pursue'...
I remember being barely able to pay what I owed for records and the book club....
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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My first CDs came from Columbia House.

Citizen Steely Dan - Box Set. That was a bargain.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:02 AM   #8
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Weren't these the guys who had the record club where, if you played it right you could pay $50 over time and eventually end up with something like 300 albums, cancel your membership and re-sign for another 'bonus' offer of another 20 albums for $20?
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
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They were also the folks that shipped stuff automatically if you didn't return their card telling them not to. Most people didn't realize that they were under no obligation to pay in that situation if they just refused delivery and had the Post Office "return to sender".

My mother did that for about 6 months until they finally gave up and stopped sending stuff.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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Started college in 1968 and signed up. Got 12 albums for $1, then you had to buy one each month for the next 12 months. Hard to believe, but I'd be deep into studying and forget to send the card in for my selection, and they'd send me whatever they wanted. They sent me this album called "Derek and the Dominoes", and I really liked it. As mentioned before, I called it 'slow rock', cause I was a redneck and didn't know anything about the blues. Think they also sent me an album by this guy 'Bob Dylan', and a few others that were big rock stars. So in a way I owe them a debt of graditude for shaping my music tastes.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:39 PM   #11
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They just keep sending me Frankie Lane LPs monthly. Will it now stop?
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:43 PM   #12
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Weren't these the guys who had the record club where, if you played it right you could pay $50 over time and eventually end up with something like 300 albums, cancel your membership and re-sign for another 'bonus' offer of another 20 albums for $20?
I don't know about 300 for $50, but I signed up in the 1990's not too long after CD's became ubiquitous (I was probably 12 or 13 at the time).

I remember the 20 albums for $1 or whatever, and you had to promise to buy another one for $16.99 or whatever full price was. But they would throw in a couple of free ones when you buy that full price one. So maybe 23 albums for $18? I think I did variations of that deal a couple of times.

Then threw away virtually all of my CDs probably 5 years ago. I figure I can "find" those old albums I want to listen to on the internet and I'm ethically allowed to pirate it if necessary since I once owned it. Not that I'm into heavy metal or the Grateful Dead these days...
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:23 PM   #13
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Wow, I thought they had gone long ago. I lived in the town they operated in. When zip codes came in they got their own, which I somehow thought was so cool. By all accounts they really sucked as employers, lots of long and enforced shifts and overtime. A few high profile (local) traffic accidents and so forth from exhausted employees heading home.

Never actually was a member as I am too cheap to buy music when it is free on the radio.
North Fruitridge Avenue
Terre Haute, Indiana

They were a pretty bad employer. One time I repossessed the car of one of their workers on second shift. She hit the parking lot at 11:00 p.m. with her buddies and the car was gone. Oh, she was so embarrassed. The next day, she called and said she was going to kill me. Hard to believe that was 42 years ago. I'm still alive, however.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:38 AM   #14
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I lived in the town they operated in...
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:21 AM   #15
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They were very difficult to deal with. Rarely got what I ordered but got some "substitute" which was difficult to return. After my second try with them, I never tried them a again. Surprised they lasted this long.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:00 PM   #16
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It was referred to as "negative option" in the biz.

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Old 08-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #17
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I must confess. Back in the late 80s, my first job out of college was at an advertising agency that counted Columbia House as one of it's largest clients. Back in the day as consumers were transitioning from vinyl to CD business was "a boomin."

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