The following are some tips for new traders, based on my own experiences, to
help you all get the most out of the tape trading hobby. If you are new to tape trading I suggest reading the FAQ prior to reading this page.
Tip 1: How to get a tape of a show you attended
Provided the show exists and you found someone that has it. Just ask someone. If you are really polite, and nice in your request, there are a few traders and fans who will understand why you want a copy of the show, and if they have time, they may be willing to tape it for you. If they agree you will be asked to send a blank tape to them, and pay for return postage. I got started into trading this way. Someone was nice enough to make a copy of the Toronto 97 show for me. However this type of deal is a one time thing. If you decide after, that you want more and want to start collecting... read on.
Tip 2: How to get a collection started
OK so now you've decided you think tape trading is cool, and you want to start a collection, but you have NOTHING to trade. The best thing to do is look for someone willing to do a 2:1 trade with you. A 2:1 trade isn't terribly expensive, and it allows you to pick out exactly what tape you want. But keep in mind not all traders will do a 2:1 trade, so keep looking around for someone that does. The alternative to 2:1 trades is buying a tape or CD from someone, but this is about 2 to 4 times more expensive than a 2:1 tape trade.
Tip 3: How to build a collection
Building your collection isn't as easy as going out and saying "I want this, and that". You need to have tapes to offer that the other person wants. When you have a small collection, it can be difficult to find someone who wants the tapes you have. So here's what I suggest. When making a new trade, keep in mind what tapes are in demand. Look at a few different traders lists and see what they have and don't have, then try to trade for those. There are alot of traders out there, and they have a variety of different shows. If you really want to build your collection, don't just get the tapes you want, get the tapes other people want. When I started trading I had two tapes, and I knew only 4 traders. When made my first trade, I picked a tape that none of the other 3 had. In that, I was able the trade that new tape, with the three others. When I picked tapes from them, I again picked tapes the others didn't have. So 1, grew to 4, then 3 new tapes from that made way for 9 more, and so on. Keep in mind, if everyone just went for the best ten tapes, then everyone would have the same tapes. Then who could trade?
Another good idea is to build a relationship with a few traders. I have a few
traders that I have traded regularly with over the years. When I find a tape I
know they don't have, I'll let them know, and vice versa. When we look for
future trades, we keep in mind what each other has, or are getting. In this way
we have built our collections up together. It made collecting easier, more fun, and best of all made I made a good friend in the process.
Tip 4: Have Fun
Always remember, this is and should be a fun hobby. If it stops being fun... stop, take a break. Most people I have traded with know that there are times that I take breaks. Mostly its just for a few weeks, but sometimes a month and mostly recently a half a year. If you find yourself constantly at your stereo making tapes, or at the computer making CD's, take a break. It's also very difficult to keep track of your trades if you do too much at once. I tend to trade in batches. I'll make 3 or 4 trades at a time, and won't make another trade until those trades are complete (I have my tapes and they have theirs)
I'll be adding more as I think about it, but if there is a topic you'd like advice on, let me know and I'll add it. And as always, I'm glad to answer any questions via email.
You can contact me at