Agrace record sale

A line of people waited outside the Agrace Thrift Store, 118 Junction Road, on March 31 for the start of a record album sale. The non-profit received a donation of 21,000 vinyl albums from a Platteville man. As of Friday, the collection has generated more than $12,000 in sales. The remainder of the collection is now on sale at 10 albums for $1. 

A truckload of donated vinyl record albums has turned into drawers of cash for a Madison area nonprofit.

Agrace Hospice reported Friday that two of its Madison thrift stores have combined to sell more than $12,000 worth of record albums and the remaining stock of about 6,000 albums are now on sale at 10 for $1.

The sale of 21,000 albums began March 31 at Agrace Hospice Thrift Stores at 118 Junction Road on the Far West Side and on the East Side at 2402 East Springs Drive. About 40 to 50 people were in line at each store when they opened, with the west store selling 4,400 albums and the east store 3,608 albums on the first day. By the end of the weekend, total sales were over $11,000, which is equal to about one week of business for a typical Agrace Thrift Store, said Judy Purcell, retail manager for the nonprofit.

“Obviously it was a great donation from the very beginning, but I don’t know if I really had my head wrapped around about how quickly word would spread and that it became what it was,” Purcell said. “It was a new enlightenment for me how much music and albums are such a big deal for that audience.”

The albums were donated by retired businessman Jerry Roh, 72, of Platteville. Roh collected albums for years and thought about buying and selling albums for extra cash but tired of it a few years ago. He donated his collection last month to Agrace. After word spread about the sale, other customers began donating albums, including Harley’s House of Pianos in Madison, which donated 1,200 mostly classical music albums to the sale.

The largest single sale was to two women who bought 239 albums, while two men drove from Minnesota to scour the collection. Purcell said that many customers also shopped both stores.

The sale is expected to continue through Sunday, but Purcell is hoping to sell what is left to a single buyer.“We don’t have the room,” Purcell said. “We’re not a record store, but we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of the donation.”

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Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.