Many people are discovering that they have small collections of records tucked away in closets for years. When these are discovered people will think they have something highly collectible, and therefore, valuable. But what makes a record valuable?
As with most collectibles, just because it is old doesn’t make it valuable. Records can be looked up in value guides, but that isn’t always the best way to determine a record value. Often a record value book will list the value in dollars, but these prices can change quickly. The value they list is often just a guide, rather than the actual money you can receive from selling the record.
The two key factors in the value is the condition, and the demand. If you have an LP that has some wear or marks, there will nearly always be someone else who has the it in a better condition. The collector will want the vinyl and cover in the best condition. The demand for music can change based on outside events, such as the artist’s death, going from being an unknown artist to a popular artist, or other news events involving the artist.
The hard part for most people who have a valuable album is trying to find someone to buy the album. Many record collectors will only buy from an experienced record collector. If you are an inexperienced seller, you will have a hard time finding a buyer.
eBay is usually the best place to try and sell the music you have. You can also look up your record’s value on eBay, to see what others are selling the item for, how many people are wanting to buy the music, and how your vinyl condition compares to other sellers.
As an inexperienced seller you may not know if the exact record you have is the one that is valuable. Value books may not always state the different issues of the record, and some will be more valuable than others. Different pressings of the records will usually have different qualities, such as the record label color or the record artwork. If you are a new seller of records, be ready to answer questions from buyers, and have multiple photographs of the record available.
A good rule of thumb is that a record in the value book is double the price of what you will actually get for the record. A $100 LP, may only get $50 at most.
Bill Russell runs a record collecting website called We Got Records in Florida.
Vinyl Record Website
Experienced in determining a records value and condition.