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How much are my albums worth?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
What are the average prices for beatles, rolling stones, and other popular (chicago) to somewhat obscure (iron butterfly) albums on vinyl nowadays? I know it varys from album to album but I have most good rock albums from the mod 60's to the 80's sitting around. Most of my records are not in perfect shape, but are somewhat worn.
post #2 of 10
With collectibles, condition is usually the main determining factor (along with the demand, scarcity, or rarity) of how much something might sell for... the condition of the disc itself, along with the cover will be important. I suggest you search eBay for the specific records you have and see what kinds of prices similar or identical items have been commanding. I know with some rare books I have, having one with a pristine dust jacket might be worth several thousand, whereas one that is worn might only be a few hundred.
post #3 of 10
Rarity and condition plus demand play a huge factor. You might want to do an eBay search for the titles you have.

When I sold off many of my old punk/hardcore albums from the early 80's, I made a pretty penny. About 30 of the albums and 7" singles went for over a few hundred each. I sold a rare Misfits record "Night Of the Living Dead" for $600. But that was because it was in mint condition and only about 500 copies were pressed.

Now if you are selling something in good/fair condition with a pressing of 1 over a million copies, you probably won't make more than a few bucks.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Do you guys think it would be worth making a list of all my albums and getting them checked by someone? If I did, what information should I list about them?
post #5 of 10
Condition of cover and vinyl, year of release, label, pressing number...someone else would be able to tell you more but I think these are the major things that matter to collectors.
post #6 of 10
The easiest way to determine fair value and sell them is to put them up at ebay with a dollar or two starting price. There are collectors cruising ebay for valuable records all the time. They'll find it and bid it up if it really is valuable. The most important thing is to photograph well, describe accurately, and be honest about the condition of the vinyl. If you try to foist off "good" condition records as "mint", you are going to get a ton of negative feedback, chargebacks and trouble.

You say you have records from the 60s to the 80s... Does that mean that you bought the early records in the 60s, or did you buy more recent issues of older titles in the 80s? That makes a BIG difference in value. Most 80s records aren't worth more than a buck or two apiece.

See ya
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by 1967cutlass
Do you guys think it would be worth making a list of all my albums and getting them checked by someone? If I did, what information should I list about them?
Value is relative. It really depends on what/whom you are determining value for. If it is for a serious collector, for resale at a used vinyl store, for selling on eBay or Audiogon, or just for you own peace of mind. If you seriously want to determine the value of your collection from a collector's perspective, there are four primary factors to consider:
  1. Condition: Probably the singlemost important factor in determining collector value. List the condition of both the vinyl and the cover.
  2. Title: Obviously there are some very rare titles that were out of print soon after the first pressing.
  3. Label: Some labels command higher prices than others.
  4. Catalog number: A direct relationship to pressing.
Making a list and taking that list to someone won't be very helpful. In order to determine value, the album typically needs to be seen in my opinion. One person's NM (near mint) might be another person's VG (very good). If you are serious about valuing your collection and don't mind spending some cash, you might want to pick up a Goldman's Record Guide. I have one and just started valuing my collection. It is a time consuming process, but keeps me off the streets.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Most of the reason I want to find the value of my collection is to see what I can sell. The thing is, I have in the neighborhood of 400 or more albums, not all of which I listen to or even want very much. I will keep the ones I want but if I can significantly profit from the ones I don't care about I'll be that much better off. Most of them are just sitting in boxes now, so... we'll see how it goes, I'll probably order that record guide to get an idea what I have.
post #9 of 10
Record guides are a complete waste of money. Ebay's prices realized search has rendered them obsolete and painfully inaccurate. Ebay IS the market for used records.

See ya
post #10 of 10
There's no universal grading method. Thus, terms such as "Excellent" or "Mint" can be highly misleading.

I've sold a lot of vinyl on Ebay and have 100% feedback. I've learned one invaluable secret: Describe your grading scale in every listing (easy to find them on ebay or other sites - I've attached mine below), then CONSERVATIVELY grade your own records accordingly. Show your own scale, don't use Goldmine or some other obscure (and variable) reference. That way, there can be no subjectivity as to what a grade means, as long as you are being honest (and if you are not honest, don't sell vinyl!).

Fact is, 90% of records are not valuable - except to listen to! One important point to remember - If you have a great condition copy of something that was often trashed (Dave Brubeck's Time Out for example - it was a great party album and most copies are splashed with beer stains and have had joints rolled on them, etc), it's likely to be valuable. Conversely, most (not all) classical is not valuable even in mint, since it was typically well-treated by its genteel owner. (The big exceptions to this are certain records from certain classical labels - Mercury Living Presence, RCA Living Stereo - that are in VG+ or better.)

Beyond that, look for Beatles, Hendrix, Zappa, and mono jazz from the late 1950s, and you will have covered most of the stuff you can sell. Having said this, there's nothing wrong with putting it out there - you may find a buyer.

Lastly, don't even try to sell something that is not in at least VG+ condition, conservatively graded, using my scale as a reference.

Note: I usually just describe the cover in detail - I don't use a scale for that.

Doc's Vinyl Grading Scale:

Vinyl graded using the following scale: 1. New (Factory Sealed); 2. NM (No scuffs or scratches, looks and sounds new); 3. VG+ (Visible imperfections that generally don't affect the sound quality, except for a few ticks, often at the beginning of each side); 4. VG (Possible light scratches, plays good but some pops and clicks); 5. VG- (noisier clicks and pops, most noticeable at intervals between songs), 6. G+ (plays through but considerable poppy noise, good for a backup copy); 6. H (hammered - noisy throughout and/or skips).
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