Orders over $150.
Orders over $150.
Do you ever wonder if it's worth selling your old LPs? Do you have a small fortune on your hands, or are you better off taking them out of their sleeves and enjoying the music every now and then? Find out how to determine the value of your vinyl records with the tips below.
Is a particular vinyl record in demand? And to what extent? That's what you need to find out if you want to know whether it's really worth selling that box of LPs. Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you immediately: Michael Jackson's LP "Thriller" is not the gold mine you had in mind. Yes, after 35 years it is still a very popular album, but that doesn't mean it has great value. Over the years, more than 50 million copies of 'Thriller' were sold, so it's not hard to find a copy. As a music lover, you definitely want to collect good albums by good artists, but these aren't necessarily the albums you should buy if you see it purely as an investment.
Classic rock and pop albums are the most perennially popular - you will see that a record by the Beatles sells much better than a record by James Last. Easy listening and light classical music is almost impossible to sell, as are children's songs, opera, ballroom dance and musicals. Classical music is also harder to sell, but with a few exceptions; most classical records are not worth much at all, but some composers/compositions can be in demand.
Although the artist and the specific album largely determine whether an LP is valuable, the pressing is also important. Purists often look for the first pressing from the country of origin, often the U.S. or Britain, and so build their collection with first editions of vinyl records. First pressings are particularly hard to find in the case of albums that have been issued many times - the most popular albums of all time have all been pressed hundreds of times over. Other albums to look for are limited and special editions. Members of The Beatles, for example, and their studio managers, received a special edition of "The White Album," with serial numbers A00000, A000001 and so on. These copies are sold today for thousands of dollars. Out-of-print albums are often sought after as well, such as the Beatles album 'Yesterday and Today' with the original 'butcher's cover'.
It is also a good idea to check the catalogue numbers on the vinyl record label and the sleeve: they must match. The matrix code in the run-out grooves at the edge of the label gives information about the exact version of the album; is it mono or stereo, where was it pressed, who mastered the disc and so on. Some versions are much more valuable than other similar versions.
Condition is extremely important in determining the value of the vinyl. To determine the condition of the record and sleeve, a grading system exists. From the worst condition to the best, the commonest gradings are: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Very Good+, Near Mint or Mint. If you find a vintage album you want to sell, you should check the condition first. Are there any major stains or scratches on the cover, or is the cover damaged in any other way? What about the record itself? Does it show any serious scuffs or scratches? When you play the record, can you primarily hear the music, or do you hear unwanted noise or crackling, as if you were sitting next to a fireplace? Is the record warped or defective in any way? Is the label damaged or off-centre? All of these factors determine the overall condition of the record.
In short, the value of an album is determined by these three factors: rarity, pressing and condition. For example, if you have the original album by The Velvet Underground & Nico in near mint condition, with the famous unpeeled banana on the cover, you can ask almost any price you want!
Is the record signed, was it a limited edition, does the record have a special sleeve, are any attachments present and intact, is it a misprint or a promo? Signed records, with a certificate of authenticity, will usually be more valuable so it’s worth getting these valued.
Determining the value of a record collection can involve a lot of work - that is why we invite you to bring your collection into our Melbourne or Brisbane store for appraisal. For larger collections, we are happy to come and visit you. We have decades of experience in valuing records and we will quickly and professionally provide you with a price.
We are open for walk-ins 7 days a week in both our Melbourne and Brisbane store. Please contact us if you have a large collection or are dealing with a large deceased estate.