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Any Suggestions On Where To Sell Vinyl Record Collection And Relative Value?

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I have about 200 or so vinyl albums, the remainder of a once larger collection. They have been sitting on a shelf for about 30 years, and it seems time for them to move on. The primary genre is rock, with some other things mixed in. All LP's themselves are in at least very good condition, no scratches or anything. A portion were only played once (recorded on reel to reel many years back) and are pristine. I've heard, over the years that these should have some increasing value, but I have no expertise in that area. Any suggestions of the best way to sell these off, and receive a fair return would be appreciated. Detroit does have some record stores that sell original vinyl, but I have no idea what might be a fair return. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

JC 

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On 7/17/2019 at 1:27 AM, TubeLover said:

I have about 200 or so vinyl albums, the remainder of a once larger collection. They have been sitting on a shelf for about 30 years, and it seems time for them to move on. The primary genre is rock, with some other things mixed in. All LP's themselves are in at least very good condition, no scratches or anything. A portion were only played once (recorded on reel to reel many years back) and are pristine. I've heard, over the years that these should have some increasing value, but I have no expertise in that area. Any suggestions of the best way to sell these off, and receive a fair return would be appreciated. Detroit does have some record stores that sell original vinyl, but I have no idea what might be a fair return. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

JC 

I've been selling off the rest of my collection, down to about 400 now.  The big issue with LPs, and it's a big one, is they're very expensive to ship.  I'm in Canada, and so will list on the Canuck Audio Mart (CAM) because I can ship by parcel or expedited post at a reasonable cost.  

 

When you look at doing business selling in other countries it gets out of hand.  For example, I bought an album from Germany for about $15.  The seller came back asking to cancel as the actual shipping was going to be more than the album.  I had no issue with that, I thought his shipping cost was too low.

 

I tend to put LPs together in a package.  In recent months I sold all the RCA Living Stereo (14 titles I think) as a package deal.  I did the same with the Arcade Fire, Radiohead and MOFI collections.  People like to pick up a collection, as long as they can afford it.  

 

I will look on Discogs to see what a comparable title is selling for, and the price my album sales accordingly.  All that, of course with the understanding that the asking price isn't necessarily the sale price.  

 

Albums in excellent condition will always go for a premium.  I take pictures of the actual album covers and make a point of mentioning that in my ads - these are not internet downloads of the jackets.  Then, before shipping, I always replace the inner sleeve with Mofi's and new plastic bags for the jacket.  Your buyer gets an album that looks great.

 

If you sell to a record store be prepared to accept 10 to 20 cents on the dollar.  They don't care about you, they're like pawn shops.  If they can give you 10 cents for a $500 dollar album they will.  If you have patience list them yourself on Discogs, or the US Audio Mart.  US Audio Mart is free, and has a wide audience in Canada and the US.  

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29 minutes ago, sandyk said:

Why not advertise them in our own Superphonica (in Sponsored Forums) so that A.S. members can see what's available, and you only pay a tiny 1% fee

Sandy, we need to talk.  How many people here own a turntable?  What do you suppose they might do with a Licorice Pizza?

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22 minutes ago, SJK said:

I’m not sure if you know what popsike is?  It’s an archive of album prices of LPs sold on eBay, not a retail site.  

 

 

 

Yes, another resource for determining prices of the exact releases he owns.

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I would try Encore Records in Ann Arbor.    They buy records, particularly ones in pristine condition.  They know what are collectable and should offer you decent prices.    I was there 15 years ago and picked up some wonderful pretty rare RCA Living Stereo classical records (like LSC-1806 for the cognoscenti!).   You can get a sense of the prices of rare records on Discogs, but unless you have a long standing reputation for grading conservatively, people will tend to assume your records are at least one level worse than you state, which means the prices offered are not going to be good.  If you have a real rarity (worth say a few hundred dollars) then there should be a demand, even if the record is not pristine. 

 

Good luck. 

 

Larry

 

 


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I have 50TB of digital files, 15K records and 1K R2R tapes.

 

Larry


Analog-VPICl3,3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeromono,Bottlehead and Herron VTPH2APhonoPres,2Ampex ATR-102s, Doshi3.0TapePrePro

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2

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Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-512Engineering-MarutaniSymmetrical Power,ArtKelmGroundOneIsoTrans,AudioDiskeSystemVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat

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5 minutes ago, astrotoy said:

I would try Encore Records in Ann Arbor.    They buy records, particularly ones in pristine condition.  They know what are collectable and should offer you decent prices.    I was there 15 years ago and picked up some wonderful pretty rare RCA Living Stereo classical records (like LSC-1806 for the cognoscenti!).   You can get a sense of the prices of rare records on Discogs, but unless you have a long standing reputation for grading conservatively, people will tend to assume your records are at least one level worse than you state, which means the prices offered are not going to be good.  If you have a real rarity (worth say a few hundred dollars) then there should be a demand, even if the record is not pristine. 

 

Good luck. 

 

Larry

 

Larry, thanks for the suggestion of Encore Records. I contacted a record store in Detroit, and one in Ferndale and it was clear they were, as SJK said above, willing to offer only pennies on the dollar. I'll check with the guys in Ann Arbor.

 

JC

5 minutes ago, astrotoy said:

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, TubeLover said:

Larry, thanks for the suggestion of Encore Records. I contacted a record store in Detroit, and one in Ferndale and it was clear they were, as SJK said above, willing to offer only pennies on the dollar. I'll check with the guys in Ann Arbor.

 

This is typical for any and all records that are not truly collectible - and very few records are truly collectible.  I've been given several small but enjoyable piles of jazz and classical vinyl by the adult children of deceased prior owners, because they tried unsuccessfully to sell them and finally just wanted to get them out of the house.  I've disgarded more than half because they were filthy, scratched, and/or warped beyond use - and I enjoy the rest knowing that my son will continue to do so (along with the 2000+ in my collection) when I'm gone.  Fortunately, mine are almost all in excellent shape, including the hundreds of 78s that passed to me from my family. So they're quite playable and enjoyable - but they're not worth much money with a few notable exceptions.

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I kept just a few LP's - mostly MFSL discs - after 20 or 30 years, I haven't even looked at them.  Only recall one w/o getting up and digging thru the cabinet - a Stones LP.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

I kept just a few LP's - mostly MFSL discs - after 20 or 30 years, I haven't even looked at them.  Only recall one w/o getting up and digging thru the cabinet - a Stones LP.

 

I had few LPs as well, Grateful Dead, Keith Jarrett... Lost it somewhere on the move.

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9 hours ago, bluesman said:

 

This is typical for any and all records that are not truly collectible - and very few records are truly collectible.  I've been given several small but enjoyable piles of jazz and classical vinyl by the adult children of deceased prior owners, because they tried unsuccessfully to sell them and finally just wanted to get them out of the house.  I've disgarded more than half because they were filthy, scratched, and/or warped beyond use - and I enjoy the rest knowing that my son will continue to do so (along with the 2000+ in my collection) when I'm gone.  Fortunately, mine are almost all in excellent shape, including the hundreds of 78s that passed to me from my family. So they're quite playable and enjoyable - but they're not worth much money with a few notable exceptions.

All of the albums in my collection are unwarped, clean, and unscratched. eith all of the covers in good to very good condition.  It is a very widely ranging collection, but also heavily focused on classic rock. Lots of Stones, all of the Who, almost all of the Beatles, all of Yes, all of ELP, virtually all of Jethro Tull, quite a bit of Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, CSN and CSNY, and on and on. I just wish I had a general idea of what albums such as those are worth. Otherwise, it's difficult to decide whether to even bother with trying to sell them. Given the effort needed, it may very well not even be worth the time I would expend. 

 

JC

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I'm not an expert in rock/pop collectibles (I know a lot about classical, however).  There are a few things that I do know that may give some insight into your collection.  First of all, condition (as you mention) is extremely important, often including the condition of the album covers.  Second, the pressing (including typically the location of the pressing) is very important. 

 

For example, the Beatles original UK pressings (gold on black Parlophone label) from the early to mid-60's, are much more valuable than US pressings or later UK pressings (white on black Parlophone labels). Other peculiarities, like having a top loader "White album" where the records go into the album from the top, not the side - early UK Parlophone, are much more valuable.  So are mono pressings over the early stereo.  Finally, ultimately rare items like the Butcher cover for the "Yesterday and Today" album, including peeled covers (where the original Butcher cover was covered over by the later album cover and then peeled off, can be tremendously valuable.  This applies only to original covers, not reissues.

 

As an example, I just looked on Discogs.com at the Beatles for Sale album from 1964, original mono release in the UK.  The range in price is from a few dollars to several hundred dollars (highest is around $500US.) Conditions range from poor to near mint. Some have covers, some don't. 

 

I'm sure there are arcane issues with some of the other artists you have.  

 

Larry


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1 hour ago, TubeLover said:

I just wish I had a general idea of what albums such as those are worth. Otherwise, it's difficult to decide whether to even bother with trying to sell them. Given the effort needed, it may very well not even be worth the time I would expend. 

 

 Probably not worth the trouble of trying to sell individual LPs unless you are sure the price you receive will more than make up for all the stuffing around with P &P , trips to the P.O. etc.


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you might as well give up your career as a tester. The difference between a reconstituted FLAC and full size WAV is much less than that, but it does exist. - Cookie Marenco"

 

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4 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 

 Probably not worth the trouble of trying to sell individual LPs unless you are sure the price you receive will more than make up for all the stuffing around with P &P , trips to the P.O. etc.

Agreed. I want to sell off the collection as a whole, otherwise, it's unfortunately not remotely worth it.

 

JC

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6 hours ago, TubeLover said:

Agreed. I want to sell off the collection as a whole, otherwise, it's unfortunately not remotely worth it.

 

JC

I ended up with around 1,800 LPs.  Most were the result of a lifelong collection started in the late 70’s.  About 300 were sealed collections such as Foo Fighters, Beck, Green Day and Pearl Jam. When some of the groups started with reissues I sold those by complete collection as a lot and did well with them.

 

With the rest of the LPs the idea was to record them to digital format and then get rid of them as part of a downsizing campaign before retiring.  To those who say “But Stephen, if you don’t have the LP, you can’t keep the recording” I say “Thank you for your comment”.

 

I sold the bulk of them a couple of years ago as a carefully curated Classic Rock collection of 1,200 LPs to a local dealer for a total of $5 each.  The only stipulation was he had to buy all of them - no cherry picking.  While the early Captain Beyond and Hawkwind may be worth something, not many people are looking for Barclay James Harvest or Head East.

 

He wasn’t interested in the Classical or Jazz, and that was fine by me.  The MOFI’s interested him greatly, but I made it clear they were not for sale.

 

I kept some record collections for old times sake, but have now sold those too - played once collections of Arcade Fire, Radiohead and Thom Yorke.  

 

My Dad’s Jazz 10” 33 LPs I eventually threw away.  While the scratch, click and pop filters in the digital domain made them very enjoyable, you really couldn’t play the LPs, and they really weren’t worth much on the open market.

 

All that over the past few years brings it down to about 400 titles.

 

I sell the Classical as a lot once recording is complete.  I did well with the RCA Living Stereo titles,  but nobody wanted the RCA mono titles.

 

All of the FFSS titles have been recorded, I’m now starting on the older FFRR.  Some of these recordings are absolutely wonderful, it’s easy to see why some have a high value.  These may have to go to market one at a time, lot price may not work.

 

That leaves the audiophile Classic titles on boutique labels such as Crystal Clear, Chesky, Sheffield Labs, etc.  There doesn’t seem to be a market for them, they may end up donated to the library.

 

Once all that is gone the only thing left will be a complete Neil Young discography of something like 72 titles and growing.  The Neil Young Archive Performance Series (NYAPS) remain sealed and all are wanted as they were pressed in limited quantities. All other titles are opened and recorded as well.

 

The goal was that by retirement in a few years I walk away with a much better than average stereo and all my music held in my hand with a (likely) 4 TB drive.  And yes, there are three other backup drives and a NAS all at different locations.

 

I don’t know if I’ll ever get rid of the turntable, there’s always the chance of coming across something that wants to be added to the collection.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SJK said:

The only stipulation was he had to buy all of them - no cherry picking

Yep, that's the way to do it.

Typically up to 90% of a collection's monetary value is contained in 10% or less of the records.

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Good points.  An experienced collector can spend 5 minutes going through a collection and ask the key question - "has anyone looked through this collection before?"  If the answer is "a very nice man looked through them, he only took a few records" then all the value of the collection is gone.

 

Larry


Analog-VPICl3,3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeromono,Bottlehead and Herron VTPH2APhonoPres,2Ampex ATR-102s, Doshi3.0TapePrePro

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16 hours ago, TubeLover said:

All of the albums in my collection are unwarped, clean, and unscratched. eith all of the covers in good to very good condition.  It is a very widely ranging collection, but also heavily focused on classic rock. Lots of Stones, all of the Who, almost all of the Beatles, all of Yes, all of ELP, virtually all of Jethro Tull, quite a bit of Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, CSN and CSNY, and on and on. I just wish I had a general idea of what albums such as those are worth. Otherwise, it's difficult to decide whether to even bother with trying to sell them. Given the effort needed, it may very well not even be worth the time I would expend. 

 

JC

 

didn't you buy an R8?

 

if so, then it is almost certainly not worth your time to sell them off

 

instead, give them away to a worthy young person

 

I know of one guy with a mint 1972 911 who always swore he'd be buried in it (he now has a new Mustang Bullitt) - he wanted to keep it away form a certain crowd of concoursmobileiphiles, and was able to achieve his dream.  He somehow found a young guy from Turkey and sold it to him far, far below its market value (more than any new R8).  He is happy and so is the young guy.  The car is now being driven on Turkish (and maybe even greek) roads and enjoyed.  They send him pictures of the car and its exploits.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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3 hours ago, astrotoy said:

Good points.  An experienced collector can spend 5 minutes going through a collection and ask the key question - "has anyone looked through this collection before?"  If the answer is "a very nice man looked through them, he only took a few records" then all the value of the collection is gone.

 

Larry

This advice is "on-the-money". For my sins, I spent most of the 1990's as a record dealer with a market stall three days a week, and one or two record fairs at the weekend.

 

If the answer to "has anyone looked through this collection before?"  was Yes I usually walked at that point. If I was the first to look at a collection I would make what I considered a generous instant cash offer for everything, after cautioning would-be sellers that the vast majority of LP's are essentially worthless except to the person who is destined to own them next.

 

SJK's advice above would have got my attention for sure, but IMHO 200 LP's is too few to attract any experienced record dealers.

 

If I were in the position of the OP I would list them on Discogs first


 
" The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance--it is the illusion of knowledge." Daniel.J.Boorstin
 

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I'm skeptical that the average person's 200-LP remnant of a 30+ year old vintage rock collection is going to include more than a handful of moderately valuable and highly desirable records. You really have to have done a lot of serious homework to know the right combination of title, pressing, and condition for any given LP that will command a price that makes the effort of selling worthwhile.

 

A used vinyl store that buys records and has a good reputation, followed by a yard sale, followed by a visit to donate at Goodwill or another charitable thrift would be the way to go IMO unless there's something uniquely weird, collectible, first-pressing original, or stone mint rare classic lurking in that collection. Or I'd find a vinyl-mad kid and gift the whole collection.

 

Personally I have about 600 records and I love every single one and will never sell. A handful of classical and jazz LPs (MFSL etc.) may be worth something, and I've probably got perhaps 40 rock and pop records that might sell for a collectible premium price (like Springsteen's The Rising). Even thought the rest are mostly in great to mint shape, RCM cleaned and stored in audiophile sleeves, I know they're worth peanuts if I'm looking for cash. 

 

Once in a blue moon I'll do a modest purge to get rid of duplicates or stuff I've decided I don't need on vinyl, and by far the most remunerative way to go IMO is to sell for store credit at a good used store. You tend to get way more $$ than you would if you're asking for cash. But that's not going to help you if you're cashing out of vinyl altogether.

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