What are my vinyl records worth? These days that’s a common question as record albums are making a comeback among casual music fans and hardcore collectors.
Establishing vinyl records value can be challenging and requires a fair amount of research; however, some websites can offer assistance.
There is a lot to consider when trying to determine if a vinyl record will bring monetary reward from a collector or not. First, consider that many factors need appropriation, and it’s pretty rare for a record to be valuable based on one factor alone.
Who is the Artist?
Some artists have a long time following, while others are popular only while actively recording. As a result, their vinyl records remain valuable and highly sought after even after their deaths or stopped recording.
Other artists may have had vinyl records with high values only when recording, with prices in the collector market dropping after they finished their careers or passed away.
The rarity of the Record
Even best-selling records can get rare as time goes
Albums that sold millions of copies when they were first released may not have excellent original copies of those records, as many have been thrown away or damaged through heavy play or abuse. Which could make finding a decent copy valuable.
Condition of the Record
The condition of the vinyl record is critical when assessing the value. Go crate-digging, and you will see the state of some of the vinyl records, many of which are rare to find. The cause of poor condition of vinyl records may be down to poor handling, playing on inadequate equipment, or poor storage.
Jukeboxes, popular in the 1960s and 1970s, were phonographs that could play several vinyl records in sequence and were particularly prone to getting scratches and abrasions on the record’s playing surface. In addition, some owners have written on the record covers and labels, which will devalue the vinyl record. I have a few like that in my collection; I don’t mind the imperfections as that means authenticity to me, but the better the condition, the higher the value.
Most vinyl: record collectors are interested in buying records in the best possible condition. They would like to own copies of their vinyl records in the same state as the originals.
Condition matters a lot when it comes to a vinyl record’s value, damaged copies of a record usually sell for modest sums of money except in the cases of rare items to be unique.
In the case of common to moderately rare records, anything copy that isn’t in something close to the new condition may have little to no value.
While some collectors are willing to accept until they find a better copy, most buyers prefer to buy only once. After that, they will hold out for the best possible copy they can find.
What does all of this mean? First, if you’re someone who has a box of “old records” and you want to know about those vinyl records’ value, you’ll likely discover that they’re standard titles in average to poor condition, and they’re likely to be not worth very much money.
Before the internet, the easiest way to find out about vinyl records’ value was to consult a price guide.
While vinyl record guides have served collectors and sellers well, the books can be bulky and expensive. However, the use books tend to become outdated quickly.
Still published today, record price guides are still helpful tools. Many sites monitor the sales of vinyl records on the eBay auction site and archive them, making it possible to see what a particular vinyl record might have sold for yesterday, last month, or even several years ago.
The marketplace on eBay is somewhat of a buyer’s market as there are millions of records for sale, which means that the prices of most records sold on the site are lower than they might be in a record store or a private transaction between two collectors.
Vinyl records value is assisted by the millions of record sales each year and can also show trends over the past decade. This makes it easy to research if a specific vinyl record sales go down as interest sometimes wanes.
While several different sites track and archive record sales on eBay, such as Popsike.com. Discog is excellent and recommends the following process to determine the value of your record,
- Start by looking for a Catalogue Number on your record
- Next, search for a barcode number.
- You will need to find the information on Discogs
- Type the catalog Number, barcode number, or other details into the search bar
- The record has a barcode on the Discogs app
- You will then see the lowest, median, and highest prices that the release has been sold for on Discogs
- “By clicking on the Last Sold date, you can view the complete sales data, including the average vinyl price and a chart to track trends over time
Condition is a significant factor in the actual value of your record, and Discogs uses the Goldmine Grading Guide (“CD Price Guide: Discover the Value of Your CDs | Discogs”)
Goldmine Grading Guide is a universally accepted guideline for representing the condition of physical music. It is a widely used guide for buying and selling vinyl albums; many eBay auctions and stand-alone Websites use it. The levels range from Mint (perfect) down to Poor/Fair (severely damaged).
I have heard people say, “I have some records. What are they worth?”
As you can see, it is not that easy to establish with vinyl records. However, the value of vinyl records can be determined by several factors, including condition, rarity, the artist, and many other things.
The quickest way to find out the value is to check with Discogs or Popsike for a glance at recent sales. These prices reflect retail sales and not the amount of money you’d receive if you’re selling to a store or a reseller.
The highest prices are paid for copies of vinyl records in near-mint condition.
Vinyl record collecting is a unique and fascinating hobby, and the many factors that can go into determining vinyl records value are among the items that keep the pursuit unique and exciting to collectors
4 thoughts on “What Are My Vinyl Records Worth?”
Our home has a room full of our music collections — I collected CDs over the years and my partner collected vinyl albums. We’ve both done a good job keeping them organized and protected, but I love how my partner has the vinyl collection all entered into discogs. It’s always easy to look up what is already in the collection plus get an idea of the value of each record.
We haven’t tried to sell anything from the collection, but have you found the actual sales prices to be pretty much in line with the sales estimates?
thanks for responding! Yes I would agree that prices are pretty much in line. I would also suggest checking out Ebay for comparisons.
This is great information. I have a few vinyl records that I have collect over the years.. both 33s and 45s. I am going to do a bit more research because of your article. I have quite a few very old 78 that my father collected over the years. He loved jazz so most are of some of the big bands. I have not looked at them for years, but you have gotten me enthusiastic about them once again.
Thank you for your comment! I am pleased my article stirred your interest once again !