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by • April 6, 2014 • Adventures in AnalogComments (0)2164

What’s Your Record Worth?

Tough question. Spend enough time with records, you pick up the know-how for pricing. That doesn’t mean you won’t find people who will haggle with you or disagree. Remember that records are collectables, and their value fluctuates in relation to supply and demand.

But it’s listed for $3,000 on eBay right now.

Sure, it’s “listed”, but has it sold recently for that price? Usually not. eBay sellers can ask whatever they’d like for an item, but that price is not an indicator of actual market value. To estimate a records value, only look at sold listings. Make sure that the record sold matches the record you have exactly – pressing, release year, condition etc. The smallest variations can change estimated worth dramatically. Online prices are usually higher then in-store values, so when trading records into stores, don’t expect to get the price you see on eBay. Record stores are business and they need a margin for profit on every purchase or trade.

Refine your eBay search results to show only completed listings.

Refine your eBay search results to show only completed listings. This feature is available on mobile devices as well.

This ones autographed by the band/musician.

Autographs can add significant value to any item, not just records. Authentication is important for anything you expect to get a high-dollar amount for. Unless you are working with a dealer familiar with autographs, chances are a story about that night you met the band are not going to convince anyone but friends and family.

He/She just died; the band broke up. Everyone will be buying this now, right?

Occasions exist where this does happen, but those are not common. One thing that does occur after a dramatic event related to a band or musician is a surge in demand for their albums, and that can be used as an advantage to sell off records related to the events. If you get a little bit extra, awesome. Just don’t expect to.

I see these in antique stores all the time for more money.

That’s entirely possible. Remember that a record store is a place where subject matter experts work, where as antique stores have a tendency to price based on novelty for anything they aren’t familiar with. Disagreeing over price is fine, just be respectful.

Don’t they print books that contain prices for every record?

No; used to. Similar to Kelly Blue Book, just for records. They were great and some people even collect them as well.

Just Keep Buying

If you’re new to record buying, learn as much as you can by following pricing trends and models from store to store. Also, ask questions, just not too many. Employees and owners do like to keep some of the magic behind the curtain.

Photo Credit: Thomas via flickr

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