How much is a record worth? Essentially, it’s worth what someone is willing to pay; but that’s not a practical answer and there is a more pragmatic way to put a price on just about anything, even records. Crate dig long enough and pricing records becomes easier after seeing the same albums again and again. But prices change and variables like condition and scarcity affect the value. Using historical sales information makes valuation easier by basing prices off of market data.
Possibly home to the largest number of online record sales, both new and used albums, data from these transactions provides a general idea of how much any given album is worth. Looking up an album is simple; just remember to pay close attention to the specifics of the pressing, making certain they match. Sold listings are all that matters here. It may be listed at $40 but if it sells regularly at $8, that’s what it’s worth. Use further sorting options if eBay does not first present sold listings by end date with most recent sales.
To get an idea of how this works, watch the video. The example record is You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce Vol. 2 on Contemporary Records, reissued by OJC in 2014 (OJC 159).
Every two days, Popsike aggregates data from eBay’s sold record listings and updates their databases for archival purposes. It’s like a permanent library of eBay data preserved indefinitely for future use. Searching is straightforward. The listings are usually easy to follow and the same guidance for eBay applies to Popsike: make sure the pressings are identical and adjust the price in relation to condition. Filter the listings by date in reverse chronological order so the most recent data appears first. Popsike does limit searches for unregistered (non-members) per day, but $18 gets you 6 months of unlimited use.
Another aggregator, Collectors Frenzy, gathers record sales information from eBay and provides a searchable database in similar fashion as Popsike. On the rare occasion when no results are available from eBay or Popsike, Collectors Frenzy can come in handy. Sorting options make it simple to display results by date so the pricing information comes from the most recent auctions.
The go-to tool for managing your collection can also help price records. Discogs has an active market place and sales data can be accessed after registering for a free account. Matching up pressings is much simpler because they are listed as individual releases. The data presented will be specific to the pressing selected from the master release page for any album making it very easy to target only relevant data.
All of the sites listed work well when used together because you always want to base a price off the most information or at least a second opinion. Check the condition, match up the pressings and look for the most recent sold listings.