Vinyl records are an awesome piece of history. Not only do they have the extra cool points due to being a vintage item, they also sound much better than CDs and other digital media. Whether you are into listening to your vinyls or just building a collection, you are probably interested in their value. With so many vinyl records for sale globally, and from so many suppliers who make varying claims of value, it can be quite difficult to determinework out just how much each one is worth. There are a few primary factors in determining the value of a record.
As a starting point, most best selling records from any point in the last century were produced in the millions. This usually means they are no longer very valuable and you are best off enjoying them how they were meant to be – by playing them! Rare records on the other hand, can be valued at anywhere between $50 to over $10,000. You have probably already realised that there are so many variables in determining the value of vinyls, so lets get into it.
Like most collectibles, vinyl records retain the most value as a complete product. Vinyl records all originally shipped with a paper or picture sleeve, and having these adds to their value. Picture sleeves are easily the most valuable, often being more valuable then the actual record. Keeping these are incredibly important for your records value. Similarly, EPs (7 inch records) were often sold with a hard cardboard sleeve. In good condition, these records and sleeves together can fetch a mint! Without the sleeve, do not expect much.
This is something you probably already know. It is fairly common knowledge that better condition equals higher value. This applies to almost everything. If your surface or label is scratched, is noisy while playing, has writing on the label or sleeve or just looks worn, it is going to have less value. You can usually find records of this condition for very cheap, indicating just how worthless they are. These are much better used by enjoying them properly by listening to them.
Of all the records produced in the 1960’s and 70’s, about 4% of them made it to the top of the charts. This meant they were produced in very high volumes, and therefore worth less now. LP’s by artists with popular singles are often quite rare, as people only wanted the singles. This makes these records of quite high value. These were mostly found in the 50’s and 60’s. Even rarer are Rhythm and Blues LP’s from the 1950s. In good condition, these are worth a mint.
Fans Mean Demand
This is a simple supply versus demand formula. A huge number of fans chasing a record will always drive prices up. It is crucial that these artists have modern day fans, as artists no longer in demand will mean a reduced value.
There are many more factors, and to keep this a bit shorter, I will simply list them out. Vinyl record value is further influenced by true stereo copies (versus the traditional mono), historical meaningful value, the era it was produced and pressing order.
As you can see, there are so many factors which make up the value of a vinyl record. It is advisable to have your collection valued by a local professional will provide a much more accurate figure than any online method, so this is definitely the place to start.