In an age where digital music files and portable media players predominate today’s world, most people still have their old vinyl LPs sitting somewhere in a storeroom or in the attic. Yet the possibility exists that some of these albums may be valuable than you think, which is what this guide will do to help you how to sell that vinyl album collection.
- Checking the pile. Before you try selling the albums, keep in mind about album condition, as it is the biggest factor when pricing: if the record is playable (should not be warped or scratched; must be clean, especially if stored with an inner paper liner), if the album sleeve is intact (pitting, corner folds, marks, stains and other damage may lower the price), and so on. The records should also have been stored vertically, instead of being stacked, for if they are stacked their sleeves will be likely damaged by wear. For playability, test the record first by mounting and playing it on your turntable, and with a keen ear check for any possible audio damage while on playback. Top-selling albums have a lower resale value than those with lower sales numbers, especially those produced by lesser known singers or groups. An album from Elvis or the Beatles command lower prices, unless it happens that you have a one-of-a-kind or a limited-edition album.
- Pricing. For the best pricing possible, and if you have a very large collection in store, you can consult with other sellers, or you can get publications and magazines – both in paper and online – devoted to record collections, as they have extensive pricing and grading guides and listings of what records that sell more and those that do not. Also, consider checking out sections in eBay or Craigslist where others sell vintage albums, and see how they price them.
- Describing. Each and every album you are planning to sell should have their own description, so in the same way MP3 audio files are tagged, you must describe each album in detail; the more detailed, the less misunderstanding you may get when there is a buyer trying to inquire. A typical description of an album may look like this: artist, title, year, genre, format, condition (both record and sleeve), label, number, special features and extras, non-album tracks, country from where the album was manufactured, damage description (if there is any), and whether the album is a first pressing or a re-issue (this last part will require consultation with specialist websites).
- If you are going to sell online, take a picture of each album, including sleeve (front, inlay, back), and record, as the buyer can see what you are selling.
- Where to sell? If you are planning to get rid of the entire collection, you can try walking into a record shop and ask if they have a good offer; if they offer for less, try another. The other solution is to get into a record convention or fair, where you can rent a stall to sell your records. Apart from the usual placement ad in your newspaper, you can opt to use eBay (they also have useful guides), or online classifieds like Craigslist. Also check first how well a record is priced and sold.
Finally, whether you are selling online or by mail, always keep close records of every transaction so that they can be used to settle disputes over sales.
With the necessary selling knowledge in mind, you stand the chance of getting the most money out of your vintage record collection.