Guide to value your vinyl records collection

Are your old records worth something?

Vinyl market it's in continue evolution so vinyl that are worth a lot of money today could be not so rare the year after, but let's do it a little bit of order.
  1. How much it's collected the artist and how many copies have been printed of each vinyl?
    This first point it's very important cause there are very collected artists like Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, U2, Iron Maiden, Rolling Stones and so on... that solds a lot of copies of their albums and singles, so if you have a vinyl of Beatles that was printed in only 100 copies and it's not a reprinted but it's an original issue, probably you have a really hard to found and highly worth item. While if you have a vinyl of another artist that it's not very known and not collected it will be not worth a lot for the simply cause nobody it's interested on it.

  2. I have a lot of very old records? surely they are worth a lot of money!
    I think anyone who buys and sells used record has heard this phrase at least once in a lifetime, so i think we must clarify this concept. Even if there are old vinyl that are worth a lot of money and cause they are old are probably harder to found and in good condition, we must return to point 1, it depends on artist and how many copies there are of it, age alone doesn't mean it is a rare item. There are many vinyl printed in the last 10 years that are worth a lot of money cause printed in few copies, limited editions, special editions and so on...

  3. Promotional items, special editions, limited and numbered editions
    In the vinyl market there are many items that were used for promotional purpouse and never sold in the record shop. Labels gives this item to Radio or Press to promote a new single or album and this items are most of the time in a very limited number. The same goes for numbered editions or special editions, like picture discs or coloured vinyl that are usually printed in few copies. Of course 1000 copies for an high collected artist/group are very few respect to another artist that is moderately collected.

So what i need to know to worth a vinyl more than what we discuss above? Well here there are some of the things you must to revise before to buy a vinyl:

  1. check if it's an original edition. If an LP of sixties you can easily unerstand if it's an old item or a re-issue, cause paper used in the sixties was stronger than paper used in the eighties for example.
  2. in many items expecially of item issued in the '70 or before in the dead wax (the space within the label and the end of last track) there is matrix number and date of issue, that if it's different from date on the label (for example if album was of 1964 and date on dead wax it's 24-04-1972) it is a re-issue.
  3. Check the catalog number that is a unique code and usually it changes on later issue, even if it's not always true, cause expecially in the sixties, some albums after big success where reprinted or printed in different places so even if they have same catalogue number could have a different code in the dead wax (MATRIX NUMBER) that it's very important to understand where it was printed and the real date which may differ from others. It's very common for example in the album and singles of beatles.
  4. Condition of vinyl and cover are very important, cause an item that it's worth $100 if it's in very bad conditions could be worth a 10% of real value and will be not easy to sell it. Most of big collectors are ready to pay a lot of money for items in perfect condition

I realize that most of the people even if they control all these data have still no idea of the real value. In the past the only way to have an idea of the value of an item was to check it in a Record collector price guide book or magazine, or through records fair, where you can see items like yours and ask to seller the price.

Nowadays it's more easy cause through internet you have many options:

  1. check if same items was sold on, or in our site here on
  2. if you found it check when it was sold, cause as i wrote above not always an item sold 10 years ago has same value today, of course it could be worth more, less or same, but this gives you an idea if it's rarity or not. If it was sold $50 5 years ago, now could be worth a little bit more or less but anyway we are talking about of a common item. If it was sold at $1000 probably it's still a rare items

Nobody can give you a real value of an item, in fact if you go to a record fair or check in some online shops or marketplace you can see the same item at different price. This may be becaus of different conditions of each items or cause a seller want to sell the vinyl at an high price or nothing cause has a sentimental value or need money so prefer to sell it quickly so decide to sell it at a lower price.

So in my opinion, once we know that the vinyl we have it's an high, medium or low valued item we have 2 options to sell it quickly and at areal market price:

  1. AUCTIONS: Sell through an auction probably it's the best way nowadays cause the best offer it's probably the best price that all collectors can pay for the item today.
  2. PRICE WITH OFFER: Many sites offer the option to sell the item at a fixed price and accept offers. If customers make an offer (lower that your fix price of course) and you accept it this is probably the best price a collector can offer.

Article written by: Tufano Michele
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