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What are my records worth? Establishing vinyl records value is an inexact science, and there are a number of factors that go into determining whether a given record is something that will bring a lot of money from a collector or something that would best be used as a place mat. Age of the Record Who is the Artist? Promotional Issues Small Label vs.

Major Label Label Variations Mono vs. Stereo vs. Click here to visit our rare records store. A good example of this would be the recordings of Elvis Presley. While his first five records for the Memphis-based Sun label sold reasonably well for their day, their sales figures were minuscule compared to those of his later releases on RCA, making the Sun versions fairly valuable. On the other hand, records by artists that are not of interest to collectors will have little value, regardless of age.

There are many records in the easy listening genre from the s, such as those by Ray Conniff or Percy Faith, that are now some 60 years old, but they still sell for only a couple of dollars in most used records stores, provided they bother to offer them for sale at all. This should be obvious, but the artist in question will be a big factor in determining the value of a record. While tens of thousands of artists have released records since the invention of the medium, not all of them interest the public in equal measure.

Some artists are simply more popular as well as more collectible than others. Artists in the rock, blues, jazz, classical and soul categories tend to be more collectible than those in the easy listening, country, spoken word or comedy categories. Some artists tend to have a longtime following, while others are popular only while they are actively recording. With the former, such as Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, blues singer Robert Johnson, or the Beatles, many of their records remain both valuable and highly collectible long after they stopped recording or even after their deaths.

Other artists may have had records with high values only during the time they were recording, with prices in the collector market dropping considerably after they finished their careers or when they passed away. On the other hand, records by the Beatles are selling for the highest prices ever and prices remain steady more than 50 years after they released their last album.

Exceptions to that exist; that can come in the form of artists who were never particularly popular, but who were influential in the industry. None of these artists were very successful and their records sold poorly when new. All three were enormous influences on other musicians, however, and as a result, their records sell for surprisingly high prices today.

This factor is pretty straightforward when it comes to vinyl records value ; records that sold well and are quite common are going to be less valuable than records that sold poorly or are hard to find. On the other hand, even records that sold well when new can become scarce in time, especially when one takes the condition of the record into account. Albums by Elvis Presley and the Beatles sold millions of copies when they were first released, but finding nice original copies of those records now can be difficult, as many have been thrown away or damaged through heavy play or abuse.

In the s, it was rare for even a popular album to sell much more than a million copies. By the s, albums selling more than 5 million copies were relatively common. A good example of this would be Music from the Elder by Kiss, released in Released after a string of best-selling albums, Music from the Elder had a different sound from their previous releases and offered no hit songs and no songs that regularly received airplay.

As a result, the album sold poorly and soon went out of print. Because the condition of a record is held to be important by collectors, the ideal example of a record to own, in the eyes of many collectors, would be one that has never been played at all.

Because of this, collectors will often pay a huge premium for sealed, unopened examples of records they are seeking. When record albums were first offered in the late s, they were sold without any external wrapping on the cover. Customers in record stores could remove the records from the cover and many stores would even allow them to play the records to help them make a buying decision.

This led to problems with both theft and damage, and by the early s, a number of large retailers started sealing their albums in plastic bags.

Eventually, this practice was picked up by the major record companies, who began protecting their covers with shrink wrap. In general, a copy of an album that is still in original, unopened shrink wrap will sell for a lot more money than one that is in opened condition, even if the opened copy has not been played. The difference in price can range from modest to quite significant, depending on the artist and title.

Sealed copies of older albums by the Beatles might sell for as much as ten times the price of an opened example, for instance.

This is a case where age can affect vinyl records value , as the older an album is, the harder it is to find a copy that has never been opened or played. One factor that can influence vinyl records value is having the autograph of the artist on it.

When it comes to musical groups and autographs, albums that are autographed by the entire group will sell for substantially higher prices than those with the signatures of some, but not all, members. Autographed records with provenance, such as a photograph of the artist signing the record, tend to bring the highest prices of all.

They are also pressed in relatively small quantities compared to stock copies of the same records. Sometimes, promotional copies of a particular record may be different from the stock counterpart. On other occasions, a record may be issued only as a promotional item. Such albums may be live recordings, made for radio broadcast, or perhaps compilation albums, again intended to stimulate airplay. A promo-only Rolling Stones record, for example, will attract far more interest from collectors than one by Andy Williams.

Some records have sold so poorly in stores that the promotional copies are actually more common than the stock counterparts. Promotional copies with a pink label, while relatively rare, are probably ten times more common than the stock copies with black labels, of which fewer than 20 copies are known to exist.

We have written an extensive article about white label promo records; you can read it here. This issue of scarcity comes into play when one looks at whether a particular record was released by a small, regional label or a large national one. Larger labels have national distribution and multiple pressing plants, and popular records might be pressed in the millions. Smaller labels might press only a few hundred or several thousand copies of a particular record.

There are examples of records being initially released on small labels and then later released on larger labels when the small record company negotiated a distribution deal with the larger label in order to sell more records. An example of this would be the surf album Pipeline by the Chantays, which was originally released on the California-based Downey label.

When the song became a hit, Downey struck a deal with the nationally distributed Dot records to have them release the album instead. Today, copies of the album on the Downey label are far harder to find than their Dot counterparts, and sell for higher prices. Sometimes an artist will release records on a small label and then move to a larger one.

In these cases, their earlier releases tend to be more collectible than their later ones. As the records by the group issued by RCA sold quite well, they tend to sell for modest prices. Another example, also in the country genre, is the first album by Jim Reeves.

His first album, Jim Reeves Sings , was issued in on the small Abbott label. When that album began to sell well, Reeves moved to major label RCA. A given album or single might have been released with several different labels on the disc itself, even among releases by the same record company.

Record companies often change the appearance of the labels used on their records. While it has happened less often in recent decades, changes in label art an appearance were quite common among the major labels during the s and s. Records by the Beatles, for instance, were released by Capitol Records on a black label with a rainbow colored perimeter, a green label, a red label, a custom Apple label, an orange label, a purple label, and a new version of the original black label, all over a period of about 20 years.

As a rule, collectors tend to favor original pressings, so for a given title, the most desirable label variation would be whichever one was in use on the day the record was originally released for sale to the public. There are exceptions to this, however. The red Capitol label mentioned above was commonly used in the early s for a number of titles, but was never intended to be used for records by the Beatles.

Sometimes, minor differences on labels can make a difference, as well. The first copies of Meet the Beatles to be sold in America were rushed to the stores without including publishing information for the songs on the record. Until , records were sold only in mono. Between and , records were usually sold in both mono and stereo, and between about and , a few records were available in 4 channel quadraphonic sound.

During the time when records were sold in more than one format simultaneously, one of the formats was usually pressed in smaller quantities than the other. Mono records were more common than their stereo counterparts in the early s, for instance, but were the harder variation to find by Quadraphonic pressings were always intended for a niche market, and never sold in large quantities, except in the few cases where all copies of a particular title were encoded in quadraphonic sound.

While the value of a mono record in relation to its stereo counterpart will depend on when the record was released, quadraphonic copies are almost always worth more money than the same album in stereo. The topic of mono vs.

While most records are pressed from black vinyl, sometimes other colors are used. With few exceptions, colored vinyl and picture disc pressings are limited editions, and are usually far harder to find than their black vinyl counterparts. Both colored vinyl pressings and picture discs have been issued as commercial releases and as promo-only releases. In the late s, picture discs were often pressed as promotional items and became quite popular among collectors.

Most of these were pressed in quantities of only a few hundred copies. More often, colored vinyl and picture disc records are issued as limited edition pressings, created to spur interest among buyers. Most of these titles are also available on regular and more common black vinyl. As with everything else on this list, there are occasional exceptions to the rule.

A couple of months later, RCA Records began to press the album on regular black vinyl as a cost-cutting move, which would have made the blue pressings rare and desirable. Shortly after this decision was made, Elvis passed away, and the label made the decision to return to blue vinyl for that album, and all pressings for the next ten years or so were issued blue vinyl.

Colored vinyl article new window Picture disc article new window. While vinyl record albums usually include printed covers, most 45 RPM singles do not, as they were generally issued in plain paper sleeves. It was not uncommon, however, for singles to be issued in special printed sleeves bearing the title of the song, the name of the artist and perhaps a graphic or photograph. These are known as picture sleeves, and most of the time, these picture sleeves were available only with the original issues of the records.

While not intended as limited edition items per se, picture sleeves were designed to spur sales and were often discontinued once sales of the record began to pick up. For various reasons, some picture sleeves are harder to find than others, and there are a number of records, some by famous artists, where certain picture sleeves are rare to the point where only a few copies are known to exist. Others are rare, but not to that degree. This is one of the factors that pretty much has no exceptions; a record with a picture sleeve is always more valuable than the same record without one.

While the majority of records are standard issues that were manufactured with the intention that they be sold in stores, some are pre-production versions that were made for in-house use at the record companies prior to making the stock pressings.

 
 

 

Columbia vinyl records value. Are Your Old Vinyl Records Worth Thousands? Here’s How to Sell Them

 
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Vinyl Records Value – What Are Your Records Worth?.

 
 
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