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How much is my record collection worth Turntabling

How Much Is My Record Collection Worth?

How much are my vinyl records really worth

How much is my record collection worth? It’s a question many ask, but the answers are more complicated than a basic dollar amount. Your record collection is worth more in some ways, less in others-it all depends on what you have and who else might be interested in the same things.

Great example-Look at the picture of those spoken word albums above. You may ask yourself who on EARTH cares about T.S. Eliot on vinyl. But look closer-this record is narrated by none other than the original Obi Wan Kenobi himself, Sir Alec Guinness.

NOW you have the interest of a certain segment of hardcore Star Wars lovers who cannot get enough of that man’s voice. And who can blame them? Alec Guinness is one of the most respected names in 20th Century film and stage work for a certain type of cinema lover. The value of this record-amongst THESE PEOPLE is much higher than for your average crate digger looking for…whatever it is they are looking for.

How Much Is My Record Collection Really Worth?

Make no mistake, the value of your collection goes up if the records are in GOOD CONDITION both covers and vinyl. Even the most tired old pile of ancient classic rock records that every record store has moldering away in the cheaps bin is IN that bin because the records aren’t pretty enough and clicks-and-pops free enough to be sold at a more competitive price.

So if you have a PRISTINE copy of a Carole King Tapestry album? That will fetch more than the battered old copy in the two dollar bin. Even though Tapestry is a record store cliche that every…single…record store has stashed somewhere along with those Poco records and the ever-present water-damaged copy of Led Zepplin II.

Your record collection is worth MORE if you have lustworthy things in it in Very Good to Near Mint condition. What is considered lustworthy? That depends SO MUCH on the buyers you’re trying to reach. Some people don’t give a DAMN about Alan Ginsberg’s vinyl records. But those with a fascination for the Beats (Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, etc.) will be VERY interested in knowing more.

Alan Ginsberg On Vinyl Ginsbergs Thing Vinyl

Who Decides What My Records Are Worth On An Individual Basis?

The market basically decides…but as mentioned above, there are MANY MANY different kinds of markets for vinyl records. But there ARE some determining factors including:

  • Availability when originally pressed
  • Current scarcity
  • Vinyl Variants
  • Unique features
  • Sealed or unsealed

If only 500 copies of a release were originally pressed (and that is more and more common these days) you have the makings of a serious collector’s item in a few year’s time. If an album was mass-produced, but since has never been repressed, that may also increase the value.

A record that was pressed with a certain number of the run on colored vinyl or other vinyl variants, that record is likely to get increased attention. Misprints, accidental cover problems, or other things that make a certain number of the records more rare and impossible to find may also factor in.

If a record is still sealed, especially after many years, that record also will be more lustworthy depending on the buyer.

There are A LOT MORE issues associated with how to value a record collection. I’ll write about them in future posts. FULL DISCLOSURE: I buy record collections and write about them from both a collector and reseller perspective. If you are interested in selling a vinyl collection or part of one, please get in touch with me via e-mail:

–Joe Wallace


How To Sell Your Vinyl Records To A Buyer

How To Sell Your Record Collection

How To Sell Your Record Collection-it really should be the title of a book. Until that happens though, if you have a record collection to sell there are some things you should know about the process to avoid disappointment.

Full disclosure: I buy and sell records for a living. I have purchased entire collections, tiny portions of them, and everything in between. What I am about to tell you is the truth about selling your record collection as someone who has sold a collection or two myself, and as a buyer.

How To Sell Your Vinyl Records To A Buyer

Have Realistic Expectations About Selling Your Vinyl Record Collection

There are two basic kinds of record collection buyers: one type wants to purchase for their own personal enjoyment, the other wants to re-sell the collections they purchase.

Those of us who are resellers do this for a living and have concerns about being able to make some kind of profit from the records they purchase. It’s a business and in business the goal is to keep costs as low as possible, ideally not rip anyone off, but still find a way to have enough money at the end of the day to buy groceries.

That means that the professional reseller will evaluate your record collection on the basis of two basic things-how much the collection is worth on the resale market, and how much will have to be paid to obtain the collection.

The “personal enjoyment” buyer is likely NOT interested in buying your entire collection. This is just a fact of life. If you try to sell to someone who is not a reseller, it’s best not to expect your entire stack of records to go out the door. The collector will be very selective and may only purchase a handful of what you have.

Dealing With Professional Resellers (Like Me)

There are two basic issues for a professional record buyer and seller. One is the lustworthiness of your record collection-do you have records that nobody wants? Your old Foghat records, show tunes, Jimmy Buffet, and that battered copy of Carole King’s Tapestry are NOT in demand, sad to say. Unless those records are SEALED, you probably don’t stand a chance with things along those lines.

The other factor is the CONDITION those records are in. Are they beaten to death? Are the covers damaged? Do the records sound like snap-crackle-and-pop breakfast cereal? The better condition your albums are in, the more they are worth.

That said, selling your vinyl record collection is still a bit tricky. Some pro resellers will take ANYTHING that is in decent condition-glossy vinyl with few surface marks or scratches and covers that are in good condition without gouges, big corner bends, worn-off patches on the artwork, etc.

Some resellers, like me, are VERY selective. We specialize in certain musical genres above all others. For me, it’s New Wave, Industrial, Soundtracks to genre films (horror, foreign films, sci-fi, unusual things of all kinds), goth, electronica, spoken word and general weirdness.

That means that a lot of resellers won’t touch your classic rock collection, or your old Peabo Bryson and Aretha Franklin LPs. If there is a niche to be bought, there is a buyer for it. But you’ll have to be very specific about your collection and what it contains.

How to sell your record collection


A good record collection buyer will ask you how many records are in your collection, what genres and names you have, the overall condition of those records, and most importantly, how much you were thinking about selling the collection for. Having a dollar amount set on your collection is a very good idea. The buyer WILL want to negotiate that price based on the quality of the records themselves, the previously mentioned lustworthiness of your albums, etc.

Don’t approach a buyer without an idea of what you might like to get for the records. Do approach the collection buyer with an idea of the condition of your records and covers, what you think the quality of the whole group might be, etc. You do NOT have to be an expert-just give the buyer something to work with.

Don’t expect to get the same dollar amount you paid for the records. Do expect your collection to sell for an amount much lower than that-you purchased the records and used them, put wear and tear on them, and the value decreases over time with that notion in mind.

The key to getting more money from your collection has to do with quality and quantity. You will get more money from a larger collection. You will get more money for a smaller collection of records that are in OUTSTANDING CONDITION. You will get more money still (comparatively) for SEALED records.

One thing is sure-you should manage your expectations when selling a record collection with the idea in mind that the buyer needs to be able to make some kind of profit from the purchase she makes. That isn’t just the collection of records themselves-the records have to be transported, they have to be cleaned and graded by hand. That takes time. They have to be put into new outer sleeves. That takes more money. There is an investment in purchasing a vinyl record collection that goes beyond what is paid for the albums themselves.

There are other nuances to selling a record collection-things I will share in another blog post.

If you have records for sale, do get in touch. You can reach me via to discuss the purchase of your collection.

–Joe Wallace

Martin Bowes on Mastering for Vinyl

by Patrick Ogle

Attrition first set up shop in 1980 in Coventry, England. The end of that year saw the group’s first live incarnation. Attrition has gone through many line-up changes over the years and the music has changed stylistically—always electronic but sometimes dance, sometimes ambient.

One constant has been the man behind the band, Martin Bowes. In the early years the music was a sort of genre defying electronic post-punk. Early recordings such as This Death House followed shortly two years later by The Attrition of Reason set the tone for a career that is still producing innovative music. Resisting the temptation to catalog all of the band’s releases, all of the singles, 12-inch records and ephemera is difficult.

Bowes’ long career gives him not only decades of experience producing music , it spans the time period from when vinyl was king to the time when vinyl was “obsolete” and now back to a new relevance for the format.

Bowes has worked on his own albums but also with artists including; Psychic TV, Sol Invictus, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, AX, Sleep Research Facilty, and Merzbow. Bowes has remixed tracks for The Damage Manual, Mona Mur & En Esch. Die Form, In The Nursery and others.

Martin Bowes has recently opened his studio, The Cage, to the public and it would be an excellent studio choice for bands or projects looking to produce vinyl. If you cannot make it to Coventry, Bowes has some advice on recording for vinyl.

First off–you just opened your personal studio to the public. How did this come about? Tell us about the studio?

Martin Bowes: I had started building my studio back in the early 90’s as I knew it was going to be important to have control over the recording process… too many times we had spent far too little time in professional studios recording our music… I wanted time and control to make things sound how i wanted without watching the clock… so I started The Cage studios In 1993 for the recording of the Attrition album “The Hidden Agenda”… and everything since…

As a result of having this in a time when it was still quite rare for bands to have their own studio, I was invited to teach music technology at a local college here in Coventry, which I did for 16 years. I only ever had the time to use the studio for my own recordings with Attrition and for a few special projects I wanted to take on until last year when I finished teaching and decided it was time to open the doors of The Cage full time.

I upgraded the studio and had a whole new part of my house purpose built for this…it has quickly become very popular and I am lucky enough to be able to work on projects I believe in here.

If an artist came to you and said, “I am doing a recording that will, primarily, be released on vinyl,” what are the first things you think of with regard to the recording?

It is more the mixing and mastering where i will be making decisions in regards to vinyl. Let the initial recordings be as creative as possible and worry about technical issues regarding formats to the mix and master. The first thing I will ask is, “What kind of vinyl?” As opposed to CD formats there are many qualities of vinyl–seven-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch single, albums, and so on…all with varying capacity for playing back your music, and then the length of the material is going to affect it too…so there are a few things to consider.

And bear in mind that there will always be less dynamic range on vinyl as opposed to CD.

Beyond that, what are some other things artists should consider when recording for vinyl?

As I mentioned, formats are important….a bass-heavy dance tune is going to be best pressed on a 12-inch single where there will be room in the grooves to reproduce the bass end. And be careful about stereo sounds particularly on the bass end, and then some of the higher frequencies don’t always reproduce so well on turntables so you need to be extra careful of sibilance, etc.

These days, recordings are often released on vinyl and digital (skipping CDs). How to you bridge the gap, as a producer, between these formats that differ so radically?

Well, CD is only a high-end digital format and with transfer rates and storage capacity getting always higher then we are getting spared the low quality mp3s, etc. we had 10 years ago.

I don’t think it will be long before .wav files are the standard and .mp3’s are dropped into the trash can of history. (I was going to say dust bin). The formats differ but at the end of the day its the music that counts and it can be crafted for any format you like with some care.

You also hear vinyl releases that sound like shit. Usually this has to do with bad mastering or with NO mastering. Make the case for mastering your record with care.

It can be the mastering and it can also be a bad pressing… that’s not so rare either! So always get a test pressing when dealing with vinyl and always get another one if it gets messed up. But yes, of course all music for whatever format its aimed at does need to be mastered with care…and even more so with vinyl as it is more unforgiving than digital.

Now, specifically with regard to vinyl, how do you go about mastering a record?

I always give it a few listens to get the feel of the music and ask the artists what they are looking for as at the end of the day it’s their music, and everyone has a different idea of what they want.

Then I will get into details and examine frequencies, listening on different speaker systems including headphones…and if these are old recordings from tapes etc., I will first clean them up with de-noising tools, etc.

Then, depending on what needs doing, start getting the EQ tools and compression/limiting in place…but only if it’s needed. Sometimes as with mixing, less can be more effective than more. And a small EQ cut here and there may be so much better than lots of boosts. At the same time, I am also sorting out any vinyl issues such as the bass end and sibilant top end, etc. Once I have something I am happy with I get a test copy to the artist or label for their reaction and then make any adjustments if needed.

How can people in the USA get in touch re mastering or recording?

These days, I am dealing with artists from all over the world thanks to file transfers, so check out the studio page at and just email me on if you are interested in me working with you on your project.

We can talk over what you need and what i can do for you. Attrition started in 1983 with vinyl releases and like a lot of people we have recently got back into the format…. releasing Demonstro a double vinyl LP of rarities last year… and have more planned for our latest album, The Unraveller Of Angels, due out this autumn. If anyone wants to check out the Attrition website please do at