Selling your collection of LP records can be done in numerous ways, but you must first learn about the market and estimate the value of your records. Some LP records were manufactured by the millions and are less valuable because of their ready availability. Others may not have sold well at the time of release but may have current collector appeal because of rarity or genre interest. First-issue LPs that later had cover artwork changes or include original inserts, such as posters and other items, may be valuable despite high numbers of manufacture over their market life.
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Catalogue and grade each record in your collection to prepare it for sale. Grading guidelines generally include the following: "Mint" or "near mint" records will be as good as new. "Very good" records will be slightly used with no loss of sound quality or cover damage. "Good" implies that a record is used with some imperfections but is still playable. "Fair" records will play but will have some scratches, skips, and damaged covers. "Poor" records have severely degraded sound, physical damage, or are missing covers.
Sell your records to a local record store or online dealer. Stores and dealers will generally offer less for your records as they are in the business of stocking and reselling them at a profit.
Sell your records at flea markets, yard sales, or through classified advertisements in newspapers, magazines, and online record sale sites. You will likely get a better price this way than by selling directly to a dealer, but it might require more patience and effort.
Sell your records through online auction sites. Dealers and collectors will use online auction sites to find rare or special interest recordings.
Tips and warnings
- The condition of the record jacket and any inserts may be more valuable than the record itself.
- When storing records, use clear dust sleeves and store them upright at comfortable room temperatures to keep them in good condition.
- Be patient when selling your collection, as it will take time to find the right buyers who will pay you the most. If you need to unload your collection in a hurry, selling to a dealer may yield a lower price, but will unburden you from the collection.
- Be knowledgeable about value but flexible on pricing. Values and prices of collectibles are market-driven and can go up or down at any time. If you hold out for the best possible price, you may end up not selling a record at all.
- If you sell through the mail, purchase professional packing supplies and boxes meant expressly for record shipping. Always purchase insurance in case the LP is damaged in transit, as you will probably be asked for a refund by the buyer if the record arrives damaged.
- Be honest in your grading system and put yourself in the buyer's position. Selling a "fair" record with a "very good" rating will affect your credibility and may result in a buyer requesting a refund or an abatement.
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