How to auction off a record collection

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How to auction off a record collection
Enthusiasts still collect old-style vinyl records, particularly rare LP editions. (Dejan_Dundjerski/iStock/Getty Images)

Record collectors interested in parting with their rare vinyl records can consider using an auction. Auctions for record collections can yield high bid prices and a significant windfall for experienced collectors. Music fans who learn how to auction off a record collection stand to gain a substantial reward.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Create a minimum bid price for your collection before setting up an auction. Prospective sellers should use online record valuation services to determine the current winning bid for comparable records and memorabilia. Collectors can develop a rough estimate from the results on these sites.

  2. 2

    Snap clear photos of each portion of your collection. Collectors using an online auction need to demonstrate that the record and the supporting materials are in perfect condition. When possible, a collector should post all photos online for access by interested bidders.

  3. 3

    Record a sample of music from your collection for auction use. Auctions online and in person often require a demonstration of the sound clarity on a particular record. Collectors interested in collecting over the long term should consider top-notch digital recording equipment.

  4. 4

    Review available online auctions to determine if this is the right method for your collection. Casual collectors or music fans who want to auction off a rare record on its own may want to use online auction sites. These websites are inexpensive and allow quick communication between bidders and sellers.

  5. 5

    Explore auction houses for extensive record collections. Record owners with a large number of rare recordings or a few highly valued albums should use professional auctioneers. There is typically a percentage of the winning bid taken by the auction house as commission.

  6. 6

    Prepare your record collection for delivery to the winning bidder. If you use online auctions, you should buy sturdy boxes and bubble wrap to protect your collection during travel. If you use an auction house, you should use a mobile method of protecting the collection for the benefit of the winning bidder.

Tips and warnings

  • Collect documentation and testimonials about the quality of your record collection. Collectors with a substantial set of albums can speak with dealers, appraisers and other experts about writing a testimonial to the quality of their work. Sellers who demonstrate a paper trail for their collection gain a better reputation.

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