Value of Vinyl Records [9 key factors] + Tips for Value Guides
The Value of Vinyl Records is an issue that concerns many people who own a lot of them and cannot determine their value for many reasons. Many people who contact me via Vinylom ask me this: “I have some records. What’s their worth?" or "How to value my Vinyl Records?"
I have decided to write a post that refers to the 9 key factors that determine the value of vinyl records. If you have some vinyl records for sale and you don't know their value, this is a post that you should read, as it will help you determine it.
Once you read this post, you will realize why a first press copy of Madonna's Like a Prayer costs $5 while the original 7'' single God Save the Queen by Sex Pistols costs $10,000 although they are both pieces of paper and compressed plastic.
I will also tell you how you can specify exactly the value of your records, who can help you, and which websites you should use. I will recommend you some places that will help you to determine the value of your old vinyl records. It's a shame to have a treasure in your hands and give it away for pennies.
First and foremost, the value of the records is determined by supply and demand. When some people complain about the exact price of a used record, they can't understand this simple rule. And the demand is determined by the following factors:
The condition is the most crucial factor in determining the value of a vinyl record. It's the first thing you need to know before taking any action. The better the condition, the bigger the price.
Even if a record has produced in millions of copies, its value is greater if it is like new. If the vinyl is sealed, then even better. This is important for the Value of Records that you have in your possession.
To define the condition you can see the "Goldmine Record Grading" guide that we have in Vinylom. It's simple and will help you understand how to determine the condition of your records.
Records by famous artists and popular music genres
Records made by well-known musicians or popular music genres are of great value because they are in high demand. Records by well-known musicians who were released in the '60s and '70s (The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin) and are in excellent condition are hard to find even if they had produced millions of copies.
People back then listened to music only from records and treated them without care. But in the '80s, when people started caring more for their records, the rock and pop music releases that sold millions could even be found in dollar bins.
On the other hand, most records of the '90s have increased in value. In the '90s the "decline" of the vinyl began and records were produced in limited copies. In music genres that have been popular for many years such as Metal, the records that were released in the '80s and are in “Mint condition” have kept their value, and some of these releases are worth hundreds of dollars.
Limited editions have increased demand and prices. Also, a vinyl record by an unknown band that had released a good vinyl album and then disappeared may be of great value. The '60s and 70's in the field of Psychedelic Rock and Garage Rock are full of this kind of rare and valuable vinyl records.
However, vinyl records of well-known bands and artists who publish limited editions of some of their work, are also in demand.
In recent decades, a company, like EMI for example, pressed Beatles vinyl records, not only in the UK but in vinyl factories around the world. Records that were pressed in foreign countries are of great interest to record collectors. There are many cases in which some records that have been made in other countries and have a different cover or the songs on the album are in a different order.
If these vinyl records have been made in limited copies, then the value of this vinyl is significantly increased. An example is the Greek version of “Rubber Soul” by the Beatles, which had a different cover from the rest of the world, the history of which can be read in the Vinylom Encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia of rare Vinyl records.
For collectors who want to have all the possible versions of their favorite album, foreign editions are the object of their desire, and often they have to pay a high price to get it.
The Japanese versions, also known for their high build quality and excellent sound, are sought after and are quite expensive.
Autographed records have their devoted fans. An autograph on a record is the presence of the artist on his creation. The Artist, who has pressed thousands of copies, puts his signature on a copy and this is valuable for many collectors.
If it's a band, the signatures of all the members increase the value of the album. Also a signature with a personal dedication, for example: "To Yannis, I wish you the best…" is worth more than a simple signature.
Vinyl Releases removed from the market
The vinyl records that have been removed immediately after the release, are vinyl records that are sought by thousands of collectors around the world. A typical example is God Save the Queen by sex pistols. And to be more precise here, the god save the queen 7inch withdrew before it was even released.
The story can be read in the Vinylom encyclopedia. Although it is very difficult to find this kind of records or to have something like this in your possession, in case you have it, you may be keeping a small fortune.
Promotional records were copies that were usually pressed before the release of a record and shared on radio stations when playing music from vinyl to the early '90s. Sometimes they had a different cover from the regular release. The actual promotional copies had white labels that read "PROMO ONLY NOT FOR SALE" or "DEMONSTRATION COPY".
Private releases - Small Record Labels.
Private, Self-funded releases and records from small independent companies are in high demand, especially when the album has musical value. In the Metal genre of the '80s and Rock of the '70s and '60s, one will find hundreds of such important releases.
There are also examples where a band released an LP from a small record label, and after a while, the album was released again by a big company. One such example is Too Fast for Love, Motley Crue’s first album, which sells for $ 2,500 and you can read its story in Vinylom's encyclopedia.
Test pressings are a small number of records that were pressed before the mass production of a vinyl record which was printed to mainly control the sound effect. Usually, these records have white labels without information on them. They were usually printed in 5 or 10 copies.
Popular test pressings are in great demand and value.
Where to learn exactly the value of your records – Vinyl record prices guide
“Hire” a collector
The best way, by far, to find out how much your vinyl albums cost if you can't or don't have time to deal with the task, is to find a collector who will determine the value of your records for a fee, each one separately.
I guarantee you that if the collection is valuable it will save you a great deal of revenue. When the collector examines them, he will tell you exactly how much they cost and what is the best way to sell them. And something important: Keep in mind that not all records will have the same demand.
For example, a Born In the USA original copy in perfect condition may be worth $15 but no one wants it., while Bathory - Yellow Goat costs $2,000 and many want it. The expert must tell you this so that you know what to expect.
Vinyl Records Value Guide …online
The other way is to find out the prices yourself is by searching the internet. Popsike is a great resource for finding out how records you've been interested in, have sold in the past. You can also see the status of the album in terms of its price to know what its value is at the moment.
There are also millions of vinyl records online on the Vinylom marketplace and you can get a great idea of the prices.
But be ware. Sales prices are not always representative of value. This is because some sellers want to sell their records at the highest possible price and this results in high prices with the items remaining unsold for a long time. Sold prices are lower so you must search for “Sold Prices” and in depth of 5 years.
Founder of Vinylom