Finding Out How Much Vinyl Records Are Worth

Just how much is your vinyl collection worth? Find out here: the answer might surprise you.


People looking to offload their old vinyl collection may be wondering how much vinyl records are worth.

How much vinyl records are worth is obviously dictated by how much people are willing to pay for it. Generic collections from yesteryear may fetch decent but unimpressive prices. For example, bands such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, David Bowie, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin are perpetually popular bands whose albums should all sell for $10 to $20 dollars each at a second hand sale. Everyone and his dog had albums from these bands back in the day, and the availability is just too high to drive up the prices. The Beatles are especially popular and will sell for a bit more – some original pressings can be worth three figures!

The LPs from more unusual bands including Joy Division, Talking Heads, Kraftwerk, Gang of Four, Velvet Underground and Nick Drake will sell for quite a bit more at second hand sales. The reason is simply supply and demand: people collecting records from these bands would have been much fewer at the time, and therefore original pressings are few and far between. These artists remain popular and are highly sought after.

how much vinyl records are worth
Then there are the “second hand shop regular” artists who’s records are worth next to nothing, or maybe just nothing. These include Kamahl, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Perry Como and Louis Armstrong. Very few of these artists’ music has dated well, and therefore very few buyers are interested in purchasing these records. If you are, you are in luck! Formats of music that are unpopular are also readily available, including Big Band and Classical music. Indeed, classical vinyl can be picked up quite cheaply since vinyl is no longer considered an appropriate medium for classical music. New classical music is being released only on CD, and people that listen to classical music are generally of the older generations. The young folk who are the major purchasers of vinyl often have little to no interest in classical music.

Another thing to consider in how much vinyl records are worth is whether the artist has had their work reissued on vinyl. Entire catalogues of some bands have recently been repressed on vinyl, often in 180 gram format which provides an excellent listening experience. This will turn off all but collectors from purchasing the original, since the new version is guaranteed to lack the pops and crackles of 40 year old vinyl.

78 RPM records are generally worth nothing at all. How often have you been to a second hand store to find vinyl and seen piles upon piles of 78s? Very few people are interested in the format or the music that was often recorded on it. The exception to this rule are ‘counter-culture’ recordings from popular artists. This especially includes blues, with artists such as Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson and Blind Willie McTell being hugely popular. Some early bop and gospel has also sold for quite a bit.

Rarity Has a Big Impact On How Much Vinyl Records Are Worth

We’ve established already that popular artists’ records are a dime a dozen. So what formats are more unusual? Here’s a short list. With all formats, having a ‘picture sleeve’ is a big plus. A picture sleeve is a record sleeve with a picture on it (usually of the artist), as opposed to just plain paper.

  • 45s
  • EPs
  • Foreign Pressings
  • Mono recordings

Some genres are worth insane amounts of money but are rarely ever listened to. Ever heard of The Teenagers? They were a doo-wop group formed in the 1950s. They weren’t particularly popular, but their records have become a collector’s item. Their EPs sell for $100 USD or more. For whatever reason, Rhythm and Blues, Doo-Wop and Rockabilly records from the 1940s to the 1960s have a great deal of value. If you or a relation has a collection like this, you’re sitting on a goldmine.

Finding out How Much Vinyl Records Are Worth Using Popsike

Popsike is a simple Ebay auction calculator that processes sale values for vinyl records. It can be a useful tool for discovering what records have recently gone for and gives a history of price fluctuation.

The downside of Popsike is that it only records auctions of records that sold for 25 US dollars or more, which means people will not be able to find out how much vinyl are worth for the majority of their collection. It’s worth going through your collection and picking out rare ones though to see what they’re worth. Some good ones to look for have been discussed earlier. Many people will be surprised to find out how much vinyl records are worth!

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