Home » Arts and Entertainment

Putting A Value On Vinyl Records- Part One

Apr 13, 2008
One element of the ever changing music industry is that the sale of vinyl records has increased and that these audio treasures are still in demand. In our age of digital products and downloads, there are still millions who prefer the sound and experience of vinyl records. In this two part article, let's explore how a person can ascertain just how much a particular record is worth.

There are many factors and variables that come into play, whether buying or selling records. The 'grading' of a record is very subjective and because no two people grade the record the same, many problems arise when reselling new and used vinyl.

The value of a record is, and this is putting it in a very simplistic way, is what a person is willing to pay another person or business for the record. But there are many other variables that must be considered to put a value on a record, let's look at them:

There is a common misconception that because a record is old, that it is valuable. On the contrary, some records that are just a few months old have more value than some that are 50 years old. And, while it is true that some bands and artists are more sought after and command a better resale price, the condition of the record is paramount, whether the record is a week old or seventy years old; age is not a determining factor, but condition is.

There are several different methods of grading records and unfortunately there is no 'standard' that everyone uses. But let's look at one of the more widely accepted grading methods, which is in the "Rockin' Records" price guide, written by the genre's leading authority; Jerry Osborne. In this method, the record are given a certain 'grade' as to their condition, here are the grades:

Mint (M)- an absolutely perfect record in every way-to allow for a tiny blemish or flaw, this record would be considered Near Mint, which is the highest grade used the in the Osborne record price guides and what the prices in the record guides reflect.

Very Good (VG) - records in this condition should have a minimum of visual or audio imperfections that do not detract from your enjoyment and listening pleasure. You may see a plus or minus after this grade.

Good (G) - From a practical standpoint, this grade may mean the record is a good enough copy to fill a gap in your collection until you can secure a better copy. This record will show obvious signs of wear and tear and play all the way through without skipping.

Osborne explains what you can expect using the following formula. For very good condition, the record is worth 25-50% of the Near Mint price listed in his guides. For Good, figure 10-25% of the near mint price given in his guides. Another common mistake is that people take the price in the guides, grade the record and then do not 'downgrade' for the flaws and condition issues.

Another confusing aspect to this method is that some records might be listed as VG + or VG- or VG++ or NM-. But, what exactly is the person grading the record mean with these notations? Is it for the record, the sleeve, the LP jacket or the record itself? You can see why this way of grading can be very confusing to someone just starting a record collection.

Osborne also suggests a ten point grading scale and some feel that this system allows for a more precise description of the record than the mint, very good, good scale. Here is the scale:

10-Mint
9- Near Mint
8- better than VG but below NM
7- VG
6- better than Good but below VG
5- Good
4- better than Poor but below Good
3- Poor
2 and 1- why bother adding these to a collection?

I prefer the ten point scale, as it eliminates some of the confusion and provides a better description than VG_ or VG++ or G-. One important factor that Osborne stresses is to be honest about the condition and grade, meaning apply the same standard to the record you want to buy or sell as you would want the seller or buyer to give. But, and this goes along with Osborne's recommendation, is a TRUST factor. You must assume and trust that the person giving the grade to the record is honest and will be held accountable for the grade.

But just because a record is visually acceptable may not mean it plays that way, so one must take that into consideration as well. So if you are buying a record you may also ask if it plays the grade that it was given. A long time ago, these two went together, but it seems that we have gotten away from this.

Another element in the grading process, and I have seen this done several ways, is the condition of the LP jacket, picture sleeve, inserts and liner notes. Some sellers may give you two ratings, one for the record and one for the other elements. There are some very valuable album covers and picture sleeves (from 45 rpm records) and these must also be accounted for in the selling price or the value of a vinyl record.

As you can see, this is a 'gray area' when buying and selling vinyl and one that is very subjective. Condition is the most important factor when buying and selling vinyl and when buying records you must be able to find a trustworthy seller and ascertain which method they are using to grade what they have for sale. And, as previously stated, the record price guides lists the prices for records in near mint condition, so that must be taken into account. Obviously, this all can be a bit confusing for a beginner, but a little common sense and education can help any buyer in their quest to add to their collection.

In part two, we will discuss some other important elements that go into finding what the value is for a vinyl record.
About the Author
Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates http://www.collectingvinylrecords.com, where you can pick up a copy of his ebook called "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting." Have your records appraised at http://www.vinylrecordappraisals.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: 5.0 stars by 1 user)
Views: 183
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources