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Estimating the value of your records

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Estimating the value of your records
There are various methods in which you can estimate the value of your vinyl recordings. Some are simple, others require a certain amount of leg-work. Whether you are buying, selling, or just curious about the value of your collection, it's important that you take the time, and do your homework. After all...the more research you do now, will either save you or make you money in the long run.
Price Guides
Using published record price guides is perhaps the most common and easiest method for establishing the value of your recordings. Available from a number of sources, price guides can be obtained at full retail price, discounted price, or used for free.
Local book stores will usually offer a number of price guides and collector's catalogs. If you find that the selection is limited, they will order a specific guide for you...if still in print. The major advantage of purchasing a book from the local book store is the ability to actually view the item that you are about to purchase. You may decide that, after flipping through the pages, the guide is not suited to your needs. Where as by buying off the internet, you don't have that luxury.
Online book outlets make it easy, you just let your fingers do the shopping! Plus, they usually have a far greater variety of price guides and collector's books to choose from. Because of low overhead, or their cost to operate a business, they can often offer merchandise at a discount. Additionally, if the company is operating outside you own state, the sale is usually "tax free". Although any tax benefit, may be offset by the cost of shipping.
Two of the largest online book stores are Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
The library will sometimes carry a price guide or two. If they don't have the book you want, perhaps they can have a copy transferred from another library within the region. Although the guide may not be a current edition, it's use is free.
Record Stores
The local record store may be an excellent source of information. Either by browsing the bins, looking for the same or similar discs that you have in your collection. Or just by asking the salesperson behind the counter.
The online record store may offer similar advantages as the local record store. Most frequently, online dealers will have a listing of the records that they have in stock. Or, if their collection is extremely large, they may even offer a search feature.
And like the owner of the local shop, the online dealer may offer a free quote.
A great place to find online record stores is the Record Collector Guilds Music Links .
Online Auction Houses
A extremely popular method for the buying or selling records has been the online auction house . There, you can check the final auction price that the record has brought. Although this might not be a true indication of the record's real value, it does show what collector's are paying for certain discs.
There are a number of online auction houses to choose from. But most certainly the largest is eBay.com.
Online Price Guides
Another option for establishing the value of your recordings, is the use of a online price guide. One popular guide, which is often mentioned in the message board of the R.C.Guild, would be popsike.com. This site captures the results of auctions from eBay and creates a listing of a records estimated value. In their own words:

"We are providing an archive of past auctions. Most of the records have been auctioned at ebay, certainly the largest auction house for rare vinyl records.

Online auction houses are a very popular method for buying or selling records. At popsike.com, you can check the final auction price that a certain record has brought. Although this might not be a true indication of the record's real value, it does show what collectors are paying for rare items.

There is no fixed price for a second-hand record, no matter how rare it is. The price of a rare record is purely determined by what people are prepared to pay for it."

Another such site goes by the name of Recordmaster.Com. This is not a "free" service. You have to pay a subscription fee.

Using their own words:
"...the Intenet's first music price guide! With over 650,000 listings, this is one of the largest music databases ever written. Thousands of quality cover photos to help determine the exact recording you own. Searchable by song title!"
They also state:
.....IT'S OWNERS, EMPLOYEES OR RELATED COMPANIES ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCURAY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS DATABASE, NOR FOR THE CORRECTNESS OF VALUES IN A CHANGING MARKET, NOR FOR ANY ECONOMIC LOSS WHICH MAY BE ENCOUNTERED WITH REGARD TO THE USE OF THIS MATERIAL.
Although, when visited by the Guild, the listings were a little thin and outdated. But it's still another way to gather information.
Our Message Board
The Message Board of the Record Collectors Guild , has proved to be a very fine source of information. Simply ask a question within the appropriate forum and receive an answer from our very knowledgable membership. To visit our message board, click HERE.
The Bottom Line
As with all price estimates...it's a ballpark figure! A lot has to do with the physical condition and demand for the disc.
The bottom line, as with all collectibles, is that the value of the item is based on what the market is willing to spend. Hopefully, by using some of the sources included on this page, you will be able to establish a fair market value for your disc or collection.
 


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