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Guess What? You Don’t Have to Justify Your Vinyl Habit Anymore!

Posted by Josh Dolin on

While vinyl has never gone out of style, a recent interest in vinyl records has given the industry a new jump-start. Dedicated vinyl collectors know their collections are invaluable, but it’s nice when these jump-starts validate their passion. Renewed interest in records also makes it easier to get money for your vinyl when you need it.

Understandably, parting with your beloved vinyl is often difficult. However, weeding out preowned records is a great way to earn quick money <maybe to buy some new vinyl? ;)>, especially in an economy that is still struggling in many areas. Before you start selling your vinyl though, it’s vital to understand how to do so the right way. You want to make sure your vinyl isn’t sold for less than it’s worth and that it ends up in appreciative hands. Our tips can help you do both and walk away satisfied that you’ve made a good decision regarding your vinyl collection.

Know How to Grade Your Records

Like many other products, vinyl records have specific grades that influence their pricing. Records are graded by two standards – visual grading and play grading. Visual grading lets a potential buyer know if the record has any defects, including scratches and dings that may seem insignificant but can negatively influence the worth and enjoyment of the record. Do your own visual grading using halogen light or direct natural sunlight positioned a short distance from the record. Look for scratches, bubbles, bits of paper or debris in the vinyl, and similar defects. In some cases, you may be able to remove imperfections yourself, but it is usually best to ask a vinyl expert for assistance.

Play grading refers to the record’s overall sound quality. To determine this, you will need to listen to the entire record. Experts recommend doing so multiple times on different systems. Audiophile turntables are a great option to rely on because they, more than any other system, can pick up warping, distortion of music and lyrics, and other problems. 

Preowned records are graded using a letter system. The best is NM, or Near Mint. The worst is P, or Poor. As you grade more vinyl you will be able to assign your own lettering, but it is best to consult an expert for your first several vinyl sales.

Know Your Versions

Just like cassettes, CDs, and iPods, vinyl records go through plenty of versions. It’s crucial to know if you have an original or a remake, as this will influence pricing, and ultimately, your decision to sell. Other determining factors include label names, catalog numbers, etchings, and the overall rarity of the vinyl. Again, consult an expert to determine how each factor affects your sale.

Keep Up with Vinyl Sales

Many vinyl owners are reluctant to sell their collections because they aren’t sure if they will get a decent amount of money or if regenerated interest will stay current for long. In reality though, many reports indicate the interest in vinyl is here to stay. Recently, vinyl sales have generated more money than Spotify, YouTube, and Vevo combined. In fact, vinyl sales were up 52% in late 2015.

It’s not just “hipsters” who enjoy vinyl, either. This music format has found plenty of devotees across several demographics. Surprisingly, people under 30 are one of the biggest demographics attracted to vinyl right now. Although vinyl has not yet surpassed the allure of streaming programs like Spotify, the experience of buying and collecting physical records is still quite valuable around the country. One big reason for that is the inability to purchase or download some rare songs or albums via media, which makes purchasing the vinyl copy a great option. Additionally, many listeners appreciate the fact that vinyl hearkens back to a simpler time.

Be a Knowledgeable Vinyl Salesperson

Selling vinyl is a process in itself, and it’s vital to choose the right buyers. Ideally, your buyer should be someone who is as passionate about vinyl as you are – someone who recognizes the value of both the physical record and its content. It’s even better if you can find a buyer with a particular interest in the genres or groups you enjoy. When vetting a buyer, especially a store or dealer, ask how long they’ve dealt in vinyl and how they intend to protect and display your collection.

When considering which vinyl records to sell, think about which ones are generating the most interest in your area. Consult music experts face to face and online. Look up sales related to the genres or groups whose albums you’ve collected over the years. Compare prices frequently so you don’t get undersold, and make sure you truly want or need to sell before making a final deal. Unless you need a large amount of cash quickly, it may be worth holding onto the rarest or nearest-mint albums in your collection for a while longer.

Ready to start feeding your vinyl habit? Shop for vinyl records to add to your collection!


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