What You Should Know About Selling Vinyl Records
Vinyl records are currently trending, but this wasn’t always the case.
Once upon a time, vinyl records were a popular way to listen to music. But eventually their popularity waned. They became replaced by newer technology such as the Walkman, the CD, and eventually streaming music.
However, they eventually made a comeback. In fact, some vinyl records are worth a lot of money due to their nostalgia factor. They are many collectors who make good money selling vinyl records.
To meet the demand, there are many companies that buy and sell vinyl. Funky Moose stands out for our rich collection and terrific customer service. We also sell cleaning supplies, accessories, gear, merchandise and more.
Read on to find out why you should sell vinyl records with Funky Moose.
What are Vinyl Records?
Vinyl records are made of a synthetic plastic called polyvinyl chloride which consists of ethylene (crude oil) and chlorine. The material was created as part of the plastic boom in the early 1900’s. It was one of the many synthetic polymers that outperformed wood, stone, and ceramic.
While the materials came out in the 1900’s, the first vinyl record didn’t come out on the market until years later, in 1948. It was introduced by Columbia Records at 33 1/3 rpm speed. The microgroove plastic offered 21 minutes of music per side, an upgrade from the 78 rpm that could only play 5 minutes of music per side.
Less than a year after the 33 1/3 rpm speed was introduced came the 45 rpm. This type of vinyl offered 4-5 minutes of music per side. It was ideal for singles. Unlike 78 rpm, it featured a more compact design.
Vinyl was a popular way to listen to music for some time, but eventually other devices took its place. The first threat to the medium was the Walkman which came out in 1979. It used a cassette tape and allowed people to listen to music on the go.
But the real blow to vinyl happened when CDs came out in 1988. Their compact form made them easy to put in a player and listen to. They marked the death knell to vinyl with its popularity continuing to wane into 1991 when it seemingly drifted into oblivion.
Then, in 2008, the tides turned. Vinyl came back into favor due to its vintage sound, full sized artwork, and its sense of nostalgia. In fact, many vinyl records became collector’s items and are worth a good amount of money.
How are Vinyl Records Made?
Vinyl records are made in a multi-step process as follows:
- Flat discs made of aluminum core are sanded down to a smooth finish. The discs are placed on a conveyer belt and coated in a nitrocellulose lacquer. Rollers catch the excess lacquer which is later reused. Once the lacquer is dry, the nitro finish takes on a texture similar to nail polish.
- The discs are inspected to look for flaws. Once they pass inspection, a hole is punched in the center.
- The discs are cut using a recording machine called a lathe. The disc is placed onto the lathe and its protective strips are removed. The disc is secured with a vacuum line at the center. Then a microscope and cutter are moved to the disc’s outer edge for a test cut. A microscope is used to test the grooves for issues.
- The engineer begins recording by allowing the lathe to cut a continuous groove with a sapphire tipped cutter. The recording is monitored by a computer which can adjust the spacing between grooves if necessary. A vacuum removes excess lacquer created in the cutting process.
- After recording is complete, the engineer will test the record. If it sounds good, they will scratch a serial number into the inner edge of the disc.
- Next the stamper must be made. This involves washing the disc and spraying it with tin chloride and liquid silver. The silver that doesn’t stick is washed away. Then a dull metal is added to the silver side to get the disc ready for electroplating.
- Electroplating is done by immersing the silver-plated disc into a liquid tank of dissolved nickel. The nickel fuses to the silver surface by an electrical charge.
- The disc is removed from the electroplating tank and the metal layer is removed from the disc. The removed metal layer serves as the stamper. An optical centering punch makes a hole in the disc’s center. Then the excess metal is trimmed off.
- Labels are produced in square stacks and are punched in the center and trimmed to fit the circles.
- The final step is the pressing process which involves pouring polyvinyl chloride into a hopper which feeds the material into an extruder that condenses it into a small puck shape called a biscuit.
- The machines hold the biscuits in place as labels are placed above and below.
- The biscuit and labels are moved to the press where 100 tons of pressure is applied at high temperatures to melt and mold the biscuit into a new vinyl record.
- Once hot, the excess vinyl is ready for a final trim. Then it will be ready for listening enjoyment.
Are Newer Vinyl Records Bad for the Listener?
Newer vinyl records are not bad for the listener. However, there are common complaints about them being poorly manufactured. Some say that they are not well pressed and cut too hot causing them to make crackly and popping sounds.
Basically, most feel that old vinyl sounds better than new vinyl. However, it depends on the product. While some new vinyl sounds great, other records don’t make the cut.
Which Countries Still Produce Vinyl Records?
There are several countries that still produce vinyl records. They include:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
Why are Vinyl Records Becoming Popular Again?
Vinyl records are becoming popular again for a variety of reasons. Here are some to consider:
- They have a warm, rich, vintage sound
- They bring a sense of nostalgia
- They have big, attractive artwork
- They may have additional features like pullout posters
- They offer an experience of putting on the album, lifting the needle, etc.
These attractive features are part of why collectable vinyl records can be bought and sold at just about any record shop.
How Much Do Vinyl Records Cost?
Vinyl records vary in value depending on the artist and the rarity. They can cost as little as 50 cents and as much as $50.
A rare vinyl record will be particularly expensive. For example, Frank Wilson’s ‘Do I Love You?’ sold for $40,000 as it was extremely rare. Elvis Presley’s ‘Good Luck Charm’ can net up to $20,000.
But with all things being equal, vinyl will still be worth more than CDs. For example, if you look up the price of your favorite artist’s album in CD form, you will find it's $5 to $10 less expensive then its vinyl counterpart. Vinyl is generally more expensive due to a lack of pressing plants, supply chain issues, and other factors.
How Do You Attain Vinyl Records?
The best place to buy a vinyl record is at a record store. Most of today’s brick-and-mortar record stores sell vinyl.
However, the record store is not the only game in town when it comes to vinyl buying. You can also purchase vinyl online whether it be through a retailer or through your favorite artist’s website. You can also find it at flea markets and garage sales.
Can You Tell What the Value of a Record is Just by Looking at It?
You can’t be 100% sure what your record is worth just by looking at it. But there are some tell-tale signs to look out for. These include:
- Catalogue Number: if you have a catalogue number such as 0000001, it means it was the first record to be pressed and it may be worth money.
- Autographed: If your record was autographed by the artist, it will increase its value.
- Genre and Age: The most expensive records tend to be rock and roll, blues, soul, jazz, and country, in that order. And the older it is, the better.
- Condition: while old records are worth a lot of money, they should be in ‘like-new’ condition when you sell them. It’s best if they are sealed in their original plastic sleeve.
If you suspect your record is worth a lot of money based on appearance, you can confirm this by consulting the internet. Sites like Discogs, Popsike and eBay will give you a good idea of what the record is selling for.
What To Look Out for When Buying Vinyl Records
Here are some things to look out for when buying vinyl records:
- Condition: Vinyl records won’t be worth much if they are not in good condition. Check the vinyl for dirt and scratches to ensure it will sound its best. You should also look at the jacket to ensure there’s no ring wear, mold, splits or any other obvious signs of wear and tear.
- Grading: If you are buying vinyl online, it’s likely to be rated by the Goldmine grading system that tells you how good the condition of the album is. This is as follows: M- Mint, NM- Near Mint, VG+- very good+ or E- Excellent, VG- Very Good, G- Good, P or F- Poor or Fair. Generally, it’s best to stay away from vinyl with anything less than a VG rating.
- Price: It’s difficult to determine what to pay for an album. It’s really down to what it’s worth to you. Scarcity, demand and pressing will all be considered in the equation. You can also check other resources to find out how much the album is selling for.
What Causes the Value of a Vinyl Record to Increase or Decrease?
If you are looking to sell your vinyl records, be aware that there are some factors that can make its value increase or decrease. These include:
Popularity of the Artist: If you buy an album by an artist very few people know and they suddenly take off, you may be looking at vinyl that’s worth more than you expected. On the other hand, if the artist’s popularity starts to wane, your vinyl may be worth less than you thought.
Withdrawn Editions: The edition of your vinyl record may get withdrawn from the market which will increase the value of vinyl records. For example, the record could get pulled from shelves if there is a problem with the album art or if some sort of error was made with the design. If this is the case, your album will soar in value.
Availability on the Market: If you bought an album many years ago that is now hard to find on the market, or if its edition is hard to find on the market, it could be worth a lot of money.
Collectable Vinyl Records I’ve Had in My Collection
When I was a child, my mother gave me all her original Beatles albums. Unfortunately, she let my sister and I play them to death. But if she hadn’t, they would have been worth a considerable amount of money.
An original Beatles album in good condition could be worth $50 - $150. But there are certain factors that could make them even more valuable.
For example, I had the original pressing of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band. Mint copies are currently worth between $170 and $185. But there is a 1969 copy that is worth about $340 because it is a mono matrix YEX 637/8, but it plays in stereo.
I also had the album Revolver. This one is valuable as it’s one of The Beatles’ best albums. But a first pressing will be worth even more. You can tell if you have a first pressing if it has the matrix XEX6061-1 on side two, black and yellow labels, and the words “The Gramophone Co. Ltd.” And “Sold in the UK” on the label.
Rubber Soul was another album I had in my collection. Too bad I never checked on the spelling of the song title “Norwegian Wood”. It seems that someone who couldn’t spell typed this one as “Norweigian Wood” on the yellow and black label of side 1. The error was spotted and corrected, but not before a few went to market. If you own an album with the wrong spelling, you have a valuable piece on your hands.
What Shops Will Look for When You Sell Vinyl Records
If you are selling vinyl records, keep in mind that the shop will look for certain characteristics to determine if they will accept your record and how much it’s worth. These include:
First Pressing: A first pressing of a record is typically worth more money. A record buyer will be able to tell whether your album is a first pressing due to the number and letter combinations on the record spine. Original pressings will have a four letter and four number combinations while later pressings will have two letter and five number combinations.
Foreign Pressing: A foreign pressing will be worth more if it’s different from the version collectors are used to or if it’s a limited edition.
Condition: While some amount of wear and tear will be acceptable, buyers generally want an album in good condition if not mint condition.
How To Keep Your Records in Good Condition and Possibly Increase Their Value
It’s important to keep your records in good condition. That way you can get maximum value for them. Here are some helpful tips:
- Handle the album with care. Avoid touching its surface.
- Clean the record regularly.
- Use paper or plastic sleeves to keep the album protected.
- Store the record upright with the spines facing outward.
- Store the album in a cool dry place. Temperatures between 45- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit are recommended.
The only way to increase the value of your album is to get it autographed by the artist. This is not an easy feat, but it may be worth it. In addition to adding to your album’s value, you will also get a meet and greet with the artist.
How Could Someone Ruin Their Record So It Loses Value?
Failing to care for your record will make it lose its value. For example, if you store it improperly, throw it around, and touch its surface, you will damage the album and it’s packaging. You can also do what my mother did and give your albums to your young kids to play, hehe!
Selling vinyl records is a great way to earn money. Although the medium waned in popularity for some time, vinyl is back in full force and ready for trading and sales. The value of vinyl records can be affected by many factors such as condition, rarity, and more.
If you are looking to sell vinyl records, Funky Moose is your ultimate destination. Funky Moose is a store created by collectors, for collectors. We buy and sell a wide selection of albums including many rarities.
Funky Moose is the number one destination for selling vinyl records. We will get you great prices for your vinyl and, after viewing our wide selection, we’re sure you will find a few you will want to take back home with you. Visit our website, drop us a line, or come into our location to find out how we can help you get money for your records today.