Selling a record collection can be a time-consuming, stressful, and often a long affair. Our guide will have vinyl out and money in your pocket in no time at all!
Have you been handed down a collection from a loved one? Or maybe you’ve been picking up records for years from the local charity shop and now are being told to clear some space? No matter the situation, we’ve got a handy guide on the pitfalls and tricks to selling your record collection.
But before we start, records are sentimental, and there can be many factors that go into valuing a record or collection. It can be difficult to see sometimes priceless items attributed a value, but if you follow this guide you’ll save time and avoid hassle all in the pricess.
The Three Methods
We suggest there are three main ways to sell that take into balance time and money. You can sell them yourself, sell them to a record shop, or take our mystery third option (which, we think, is the best).
Sell them individually on Discogs or eBay
This is, undoubtedly, the hardest work, but also the one that will provide the best return. For this, you will have to grade your record, identify the variant, manage the shipping, and, sadly, carry the risk if things go wrong.
Grading is, perhaps, going to be the trickiest part of the process if you’re new to records. It’s easy enough to identify something in mint condition — unopened and undamaged — but after that, it becomes a matter of subjective judgment and more of an art than a science.
If your record is somewhat rare, problems can arise if your buyer disagrees with your assessment, and record collectors can be incredibly picky. Is your ‘very good plus’ only their ‘very good’? We always list with conservative gradings – but it does shave off some value in the record, for us the peace of mind is worth it!
Records have been pressed more than once, in more than one country, sometimes all at once. Identifying what version you have can affect an album’s rarity, and therefore value. This is something we even struggle with (don’t get me started on The Beatles!)
Although less subjective than grading, identifying variants can be a lengthy process as you research exactly what LP you are selling. Returning to our picky collector again, things like pressing, cover, and vinyl colour will be important to them. Getting it wrong at this stage will only cause hassle later.
Bespoke Mailers & Shipping
Once you’ve done all the work of listing your records, you have to get them to your buyer. You might think technology has transformed the world. But then you visit the Post Office.
All jokes aside, we suggest using purpose-manufactured vinyl mailers. These are available aplenty but typically cost over £1 per unit. We suggest using the “Amazon Style” mailers, which are book wrap style mailers that protect the corners of the record from dents in transit. The last thing you want is to cheap out on a mailer and cost yourself a sale with a damaged album!
LP mailers fall into Royal Mail’s Parcel size, which means prices start at £3, but for first class, a label usually sets you back around £5.50 a go. Plus the wait in the queue, we love the Post Office, promise!
Once you’ve learned, you’re the master!
Although you shouldn’t forget to factor in the cost of your time in preparing for the sale and shipping, selling directly is likely to be the most lucrative option. With no middleman taking a cut, and the ability to set your price, you will get every penny those records are worth.
Sell your collection in one go to a store!
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: this will probably have the lowest return. But while the amount you make may be lower than other options, it’s worth considering the many benefits that selling to your local record store will have.
One of the first is convenience. They are local, for a start, and they are not only paying you for your records, but they are also taking a lot of work off your hands. They will be grading, cleaning, listing, and selling your records, saving you all that time and effort.
And let’s not forget the wider benefits. You aren’t just selling your records; you’re helping a small business that contributes to the vinyl community. Who knows, next time you are in there you might be browsing next to someone who found their new favorite by buying one of your records.
The mystery third super-option
You’d probably guessed already, but as a subscription box for vinyl, we go through a lot (and we mean a lot) of records. As such, we’re always buying!
And yes, we are biased, but we think there are some very good reasons it’s the best way for you to make some money from your records.
Because we are lucky enough to have lower overheads than record stores, we can spend more money for your collection. We will also arrange for your collection to be collected from your premises free of charge- so no lugging around heavy boxes around the town!
We pay by bank transfer, so the cash gets straight into your bank account, and, to top it all, we’re an incredibly friendly bunch to deal with.
And, like the record store, you can be confident that your vinyl will find a loving home, and maybe even find new life as someone’s favourite listen!
To get the ball rolling on selling a collection, then message [email protected] and we’ll look after you! Thank you!