You probably won’t get rich in today’s money selling most records, but the profit margin in terms of what you paid for them might be surprising.
A new generation is discovering the delights of vinyl and classic recordings, and what was discarded for new technology has become a passion for collectors, musicians and DJs.
Record Fairs and online selling markets also draw new fans of old bands.
We’re not talking about any old record played over and over at parties that has scratches, grooves, beer stains and ripped covers, premium prices are paid for ‘like new’ 78s, 45s, 33s and 12″ singles from the 1950s and 1960s.
Continental Records say the most popular are rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues and jazz records, but other records made in the ’50s and ’60s usually have some value.
They need to replicate the whole experience of buying and playing records. The paper cover on singles, whether 45s or 78s, and the clean pictorial album covers on 33s and EPs take a person to the time and place of the creation of the music recording and listening experience. If they have inserts with song lyrics or band memorabilia it only increases the experience, and the price.
The smart people who catalogued their own collections and kept them in original condition would be reaping the rewards by now.
It makes sense of those who played their records only once, while recording them onto an 8 track or cassette that they could use to play while keeping the original in pristine condition.
If you didn’t even tear the cellophane wrapping on an album they are worth even more.
The original price sticker with the price and possibly even a record store imprint will also add to its interest value.
If you flick through your collection and find for instance, a four-song EP of The Shangri-Las with the 1964 hit Leader of the Pack on it, or a Baby Love EP from The Supremes, or Love Love Me Do by the Beatles, you might be on to something worth a little more than the average.
(As long as they didn’t get scratched as you played them over and over in your heart-broken moments.)
But how much is ‘more’?
A rare four song 45 rpm record with a picture cover in ‘as new’ condition can fetch $200 or more.
If it has the original $1.05 price ticket from Palings, Kings Music or the Record Market on it, that will add even more interest in terms of the record’s life and journey.
If you paid $1.05 or less for it, that’s a hefty profit margin.
Not so rare may fetch from $10 upwards, still nothing to sneeze at if you’re never going to play them again.
Standard 45s can still bring in from $5, $10 or $20 depending on the titles and history of the song or band.
Albums, or LP as they were known as Long Player albums of the 50s and 60s were produced in much less numbers than singles. The record industry was targeted at teens who would spend their pocket money to buy singles of the popular songs they heard on the radio.
Hence, albums are worth more not just because they have more songs on them, but because less of them were made.
Albums from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other enduring music phenomena can bring rewards in the thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars.
But, these prices are rare because pristine copies of them are rare.
What do you have hidden away in a box or cupboard that might be worth at least five times what you paid for it?