5 Easy Ways to Sell Vinyl Records for Cash
No matter the reason you’re looking to sell your record collection, it’s important to do it the right way to ensure maximum profits. Knowing what you have before you sell it is important, as well as knowing the easiest ways to get cash for your vinyl.
This article will go into both of those things, and we’ll be discussing places to sell vinyl records while keeping these things in mind:
- Ease of Payment Reception
- Safe and Secure Method
- Speed of Sale
- Closest Selling Price to Actual Value
Turntable Comparison Chart
Below, please take a moment to view our interactive table to compare some of the more popular turntables on the market.
|Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT|
|Audio Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB|
|Audio Technica AT-LP3XBT|
|Pro-Ject T1 BT (Black)|
Things to Consider Before Selling Vinyl
Establishing vinyl records value is an inexact science, and there are a number of factors that go into determining whether a given record is something that will bring a lot of money from a collector or something that would best be used as a placemat. That being said, it’s nice to know what you have before you sell it. While the age can have an effect on a vinyl record’s value, it’s one of the less important factors. This should be obvious, but the artist in question will be a big factor in determining the value of a record.
This factor is pretty straightforward when it comes to vinyl records value; records that sold well and are quite common are going to be less valuable than records that sold poorly or are hard to find. A lot of albums sold in the 1970s and early 1980s sold millions of copies when new, and as such, it isn’t difficult to find copies in nice, playable condition. On the other hand, even records that sold well when new can become scarce in time, especially when one takes the condition of the record into account.
Albums by Elvis Presley and the Beatles sold millions of copies when they were first released, but finding nice original copies of those records now can be difficult, as many have been thrown away or damaged through heavy play or abuse. Because the condition of a record is held to be important by collectors, the ideal example of a record to own, in the eyes of many collectors, would be one that has never been played at all. Because of this, collectors will often pay a huge premium for sealed, unopened examples of records they are seeking.
While all of the factors listed above are important when it comes to evaluating a vinyl record’s value, perhaps none is as important as the condition of the record. Most mass produced records sold over the past 60 years or so have been poorly cared for by their owners. They may have been played on low-quality equipment, stored outside of their covers, and handled by their playing surfaces, rather than their edges.
Record changers, which were phonographs that were capable of playing up to a dozen records in sequence, were popular in the 1960s and 1970s and were particularly prone to adding scratches and abrasions to a record’s playing surface. Many covers were poorly stored, leading to ring wear or splits in the covers.
Furthermore, owners often wrote their names or other information on the record’s cover or label. Collectors are interested in buying records in the best possible condition, and ideally, they’d like to own copies of all of their records in the same condition in which they were originally sold – mint and unplayed, with pristine covers.
Finding a copy of any record that is more than 20 years old in such condition is quite difficult, and the value of a record can vary widely depending on its condition. In the case of many records from the late 1950s and early 1960s, finding worn and nearly-unplayable copies of a particular record might be relatively easy, while finding one in mint condition may be nearly impossible. In the case of such records, a mint copy might sell for 50 times as much money as a worn-out copy of the same record.
|Best Selling Vinyl Records|
|1) The College Dropout by Kanye West|
|2) Circles by Mac Miller|
|3) Nevermind by Nirvana|
|4) Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest|
|5) Illmatic by Nas|
Easiest Places to Sell Records
This is the part where we’ll break down every option for easy vinyl sales. Let’s get to it.
Even if you’ve never used Ebay, you’ve most likely heard of it. Ebay’s ability to reach a wide array of potential customers is incredible if you’re looking to sell your records, and it’s really not that hard. If you’re just selling one or two albums, make sure you take photos of the front and the back, along with any imperfections the jacket or record may have. If you’re selling a large amount of records in one collection, ideally try and take group pictures of albums that allow for each album to be fully seen. Personally, if you’re selling dozens and dozens of records in one single auction, avoid going the lazy route and just taking one picture of your massive collection.
Next, make an account (or sign in if you already have one), and you’ll be prompted to pick a category for your auction. This is up to you, but you’re probably want to go with something like Music > Records, and then potentially pick a sub category within “Records” if need be (such as 45s, 78s, or whatever specific or unique records you plan to sell). Ebay also allows you lots of space to write an accurate description of what you have to sell.
Do your best to not just describe the condition of the record accurately, but also all of the albums you’re selling—including artist name or title. There’s nothing worse than going to an eBay auction where someone is selling 20 records, and they simply describe what they are selling as a “big collection of rap records” or “a mix of rock and country albums.” Going this route doesn’t help the buyer know what they’re getting.
If you’re selling twenty records, name each and every album you’re offering to the reader. Otherwise, you risk losing their interest because it seems like you’re being coy.
When it comes to selling on eBay, not only do you need to make sure that you don’t violate any policies (it’s always good to read website policies or Terms of Service before you sell on a given platform), but you need to definitely be conscious of fees through PayPal as well because they’ll be taking a chunk.
Discogs is an incredible database when it comes to music, but they are known just as much for their extremely popular marketplace. I like to think of the Discogs marketplace as a more thorough and reliable version on eBay. If you’re someone that doesn’t want to write lengthy descriptions of what you’re selling, or someone that has no interest in taking photos of the records you’re putting up for sale, Discogs might be the marketplace for you.
Sometimes sellers will snap photos of their records, but many, many sellers simply post the cover art for an album they are selling on Discogs. Now, as a buyer on Discogs, most always felt comfortable purchasing vinyl because I feel sellers take the vinyl grading system very seriously. And if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense.
Ebay, for example, is a platform for selling everything—you can buy a vinyl record on eBay just as easily as you can buy a toaster or used car. That means you’re getting a wider array of sellers, and if they are selling music, they may not be too hip to Goldmine grading system. Sellers on Discogs, from my experience, are different. Discogs is a music website, and it’s visited by music fans. Therefore, the marketplace is going to be taken a lot more seriously by buyers and sellers alike.
Another thing you might want to consider is allowing a potential buyer the option of making you an offer instead of buying the album for the list price. This means that, if you’re selling a VG+ album by Prince, instead of saying it sells for $15, you might list it as $15 with the option for people to make you an offer (on eBay, this would be set up as a fixed price auction with the option to allow buyers to make an offer).
If someone offers you $10 for the Prince album, and you find that acceptable, you can agree and you’ve made a sale. And, if you are generous with your shipping incentives or discounts, perhaps someone will come back and buy additional vinyl records that you’re selling with the expectation that they’ll get a combined shipping discount.
You Might Also Like: The 9 Best Places to Buy Vinyl Records Online and Offline
A route you may want to go is setting up your own shop online. Think setting up an ecommerce store is difficult? Not with Shopify! The site offers a proven, systematic solution that supports you through every step of the process from choosing and customizing your design to processing credit cards and managing inventory. With help, you’ll be selling records online sooner than you think.
First, select a professionally designed web template from the Theme Store and customize it to meet your needs. Next, you can start to set up your store by using your dedicated backend administrative area to add products and assign features. Finally, the site helps you implement your shopping cart for credit card processing, order fulfillment and customer management. Shopify provides you with everything you need to sell vinyl records online.
Shopify does a good job of offering all the features you want with none of the hassle, and Shopify really makes it easy to build and manage your online store. A huge plus is the simple interface where you can easily manage your products within the Shopify admin. Upload your own images or use free stock photos, add new products, feature items, edit inventory, and much more. Plus, you’ll have access to business tools to keep track of the status on all orders.
You can use this to analyze your order history to build better customer relations and target your marketing campaign. There are also professional templates in the Theme Store, or you can design your own. You have complete control over the look and feel of your store via the admin and theme settings. If you run into a roadblock, contact Shopify’s amazing support staff who are there to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can email or call their dedicated support team if you have any issues as you sell your collection.
There are a few additional places online where you can sell vinyl records. One of them is of course Amazon—specifically the Amazon marketplace. For this to really work, however, you need to be willing to sell something that’s either competitively priced, or you need to sell something that’s otherwise sold out and hard to find.
Remember that when you’re selling on Amazon’s marketplace, not only might you be competing with Amazon itself as a selling competitor, but you also must factor shipping into the equation.
So for example, if you’re selling the soundtrack of “Stranger Things” on vinyl via Amazon, you might literally be competing with Amazon.com itself, which is also selling the same copy of “Stranger Things” and is likely offering its Amazon Prime customers 2-day shipping. And if that wasn’t enough, you of course have to factor in fees.
It’s a process learning how to become a seller on Amazon as well. As of late, they’ve added a lot of new rules and regulations you must comply with, and that can be time and energy encompassing.
Local Record Store
This option is contingent on you having a record store nearby, but you can still sell records in person at your local record shop. Some shops are a little stingy and won’t buy your stuff for even 50% of what they’d sell it for, but if you’re on good terms with your local owner, you might be in better shape than others.
That being said, record stores aren’t money trees: they need to make a profit on days other than Record Store Day, so you can’t expect them to do everything they can to make your selling experience perfect. Be realistic when selling to your local store.
Selling your records can seem stressful, but any of these 5 easy ways to sell your records are great options if you’re looking to move your collection. Whether online or in person, the important thing is knowing what the value is of what you’re selling, and if you know that, then you can make an educated decision on selling.
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