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Valuing Vinyl Records

By Edited Apr 18, 2016 1 1

Vinyl records both a great part of history and an awesome collectible. Not only do they have the extra cool points due to being a vintage item, they also sound much better than any digital equivalent. If you are into listening to your vinyls or just collecting them, you should be interested in their value.

With so many vinyl records for sale globally, and from so many suppliers who make varying claims of value, it is very hard to determinework out just how much they are worth. Read on to discover some of the tell tale factors which will assist you in valuing vinyl records.

As a starting point, most best selling records from any point in the last century were produced by the millions. Generally, this means they are no longer very valuable and you are best off enjoying them how they were meant to be - by playing them! Not so popular records however, can be valued at anywhere between $50 to over $10,000. You have probably already realised that there are so many variables in determining the value of vinyls, so lets begin.

Complete Products

Like most collectibles, vinyl records are most valuable as a complete product. Records all originally came with a paper or picture sleeve. Holding onto these greatly aids in retaining their value. Picture sleeves are easily the most valuable, often being more valuable then the record itself. Keeping these are incredibly important for your records value. Similarly, EPs (7 inch records with less songs) were often produced with a hard cardboard sleeve. In good condition, these complete records and sleeves can fetch a mint! On the other side, if you haven't retained the sleeve, do not expect much.


This is something you probably already know. It is fairly common knowledge that a better condition means something is worth more. This applies to almost everything. If your record is scratched, is noisy while playing, has writing on the label or sleeve or just looks worn, it will have very little value. You can often find records of this condition for less then $5, indicating their minimal value. These are much better used by enjoying them through listening to them.


Of all the records produced in the 1960's and 70's, about 4% of them made it to the top of the charts. This meant they were produced in much higher volumes, and therefore worth less in modern day. These bands often had their entire albums produced as well, which didn't sell as well. This makes these records of much more value. These were mostly found in the 1950s and 1960s. Rhythm and Blues LPs from the 1950's are even rarer. In good condition, these are worth a mint.

Fans - Demand

This comes down to supply vs demand. A large number of fans wanting a particular record will always mean higher prices. It is crucial that these artists have modern day fans, as artists no longer in demand will mean a reduced value.

Other Factors

There are many more factors, and to keep this precise, I will simply list them out. Vinyl record value is further increased by true stereo copies (versus the traditional mono), historical meaningful value, the era it was produced and pressing number. For example, 1st pressings are worth more than promo copies or 2nd, 3rd and 4th pressings.

There are so many factors which make up the value of a vinyl record. Having your collection valued locally by a professional will provide a much more accurate figure than any online method, so this is definitely the place to start.



Nov 3, 2011 8:57pm
Yay! Another vinyl enthusiast! Glad it's not just me here... Good article!
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