How to Sell Vinyl Records

Whether you just have a couple of records you want to sell, are considering selling a collection that you‘ve carefully curated over the years, or just need help selling some records that you inherited, we‘ll show you the steps you need to take in order to be a successful seller.

Vinyl Record Sales Growth

Vinyl records are in high demand in 2014. According to stats released by Nielsen Soundscan and Discogs, sales of vinyl records have increased by 360% from 2006 to 2012 in markets tracked by Nielsen Soundscan, and more than 985% in the Discogs Marketplace.

Vinyl Record Sales

Grading Vinyl Records

The condition of your records will greatly influence their value. No matter how scarce your records are, they‘re of no value to anyone if they‘re not enjoyable to listen to.

There are two different types of grading that should go into making an accurate grade: play grading and visual grading.

For play grading, you‘ll need to listen closely to the sound of the record, preferably the entire thing. It‘s recommended that you use different systems at first to help determine which setup produces the most accurate representation of the sound to best determine issues like needle wear, scratches, bubbles, bits of paper or other defects in the vinyl. Putting the record on a turntable is also a good method of discovering subtle warping or bubbling from heat damage.

For visual grading it‘s best to use a higher lumen light source a short distance away from the record itself. Halogen and direct natural sunlight work best for this. Defects that may seem trivial or invisible on lower wattage lights will become more prevalent under stronger lighting. Find a solution that works best for you.

The best teacher of grading ultimately is experience. If you can find someone who is experienced in grading who is willing to show you the ropes and help teach you, go for it. You can also find help from other sellers in the Discogs Marketplace Help Forum.

Identifying the Correct Version

Many records have been pressed numerous times over the years and some are more rare and valuable than others. What might look like two copies of the same record on cursory glance may yield a difference of hundreds to thousands of dollars in value! For example, there are at least 24 different versions of The Beatles album Yesterday And Today. Two copies of this release that look nearly identical can vary in value by several hundred dollars:

Underneath the regular cover in the picture shown is the so-called ''butcher'' cover of this release, which induced such an outrage that the album was recalled and new artwork was created from an earlier Beatles photoshoot. This pressing is rare and worth significantly more than the common pressing.

This is the common pressing, which to the untrained eye is identical to the other pressing and is worth $5 to $10 on average.

Be sure to verify things like label names, catalog numbers, and the etchings that can be found in the runout groove / dead wax area to correctly identify the version of a release you own.

How Much Are My Vinyl Records Worth?

Once you‘ve accurately graded the condition of your record, and identified the exact version you own, you can determine the value of your records. Look at what other sellers are asking for the same version of the record you want to sell, in the same condition. You can also find historical sales data on Discogs, which only includes orders where the seller actually received payment from the buyer. Other resources for sales history are Popsike or CollectorsFrenzy, which offer sales data from eBay, but may include orders where the seller didn‘t receive payment for the order.

Where Can I Sell My Vinyl Records?

There are a number of online marketplaces where you can sell your records. Here are some comparisons of different marketplaces and their costs:

  No Expiration Free Listings Selling Fees
Discogs Yes Yes 8% on items only
eBay No No 13% on items and shipping + additional fees
Amazon Yes No 15% on items and shipping + additional fees

Start Selling on Discogs