Not surprisingly, vinyl music recordings have made a huge comeback on the market as collectibles. But what exactly makes impacts that collection you have? Here are some factors:
Condition: Most collectors prefer buying records that are in pristine or those that have been infrequently used. So if you own a lot of well-worn LPs and 45s, that may have scratches, writings, abrasions or are unplayable, those factors will lower the value. Still a rare record with slight wear is likely to be more valuable than a worn-out very available record.
The Recording Artist Name: Records produced by a little-known artist will not hold the same value as those produced by a popular and revered artist. There are exception of course. For example, if a celebrity does a "cover" of a song by someone relatively unknown, and it suddenly becomes popular, the rendition may make the original artist collectible.
Market Availability: Supply and Demand - the rarer the vinyl, the more valuable it is! Finding or having popular recordings, say by the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but in mint condition, makes them rare and extremely attractive to a collector
Label Artwork/Design: In the 1960s and 70s, it was common for record companies to release an album with different art. This kept fans excited, many of whom would buy the same album with different labels for keepsake. Many albums were packaged in picture sleeves and that artwork would really set the album apart: the more interesting the artwork, the more collectible the album. Records that come with picture sleeves with the artist’s name, the album’s title or song (in the case of singles), and a photograph attract a higher price than one that comes in a plain sleeve.
Vinyl Color: With few exceptions, vinyls pressed in a color other than black have a higher value. These colored records tend to be limited editions and are scarce in the market, making them attractive to collectors. Most of these colored vinyls were promotional to attract radio programmers with few produced - leading to their scarcity.
Limited/Withdrawn and/or Foreign Releases: Generally, foreign releases of an album tend to draw the attention of U.K. and U.S. collectors if the version is different from what the collectors are used to. Another factor that will affect the vinyl records value is whether the record is a limited edition. It is now common for record companies to release a few hundred copies of an album, creating an intentional scarcity.
If you want to sell some of your treasured vinyl records, understanding their value beforehand will help you get the most from them. If they are a part of an estate or you are looking to donate them as a charitable donation, please consult with an authorized appraiser with the proper expertise, to establish the correct value on your collection. Meanwhile, if your collection is worn and non rare, listen to the music and enjoy!!