Older albums can be re-released on newer media such as mp3s.Due to the fact that new records often don’t exist and sealed originals are extremely rare and expensive, vinyl Collectors often have to buy used records.Knowing what signs to look for when buying usedLP records can help you start a collection or find new artists to listen to.
Step 1: Check the record for any marks on the surface.
Light scratching and marks can be found on almost all records.These are small scratches on the surface of the vinyl, and you can tell they don’t get into the grooves.The grooves of the vinyl can be scratched or chipped, which is why some records have cuts.The price of a record can be lowered by one or two small cuts.Smaller scratches are harder to feel than deep ones.If you still want the record, try to sample it first.You shouldn’t ignore the record’s quality if you’re only buying records for decoration.You can drive the price down if you find scratches or defects.
Step 2: Unless you have a reliable way to clean them, avoid very dusty records.
The needle lays on the grooves to translate the music into sound.Dust or lint on the record will cause the needle to move when it hits it, creating noise.This is where the static and popping noises come from.Dust can be removed with a brush, but it’s hard to play a record without a vacuum cleaner.Light dust can be cleaned with a record brush and a small amount of distilled water.
Step 3: You can feel the thickness of the record by looking from the sides.
Thinner records degrade in quality more quickly than thicker ones.They warp or bend much faster.If you notice the difference in thickness, you can pick up an old record in the discount section.The former is easy to bend and the high-quality records are heavy.If a record has been warped, it will sound off and skip.New records are printed on “180g” vinyl, which is a high quality weight that will last for a long time.The major cause of warping is records that were stacked on top of each other, not side by side.
Step 4: Pay attention to the record’s grade when buying it.
The condition of a record and its sleeve will be graded frequently by the seller, and should always be provided when buying online.The grading process is subjective and varies between sellers, but it gives you valuable information about the record’s condition and price.A huge change in price for an extremely rare record can be caused by a minor grade change.The records graded “Mint” have never been played before, but they are close to perfect.It is a rare, expensive, and high-quality jacket.Will play well.There are a few cosmetic defects, such as sticker peeling, light discoloration, and even light warping, that could make a VG+ an NM.Occasionally, the record is slightly better than VG+, but not mint.There was some noise when it was played.The jacket and labels can be damaged.VG records usually only have one or two of these problems.There will be noise in the background, but should still play through.The cover won’t be in great shape.Any record graded G or G+ should play.These records are damaged.Unless it is a very rare record, these shouldn’t sell for more than $0.50.
Step 5: If you want to buy expensive records, try to listen to them.
If you can’t listen to the whole thing, you should check out any problem areas you’ve found and get an idea of the overall noise level.If the store doesn’t have sample turntables with headphones attached, you can usually ask the clerk to put the record on.When listening, pay attention to the quiet moments.A little static and some pops are normal, but they should be subtle and not dominate the music.If you see any scratches, you can test them out by putting the needle just before the scratch and listening to how it handles the noise.
Step 6: The price of a record depends on how much you’re willing to pay.
Most of the prices are subjective, and records are not a regulated market.The quality of the cover, vinyl, and the number of records in the store are all factors that affect the price of a record.You should be prepared to bargain to your desired price because you can often find incredible deals at thrift stores and garage sales.Record store clerks are used to bargaining for records.Make an offer if you feel like something is overpriced.
Step 7: You can find a good idea of the price by searching for the record’s code online.
There is a combination of letters and numbers on the spine of the jacket and the record’s ring.A simple way to look up the value of the record is to use your phone to check the code on a website.You can see what other people are selling the disc for, as well as other ways to identify the record’s price.Keep reading if the record is worth a lot of money.Many early Beatles pressings have the same code.
Step 8: Currently popular bands will be more expensive.
The popularity of a record is almost entirely determined by how well known the band is.The Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and other popular bands are still in high demand and are worth a lot more.If you’ve seen lots and lots of the same record, you can be sure that it’s cheap like “Rumors.”
Step 9: Look for splits or cracks in the jacket.
The record jacket is just as important as the actual vinyl.The whole record will be more expensive if the jacket comes with a poster of Prince.The jacket is a major indicator of a record’s worth, as most people listening to records simply want an album that sounds good.Writing on the record is one of the issues that will lower the price.Splitting appears to be cracking or ripping.It was a discount buy when it was originally released and there were missing or ripped lyric sheets and sleeves.
Step 10: Be ready to bargain if you know what you’re prepared to spend.
Records cost a lot in price.In online auctions, incredibly rare records can fetch large amounts, while most record stores have “budget” bins of records that sell very cheaply.If you want to build a large collection cheaply, you can pick up records in thrift stores or in the budget section of record stores.Remember that the record market is a bargaining system, and you can always ask for a deal or discount to save money.The more you know about the record, the better it is for you to get a better price.Try to make a deal on a stack of records.Many sellers are willing to get rid of a lot of inventory.The average online price is a good base point to negotiate from.
Step 11: The best quality and highest prices can be found in local record stores.
If you’re looking for a particular record, hoping for high-quality vinyl, or simply want to browse a well-curated selection, you need to go to a record store.This is not the place to find bargains as record staff checks and prices each record according to its market value.For the slight added expense, you get more assurance that the records are in good condition, as well as a well-organized, deep collection to browse through instead of random crates.The ” recently acquired” section is a good place to look for deals.You can usually get them for a cheaper price if they haven’t been priced yet.Do you know where the stores are?You can find all the record sellers in your area with the free app Vinyl District.
Step 12: You can find hidden gems at thrift or antique stores.
Large quantities of records are often taken by Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores.The good news is that most of them are scratched.Anything you find is usually less than $1.There is always a chance that you will find a rare, hidden gem when rummaging through thrift stores.Most thrift stores only have a few high-quality records and the majority of the stuff you’ll look through is trash.These records tend to be mistreated and especially beat up, so be sure to check the quality of the actual vinyl before buying.
Step 13: Bargain for records at flea markets.
Some of the vinyl that comes out of these events is organized, but some of it isn’t.There are many people who can help find rare pressings and records, but there are also many who sell large crates of vinyl with no idea how much it is worth.Start digging through the crates.Cash is a must when buying records at these places.Hold firm if you know what a record is worth.You can get great prices if you research ahead of time or check prices on your phone.
Step 14: Large collections for low prices can be seen at garage and estate sales.
Buying someone else’s collection is one of the best ways to start a record collection.Most people just want things gone and garage sales are a great place to find records.You can offer to buy the entire collection for a steal if you have a little money to spare.You can often find nice pieces for a fraction of the cost if you sell anything else to a local record store.
Step 15: It is a good idea to search online for records that are difficult to find.
Buying used records online is a great way to round out your collection, but it comes with its challenges.The best indicator of a record’s quality online is the vinyl rating system.You should take extra precautions when buying from recommended or trusted sellers.Make sure they give honest, trustworthy ratings for their records and check their history on eBay, Discog, or whatever record pricing platform you use.Most sellers will give a good rating for a record that is lower than advertised.If you plan to play it regularly, it’s not a good idea to buy a record that isn’t rated VG+.