So I’ve just spent half an hour under the cupboard under the stairs on the hottest day of the year in the hope that there was gold in ‘them their vinyl’ eg the records that had sat there for ten years. I had hopes of finding a Beatles record and what about those ancient Bee Gees records I had spotted, they must be worth a few pounds surely?
The collection of approximately 100 records had originally come from a friend whose house I had helped clear out after his death. However unfortunately a lot of the LPs were in less than the pristine condition that I had remembered. Maybe their deterioration was due to time spent under my staircase, or the fact that my friend had failed to dust for the last ten years of his life. Either way they could no longer be described as ‘mint’ condition (unless it was the sort of mint that you found stuck to bottom of your handbag.)
I went through about three quarters of the records before I got claustrophobic and so armed with a fistful of records – or at least the artists I recognised, I made it upstairs and turned on my computer to evaluate.
Sad to say the Beatles records turned out to be rather less rare than the 1960’s Please Please me LP said to be worth a cool £6k. Instead I’d found two compilation albums from the 1960’s and 1970’s not quite £6k but and they were on the famous Apple Label so they must be good right? Wrong. A google advert was listing 125 copies for sale from £2.00 each – so maybe not that rare, or even that valuable.
Pretty much every time I googled a record and a picture of the sleeve and a price of £150 popped up, it was never quite the right version. For example, I’d got my hopes up on an Alice Cooper record from the 70s (before Alice began to look really dead). However, on closer inspection, the cover I had wasn’t the rare version with Alice’s strategically placed thumb over his naughty bits, subsequently removed from the later pressings. On my copy, Alice was behaving himself.
I obviously needed help and random Googling took ages. Although my knowledge of pop trivia was improving nicely, I was still no closer to the money. Fortunately at this point I came across a record valuation website called Popsike www.popsike.com. In no time at all I searched for the records I’d selected and I managed to find what appeared to be a rare record. It was one of Billie Holiday’s original albums maybe worth a £100. An early Simon and Garfunkel album also looked promising, but where could I sell them?
More searches on Google and then came across a sobering article on selling old vinyl records. Apparently the odds were against me and I was being too obvious in my choices. To quote from the article:
“Here’s the challenge faced by the average record fan looking to make money out of his hobby. If there is any value in your record collection it’s more likely to lie in the record you’re about to send to the Oxfam shop than in the celebrated classic that you preserve in a plastic sleeve.”
Apparently I should be looking for something called ‘Freak beat’ (yeah I’d never heard of it either) the flops and the failures, not the classics like Billie or the Beatles.
I was coming to the conclusion that I was totally clueless about selling vinyl, but I wasn’t giving up.
I started searching for auctions and I found a site that looked promising which said I could contact the people for a valuation. I then looked at their upcoming auctions – maybe rare 1950’s albums would feature? But no. Instead, the first auction that came up was…
West Midlands Police Bike Auction
Nothing to do with records at all then – apart from the fact that the wheels were round. Kind of similar to a record – but not that much.
‘Omega auctions’ looked a better bet, but they were ‘up North’ and I didn’t fancy putting my valuables in the post to be picked up by a heavy handed postman, Then I found a ‘London’ auction website – which turned out to be a seller in Kent.
At this point I was ready to give up, but refusing to be beaten I sent off an email back to Omega at Warrington, giving the details of four of the records, just to see what they’d say.
So watch this space – although based on this evening’s work, selling Vinyl doesn’t look like a quick buck I thought it would be. And with 40 or so still to sort through I’ve a horrible feeling I’ll have to get back under those stairs…