Louie Newlands, Used Vinyl Manager at Rough Trade gives insider tips on getting the best value from your vinyl….
According to a recent report, vinyl sales are up 13.2 percent this year, thanks to vinyl LP sales from artists such as Taylor Swift, Blur and Kylie Minogue.
While this is great news for the independent music industry, an increase in sales inevitably means more vinyl records will be produced and discarded.
It’s not all bad news though, as the resurgence has also increased the value of pre-loved vinyl, with a study revealing some collectibles can fetch over £1million at auction.
To limit wastage and get extra pennies for Christmas, here are our top tips for valuing and selling your pre-loved vinyl…
Calculating vinyl value
#1 Research the market
Always look up records before selling them to get a clear market view. Utilise online tools such as discography databases and collector forums to help establish your records’ worth.
Discogs is a valuable platform that allows users to search for information on vinyl that helps verify pricing.
#2 Check scarcity, edition and variations
To ensure you don’t miss out on money, check if your vinyl has features that might make it more valuable.
For example, if your vinyl is a rare pressing, limited-edition or anniversary-edition release, if it’s from a sought-after artist, hard to get hold of or features an artist’s autograph – it can likely be priced higher. A recent example was a rare Beatles 1968 White Album, which sold for over £2,000 on eBay after being donated to a charity shop.
Check online to see what the original pressing artwork looks like (exclusive versions have unique cover art and designs) and check the record barcode and catalogue number to find out more before selling.
#3 Review condition and completion
Your old vinyl records are more profitable the better they’ve been maintained.
Inspect the record and sleeve for scratches, tears or discolouration and ensure the record is in good working order.
Meanwhile, associated booklets, or collectables, should be stored with special editions to reach their full value.
#1 Price accurately
Once you’re confident in the value of your vinyl, advertise it at the price you think will make it profitable yet fair.
The price should be competitive with similar items on the market yet realistic, keeping items as close to the valuation price as possible.
#2 Provide detail and quality
When selling, it’s best to provide a detailed description of the vinyl, including information such as the artist, album and song titles, release year and catalogue number, record type, condition and whether it’s limited edition.
Additionally, all listings should include high-quality images of your product, taken in clear lighting, showing multiple angles of the product, and providing a clear view of any wear and tear, as well as significant elements that could add to its value instantly.
These elements help buyers find your product easily and make better-informed purchasing decisions.
#3 Promote appropriately
Selling online can be difficult, especially with tons of competition selling similar products.
Make your listings stand out by promoting them across multiple social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and X to broaden your reach. Alternatively, seek out vinyl communities and forums to reach collectors in your target audience.
The higher the visibility of the listing, the wider the reach to potential buyers, ensuring a swifter sale of the record.
#4 Seek help from a professional
If you’re struggling to shift your records, look to your local independent record store for assistance.
Most record shops, such as Rough Trade, will buy your second-hand records for a fair price in exchange for cash or vouchers to spend in-store.
This method not only helps you but also helps keep them afloat – win-win!