Vinyl record sales hit a 20-year high in 2014, and they’re climbing even higher this year. Do you have any collectible records lying around which could be worth a small fortune?
As technology evolves, music and media formats succeed their predecessors faster and faster.
CD sales, which accounted for over 90 per cent of music sales in the early 2000s, have now fallen behind digital music sales, and while physical media sales seem to be falling lower and lower, there is an outlier which is on the rise – the vinyl record.
Although the overall market share of the record is still relatively small (around three per cent), these figures have been on the rise for the last few years. Record sales are now on par with record sales in the late nineties, and they’re continuing to rise. Record sales in the US for the first quarter of 2015 are up 53 per cent compared to that same period in 2014.
The reason for the ‘vinyl revival’ seems to come down to the irreplaceable feeling of buying a physical copy of an album, rather than a digital file.
Selling records online
If you’ve got a record collection which doesn’t see much action these days, it might be worth having a look online to see whether you’ve got any rare releases in your collection.
To find out whether your records are worth anything, you can take a look at Discogs, a music website which has an active online marketplace for the sale and purchase of records and CDs.
Releases for sale on this website often climb into the hundreds and thousands but it can be difficult to know if your copy of an album is valuable or not. As albums are often re-released dozens of times, seemingly identical copies can very in price by hundreds of dollars.
The easiest way to find out which pressing of an album you have is to find the ‘matrix number’ or the ‘runout information’ on the vinyl.
This is a short series of letters and numbers, which are used in the manufacturing plants to distinguish releases and you can find this etched into the disc near to the centre of the record.
Once you’ve found the information, head back to Discogs and type the matrix number into the search bar and the record you own should come up. Now that you’ve found the right release page, you’ll be able to see if any are currently for sale under the ‘Marketplace’ (on the right). Under this section, you’ll be able to see statistics of typical prices for this release.
If you’re lucky to have any rare releases in your collection, make sure you read this guide on how to sell on the website before you get started.