P.O. BOX 10532 ● LANCASTER, PA 17605 ● 717-898-1246 

SO YOU WANT TO DISPOSE OF A RECORD

(OR OTHER TYPE OF MUSIC) COLLECTION

Not a day goes by that one of our members doesn’t hear the comment, “I had some records that I didn’t know what to do with, so I threw them in the garbage.” Music collectors don’t ever like to hear that remark. Here’s some useful information that will help you liquidate music you have no use for, while keeping them in circulation…

First you need to decide on your primary goal. If it’s to dispose of the records quickly with a minimum of effort and still possibly make a few dollars, your approach will be much different from that of a person who wants “top dollar” and doesn’t care how long it takes.

If you just want to get rid of the records quickly, donate or sell them to your favorite record collector. Donating them to your local thrift shop will also work, and many offer a receipt that can be used as a possible income tax deduction.

To determine whether the records that you have are worth taking more time-consuming steps with, have a reputable record collector look through them and advise you. The volunteers staffing the Keystone Record Collectors (KRC) club table at the monthly Pennsylvania Music Expos can advise you or send you to another member who can help.

 

The following methods involve the least amount of work for you and work if you are fairly certain that you have no really rare or valuable records:

  1. Selling the whole lot to a collector or dealer for a bulk price.

  2. Classified Ad offering the lot for a set price.

  3. Yard Sale selling the records at a set price per record.

  4. Renting space at a flea market using a set price.

  5. Public Auction.

  6. Consignment agreement with a dealer or consignment shop.

 

If you’re not sure whether or not you have rare or valuable records, try this plan: Contract with a reputable record collector and have him/her sort the collection into suggested price categories. The Keystone Record Collectors can recommend club members who will do this for you in exchange for a small percentage of the total amount of records rather than money. You will then be advised as to the best method to dispose of the records in each category. Call the KRC club telephone at 717-898-1246 for information about this option.

If you determine that you have some fairly valuable records, try one of these methods:

 

  1. Offer them to collectors or dealers at a mutually agreed upon price. (The KRC can refer you to dealers who live near you who are members of our organization.)

  2. Send an auction list to Goldmine or some other reputable music collector publication. This method is very time consuming since the records need to be catalogued and accurately graded; plus there are often delays getting lists published, waiting periods until the bids are in, notifying the high bidders, waiting periods for checks to clear and mailing records to the high bidder(s).

  3. Auction them via E-bay, GEMM or some other internet - based auction site. While the listings can be entered instantly, there still are all the other time based factors with bid processing, clearance and fulfillment procedures to the winning bidder.

  4. Place newspaper ads in daily and weekly papers near where the collection is based.

  5. Set up at the monthly Pennsylvania Music Expo (Dealer Procedures) or some other show.

 

If you decide to sell the records yourself, be aware of the following disadvantages:

  1. Part of the effort involved in selling a collection results because records often need to be cleaned, sorted into price categories, sleeved and tested for sound quality (the fairest way to grade records). These steps are extremely time consuming.

  2. Also involved are the hours of having a steady stream of people go through the records to pick out what they want and negotiate deals on quantity purchases because, in the case of large collections, it is unlikely that you will find one customer who will want or be able to afford to buy your whole collection.

  3. If prices are too high, or if there are many common records of little interest to the people who look through the records, you may be “stuck with” many records that still need to be disposed of by one of the bulk methods described above.

 

SOME WORDS OF CAUTION ABOUT PRICE GUIDES:

  1. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” When used incorrectly, price guides can be frustrating to both buyers and sellers. All price guides give information about grading by condition. Read and abide by the descriptions of records that should fall into each of the categories. The top value listed in the actual pricing section should apply only to a “mint” condition record. Any grade less than that should be priced lower.

  2. Regional differences exist. Prices listed are only estimates arrived at by reports of what various records have sold for somewhere in the country/world. Any given record may sell in your area for a lot more or a lot less depending on local demand or interest in that particular record.

  3. If you can’t find anyone who is willing to pay the price guide price for a particular record, what is the real value of that record? In reality, a record is really worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

 

REGARDING 78 RPM RECORDS:

Only the following categories are generally of interest to record collectors – rock and roll, blues, rhythm and blues, country, jazz and comedy. Most other 78’s are of more interest to antique dealers or a select group of specialized collectors. Contact the Baltimore Vintage Record Club, c/o Frank Wiedefeld at: 410-426-2754 or Janis & Neil Phelps at: 410-313-9045; or try the auction, yard sale or flea market suggestions mentioned above.

 

 

(KRC, revised 12/11, Shaw)