|Have some old records put away somewhere
in your attic? In your basement? Did you inherit someone's collection?
This page provides general information on assessing your records and determining
whether you have a real goldmine or just the same old stuff everyone else
Much Are Your Old Records Really Worth?
Information on buying, selling, values, etc.
||Please, don't phone
us to discuss the value of your record collection, unique items you own
or how or where to sell your records. All these questions are answered
in detail below. If you must contact us, send us E-Mail. We will answer
Continental Records only purchases
new 45 RPM records. If you have a large quantity (2000 or more) of
brand new 45s to sell, please contact us for the best price
Continental Records does not buy
45s or any LPs/12" or 78s. If you have such records to sell
please read the information we provide below on selling your collection
Do you have any records sought after
by record collectors? 1000s and 1000s of titles made in the past 60 years
sell for more than $100 each - the vast majority manufactured in the 1950s
through the mid 1960s. A few very rare records (including best-selling
artists) regularly sell for more than $10,000 each
detailed on this page
||All pricing on this
page is for records that are in “like new” condition. LPs and EPs that
are “still sealed” (in their original cellophane wrapper) are worth more
than the quoted prices
condition is paramount
popular records were pressed in the millions. In almost all cases there
are sufficient copies of records in "new" or "like new" to satisfy all
current (and future) collector needs
Do you wish to determine the value
(or sell) obviously used copies (no sleeves or covers, noisy when
played, scratches, marks, writing on label or cover, etc) of common, best-selling
phonograph records from any year (1901-1999)? Sorry to tell you this, but
almost every best-selling record from the past was pressed in the millions
and used copies usually have little or no value
The best value on obviously used
records described above is not what money they will fetch but the enjoyment
you can still get from them - continuing to play them, enjoying the music
and remembering the moments - this is why the records were purchased in
the first place (right?)
45s? LPs? Identify your records before you go further
Understand what you own. It is impossible
to determine the value (or sell) your records if you do not even know if
you have 78s or 45s or LPs
Don't look for the speed on the record
or cover - use the record size and photos below to determine what you have.
Sort the three different speeds (sizes) into three different piles. Use
the three names (78s, 45s and LPs) for making your lists and any communications
you might have about them
and Valuable 78s
78s are 10" in diameter
from 1900 to 1963 (Approximate dates)
Many people think that the older
the record, the more it is worth - this is rarely true. Generally speaking,
almost all popular 78 RPM records manufactured before 1950 have no value.
Let's face it, most collectors who remember and purchase records made before
1950 are now 80+ years old. Soon there will be no buyers at all
on photos for more and larger examples)
Surprise! The most recent 78s (manufactured
in the 1950s and early 1960s) usually fetch the highest prices. All rock
'n' roll and rhythm & blues 78s currently sell for $10 or more - $20
when in the original manufacturer sleeve.
Other collected 78s include early
American Blues and Hillbilly (very early country) records of the 1930s
and Valuable 45s
45s are 7" in diameter
from 1949 to 1989 (Approximate dates)
on photos below for more and larger examples)
||Almost all 45s with
manufacturer's sleeves made in the 1950s through the
mid 1960s are worth $10 or more. 45s with the wrong sleeves are worth much
less. No paper sleeves on your 45s or 78s? Shame on you - toss them out
||All rock 'n' roll and
rhythm & blues 45s with picture sleeves made in the 1950s through the
mid 1960s have values that exceed $20.00 per record. Many have values of
||EPs (7 inch 45 RPM records
with 4 songs) were only made in the 1950s and 1960s. Each record had a
hard cardboard cover and a plastic cellophane wrapper like LPs. All rock
'n' roll and rhythm & blues EPs (complete with cover) have values that
exceed $30.00 per record. Many have values of $200+
from the 1990s and 2000s were only made once and never reissued. All 45s
from from this time period are are considered rare and are valued at $5
or more - some have values of $20+
and Valuable LPs (33 RPMs)
LPs are 12" in diameter
from 1948 to 1999 (Approximate dates)
During the 1950s and early 1960s
(before the Beatles) teenagers purchased records they heard on the radio
in 45 RPM format - they wanted the song they heard on the radio - they
were not necessarily fans of the artist. However every record company issued
LPs by their recording artists even if they didn't sell well at the time.
There are several categories of LPs that are highly valued by collectors
on photos below for more and larger examples)
||Rhythm & Blues pioneers.
When LPs like these were issued in the 1950s the (often small) record companies
had poor distribution and the main buyers of R & B records didn't have
much money. Some titles were issued with only 1000 copies pressed. Many
such LPs now sell at prices exceeding $500 per copy
||Rock 'n' roll pioneers.
Whether “rockabilly” or “rock 'n' roll” LPs like these that were made in
the 1950s are now quite rare and valuable. Many have values that exceed
$100. Some sell for $1000 or more.
||Teen artists of the
1950s and 1960s. Because such LPs are relatively rare they now command
big prices. Teen LPs originally manufactured from 1954 to 1966 often sell
for $10 or more - and if they are in “true” stereo you can quadruple the
||Everything by the Beatles.
The last “original” Beatle LP was sold in 1970 (Let it Be). Every Beatle
LP sold in every country from 1963 to 1970 is worth $15 or more when complete
(record, cover & inner paper sleeve) and in “like new” condition .
Many original Beatle LPs (including foreign copies) have values from $100
||Everything that is Beatles
“related.” This would include rarer LPs by the the individual Beatles and
various LPs by artists that honour or mention the Beatles. Many such LPs
sell for $100 or more. Some have values above $1000
||“Most collected artists”
records have the highest values. LPs made after 1970 usually have little
value but those made in the 1950s and 1960s are often worth $100 or more.
See Fans below for more details.
jazz LPs of the 1950s and early 1960s sell for $10 or more - some are worth
$100+. Favourite artists include Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Stan Getz,
Dizzy Gillespie, Cal Tjader and many more. Collected jazz labels
include Blue Note, Fantasy, Prestige, Riverside, Verve and others
||Have LPs that don't
fit in the above categories? There are very few other collected LPs. Generally
speaking if your LPs are not original rhythm & Blues, rock 'n'
roll or jazz related LPs pressed in the 1950s or 1960s they probably have
little or no value - sorry
and Valuable 12" Singles (Recorded in both 33 & 45 RPM speeds)
are 12" in diameter
from 1976 to current
12" “Disco” or “Dance Mix” or “Italo” records have values of $10+. These
records were made in very small batches (usually for disc jockeys &
clubs) and are quite rare.
keep prices very high
Listed below are the 14 most collected
artists (and most valuable) records in order in 2011.
Not on the top of the list, but also
sought after by collectors are rarer records by AC-DC, The Beach Boys,
The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Kiss, Madonna, Prince, Rush, U2, Neil Young
and many other artists
Records by the most collected artists
can have a very high value if the artist has millions of fans that want
to own everything by the artist or group.
For instance, some less common commercially
issued Rolling Stones 45 RPM picture sleeves have values that exceed $1000
and many commercially released (but now rare) Beatles (45s, EPs & LPs)
records also have values of more than $1000. See Rare
and valuable - More Examples below.
For those of you that own old records
by artists that used to have millions of fans such as Al
Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Ted Lewis, Bing Crosby, Caruso or any other previous
to 1950 artist the “window” for high prices has gone with the fans.
and Valuable Stereo Records
Record companies have been recording
in stereo since the early 1950s
All 45s manufactured by all labels
after 1970 were pressed in stereo. However many labels selectively pressed
45s in stereo between 1957 and 1970. These early stereo 45s (especially
1950s) have values up to 10 times the mono releases
on photos for larger examples)
Early stereo 45
Early stereo LP
Almost all LPs manufactured by all
labels after 1970 were pressed in stereo. However many labels selectively
pressed LPs in stereo after 1954. Early stereo LPs (especially 1950s) have
values up to 4 times the mono releases.
and Valuable Records on YouTube
There are more collectors around
the world who pursue “The History of Rock 'n' Roll” than any other category.
Because the numbers of buyers (or collectors) determines value it makes
rock 'n' roll records expensive - and records before and after the rock
'n' roll era cheap!
Rhythm & Blues, “Doo-Wop” and
“Rockabilly” records from 1948 through 1964 traditionally have the the
highest value of all collected records
For fun I have included below several
YouTube listings. These are video examples of a few of the most valuable
artists. Many records by these artists (and 100s of other artists not listed
here) have values over $100 and some over $1000. The Five Sharps record
sold twice for more than $10,000
(Click below on artist or photo to
Once you view the videos you'll have
a pretty good idea of what type of music and records are worth big
bucks - they are almost all from the 1950s and not necessarily by the most
popular artists of the time period
and Valuable Records - More Examples
(Click below on photos or graphics
for more details)
||Values of some commercially
released (but now rare) Beatles (45s, EPs & LPs) records includes 15
titles worth more
||Detroit and Motown -
100s of records on these labels are valued at more than $100 - and many
are worth $1000+ (3 pages)
||Values of records by
the 1950s R & B group the Flamingos from the Jerry Osborne official
price guide (below) includes several records with values of more than $1000
||Values of 28 most sought
after records on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||Values of six million
different records sold on E-Bay - type in your artist - see the value (if
more than $20)
not mean age
of the record. Does the record itself have a history? Items with high values
are often records that fill spots in a historical era - some examples:
All the above are just a few
examples - there are 100s more!
The roots of country music (early 1930s
and 1940s country artists - often called “hillbilly.”
The history of rock 'n' roll - 1950s
Rhythm & Blues or rockabilly,
Girl groups of the 1960s,
Northern Soul - Unique American single
records (usually not hits in the USA) that were played by DJs in clubs
in Northern England (e.g., Manchester, etc) in the late 1960s and early
“Italo” disco. After the disco sound
died in the USA it continued in Europe in the 1980s. Italo disco records
are distinguished by a strong electronic beat and very weak vocals (if
Detroit and Motown (early Berry Gordy
productions or other Detroit label releases), See Rare
& valuable - More Examples above.
Answer records - even if not popular
(I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain, the Duchess of Earl, etc.),
The history of electric guitar (early
Les Paul), or,
Just to complete a collection on a certain
artist such as early Jan and Dean on Arwin label or their later 1970s records
on the Ode label or early Aretha Franklin on Columbia label etc.
Pressing Original Releases vs.
pressings or promo records or reissues or bootlegs
pressing original commercial releases always have the most value. They
are commonly known as “originals.” These are the records that people purchased
when the record was first on the “charts” and played on “Top 40 Radio.”
Many of the original 45s had “picture sleeves.” Original LPs/12"/CDs often
had inserts and other features not on later (2nd
or other) releases. These are the records collectors want and will pay
the most for
on photos for more and larger examples)
(and 3rd and 4th)
commercial pressings were made after the records were off the charts and
top 40 radio. These records most often have the same label and number but
can be identified by dealers and collectors because of differences from
pressings in the cover
or colour of the label. These pressings of popular records usually have
a lesser value than the 1st pressings
(Audition) records were free records send to radio stations (and others)
to announce a new release (45 or LP) that would be coming soon from the
record company. They were identified by the label (often plain white in
colour) and were marked “Promotional” or “Audition.” Most promo labels
also state “Not for Sale.” Promo copies of best selling records generally
have a slightly lower value than the 1st
pressing originals. Occasionally promo copies were pressed for records
that were never released commercially. Obviously these records are extremely
rare and obtain a very high value for the most sought after artists or
music. Almost all valuable “promo” records are “rock 'n' roll” related
45 RPMs released in the 1950s and 1960s. A few promo LPs (by the most collected
artists) are also valuable
on photos for more and larger examples)
of popular records usually have a different label and number than the original
release and have no more value than the original purchase price. All Beatles
records made after 1971 are reissues. Reissues also include “Greatest Hits”
compilations by any artist
are not legitimate commercial releases that collectors want and are illegal.
It's a fact that all illegal items (not just records) are hard to advertise,
buy or sell. Most bootlegs have little value
on photos for larger examples)
come in several categories. LPs/12"/CDs often feature not commercially
released (stolen) tracks or recorded live concerts. 45s include re-releases
of rare or valuable 45s. Some bootleg 45s are exact copies of rare records
with the original label graphics and numbers - these are known in the industry
Your Records for Sale (or value)
it this far on this page? Congratulations - there is a lot to read !
if you have used copies of common, best-selling
phonograph records (of any year - 1901-1999) their
value will always be very low - often less than $1.00 each. Your records
may not be worth the all the work or time to list them, sell them, package
them or ship them.
your records and decide what records you own have some potential value
using the list below.
vs “Selling Prices”
Which records do you own are in new
or nearly new condition?
here for details on what records always have value (and should be saved)
- and which records usually have no value (and can be tossed out).
Book value or appraised price of
any item whether its a car, a house, a diamond ring, an old Barbie doll,
antique tin soldiers or records does not necessarily always mean the selling
price you are going to get. Its a guide for an approximate value
In most cases book value is the highest
price a dealer can possibly sell the item for. In order for you to get
the same selling price you must find a buyer willing to pay the same price
- usually a collector.
If you are planning to sell your
items to a dealer - generally, the higher the book value, the higher percent
a dealer will usually pay for your items. On very high priced items (>$1000)
you can often get 50% or more. The percent continually decreases as the
“book” price gets lower. This is the same with every type of collectible,
not just records.
On most (non rare) popular records
the dealer buying price is often as low as 5% of the “book” value. This
is because the dealer probably has copies of all of your records already.
If you want to get the absolute best
price from a dealer, ensure you contact the dealers that specialize exactly
in the the type(s) of records you are selling. There are mail-order specialists
for every type of format (45s, 78s, LPs, Edison cylinders, etc.) and specialists
for every type of category (rock 'n' roll, reggae, soundtracks, original
cast, jazz, etc.). The specialists know the customers that will pay the
most for what you want to sell them and as a result can offer you the best
price. See “Places to Sell Your
Records” below for more details.
to Sell Your Records
you sell on E-Bay, some records you list will be bid upon by E-Bay users
of the others (the most common titles) will not be bid on at all!
method is selling them (all at once) to one of the used record dealers
listed in Goldmine Magazine. Their web site is http://www.goldminemag.com
It is suggested you obtain several issues of their magazine as the magazine
lists hundreds of used record dealers that are not listed on the Goldmine
web site. Some of the biggest and oldest used record dealers are not internet
“savvy” and have no web site or E-Mail at all!
local used record collector store
for larger photos)
many stores are left in 2011. You might locate local stores using the Yellow
Pages. Most remaining collector stores buy and sell CDs/DVDs - not
records. Don't expect them to show any interest in a small bunch of used
popular records. However if you have a larger “collection” don't phone
- drop in and talk with them. No need to bring the records. Even if they
have no interest they will probably give you good advice on selling your
collection to another local dealer. For a list of used records stores in
your state click
local “Record show & convention”
on photos for more and larger examples)
major cites have one or more “record shows” every year. The “Toronto Musical
Collectables Record & CD Sale” has two shows yearly. They feature more
than 100 “dealers” - with the majority selling used vinyl. Other city shows
are similar. Don't rent a table or bring your records - just pay for admission.
At the show you should be able to talk with many local “dealers” who could
have an interest in purchasing your complete collection.
& CD price guides by Jerry Osborne
Soundtracks & Original
Rockin' Records Annual
An avid collector of records for
over 48 years, Jerry Osborne has also worked full-time as an author of
record price guides and reference books since 1975.Among the books he publishes
are pricing guides to Elvis, the Beatles, Movie Soundtracks & Original
Cast albums, compilation LPs & CDs and the largest one - The “Rockin'
Records” Official Price Guide (published yearly).
& Valuable above for a sample listing of the group the Flamingos.
The cornerstone guide of any record
appraiser's library, Jerry Osborne's “Rockin' Records" annual is the world's
most popular record price guide. The recordings of approximately 50,000
different artists are included. The current edition has everything you
need to know to price practically every disc you own: singles (33, 45,
& 78 RPMs), albums (10 inch & 12 inch), picture sleeves, and more.
Loaded with plenty of great photos. Covers pop, rock, country, jazz, blues,
and a little of everything else — from 1902 to present; from the very popular
to the very, very obscure. The 2011 edition is 1168 pages with pricing
on over one MILLION records! If you're looking for individual pricing on
records or CDs? This book will provide all the answers.
Here For Jerry Osborne's Site
Neil Patte, 2011
recent web page review : 2015 01 26
New visitors since 2011 01 28
About 1000 per day!