Much Are Your Old Records Really Worth?
Your Records for Sale (or value)
The following has been compiled from
questions about record collections that we have answered by E-Mail.
Please use the following as a guideline
for sorting your records . . .
Do you have any "rare" records? Do
you have any titles sought after by record collectors?
with some value
Your records must be in brand new
(or close to it) condition in order to have any value
Original records? Original
records were the first commercial releases manufactured by the record company
when the record was first popular. Consumers bought these records
when it was first played on the radio and was on the "charts." Records
manufactured after it's popularity usually do not have the same label and
number and are called "reissues." Because of it's age and history the original
record is the one most prized by a collector .
Maximum value - Original "rock
'n' roll", “Doo-Wop” and "rhythm & blues" records made in the 1950s
and early 1960s ($10 to $30,000+)
Some value - Original
records by other artists who charted on the Billboard "Hot 100 charts"
(had their records played on the radio) during the '50s and '60s ($5 to
Some value - Original
45 RPM records manufactured in the 1990s and 2000s ($5 to $100)
Occasional value - Very early
(pre 1950) American hillbilly, blues, rhythm & blues original
78 RPMs - selected titles only. ($5 to $100)
formats with little or no value
Generally, very old records &
tapes have little or no value - including all the following recording formats
(and other) categories with little or no value
78 RPM records made from 1900 to about
1960 (except item 1,2,4 above)
45 RPM records made from 1948 to current
(except 1,2,3 above)
LPs / 33 RPM records made 1948 to current
(except 1,2 above)
Edison (and other) cylinders made from
1877 to 1929
Tapes (cassettes, reel-to-reel, 4 +
8 track & VHS/Beta)
Generally, the following music (and
other) categories have little or no value (no matter when they were
records with little or no value
Pre 1950 popular singers (Al Jolson,
Eddie Cantor, Ted Lewis, Bing Crosby, Caruso, etc)
"Big-bands" of the 1940s (Glen Miller,
Les Brown, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, etc),
Spoken word including historical &
Military bands and marches,
Prerecorded radio show sets on 78 RPM
(often 16") or LPs or CDs (except "collected" artists (e.g., Beatles, Rolling
Stones, Kiss, etc))
Children's records including Peter Pan
Movie sound tracks,
Broadway and other live performance
12" disco singles (except "Italo"),
Country & western (except "hillbilly",
"rockabilly" and "rock 'n' roll"),
Ethnic (French, Polish, German, etc),
Latin (Spanish / Salsa),
Classical, symphony orchestra and opera,
Pop orchestral instrumental (except
"rock 'n' roll")
Most other specialized music categories.
Reissues (not the original
record label & number) of '50s & '60s "rock 'n' roll" artists
and songs on such labels as Time-Life, Longines Symphonette, Mobile Fidelity,
Readers Digest, K-Tel, Ace, Stardust, Charly, Collectable, and many other
labels do not increase in value beyond the original purchase price ($2
Reissues of other artists
and songs (non "rock 'n' roll") on such labels as Time-Life, Mobile
Fidelity, Longines Symphonette, Readers Digest, and many other labels do
not have any value at all.
Autographed items have no
additional value unless accompanied by a legal document completed at time
Imperfect pressings (wrong
labels on records, etc) have no value.
Newsflash: Michael Jackson
sold more records than anybody. Some of his LPs sold 50 million copies!
His records on the the Motown, MCA and Epic labels are the most common
in the world and have NO value whatsoever - not even $5. However he does
have rare records with some value. In 1968 he recorded as the Jackson 5
for Steeltown records of Gary Indiana. Only two 45 RPM records (4 songs
including "Big Boy") were originally released and were not hits in the
USA. These two original 45s have values of at least $100 each if in brand
new (mint) condition. They will be worth much more in the years to come.
Because of Michael's popularity Steeltown reissued the record "Big Boy"
again in 1995. This newer 45 release was remastered with an instrumental
version on the flip side. Gordon Keith (the owner of Steeltown)
sold the 45 as a mail-order "package" on the Inverted Records label. The
package also included a CD and cassette and sold for $30.00. If you own
the complete Inverted Records package you probably own the rarest Michael
Jackson recorded items with the greatest value.
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Since 2011 01 29