Vinyl Records…there’s cash in that wax!

If you are under 30 years old, the term vinyl records may not strike a chord with you. You know, those large, round black wax discs that those of us born in the 1960s and 1970s used to play to listen to our music. Yes, CDs, and then MP3s eventually took over, but there is nothing like the sound of a vinyl record!

Vinyl is making a comeback! Audiophiles prefer it’s sound over the compressed MP3 and the shallow sound of the CD. There is something to be said for that warmth you hear from a record spinning on the turntable.

The market for records has heated up on eBay and other marketplaces. Records have become a specialty of mine on eBay, having moved over 250,000 pieces since 2007. Before then, I was confused as to what is worth selling on eBay. After lugging around thousands of pounds of this wax, I’ve been able to decipher the ins and outs of how to make money selling vinyl.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pressings – I honed my skills with a 25k count jazz collection in 2007. Every record I researched seemed to be selling for well into the hundreds of dollars. Little did I know, the record companies issued 10 different versions of these same records over the years. Yes, the earlier pressings are usually worth more money and are in more demand. Jazz is a perfect example. A Thelonious Monk record released in 1961, for example, is worth more than the same album re-released later in the decade. Collector’s are fickle that way!
  • Condition – As with any collectible, condition is key. Records have two components that come into play, the jacket and the record itself. I’ve turned down collections where there were no jackets at all and the vinyl was clean as a whistle. Without a decent jacket or a clean record, the values on the records can vary greatly.
  • Type of music – there certainly are different types of music that do better than others. Here is my take:
  • Hot genres – rock, soul, funk, jazz, punk, heavy metal, blues
  • Dead genres – rap, big band/swing (Benny Goodman), Sinatra, easy listening, classical, pop vocal (Perry Como, Barry Manilow)

I tell everyone who approaches me with a vinyl collection they’d like to sell or consign to me: if it was popular at any given time, it usually does not have much collectability to it, and in turn, has little monetary value.

Perfect example is Sinatra. I took in a 5,000 count Sinatra collection and couldn’t sell any of it. EVERYONE has it, so no one wanted it!

The two areas which buck this trend are the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Both are very popular artists, and they both still can command decent prices for their rare items. But, common pieces from both artists are tough to sell. Everyone has them.

There are websites dedicated to the sale of vinyl records. You can find them on Discogs, GEMM, and others. A great tool for determining the value of your records is That site culls eBay sales history for about the past 10 years for just the sale of vinyl records. At $60 for the year, I feel that is an invaluable tool for anyone considering embarking on the record selling business.

Yes, they’re heavy and bulky, but with the right eye and determination, you will be able to find some cool records that may have some decent value. They’re out there!