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Are your records "collectable" and if so how much are your records worth?

 

If you are wondering whether any of your records are 'collectable' or are considering selling any of your collection, there are a few valuable things you should know. Regardless whether your collection is from a large estate or a single record, there are many factors Penny Lane considers when valuing a record collection.

1. How collectable is the band, artist or style of music?
Whether an album, record or artist is 'collectable' and therefore the value of your individual piece, depends on many factors. Around fifteen years ago, rock 'n' roll, 60s music and particularly Elvis Presley was in great demand, driving prices of collectable items up. However ten years later fashion and demand changed, moving more towards 70s and 80s music. Five years on saw a big resurgence in soul, funk and jazz music - with a demand for artists and sounds that we virtually couldn't give away fifteen years earlier.

This fluctuation in demand shifts the value of collectable items up and down, much like antiques and other investments. There's no real way of determining whether an item that currently has a market value, will be worth more or less in the future.

It has been said that the true value of something is whatever someone is prepared to pay for it. If you are holding on to items that you think are collectable or worth something, we recommend that you bring them in and have them appraised by our experienced buyers. That way you'll know for certain what they are worth RIGHT NOW and you can make an informed decision on the best move forward.

2. What is the Condition of the item?
Obviously, the more 'original' your item, the better. However the condition will definitely affect the value and collectability. If it's a record album or single, our experienced buyers will check if there are any scratches on the vinyl or rips, tears, stains, handwriting or circle wear on the cover sleeve or label. The overall condition will affect value, depending on the degree of damage.

3.  What 'Pressing' is the record?
After their original release, some records are re-issued over time depending on demand. Just as a book is worth more as a 'first-edition', most records are also worth more as original first pressings, than later reissues. However, sometimes a studio or band alters subsequent releases with a different cover sleeve, different coloured labels or alternate B-sides. These are all things that can affect the value of the recording.

How can you tell if it's an original first pressing? This is definitely a hard question to answer. It takes years of knowledge of the record industry as well as experience in the buying and selling of such items. The team at Penny Lane have a combined experience of over 60 years trading in music collectables so are well qualified to give you expert advice. Call us for a free appraisal of your collection.

4. Which country was the record pressed in?
Not only are records re-issued from their original country, they can also be released overseas and produced in different countries. Normally, collectors want not only the first pressings but also the country of origin. For example, Beatles collectors look for original UK pressings rather than later issues produced in New Zealand or the United States.  However, as before, if there is something different about the overseas pressing like the cover, alternative mix , b-side, etc. that may generally add to it's value.

A good example is The Rolling Stones "Unstoppable Stones" album which was issued here in New Zealand to support their tour in 1965. The record  has a unique track listing and cover making it very desirable to overseas  collectors.

5. Which album is it?
The value of the specific artist and their albums is often affected by the particular time in their career or popularity that the record was produced.

For example, a common misconception is that any record by bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones or Elvis etc are quite valuable. At the beginning of their careers these artists produced low volumes of records making some of these pressings quite valuable. However as each of these artists became more established, their recording companies produced higher volumes at each release. Some of these titles are still relatively common today and therefore fetch lower prices with collectors.

6. Special Promotions, Limited Editions and Picture Discs
To support the release of a band or artist's album, record companies will often produce unusual, quirky or limited edition pieces specially as promotional items to be used in record stores, appearances or on radio stations.

Limited editions and picture disc are normally the first pressings of a run and are sometimes limited to between 500 and ten's of thousands depending on the artists. A good example of this is the 7" disc of "I will follow" by U2 which had a limited edition picture cover which was also unique to New Zealand and is now very collectible.

The Beatles 7" "The ballad of John and Yoko" had a special version produced for New Zealand radio, different from the version that was released in the shop. This 7" is now worth up to $NZ1000 in good condition.

Picture discs became popular in the 80s with lots of bands pressing them, hence many today have lower collectable values.

Whatever the items you have got, your best move is to let us know so we can give you a full professional appraisal.

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