How To Sell Your Vinyl Records For The Most Profit With The Least Headaches
We will sell your collectible vinyl records for you online on eBay. We will also sell off your less collectible albums on other sites, but Ebay is where the high dollar action is for collectible vinyl. We work hard to maintain our 100% positive feedback rating. We clean, grade, catalog and photograph every record. We are set up to sell and ship internationally, which is a must for the collectors market.
Can you sell your record yourself? Yes, but after you sell 5 or 10 you will realize it is time consuming work. We do all that for you.
Here is the basic overview of our consignment sales work through us.
Once we receive your records, we go through them one at at time and research past sales records to determine value. We use three paid subscription services, and two public services to set an initial selling price. The factors that affect pricing are, in order of importance; condition, rarity, artist, genre, label (especially true for Jazz and Classical). Many factors affect the rarity of a record some of which are the issue date, cover details, label design or text, song placements, additions or omissions; an original pressing or a re-issue. The Doors album, above in our photo slide bar, can be valued at $2 through $200. Most are $2 to $20, but every once in a while, and more often than you think, a mint condition first pressing in an original sleeve shows up and gets big dollars. Our consignment process is designed to prevent these super valuable collector albums from slipping through the cracks and becoming someone else's great bargain treasure find at your expense.
All records with a estimated value over $100 are listed in our Ebay store at a fixed price for four to eight weeks. At the end of that period, we relist them in the store at a slightly lower price, and with a "Make An Offer" option. From the eight week mark on, we will take up to 10% of your records and rotate them into auction sale venues. This generates intense interest in the record, and brings buyers into our store where the balance of your records are still listed at fixed prices.
Starting at the 16 week mark, as a consignee you have two options. You can authorize us to liquidate the inventory with the fastest possible sales method, usually low starting value auctions, or you can elect to continue to Fix Price/Auction Rotation plan. If you select liquidation, we move your collectible albums into auction, and on the first rotation in, we set the starting price at 40% of the initial estimated value; on the second rotation through the auction, we set the initial bid price at 20% and on the third and final rotation, we set a low starting price. Anything that does not sell will be returned to you , or you can elect to have us take ownership for disposal.
Our consignment sales strategy is this: try and get the highest possible sales value in the first 60 days of listing, then gradually reduce the price until the item sells at market value, or it is determined there is no interest in the record at this time. Sometimes that happens; the right buyer just wasn't there, or didn't have the money, during the limited time your record was offered for sale.
What are the fees and costs associated with Consigning Records?
You have no upfront costs other than the cost of getting the records to us. We front the cost to research, grade, clean, photograph, and list the record with the Ebay insertion and photo fees paid up front by us. Once the record is sold, this cost is recovered first, and then the profits from the sale are split 70% to you, 30% to us. Generally, the upfront costs will run between $5 and $10 for an album; between $3 and $7 for a 45 rpm. We like to handle albums with a minimum sales value of at least $25 to make it worth your time and ours. The majority of records in any collection are not going to meet this standard, but we have found that serious collectors will know what are the rare and collectible records in their collection. These are the gems we can sell for you.
What records are valuable?
In albums, the highest prices go to early, rare Beatles albums in mint condition. Jazz albums, especially early Blue Note pressing are collectible; just about any early Blues album; Classical on certain labels, especially strings.
Out of the stratosphere and down into the $50-300 range, you find Pre-Motown soul; 60's Girl Groups; Pyschedelic Rock from the later 60's by lesser known groups; and surprisenly some rock albums from the 1990-2010 period.
In the vintage 45 rpm market, Northern Soul reigns king, followed by rare Beatles, both classes of which sell every month for $1,000 to $5,000 for a single 45.
Again, back down to real world prices, early 1960's music in original sleeves is heavily sought after, with some sales in the $50-200 range. The beauty of 45's on eBay is you never know when a record will take off in price, and with 45's collectors are more forgiving on condition.
What isn't worth selling on Ebay?
If it was popular in it's day, then chances are there are millions of near mint copies still around and worth $1. Basically , any music considered pop or middle of the road (MOR) is practially worthless. Linda Ronstadt, Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, Carole King, Mantovani, The Lettterman, James Taylor, the list is endless.
Do you pick up records or do I have to bring them to you?
Most people bring or ship them to us, but we can and do pick ups in the New York to Washington, DC corridor. We charge $25 an hour travel time and standard IRS mileage rates. If we can arrange multiple pickups we pro rate the cost so no single person pays the full costs. You don't have to pay this pick up cost up front, we will deduct it from the first on line sales.
What happens to my records once you receive them?
Every incoming record is given a unique SKU number that identifies as part of your consignment. The SKU number is included somewhere in every one of our listings so when an order comes in we make sure the correct record is shipped and credited to your account. Your records are immediately sorted into three categories; those we know from experience will have a high sales value; those that require extra research and those we believe are average in quality or rarity. We concentrate on getting the first two groups up online, and then do the third group. Every record is cleaned by hand to remove fingerprints, dust and dirt. We place every record in a protective outersleeve; replace damaged or missing inner sleeves, and repair split album covers or damaged 45 sleeves.
Do you charge anything for this research and preparation of the records?
Yes, but it is deducted from the final sales amount before the profits are distributed. If you cancel the consignment contract, and you can do that at any time for any reason, then there will be an accurred cost billed at $10 per record that must be settled before the records can be returned.
Is any of this in writing?
Yes, it is all in writing. You can end the contract at any time, but the sales may continue for a fix period of time after the contract end, as we cannot terminate on ongoing auctions, as because we do once a month inventory uploads and dumps. Any sale that occurs during this shut period will be handled as if the consignment contract is in place, but on notification of terminating the consignment contract, all other activity on our part, and costs with it will stop immediately.
What do you charge?
We split the profits 70% to you, 30% for us. Profits are calculated as the Final Selling Price - Ebay final value fees (9-13%) - the preparation and research fees ($4-10). So in general, about 12-20% of the selling price will be costs to be recovered before profits. Typically the buyer pays all shipping and handling, but occasionally we will offer free domestic shipping to get interest in an album. This option increases your album search visibility and can is major selling advantage. We never offer free international shipping.
Can yo give me an example of a typical sales breakdown?
You have an album that sells for $100 on line after it has been listed for two months. The direct sales costs are :
Research and Prep costs - $6
Ebay insertion fees $.50/month for two months $1.00
Ebay Final Value Fee @13% - $13.00
Free S&H $4.00
Total fees and costs -$24.00
Profit $100-$24 = $76.00
Your share - $53.20
Could I get more if I sold it myself?
Sure you can, as long as you research and don't price it too low; cleaned it properly; take a good set of photos; offer international shipping; iist and relist until it sells, ship it correctly packed so it does not get damaged, and oh, be prepared for tons of emails. Vinyl records buyers ask more questions than any other type of on line buyer. We have a high feedback rating; buyers who have come back to us for multiple purchases; and we get a lot of traffic into our Ebay store. We think we can probably sell everyone of your records for more than you can, so in that respect our cost is almost a wash to you.
How come no one else offers this service?
Most record sellers are like the 1849 California gold miners. They buy record collections for the lowest possible price they can offer, and then they pan through hoping to find that one or two nuggets that will make them a profit, but also hoping they find the really rare early Beatles album or are Northern soul 45 that becomes a $5,000 or $15,000 sale. We are the pioneers in this type of consignment sale.
What are my other sales options?
You can take you records to any record store and they will give you cash right there for them. Usually $.10 to $.25 per album. If your collection is in mint condition you might $1 per album with a few at $5 or $10. That's it. People who run ads on Craigslist offering to buy your albums will offer even less and will try to convince you that they are doing you a favor taking them away.
What do I do next to consign my records?
Send us an email with a brief description of your collection: how many records; genre (Jazz, Blues, Rock, 60's); the general condition. Make sure to include your contact information and either Dave or Fred will call you to arrange pick up or shipment of the records, but before that happens, we will email you a contract for your review and signature. That's it. No other obligations or committments. We sell the records, we split the profits 70/30.