How Much Are My Albums Worth? I Found Some $$$ In My Collection
Vinyl records made a huge splash back in the 1950s when Rock n' Roll was making its debut, but popularity began to dwindle slightly with the advent of the cassette tape.
1984 was the first year that cassette tapes began to outsell vinyl, and cassettes reigned supreme until they were outsold by CDs in 1991, which left vinyl in the dust.
In 2007, a resurgence of vinyl began, and, by the end of 2021, vinyl began to again outsell CDs.
During the transition from vinyl to cassette to CD to digital/MP3s, many people moved their vinyl via garage sales or second-hand record shops. Some people, though, kept some of their favorite vinyl records and, if they kept the right ones, they could be sitting on a nice little chunk of change.
How much money are my vinyl records worth? Well, in the end, they are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.
There is a way to find out how much people are paying for particular albums. There's an app for that, of course.
Actually, there are probably several apps that will help you catalog your records, but the one that seems to be the most popular is Discogs.
I've been using Discogs for over 5 years now, and I still am not familiar with all of its features. I just type in the catalog number for the record and then try to match, as closely as I can, my record to the records on file on the app.
It does get a little confusing at times as you can have an album from an artist that might have a dozen different pressings. You have to look at the etchings in the runout (the "clear" space on the record right around the label).
That means that if I don't look at an album close enough when I put it into Discogs, there's a chance that I could be selling a VERY rare record by mistake.
I guess I need to pay CLOSE attention when I am using Discogs to catalog my collection.
When using Discogs, though, it doesn't give you the value of any record; it just shows you what people are paying for particular records. It keeps track of the transactions that have happened through the Discogs app, but it doesn't keep track of how much the records sell for on other platforms or in record stores.
I never was a record collector, though I had a few from my younger days that I've held on to: Genesis, Bad Company, Neil Diamond and a few others, but nothing of great value.
Then, my best friend died.
He ran radio stations his whole life, and he loved music. He loved music so much, he began to collect records - lots of them.
I was on his list of people to whom he was leaving his belongings, so I inherited a couple of hundred records or so.
Then, another friend passed away, and her family wanted me to have her records.
Fast forward 2 years, and I find myself with too much stuff in this house, so I am in the process of selling much of that stuff.
I sold my motorcycle, I'm selling my boat, a vehicle that I used to use to pull my boat, knick-knacks, patty-whacks, and most everything else, including some of these records.
Let's get to which records/box sets I own that are most valuable.
#11 GEORGE MICHAEL: FAITH
Okay, I know I said "Top 10", but I had to include this one from George Michael.
His "Faith" album stayed in the Top 40 for almost 4 months and made its way up to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
The three prices shown on the Discogs app tell you how much the album sold for on the app, beginning with the least amount, the median amount, and the largest amount.
As you can see above, at least one person was willing to pay $115 for this album.
#10 THE BEATLES: RUBBER SOUL
The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album came out in 1966, and it is one of 3 Beatles records in my Top 10.
Remember, this isn't a list of my "Top 10 Favorite Records", it's a list of the records I own that, according to Discogs, are most valuable.
Yes, the median amount this album has sold for on Discogs is only $14.25, but, at one time, someone was willing to pay $115.53 for a copy of this one.
#9 DONNA SUMMER: LIVE AND MORE
I've never intentionally played a Donna Summer song unless I was at work, as she is not an artist I would listen to on my own time. Don't me wrong: I recognize her immense talent, but not something I'd listen to around the house.
With that being said, I might make some money selling this record.
I will probably make less than $5 selling this one, but at some time, some one was willing to pay $129 for it.
#8 THE BEATLES: LOVE ME DO
Here's the second Beatles record that shows resale potential.
"Love Me Do", the 7" single (45) from the Beatles, had "P.S. I Love You" as a "B" side and the reason it is so valuable is that this "For Jukeboxes Only" version had a limited printing: only 1500 were produced.
$99.50? I'll take it (unless you are willing to go higher, of course).
#7 MADONNA: LIKE A VIRGIN
Madonna has sold over 21 million copies of her "Like a Virgin" album (which, officially, removes the "virgin" title from her resume'). This album, though, is special.
At the top/right of the album cover, you'll find an embossed paragraph marking this album as a promotional album, which was distributed to radio stations and DJs exclusively. Also, the vinyl used for the pressing is white (you know, white like driven snow and such).
These features make the album more of a rare find.
Sold, at one point, for as much as $140.
#6 THE AFGHAN WHIGS: 1965
The Afghan Whigs were an active band from 1986 until 2001, and then they reunited for a short while in 2006, and then again in 2011, and are still together today.
What makes this album so valuable? I have no idea. But if you'd like to offer me $149.99 for it, I'd buy you lunch (and sell you a record, of course).
#5 THE BEATLES: THE BEATLES
"The Beatles" is the official name of this album, but most Beatles fans call it "The White Album" because, as you can see, the album cover is mostly void of color, save for "The Beatles" imprinted upon it.
Why is their "White Album" one of the band's most valuable? Some of them were numbered, making them very valuable (#5 recently sold for $1m). This copy won't fetch me nearly that much.
I could get around $25 for it without much of an effort, I suppose. But, if I find the perfect collector, he may be willing to match the max of $170.
#4 THE ROLLING STONES: PAST AND PRESENT
This box set from the Rolling Stones is a set that has the potential of being #1 on this list, and I'll explain why in a moment.
This set of 12 albums (yes, there are 12 LPs in the box) was a special Rolling Stones radio program that was produced exclusively for air on radio stations across North America. The Mutual Broadcasting System produced the special, if I am not mistaken, in Canada, and shipped copies to radio stations around the continent.
It was a 12-hour special featuring interviews with the band interspersed with music from the Rolling Stones.
The special was to air only once per radio station, between September 30 and October 3, 1982, and then the radio stations were to return the box set to the Mutual Broadcasting System office.
It looks like some of the radio stations did not do that.
So, how much has this thing sold for on Discogs? That's an easy answer, as only 1 has ever sold on the platform.
A measly $174.30.
Why do I scoff at that amount? Because, over on eBay, the price on this box set has been set at almost $200 more.
And, though I couldn't find the same search result tonight that I found a few years ago, a copy of this box set sold overseas for over $1000.
#3 ELVIS PRESLEY: KING CREOLE
You didn't think that this list would happen without The King, did you? Of course not.
Elvis Presley's "King Creole" soundtrack (another album I haven't listened to) has, at one time, sold on Discogs for close to $400.
Or, maybe, I'll just get $25 for it. Who knows, I have no idea what it's really worth.
#2 PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION: PURPLE RAIN
Quick: Prince? Or Michael Jackson?
That's a tough question for many to answer, as they were both so talented and made an indelible impression on the lives of many.
With that said, I guess I don't own an MJ record valuable enough for this list.
What makes this Prince album so valuable is that it is another "Promotion Only" album. The album cover has the "Promotional Use Only" stamp, and the album itself is of a purple color.
Average sale price: $150. But, at one point, someone was willing to shekel out $275 for this pretty purple platter.
And now, drumroll please....................
#1 ETTA JAMES: QUEEN OF SOUL
Say what? The Soul Queen of New Orleans has an album (in my collection) that's more valuable than The Beatles and The Stones and Prince and The King?
The reason: this LP is from the original stereo pressing from 1965.
If you have any albums laying around the house, you don't need an account to browse through the information on Discogs. Just type in the catalog number from the label or album sleeve and start exploring. Who knows, you might just find a gem among the dust.
Iconic Theme Songs That Have Stood the Test of Time