The value of of the sealed record.


Like many collectors, I own and collect a number of sealed LP's. However, after my latest acquisition, I got to thinking that perhaps owning a sealed LP isn't that great an idea. Why do we buy sealed LP's?? Well, I guess most of us like the idea that nobody has played the piece before. Unfortunately, I suspect that like many other collectors and music lovers, we leave the piece in question- still sealed. For what reason??? Is it that we are expecting the next collector to value it more highly, therefore using it as an investment vehicle. I think this is a factor is many instances. Problem is, at what point does the sealed LP actually get opened? Do we open it and enjoy the music, do we open it and find the vinyl inside is actually damaged? Do we open it only on special occasions? Are we actually fooling ourselves thinking the sealed LP is in Mint condition?  What is the value of the sealed record to you?

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Perhaps if it was a limited run, I may consider it an investment, but for the most part I think it a sad way to own music- In that recorded music was made to be listened to.
B
Sealed records have no value to me. I buy records to hear the music. If I can't enjoy the music, I don't buy them.....

I'll "invest" my money elsewhere.........
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I must be a moron I thought you bought sealed records to then open them and play. :-)
Depends on the record. I would not unseal a MERCURY LIVING STEREO or original BOB DYLAN or ORIGINAL MONO STONES. That's for gol durn sure.
In today's counterfeit environment, I would imagine that it would not be too difficult to re-seal an album to look like the original.  
I have bought quite a few sealed records, and opened most of them to play, I have few rarer Lp's still sealed, The Small Faces &  Space Ritual - by Hawkweed spring to mind. I agree with 'Testpilot', i wouldn't be surprised if somebody , somewhere is buying NR, Mint Copies, 'shrinking' them and hoping the buyers are investors who will not open them.

+1 reubent  Me thinks most financial wizards would not recommend collecting unopened vinyl as an investment vehicle.  Open the damn things and revel in the music while you're still here to enjoy them!!!
As a collector, I understand why some would want to own a sealed copy of a rare album. But there are risks when leaving a record sealed with shrink wrap, such as warping due to a hot environment.
I’ve been burned too often when buying a vintage sealed LP, only to discover a mint condition copy that has warped due to poor storage of the tightly wrapped album. That’s why many collectors will put slit with a razor down the opening of the album.

With 180 gram now being the standard release, I doubt that vinyl can warp due to poor storage. I worry more about the warping and defects coming from the new pressing plants.


Several years ago, I visited the Mobile Fidelity retail store in Sebastopol, CA (now long gone) and bought several albums right out of the display bins for $13.99 each. I kept them sealed for about twenty five years, and recently sold them to a record store owner for $50 each. So, I guess they were a relatively good investment after all. 
I've known quite a few people who had multiple copies of favorite albums, one opened for playing and one (or more) left sealed for down the road. When I started hitting all the small mom 'n' pop drug stores in the late 60's looking for monaural versions of Kinks and Beach Boys albums, I had lots of sealed LP's. Over the years I have traded or sold all my duplicates, space being at a premium now.
Several years ago, I visited the Mobile Fidelity retail store in Sebastopol, CA (now long gone) and bought several albums right out of the display bins for $13.99 each. I kept them sealed for about twenty five years, and recently sold them to a record store owner for $50 each. So, I guess they were a relatively good investment after all.
Thats a return of about 5% per annum. If you include the cost of purchase and disposal ( time, postage, petrol etc ) you almost certainly lost money.

Music lovers open and listen; hoarders store them away unopened.
I must admit to have done that .
20 years on, I realized : The best is to celebrate unsealing these records as Christmas comes, or on a birthday.
or eventually, at the replacement of a Cartridge.

The member "wspohn"... has nailed it .
" Music lovers Open & Listen & Enjoy" .
I have a sealed copy of the original run of Lincoln Mayorga and Amanda McBroom - Growing Up In Hollywood Town, which I tried to sell once.

I mentioned in the promo text that I felt I was ’helping keep the world safe, for over 35 years’, by never opening it.

The potential buyers did not agree with my sense of humour, apparently.
Sealed is the only way to ensure that a record is in good condition. I have bought SO many records from 'reliable' sources, which look mint, but only play VG.

That said, occasionally it's been the other way: look only VG but play mint. But that only happens with ultrasonic cleaning, another story.

I've been collecting albums since mum purchased Neil Diamond's Moods (1972) when I was 6 years old and we didn't even own a turntable as yet, and somehow it's escaped me all these years that some folks actually buy records to not play them?! This is not a reasonable line of logic that I can follow. I still own and I still spin that very first album, and oh what joy it brings! It's unimaginable to me that someone would intentionally deny themself such magic. For the "record" I also own multiple copies of some albums, like John Lennon - Imagine, Elton John - Captain Fantastic, The Who - Who's Next, and various Bob Marley albums (originals new & used, reissues and 180gm pressings) and I always open and play them all. In my mind no musical experience (other than a live performance) could ever substitute for the sound of a diamond needle on clean vinyl. Why deny yourself this experience?
"Sealed" would seem to imply perfect. Not always the case.

I'd much rather buy a lp I wanted from a trusted seller who has cleaned and played a lp I wanted rather than buying the same lp sealed.

"Sealed" would seem to imply perfect. Not always the case.

I’d much rather buy a lp I wanted from a trusted seller who has cleaned and played a lp I wanted rather than buying the same lp sealed.

I agree. For example you cannot see the stamper no. on RCA Living Stereo or Mercury Living Presence LPs. Nor can you always tell whether the record is original or a reissue. Nor can you tell if the LP is warped.
I agree completely with geoffkait.  I purchased one of the new pressings of Sgt. Pepper just after they were released, new 180 gram vinyl, and found that the album was actually cone shaped with the center rising up with side 2 playing, and a bowl shape when playing side 1.  Quality control being what it is, even with the most scrupulous inspection, a sealed album is no guarantee of perfection.
The only ones I have sealed are my multiple copies of Sgt. Pepper Mobile Fidelity UHQR's.  One is opened the other three are not.
Even a sealed LP can be junk inside...I have opened some to find the spindle hole punched off-center and other manufacturing defects.  I'd rather pay a premium for a known/ graded nearly-perfect copy...and records are meant to be listened to IMHO.
I have only one sealed album, and I bought it to replace my original copy, which still sounds good.  Unfortunately it hasn't appreciated greatly in 30-plus years.  FWIW it's the reissue of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Easter Everywhere," which is a classic to me.  Someday I'll break the seal and give it a spin. 
I only buy Still Sealed from sellers I know or have a history with. Bought too many off eBay that when I opened them they were warped. I also agree records are meant to be listened to. 
Sealed is the only way to ensure that a record is in good condition. I have bought SO many records from 'reliable' sources, which look mint, but only play VG.

That is my experience also. At least half the used vinyl I buy lately is not satisfactory--it has too much wear (groove burn) to enjoy it.  They can look clean and scratch-free but they do not play well.  With sealed, at least the vinyl is untouched (even if it has other flaws).  I know it won't be worn.

Life is too short for me to buy anything I will not use.  If it's sealed, I open it.  Although I wish I'd bought a dozen or so of those popular limited edition LPs a few years ago that now sell for 2x-3x the original MSRP.  Gotta fund this crazy hobby somehow. ;)
Dover,

You must be an accountant. One that always sees the glass half empty. Considering that these records survived the stock market crashes of 2000 and 2008 without a loss, the 5% return was consistent with my municipal bonds. Also, since I sold them privately, they were tax free. So, yes, they were a good investment!
The people who pay top dollar for rare records like them sealed. I think they are a different breed than us audiophiles. My first wife was a virgin. Oh boy what a mistake for me! Drive that car before you buy it!
I usually play LPs that I have purchased still sealed. I have some Hendrix that is still sealed, but only because I have tolerable older ones.

The only mistake I have made was opening a Sons of Champlin record that I didn't know was very rare. I later found that they only made 100 of them and it's listed at $300-400 mint. It's been reissued on CD, but that's rare, too.

It seems that even 10 year old CDs get pricy when Amazon doesn’t have them.