vintage record albums

I inherited about 50 vintage record albums from the 40's and 50's most in mint condition. where can I go on line to obtain the collectability or value of these records? thanks
Beware of gemm, you'll probably get your hopes up with the absurdly inflated prices of most of the records there.

If you want good answers on the value of specific records then this is a good place to go:

>record collector's guild forum

If your records are collectable then you can probably find people there to buy them too.

You could post a few of the ones you suspect might be worth something here and responders could try to advise you from their own experience and published resources. As far as I know there is no way to use the web to figure out what stuff is really worth, but only what the dreamers, scammers, and know-nothings hope to get. In the final analysis, a record is only worth what someone will pay you for it, which is why auctions are so popular.

I'd also be careful about tossing around the word "mint" if you are not an experienced record grader - most reputable sellers and guidebooks don't even use this word, feeling that it only applies to an unplayed and possibly unopened record (probably not applicable in your case) that in every detail is completely perfect as if it just came off the press. As this is really not probable with 50-60 year old records, even the best examples in existence are usually described as "near mint", and most of the cleanest ones you will find still grade out only at "excellent" (also called VG+) or "very good". This is important because the NM price is reduced by half for every drop in grade with all but the rarest and most sought-after records, and you have to know what to look for in order to comprehensively grade the record and jacket.
I'd check the closed eBay auction prices too. Also, listen carefully to what Zaikesman said. Even sealed records rarely deserve a mint rating.
Thanks for all your responses. I appreciate the info and will take your advice and classify those that warrant it as good or very good condition. thanks again.
I should also point out that how a record grades and its rarity are not the only factors in determining appropriate price. Assuming good condition, demand is the biggest variable, and that can change. Audiophile fads is an example of this. For instance, some records that are not that uncommon sometimes go for absurd prices for a while (Fiedler's Gaite Parisienne and the Mercury Living Presence 1812 come to mind, as does the Casino Royale soundtrack - I have multiple copies of each and pass up more every year) but then come back down. In part this is because rising prices for not-uncommon records will drive more examples into the marketplace, thus driving the price back down.

Another often overlooked factor in proper record pricing is who is selling the record. People who don't really know much about collecting, grading, or selling records, and who don't do it on a regular basis or for a living, will often consult a guidebook and overprice, not just because they ignore the significance of condition, but because they assume they should get the same price as a professional dealer would.

This is a false assumption. The professional dealer commands a premium for his specialized knowledge and the time he devotes to people seeking his expertise, his maintaining of a wide stock of inventory and the length of time he may have to hold any item before the right buyer connects, the time he must spend hunting records, the space he must maintain to store them in, the regular advertising and listing he must do and possibly the retail shop he must pay for (with all that implies: employees, insurance, taxes, etc.), and the fact that record selling is probaby his prime source of income. Also commanding a premium is the professional record seller's reputation, authority, and years of experience when it comes to authenticating and properly grading rare and valuable product, whereas a buyer has to be much more cautious and personally knowledgeable to feel comfortable laying down big bucks for something being sold by an unknown and unknowing seller; the security of dealing with a professional carries its own price. So it can be unrealistic when people finding records in their parents' basement assume they should receive the same price as the dealer down at the store even if the product might be the same.

Another factor driving pricing are the aforementioned auctions, particularly of the online variety. Although these can bring benefits to both seller and buyer, often auction pricing is artificially inflated (be all the bidding scrupulous or not) by the heat of the competition. Ultimately this can be bad for the whole market over time in a number of ways, even if it might sometimes benefit a single seller in the short run.

Anyway, not trying to lecture you in particular Don_1, or assume anything on your part - just putting my $.02 out there for the masses to contemplate. (I'm also not trying to imply that all dealers are necessarily worthy of their premium - record selling infamously attracts just as many pompous jerks and part-time pretenders as cool folks who know what they're doing.)