What's Worth More on the Open Market - Your Records or Your Audio Gear


Have anyone of you actually calculated this ?

What's your personal ratio ?

I have not looked into this in any detail, and have if anything, only recently.....

Told family members (not my wife) 8^0..........something along the lines of ........." this piece of equipment is worth ......this (xxxx) ......." 

I have, told all family members that they could probably start an Ebay Record Selling Career; if their own career doesn't pan out.... with what is contained in the house. I don't think they are buying this idea ......right now.

This has me a little concerned.  

I assume the good records will only go up in value.  

Some gear I own, I believe is in this same state of fluctuating upward values.

Interested in your opinions, and findings on the subject.    Have you crossed this bridge yet ?  

14ba3cd1 2543 45b1 9f27 68348346ceaect0517
It's impossible to say. 

Each cycle of value has a peak and that cycle and the given peak requires there to be a world that is stable enough, affluent enough... to be interested in it.

The question is if we are at 'peak lp' or not.

It would be foolish to assume that the world will always be interested in LPs at high prices. Assessing carefully, weighing the factors, looking at the history of other cycles...would be a better way to look at things.
Records will be worth less in the future good luck selling them for the amount you think there worth.Stereo gear will also be worth less in the future most times.
I think I could estimate pretty accurately what prices I can get for my gear...not a clue what I might actually get for my LP's...and for records to have any real value they need to be totally mint...with all the LP reissues not sure what vintage originals are worth now
I think it depends on a lot of factors. Album condition, what pressing, how popular is the music etc. I disagree with the fact that Lps will be worth nothing. I subconsciously sold off most of my cd collection but still held on to my vinyl. They are certainly making a resurgence even with the younger crowd. In terms of selling, I would look at Discogs where you can actually search out your records and see what the going rate is. I have kids that I turned on to vinyl and they appreciate the whole process and sound quality.
Post removed 
@jab interesting comment. Obviously no appreciation of the music industry and its roots. Why are so many artists still releasing on vinyl then? You shouldn’t even be on this forum IMO.
Don't tell your family to hold their breath for a big cash windfall.
Our LP collections are not worth what we think they should be.Never will be. Same goes for the audio gear. A very small(and shrinking) group of buyers will always be around, but like ANYTHING, its a niche market.

You"re at the mercy of the buyer, who is in the drivers seat.

Those people finding out they have an AMAZING piece of something on the Antiques Roadshow, experience the same realization.
An unsealed, Brit Parlophone Beatles, Blue Note,RCA etc...are not going to put your kids through college, or make a house down payment. It may help a little bit, but that's about it.

Best to instill the sentimental value with your family, and enjoy them.




A friend just sold his LP collection, around 2000 LPs, for $20,000. I was flabbergasted that the selling price was so high.  However, his system easily cost more than $100K.  Assuming he can re-sell his gear for ~$60K (60% of retail), the system is nevertheless worth more than the LPs.  But if he had owned e.g. 10,000 LPs, and if he'd been able to sell at a similar per LP price, we would have a different answer. The question is really silly, because it is so dependent upon each individual's LPs and/or gear.
imho, with some obvious exceptions (original blue note, parlophone beatles, etc.), the value of record collections is very small.  Also, the time and effort required to sell them is enormous: inspecting, grading, listing, 
packing, shipping, correspondence, returns, and so on.  As others have noted, anything other than mint condition stuff is usually virtually worthless, and the market continues to shrink, as audiophiledom dies off.

If you live much longer, your heirs will be streaming everything and will have no idea why anyone would possess thousands of pounds of discs that take up so much space.  What will happen is that your heirs will sell them en masse, at pennies on the dollar, to a record seller, to get rid of them. They will not educate themselves and go to the effort to sell them individually.  I won't even do that myself; life is too short.

Some categories are essentially unsellable, e.g., opera.  After repeatedly trying to sell my collection (about 1000 mint discs) and receiving no interest at all, I eventually gave them away for almost nothing.  In retrospect, I should have just donated them to the local opera society.

As much as most old gear depreciates (again, with exceptions, e.g. Mac,AR) it still tends to have some residual value if it is in nearly pristine shape.   I recently took several pieces to Goodwill (MIT tube terminator cables, a fine but 30-year-old DB Systems preamp). how much effort is it worth to get a few hundred bucks for something?  Not much. You'd be  lucky to be working for $10 an hour - if you find a buyer.

I wouldn't invest much in reissues, except for things you just have to have. Most don't sound very good and will not ever sell for anything near their original price.

I've been getting rid of records for years.  I've only got 600-700 left.  They are probably close to worthless.
I still find myself buying cds in spite of subscribing to two streaming services.  For the past year I've had the thought that each cd I buy is another object my kids will have to dispose of when I die. 

My kids are not into owning music. 
Years, actually decades, ago J Gordon Holt (if you don't know who he was then never mind) commented if one's record collection was worth more than their components then they were a music lover; if the components were worth more then they were an audiophile.

Lew, that your friend could sell 2,000 LPs for $20K is astounding.  Could that have been a single buyer?
Shocked at that ratio which equates to $10 an album. Must have been a huge amount of spectacular rare mint numbers.

Even though I know I have some tasty pressings I still just think in terms of $1 per album if they were sold as a wholesale lot ( if I am lucky!). Anything else might net more but possibly a disproportionate amount of time and effort to sell.

Gear is usually easier to value at any given time although selling is becoming harder and harder as the market shrinks and disposable income becomes, well less disposable.
I’ve got about 4k albums and my collection would hit about $10 per, as an average. As a minimum, even. ie, about 50 records in the mix that street price out at ~$200-700.

I know someone who has about +10k albums and they would fetch about $20-30 per, minimum. If not notably higher. All blues-jazz originals, for the most part. I mean, I could go to his house, pull a record randomly, blindfolded, and be looking at a street price of $25-50, for just about any one of them. He’s got many a $500 record, just due to rarity alone.

the fact that these records are held is part of their valuation in current times. If the market becomes flooded with the desirable albums, then their values plummet dramatically. Which is what happens when the senior collectors start to really get the boot from the planet.

They say that there is a huge high priced real estate glut coming in the US, as the baby boomers all sell off, and move to retirement homes. Approximately 21 million high value homes, they say. (just some light reading, never really did more than skim the article)
eBay sales don’t get as much as people think. And eBay is a fair representation of the value of records in general. Also, a lot of records you see for hundreds of dollars on eBay are there because they have not (rpt not) sold.

Exactly teo, depends on what records are in the collection. I took a box of some duplicates I had into Music Millennium and got $400 for about 2/3 of the contents. The MM buyers know what's collectable, are honest, and pay fairly.

One of my 7" 45 RPM singles (by The Nerves, a trio whose members were Peter Case---later in The Plimsouls and a solo artist, Paul Collins---later in the great Power Pop band The Beat, and Jack Lee. One of the songs on the single is the original version of Jack's song later covered by Blondie, "Hanging On The Telephone") alone fetched me a hundred bucks. Lots of 1950's Jazz LP's are worth good money, as are some small-pressing cult artist psych LP's, mis-pressings, Elvis' Sun Records 45's and 78's, soundtracks, and lots more.

LP’s are not worthless. I’m in the process of selling all of my albums and I have averaged around $10 an album, I have sold 100 so far. All of my sales have been thru Facebook marketplace and local online outlets
LP’s are not worthless. I’m in the process of selling all of my albums and I have averaged around $10 an album, I have sold 100 so far. All of my sales have been thru Facebook marketplace and local online outlets
Discogs provides a range valuation for collections, IF you enter it. There are a lot of mint products listed at skim cream wishing well prices, but the average is fair for peddling them one by one
Post removed 
For what it’s worth DSOTM 1973 release 80 copies above $500 on Discogs
and another 4K for sale
This is an interesting subject.

I can see some specific genres fetching more than a Bruce Springsteen album or a Dave Brubeck’s Time out. I’m curious if the buyer was a reseller paying $10 an album, with visions of doubling his money(at minimum) with a 2000 record collection?

What at the heck did that guy have? Were they ALL period stampers in pristine condition? I’m sure there are some among us who do have that kind of collection, but they are unicorns.

Lewm’s friend must be one of them? Was the buyers name Tom Port?

That is easy, (For myself personaly) my record collection. For two reasons.
First, the quality of condition and pressings of near 9000 lp,s. I worked part time in a record store and obtained most that way with many imports . I bought many more later on for pennies on the dollar in the late eighties. Kept the valued and clean copies only from whole collections and gifted the rest to sally ann type stores. Also my father kept and maintained some very good and sought after blues and jazz records.
The second reason, what would all the analog front end be worth in my system with nothing to play on them?
Its more about personal perspective than opinions in absolutes. We all have different bias when it comes to these types of questions. No need to shade others. I have some blue notes and quite a few others i could easily sell for way more than my whole system..... based on current values......But....i paid little for them when i got them so I'll enjoy them. If they end up worth how little i paid....so be it as i enjoyed them for little and kept them in shape for someone else to do the same or as they wish...
I can see how some would think little of some value for record collections between the condition and the content within and the pressing #... that and how current , popular and valuable the actual individual audio pieces are worth.



Rbstehno.

I don't think anyone was saying albums are worthless and I am really happy you are averaging $10 a pop for yours.

However that's individual, make no mistake if you had to sell them all urgently to a wholesale buyer they would realize far less.

Tomic has excellent point with discogs.
I started using it just to catalog all my music in one handy place so I did not buy duplicate albums as much as anything.
But the valuation which is supposed to reflect actual recorded sales on discogs only is useful.

I agree that the medium value is probably what you could hope for unless you know your copy is exceptional.
I was just listening the CeeDee, and curiosity steered me to Ebay.

If you had an S load of stuff like this, along with the usual R&R, Jazz, Classical etc. maybe you can make a couple of bucks for a long week in Tahiti?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundgarden-Superunknown-Unopened-Original-1994-Release-Colored-Vinyl/22371...
I just went through all this due to a sudden move/downsizing.   I sold my 2600 LPs relatively quickly through a variety of means: my high-dollar items (about 40 LPs) on eBay, another 1500 between two record stores and another 1000 donated to Goodwill to be claimed on my taxes.  Most of the records were flea market finds so I was not to concerned with making lots of money.  However, curating everything in Discogs allowed the dealers to know I had a collection they might be interested in and helped set a negotiating base.  Ebay helped me determine a reasonable price for my turntable and record cleaner.  And Craigslist help me sell my Kallax shelves.  I got everything out in one week, with enough to buy a Node 2i, HiFiMan headphones and subscribe to Qobuz for about 60 years.  
@16F4 good on ya man :-) enjoy those 60 + years in excellent health !!!!
I'll give you $5.00 for them.  I can never understand why anyone would own a turn table and records because most of the time you can hear the noise from tracking the needle in the grooves of the record and this is after you freshly clean a record. 

I think streaming music using Tidal sounds better because there is no noise and you would have to pay a fortune to buy the number of records or CD's they offer in their library.  I can sit on the sofa using my Bluesound Node 2i and select songs and album using my iPhone.  The days of using vinyl and CD's in my opinion is over.  Who wants to pull out a record, wash the record and then pay a lot of money for an expensive turntable these days when digital streaming is available.

If you want a better analog conversion then buy an expensive DAC. 
Have anyone of you actually calculated this? 
-Yes


What's your personal ratio? 
Software/Hardware= 2+

As per the reference of JG Holt, I always want to make this hobby about the music.. not the equipment.

Estimated via Discogs, using actual median sale prices of contemporary transactions, my 2000 (half vinyl) piece media collection has a value of $12K. Based on current transactions, I would estimate my fairly dated system (consisting of Linn, Rega, Audio Research, Bell Canto and Vandersteen elements) would sell for 6K. My media is actually more valuable than noted in that many items I know have value have no sales data on Discogs and my quality grades of vinyl are typically better than the mean sales item.

So as to "why own/play media" (and keep buying it) versus stream? For me:
1) I already own it
2) I have space to store it
3) I have memories attached to buying it or playing it in the past
4) Many tracks I enjoy are not available on streaming services
5) I have many LPs that really do sound "better" than the stream
6) I enjoy the artwork and liner details
7) It's fun to to find a $2 record for sale that is in fact rare and desirable that you know you will enjoy listening to and that you know you could sell for $10 or $20 or even $150 (yes I have had this luck)
8) in the case of LP, a little but of surface noise just doesn't bother me in the least, and in fact in many cases what you are hearing on clean older LP's is the tape hiss from the master tape!

On a different subject, this is my first post after lurking for two years. I would say that overall Audiogon, it its current form, is not for me. Why? It's never about the music, and even rarely really about the sound. Too much esoteric hardware tweaks and bickering. The latter being the real turn off for me. Where is the collegiality? Where in the conversation does the love for the sound and the music come in?

Comments welcome!

-Bob
as a correction to my previous post, I should have said this was my first "serious, heartfelt post".  I have made a few comments in the past.

-Bob
I paired my collection down from about 15k records to just under 2K. The ones that are left are the usual collector pieces. I think now quality vs quantity. I know of a local collector who has just over 100K records, unfortunately he probably has no more than 50-100 that are collector pieces . The rest just take up a ton of space! Tons of quantity..and no quality. Lots of very large collections are like this IME.
There's not enough available time in an average life to listen to 100,000 LP's even one time each.
Vinyl definitely has its place, as well as streaming.  I don’t have the space anymore for vinyl due to an upcoming move/downsize, so have been enjoying music through my new Node 2i.  Nice sound quality through Qobuz, with no pops or cleaning routine.   I even can find most of my old collection, as well as lots of stuff I’ve been looking for.  
You have to look for the collegial forums on Audiogon.  Might I suggest “”What’s on your turntable tonight”? Great bunch of music lovers over there. https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/whats-on-your-turntable-tonight
This thread has been an awakening for me. I was preparing responses late afternoon yesterday to the first 8 or 9 posters, then subsequent posts seem to capture what I wanted to say. 8^0
Definitely a two path direction here in regards to the Records and their value. Are there any Records Dealers posting or lurking on this thread looking for buck a record deals ? Hmmm.....

roberwisconsin
What’s your personal ratio?
Software/Hardware= 2+
Estimated via Discogs, using actual median sale prices of contemporary transactions, my 2000 (half vinyl) piece media collection has a value of $12K.


Thank you for answering the question Rob . And for your first Agon post. Chris

@lewm
A friend just sold his LP collection, around 2000 LPs, for $20,000. I was flabbergasted that the selling price was so high. However, his system easily cost more than $100K. Assuming he can re-sell his gear for ~$60K (60% of retail), the system is nevertheless worth more than the LPs.

thanks for that info Lewm. Was the collection multiple genres ?


larry5729

I think streaming music using Tidal sounds better because there is no noise and you would have to pay a fortune to buy the number of records or CD’s they offer in their library. I can sit on the sofa using my Bluesound Node 2i and select songs and album using my iPhone. The days of using vinyl and CD’s in my opinion is over. Who wants to pull out a record, wash the record and then pay a lot of money for an expensive turntable these days when digital streaming is available.


Larry
I don’t want this to be a Digital versus Vinyl discussion. The OP was intended to be a Records Value versus Gear Value ratio discussion in ones own collection. With that I feel compelled to respond to you since the last few weeks I have using Tidal HiFi but in a different way.

I hosted a number of my kids friends 25 - 29 year olds. They came in. They hooked up their devices to my system. Listened to their music. Then we selected albums which I knew I had in vinyl. Once they heard the vinyl in direct comparison with digital - CD’s, Hard Drive Files, Tidal Hi Fi they were a little taken back. We enjoyed ourselves greatly. I will not deny how cool it was/is to instantly switch between re-masters of albums and listen to the differences. The vast library of music at your fingerprints.

The differences in music reproduction in my space between I Phones, Android devices, and when they logged into my dedicated Lenovo Laptop running the desktop Tidal app was quite large. This is a situation where vinyl, if allowed to breathe, excels. JMO. With that I am part of the Tidal Hi Fi Family plan. I listen to Tidal when I exercise, when I stream through the house, when I am in my car. And if some music is discovered that truly stirs me, I will buy it on vinyl.

The days of using vinyl and CD’s in my opinion is over. Who wants to pull out a record, wash the record and then pay a lot of money for an expensive turntable these days when digital streaming is available.


I get a sense of "disillusionment" whenever I read words like this. For many of us the music reproduction is part of an Audio Hobby as well. Hobbies are made up rituals and tasks that to the hobbyist, are just a means to get to the Hobby goal. In this case extracting music from black plastic. The rituals and tasks are not considered an inconvenience and extra work. When this happens it is no longer a hobby. Time to get another hobby.

@geoffkait
eBay sales don’t get as much as people think. And eBay is a fair representation of the value of records in general. Also, a lot of records you see for hundreds of dollars on eBay are there because they have not (rpt not) sold.


GK -
So Ebay has been around since 1995.
Assuming a record is in very good condition not special but popular. What is your opinion on an average selling price not including shipping. Many sellers lower price items, and just jack up the shipping costs. thank you.


ct0517@geoffkait
eBay sales don’t get as much as people think. And eBay is a fair representation of the value of records in general. Also, a lot of records you see for hundreds of dollars on eBay are there because they have not (rpt not) sold.

GK -
So Ebay has been around since 1995.
Assuming a record is in very good condition not special but popular. What is your opinion on an average selling price not including shipping. Many sellers lower price items, and just jack up the shipping costs. thank you.

>>>>I don’t think it’s very helpful to talk about average selling price. There are too many variables like condition of the vinyl, condition of the jacket, first or later reissue, rarity, desirability. A lot of records in great condition don’t sell because they were manufactured in great quantities and everybody and his brother is trying to sell the same one you are. It’s a jungle out there. Generally speaking, eBay recommends running a 7-day auction for records with starting bid as low as 2 or 3 dollars. On eBay it’s common practice for the seller to only charge for USPS Media Mail, that will give you an bargaining advantage over the other knucklehead who charges for Priority Mail, no? 
^^^^
makes sense.
Last year I started giving thoughts to culling records I know now I have no interest in. The handful of local transactions (to avoid shipping) groups of 10 -25 lps are not worth mentioning. What I think is worth mentioning however, is the interest I found from buyers in the record jacket itself, with little regard to the condition of the LP. These jackets to be used for Wall Art in the persons space somewhere.    

My records are worth more (to me) than my gear. I guess that's all that matters.
Exactly @slaw. If the house were burning down, and I had to choose which to save, no contest. The eq can be easily replaced, the music not.
yes, for some it's a decoration, like filling a bookcase with books; having a rack of LP's but no turntable...
^^^^
the 25 movie soundtracks I sold won’t look like much in a rack. But displayed like this

https://retrorenovation.com/2013/04/01/record-album-cover-art/

in a Home Theater Room.

****************************

@bdp24
If the house were burning down, and I had to choose which to save, no contest. The eq can be easily replaced, the music not.

So Eric ...if you were given just one opportunity to go in and grab an arm load - say 100 records - one cube of an Ikea Expedit.

Do you know which you would Grab? Anyone ?

or does one get so confused in a situation like this - too many choices - and you end up just grabbing your hopped up , tricked out preamp - phono stage....? I can't lift my turntable kit by myself.  8^(

Gear, by a lot. I have what, some 3000 LPs - with not too much junk, and most of which I like/love. It’s certainly enough to where I’m not repeating the same plays too often - and just about large enough for gems to sometimes go into hiding and gloriously reemerge later on! But the main system (which has been vinyl exclusively for a while) does cross that 6-fig threshold, so there’s no way my vinyl collection gets close. I’m very happy with both my gear and music collections, and I’ll continue to acquire new vinyl. But not TOO much more, without culling - I’m afraid a much larger collection would get too unwieldy in my living space.
If I value LPs and CDs at $5 per item (probably optimistic), I come up with $35,000.  That is a little bit more than the value of the midrange drivers in my speakers, so I am way into the gear side.

Don’t think I haven’t considered that scenario Chris! The top left cube contains (amongst others) The Animals, The Band, Count Basie, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, T Bone Burnett, The Byrds, Johnny and Rosanne Cash, Carlene Carter, Patsy Cline, Ry Cooder albums. The one under it Rodney Crowell, Dylan, Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers, The Flamin’ Groovies, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, Chris Hillman.

Cube 1 or 2 is like choosing between your two kids!

My CD racks are worse. I have six 600 disc-capacity racks screwed together and secured to the wall. I do that now after having them come down during the Northridge earthquake. And they're full! Somehow the LP bookcases I had at the time stayed up.

Actually a rare records cost a lot, a typical value for a rare Soul 45s is $100-300 each and it is only a middle price, some cost way over thousands for a single 7 inch. Some of them were $1-5 in the 90’s set sale lists, but with the internet auctions prices for rare stuff only goes up every year. Since the majority of them pressed only in small quantities on independent labels in the 60s/70s they are hard to find indeed. And the records that only exists in a handful of copies cost many thousand dollars. Sales statistic available for everyone on popsike.com for all genres of music.

Top quality vintage audio gear also not getting cheaper, but the price for a nice cartridges and stuff is pretty much like a price for a single rare record.

Anyway there are still plenty of cheap gear and cheap records.

The price for a record depends on it’s rarity. Record collectors are ready to pay over $1k for a record than for audio equipment and they don’t believe they are able to hear a difference between the cheap and expensive cartridges. But the rare record (original press only) is a collectible item and music is universal language.

A price for a very rare record does not affected even if there is a re-issue available for $20, collector does not care about re-issues at all, only originals. Just like art, nobody cares about digital re-prints, original can cost a million dollars. 

This thread reminds me of just another good reason to have record storage like the Per Madsen, which I have. Easy to move/around.
bdp24
Don’t think I haven’t considered that scenario Chris! The top left cube contains (amongst others) The Animals, The Band, Count Basie, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, T Bone Burnett, The Byrds, Johnny and Rosanne Cash, Carlene Carter, Patsy Cline, Ry Cooder albums. The one under it Rodney Crowell, Dylan, Dave Edmunds, The Everly Brothers, The Flamin’ Groovies, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, Chris Hillman.
Cube 1 or 2 is like choosing between your two kids!


Damn.... very impressive Eric.
Well, as someone whose business career involved disaster recovery, business continuity; I am embarrassed to admit, that I am ill prepared "in mind" of what to grab. As of right now.

Do you see Larry5729.....Do you see what all that damn music streaming does to one’s mind ?

In this type of event - I am probably trying to catch our Savannah Cat - good luck to me with that unless she’s asleep. She does like it hot though and sleeps on the satellite receiver.

I am trying to picture Slaw frantically wheeling out those Per Madsen massive record storage columns on wheels.... onto the street. He must have a walk out.

Chris,

No walk-out, but I still have the strength to lift a fully loaded rack.

Now, how I'd feel the next day??????
Another thought, I bet I'd have an easier time being reimbursed for my gear than my lps.
"...and will have no idea why anyone would possess thousands of pounds of discs that take up so much space."
I am already wondering, and I do own some.
@bdp24 ...Bonzo Dog !?  You have BDDDB? *L*

Wonderful...there's hope in these pages yet....;)

Now, if anyone has the Sadistic Mika Band LP, I really would be shocked...*L* (Japanese; a quirky little treat....*G*)

I don't own anywhere near the stated quantities, but...never got into owning Everything, due to a somewhat 'nomadic' lifestyle.  Tended to shed equipment as well, to some degree.

The only thing that's made the journey is a Niles Audio CPM-31; an analog switch matrix.  Rare; most seem to have destroyed. *shrug*
Go figure....