Crate Digging for Vinyl

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lazydawg58, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Hi all. I'm new to the forum. There are lots of interesting threads and I'm looking forward to following several of them. My biggest current interest is in collecting vinyl, something I've done casually most of my life, but as I approach retirement, something I'm becoming for serious about. I'd love to bounce ideas, discuss efforts, etc. with fellow collectors.

    I've been purchasing from thrift stores and antique shops recently and my rule of thumb in the thrift store hunts has been to average paying no more that $1 a record. I'll pay $2 occasionally when vinyl and covers are in exceptionally good shape, but when records haven't been cared for, covers aren't in good shape, sleeves are missing, etc. $1 is my limit. I've found that if I'm offering to buy 10-30 records sellers are willing to negotiate in most cases.

    What I'm trying to find, so far unsuccessfully, have been personal collections. I have some leads, and even went so far as to print up some business cards as I try and spread the word that I'm interested in those records people might have sitting on a shelf untouched for decades. What are reasonable prices to pay in this situation? For example, an individual has 100 albums in good shape, mainly common 60s and 70s classic rock with a few country, soul, pop, and / or jazz in the mix. What would a fair price be? I'm thinking between $30-$50 but I'm not sure. My reasoning is that between 1/3 and 1/2 the records will end up being in no better that G condition or just have no resell value so I am buying the whole collection to pay about .75 or $1 for the keepers.

    I'd love to hear from others. Am I off in my thinking, assumptions? What are your personal guidelines, objectives when you are collecting.
     
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  2. Maranatha5585

    Maranatha5585 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Down South
    Welcome to SHF Lazydawg58!
    You are in the right place here .. think you'll find 1000's of like minded
    record hounds. After enough posts you can start trading and buying here too.
     
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  3. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

    Location:
    Maine
    Thd glory days are over certainly, when most people were dumping huge collections for pennies. Still to those who never stopped, the hunt goes on, and treasures still pop up from time to time. Good luck in your quest.
     
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  4. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I have no interest in 'lot' buying, really don't want a bunch of music I have no intention of listening to, this stuff adds up quick.
    The fun is in the hunt!, at thrifts I'll usually grab (if in excellent shape) maybe titles/bands I'm a minor fan of or never heard before.
    I've skipped a few Beatles, Floyd etc.. for the simple fact I don't want garbage condition played on my table, even it is a couple bucks.
    Focus on who your favorites are if just starting out, if you can't find it be patient or be prepared to pay premium prices online.
    I enjoy a mix of formats and I think to this day I spend more on rare compact discs than lp's :laugh:
    Good luck and remember this is a hobby, you should never get stressed out about it :)
     
  5. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy still trudgin'

    Location:
    Central Canada
    Welcome to SHF! I think you will like it here.

    I like your strategy and hope it works for you in this era and in your area. I grew my collection in basically the same way and it worked well for me. My rule of thumb was that if I paid no more than $1 per keeper record I was good. For example if I bought a 200 record set for $50, I would need to get at least 50 keepers to make the deal worthwhile. Unfortunately that was about ten years ago before the popularity of vinyl increased to where it is now. Now I find the deals are rare with respect to finding collections that have been stored away for "decades". Now it's more a matter that owners of these stashed collections figure they are sitting on a gold mine.

    Even thrift stores used to sell for $1 and had a decent selection. Prices have generally increased to $2 or $3 and the desirable records have all but disappeared.

    Sorry I don't mean to potentially burst your bubble but I find the days of finding collections at reasonable prices has diminished substantially. Good luck with your record searching.
     
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  6. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Hey there, welcome to the forum. ;^)

    To give advice regarding the purchase of entire lots or collections is hard to do because it really depends. You should idealy always look at whats being offered before purchasing. If you get good enough connections with people, spend the time and show your interest I wouldnt be surprised if you got lots for free though. I do, and I live in Sweden which incredibly bad when it comes to record collecting.

    The idea of paying 2$ for a great looking record in a store is not something that ever crosses my mind, unless its really something that no one listens to or wants otherwise.
    I look for great rarities and classics that never sell under 15$ and sometimes go up to the 50$ just for that 1 record. Thats just the music and pressing Im generally interested in.

    Oddly enough though I buy boxes full of records from people for less than 10$ or free sometimes as mentioned, because its still enjoyable to dig for a new find or try out new stuff. It pays off to look around and talking to people.
    Then whatever Im not interested in I usually sell again back to others in bulk. Once I sold 250 records for 50$. Great deal for them on paper and for me since Id rather spend that money on lots new stuff rather than keeping a pile on my floor thats just taking up space. Win win. So dont worry too much if not all of it is interesting specifically to you or is in worse shape, if you save up enough of them it can actually sell for at least something, especially if some groups of people can recognize the artists.

    The internet is of course also very helpful. Check out Facebook groups for this kind of stuff and Im sure you will find some.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  7. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    We each have our own value for individual records, what we are willing to pay, but beyond that there are what might be called market values and with sites such as Discogs, eBay and Popsike it's never been easier to access those values, so unless you are buying really low demand records that pretty much nobody wants then the idea of paying people 50 cents or a dollar for their records would be anathema to me. I tend to buy most of my vinyl direct from people, last week I was in someone's house and looking at their records, sure some things I was paying them £2 or £3, but I was also paying them £100 for other things, regardless of whether they knew the value, a couple of weeks before that I bought 80 records for £900, on both occasions I think both sides were happy and the deal was fair, just because you can get records for pennies on the dollar doesn't mean you should, also I suspect that being straight with people may explain why I actually get the chance to buy collections. To answer the question of what to pay I'd say that for good stuff in great condition 50% of retail is fair with a lower percentage for lesser demand or condition items, be honest with people and build up a reputation, collections will come.
     
  8. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    If I was just starting out collecting used vinyl, my first priority would be an excellent digital playback system, because it's worlds cheaper these days.

    Then I'd focus on being very selective about building a modest but high-quality vinyl library and on being philosophical about having to pay for it, most of the time, though brilliant cheap scores are still possible although becoming more rare.

    You can amass a great big great vintage collection nowadays or you can spend peanuts for your used LPs but you can't do both.
     
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  9. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    No bubble burst here! They're out there somewhere! I've picked up some small lots 15, 25, 50 at higher end thrift stores and antique shops. They either got them at an estate auction or had someone bring them in on consignment. I've paid between $1 and $2 a piece for them. Of course what I'd like to do is get these without the middle man. I've got to figure out the estate sale thing. With the business cards I hope people that don't want to mess with them, some of the thrift and antique shops don't like dealing with hauling them around or the space they take up in their shops, will pass my number along to people that inquire with them. I'm putting the cards on boards at the post office and places like that as well.

    As far as the "sitting on a goldmine" aspect I agree. People either think that or that what they have isn't worth anything. There is little in between. Sure there are some records that you might be able to get $10-$15 or more for, but the truth is that most records in good condition are only going to bring $1-$5. If I pay $1 for a record, give it a good bath and vacuuming, replace the inner sleeve, and put it in an outer clear sleeve, and listen grade it, I've got about $2 invested in it, not to mention the time (which I actually enjoy) searching for and tending to. So I've either lost a dollar, broken even or made a dollar or two. People often don't take into consideration that that price is after all the work is done not before as it sits on their shelf. Then there are the people that think what they have wouldn't possibly be of any interest or have any value. I have a friend that is in his 70s, one of my old teachers, and I've told him I'd love to take a look at his collection. He just didn't take me serious, saying, 'you wouldn't want what I have, old Dave Clark Five and stuff like that." Yes, yes that is exactly what I'd like! Finally after I had those business cards made up and gave him one did he finally believe me. I'm hoping he'll get them off his shelf and give me a call to come take a look at them.
     
  10. Fender Relic

    Fender Relic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central PA
    These days you're lucky if you find a nice collection you can buy at less than $1 per piece. I've stepped up to the plate and paid higher prices the past few years because the vinyl fever has made things really competitive. Last summer I found a nice well kept collection that they were asking $3 per but if you bought a bunch...10 or more.. they gave a discount. I bought a bunch I already had but they were upgrades to my LP's. For example J.J.Cale,Leon Russell,Dire Straits,Steely Dan,Clapton,Allman Bros.,Dylan,The Band,Bob Marley,Clash,Queen,Badfinger, to name a few. Mostly 70's Rock but they all were in sleeves with clean crisp covers and kept clean by their owners. I figure that if I can get any LP for less than what I see at brick & mortars or online with shipping involved then I'll go for it. I would have to have paid double or triple for the ones I picked up for $3 and less. Plus,I had my doubles to sell probably for at least $1-3 on most of them so I got them pretty cheap if you look at the big picture.

    I'm getting more picky about titles and condition so used buying has really come down this past year. Plus,the thrifts and flea mkts. are being ravaged by buyers new and old, aged and young, male and female. Good luck on your quest, there are records everywhere in the strangest places so get out there and dig lazydawg... don't be denied.
     
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  11. Gaslight

    Gaslight Q8 Listener

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Seller's market these days for vinyl, especially certain classic rock titles.

    If you were eyeing Stones, Bowie, Queen, Beatles. The Who etc I would not expect 100 titles for $50, those days are long over now. If you're eyeing Jerry Vale, Streisand, Herb Alpert and Mantovanni, on the other hand, you're good.
     
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  12. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    I completely agree that one should always be fair and honest when dealing with people in all aspects of life. I would expect to pay an individual a wholesale price that takes into account what I will have to invest both in time and effort and in costs, (cleaning supplies and equipment, replacement sleeves, clear outer sleeves etc.) and allow for a profit or at least break even should I decide to resell later.

    I think Discog is a good tool to establish value, but even then grading and asking prices are very subjective. Remember VG+ according to goldmine may have some visual imperfections is suppose to audibly be without ANY pops, crackles or surface noise. I question how may 40 year old records for sell on discog are actually VG+. I am personally very reluctant to grade any used record higher than VG. Also how much demand is out there for these records? The asking price on discog for a VG+ album might be $12 but if their are 50 listed for sell and one hasn't sold in two months is that a true reflection of the record's value? As far as e-bay I don't think it is a good reflection of value. How many times has an item been posted and not sold? If one person buys a record on ebay after getting caught up in a bidding war with others is that the true value if 20 people bid on the same item and dropped out at various points along the way? I'd think the true value would be significantly lower.

    Just a few thoughts.
     
  13. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
     
  14. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    If a collection were all Stones, ABB, Who etc. I'd certainly pay more. You're saying probably $1-$2 a record? If it is an equal mix of that and stuff like Haggard, Campbell, The Tams, Hooker, Denver, would you pay $100 for 100 or more like $50-$70?
     
  15. hominy

    hominy Knows a Little About a Lot

    Location:
    The Land of Kirk
    I don't go looking for whole collections to buy, not having the room or free time to sift through that much at once, but not too long ago while digging at a thrift store a woman approached me and asked if I'd like to look through a bunch of records in her garage she was trying to get rid of. I was expecting garbage but instead came away with multiple Yardbirds, Byrds, Blues Project, Stones LPs... and a second state butcher cover... for just a couple dollars a piece! She just wanted them gone. If you have the room, go nuts!
     
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  16. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    I try to stay away from vinyl that is too hammered as it will damage and wear out your needle (although I do have a turntable just for dodgy vinyl even after cleaning). No bargain if you're damaging your equipment.
     
  17. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Obviously you need to know how to read the data, but for higher value items Popsike will give you a good idea of what records actually fetch whilst a sold items eBay search will show you what more common titles are currently fetching. Personally the only value that counts is what it's worth to me and that's often more than simply monetary.

    Having spent the last two weeks cleaning recent purchases and putting them in poly inner sleeves and polyprop outers I'm well aware of the time and costs involved, but for £10 plus records it's hardly significant and in some ways is fun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  18. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Unless you've made some sort of commitment to take the lot before viewing then feel free to just buy the good stuff or the ones you really want and pay more per item.
     
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  19. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    Welcome, and good luck!

    I don't find much in the bins these days. Along the whole food chain, folks are tuned in to what may have value, and these get picked early on. The internet is a blessing and a curse - you can get virtually any title from SOMEWHERE, but it also provides a market that rewards finding valuable titles.

    Happy hunting!
     
  20. Gaslight

    Gaslight Q8 Listener

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    My general rule-of-thumb on personal collections is that if it's all/nothing then I would price out the stuff I really wanted and then make a note of the highest price I'd be willing to pay for those alone. If the collection goes above that, then I personally would not buy it.

    But these days I prefer to pick and choose, and just buy the titles I want. In the above example I've had a tendency to keep all the titles because I did buy them...and then they just sit there collecting dust (and they are not worth re-selling). Not a fun place to be in if you cannot force yourself to just throw them out.
     
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  21. Fender Relic

    Fender Relic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central PA
    I have a neighbor with a large LP collection and he is a VN vet so all the mid to late 60's bands are well represented . Problem is he won't part it out....all or nothing. As I look over his list there's probably only 20% that I'd want and maybe only half that would be keepers so that leaves around 1,200 LP's that I'd have to sell/trade. He wants around $2,500. I'd love to have them but I just don't think it's worth it.
     
  22. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    If someone had 120-150 LPs that I wanted then I'm sure they'd be worth $10 each, so sell the OP the other 1200 for $1500 and both of you should be happy.

    I've been doing this a long time, but where I am it's a real struggle to get any decent titles in decent condition for under £5 each and that's bog standard decent stuff not rare, these days more often than not people want more than b & m retail for titles in poorer condition, if someone offered me a genuine collection dating back fifty years for under $2 per record I'd be around there before the phone was cold, yeah perhaps it could be full of junk, but it's worth a couple of hours to check it out and if I got 100+ good titles I'd call that a score, the rest I'd offload at cost or less, let someone else deal with that, as long as I've got what I want.
     
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  23. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Thanks, that is good advice. Calculate what is a good purchase price for the ones I really want and don't pay more that that for the whole lot. In doing that I expect it would most likely average out to a reasonable price per album.

    The funny thing is what is often considered the more valuable records are the ones I may not care that much about and the ones that don't have as much value generally speaking are some of the ones I personally enjoy the most. Prog Rock for instance isn't something I enjoy. I do enjoy country a great deal and these seem to carry little value with the exception of maybe Cash, Waylon.
     
  24. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    So he is asking around $1.65 per record. Have you considered linking up with another collector that buys in larger quantities? Broker the deal in exchange for a stake or percent of the collection.
     
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  25. Fender Relic

    Fender Relic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central PA
    Yes. The seller is really fickle and hates record dealers. He wants to sell to me because he knows I listen to the dang things and I love music. In fact, he bought some nr. mint Beatles LP's from me back in the late 80's when I was liquidating a bunch of my vinyl to float the purchase of a 1932 Martin OM-28 guitar. I've given him a few business cards of record dealers I know and he just hands them back to me and says...I don't deal with dealers. He's a strange cat but I like him.
     
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