EBay vinyl prices in 2021

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by rain_king, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    I don't know exactly where you live but my suggestion would be to get the hell off eBay if you want to pay fair prices. Way too much game-playing going on, especially for anything semi-desirable and certain genres like jazz.

    If you don't have access to local record stores, find shops that sell their used stock online on their own websites. They are out there. Start with a small/lower value order to a get a feel for grading and packing.

    If you can drive to another area with more local shops, do that. IME areas with a lot of shops can often have wildly varying prices for what is essentially the same album. Areas with too many hipsters and vinyl nerds will often have higher prices generally.
     
    Cronverc, rain_king and Recordfan like this.
  2. rain_king

    rain_king Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    EBay can be frustrating, but I do still see things go for bargains at auction, and even sometimes via Buy It Now/Make An Offer. My policy is just to be very disciplined, do my research, only buy or bid on items from reputable sellers, assume condition may be lower than described so I don't get too disappointed, etc. I've found eBay sellers to be amenable to returns/partial refunds if things aren't up to snuff (and they pretty much have to be, since "Item Not As Described" is always an option for buyers).

    I am lucky enough to live in a major metro area with lots of record stores, but there are also a lot of "hipsters and vinyl nerds," as you say--so prices can be a bit high and desirable items tend to go quickly. I go to record stores regularly but often come back empty handed. If prices were just a bit lower, I'd probably buy a lot more in local shops since there's no substitute for being able to look (and hopefully play test) a record before buying it, and I just like the experience of going to the store, digging through the new arrivals, chatting with the people there.

    Out of curiosity, what makes you say to stay off eBay--prices, condition issues, shill bidding, or something else? Do you have similar feelings about Discogs?
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  3. jazzsurfer

    jazzsurfer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    new york
    a vg+ original of True Blue went for only 500 recently so lightning does strike once in a while on EBAY but not like the old days.
     
  4. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    I have no interest in playing that game. If I buy a record graded as NM, it should be NM. Not "Really VG- except for a giant gouge on one track" or whatever people are passing off online now. If a record isn't up to snuff, I don't want it. I don't want the partial refund or back and forth arguing with the seller.

    Been down that road and gave up on both Discogs and eBay completely for vinyl around 4-5 years ago due to the high number of bad records, records not packed well, etc. It ended up being a huge time suck.

    Since then I mainly deal with stores direct or sellers I trust, or independent shops I can browse in person. One of my favorite shops puts all inventory online so that helps.

    I did buy a couple of records on Discogs from one seller recently for the first time in 4-5 years but that's probably not going to be a regular occurrence with me.

    Discogs is just as bad, see above. 99%+ of my Discogs purchases nowadays are used CDs, not vinyl. Too much overgrading and b.s. with vinyl on Discogs/eBay. Way too easy to game feedback, things not listed properly, and other problems above.
     
  5. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Unless you held the record in your hands and know the condition was as described and it was the correct version, you don't really know much with sales like that. Lots of fake sales, fake pics, scams, etc.

    Besides all the game playing I mentioned before there is also a game where sellers auction stuff, pretend they lost or damaged it, then relist it to auction again 3 months later or whatever. Seen this happen a lot with various products over the years, not just vinyl.
     
  6. AaronW

    AaronW Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Who knows what really went on with that copy. Definitely over-graded (listed as VG+, clearly no better than VG from the pics) and the seller has only 1 feedback and never sold anything before or since. No way I'd drop $100, let alone $500, with a seller like that. FunkYouSounds, CarolinaSoul or any other reputable seller would have got at least 3x that price and it would have been graded more accurately.
     
    rain_king likes this.
  7. rain_king

    rain_king Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Fair enough. I'm still relatively new to buying vinyl online so as time goes on I may get burnt out. I'm at a point in my record buying where I'm mostly getting inexpensive, semi-common things to fill in a lot of big holes in my library, so the frustration of getting an overgraded record isn't as great as it would be if I was buying $800 original Blue Notes or something.

    It would be cool if more local stores put their inventory online but that has its drawbacks too: one store near me has started putting everything they get in on daily Instagram drops, where whoever messages them first gets the record. In theory this would be cool and I trust their grading, but everything halfway-desirable goes within (literally) seconds. Not only does this make buying this way hopelessly frustrating, it's actually made going to their shop to browse almost pointless, because all the good stuff is gone before it ever hits the bins. So they've essentially become an online retailer. I'm not sure how this has affected their walk-in business, but it can't help.
     
  8. rain_king

    rain_king Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Yikes. That's one where you can actually see the condition of the vinyl clearly in the photos, which isn't usually the case.
     
  9. astro70

    astro70 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    I haven't bought anything off eBay in a few months as far as records go. It's really my last resort if something is too hard to find elsewhere. Lots of rare records can really only be found on eBay due to there being no clean copies (or none at all) for sale on discogs or local stores. I still frequent the same record store I've been going to for about the past 5 years and lately it's really hard for me to find something to buy. I think it mostly comes down to people knowing eBay is where the big bux are, and not bothering to trade stuff in to record stores, or sell their collections for a fraction of what they're actually worth locally in bulk. It's quite unfortunate because my favorite type of record buying is going to a local store and digging through the bins, but something has definitely changed during the past year and a half, ever since covid started.

    My guess as to why eBay has gotten as crazy as it has, is due to a lot of people needing to make extra money to be able to pay for necessities. Minimum wage is the same as it was 12 years ago, but inflation has gone up and up and up. "Side hustles" are extremely common now, and the widest net is on eBay because it's easily accessible for casual record buyers.

    Another thing I've noticed about eBay... When I was in college and broke, I would often have to sell records to be able to afford to buy more/better records. This gave me several options; Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Discogs, Our very own classifieds, and at the time, Reverb LP. I hardly ever got a single bite or serious buyer on any of those, besides eBay. I didn't necessarily get more money for the items there, but so many more people saw the listings and wanted to buy. Not to mention, a lot of the time, they didn't seem to care about condition. I'm not proud to admit it, but I sold some things that probably belonged in the dollar bin for a pretty good chunk of money, and never had anyone ask me for a refund, return, etc. It just all comes down to way more people being on eBay than any other selling channel. Right now I have a box of $1-$10 ish records, (nothing special, a lot of them in rough shape, or common titles not worth trading in to the record store), on facebook marketplace. I've had several bites but nobody actually wants to buy them. I bet if I actually felt like dealing with eBay's B.S. I could list the "good" records from the box on there and easily make $100. It's just too much hassle for beat up or common records for me to bother.
     
  10. rain_king

    rain_king Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    I regularly shop at several local stores and like you, I often don't find anything anymore. Usually the things I'm interested in are priced too high, and if the same thing can be found online for cheaper (even with shipping), it's hard to justify buying in store. I do like to support local businesses, but at a certain point I've got to think about my bottom line too. It's interesting that you attribute the situation to eBay being where the money is at--I think that's probably part of it, as well as just that there are lots more people buying vinyl in general in the past few years, and so competition is greater at the local stores. Like I said in a previous post, at the shops I go to, anything good is usually gone within a day or so.

    It's funny, I've had basically the same experience, and I often sell records to make money to buy more records. I put up a bunch on Facebook and got responses from several people but they all flaked out--they would act interested, even to the point of making arrangements to do the sale, and then they'd just stop responding. I've had things for sale on Discogs for a long time but have made exactly one sale. Meanwhile I sell stuff on eBay all the time--I'm not making big bucks or anything, but it's a good way to unload things relatively quickly, and it makes the crapshoot nature of buying used records a little less stressful--if I buy something and then decide I don't want it--either because of condition issues, or something better comes along, or whatever--I can usually sell it on eBay and make my money back (and sometimes make a bit of profit too).
     
    astro70 and Recordfan like this.

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