How To Sell Off Collection?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Tippy, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Tippy

    Tippy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I apologize in advance because I know this has been asked before but I cannot find the specific thread I was looking for. Before I signed up as a member here I saw an informative thread about people who were getting rid of their collections.

    I recently had an epiphanic moment in my life where I realized that "accumulation does not equal accomplishment," and have decided, since we are starting to new year, to get rid off a majority of my CD's and vinyl, as well as a large number of books.

    What is the best way to do this? I don't really need the $$$, but I would like to maximize whatever $$$ I can get out of it.
    melstapler and Tommyboy like this.
  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Senior Member

    New York
    You can always find a local record/book store but most likely they'll pay pennies on the dollar.

    I'm sure others will have some helpful advice.

    Good luck!
    eric777 likes this.
  3. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident

    Philadelphia PA
    Talk to a few record store owners/managers. I know a few in Philadelphia who'd love to pick through a collector's collection!
    jimiclones likes this.
  4. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Then the local shops.
  5. originalsnuffy

    originalsnuffy Forum Resident

    Upper Midwest, USA
    If anything is valuable and actually trades hands then look into discogs

    Problem is that some titles do not really change hands that often. My rare MFSL discs do not move for example. We all think they are valuable but those with full wallets do not often agree
  6. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    Good Luck!

    Glad to hear that you're not selling due to urgent need not necessity.
    (In other words, you're not pressed for time to meet a hard deadline .)

    Since you'd like to try to maximize your $$$, you may find it worth your time to assess the worth of your collection, or at least identify the high $ items.
  7. vegafleet

    vegafleet Forum Resident

    Don't. Epiphanies are ephemeral moments of seeming clarity that go against the generally accepted common sense.

    But it will pass. You might have to spend the rest of your life stressed out about when will your hard drive crash, whether the Apple or Amazon downloads sound as good as the CDs, what happens when streaming becomes the only game in town, how much for HDTracks albums, etc..

    You know you are not going to get any significant amount of money (maybe enough for a dinner for 4 at Red Lobster) and then what?

    Seriously, wait a month and then retake the idea. It sounds like you are not in love with music right now, but give it some time.
  8. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    Separate the wheat from the chaff. Sell the wheat one kernel at a time, sell the chaff in lots.
    Mowgli, dlokazip, Jimmy B. and 21 others like this.
  9. Carraway

    Carraway Well-Known Member

    NE Ohio
    If most of your collection is of a certain genre you may want to see if there are any enthusiast groups in your area who have meetings. Possibly spread the word, maybe arrange for a selling night.

    Beyond that I'd look to forum classifieds first, at least for any I visited, and possibly Discogs for music. For books I might look into AbeBooks, but I don't know the requirements for setting up as a seller.

    I'm not sure if this would work in the Internet age, but back when I was in school there was an older man who called himself "Mr. Jazz." He had a tremendous collection for sale in his garage. It was always great for friends and I to take a trip and visit, as he seemed happy to share his knowledge, tell stories, make suggestions and play his favorites.
  10. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Table at your nearest record show is how to get the best price in my experience.
  11. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    How big is your collection?
  12. vegafleet

    vegafleet Forum Resident

    "Accumulation does not equal accomplishment": Nice turn of phrase but debatable depending on the situation and the person.

    But rather than "accomplishment" you should be seeking pleasure and enjoyment from your collection. You had that at some point, right?

    I personally have never met anybody that had more music than me since I was 16. But I count my family as my only accomplishment in life and music as my pleasure of choice.
    Pizza, When In Rome, Runicen and 4 others like this.
  13. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    I'm definitely more accumulator than collector myself, I have periodic purges...
  14. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident

    Stuff that is common and not worth much can be donated away for a tax write off. Of course you can sell some of to friends. A good bet might be a store near a major college campus. Of course you always go skeet shooting...
    johnaltman likes this.
  15. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    Shhhhhhh.... Tippy listen to the Maharishi.
    vegafleet likes this.
  16. fluffskul

    fluffskul Forum Resident

    albany, ny
    For a lot of members (myself included), the line between hobby and obsession gets blurry... and I agree with you and your epiphany.

    It would definitely be more time/effort than just dumping the collection to a local dealer... but for the stuff you have that's harder to come across, or more sentimental I hope you'll consider listing here first. I've sold here a handful of times, and I enjoy the fact that the music is being passed on to a fan, rather than someone looking to flip it a a profit.
  17. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Geebung, Australia
    Why are you feeling guilty about owning stuff you feel passionate about ? You don't have to view it as an accomplishment, you enjoy great music and books, art that enriches your life ...... that's not a bad thing. Don't ditch the lot of it.

    If you want to thin the herd a little, what I usually do is rent a bit of table space when there's a local record fair, I can usually unload a couple of boxes each time. Just keep your prices realistic.

    vegafleet likes this.
  18. TGW

    TGW Well-Known Member

    I had the same feeling a couple years ago and I thought it over for a little bit and decided to sell almost everything. I went from 1,600 CDs and box sets to 30 CDs and 1 box set (The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia, which my wife bought me for my birthday 14 years ago when we went on our first date, which I'll never sell). I did this with my movies as well, along with some of my books.

    We have an Apple Music family membership, so the majority of what I want to listen to is right there to access. For my favorite artists (Bowie, Miles, Prince, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell) and some other albums that are rare or are not available on streaming services, I made backup copies before I sold the actual discs. My movies were all already backed up digitally as they stream across my Plex server. As for books, it was whichever ones were selling for a lot of money, the rest were kept.

    I have absolutely no regrets. Its's easy to get caught up in the collecting aspect of music, so much so that the actual listening can sometimes seem secondary. I have no desire to purchase a CD. I'll buy something on iTunes like the live Kate Bush album that just came out that wasn't initially on Apple Music, but that is it. The same with movies, I kept 10 blu rays, which represent my very favorites and these titles also contain worthwhile extras. Again, no regrets.

    When I sold my CDs I used eBay and I also sold a bulk to my uncle, who is a huge jazz fan, and he insisted on paying retail price for each disc, so I lucked out in that respect. But at the end of my purge, there was maybe 150 or so discs that I just took to the record store and traded in for store credit and just used it to purchase a box set that I flipped on eBay. So, you'll have some options, just take a little time to make sure that this is what you want to do, but as someone who was in your shoes a couple years ago, I can tell you with confidence that I am happy with my decision and wouldn't take it back at all.
    Purple, GetHappy!! and ubertrout like this.
  19. Hamhead

    Hamhead Sinatra promo specialist

    I have a huge 10,000 piece collection, I'm opening up a store to sell them off.
  20. melstapler

    melstapler Reissue Activist

    Hi Tippy, as a fellow collector, I'm curious, what genres and decades are mostly represented in your collection? We have a close-knit marketplace on this forum which might be perfect for some of your collection.
    fluffskul likes this.
  21. ubertrout

    ubertrout Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Take stock of what you have - box sets, obscure releases, and audiophile formats/pressing can sell for serious money. CDs that were really common don't, regardless of the merits of the music. Compilations are almost always worthless unless they have tracks unavailable elsewhere. With vinyl it depends who/what you have.

    A store will typically pay 30-40% of the price they'll ask at retail, but it may be that your time is more worthwhile than trying to sell them off individually.
  22. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    I don't know why, as they really don't affect me at all, but these threads always make me a little sad.
  23. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident


    ebay is first pick.
    discogs/amazon might make a little more than that but you'll have to sit on them a lot longer.
    do search in "sold ites" for what each go for, price close to it fixed price format
    a record store will also work but they take a mighty cut (gotta pay that heating bill and cashiers got to eat (-: )
    ScramMan2 likes this.
  24. L.P.

    L.P. Forum Resident

    Correct! And those new year epiphanies are the worst! Forget every idea that comes up at this time of the year, because you might not be in your right mind at the moment. Winter depression, lack of sunlight. Maybe it's in our collective subconsciousness to feel the need for sacrifices to bring back spring. On the other hand, I don't know where the OP lives. Maybe it's summer there and I'm all wrong. :)
  25. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I think "best way" will depend on how much effort you want to put into selling off your collection.

    Selling as one lot to a store/other collector, might make you less money however, it is quicker.

    Selling directly to buyers will likely get your more money but it takes longer and once you account for the time value of your own time it's not sure a good deal unless you have some very expensive records to sell. :)

    There's always the usual options e.g. selling online, local ad but if you have enough records to sell I'd consider getting a table at a local record show. Price your items fairly but not cheaply and you should do alright.

    If you just want to get the process over and done with, call a few stores, ask them what they're buying policy is and take it from there. Luckily I have some decent stores locally that pay good money but they are picky in terms of titles and condition.

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