Stephen Shoop

Values- LP Recordings



Thoughts About the Monetary Value of LP Recordings


I have been thinking about the monetary values of LP recordings.  What goes into the current value of an old LP record? What is a reasonable amount of money to spend on a recording generally regarded "rare" and not readily-available to obtain?  What is a "fair" price?

I have gotten irritated several times when I see an LP on Ebay and other online places sell for a "reasonable" price only to see that same exact recording reappear-- offered by the "new" owner for a much higher price!  Then... soon after I see several others offered at a similar price!  I have noticed that most of the time they do not sell.  But, for some reason, I still find myself agitated about the situation.


Things to Consider When Determining Fair Market Value

Equivalent retail price adjusted for inflation.  The retail price of the tuba solo LP Bill Bell and His Tuba was about $5.00 when issued in 1957.  Adjusted for inflation, the 2011 price is a little over $40.  Is a nice clean copy in excellent condition (vinyl and jacket) worth $40?  Personally.... I think so.   Considering its relative scarcity, might it be worth more than $40?  If so, how much more?  If I did not already have several copies of the LP, I might be willing to pay in the $50-60 range.  (A recently reissued CD currently retails $20).  So... I would value the LP in excellent condition somewhere in the $40-60 range.  However, I'd consider a price in the $240 range to be absurd!  Something to consider might be to send those selling LPs at ridiculous prices a not too harshly-worded note!  This might give someone a little something to think about and persuade a seller to lower prices to a fair and reasonable amount.

Is the recorded music available on other formats?  Has the recording been reissued on CD?  If so, the alternate format takes away some of the scarcity of the music and tends to have a lowering effect on the original LP.

Scarcity
In selling LPs, I consider relative scarcity.  If I set the price too low, the buyer is likely to turn around and sell it at a much higher price.  In this case, I think it would be doing myself an injustice in letting someone make more than their fair share of profit.  I recommend using past (recent) selling prices as a guide.  On Ebay, this can be done by viewing "Completed Items."

Condition
Of course, condition affects value, especially with this type of product which is prone to deterioration.  Most of the time, I purchase recordings that grade at least VG+.  I will oftentimes pay a substantial premium for an LP that is in pristine condition, which usually means factory sealed.Is the recorded music available on other formats
?


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