Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ebay Purchase Makes My Day !

While cruising the Internet for vinyl treasures I often stop by:

To look around, keep up with vinyl record prices and to maybe catch a bargain. I recently bid on a "lot" (several albums combined together as one sale) of 15 Beatles albums and won the auction for around $75 (including shipping).

I was very excited (album collectors know this feeling) and anticipated the arrival of my new Beatles records to add to my collection. Right on time, they arrived via USPS and as I opened them and checked the condition, I was a tad bit disappointed with the codition of some of them. The seller rated them a VG+ (very good), but not all of them were in that condition. As you would expect with records this old, there were some condition problems. And that is why grading vinyl albums is such a problem area when buying vinyl online, it is very subjective. But, all in all I was pleased with my purchase because it yielded some real gems.

My eyes peeled to an album called "Rubber Soul". The album is in pretty good condition and the identifying numbers were T2442 and the recording was in mono. I grabbed my "Rockin' Records: 2007 Buyers-Sellers Reference Book and Price Guide
to get a price on what the album could be worth if I were to resell it.

Now the Beatles are one of the more difficult artists to ascertain the value of, for several reasons. There are many versions of this release (not only what songs were on the album), but also if it was in mono or stereo version. Additionally, the record label on which the album was released is another identifying factor that must be looked at. The label I had was Capitol-T2442/mono. I looked it up in the guide and the value is $500-750. If it had a sticker on it that read "Hear Paul Sing Michele", you would add $75 to $100 to the value. And you could have added $200 to $300 if the album read: "The Beatles Latest Album...Featuring Michele". My particular copy did not have these additional elements, so the value remained the same $500-750.

Now the most important feature of album is the overall condition of the surface and what the grade is of the record. The prices guides list these values for a record in NM (near mint) condition. My record graded (to me) below that and the value has to be adjusted (asuming that I was selling it) There is another factor in determining the condition and value...the album cover. This cover was in poor shape, with seam tears and also writing on it (I would guess the original owner wrote his name in pen (ouch!)) on the back cover and this brings the value down.

Final analysis:

The Beatles- Rubber Soul (album grades at VG-) Value: $250-375
album cover (poor condition) Value: Poor

If I were to sell this album I could reasonably expect to get around $200 for it. Not bad for a $5 investment (15 Beatles albums divided by the purchase price of $75). There were more treasures in this "lot" and I will discuss them in a later post.