In this post I am going to discuss how to sell vinyl records.
There are several ways to go about selling your records and there are some things to consider. Depending on how many records you have and how many you want to get rid of the process of selling them is not a clean cut easy process.
Selling the records individually will be far more involved and time-consuming as opposed to selling them all in one sale. Read on while we examine the pros and cons of our options.
Why Are you Selling You records?-Determining which way to go
Do you want to sell all of your records to free up space or you no longer listen to them? Or do you just have too many and would like to reduce the footprint that they take up and just keep a portion that are your favorites you still listen to? Do you just want to sell them all off in one sale or would you rather sell them individually?
The pros to selling in one sale are, you will clear them out a lot faster than selling them individually. Another pro for the one sale deal is you will not have to take the hours and hours of time listing each record. It is time-consuming.
The one big con to the one shot sale is you will more than likely not make near the money you would make selling them individually. Likewise, the two big cons to selling individually are the time involved in researching each record, writing an accurate description about each one, and taking some decent photos.
Another decision if you want to sell them individually is what platform will you use? Ebay, Discogs, Facebook, or Craigslist, and if they are vintage Etsy is another option. I won’t go into the pros and cons of each platform in this post but this is something you need to decide. Other than Facebook and Craigslist the other platforms will take a cut of your sale price.
Shipping each record is another consideration. If you sell them individually you will have to pack each record securely and purchase postage so you will need mailer boxes, bubble wrap, and stiffeners to ship them. In another post I will explain shipping procedures and how each platform handles that shipping and the best way to ship to insure your record arrives in one piece.
If you already have an eBay account then eBay might be the way to go since you already have a feedback rating. No matter what platform you choose to list your records on if you have no feedback it will be harder to make a sale as most collectors who buy records look for good feedback ratings. If you are on eBay and have a low feedback score I suggest while you are preparing your records for sale you start buying as many cheap items on eBay as you can to raise your feedback numbers.
Selling Them In One Shot Sale- Faster But Not As Profitable
If you want to just get rid of them in a hurry to clear some space, or maybe you are moving and don’t want to deal with moving them, then the one shot sale is the way to go. You will make less money but you will clear them out faster. The type of buyer you will attract by selling in one big lot on Craigslist or Facebook will likely be a re seller or perhaps a collector. I would not expect to get more that $1 per record unless you have a few gems in the lot.
If you live in an area that has a record store or two you maybe able to sell them there but then again don’t expect to make a lot as the store will need to be able to make a profit when they resell.
List them on Craigslist or Facebook. Actually do both. There are closed Facebook groups that are “buy and sell” groups in most communities. More than likely several so you can get a fairly large group of people putting their eyes on your ad. You just have to request to join these groups and I would join as many as there are so you can and list on all of them.
Keep in mind that on a Facebook sellers page your post will quickly fall to the bottom as other people list items, so you will have to keep bumping them up to get back to the top.
Craigslist will get you wide coverage as well but beware as there are a lot of scammers and spammers on Craigslist. I have had luck selling on both Facebook and CL but be prepared for no shows. You can sell individual records on these two platforms as well but the selling will be rather slow. If you are going to sell individually you will probably need to go with eBay or Discogs, or Amazon, as they have millions and millions of buyers searching their site every day. Depending on your store level with eBay you will have to pay a listing fee to list the record and that listing is good for 30 days. Without an eBay store it will cost you .30 cents per listing for a 30-day listing. EBay will also take about 13% of your sale price on each record sold. Or, you could list them on auction and if several people are interested in the same item that may drive the price up. If you think the record is worth a decent amount then set a “reserve” price on the auction so it will not sell for the minimum starting bid.
Amazon will also charge you a fee to list, but that listing will not expire. They will also take around 15% of the final sale price as their cut. I have found that with Amazon you can usually get the best price for you records, but your mileage may vary.
I’ve had an eBay store for years and I have a premium store which I pay $60 a month for. The monthly fee includes 1000 free listings so that is where I sell most of mine. If I ever dropped my store subscription I would move all my listings to Discogs.
Discogs is free to list and the listing will not expire. They take about 8% of the sale price as their commission. The drawback to Discogs is that you need to identify the correct version of your album which can take a little time on some records. For instance there are about 500 different pressings of Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” so scanning through the different versions to determine which pressing you have may take some time. Not all records have that many pressings but you need to determine the correct one as buyers look for specific issues for their collections. To some the particular issues will not matter but for many they will. If you want to check out a good book for beginners about listing your records on Discogs you might want to try this.
So, unless you have an eBay or Amazon account, my suggestion would be Discogs. If you are in no hurry to move them out just start listing on Discogs. It is a well respected marketplace and I hear a good many vinyl record buyers swear it is the only place they will buy vinyl from.
Last but not least is have a garage or yard sale. Be sure to state in your ad that you have vinyl records and you may draw some collectors or re-sellers. A re-seller or collector my just negotiate a price for all you have.
Most people who go to garage sales are looking for deals, cheap deals, so don’t expect to get rich from them but at least you may get them out of your hair and pocket a little cash.
And if you just want them gone and don’t care about making any money, donate them to a local charity thrift store. That way others can come in and browse through them and the charity will make a few bucks. You can also get a receipt from the shop and take a tax deduction.
Bottom line here is unless you want to take this selling on as a long term hobby or project I would just lump them all together and sell them in one sale via Craigslist, Facebook or a record store. If you’re not looking to profit then donate them to charity.
So, I’ve given you a few ways on how to sell vinyl records online and offline. I can tell you one thing for sure and that is there are people making money selling records so, ff you have the time and desire to research each record you may want to consider selling them individually. But if you have no interest in them and just want them out of your way then by all means I’d go for the one big lot sale. For those of you who want to dig in and make this a fun project and decide to sell on Ebay, Discogs or Amazon in my next post I will explain the process in greater detail.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
Thanks for reading and happy selling.