Hemswell Antique Centres

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How to find rare vinyl records every other collector is looking for


The question for every vinyl record collector is how and where to find the most sought after and rare vinyl records? And what should you be looking for?

The beginner collector should begin by collecting records by artists they like, rather than valuable vinyl, so for example if you are a Dire Straits fan begin your collection with each album from the time of release. Once accomplished, your next step would be to find first or second pressings of each. In this way, many collectors of vinyl records will end up with several copies of the same album.

When looking for valuable or rare vinyl records, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that only the obvious artists (e.g. The Beatles) are worth looking for, as their popularity means that they often had vinyl records produced in massive numbers, and only the very earliest pressings will command the big money. One area of vinyl record collecting to keep an eye open for is 90s vinyl, especially indie rock. The reasons for this are two-fold. In the 90s, the purchasing of vinyl was still in decline and had yet to re-emerge. Added to this the fact that indie rock is quite a niche area in itself with only hardened fans buying vinyl back in the 90s and you can start to see why it is rare to find original 90s pressings on the open market. When they do make an appearance, their prices can be surprising, for example a copy of Oasis’ 1994 vinyl album, ‘Definitely maybe’ realised over £100 at a specialist vinyl auction.

Having decided which vinyl records you want to look for, the collector needs to be aware of the value of the records, to avoid being overcharged, and what to look for in a counterfeit as many rare, valuable vinyl records as the perfect choice of the counterfeiter. Consult an online rare vinyl record price guide to get an accurate idea of worth, as well as one of the many guides available on how to spot a counterfeit.

As a possible source of rare vinyl records for the collector, a specialist auction house will offer expert advice but will try to sell at the highest price possible to earn the maximum commission on the final hammer price.

Online marketplaces and auctions such as Amazon and eBay are a good place to look, but be aware that not all sellers are scrupulous and it can be far easier for them to sell an item that is not genuine on the internet than it is in person.

Classified advertisements are worth trawling if you have the time, but it requires patience as listings can disappear fast as more are uploaded. An advantage for the buyer here is that some such sites experience little traffic so any bargains to be had may not be seen by a large audience.

Car boot sales can offer rich pickings to the early birds as most collectors will be pouring over the contents of people’s boots as they are being unloaded. As a buyer, you will be able to see the item in person and ask the seller any questions. If a car booter is decluttering, you may be able to snag yourself a bargain here.

Antique Centres like Hemswell allow buyers to browse at leisure and to examine the vinyl records closely and they often have several sellers, giving the buyer more choice. Once you have purchased your vinyl, be sure to maintain it in the best possible condition; our guide to cleaning and storing them safely will help!

Our vinyl record room can be found in Building 3, making a great starting point to a day of browsing with us. Even in these days of restricted social movement, our sellers have our website as a medium to reach buyers and the items available to purchase online are added to daily.

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