Selling off your old vinyl collection, or hunting around charity shops and buying vinyl records to hopefully sell at a profit on Ebay can be great fun and a great way of making some extra beer money, but, as with all things, there are do's and don'ts to observe if you want to achieve the best results. Having sold vinyl to just about every point on the globe since last Christmas*, and having received nothing but positive feedback from my buyers, I feel I am now in a position to pass some tips and advice to others who want to sell their collections on Ebay.
* Now well over 2 years, and nearly 500 feebacks (all positive)!
So, my golden rules are thus:
1/ Be honest when describing the condition of the record. I know this sound blindingly obvious, but if there are surface marks say so, if the record has some scratches say so, etc. I have brought records in the past which have been described as being near mint, excellent or very good only to find that they were, in fact, far short of their description. Needless to say those traders have not received any business from myself again!
2/ Always described the condition of the cover. This may sound odd, but most serious collectors are as interested in the condition of the cover as they are the vinyl. Again, rule 1 applies here.
3/ When pricing the record be realistic. Yes the guides may say that a certain record is worth £30, but remember all price guides will give mint valuations, and mint means MINT!, ie factory fresh, never played etc, with a perfect cover and original inner sleeves etc. Most reliable price guides will have a sliding scale in them somewhere, so use this then take off a few extra pounds. This is not the greatest time to sell records, so it is best to underprice and attract buyers in rather than overprice and frighten them away!
4/ Always give the label and number of the record - collectors like to know they are getting original copies and not later reissues etc.
5/ Always give track listings. I know this takes time, but it is surprising how often I was getting questions about certain tracks on records before I started doing this. Most LPs will only have around 15/20 tracks, so it should not take longer than about 3 or 4 minutes so list them.
6/ When packing successfully sold records ALWAYS use stiff card board as a sandwich between which the record should be packed. You can buy special record stiffeners but these are very expensive and good stiff cardboard does the job just as well providing you are willing to spend some time cutting them into the required sizes*. Another tip when packing is to remove the record from the outer sleeve, leaving it in the inner sleeve, putting it into the 'sandwich' outside of the outer one. This reduces the chances of the record splitting enroute to its destination.
* Having now been selling vinyl lps and singles for over two years I have re-thought this, and have come to the conclusion that a small investment in proper mailers is well worth it. (see my other guide concerning this). They cut out a lot of time wasted on packing them up, and look far more "professional".
7/ Get the record into the post asap once you have received payment. This increases your reputation as a reliable seller, and will, hopefully, bring you some regular buyers. I personally have regulars in Sweden and this country who I know will usually bid on certain types of music when I list it because they know they will receive their records as described, in good condition, and in good time.
If you follow the above 'rules' then, hopefully, you should have increased success in selling your old vinyl, and earn you some extra money!