Do you recall the days of vinyl records? Although 8-track tape recorders became popular in the United States in the mid-1960s, my family did not own one.
If you wanted to listen to music at home, you went to the store and bought a vinyl record. Vinyl records had cool covers that were usually full of great art.
You had to be extra cautious not to scratch the vinyl while using it. A scratch ensured that the music would skip over sections as it played.
Vinyl records have largely been replaced by CDs and cloud music services such as Spotify. Vinyl records, on the other hand, continue to be popular.
In fact, some of today’s most popular artists and albums are available in vinyl format on websites such as Amazon and Best Buy.
Why Do Vinyl Records Remain Popular?
Although vinyl records were less popular in the 2000s, they are making a comeback. Since 2007, vinyl record sales have seen a steady resurgence, according to this Forbes article.
So, what is it about vinyl records that people adore? Experts believe it is due to the nostalgia factor. The audio quality of vinyl records can only be described as poor.
The crackling sound of a vinyl record playing on a turntable, on the other hand, has an oddly appealing quality to it.
Some people enjoy the nostalgic feelings that come with taking out a vinyl record from its case, placing it on the turntable, and gently placing the play needle. Others adore the look of the artwork on vinyl record covers.
Whatever the reason, vinyl records are making a comeback. That means you might be able to sell them and earn some money.
Continue reading to learn how to sell vinyl records as a serious side hustle.
6 Best Ways to Make Money Selling Vinyl Records:
You can sell vinyl records for cash in a variety of ways. In this section, I’ll go over your options.
Following that, I’ll go over what you need to know in order to get the most money for your albums.
1. Music/Record Stores
Bringing your vinyl records to a record or music store near you is one of the best (and quickest) ways to sell them. Used vinyl records are frequently available for purchase at record stores.
Both new vinyl record collectors and long-time collectors looking to expand their collection will purchase used from record stores. Expect to be paid far less than what record stores will pay for your used vinyl.
After all, they’re in this to make a buck. Check out local music/record stores in your region and bring your vinyl in for a price quote.
eBay is another famous place to sell vinyl records. You can find a wide variety of vinyl records for sale on eBay.
Based on how you price your vinyl records, eBay may bring you the most money. You’ll be selling to collectors directly.
Some people, however, may wish to purchase them solely for the purpose of reselling them at a higher price. Use eBay’s seller pricing guidelines to help you price your vinyl albums attractively.
When pricing your albums, don’t forget to factor in shipping and selling fees. These types of fees will have an impact on your bottom line profit.
You could also try listing your albums on other websites such as eBay. The more collectors who hear about the albums, the better.
Discogs is an online music marketplace and community that was founded in 2000. You can use it to sell — or buy — music in a variety of formats.
Discogs allows you to sell vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, and other items. A valid PayPal account is required to sell on Discogs.
You can begin listing your vinyl on Discogs once you’ve created your free account. Discogs will charge you an 8 percent selling fee once you’ve entered into an order agreement with a buyer.
There is a minimum fee of ten cents and a maximum fee of one hundred dollars. Discogs assist you in determining a selling price by recommending an automated price. However, you are free to change the suggested price as you see fit.
You’ll also need to decide on a shipping cost. Discogs is a massive online music store. This appears to be the place to go online to buy and sell vinyl and other music.
4. Flea Markets
Flea markets can also be a good place to sell vinyl records. Flea markets, also known as swap meets, are places where people can sell their used products.
They’re also well-known for stocking nostalgic items like vinyl records and antiques. You typically set up a table or booth at a flea market and set your own prices for your products.
Traditional flea markets are only held for a few days and migrate from location to location. Some shopping malls and other shopping destinations will host permanent flea markets in their halls and vacant spaces.
An employee typically manages permanent flea markets. You leave your merchandise there, and they collect the proceeds from your sales.
Sites such as American Fleas can help you find upcoming flea markets in your region. You can also use the internet to find flea markets near you where you can sell your vinyl.
Bring any other items you want to sell to your flea market booth as well. The more selection you have, the more people will stop by your booth to look at your vinyl collection.
5. Used Bookstores
Used bookstores can also be a good place to sell your vinyl records. Vinyl is frequently purchased by stores such as Half Price Books in order to resell it.
It is important to note that if you sell your vinyl to a store that will resell it, you will not make as much money. Booksellers, like music stores, will pay far less for your albums in order to resell them at a reasonable price.
The trade-off is that when you sell to a bookstore or music store, you walk in, get your money, and walk out. There will be no listing your products, waiting for a sale, or coordinating shipments.
CDandLP.com is also another online music marketplace. It’s been around since 2001, which is nearly as long as Discogs.
When you sell on CDandLP.com, you set the price as well as the shipping fee. They do offer suggested and automated pricing, but you are under no obligation to use it.
The fee for selling on this site varies (listing is free). It is calculated based on the amount of the sale.
Each transaction will cost you between 5% and 15% of the sale price. More details on fees can be found on the website.
This site’s fee structure appears to be less favorable for sellers than Discogs’. However, it is still an useful website for selling vinyl records.
These are the top six methods for selling vinyl records for cash. Let’s now discuss how to enhance your profit when selling vinyl records.
How to Sell Vinyl Records for Cash?
Before you start selling vinyl records, there are a few things you should know. Selling vinyl records can be a difficult task. Here are some pointers on how to maximize your profits when selling vinyl records.
Educate Yourself on Vinyl Records:
Understanding your business is essential for success in any business. Begin your research on vinyl records. Discover the ins and outs of the vinyl record industry.
There are numerous online articles that can help you become acquainted with the world of vinyl records.
Know What You’re Selling:
Before you start selling vinyl as a regular side hustle, you should know what you’re selling — and what you want to sell. Buyers and online retailers will want to know specifics about what you’re selling. Here are some things to consider before selling your home.
(a) Condition Matters
In the world of vinyl records, the condition is extremely important. New vinyl that are still in their shrinkwrap are clearly ideal. If you price these new-in-the-box items correctly, you will make the most money.
There is a list of situation codes in the vinyl record industry that you can learn and use when selling records. CDandLP.com has a list of condition codes and how to determine where an album belongs. Here are a few examples taken from that list:
- S = Sealed. The album has never been removed from its original packaging.
- M = Mint. Although the plastic wrap has been removed, the album is still in excellent condition.
- NM = Near Mint. For example, the record may have a minor scuff, but this has no bearing on play quality.
- E = Excellent. The record has been played, but it has had little effect on the sound quality.
- VG+ = Very Good Plus. There is a minor impact on sound quality, but it is unlikely to be noticed by the average listener.
The ratings continue to rise as time passes. Condition ratings will help you sell your albums more quickly because collectors and aficionados will know exactly what you’re offering.
Obviously, the worse the condition of the product, the less money you can expect to receive when selling it. Remember in mind when looking for albums to resell as well.
(b) Rarity Matters:
Another aspect when selling vinyl records is a rarity. The greater the rarity of an album, the higher the expected price.
For example, Rarerecords.net has compiled a list of the most useful vinyl records on the market. Their scarcity contributes to their value.
The Beatles’ album “The Beatles: Yesterday and Today” is at the topmost. In 2016, a sealed stereo version of the album sold for $125,000.
According to the site, there are likely less than ten sealed stereo versions of the album in presence. This explains why it fetched such a high price in 2016. If you occur to own one of the suspected 10 or fewer sealed copies in existence — or find one for cheap at a garage sale — you’ve just hit the side hustle jackpot.
However, if you own a famous album with a high number of suspected copies in circulation, you will receive far less money for it. Take, for example, one of my favorite bands, Boston.
Boston’s first album, simply titled “Boston,” was released in August 1976. It is still the second-best-selling debut album in the United States today. Only Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” album sold more copies, according to reports.
However, copies of the Boston album are selling on eBay for “only” $250–$399 USD. And, while you’ll make a great profit if you find a sealed copy of this album, it won’t be enough to pay off your mortgage.
Rarity is important, so check eBay and other sites before spending money on an album depending on its perceived rarity.
(c) Mono vs. Stereo:
Do you understand the distinction between mono and stereo albums? All song components come out of both speakers on mono albums. Some song components come out of one side of a stereo album, while others come out of the other. For example, you might hear lyrics coming from the right speaker and piano coming from the left.
For some vinyl record buyers, the distinction between mono and stereo is essential. Mono albums may evoke more nostalgia in some buyers than stereo albums. In either case, buyers frequently want to know whether you’re selling a mono or stereo album.
(d) Original Pressings vs. Reissues:
Original pressings are albums that were released as part of the first batch. Older vinyl albums typically have fewer original pressings and are therefore more beneficial.
Reissues are vinyl albums that have been re-released. These reissues are typically worth less than the original pressings.
Originalpressing.com and other similar websites can assist you in determining whether an album is an original pressing or a reissue.
Know Where to Buy:
Purchasing vinyl records at a profit-making price is essential. Garage and estate sales, flea markets, and Craigslist and other similar sites may have the best prices.
Many people looking to sell old vinyl records aren’t concerned with the financials. Instead, they simply want the albums are gone and a little money in the process.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and inquire. Make a post on Facebook stating that you’re looking to buy used vinyl albums. Inquire if anyone has a collection they’d like to sell.
You could also look in antique stores. Most antique shop sellers, on the other hand, are aware of the worth of the albums they are selling.
Know What to Pay:
It’s also important to know how much to pay when looking for records to buy. Find out how many albums are selling for on sites like Discogs and CDandLP.com.
eBay can also be a good resource, though some sellers’ prices are exorbitant. Before you buy, do some research and offer a price that will ensure a profit.
Know Where to Sell:
Knowing where to sell is also important. Selling to record stores and resale sites such as Discogs will almost certainly total you less money. Although the convenience factor is high, the profit factor is likely to be below.
Selling on sites like eBay, on the other hand, will reach a larger audience. And that audience will include the typical collector and vinyl album enthusiast.
When selling directly to a person who wants to keep an album, you may encounter a buyer who is sucked in by nostalgia. Or, alternatively, a buyer who knows exactly what they want for their collection.
They’ll almost certainly be willing to pay more than you’d get from a resale store or website. When selling direct, you will most likely have to wait longer for a buyer, but you will also make more money.
Selling vinyl records can be a valuable side business. To get started, you’ll need to put in some effort, just like with any other business or side hustle.
You’ll need to learn about pricing, condition, and the other factors mentioned above. In addition, you’ll have to put in some effort to find low-cost vinyl records.
You’ll have to work and test out the best-selling locations. You’ll also need to be patient while waiting for buyers. As you buy to resell, you will encounter some tests — and some failures.
You may discover that you paid far more for an album than it is worth. This is all part of developing a profitable side hustle.
However, if you enjoy music and can spot a great deal, this could be the side hustle for you.