How Much Are My Records Worth?

Have some old records put away somewhere in your attic? In your basement? Did you inherit someone’s
collection? This page provides general information on assessing your records and determining whether you have a real goldmine or just the same old stuff everyone else has

How Much Are Your Old Records Really Worth?

Please, do not phone us to discuss the value of your record collection, unique items you own or how or where to sell your records. All these questions are answered in detail below. If you must contact us, send us E-Mail. We will answer your E-Mail
Information on Continental Records Buying

Continental Records only purchases brand new 45 RPM records.
If you have a large quantity (2000 or more) of brand new 45s to sell, please contact us for the best price

Continental Records does not buy used 45s or any LPs/12″ or 78s.
If you have such records to sell please read the information we provide below on selling your collection

Don’t Want to Spend 10 More Minutes Reading?
OK, here’s the Scoop . . .

Your records must be in “like new” condition to have any value
Rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues and jazz records manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s are the most valuable records
Other records made in the 1950s and 1960s usually have some value
Most records that were made before 1950 and after 1970 have little or no value (except as detailed below)
Make a list – without a list your records are only worth pennies a piece

Prices detailed on this page

All pricing on this page is for records that are in “like new” condition. LPs and EPs that are “still sealed” (in their original cellophane wrapper) are worth more than the quoted prices
Record condition is paramount

Do you wish to determine the value (or sell) obviously used copies (no sleeves or covers, noisy when played, scratches, marks, writing or tape on label or cover, etc) of common phonograph records from any year (1901-1999)? Most best-selling records from the past were pressed in the millions and used copies usually have little or no value

In almost all cases there are sufficient copies of records in “new” or “like new” to satisfy all current (and future) collector needs

The best value on obviously used records described above is not what money they will fetch but the enjoyment you can still get from them – continuing to play them, enjoying the music and remembering the moments – this is why the records were purchased in the first place (right?)

78s? 45s? LPs? 12″?
Identify your records before you go further

Understand what you own. It is impossible to determine the value (or sell) your records if you do not even know if you have 78s or 45s or LPs or 12″ Singles

Don’t look for the speed on the record or cover – use the record size and photos above to determine what you have. Sort the three different sizes (10″, 7″ and 12″) into three different piles. Count the records of each size. This is your starting point for determing value. Use the four names (78s, 45s, LPs, 12″ singles) for making your list and any communications you might have about them
Rare and Valuable 78s
Most 78s are 10″ in diameter
Popular from 1900 to 1963 (Approximate dates)

Many people think that the older the record, the more it is worth – this is rarely true. Almost all popular 78 RPM records manufactured before 1950 have no value. Let’s face it, most collectors who remember and purchase records made before 1950 are now 80+ years old.

History is important

History does not mean age of the record. Does the record itself have a history? Items with high values are often records that fill spots in a historical era:

The roots of country music (early 1930s and 1940s country artists – often called “hillbilly.”
The history of rock ‘n’ roll – 1950s Rhythm & Blues or rockabilly,
Girl groups of the 1960s,
Northern Soul – Unique American single records (usually not hits in the USA) that were played by DJs in clubs in Northern England (e.g., Manchester, etc) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“Italo” disco. After the disco sound died in the USA it continued in Europe in the 1980s. Italo disco records are distinguished by a strong electronic beat and very weak vocals (if any).
Detroit and Motown (early Berry Gordy productions or other Detroit label releases), See Rare & valuable – More Examples above.

Answer records – even if not popular (I’m the Girl from Wolverton Mountain, the Duchess of Earl, etc.),
The history of electric guitar (early Les Paul), or,
Just to complete a collection on a certain artist such as early Jan and Dean on Arwin label or their later 1970s records on the Ode label or early Aretha Franklin on Columbia label etc.

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