A few days back (last Friday to be precise), something came up on a social media feed with the observation that Where’s Me Jumper? was exactly 31 years old. The post came with an accompanying poster/advert that said ‘debut single and U.K. Tour – 27.1.92″
I’ve previously considered including the song in the Cracking Debut Singles series, but had always been of the belief that the first release from Sultans Of Ping F.C. was the 12″ What About Those Sultans EP! on Fantastic Plastic given that was their only release on that label before their next three singles came out on Divine Records.
I was intrigued enough to look on Discogs where the information is that What About Those Sultans was a mail order only release, with its A-side made up of three demos dating from April 1990 and the B-side consisting of two cover versions. It would seem to have been something of an unofficial release, which means that I shouldn’t have baulked at the idea of Where’s Me Jumper? featuring as part of one of my long-running series.
The song, and it’s accompanying b-sides were highlighted preciously on TVV, back in April 2016 as one of the small number of records I owned on 10″ vinyl. I didn’t buy said record back in 1991, so my copy is second-hand.
I’ve just checked my Discogs history, and it cost me £2 as part of a larger batch of seventeen second-hand records bought at the same time in July 2011 at a cost of £32.25 plus £12 for postage and packaging, which when you add it all up means it was around £2.60 per item. The cheapest single was £1, while the two most expensive were £3.50.
Given I was on Discogs, I decided to take a look at what the going rate is for Where’s Me Jumper? on vinyl in 2023.
There are two copies of the 7″ version up for sale. An Italian retailer is asking for 45 euros plus shipping, while a UK retailer wants £60 (which includes shipping) for what is described as Near Mint in terms of the vinyl and the sleeve.
There are four copies of the 12″ version on offer, from sellers located in France, Italy and the UK. The range is £25 to 58 euro, (all of them are plus postage), with varying descriptions of the quality of the vinyl and sleeve.
There are also four copies of the 10″ listed on Discogs, all from folk in the UK. The asking prices are, in ascending order, £40, £45, £50 and £59.99, none of which include shipping.
The thing is, while I would be happy enough to be described as a ‘record collector’, I don’t buy (and have never bought) anything with the idea that it might increase in value.
It’s always been about wanting a particular record and being happy enough to pay a price that I think is reasonable and fair. I’m also someone who, certainly for the time being, doesn’t want to sell anything from the collection, albeit as I get older and with the recognition that I’ve no family to pass the heirlooms on to, that may change at some point, although ideally it would find its way to someone else younger who is prepared to keep and look after it.
I’m genuinely gobsmacked at the asking price for Where’s Me Jumper? Even the CD version is going for silly money, with the lowest UK price being £9.
All of which has inspired me to begin this new series looking to see if second hand vinyl has really rocketed in recent years, based on what I have paid for things in the past on Discogs.
Here’s the full list of the seventeen purchases from July 2011, complete with what is being asked for today, comparing it with the same condition of vinyl and sleeve as described when I made the purchase, and from a UK seller as that was the location of the 2011 purchases. Where there is more than one option in 2023, I’ve gone with the lowest asking price.
Yello – The Rhythm Devine (7″) 2011 cost £1. 2023 price £4.
Fire Engines – Big Gold Dream (12″) 2011 cost £2. 2023 price £3.99.
Blood Uncles – Let’s Go Crazy (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 £1.25.
Billy Bragg – She’s Got A New Spell (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £6.50.
Revenge – Slave + Amsterdam (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £4.
The Monochrome Set – The Monochrome Set (7″) 2011 cost £3.50. 2023 price £10.
Primitives – Way Behind Me (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £0.85.
Various – The Fred EP (7″) 2011 cost £3.50. 2023 price £1.90.
Red Guitars – Good Technology (7″) 2011 cost £2.50. 2023 price £2.99.
Martin Stephenson & Daintees – Slow Lovin’ (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £2.49.
Alan Rankine – The World Begins To Look Her Age (7″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £1.99.
Camper Van Beethoven – Life Is Grand (7″) 2011 cost £2. 2023 price £2.25
Devo – (I Can’t Get Me No) Satisfaction (7″) 2011 cost £2. 2023 price £2.49.
Kiss AMC – A Bit Of…. (7″) 2011 cost £1. 2023 price £0.40
Sultans of Ping F.C – Where’s Me Jumper? (10″) 2011 cost £2. 2023 price £50
Martin Stephenson & Daintees – Crocodile Cryer (12″) 2011 cost £1.50. 2023 price £1.29.
Champion Doug Veitch – Margarita (12″) 2011 cost £2.50. 2023 price £2
That means six items of vinyl are actually available for less than I paid in 2011, although none of them, price wise, are ridiculously cheaper. Another five haven’t gone up by much in price (less than £1 in each instance). The other six have at least doubled, and stupidly so in the case of The Sultans Of Ping F.C.
Removing that one item as it skews things so much, then the cost today of obtaining the other sixteen records adds up to £48.39, in comparison to £30.25. Which equates to an increase of 60%……..and that’s not taking into consideration that posting and packaging would be a lot more expensive, even if by some way of magic they could all be obtained from and sent out by the one seller.
Here’s the 10″ A-side of the valuable piece of vinyl (that has now been given its own ill-fitting plastic sleeve as additional protection):-
mp3 : The Sultans Of Ping F.C. – Where’s Me Jumper?
And your two fun-filled b-sides.
mp3 : The Sultans Of Ping F.C. – I Said I Am I Said
mp3 : The Sultans Of Ping F.C. – Turnip Fish
I think this series might provoke some surprise and outrage…….
15 thoughts on “THE INSANE COST OF SECOND HAND VINYL? (Issue #1)”
I think this may prove to be a popular series.
I didn’t ‘get’ Sultans of Ping back in the day. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate?
Aware of Discogs I had never used it till a friend mentioned I could add my collection – add my collection, I did – well, some of it.
I find Discogs a peculiar barometer of value. When I added the bulk of my vinyl my ‘maximum’ value was xxx. I then began to add more and my ‘maximum’ value dropped by 3k!? This occured over a couple of months which suggested Liz Truss may have been managing Discogs valuation algorithm.
Thankfully, I don’t take it too seriously, yet I have no interest in the ‘median’ or ‘minimum’ valuations – maybe I am taking it seriously 😉
I have to say that the gouging prices of used records has been a source of vast angst in my not so young life! It guts me to see what was once the most pleasant, and affordable hobby [buying and listening to music] turn into something only Oxbridge toffs with commensurate trust funds can play at.
I have seen my joy at the practice turn to bitter regret in the last ten years as the playing field has shifted tragically. I now look at my music collection and thank the gods that I bought everything I have at the time when it wasn’t a decision between a week’s food and a few records. I have records of every expenditure from the time of Post-Punk Monk blog starting [indeed, the blog hosts this info on a tab!] and I could probably take a few years off of my life if I did what you just did!
Sadly, to many, record collecting is just another opportunity to make money at the expense of us passionate fans. No matter how much I want a record, I refuse to pay over a price I consider fair. That goes for brand new records too, which is why I will not enter HMV these days – their prices are scandalous, especially as all my local indie stores sell the same items for between £3 and £8 cheaper on average!
Lack of interest will not kill the vinyl boom – greedy sellers will.
Wow… I must admit I find the pricing of old vinyl to be very erratic and don’t understand it at all. Discogs is very variable and there are so many listing sfor some items I get very confused frankly. I’m just glad I’ve kept all my old vinyl so it’s there when I want to play it…
I have recently taking to selling off a small portion of my vinyl collection through Discogs, with the active encouragement of my better half and the realisation that I will only play a small proportion and my kids have no idea what a record is or how to play one. I have found that the average price of records sold is a much better guide to the value than the massively inflated prices of records for sale ( which are nearly always from dealers rather then collectors) It is a very similar picture on ebay where prices are often ridiculous.
We sadly live in a capitalist system where the market determines the value of everything, fortunately music is primarily about listening and it is now possible to listen to almost anything ever recorded ( which is very different to when I first started buying records and it was only recent releases that were available)- and whilst the sound quality might not quite be as good as vinyl at least we can listen at a mostly reasonable price via streaming or downloading or through CD’s- which leads me to the conclusion that it is the joy of owning and looking at tangible goods that is driving the price of vinyl not the actual music on it.
And whilst we are on the topic of price of music , ( I’m getting on my high horse now) the trend for extended and extended versions of albums at prices of well over a £100 is just crazy, I’ve fallen for a couple in the past but have reached the conclusion that the original albums in their original length are the bees knees and the additional live versions, dubious demo versions, remixed versions are detracting from the joy of the founding album .
As someone who enjoyed a fair few Sultans gig back in the day i’m astonished by those prices. As a fan i’d have said they were certainly of their time and wouldnt categorise them as an artistic high. I do wonder if anyone actually buys the records at that price or whether people just list records at daft prices and just hope to get lucky and sell one or two of them.
“Where’s Me Jumper” has been spotted hanging on the wall of a hipster cafe. This niche approval may partly explain what is driving the discog prices. With one exorbitant exception (no real regrets in truth) I have steered clear of discosgs in favour of fairs and secondhand shops. It helps maintain the thrill of finding the unexpected or forgotten gem. When you have low expectations this frequently pays off.
if you think the price of secondhand records like the Sultans of Ping is insane then check out the prices of Northern Soul: in his weekly auction, John Manship regularly has several 7″ singles which are bid over £1,000. For example, last week:
Show Stopper / Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Back
Current Bid: £1,545.00
Keep Loving Me ( Like You Do ) / You’re Too Good ( To Me Baby )
Current Bid: £715.00
Now You’ve Got The Upper Hand / You Can’t Stop Me
Current Bid: £2,000.00
As a proud owner of ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’ (nestled between ‘Ambition’ and ‘Can’t be Sure’) here’s my perspective.
During lockdown in 2021 I decided I would start to sell some of my vinyl. Why? Firstly. I had multiple copies of some singles (eg. 4 copies of Public Image. Ok a great track, but how did I end up with 4 copies?) . Next, some singles I had never played (eg. several Style Council singles+EPs). Finally, no heir/relative interested in vinyl, so I would like a good home for them.
I had only been a buyer on Discogs so I used ebay where I had some experience and a feedback profile. There, I sold about 6-8 singles a week for about 6 weeks with surprising results – eg.
TSC – Mick Talbot is Agent 88 £50.01
X-Ray Spex – Identity £31
Dolly Mixture – Everything and More £10
JAMC – Upside Down £26.15
Rezillos – Can’t stand my baby £8.50
Blur – Popscene £14.95
The Pastels – Through your heart £3.20
TSC – Promised Land (Box set) £47.81
999 – Nasty Nasty Nasty £16
Mo-Dettes – White Mice £7.99
I was surprised because of
– everything sold apart from 1 single (Stone Roses ‘One Love’)
– the high prices achieved (versus my expectatin) (ok I checked ebay and Discogs to get an idea, but still..)
– the positive feedback and fun of the auctions.
Ultimately, of course, it’s down to what someone is willing to pay for what you are offering. At the time I thought some of this was ‘crazy’ – who would be buying this stuff? So – I asked on of the punters, and he replied as follows (which may provide some explanation for the uptick in prices if this behaviour is repeated across the country.
“Yes, we are the same age group, my wife asked me the exact same question!
During the pandemic, I went through all my old vinyl (approx 400 singles and 200 albums), bought some new equipment and started playing vinyl again. I guess buying singles on ebay has become a bit of a hobby to pass the time. I’ve been looking to fill in some gaps in my collection – gaps because I couldn’t afford the single at the time or had bought them, but wore them out, or lost them, or they were stolen etc 🙂
At the time, the Clash were my favourite band, then Ramones, then Jam, then Sex Pistols. I agree that the Sex Pistols had become a caricature. FYI, I just finished reading ‘Lonely Boy’ by Steve Jones. Candid, honest, funny, and pretty intense, but very helpful in understanding what happened. Not sure I like him as a person though – some pretty ugly personality characteristics and behaviours, but he does not shy away from explaining who he is warts and all. John Lydon’s bio was a bit annoying (same in print as in person I guess).
The punk period 1976-1978 is the era that I am currently buying singles from. Sometimes I am upgrading the quality of what I have (White Riot) or buying the picture cover (Remote Control). I have the original version of New Rose so I bought the 1986 version just for completeness. In my mind’s eye, I can see one of my grandchildren on “Antiques Roadshow” in 55 years saying: “yes, these are the seminal punk singles from over 100 years ago, collected by my grandfather” and the host of the show saying, “why, they are now worth 200 quid!” It’s not really an investment that is likely to pay off lol.”
Anyway, I stopped in 2021 and haven’t continued because it is quite a bit of effort – and there are better things to do (like trying to play golf!), but maybe I will go for it again later this year.
Not long ago I did a little calculation on the relative cost of a new vinyl LP today compared to 1980 when I was a very regular music shopper. In 1980 a new release LP would cost between £3 and £4. Today, I wouldn’t be able to walk out of a UK shop with a new release vinyl LP until I’d left at least 25 of your useless post-Brexit pounds on the counter, and probably more. In relative terms, that’s up to twice as much as I should be paying if the price of LPs had gone up by the average amount of most other consumer goods since 1980. Depending on whose calculator you choose you should need between £4 and £4.50 today to buy what £1 would have got you 40 years ago. In other words, a new vinyl LP should cost between £12 and £18, not upwards of £25.
The main reason for this discrepancy is that vinyl is no longer the default format for listening to music. It’s a niche choice, either (as mentioned above) for those old codgers who always had vinyl and still prefer it and who are now rich and obsessed enough to pay the premium, or younger hipsters choosing to buy it for its retro cachet, rather as they might walk around with a film camera rather than snap everything with their phone.
The higher value of new vinyl pulls up the value of used, and the old stuff has the added allure of originality or rarity. And like the items on Antiques Roadshow they will go in and out of fashion according to taste. All it would take is some current star to namecheck Sultans of Ping as a primary influence and watch those prices soar!
On the up-side, I recently took a bundle of unwanted stuff to my local heritage record store here in Wellington NZ and was offered credit of about $200 for a dozen or so LPs. If I chose wisely I might be able to buy up to four new LPs with that. But as winterinmaypark said above, record fairs tend to be the best value source of 2nd hand stuff these days and I’ve picked up a few goodies that way here recently.
If you think it’s bad there, try changing the “ships from” to US. I live in California and have to do that because shipping costs have made buying from outside the US completely impossible (like $5 domestic shipping vs $20 international). I regularly see records that seem reasonably priced, only to filter for US sellers and see the min price jump by 50-100%.
PS Do you own any Sarah records per chance…..?
I am vulnerable to the live recordings, mostly. Though there are a handful of groups where I want to have it all. A sickness.
Alas, the records I usually want are not to be found in America, or at least the southeast, where I live. Locally, its impossible to find used singles of any kind, which is most of what I want. Any such material has been expunged from record stores to make room for new $tock. So 95% of all the records I want are Discogs or nothing. I can wait years to find a US dealer with what I want.
Yep. I hear you! With my tastes, a reasonable amount of what I want is not expensive from the seller. Just the shipping costs have become untenable.
Thanks Eric. Great to hear from you again. I have a couple of Sarah 45s, but I’ve picked both of them up via second-hand sales in stores. Some of the prices being sought are eye-watering.