I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who pitched in with their thoughts, views, opinions and anecdotes last week when Issue #1 of this series was posted.
The extent of the replies, via the comments section, was unparalleled in the sixteen-plus years during which this and the old blog have been going. It’s clearly a subject on which folk have a lot to say, so if anyone out there wants to offer up a guest posting, then please feel to do so via the e-mail address : email@example.com
If you do write and don’t receive an immediate reply, then there’s no cause for concern, as I don’t check the inbox every single day.
I had always planned Issue #2 for today, with a specific piece of vinyl obtained a number of years ago via Discogs, but it’s now going to appear tomorrow. Instead, and inspired by some of the things said in the comments section, I’ve gone into my eBay history as it predates when I started using Discogs.
The unfortunate thing is that there is no precise dating available – it simply says ‘more than a year ago’ for purchases prior to 2022. I do know, however, that I would have been using eBay to get vinyl and CDs from around mid-2006. The prices of some of these early purchases seem like a real bargain, which chimes with a number of the experiences a number of you offered up in response to Issue #1.
An early eBay purchase was this:-
For one reason or another, back in the early 80s, I had never got round to picking up a copy of Send Me A Lullaby, the debut album by The Go-Betweens. I had all of the other 80s albums, but not the debut, which came out originally in November 1981 on Missing Link Records in Australia and was then issued in the UK by Rough Trade in February 1982.
The Australian release contained eight songs, but the UK release, with the catalogue number ROUGH 45, had twelve songs. Grant McLellan and Robert Forster themselves later described it as ‘an inauspicious debut’ while Lindy Morrison felt her drumming on the record was lacking. It was hardly any sort of ringing endorsement for the album, which is why I never had any great urge to buy it.
I spotted it on eBay, most likely in the summer of 2006 when the idea of starting The Vinyl Villain was fermenting. I wish I could be more precise with the date, but at least the purchase history indicates what I paid for it.
£4.20. Plus P&P.
I reckoned that was a decent enough price back then. It felt about right for a second-hand piece of vinyl that was almost 25 years old, and was a record that nobody had any real love for. The pleasing thing was that I now had all the 80s releases on vinyl and the bonus was that, when it arrived, it was immediately noticeable that it had been very well looked after by the previous owner (or perhaps it had hardly been played as it’s not the most consistent listen, certainly in comparison to later albums).
There’s one copy of ROUGH 45 on vinyl currently on eBay. The asking price is £79.99 with an additional £3.95 P&P.
Over on Discogs, there are thirteen copies up for sale, from people in Germany, Belgium, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland and Japan.
The cheapest is 39 euro, (plus unspecified shipping) with the caveat that there is a scratch on one side of the vinyl, wear and tear to the cover and the original inner sleeve is missing.
The most expensive is $148.15 (US) plus £24.23 (US) shipping.
The one on sale in the UK, which would be the nearest equivalent to the eBay purchase all those years ago, has an asking price of £50 plus £4.95 shipping with the vinyl and sleeve described as VG+, but with a rider of ‘occasional very light back
A reminder that my purchase, for a copy that is at least VG+ and bordering on near mint, cost £4.20 in 2006. As I said earlier, the current asking price on eBay is £79.99 which equates to a staggering 1,804% rise from 2006, and while I’m no economist or financial expert, I reckon that’s probably a fair bit above the inflationary level in most countries.
I’ll be surprised if anything I’ve bought on the second hand market via Discogs or eBay has had such an outrageous increase, but I’ll keep an eye out. In the meantime, here’s a song from said album:-
mp3: The Go-Betweens – Careless
PS : If you want an escape from the soapbox stuff from today, I’ve contributed a couple of contrasting guest pieces elsewhere in recent days.
This one over at Charity Chic Music is a short effort, drawing attention to three songs with the word ‘Revolution’ in the song title. It’s part of his new regular Friday series.
SWC over at No Badger Required has generously given me free rein to talk about Rochdale AFC is his current Sunday series about Third Division football. I have prattled on at great length, way more than would normally be tolerated on his blog, and I owe him for that. There’s also a handful of decent tunes referenced……click here if you fancy a read.
6 thoughts on “THE INSANE COST OF SECOND HAND VINYL? (Issue #2)”
Like other contributors from the previous post I have misgivings about the prices of new, reissue and second hand vinyl. I don’t but very much of any of them as my general consesus of the price – no matter where they are bought – is that the prices are just too high.
Probably the most significant part of no re-engaging with vinyl is a point that was made last week, the thrill of the chase.
I have spent decades looking for some records – records shop, second hand, charity shops, back pages of music weeklies, car boot sales and record fairs etc. Now if I’m looking for something I can generally find it within a few minutes. Instant gratification does have its appeal I don’t think it any match for a hands-on, in-person hunt .
A vinyl collection could once have been viewed as a personal journey. Now that journey can be bought wholesale – if you have enough money.
I Ike the Go-Betweens, but… here’s the thing, apart from their inclusion on compilations I don’t own any vinyl or CDs by the band. As much as I liked them they didn’t form part of my journey – which could only afford what I thought to be ‘must haves’ of the time. One day I might go out and buy some Go-Betweens releases but I don’t seem to be in any rush.
I have bought some reissue vinyl recently that I already had but it had brought such joy I didn’t mind buying it directly from the band – additional tracks (I already owned) and a lovely wee fanzine. When one of my absolute favourite bands got the re-issue treatment – some LPs appearing on vinyl for the first time, I was really tempted. REALLY TEMPTED. However, a quick calculation showed I’d end up spending several hundred pounds for songs I already had – some in numerous formats. So far I’ve resisted temptation.
If I could generally find second hand vinyl maybe about £10 then I might reconsider but as JC points out prices can be prohibitive and where’s the fun in that?
Oh, … don’t get me started on Record Store Day.
It will be interesting to see what happens to ROUGH45 on ebay for £79.99 (auction finishes Saturday). Let’s look at the what we actually know: on ebay, copies of ROUGH45 sold recently as follows:
15 Jan 2023 – £54.99 + post (VG+ cond) – buy it now (no bids)
16 Nov 2022 – £20 +post (unknown cond) – 1 bid
13 Nov 2022 – £27.664 + post (EX cond) – 3 bids
If I was a buyer, looking at that information, hmm….. it seems a little overpriced at £79.99. Having said that, the seller looks to have a good track record selling some rare expensive vinyl with good feedback, so it would seem relatively safe. Even if I really wanted it though, I would wait patiently for other listings and hope to pay c. £30.
Your £4.20 in 2006 equates to £7.78 using the inflation calculator. So using £30 as a benchmark, it is still a substantial increase (although not quite ‘insane’!).
Wow, that *is* insane. I’m feeling I ought to check the value of some of my older/rarer pieces of vinyl but actually identifying which ones are worth more is the hardest thing as there’s not always any logic in pricing. Plus I don’t want to get rid of them – but I may have to consider insuring them!!!!
And just to complete the pricing research on ‘Send me a lullaby’ ( I always find it a bit more long winded than a quick ebay check of sold prices). Discogs shows 20 sales from June 2021 – Feb 2023 (15 of which were in VG/VG+ cond):
Last sold on Feb 01, 2023
Discounting that £120 (it was sold with some kind of Rough Trade promo sheet included, so a one-off) the average is £42ish for a good quality copy transacted in the UK..
By chance I just finished reading Grant & I yesterday (having read Tracy’s My Rock’n’Roll Friend over Christmas). I bought the UK Rough 45 release of Send Me A Lullaby about 6 years ago for about £15, in NM- condition. Looking at my Go-Betweens collection, if I sum up the max sold price at Discogs (not very realistic, but they are all in very good state) my 6 albums and one 7″ are worth about £500…
It was virtually impossible to find indie releases in the benighted backwater where I grew up, so I picked up my copy of the LP (which is fantastic by the way, and I will brook no arguments) in the Notting Hill record exchange sometime in 1982/3, that being where jaded music biz sorts back then sold their freebies for beer money after playing them once, and a great source of cheap and difficult to find vinyl. Shop’s still there but the prices are steeper. This copy features a photocopied letter from the band (with handwritten address) to a publisher called Danny. I like to imagine Robert or Grant packing the LP to send off in the hope of signing a lucrative deal. I need to mention this detail in my will so my estate sells the record on Discogs rather than despatching it to a charity shop.