“My grandparents left behind a whole box of Elvis Presley records, what should I do with them?”
This is another question that we hear almost weekly here at The Pawn Company. Please allow me to shed a little light on the collectability of records, a subject that I have over 30 years of experience dealing with and one that is my greatest passion.
The first and golden rule of record collecting is that condition is everything. When people talk about real estate they always say, “Location, location, location”. For records, that would be “Condition, condition, condition.” Most records were produced in the millions and there is a tiny fraction of the public who still collect them, something like one tenth of one percent of the population. The one thing they care about most is condition, so if your records aren’t complete with their original artwork and in truly excellent condition, then you are facing very long odds that they will have any value on the open market.
Actually, in reference to the Elvis Presley records mentioned above, the most desirable records are not the 12” LPs that were saved by everyone’s grandparents and parents, but the 10” 78 RPM records that were being phased out of production as he was becoming popular. Some of his 45 RPM records are collectable as well, but if you are hoping for good money you will need to have some 78 RPM Elvis records in very nice condition.
One very common Elvis LP that everyone saved was his “Moody Blue” album, pressed on blue vinyl. It sold in the millions and was saved by everyone….and subsequently, is worth next to nothing. Ironically, the version pressed on regular black vinyl is much rarer and somewhat collectable.
As with any item of potential value, our advice is always to do some research and show your item(s) to a few people before you decide what you are going to do with them. Knowledge is power.
— The Pawn Company Insider