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HomeevergreenHow much are old records worth? This is what we discovered

How much are old records worth? This is what we discovered

The money is on top of a record on a record player.

Getty Images and Ken Lyons / The Penny Hoarder

When it comes to selling your old records to earn extra money, don’t get your hopes up.

And know this: the condition is the most important thing. Frank Sinatra is the least important thing.

“At one point, the shelf that held all of Sinatra’s albums was 70 feet wide,” said Doug Allen, owner of Bananas Records, which is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We have too much of that.”

What Bananas Records buys and sells the most are classic rock ‘n’ roll, punk and jazz albums. And that’s for around $ 5, if the album and cover are in excellent condition.

“The records are not compared to coins, stamps and books,” Allen said. “There really is nothing worth $ 100,000 or more.”

Many records that sold by the millions are still popular with collectors and album buyers, but there are still so many copies in circulation that they don’t sell for much.

On the other hand, records that only sold 20,000 copies (1950s jazz, early punk rock) may be worth more. Allen has seen jazz albums from that era, such as the early Miles Davis, which cost between $ 500 and $ 700 a piece, while classic punk can sell for $ 50 to $ 100.

Most record collectors these days are between the ages of 18 and 35, and used record dealers will try to buy records that appeal to both avid collectors and other more casual buyers. That includes artists like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and John Coltrane.

“There are still some Beach Boy fans,” Allen said. “There is a country that is worth something. Hank Williams early. A little bit of Johnny Cash. “

Allen would pay between $ 3 and $ 5 per album for these in good condition. He noted that Michael Jackson’s albums in good shape are selling.

“Two weeks after his death, you could sell anything you could get for $ 30 to $ 40,” Allen said. “Now they are worth between $ 7 and $ 10”.

However, don’t bother to bring your Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow or Elvis Presley records.

“These kids who are buying records today, a lot of them have never heard of Elvis,” Allen said. “That era is over.”

This three-part photo shows the album cover and the actual record of Sonny Rollins, who is considered one of America's most important jazz musicians.  The record sells for $ 1,000 on Banana Records.  Then there is a portrait of Doug Allen, the owner of Banana Records, with his warehouse full of records.  Some are on shelves while others are in boxes.
Doug Allen, below, is a co-owner of Bananas Records with his wife, Michelle Allen, not pictured, which is one of the largest vinyl record retailers in the world with around 3.5 million records. Sonny Rollins, top, is considered one of the most important jazz musicians in the history of the United States. His sixth album, Saxophone Colossus, is sold on Bananas Records for $ 1,000. Chris Zuppa / The Penny Hoarder

The value of an album is more than the music

Other factors affect the value of an album, including a record label or recording studio address, which can indicate whether it is a first or second impression; the country in which the album was released; and if the album was autographed.

The condition of the album cover is as important as the vinyl itself. Water damage, tears and marks can reduce the value of an album. However, Allen and other collectors usually buy the album only if it is in good condition and the cover is not, and vice versa.

Allen advises anyone trying to sell their collection to take it to their local vintage record store, take a look, and tell you what the money is worth.

A couple recently brought two-wheeled suitcases full of albums to Bananas Record, and they were able to sell many of them for a total of $ 60.

This is what your DVDs and CDs are really worth

What about DVDs, CDs and even 8 tracks? Allen and Genny Stout, manager of Bananas Records, have a guide for anyone trying to download their old movies and music.


CDs are less popular each year, as there are fewer cars with CD players. Stout generally pays 25 cents for them.


Stout will offer up to 50 cents per DVD from the 80s and 90s which are not very common. This does not include romantic comedies and blockbusters like “The Matrix.”

“Nobody wants to buy romantic comedies or all the Adam Sandler movies,” Stout said.

A Disney classic in good shape could fetch $ 1 or $ 2.

“Most of them are destroyed because people let their children put them in and take them out [of the DVD players]”Stout said.


“We haven’t bought them in 5 to 6 years,” he said, adding that it’s hard to find nonprofit retail stores that accept them.

8 tracks

“I would say there is no market for them with the exception of cult following,” Allen said. “Maybe an 8-track KISS, something you wouldn’t expect.” Those could bring in between $ 10 and $ 15.

Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.



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