In Australia, the 1970s rock album ‘Can I Sit Next To You Girl and Rockin’ In the Parlour by AC/DC tops the list at $4276.
Ian Shirley, editor of Rare Record Price Guide rates the top ten investable vinyls as follows:
Album name Est. value (NZD)
‘That’ll Be The Day’, ‘In Spite of All The Danger’ byThe Quarrymen: $378,424
‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ by The Beatles: $132,448
‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’, ‘Sweeter As The Days Go By’ by Frank Wilson: $47,303
‘Open The Door To Your Heart’, ‘Our Love (Is In The Pocket)’ by Darrell Banks: $28,381
‘Dark Round The Edges’ by Dark: $18,921
‘God Save The Queen’, ‘No Feelings’ by Sex Pistols: $18,921
‘The Beatles (White Album)’ by The Beatles: $18,921
‘Try Me For Your New Love’, ‘She Wrote It Read It’ by Junior McCants: $17,029
‘Yesterday And Today’ by The Beatles: $15,137
‘Street Fighting Man, No Expectations’ by The Rolling tones: $15,137
What makes vinyls collectible comes down to scarcity, condition and a person’s desire to own it.
“That psychedelic single from the 60s that no one was interested in at the time may now [be] seen as a classic of the genre,” Shirley said.
Which albums are more likely to hold their value?
Artists like The Beatles, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, The Smiths, The Cure and David Bowie, whose records sold millions of copies, are consistently popular, especially rare unplayed or mint condition copies.
“[Certain] Crowded House and Midnight Oil records are collectable, as well as small run independent Australian singles pressed in the 70s to 90s,” Shirley added.
In determining a record’s value, Shirley said that condition is very important: a rare record worth around $500 could fetch up to double from a collector if it hasn’t been played, whereas for those in poor condition, the seller may only receive $50.
“On sites such as eBay, the price can [be driven up] for rare and sought-after records as people bid against each other.”
What’s hot for vinyl investors?
For enthusiasts looking to invest in vinyl with the chance they’ll make a profit, Shirley said that condition is key: buy as close to mint and possible and unless they’re cheap, avoid rare records in average or worse condition.
“The rare 1974 UK folk LP by Captain Marryat is red hot right now and could be worth up to [$NZ3700].” PopSike, an auction results web site recording selling prices of rare vinyls shows a sale in June 2015 for $US4706.
“Records pressed in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, by The Beatles, Iron Maiden, Queen and David Bowie are sought after,” Shirley advised
“Look at artists and genres that have headroom for future growth: rare jazz, soul, stoner rock, heavy rock, funk, boogie, disco, punk, new wave, hardcore, electronica, grunge progressive rock, reggae and psychedelia are examples of areas with records that people [look for],” he added.
Are vinyls a good investment?
Although there may be an opportunity to earn an extra dollar by selling to passionate collectors, Chris Hart, owner of Auckland-based Real Groovy Records said that the majority of people buy records out of a passion for music rather than any commercial gain.
“Due to the number of hours involved in searching, collecting and listing records online, most investment gains are unlikely to be high.”
Similar to art, Hart advises people to buy what they like, as if the album can’t be sold, it can still be used. Due to the time involved in setting up listings, up to 20 online listings per day is achievable.
“Around 90 percent of records at Real Groovy sell between $10 and $30, with not much in-store over $100, however there have been shining examples selling over $5000.”
The first album by The Beatles, ‘Please Please Me‘, Gold and Black Parlophone released in 1963, sold on Discogs in June for $7119, with 10 currently for sale from $10,929.
While it’s possible that something bought from a garage sale for $1 could potentially be worth much more, it’s also likely that an avid collector has spent thousands of hours collecting and listing.
“People collecting albums are likely to be doing so more for the thrill of the chase,” Hart said.
Although digital streaming is now the easiest way to listen to favourite tunes, for a collector or musicophile, aesthetics, nostalgic value and the ritual around listening to vinyl records means that there’s still value in collecting them.
A digital file can’t be resold, but as a physical momento of another time and place, a record can increase in value to an amount that’s solely determined by the buyer.
While not a business investment, collectors and enthusiasts can keep their eyes peeled for rare vinyls in great condition at garage sales, fairs and retail outlets.
Enjoying the music is key, and any profit on that is just a bonus.