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Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?
Old 03-14-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?

My MIL and FIL have about 4 feet of shelf space of old, old 78's in albums. Mostly from their parents. They would like to sell them.

Some are Swedish singers, opera and classical works from the 20's, and some later polka and guy lombardo stuff (33 1/3).

I wrote down a few titles and did some internet searching. Took a long time to locate even a few of the titles. Those were selling for $5 to $25 each.

I could catalog them all, and spend many hours searching, but I'm thinking it might be better to find a collector or dealer and try to sell it all in one shot. Of course, I'd always wonder if there was a $50,000 collector's item in there! They look to be in pretty good condition, but I don't have a 78rpm table to even try them on.

Any hints on how to go about this?

TIA - ERD50
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?
Old 03-14-2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?

One place I would look at for resources is here:
http://www.recordcollectorsguild.org/
It's a relatively popular hobby it seems. Not sure, though how you could escape the task of making a comprehensive list in order to avoid that chance that there is a very high value gem in there,
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?
Old 03-15-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?

E-Bay.
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?
Old 03-15-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Re: Advice for selling a record collection - 78's from the 20's?

I had a small collection of maybe 50 78's mostly from the 30's that seemed to have a few jems of by-gone fame, like Al Jolson. From my research I became convinced that unless the records are in pristine condition (mine weren't) that the old 78's aren't hugely valuable. I ended up finding a local dealer that had some specialization in older records and sold the lot for about $1.00 a record. I hope your experience or collection is better. I'd probably agree that eBay is a good place to start some research and see if you can get an idea of value.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
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Our city has a record-collecter's convention once a year. Might keep an eye out for something like that.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #6
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I've sold a few collections ( Not records ) and what I did was research the items on Ebay so I had an idea of what they were selling for then I contacted a few dealers and went with the best price . You can sell them yourself on ebay but it takes time and in some instances the dealers do a lot better .
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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I'd think eBay would be the best way to sell them if you already have an established account with good feedback...but only after doing as much DD as possible so you could make sure you weren't unwittingly including a very rare item in with the relatively common ones in the lot.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:55 PM   #8
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I considered selling a similar collection; my research showed prices around $5.00 each tops. So I decided to rotate them as family displays; I put them up with a few nails in strategic places or use plate hangers. Any ideas on how to display them? It's fun to imagine which family member bought and enjoyed them, especially an opera recording from 1908. They came down from the Italian side of the family.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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As a rule of thumb, I'd say that most 78's aren't that valuable unless they're of an artist who is well-respected today (e.g. Billie Holiday, Caruso, etc), and even then I don't know that they would be "gems." An exception might be old blues or folk/country 78's as there are serious collectors looking for anything by legendary or obscure artists in those genres.

This site seems to have some useful info:

http://www.gracyk.com/tips.shtml

and

http://www.gracyk.com/value.shtml
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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My husband sold a few 33 1/3 LPs on eBay, but he didn't make significant cash unless it was something special. Our special ones were a Tommy Dorsey double album signed by Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich and a lot of others in the band ($205), a Monkees radio interview that said it was supposed to be destroyed after the radio show ($80) and most recently a Led Zeppelin album with a rare purple and gold label ($47).
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:51 AM   #11
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maybe consider donating them to a local museum or historical society?

these places have the contacts to get the recordings where they could do some good for musical history preservation.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #12
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I had a small antique booth in Chicago about 4 years ago, and one of the dealers had a great looking old record player for 78's. It went within less than a month to a native Mexican guy about 50ish who told me his family had alot of old records to play; so, I know that there is a need for these records by someone, but the problem will be in finding that someone.
Worse comes to worse, CuppaJoe has a great idea about displaying them on plate holders.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:01 PM   #13
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Remember Ebay brings you a worldwide audience. We sold one of our parents 45s to someone in Germany for a tidy amount. We are both very happy. The artist was someone we had no clue about.

Cost runs about the same as an auctioneer plus the time investment but again gets you a bigger audience.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:38 AM   #14
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Myself and the men I swim with at the pool were talking about this same thing yesterday as one of the men has many records to sell just like you. After much head scratching, I have to agree that Ebay seems the way to go on this one. That's my vote, anyway.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:36 PM   #15
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probably not worth the time & trouble. I have a few 78s, some old 45s with big band music, 33s that are in good condition, played once some in original packages. I am giving them to older son this weekend since he is knowledgeable about vinyl but mostly he trades them for music he wants.
My first activities in my first 30 days of retirement has been scanning old slide photos into the computer and turning old vinyl into MP3s. My boxes of vinyl have to go
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