Ever wondered what your record collection would net, if you’d decide to sell it off either at the local flea market or on the internet? Dreamt about taking a trip around the world from the proceeds? Buying real estate and getting even richer? Invest in the stock market? Well your possibilities are almost endless … and you can forget them.
First of all, most of your collection won’t sell at all. Not on the internet (ever checked out auction platforms and realized that there are tons upon tons of the same record on offer and not a single one of them finds a new home?), nor at your local fleamarket (where you can only sell your stuff at almost next to nothing), nor down at your secondhand dealer, who wants to offer you for your 10’000 items plus collection (with all the mega rarities included and in top condition) a low four figure amount.
The market is plain dead. It’s worst with CDs and, even though you think they have great value, when you want to get rid of them, your best bet is the municipal dump in your hamlet. Very few CDs are worth your time and efforts to make a money on the things. It’s a bit different with vinyl, as there are more rarities out there, but even with them, you’re not going to make a killing. Comparing prices paid for certain vinyl only a couple of months/years ago, the market seems to be on the decline. Rare stuff that went for a couple of hundred Euros only recently, has halved its current going price.
I’m not sure wether this is, because physical carriers have come to a natural end (after all, who’s really collecting 78rpms anymore, save the very rich with their pre-war Blues collection, who can easily shell out thousands of Euros per item). Of course, vinyl is on the up, albeit on a very low level, and seeing the figures for the
selling period 2011, this is a joke. Less than 300’000 LPs shifted. That’s not even a niche market anymore. But with so little being traded, there’s no real basis for a healthy collector’s scene. Sure, a few diehards keep the flag flying, but they don’t really dent the industry. U.K.
There’s an even gloomier outlook for CDs. With all the downloads going on, the digital format is going to be a memory stick or your hard drive. There’s no buying and selling of computer equipment, because you want a new file with the latest release of today’s star boygroup.
Of course, a certain kind of collector doesn’t care about the major labels claiming this and that in a few years time. For all that it’s worth, they can close shop any time. There’s going to be niche players releasing LPs, 7”s and CDs for a very long time to come. It won’t be a massmarket product anymore, but there’s a clientele to pull in new stuff. But just forget about early retirement or any other idea you had concerning the proceeds from your collection. The days, when your investment had a certain financial value, seem to be a thing of the past.
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