Vinyl record collecting is a popular hobby among many music lovers.
Some consider it an investment and a lucrative hobby.
Older vinyl records are pricey, which means vinyl record collecting can be a costly hobby.
So, How Expensive is Vinyl Record Collecting as a Hobby?
Purchasing a new record fresh off the shelves is pricey. To build a terrific record that’s Oscar-worthy would set you back $100,000. However, you can get reasonable prices on the mark-up for used records. Ultimately the pricing criterion is rarity + demand + condition= price. Vinyl record collecting as a hobby falls to the wayside and resurges, which may not always be a pricey investment, especially with the advent of music streaming.
How Can You Get Started in Vinyl Record Collecting?
The vinyl record collection hobby was reserved for Hipsters, but even the millennials are entering the fray.
Vinyl record collecting as a hobby encompasses vinyl records and recorded music, although the focus is solely on vinyl records.
To get started on vinyl record collecting, you need to consider the music era, genre, demand, and music need innate to you.
Vinyl records retail from comparatively affordable prices to top dollar.
Generally, the rarer and the more in demand a record is, the more it will cost.
But you can save on purchasing pricey records and still get a terrific collection.
You will need the following to start your hobby:
- A great turntable
- A carbon fiber brush
- A great preamplifier
- A good amplifier
- Vinyl records (obviously)
- A cleaning kit
Purchasing all the equipment to kickstart your journey requires a worthy upfront investment.
A good turntable costs between $400-$700.
Vinyl records have an unparalleled sense of pride when the needle hits the disc, that music streaming can’t match.
What Makes Vinyl Records Expensive?
We’ll expressly state that not all vinyl records are expensive.
But you will encounter the expensive ones that you can’t pass for a hobby.
Vinyl records, especially the wax-type ones, are inexpensive since wear and tear reign supreme after a few listening. The Edison spring motor phonographs are also inexpensive.
Vinyl records made of PVC are expensive since they have pure sound quality that you can’t find on CDs.
The grooves in the records are a manifestation of the sound.
The rarity of the vinyl records drives up the cost and the artwork and condition.
New records are more expensive and have better resale value if you keep them in good condition.
The cleaner and shinier you keep your records, the more they’ll last.
Therefore, it is self-explanatory why oldies in pristine shape cost an arm and a leg.
Five Ways To Lower the Cost of Vinyl Record Collecting
Even though the hobby can be costly, it doesn’t mean it always is.
Once you know the ins and outs of vinyl record pricing and arm yourself with a tad of haggling, you can build records of Led Zeppelin (1969), Nirvana, and Bleach (1989) with far less money.
You can get an LP for $15-$20 on eBay.
But, the in-demand records can cost you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.
But there are smart spending tips that can curate a terrific collection.
1. Contact Other Record Collectors
The merit of conversing with other record collectors is that you will end up with something special that you don’t know what.
Another collector like you has set their price for a record they perceive as worth more than their buying price.
You, too, have your budget.
The good thing is vinyl records are like NFT art.
You can set any price for them.
After much haggling, you can get the record for far less or do a swap trade or even purchase another record that the seller doesn’t comprehend its true value.
2. Check the Clearance and Used Sections in the Store
It is a no-brainer that new records are expensive.
To bypass the cost, you can check the clearance and used sections.
Here you can find records in good condition and hidden gems the store owner doesn’t know about.
Armed with your cleaning kit, you can restore the sparkle of the record and sell it for more or keep it as pricey home décor.
3. Go to Garage Auctions
Garage auctions where one person’s trash is another person’s gold.
In a garage or porch auction, you may get records the owner is parting with for far less than you would at an online store.
Mostly the records have obscure music tastes. But it is the unorthodox records that cost more.
4. Visit Thrift Stores
In tough financial times, people always look for fast cash and may sell valuable records for less since they don’t need them.
Frequenting thrift stores will see you land a gem for the lesser buck.
5. Ask A Friend
Your neighbor or work colleague may have records they no longer listen to.
Ask around if they can gift the records to a renowned curator of vinyl records – you.
They may charge you a convenience fee or give you absolutely free. Just be sure they won’t sue you when you sell the record for $10,000.
How to Maintain the Value of a Vinyl Record?
Dedicated care is the sure-fire way to maintain the value of your vinyl record and even drive it up.
Although to resell your record, you have to hoard it for some years.
Your maintenance kit has a record stylus cleaning brush and specialized cleaning solution to remove dust and maintain the luster of the records.
Periodically clean your records to remove dust that impacts the sound quality and initiates wear.
Also, storing your records is a key determinant of the record’s pristine condition.
Store them vertically rather than horizontally.
Stacking records horizontally means they will warp over time due to the weight.
How Can You Keep Up with This Expensive Hobby?
Your budget is the chief determiner of how you will undertake your hobby.
Budget deals help you lower the cost of vinyl records.
But as a records enthusiast, it is not always about the money.
Finding your unique tastes and likings determines the records you’ll buy.
A Led Zeppelin fan would splurge more than a Jay-Z fan for music records.
Keeping up with your hobby starts from researching and purchasing the best records on the first buy—generally, the shinier, the better.
Also, buy records with tiny fibers, deep grooves, and the faintest scratches.
There’s no perfect vinyl record.
You may have to compromise on some aspects to get the sound quality you desire and pay more.
You should know they are not impervious to wear and tear even after getting the best records.
Excellent care and storage ensure you’ll have sweet melodies filling your home to back the attractive collection you have built.
Always verify the vinyl record value online before purchasing to avoid rip-offs.
Vinyl record collecting is a rewarding hobby despite being expensive.
You want a home to live in and bills to pay, meaning you can’t always splurge on records.
You’ll have to be selective about the records you purchase.
Finding budget deals for your favorite record is the only way to cut costs on your hobby and enjoy it.
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