If you’re a collector of rare or hard-to-find records, you might want to ensure your bank account is nice and healthy, because a new report explains that the price of rare vinyl is only set to go higher.
Ask any record collector, and they’ll tell you that one of their most invaluable tools is Discogs, a crowdsourced musical database that doubles as a marketplace. The site has been around since 2000, and helps to put serious record collectors in touch with each other in order to fill the gaps in those impressive collections.
However, as vinyl continues to skyrocket in popularity, so do the prices of the most expensive records sold on Discogs, according to a new report by the site.
For some time now, Discogs have published regular reports that outline the most expensive items sold over the last month.
While 2015 was notable for boasting the first time that a record cracked the $5,000 mark, this has become less of an impressive feat in recent times, with the last year alone featuring five records that sold for more than $10,000.
If you think that this is just a bit of an oddity, the data seems to infer that this is a trend that’s here to stay.
According to Discogs’ latest blog post, the average price of the most expensive record sold each quarter has jumped from under $2,000 in 2010, to more than $12,000 in 2018. On the other end of the scale, the cheapest item in the most expensive list has risen by $1,000 from $300 to $1,3000 in the same period.
Discogs do also note that their records aren’t even indicative of the rare vinyl market as a whole, with their most expensive record – a $27,5000 copy of Prince’s The Black Album – selling for $15,000 less than a copy of the same record in a private sale just months earlier.
“There are some serious deals that go down outside of eBay and Discogs,” noted former Black Flag frontman and collector Henry Rollins revealed. “I’m in that loop.”
“Acetates, original artwork, etc. It’s all done very quietly. You get the email, and you tell the guy if you’re in or not, the money is wired, no PayPal. I have gotten some one-of-a-kind stuff that way.”
“Many things never make it to the open market,” explained former Warner Bros. executive and vinyl dealer Jeff Gold. “I buy collections often (as recently as 1,000 LPs on Monday) and have many private collectors who I sell to.”
“I know what they like, and regularly one phone call or email is all it takes to sell a rare record.”
“The market for truly rare records has never been stronger, and Discogs is an important way for buyers and seller from all over the world to find each other,” Gold continued. “It functions as the world’s largest record store, with customers virtually ‘hanging out’ as they used to do in person.”
“When something truly rare surfaces, it’s one of the first places I go to find customers.”
Discogs also recently opened up another site that intends to appeal to hardcore collectors, with Discogs Exclusives providing access to hard-to-find releases and test pressings.
While Discogs Exclusives still appears to be in its Beta testing mode (with all of its featured releases currently sold out), it’s not yet clear how it intends to differentiate itself from its more popular counterpart.