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General Question about Vinyl prices...


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  Let me start off by saying that I'm a collector not a flipper or a reseller. Just wanna try and figure out the market a little... 

    So a band like NOFX can produce limited vinyl ranging from 100 copies to 1500 copies and put them on their site for a reasonable price (IMO) of about $15-$20 "sometimes cheaper". Then we have The Bouncing Souls (of whom I am a completist) and Less than Jake in the next bracket with vinyl going for about $25-30. Next we have The Bronx (also a collector) that are like $30-$40 and sometimes more! I can understand production costs and that Fat Mike owns a little record company which probably keeps costs down. Then there is the contributing factor of gatefold and so on and so on..... I don't have a problem supporting the bands I like and I'll still be buying from all the bands listed and others. So I guess my question is, Do production costs / what ever really have that much sway or is it the decision of the band?

 

  Next is secondary markets... Vinyl Collective/Discogs/Ebay/Market Place/What ever.. 

     I say this just to understand better and I do understand that rarity is a causal factor in secondary market pricing. I'll use this example: 

 

      2018 The Bronx -  Stranger Danger / New Joy 7" in orange? (website originally list colors as "pink" and "yellow")  - Supposedly limited to 150 copies and is going for ~ $10 on discogs. Which is a loss if you purchased it originally from the band with shipping costs. 

            https://www.discogs.com/The-Bronx-Stranger-Danger-BW-New-Joy/release/12892209 

 

Then we have 2021 The Bronx -  Superbloom 7" - Limited to 600 total copies (with only 200 available as first come first serve) that has already sold for $40. 

          https://www.discogs.com/The-Bronx-Superbloom/release/18567595

 

 Yes, Discogs is a community site where users contribute information on the releases and the information is not always 100% correct. BUT the transactions are correct. I'm trying to grasp why the the pricing isn't the other way around? Is it because Superbloom is hotter ATM (New Joy never hit that high)? Is it because Superbloom is a better song (it is IMO but not everyone has the same taste)? Is it because the rarity is not correct (Band site LISTED New Joy @ 150 copies)? Is the quality of the recording better? 

 

Just looking for some feedback and perhaps others observations about other bands/releases/represses. Again it really doesn't matter to me the "value" I'm an ape and holding! 

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I would have to assume it's just supply and demand. In your Stranger Danger example, even though only 150 copies exist of that specific variant, how many copies exist in total across all variants? If everyone that wants a copy has a copy, then demand won't be there. And if in your Superbloom example, the only pressing is that /600 one, and a few thousand people still want it but don't have it, the price can be driven up. 

 

If you're looking for an answer as to "Why?" one may have more demand than the other, there are far too many variables to say. Maybe a specific variant looks the best/coolest so everyone wants it. Or everyone wants the rarest variant. Or that particular album sucked and no one wants it. Or one pressing sounds significant better than the other pressings. The list is endless. 

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I think as far as The Bronx goes, they have a really loyal fan base, their stuff is in demand & they know they can charge more & people will still pay for it. I don't necessarily like paying $30 for an lp, but I don't mind as much with them as I'm assuming they are self releasing this stuff. So in summation, it's suckers like me who keep vinyl prices high.

Edited by zuck
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There are tons of very limited albums selling for very low compared to others also when the quality of music they contain is, in my opinion, WAAAAYYYY higher. I've also seen albums selling for crazy prices on discogs, but then bought them for $10 at a local shop or vice versa. Similarly, I find it curious how expensive vinyl is in Japan. Does it cost more to produce an album there? Are they paying for more deluxe packaging? Likely not...
It's all just very, very fickle...

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In addition to supply and demand being the main culprit, Discogs creates an additional price hike on a lot of records by showing the pricing history as just 3 numbers on each release page.

 

Often one copy of a record will sell for above the 'going rate'—maybe because no other copies are available, or because of a lack of availability in a certain country, or even because of an autograph. This changes the "highest" sale price on the Discogs page, and unfortunately, most sellers see this as a marker of what the record can sell for. Suddenly every copy is listed higher, and a few sales later, the median price goes up too.

 

This is less common with other resale sites, even eBay, because rather than one sale being an obvious outlier (as it would be when scrolling through sold eBay listings), one highest Discogs sale can reframe the whole price bracket for a record. And the relationship between Discogs and the 'hobby' of record collection is pretty unique—it is basically the bible of pressings and resale value, the one place pretty much everyone consults.

Edited by al-naafiysh
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5 minutes ago, al-naafiysh said:

In addition to supply and demand being the main culprit, Discogs creates an additional price hike on a lot of records by showing the pricing history as just 3 numbers on each release page.

In my experience I think this actually works the other way because the lower priced copies (missing covers, water damaged, otherwise unplayable) set a “floor” people look at and also drop the average.

 

I guess it goes both ways, though; probably for rarer releases the price is inflated by the “low/average/high” history and for more common releases it hurts prices.

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I'm curious what part distributors play into raising prices in stores? like 5 years ago I was able to find most RFC stuff stocked in my local stores and they'd be $5-$10 cheaper than most records and rarely above $16 and now they're just priced like everything else at $23 cheapest.  same goes for all of the classic punk stuff like Dischord and SST, they used to be the cheapest and now they're universally the same. 

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3 hours ago, unknown pleasures said:

In my experience I think this actually works the other way because the lower priced copies (missing covers, water damaged, otherwise unplayable) set a “floor” people look at and also drop the average.

 

I guess it goes both ways, though; probably for rarer releases the price is inflated by the “low/average/high” history and for more common releases it hurts prices.

Discogs at least doesn't use an average, so an extra high/extra low doesn't have as big an effect as if they did. They use a median, not a mean for the middle number.

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FYI for anyone that didn't know, you can also look at a graph of all the sale prices over time on Discogs if you click on more details. Then you can get other information like, "Oh this used to be expensive, but a repress happened and now I shouldn't pay more than $40".

As for vinyl prices on the aftermarket. I sell pretty regularly and have a handful of observations.
The "coolness" of the variant is almost more important than the rarity. For example, I bought that stupid DGD 6xLP bundle to get the record I wanted. So I had to sell 5. I sold them all equally for $35. Some variants, which were rarer, sat until just last week (the smoke one that almost just looks black). Whereas another one that was more common sells for $80 already. The IG image influences price much more than you'd think. This also affects Black Vinyl, which is almost unsellable on Discogs. I've noticed tons of insanity on colors vs black. For example, there are a few Lana Del Rey album where a color pressing goes for $400+ but there are just handfuls of black vinyl at $20 available any day you want it.

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Discogs sale history is also “rolling” for anyone who wasn’t aware – forgot the exact window, I think it’s a few years? – which means that the Brand New tour variant that some clown (allegedly) paid $1,500 for will not show as $1,500 after a few years.  Only really impact stuff that’s

super rare and seldom sold, but it explains why certain variants - as well as your maximum collection value - are subject to raising and dipping over time instead of just permanently rising.

 

Regarding everything else, I think MCDELTAT summed it up pretty nicely.  No one gives a shit about black vinyl unless it’s the only option out there.  And it’s pretty commonplace for an “ooh” inducing variant, 4th press /2,000, to fetch more than a 1st press variant /300 that just looks so-so.  I see that all the time.

 

As far as MSRP is concerned, you just get a feel for which labels or distros gouge and which ones price fairly.  Not always, but typically the larger the artist & label, the higher base price you’ll see for an LP.  It’s why before taxes and shipping, a Topshelf Records 2LP may be $24 but a Weeknd 2LP may be $45.  Bands and labels are pretty efficient at gauging how much they can charge and get away with for their fanbase.

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On 7/10/2021 at 7:49 PM, unknown pleasures said:

In my experience I think this actually works the other way because the lower priced copies (missing covers, water damaged, otherwise unplayable) set a “floor” people look at and also drop the average.

 

I guess it goes both ways, though; probably for rarer releases the price is inflated by the “low/average/high” history and for more common releases it hurts prices.

Yeah I think it's an effective system for older / more common releases (which is probably what  they had in mind when it was introduced) but in the last few years it's been problematic with the whole limited variant boom.

 

On 7/11/2021 at 12:39 AM, MCDELTAT said:

FYI for anyone that didn't know, you can also look at a graph of all the sale prices over time on Discogs if you click on more details. Then you can get other information like, "Oh this used to be expensive, but a repress happened and now I shouldn't pay more than $40".

Unfortunately I think a lot of people don't know about this, or don't bother checking... I've seen so many sale histories where one copy—maybe because it's autographed, sealed, or just bought by someone with too much $$$—goes for a crazy price, then the next several sales are way higher even though they're just ordinary copies. Especially for newer limited releases, where maybe 10 or less copies are listed, one outlier sale can really shake up the whole market

 

I've heard stories of some people selling records to themselves for crazy amounts to bring up the highest price (and median), but I don't know how much truth there is to that. You'd still have to pay fees of course

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1 hour ago, al-naafiysh said:

I've heard stories of some people selling records to themselves for crazy amounts to bring up the highest price (and median), but I don't know how much truth there is to that. You'd still have to pay fees of course

This super controversial one...
https://www.discogs.com/Scaramanga-Silk-Choose-Your-Weapon/release/1674483

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