Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

We know some of y'all might have some questions in regards to vinyl records, purchasing them, etc. Here we would like to answer all the questions we can and we will update as we receive them!

Q: Why are newer records so expensive?

A: This fact varies. In some cases, the albums are multiple LP's and often include extras and inserts to their listeners. At Erica's Vinyl, we have continued to strive to offer competitive prices to those of big corporations like Amazon, Walmart, etc. Unfortunately, newer albums are are pricey even for your local mom and pop shops. In reality, we don't make much of a profit off of these records. Also, as everything else (in this economy? sheesh...) has been hit hard by serious inflation. The higher the prices are raised on your end, the higher the prices are raised on our end.

Q: Why are these older/used records so expensive?

A: More times than not, the answer is one of two things; either its a RARE printed album in high demand, or the pressing itself is worth that much (explaining the breakdown of differentiating pressings is something not even I am willing to explain in full here. We'd all be asleep in 5 minutes :). 

In reference to rare prints, there are a few factors added. For example, there are still a handful of albums recorded that have very limited pressings, or have not even been pressed on vinyl at all. Train's self titled album has never been pressed on vinyl, for example. When Drops of Jupiter finally was pressed by Mofi, the limited number of them made them harder to obtain and thus, worth more money. The more the album's copies are pressed, the less likely they are to be worth a substantial amount of money in the future. An example for that would be an album that was mass pressed, even with certain color variants being limited. Many of Taylor Swift's recent "Taylor's Version" albums have been issued with more than 5 different colored pressings per album. With a steady fanbase as hers, the albums are mass produced to keep up with the demand for them. As in any market, the higher the supply, the lower the worth. 

Q: Why are my brand new records skipping?

A: Unfortunately in a lot of these cases, it's the quality of the turntable. The cheaper the player, the more likely it is to provide quality listens. We understand that not everyone collects enough or is able to afford a macdaddy set up. There are affordable options, which we have links to suggested turntables on a seperate post. Cheaper record players often suffer malfunctioning and fast wearing timing belts as well as cheaply made needles. Often, the needles end up slanted by the smallest of bumps which can ultimately lead to skipping and even ruining of your records. In cases of the timing belt weakening, it will cause irregular rotations which will wear down the needle and case damage. 

Q: Why should I shop small when I can order the same albums for equal or a few dollars cheaper?

A: Many small businesses strive to keep their prices competitive while also benefiting from the little sales that new albums provide. While you may be able to buy the same album for $3 cheaper through big corporations, that $3 to a small/local business is what helps them stay afloat. As a small. business, we appreciate every sale we make and every relationship we build with our customers. We understand that times are tough, however, we hope you choose to shop small with us!

Q: How do I know if my records are worth anything?

A: The best way to ensure the value of your records is taking them to a professional to have them appraised. Because of the hundreds of pressings for certain albums, it is extremely easy to mistake pressings. 

Q: What are bootlegs and are they worth buying?

A: Bootlegs are a tricky subject. A bootleg album is one that has been produced by a third-party. These albums are not official pressings created by the record labels and in no way offer profit to the artist/band. The quality of bootleg albums vary, however in most cases lack in sound and depth. Many bootlegs are produced using ripped MP3 files. It is understandable to own bootlegs of albums that are extremely hard to get a hold of or haven't been officially pressed yet. If we, at Erica's Vinyl, offer any bootleg albums, it is ensured that they will only be of higher end listening quality. 

Q: Are my old records worth anything?

A: Chances are, the older they are the less they'll be worth. In my time managing my old shop, I was asked countless times if old 78's were worth money. Unfortunately, unless it's the record is that of certain icons and is in pristine condition, they're mostly just fodder for the bottom of thrift store bins. 

Ebay is the biggest proponent for the masses believing that any vinyl record is worth a downpayment on a car. They see a certain Elvis record LISTED for $500 and believe that all of their Elvis records are worth more than $3 a pop. What isn't seen by most is the records that WERE sold and for what prices. Elvis's albums being worth fortunes is a common misconception because of the size of his fame. Another common misconception is that all copies of Thriller by Michael Jackson are worth money. A year after Thriller was released, it became the most sold album of all time. In the year 2024, it has sold more than 70-100 million copies worldwide. As mentioned before, the higher the demand and production, the less likely they are to be worth anything. 

 

 

Check back at a later date for a more updated page!

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