Finding a rare vinyl record in your local flea market is like finding pure gold. You’d be surprised of how many valuable collectibles end up in the discount bin or gathering dust in the bottom of some crate at your average neighbourhood garage sales. Many are not only rare, but in excellent condition, too. For a collector of vinyl, doing some basic research and legwork in your immediate area could turn out to be immensely profitable. It may seem like a case of the infamous needle in the haystack, but people find priceless antiques and artwork all the time. Vinyl records are no different, really. You never know what you’re going to find when going on a record hunt, which is part of the thrill.
A prime example of striking gold is the story of Melvin Harper. This collector happened to stroll by a street sale while he was out walking his dog. A young couple had inherited an old estate and were emptying their attic. Harper naturally went for the boxes of vinyl records, and was astounded to find not one, but three limited Beatles releases in pristine condition. The records cost him less than thirty bucks, but would easily go for 30,000 on auction. Talk about a great return on investment (can you say, “ka-ching!”?)
Harper obviously won’t let his hunting trophies go just yet, but are keeping them in his personal safe. Over the years, he’s managed to hunt down an impressive collection of rare vinyl, often for mere pennies.
However, the ultimate collector’s item has continued to elude him: The 1980 release of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy”. The most valuable copies were personally signed by Lennon himself, only hours before he was shot down in the street by fan-gone-mad, Mark David Chapman. One of these autographed albums was recently sold for the modest sum of $550,000, making it the most expensive vinyl record sold on open auction. It’s nowhere near the 2 million dollar that Martin Shkreli payed for the only edition of Wu-Tang Clan’s latest collectible, but it’s still a fantastic score if you happen to find a copy on one of your regular hunting trips.
In all honesty, there’s not a very big chance that you’ll find “Double Fantasy” at your local discount sale, but as all collectors know, there’s always a chance. Even if you don’t manage to hunt down the most expensive collectibles, you can always find other rare albums at very low cost. Some are valuable already, while other copies will get a significant boost in both price and demand.
All you need to do is to sit on your findings until the artist in question expires.