How To Identify Original Vinyl Pressings.

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This is a guide for buyers and sellers who are unaware or unsure of how to identify if their vinyl is an original pressing. Helping to identify it's originality also helps you to find the guideline price or worth of your vinyl.

When buying on eBay, it can be difficult for the buyer unless you know what you are looking for. If you want to find that original or unique pressing, you're going to have to do some research! For starters: the Artist, Label and Catalog number. 

Was the album pressed on vinyl?
First of all, you need to find out that the record your researching actually came out on vinyl. It sounds pretty dumb, but unfortunately bootlegs and fabrications are not uncommon to eBay! If you only want to purchase a bootleg vinyl, then by all means to do so. But know that collecting vinyl bootlegs have no value!

What year did the album come out?
Secondly, you need to find out what year your record came out. This will identify if it's an original pressing or a re-issue. Thousands of vinyl's have been re-issued because of the popular demand recently in vinyl! For example: The Beatles, Abbey Road, Original (SO 383). This album was recorded between the 22nd February 1969 and the 20th August 1969, and was then later released on the 27th of September 1969.

What record label was the album originally pressed on?
You need to know what label your album was originally pressed on. For example, again, The Beatles, Abbey Road. The album was originally pressed on Apple Records, in 1969.

What is the original catalog number?
One of the most important things to know about any album on vinyl, is the Catalog number. This will also help you identify if your vinyl is the original or not. 

What is the original artwork for the cover and the vinyl? 
Another important thing to identify is the album'a original cover/art. A good thing about eBay, is that the sellers display a picture. This is where you need to pay extra attention! Most of the time, sellers use stock pictures. Mostly people who have eBay stores dedicated to vinyl. This can get you in to a lot of trouble! The cover art, spine and the back of the album is a good way to identify the originality. 

What are the 'Matrix' Numbers?
A more difficult way of identifying the album's originality, is the 'Matrix Numbers' on the run out of the grooves. However, this is not full proof because often when an album is reissued they can have the same Matrix numbers! 

What original stuff came with your album?
Most of the time, the original pressing came with a few extras, i.e: posters, patches, booklets, and leaflets etc. When purchasing an original album, double check to see if any of these items were included. If not it doesn't make the vinyl any less original, it just leaves your album incomplete! However, bare in mind that not all original pressings came with extras! This is why researching your album is important!

What questions do I ask?
All the above should help you identify if your album is original or a reissue. If this information is not provided, ask!
There is no shame in asking, because if all of the above information is correct with your research, you have a good chance of having the original pressing!

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, I hope that the information given was sufficient for you in order to find that original pressing you've been longing for!

For any other information, please feel free to ask!

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