THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS GUIDE. I DO HOPE YOU WILL FIND IT USEFUL. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ MY COMPANION GUIDE 'BUYING VINYL LP'S - WATCH OUT!'
As a regular buyer of vinyl LP's on Ebay I get so fed up with sellers who either overstate the condition of the LP's they are selling, give incomplete or inaccurate descriptions, charge too much for delivery or who are reluctant to give a discount on their p&p charges for multiple purchases. Other sellers who annoy me are those who cannot be bothered to clean their records before sale. After all, if you were selling a car, wouldn't you expect to describe it as accurately as possible in your advert and then present it to your potential buyers in its best condition i.e. clean and tidy?
Here are a few hints and tips on how to gain more satisfied customers when selling your old vinyl LP's, and get the best prices for them.
Preparing LP's for sale
All it takes is five minutes per LP to do the following:
1. Check the LP first. Make sure that the catalogue number on the record is the same as on the cover. If it says 'stereo' on the cover, make sure (as it usually does) that it also says 'stereo' on the label. Try to ensure that the LP is not in an obviously incorrect inner sleeve e.g. a Decca record should not be in an inner sleeve with Columbia records advertised on it!
2. Clean the record using a damp, lint-free cloth with only a very small drop of washing up liquid on it. This will remove fingermarks and dust. Dry the record off immediately using a clean piece of kitchen roll or soft clean dry tea towel - but be careful not to rub excessively as this can cause further damage to the playing surface.
3. Clean the (usually) laminated front of the sleeve in the same way. You can carefully remove any stickers and glue residue with a little 'Zippo' lighter fluid. Also, if you take care, you can quickly clean the unlaminated back cover but do not use lighter fluid on it.
Ebay Descriptions of Vinyl LP's
Always quote the label and catalogue number. If you know that the album is a later re-issue (maybe on 'budget' labels like Ace of Clubs or Hearts, Fame, Wing, Sunset, MFP, Marble Arch, Contour etc.) of an earlier released album (on the original labels like Columbia, Decca, Philips etc.), you must say so. If you are not sure, again you must say so. Record collectors can usually tell from a picture of the record label, so it's a good idea to include this within your description.
You must say honestly whether you have tested the record or not, and ensure that the condition of the record is as accurately described as possible. So if you haven't anything to play it on, you must say in your description that the record has been 'visually checked only', being careful to say only how it looks (rather than how it plays).
Only if you have played the record yourself can you give it a 'Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide' rating. These ratings basically indicate that only a record with hardly any marks can be described as 'EX', a record with a few marks or very light scratches will be 'VG', and a well-played record which, despite its many marks and/or scratches, still plays through OK without jumps or repeats will be 'G'. In a similar way, unmarked, very clean & uncreased sleeves will be 'EX', generally clean sleeves with the odd light crease will be 'VG' and those which are either badly creased, have writing over them or otherwise slightly damaged will be 'G'.
If the record or sleeve is in poor condition (record badly scratched perhaps with jumps or sticking points or dirty sleeve perhaps falling apart) or the record is a bad pressing or has become warped at the edges and overall neither looks nor plays well to you, then it probably is no good for anyone else - my best advice is to throw it in the bin rather than risk your good eBay reputation.
Postage and Packaging
All vinyl LP's should be posted in stiff cardboard, rather than 'Jiffybags' which do not protect the sleeves properly. It also helps to take the record out of its outer sleeve and place it on top to avoid potential damage to the sleeves. Whilst it is perfectly OK to use recycled corrugated cardboard from old boxes, with lots of 'Gaffa' tape, there are excellent card mailing envelopes and card stiffeners available from covers33 dot co dot uk which are much better for the multiple seller. If you receive records packed in this way, open them carefully as the packaging can easily be re-used just by sticking a new address label over the old one.
Whilst you must of course cover your costs of sale (including Paypal charges), you should not, under eBay rules, try to make more money by making 'excessive p&p charges' (see eBay's own guide on this in their 'Help' section). I find that a £3.00 charge will easily cover your expenses to mail one album provided you use 2nd Class Post, which as a buyer I find is quite quick enough. Multiple p&p discounts based on say £1 per extra LP posted in the same package will be welcomed by buyers. It is not necessary to use Recorded Delivery, but do ensure that you get a receipt/proof of posting slip from the Post Office, just in case.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS GUIDE. I DO HOPE YOU FOUND IT USEFUL. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ MY COMPANION GUIDE 'BUYING VINYL LP'S - WATCH OUT!'