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Hints & Tips

If you're new to collecting records, then this page will give you some hints and tips that I've learnt over the years .... it may well help you get started! I like to think of myself as a bit of a collector of CDs, vinyls etc. I have been collecting stuff for several years and my collection now masses over 1200 items. I have therefore learnt a thing or two about collecting.

Also, the world of record collecting can be quite confusing. For general advice and tons of adverts of records and fairs, check out Record Collector magazine. They have a website here.

If you are at all confused about the rafts of terms used in record collecting, then check out EILs Hints & Tips section ... it's my bible! (not a bad website for finding old records and CDs too!)

So here are a few hints:

  • Know what you are looking for - make a note of catalogue numbers etc.
  • Make a note of what you already have .... there is nothing worse than seeing something and not being able to remember if you own it or not! I have a database which catalogues my collection and I often take printouts of it to record fairs to ensure I don't buy duplicates!
  • Read up on the field - Record Collector is an excellent magazine giving information and valuations on records. It also points out how to spot fakes to make sure you don't pay over the odds for a fake (of which there are many around!).
  • On vinyls especially, the sleeve is often worth more than the actual record itself - believe it or not, but the "Butcher Cover" of a Beatles album (can't remember which one!) is worth thousands of pounds, because it was withdrawn. Whereas the same record with the cover which replaced it is worth a couple of hundred (maybe!).
  • Always try and buy records in mint condition (e.g. a record worth £1000 in Mint condition is worth only £25 in bad condition!).
  • The best place to buy stuff is at record fairs - these occur in most towns/cities and are sometimes quite small and sometimes massive - again, Record Collector magzine lists these fairs, but the best ones are held in big venues in major cities, as there is more to buy!
  • Stay away from bootleg recordings .... not only are they illegal but they are more often than not of poor quality and over priced! This applies especially to videos/dvds of concerts as they are usually recorded from the crowd or the side of the stage on hand held camcorders - meaning you generally get a very odd jerky view and the sound is poor!
  • Don't buy blind if you can help it .... internet sites are great for finding rare records and CDs but try and go for sites with either details descriptions or better still, pictures of the items. You may find otherwise that the item you receive is not what you thought it would be!