Liquidating Your Record Collection Is Harder Than You Would Think

Categories: 1-2-3-4!

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Every time I come home from work, I find myself going to my guest-room closet and staring at crates and crates of compact discs and vinyl I don't know what to do with. Aside from the ones that I hold dear to my musical development or use for my DJ work, I have tons for which I have no sane plan.

Do I keep them to hand over to my kids one day as a dusty relic of Dad's "cooler" years, the way my folks let me take charge of their vinyl collection, or do I haul them to a record store or Half Price for store credit or cash?

When I begin making a pile to banish from life, I end up rediscovering music I forgot I owned. And then the pile dwindles into just my music and nothing changes.

I have even tried to convince myself that I am really just putting music into better hands to enjoy it, and then I get greedy and get worried that I will lose it forever. A two-terabyte hard drive be damned. What if I lose the hard drive? Then what?

Those extra vinyl copies of Sgt. Pepper, Exile On Main Street, The Wall and Tommy? I really only need one apiece, but then I start thinking about how I could give the extras to someone who needs to experience them.

That someone never materializes because I can't -- you guessed it -- let go.

When it comes to the CDs, I think about selling them but then again, where do I profit? Five bucks in my hand for five treasured pieces of plastic? I know I need to make space, but space seems trivial compared to the memories I at least think will go down the second-hand drain.

At least Sean McManus did it his way back in 2007. I have no impending move to look ahead to, so I would probably just cash the check and turn around and buy a motorcycle or a shotgun or something.

Regular trips to thrift stores with cheap CDs from the '90s in great condition only worsens the problem. Being a poor kid during my formative musical years doesn't help either, which means that now that I have money in my pocket I want to make up for lost time.



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13 comments
catdeli
catdeli

I was recently persuaded to make a big purge of my collectibles. Many years of holding my breath and stomping my feet finally exhausted me and I relented. First I trashed most of my cassettes that I had taped from vinyl. That was easy because I never played them now anyway. Probably had over 1000 of them. Binned. The guitar and drum magazines went next. Boxes and boxes of them, starting from the early 80's. Tee shirts, whatever didn't sell on ebay went to the Salvation Army bin. Kept my Motorhead and BOC shirts, though. Had crates and crates of vinyl. Put them on metal shelves and tossed the crates. Had a crateful that I don't want. Emailed a local used record store, saying I'd GIVE them away along with a bunch of CDs and magazines. Got NO reply. It's true you can't give the stuff away nowadays. Big garage sale tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. I have them marked "FREE".  

marmer
marmer

Yeah.  Keep them.  All.  Put them on display.  Fix up your home turntable and play the sh*t out of them.  Vinyl really does sound better. (I didn't believe that for years, because I couldn't get past the surface noise, but it's true.)  If you say "I never listen to these" then listen to them.  It's your past.  Own it.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Same as your old baseball cards or comics there good Sir, the longer you hold on to them in good condition the more valuable they will be. And if you want top dollar, ebay them.

Craigley
Craigley

Same deal here.  But save them.  They will all still play the day the Internet dies.

Anse
Anse

It's funny how I lugged my collection around from one rented residence to another for years--records are heavy as hell but fragile enough to worry about--but only now that me and Mrs. Anse have settled into a home we are purchasing and don't plan to leave for years, if ever, it has been decided that we must purge. And my books and for crying out loud, my concert tees, too. Why now? It is a mystery to me. But I've fighting it. If we have kids, they're gonna need these things. I can't imagine how my childhood might have turned if I had never discovered my mother's beaten-up copy of the White Album back in the day.

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

At least 1000, which I want to keep because the sound quality is superior to ITunes. But....these days I default to Spotify for music. The only recent cd's I have bought are Lord Huron and Calexico.

Scott Eastin
Scott Eastin

About 1200 cds packed in boxes in a closet. I quit buying cds a couple of years ago.

Bill Fool
Bill Fool

I should add that those are all on vinyl. Trade those cd's for the vinyl version if you must get rid of anything. It's 2013 and those fuckers can be uploaded to a computer and trashed. Vinyl shall live in my heart forever.

Bill Fool
Bill Fool

over 6000 but I never get rid of them because even if I don't play a particular one for 10 years I may feel the urge to do so at any moment and it's nice to know its there.

Robi Simone
Robi Simone

Easily over 1500... About 1/5th of which are uploaded to my computer.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

Craig ... take a load of LPs to the next Houston Record Convention show  and sale.  I'm sure you could pull off a few trades for something you don't have.  Ever been to the twice-yearly Austin Record Show ?  Amazing selections and more vinyl in one place than you can imagine.


As much as I love Shaun of the Dead ... I damn near cried when the LPs were pressed into Zombie Defense Weapons.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

@Craigley " the day the internet dies " ... sounds like the next big hit for Don McLean :-)

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