How Much Are My Albums Worth? I Found Some $$$ In My Collection

Vinyl records made waves in the 1950s when rock n’ roll made its debut, but with the advent of the cassette tape, popularity began to wane slightly.

1984 was the first year that cassettes outsold vinyl, and cassettes reigned supreme until being surpassed by CDs in 1991, leaving vinyl in the dust.

A vinyl resurgence began in 2007, and by the end of 2021, vinyl was again outselling CDs.

During the transition from vinyl to cassette to CD to digital/MP3s, many people shipped their vinyl through flea markets or second-hand record stores. However, some people kept some of their favorite records, and if they kept the right ones, they could be sitting on a nice little chunk of loose change.

How much money are my records worth? Well, in the end, they’re only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.

Tracy Chapman on Discogs

Tracy Chapman on Discogs

There is a way to find out how much people are paying for certain albums. There is of course an app for that.

In fact, there are probably several apps to help you catalog your recordings, but the most popular seems to be Discogs.

I’ve been using Discogs for over 5 years now and I’m still not familiar with all of the features. I simply enter the catalog number for the record and then try to match my record as closely as possible to the records stored in the app.

It gets a bit confusing at times since you can have an album from one artist that can have a dozen different pressings. You need to look at the etches in the run-out (the “blank” space on the record just around the label).

That said, if I don’t look closely enough at an album when I list it on Discogs, there’s a chance I’ll accidentally sell a VERY rare record.

Eric Clapton Crossroads via Discogs

Eric Clapton Crossroads via Discogs

I think I have to be very careful when using Discogs to catalog my collection.

However, when you use Discogs, you don’t get the value of a record; it just shows you what people to count for special records. It tracks the transactions that have taken place through the Discogs app, but it doesn’t track how much the records are selling on other platforms or in record stores.

I was never a record collector although I have kept a few from my youth: Genesis, Bad Company, Neil Diamond and a few others but nothing of great value.

Then my best friend died.

He ran radio stations all his life and loved music. He loved music so much that he started collecting records – lots of them.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

I was on his list of people he left his stuff with, so I inherited a few hundred records or so.

Then another friend died and her family wanted me to have her records.

Fast forward 2 years and I find myself with too much stuff in this house so I’m about to sell a lot of this stuff.

I’ve sold my motorcycle, I’m selling my boat, a vehicle I used to pull my boat in, knick knacks, pattywhacks and just about everything else including some of these records.

Let’s move on to the most valuable records/box sets I own.


George Michael on Discogs

George Michael on Discogs

Okay, I know I said top 10, but I had to include this one by George Michael.

His “Faith” album stayed in the top 40 for almost 4 months and peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The three prices displayed in the Discogs app show you how much the album has sold in the app, starting with the lowest amount, the middle amount, and the highest amount.

As you can see above, at least one person was willing to pay $115 for this album.


The Beatles via Discogs

The Beatles via Discogs

The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” album was released in 1966 and is one of three Beatles records in my top 10.

Remember, this is not a list of my “Top 10 Favorite Records” but rather a list of the records I own that Discogs says are the most valuable.

Yes, the median this album sold for on Discogs is only $14.25, but at one point someone was willing to pay $115.53 for a copy of this album.


Donna Summer – Live and more via Discogs

Donna Summer – Live and more via Discogs

I have never intentionally played a Donna Summer song unless I was at work as she is not an artist I would listen to in my spare time. Don’t get me wrong: I recognize her immense talent, but nothing I’d listen to around the house.

With that being said, I could make some money selling this record.

I’ll probably make less than $5 if I sell this one, but at one point someone was willing to pay $129 for it.


The Beatles Love Me via Discogs

The Beatles Love Me via Discogs

Here’s the second Beatles record to show resale potential.

The Beatles’ 7″ (45) single “Love Me Do” had “PS I Love You” as a “B” side and the reason it is so valuable is that this “For Jukeboxes Only” Limited edition version: only 1500 were produced.

$99.50? I’ll take it (unless you’re willing to go higher, of course).


Madonna Like a Virgin via Discogs

Madonna Like a Virgin via Discogs

Madonna has sold over 21 million copies of her Like a Virgin album (which officially removes the title “Virgin” from her resume). However, this album is something special.

Madonna via Discogs

Madonna via Discogs

On the top/right of the album cover you will find an embossed paragraph identifying this album as a promotional album distributed exclusively to radio stations and DJs. Also, the vinyl used for pressing is white (you know, white like drifted snow and stuff).

These characteristics make the album rather a rare find.

Sold once for up to $140.


The Afghan Whigs 1965 via Discogs

The Afghan Whigs 1965 via Discogs

The Afghan Whigs were an active band from 1986 to 2001, reunited briefly in 2006, then again in 2011 and are still together today.

What makes this album so valuable? I have no idea. But if you offered me $149.99 for it, I’d buy you lunch (and sell you a record, of course).


The Beatles White Album via Discogs

The Beatles White Album via Discogs

“The Beatles” is the official name of this album, but most Beatles fans call it “The White Album” because, as you can see, the album cover is mostly colorless apart from “The Beatles” printed on it.

Why is their “White Album” one of the band’s most treasured? Some of them were numbered, which is how they came about very valuable (#5 recently sold for $1M). This copy won’t bring me nearly as much.

I could get about $25 for it without much hassle, I reckon. But if I find them Perfect Collector, he may be ready to hit the $170 max.


Rolling Stones past and present via Discogs

Rolling Stones past and present via Discogs

This box set from The Rolling Stones is one set that has the potential to be #1 on this list, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

This set of 12 albums (yes, there are 12 LPs in the box) was a Rolling Stones special radio program produced exclusively for airing on radio stations across North America. The Mutual Broadcasting System produced the special in Canada, if I’m not mistaken, and sent copies to radio stations across the continent.

It was a 12-hour special featuring interviews with the band, interspersed with music from the Rolling Stones.

The special was scheduled to air only once per radio station between September 30 and October 3, 1982, and then the radio stations were scheduled to return the box set to the Mutual Broadcasting System office.

It looks like some of the radio stations didn’t do that.

So how much did this thing sell at Discogs? That’s an easy answer as only 1 has ever been sold on the platform.

A whopping $174.30.

Why am I mocking this crowd? Because on eBay, this box set was priced at almost $200 more.

And while I couldn’t find the same search result tonight as I could a few years ago, a copy of that box set has been sold overseas for over $1000.


Elvis Presley King Creole via Discogs

Elvis Presley King Creole via Discogs

They didn’t think this list would happen without The king, right? Of course not.

Elvis Presley’s “King Creole” soundtrack (another album I haven’t listened to) once sold on Discogs for almost $400.

Or maybe I’ll just get $25 for it. Who knows, I have no idea what it is Yes, really Value.


Quick: Prince? Or Michael Jackson?

This question is difficult for many to answer as they were both so talented and left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

That being said, I don’t think I own an MJ record worth enough for this list.

What makes this Prince album so valuable is that it’s another “Promotion Only” album. The album cover is stamped “For Promotional Use Only” and the album itself is purple in color.

Average selling price: $150. But eventually someone was willing to shell out $275 for this pretty purple record.

And now please drum roll……


Etta James Queen of Soul via Discogs

Etta James Queen of Soul via Discogs

Say what? The soul queen of new orleans has an album (in my collection) more valuable than the beatles and the stones and prince and the king?

Yes indeed.

The reason: This LP comes from the original stereo pressing from 1965.

If you have any albums laying around at home, you don’t need an account to browse the information on Discogs. Just enter the catalog number from the label or album sleeve and start searching. Who knows, you might find a gem in the dust.

Iconic theme songs that have stood the test of time How Much Are My Albums Worth? I Found Some $$$ In My Collection

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