Can’t help falling in price

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Take the Good Rockin’ Tonight EP. In 1998, the Rare Record Guide listed it for £125 but – according to online record database Discogs – over the past 10 years it has fetched a median price of £13.50. The singer’s You’ll Never Walk Alone LP was worth £400 in the 2012 Rare Record Guide, but is valued at £150 in the 2018 edition. These are indicative of a general trend. “If you try to sell any Elvis record that could easily have sold for £15-£20 each in the 1980s today, you can hardly give them away,” says Red, who runs an online Elvis vinyl store.

Why is this? It’s depressingly apt that John Duffie, the first collector I wanted to ask that question to, has passed away. The Elvis Shop London – the UK’s only Elvis store – closed its doors recently due to “simply not making any kind of profit”. Europe’s last Elvis music store, the Elvis Corner Store in Utrecht now opens just one day a week. The truth is, with many Elvis fans and collectors well into their 70s and 80s, as each year goes by, more are lost. This then floods the market with their wares… More at The Guardian.

This makes perfect sense and applies to many artists, but this is also the end of the road for music collectables. You can’t collect streams of albums and songs.

One thought on “Can’t help falling in price

  1. I’ve noticed how Ebay and maybe the Internet in general (like, specialty collector forums) has made it a seller’s market for stuff like this. You have far more people who know they have something they don’t really want (but that someone else might) than people who know they want something and are on the hunt for it.

    My dad collected a pile of McDonald’s giveaway stuff in the 70s and 80s, with an eye towards “this will be worth something someday” – he passed away a long time ago. A few years back I finally looked to sell it en masse, and it was pretty much for a pittance.

    Also I would say it’s an end for music media as a collectible (well, maybe, LPs are a startling durable niche) but there’s still shwag and what not.

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