24 Hours on Ebay

TatumI spent 24 hours on eBay. Well, not really. What I did was I looked at 24 consecutive hours worth of jazz records listed on eBay. I used to do this every single day, particularly when I was active buying and selling. But it’s not the way I look anymore. It was kind of fun. I put a few records in my watch list, which I will share momentarily, and I even bid on a couple of records, which will be the subject of another post. The thing that was most striking was the staggering percentage of records listed on eBay that just will not sell. This is primarily because there is no market for them, but there are others priced so ridiculously out of sync with the market that the seller is just wasting his time and money listing them. What is it, 90% of the records won’t get any bids? That’s my guess. It would be interesting if someone spent some time and did a study.

Anyway, here are a few that either closed earlier or are closing soon, starting with Art Tatum. Benny Carter, Louis Bellson, Clef 55. This was an original pressing with a nice cover by David Stone Martin. There’s really very little interest in Tatum these days, which I will never understand, so I wanted to watch this and see if it would sell. It did, for $42.12 in Ex condition for the record and the cover, VG+ in my language.

These next two surprised me. They are not records I normally watch because they don’t typically fetch collectible prices. They didn’t here, but they also sold for more money than I would have expected:

Sonny Stitt, The Hard Swing, Verve 8306. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter logo. The record was also Ex (same seller as the Tatum record), and the cover was M-. The record sold for $79.89.

Teddy Edwards, Heart and Soul, Contemporary 3606. This was an original yellow label pressing in Ex condition. The seller is in Australia, so shipping isn’t inexpensive. The record sold for $49.

Here are a couple still to be determined:

Horace Silver, The Tokyo Blues, Blue Note 4110. This looks to be an original mono New York USA pressing. The record is in VG+ condition and the cover is VG. The start price is $49.99 and there are no bidders. Typically, I would expect this record to sell for more than that, even in this condition, but the seller mentions the dreaded phrase “surface noise,” which is likely scaring buyers off. The hope, I think, when you bid on a VG+ record is that it will play well, even if it doesn’t look perfect.

Dexter Gordon, Gettin’ Around, Blue Note 4204. This is a record in its original seal. The seller, very credible, is sure that it is an original pressing. The bidding is in the $125 range and the auction is closing quite soon. It has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. Do you think bidders may be wary that it is not an original pressing?





  • I’m not surprised at the price for the Dexter:
    – it’s mono, and one of the Liberty mono’s that were first released after the sale of BN;
    – it has the 4204 catalog number in the right formatting on the front and back of the jacket (no generic ‘Div of Liberty’ logo on the back).
    – Atomic Records is a trusted seller (if pricey…)

    I can’t imagine that mono LP being a non-original blue/black or all blue label pressing, as those were (I think) almost all stereo or rechanneled stereo.

    For me, only 2 things wrong with that pressing:
    – might not be a Van Gelder (no ear possible)
    – I wouldn’t be able to listen to it because I’d feel stupid opening a sealed pressing! 🙂

  • $50 is too high for Horace Silver The Tokyo Blues, I sold a similar condition original a year or two ago and it only went for $25 with one bid.

  • I’m always a bit sad about the low prices for Clef (and Verve trumpeters). They not as pricey as Norgrans (which are not always all that pricey) for some reason, and there are so many great records that can be had for a song (so to speak). While it’s great as a buyer, it’s just kind of a shame that so many great records with super sound and lovely cover art are not as valued as many lesser sessions. I’ve picked up many VG+ absolutely stellar Hodges, Pres, Getz, Tatum, Oscar Peterson, etc. on Clef, Verve Trumpeter (and Norgran) for under $15, and often for under $10. VGs can be had for under $5, and they sound superb. It just doesn’t seem right that a classic, swinging Lester Young record will sell for 1/10 of the price of a middling Blue Note Liberty session just because of label cachet. Again, great as buyer, but it’s screwy in my opinion.

  • This Tokyo Blues sold for $226 – isn’t anyone else surprised at this? pricehttp://www.ebay.com/itm/HORACE-SILVER-QUINTET-THE-TOKYO-BLUES-ORIGINAL-BLUE-NOTE-NEAR-MINT-/261227420644?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item3cd25e1be4

  • I think Horace’s stock as definitely gone up lately!

  • sorry about the link/non-link – and this T Blues sold for $260!

  • That is surprising, especially considering it’s a stereo copy!

  • Hi everyone,

    I have 3TB jazz collection in my hard drive.All of them recorded in lossless FLAC format I also scanned covers and booklets
    If anyone interested please let me know



  • @kb: why should the Dexter Gordon be no van Gelder? And as I reme

  • …mber correctly, there was no Ear with this one, right?

  • totally agree with your statement that 90% of the items listed don’t sell. EBay has become some sort of a commodity market: the product must fall in a well defined category (ears, rvg, Prestige/Blue Note labels ect). It is not about music but about collectibility and increase in value. E.g. I am selling at the moment the last (5°) of the pentalogy of Sonny Rollins trios (1° Way out West, 2° Freedom Suite, 3° Village Vanguard, 4° Metrojazz Trio/Big Band, 5° the 1959 trio with Henry Grimes and Pete Laroca, professionnally recorded in a studio by Swedish Radio and issued on the Dragon label in Stockholm. Essential music, superb sound, but no views at all! Apparent reason, it does not fit in the narrow “collectors” picture of these days.

  • Yes Rudolf. There is no more “middle class” on Ebay.

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