Another Adventure, Part 8/Epilogue

Untitled copySorry to leave you all hanging there, but the meat of the story has been told. At the time, because I thought I was writing a chapter for a book that has still to be written, I wrote one more entry, which was this:

It’s time to starting moving the Blue Notes off the temporary shelf and into the collection. What does this entail? Well, first off each record needs to be washed and cleaned on my VPI record cleaner. Then, I’ll look at the inner sleeve and determine if it needs a new one. I’ll try to listen to each record, or at least one side, before it does into the collection. Then, if it’s new to the collection, I’ll put a sticker on the plastic outer sleeve with the name of the artist, the catalogue number, the condition and probably the value. Something like:

Donald Byrd
Blue Note 4048
Original West 63rd, DG
M-/VG++
$1,200

Why do I do this? Well, not to be morbid about it, I do this so that when I die my family will know what the records are actually worth. I’ve seen too many circumstances where people got ripped off because they had no idea about the value of the records. Heck, I may have done some of the ripping off myself.

In any case, I will tag each record and then put it into a database I began a couple of years ago. Eventually the goal, I suppose, would be to put all of my records into a database. For now, I’ve been content to put the Blue Notes and Prestiges into the database. So these will get entered and then I will put them on the shelves incorporated into the collection. But, for these records, I will also log them here and/or into a separate Excel file to determine just how well I did on the purchase of this collection. If I already own a copy of the record I will keep the one in the better condition and put a label on the other one to sell it, I guess, or at least to put a price tag on it.
Haven’t decided what to do about that yet. I haven’t been selling records on eBay for almost two years, which means I don’t necessarily have an outlet to sell them. Anyway, on the turntable now is Donald Byrd, Blue Note 4048, Byrd in Flight. It sounds great. Very nice Hank Mobley. I can’t believe I never owned an original pressing of this. I do remember having a copy with the blue label, which is a very late pressing and not a very good one, and I do remember selling it on eBay because it was an eyesore in my collection. Every time I’d look at it I’d be reminded that I didn’t have an original. Now I do. Ta da.

12 comments

  • Here’s a terribly uninteresting question, Al – do you (or anyone else) have a good recommendation for the labels you would use on the plastic sleeves? I really need to do this with my LPs as well. Here are the criteria I’m seeking:
    – has plenty of room for unruly handwriting (like mine) without blocking too much of the back cover

    – could peel off without making a huge mess if I ever needed to remove it.

    That’s it. Appreciate any suggestions that any of you might have.

  • I have a nice original of Byrd in Flight. Its one of the best sounding Blue Notes I own. I had no idea it went for 1200 though

  • @Phil: what also *may* work for you, I know it does for me, is the following.

    Write down what needs to be known about the record in question on a regular sheet of notepad paper, fold it up nicely and put it in a regular office envelope. Like this, the envelope remains flat/thin and won’t take up additional space.

    When finished, you put the envelope in the plastic cover together with the record. Tell your family about it; the moment they need to know about the value of the record, they simply take it out of the plastic cover with the envelope and, presto, there’s all the info.

    It may sound simplistic, but see: this way you don’t have to bother thinking about stickers that peel off easily but will at the same time stick tightly for years on end and a hand written note won’t crash like a hard drive will over time.

  • Going back to the post on 12/20/11 the highest price noted for Byrd in Flight was $1700, but I can’t find that auction on Collectors Frenzy. Interestingly, that $1700 auction does show up on Popsike, which goes to show to check both.

    The 12/20 post notes that the highest price in the price guide as of the date of the post was about $300. The highest auction price on the Frenzy as of today is just shy of $900 for an auction about three years ago. That auction is also listed on Popsike as the second highest price ever paid on eBay. Both of those auctions are listed as m-/m-.

    The highest price paid in the last year on either aggregator is $414 for a vg+-ex copy. Therefore, for a m- copy $1200 may not be far off the mark. Interestingly, what I think the aggregators show is the clean copies of Byrd in Flight just don’t show up on the Bay.

    Jealously all around regardless of price…

  • M- is sure hard to get.

    What I don’t like about Popsike and others is that there is no follow-up of any kind (and just how could there be BTW?)

    I think that half of the premium records I’ve bought on eBay have been overgraded and either a sendback or greatly reduced price has been the outcome of those businesses…

  • Well said, Shaft. No follow up on Popsike. Not sure they even removed the fake “Nautiluso” auctions results from a couple years ago. For this one, follow up was possible.

  • Mattyman – I like you’re idea – the envelopes could even go inside the cardboard jackets – but I would prefer to labels the jackets even so that I might be able to quickly check the specs of one of my LPs. The envelope might be a nice addition for any of my most collectible LPs, though.

  • Oh – maybe index cards?

  • Al,I’ve got a dark blue label copy of “In Flight” and I must admit that-at $1,200 for an original-my pressing is sounding better all the time(strange how that works). BTW,not to get all anal-retentive on you,but what happens as the price you’ve written on your lp sleeve remains stable as the real world prices go up-AND down? We’ve all seen how wildly prices can fluctuate. Unless you can make adjustments from The Great Beyond(I know,you’re working on it),it’s still a grab bag,yes? Unless you leave them all to me-releasing your grieving family of the burden-I can’t see an alternative. Hmm..food for thought? Speaking of which,enjoy your bird..and your Byrd!

  • That’s a beautiful group of records Al. I actually do something similar to what to what you described. After cleaning and listening to an LP I leave a small post-it note attached with the cover/vinyl grade, catalog/label info, and what I paid for it. If I get another copy of a title I can can easily compare and decide which one to sell–or keep if I decide to have a double.

  • David j & Shaft ,

    You are Both Correct. Collector frenzy and Popsike does not catch everything and you really have to put a grain of salt on every price that occurs. It is not written in stone as you pointed out. I have seen this with many many Lp’s.

    Example: Not a jazz record but “Stud Cole” has sold for $1,700 at least twice , I have seen and never shown up on either site.(Also for a little less) Only one copy now shows for $1700.

    Two: Since 2007 the amount of multiple bidders has substantially decreased. Look at end of auctions and you will see , many times where only 2 people are bidding on a record when it gets high.
    One time I was bidding on a record that was around $45. I figured it would end around $300+. I really wanted it as it was super rare and placed a bid at $500. I was outbid and the record sold for $510. My point is , only myself and one other person bid , if I had not bid the other person would have got the record for $75. That record is now on Frenzy and Popsike as a $510 sale but is it really ? I say seller got really lucky that day.

    So yeah, best to look at the big picture when digesting all these $$$$$ prices.

    Best.

  • Great site that will become a wonderful resource for me. I have amassed a reasonable collection over they years, and I have aquired several 1st pressing BN and Prestige titles. Not on your scale, but I am always looking. Your story regarding the bulk purchase from Canada is very nice and similar to an experience I had. I answered an add in Craigslist for a Linn TT. Seller had inherited it and (upon inquiry) also inherited about 700 odd records. All were pop/rock from the 70’s and 80’s, but all were dead solid mint, and included about 60 MFSL titles- all mint as well. The seller did not know anything and wanted to raise cash to pay for an exotic trip. I went through the collection (including the TT), and educated him regarding what he had. I left him an offer for the TT and literally pulled the MFSL titles and instructed him to sell these on Ebay. A few weeks later he calls back to accept my offer for the Linn LP12/Ittok VII combo. Several months go by, then he calls back and asks for an offer for all of the records- he had tried to sell a few on Ebay, but he was unsuccessful. I visit him again, with cash in hand. I submit an offer, with the expectation that he would give me acounter offer, he didn’t ! I go home with 700 LPs including all of the MFSL titles mentioned prevoiusly (including the Stones Box and several UHQR releases). After explaining to my wife what happened (expression on her face upon seeing 12 boxes of records in our front hall was priceless), I culled what I wanted to keep and then over the next few months sold off what I did not want. Worked for well for everyone. Ahh the fun of collecting !

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