How Much is Shrink Wrap Worth? Plenty, It Seems

Herbie Hancock Jazz VinylI’m still here, haven’t left yet. Thanks to Clifford for filling in, but while I’m here I’ll strive to do at least a couple more posts. Here are a couple of items that came in from readers, starting with our friend CeeDee under the subject: “prices going up, up, up . . . Liberty!” with a link to Herbie Hancock, Empyrean Islands, Blue Note 4175. This was a clear Liberty pressing, no doubts. It was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover, and the cover was also in shrink wrap (big deal, right?). The record sold for $300 and there were at least four bidders in on the action at the end. Is this a trend, Liberty Blue Notes selling for collectible prices?

This one came in from another reader, and I’m not quite sure why, but I’ll post it here anyway:

Introducing Lee Morgan, Savoy 12091. This was in its original shrink wrap but to me it is an obvious second pressing because of the white edges around the cover. No way this is not a maroon label, and the seller acknowledged it as well. The record sold for $140 and our reader suggested that it seemed like a good value. I respectfully disagree, unless you happen to be a collector who wants second pressings or keeps records unopened in their original shrink wrap to be admired on the shelf as opposed to being played on the turntable.


  • Wish I’d seen the Ra and Booker Ervin when they were up for sale!

  • Clifford – do you think those two are legit first pressings? I’m suspicious of sealed Savoy LPs from the late ’50s. They were very attractive records, but I’d rather they were opened to verify.

  • Even if the records had darker maroon labels the price on those was more than fair. With early ’60s Savoys I feel like such differences are more hair-splitting than for a comparable Blue Note or Prestige title.

  • Funny. First thing I do when I find a record with shrink wrap on it is to pull off the wrap which a) was usually applied somewhere down the line at a record store and b) is usually a dust and dirt receptacle trapping in years of accumulation. In my mind, if the record cover is clean it, is clean. If the vinyl is NM-, it is NM- and the presence of shrink wrap in and of itself lends nothing one way or another to that condition.

  • Agreed with DaveS, although I have had the experience of tight shrink acting like lamination and regretting any attempts to pull it off.

  • Hello Everyone,
    Well not here to discuss a four figure Blue Note but I picked up a record today for $5 and I thought it was not a bad deal at all. ” West coast jazz concert” Savoy 12196. NM condition.
    Dexter Gordon, Barney Kessel , Wardell Gray , Howard McGhee etc etc
    I mean how can you go wrong right ?
    I just listened to it twice and I found I enjoyed the 2nd side more. “Cherry-Koke” More interesting, more Bop.
    Whereas the 1st side sounded more Big band to me. Anyone else out there like this LP that has it ?

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