Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Beatle Anatomy 101

First, let me get out of the way that I have nothing very much against the Beatles' music. All that could be said one way or another was said twenty-five years ago. In matters of taste there's no argument.

In matters of angry obliviousness, grinning arrogance and depraved stupidity, an aluminum baseball bat is sometimes necessary to get one's point across and maintain evolutionary equilibrium within the human race. Most of us have come a long way since ground burrowing rat-like things, let's keep going.

Record collectors come in one type. Those who love music and need to be around this best application of the invention called the wheel. Record sellers come in two types: Type One, the same as the afore mentioned collector. Type Two, a swinish bastard who believes he has a record of supreme value, but of value only to some sniveling loser stupid enough to fork over the dough for it. Hence, baseball bats can be handy. Unfortunately, baseball bats do not reach across the Internet, where happens most trading these days. Blogs, however, do have reach.

This is the beginning of a manifesto, an ongoing declaration intended to shame from record trading those too pissed-off at life to love anything, and those with that particular attitude, a smile I'll call it. Yes, I cannot see it across the vastness of eBay et al. But I know when its there, a smile that the smiler believes demonstrates that the sun shines out of his ass, though establishes only that the smiler's ass shines out of his face.

And, perhaps unfortunately, I am going to begin with the Beatles. It's not their fault, really. So many basements, so many boxes of records, where is a new seller to start - The Beatles of course. Not everyone gets it wrong. Go ahead, try it out, take your Beatles records and put them up on eBay. But start them at $9.00. Trust that they will find their value, and spend only $.40 in fees. If you don't know what you have, say so. Us Type One's are a talkative bunch, we'll send messages, ask questions, you can ask some back.

But don't, please, please, don't assume your Beatles record is worth $5000.00 cause someone told someone on Antiques Roadshow that a Beatles record that looked like yours was worth $5000.00. (Note: All Type Two's are right now saying to themselves that I'm trying to get them to give away their $5000.00 Beatles record. If you're saying that to yourself, get the nearest baseball bat, wood is OK, and beat yourself silly with it.) Beatles records have many variations, and the variations determine their value, and there exist many websites to use for research if you care to become educated.

Truth is that high-priced Beatles records are not selling for a high-price right now. Most of the ones from your basement that you'll put up for $9.00 will likely sell for a fair price (somewhere between $10 - $200). I'm not talking about the more common ones. My teenage son and his friends like the Beatles. Their endurance isn't in dispute.

But here are some examples of recent eBay failures in high-priced Beatles records:

1. The Beatles Vinyl Album Collection-126 Albums/Imports

$15,000.00 was the starting price for this collection. It received no bids. Here was the mistake. The seller assumed two things. First, someone who had no Beatles records wanted all of them. Second, that particular someone had $15,000.00 to spend. Unlikely. The total value Goldmine-wise was probably right. But here is the secret to Goldmine (or any collectible price guide): their market is to accountants and such, not to collectors. Those books are used for tax and estate purposes. The retail value is usually around half of the book price, wholesale around 10%.

Yes, keep reading my blog and I'll give away all the secrets.

2. BEATLES White Album 1968 MONO 1st!! NUMBER #25 PMC 7067

This one is actually frightening. The starting price was $6000.00. It received no bids. Seemed a fair price to me. This one demonstrates that the Beatles market is a difficult one right now.


$5000.00 starting price, no bids. This one was just silly. First, one of the albums was a reissue from the 80's, worth $5.00 at most, and in no way complimented the other one which purported to be authentic. There are so many variations of Beatles butcher covers (not to mention frauds and forgeries), a seller has to have true authentication, Perry Cox or someone else. It's worth the $300.00 or so to have it done, because then you are likely to get a realistic price. In this case it would be around $2000.00, just for the one record, if authentic.

4. BEATLES 13 LP SET mono black LABEL 10 IN SHRINK

The asking price on a buy-it-now was $3500.00 and the set received 2 offers which were rejected by the seller. The asking price was fair on a piece by piece basis. The seller would have had a chance of getting his price listing these individually. The mono Beatles records are highly collectible, and still fetch a good price of between $200.00 - $500.00 each in excellent condition. When selling a set of records like this, the thing to ask yourself is - do I really think that someone out there has none of these, wants all of them, and has the money to spend? If not, you are going to be selling to a dealer, and we have to eat too. Most of us eat too much, as well as have other bad habits. So you will be offered much less for records like these in a lot.

I'm sure I'll find more to rant about later. Thanks for reading. And please leave comments, especially Type Two's.
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