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Why Are Vinyl Records So Expensive?

Records that the Casual Collector Wouldn't Buy

Now, of course not all records are expensive. There are some that can go for even $4 on Amazon and Ebay if you look in the right places. But, as all collectors know young and old, there are some records that are just out of grabs because of the high prices. Whether they might be old classics new generation icons, they can be very expensive which are out of most collectors savings. Even new age records like WOLF(2013) can be as high as $173.00 on StockX. And, just from as experience from a teen collector as myself, it can be consuming trying to collect records off of chore money.

One band that has many overly-expensive records in their discography are the world-famous Beatles. Being they’re a household name most sellers will markup prices to the sky while the casual collect usually won’t even think twice about buying it. With them taking up half of the list of the most expensive records by hmv.com, their most expensive record is The Beatles- White Album(1968) that goes for a whopping $790,000. According to the US Census Bereau, the average US household was $67,521 in 2020. The record is 11x more than what the average US household makes. So for somebody to actually get a record that expensive, would cost an arm and a leg.

Now, you would think that most of the expensive records would be classics and vintage records that were made during the first rise of vinyl records and not during the resurgencel. But, there are records right now that still cost hundreds of dollars that were made in this generation of vinyl. One record that could be counted is Graduation(2007) by Ye that at it’s most expensive can cost $100.00, while an older record as Ferrante and Teicher’s Midnight Cowboy(1969) can cost $6.00 on Ebay. Now no hate on Graduation, one of my favorite hip hop albums and a record I still feel nostalgic listening to most of the songs on, but the difference between those two records, a 1969 classic, and a 21st century iconic album, is something that shouldn’t be ignored.


There are many records that are almost $50 after the release. Let’s use the recent release of the Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale and Big Steppers(2022) vinyl as an example. Right now since the release, it is at $43.00. Another record that started around that price at the release, Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost(2021), has now been down at $27.00 after months since the release. This is mostly because of the anticipated wait of Call Me If You Get Lost’s vinyl release because of the COVID delay in 2021. And with Mr. Morale, combined with the 5 year wait of the album, Kendrick fans and rap fans alike have been waiting for a record including a vinyl release. Surprisingly, Bruno Mars and Anderson. Paak won’t follow in their footsteps with their nostalgic filled album An Evening With Silk Sonic(2021) as the pre order price is at $28.00, even with the anticipation and the nostalgic feel it would have to be listened on vinyl.


As we can tell, vinyl records will be around for a long time and will hopefully be able to survive with the new age of music. But, as more artists keep on releasing vinyl records and more and more people start collecting, there is no telling when vinyl will go out of style. And with more vinyls, I’m positive that more and more expensive records will be released, and become more rare. And hopefully, the expensive records of today are more accessible to the collectors of the next generation.


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Sources

- The 10 most expensive vinyl records ever sold | hmv.com

- Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020.

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© 2022 Deonce Scott

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