Maybe you've decided to Marie Kondo your apartment. Maybe you have some classic LPs whose jackets are collecting dust -- when you know they'd be on constant repeat in someone else's home. Or maybe you just want some quick cash. Whatever the motivation, there's never a bad reason to bring your used records, CDs, or movies to New Orleans’ longest-operating record shop for cash or trade. And when you do, you definitely want to be sure you're getting the best deal possible. This is why it's always a good idea to educate yourself about the market. Here's what record shops -- including Mushroom New Orleans -- are looking for when they buy used records, CDs, and movies.
Assess your collection
Before you drag crate after crate of vinyl up our flight of stairs, save yourself some effort and decide whether all of your collection really warrants our consideration. Just as you wouldn't bring your stained, ripped, poor-quality clothes to a resale shop, you shouldn't bring warped, scratched, grimy, or otherwise flawed records to trade.
Next, consider how rare the records you're willing to part with are. If you're seeing your titles show up in Goodwill or the 50-cent bin at record shops, you're probably not going to get top dollar for them at any retailer -- if we take them at all.
But don't get your expectations too high
Hit albums sold literally millions of copies -- so a first edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller might not be worth as much as you'd think. If you have a rare gem in pristine condition with all the packaging intact or unopened (the holy grail), you might want to do a quick internet search of sites like eBay and Discogs to get a sense of its resale value, and to make sure you don't get screwed by someone who doesn't recognize its value.
Come at the right time
Selling records at a brick-and-mortar shop offers a few advantages: You don't have to list your albums on websites that take a cut, and you don't have to deal with the expense of shipping or the hassle of nitpicky customers. It's a quick procedure, and you leave with cash (or new music and movies) in hand.
But do keep in mind that you're dealing with regular people who may be slammed at work. It's not a bad idea to call ahead and ask for the best times to bring in record or movie collections for resale. While you're on the phone, you can also ask whether the store has a particular focus, such as local music, jazz, rock, or blues. It's also possible that staffers are looking to fill holes in the inventory. Knowledge is power, so come in prepared and you'll set yourself up for success.
Be prepared to negotiate -- politely
Don't get bent out of shape if you're offered less than you think the record is worth. Shops will usually pay a little less for records than what they'd sell for online because brick-and-mortar businesses have more overhead. Plus, you're paying for the convenience of unloading everything at once.
If you think a record is worth more than what the clerk is offering, politely ask, "Is that the best you can do?" If he or she won't budge on the sales price, and you really think it's too low, remember you don’t have to accept the offer. Sometimes this is actually a shrewd negotiating move in its own right.
Don't take the trading process too seriously. Most people acquire record collections because they love music -- not because records and CDs are a legitimate investment (they aren't). Remember, almost everyone at Mushroom New Orleans is there because, at some point, an album or a movie changed their life. And that's priceless.