Still-sealed albums can — and do — bring even higher prices than listed.
However, one must be careful when paying a premium for sealed LPs of any kind for several reasons:
- 1. They may have been re-sealed;
- 2. The records might not be in Near Mint condition;
- 3. The record inside might not be the original pressing or the most desirable pressing;
- 4. Most bizarre of all, the wrong record might be inside. I’ve had this happen to me; I opened a sealed album by one MCA artist only to find a record by a different MCA artist inside! Fortunately, I didn’t pay a lot for that sealed LP. I would have been quite upset if I had!
The Goldmine® Record Album Price Guide lists only those vinyl LPs manufactured in the United States or, in a few instances, manufactured in other countries, but specifically for release in the United States. Any record that fits the following criteria is an import, and you won’t find it in the price guide:
- • LPs on the Parlophone label by any artist, at least before 2000. Parlophone, best known as the Beatles’ British label, was not used as a label in the United States until very recently.
- • LPs that have the letters “BIEM,” “GEMA” or “MAPL” on them.
- • LPs that say anywhere on the label or cover, “Made in Canada,” “Made in the UK,” “Made in Germany,” etc.
We have chosen not to list records from Great Britain, Canada, Japan or any other nation for logistical reasons. Where do you start, and where do you stop?
Unfortunately, we realize that there is a lack of reliable information on the value of non-U.S. records, especially published in the United States. Please don’t contact us seeking information on non-U.S. records; we cannot help.
Also unfortunately, there are few general rules about the value of an import as compared to an American edition.
Some import albums, especially well-made Japanese imports that still have their “obi strip,” can go for more than the U.S. counterpart. Others seem to attract little interest in the States.
One rule is just as true of imports as it is with U.S. records: Those discs that are originals in the best condition will sell for more than reissues and those in less than top-notch shape.
Basically, a promotional record is any copy of a record not meant for retail sale. Different labels identify these in different ways: The most common method on LPs is to use a white label instead of the regular-color label and/or to add words such as the following:
- “Demonstration — Not for Sale”
- “Audition Record”
- “For Radio-TV Use Only”
- “Promotional Copy”
Some labels, of course, used colors other than white; still others used the same labels as their stock copies, but added a promotional disclaimer to the label.
Most promotional albums have the same catalog number as the regular release, except for those differences.
Sometimes, regular stock copies have a “Demonstration — Not for Sale” or “Promo” rubber stamped on the cover; these are known as “designate promos” and are not of the same cachet as true promotional records. Treat these as stock copies that have been defaced. Exceptions are noted in the listings.
All of this is mentioned as a means of identification. As a rule, we do not list promotional records separately, nor are we interested in doing so. There are exceptions, which we will list below. But we feel that the precious space in our guides is better used for unique commercially available records rather than for thousands upon thousands of promotional copies.
Most promotional LPs sell for approximately the same as a stock copy of the same catalog number. That has been our experience.
However, there are certain exceptions. Those are the kinds of promos that you’ll find documented in our price guide, and which we plan to continue to document. These include:
- Colored vinyl promos.
- Promos in special numbering series, such as Columbia albums with an “AS” or “CAS” prefix; Warner Bros, albums with a “PRO” or “PRO-A-” prefix; Capitol albums with a “PRO” or “SPRO” prefix; Mercury albums with an “MK” prefix; and other similar series on other labels.
- Promos that are somehow different than the released versions, either because of changes in the cover or changes in the music between the promo LP and the regular-stock LP.
- Promos pressed on special high-quality vinyl; these were popular in the 1980s and can bring a premium above stock copies of the same titles.