Collecting: The sweet sound of 33 revolutions per minute

"People don't really start a vinyl collection. They just realise they have one," says John Stanley, author of Miller's Collecting Vinyl, the authority on the subject. "They develop an interest in a particular band or genre, or even something outside music like film or soap operas or a comedian, and they end up with a vinyl collection connected to that."

If you are over 30, it's likely you are a vinyl collector without knowing it. According to research by NatWest FastPay, a service that lets you send money to anyone in the UK by email or mobile phone, we are hoarding £3.5bn worth of "old stuff" - 9 per cent of which is old vinyl.

You probably have at least a few records in the back of a cupboard, and even if they are by obscure bands, they could be worth something.

Quite often, the more obscure the record, the more valuable it is. "Perry Como sold millions in his lifetime," says Mr Stanley, "and still has a loyal fan base, but one of his records in perfect condition will only fetch about £5. Whereas the records of one band I managed back when I was at university are worth £60 each. Some members of that group went on to form another band, which is now considered a forerunner of punk, so they've become collectable for that reason and because they sold so few."

On the whole, records that sold millions are likely to fetch next to nothing unless they are a special edition or obviously a first pressing. While you can tell with books which are first editions - because it is printed on the flyleaf - records carry no such mark.

The only way aficionados can tell a record is a first pressing is by minute changes in the covers or on the disc itself. For example, the Rolling Stones LP Big Hits (Hightide and Green Grass) is worth £40 if it has five lines of small text on the cover and £8,000 if it only has two lines of text. Buddy Holly's EP Listen to Me is £40 if he is wearing glasses and £350 without.

The most likely fans to own six-figure-value collections, unknowingly, are journalists or DJs who have stacks of review copies and promotional material.

Kevin Greening, a former presenter of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, has thousands of vinyl records thanks to enthusiastic record pluggers. "What disappoints me," he says, "is that records you really love or that mean a lot to you are always the ones worth 20p. I should be pleased because it means I'll never be tempted to sell them, but it still annoys me."

Another unique aspect of vinyl is the extraordinary range of categories within which people collect: there are, for example, 23 types of jazz, 20 of rock, 21 of pop and more than 50 of punk. A recent big favourite is easy listening, which incorporates mood music, lift music and 1950s crooners.

"Some records become more valuable because you have different groups of people vying for them," explains Mr Stanley. "With film music, you will have vinyl collectors competing with film buffs and fans of actors featured in the film, for example."

There are also obsessive classical music fans who regard CDs and digital recording with disgust. They will have rooms full of vinyl recordings of classical greats, including several different recordings of the same works presided over by different conductors.

Collectors used to buy records at fairs (there are about 50 vinyl fairs each month around Britain) or through Record Collector magazine. But the arrival of the internet, and eBay in particular, has made buying and selling much easier.

When it comes to finding gems, try rummaging in charity shops and car boot sales, although it is harder to pick up real "finds" as the public is becoming more savvy.

Many collectors befriend specialist dealers and hang around record fairs, auctions and websites to hunt down what they're after.

Play It Again

Prices

Anything from nothing at all to well over £17,000 for a special pressing of a Beatles record in mint condition.

More information

www.vip-24.com, the site for all the record fairs in Britain; www.legends.gemm.com, general vinyl site; www.allmusic.com, an excellent record source and database; www.birdpages.co.uk, a big directory of record dealers; www.recordfinders.com, vinyl hunting and auctions.

2004 events

11 September: Olympia Music Fair, Olympia, London. The country's largest selection of vinyl and memorabilia, sold by traders from around the world.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

    £35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?