Beastie Boys LP – Licensed to Ill

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip 4 Comments

The more you go to garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores, the more records you’ll see.  They’re almost everywhere.  The tough thing is to know which ones are valuable and which ones aren’t.

And as an FYI, I’m still learning in this category.

The item that I flipped was the Beastie Boys first album: Licensed to Ill.

For anyone not in the “know,” the Beastie Boys were one of the first mainstream hip-hop/rap groups.  At the time of the album release in 1986, they’d already been touring with Madonna!  The group still toured as recently as 2009, with a new album in 2011.  In 2012, they had a member pass away from cancer (R.I.P MCA).  Basically, they’re a band that has a lot of content and is still relevant even after being together for 20 years.

I was able to purchase this album in a huge lot of records at $0.10 a piece.  This is not the norm!  Most times, records are sold at about $1 a piece.  Best part about the transaction was that the lady insisted that I can have them all, but would not give up on her milk crate that they were stored in….

This was my first record that I’ve sold on eBay, and here’s some of the information that I’ve learned from the process:

I don’t have a record player.  Because of this, my record wasn’t as valuable.  I couldn’t play the record and make sure there weren’t any skips.  I tried to take pictures and describe the record, but I knew that this album would not be going to a die hard collector who would spend some real cash.  This was most likely going to someone who wanted the record to listen to, not to sit on a shelf.

I can’t believe I didn’t crop this picture.

No major scratching on the record.

1st pressings are generally the most valuable.  Records would come out with multiple pressings, sometimes with new singles added on, and on several different labels.  Collectors generally want the first pressing or an ultra rare one.  For you and me, we have no clue what those versions are!  There’s too many to count.  For example, here are some differences that can be found on Beatles records: Capital, Apple, Green Target, Rainbow label, First state, Second state, Second
state peeled, number X on back cover, no number back cover, no number on
front cover, number X on front cover, number stamped, number raised….. it goes on
and on!  The tough part is trying to distinguish the differences quickly while doing the research on your eBay app.  Not too easy.

Finally, the grading.  Let’s just say that “good” is pretty much terrible.  OK, not terrible, but it’s considered good because it can play through without skipping.  That’s about it.  Things to note for the worth are scratches, warping, wear on the label in the center, sometimes even a small amount of writing.  This is someone’s “play” record.

More in depth information on grading can be found here.  

So to recap, the band is popular, still relevant, this was of their first album, seemed to be an early pressing, and finally the record was in pretty good shape. On top of all that, the record can be shipped media mail which has much cheaper rates than Priority! 

Here’s the #’s on this sale!

  • Purchase price – $0.10
  • End Selling Price – $33.99
  • Fees and Shipping/Handling – $7.31

Total Profit:  $26.58
Available Cash to go out and buy more: $26.68

I was really excited about the end result of this sale. Turning a great profit while learning something is always a win-win in my book.  I know that if I see this band’s album in the future, picking it up for $1 would be a smart move.  With all the differences in pressings, labels, condition, etc., make sure to keep your purchase price low. That way, even if you screw up and you can’t re-sell the record for a profit, you’re only out a few bucks.

And for anyone wondering, I received the following positive feedback on the transaction: “A+ Thank you!”

Keep on flipping!

-Dollar Flipper

Comments 4

  1. Can vinyl be shipped as Media Mail? Is it worth the time to clean a record? Excellent review, great sale!

    1. The intent of Media Mail is for “educational purposes,” but they don’t seem to put any burden on the seller to make sure that is how the item is being used. Per the USPS website 4.1.e , “Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.” Basically, you’re not allowed to have digital versions of songs/recordings on an MP3 player, but casettes, CDs, and records count.

      According to this very in depth record guide on eBay, you should be very knowledgeable about the record (i.e. make sure you know what it’s made out of) before cleaning! Since I have trouble figuring out which pressing the record is, I’d probably wipe it down with a lint free cloth and that’s it.

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