Surf Rock Record – The Cre-Shells – Dracula

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip, Ebay Research, eBay Tips 19 Comments

I mentioned this sale in my previous post where I described how to embed a YouTube video into your eBay listing.

The item I sold was a vintage surf rock 45 Record – The Cre-Shells – Dracula.


Be forewarned, I am going to whine learn a good lesson. I left a lot of money on the table, and I hope that you’ll avoid my mistake!  Still, the sale was my highest profit yet on eBay.

Surf Rock Creshells Dracula Whining

Please put away the cheese. No whining allowed.

Try to buy in volume

As I’m wont to do while I’m out garage saling or thrifting,  I put together a bunch of smaller items (~60 records and some cool bar ware) and asked if they could cut me a deal. Sometimes it works (like when I bought my Fashion Bug Plus Jeans), and sometimes it doesn’t. It never hurts to try – you don’t have anything to lose!

This lady was a shrewd negotiator, but after some haggling, I got the lot for $25. I figured I could sell the bar stuff for ~$50 so this was a great deal. A few of the records did catch my eye, so I was keen on getting them too.

Don’t miss the diamond in the rough

Once I got home, I went straight to researching. Conveniently, the baby went down for a nap at the same time. Ahhh, timing is everything 🙂

Record by record, it was looking more and more like a flop. The most I saw any of my records going for were ~$20… and these were few and far between. Then, there was this one record that I couldn’t even find on eBay. Let’s just put that to the side for now until I’m done.

Well, I finished and still nothing great. Just a handful of (5-10) records for mostly $15 including free shipping. Yuck.  Not what I was hoping for, but this was my first time dealing with records like this.

After looking at the handful of records that might sell on eBay and the box of ones that wouldn’t go for anything, I decided to go back to that mystery record. I did another eBay search and found nothing again. I *ALMOST* put it in the donate pile. Then I happened to turn it over and look at the back. There I noticed the title on that side of the record – “Dracula”.  That made me pause.

Cre-Shells Dracula Surf Record

Vintage Dracula is popular. The name should jump out at you!

Google is your friend

With a quick Google search of “Cre-Shells Dracula Murecord” (ignoring my awesome YouTube video), Popsike is the first result. This site gave me a TON of information!

First, the record has some value. It sold for almost $300 in 2005! Now, that’s before the economy took a crap, so maybe it’s not worth as much. I plugged in the record title into PopsIkes’ search bar and found more!

The nice part about the Popsike website is that it contains the description from the original eBay listings. People generally pay WorthPoint a lot of money to have this service, and I happened to find a website that does it for free in the niche I’m researching.  Score!

And uhoh, there’s two recent sales in the $70-80 range. Oh well, what can you do? That’s still a pretty decent profit.

But as I read through the details in these listings, I started to get excited again. The ones that sold in that $70-80 range were either severely warped or had some hissing due to scratching. My record was in near flawless condition. It played perfectly (this is the most important part of record grading, but there’s a lot that actually goes into it, as noted here).

Surf Rock is popular?

When I think of Surf Rock, I’m thinking of the Beach Boys. From my research on Popsike, I was able to glean that this record was special, and used a lot of the information from their website in my own listing (please ignore the misspelling of “instrumental”).

Ultra rare surf instrumenta; Made in Pennsylvania. Highlighted in John Blair’s Surf Guide as an important, outstanding release!

Who knew? Apparently this sweet little old lady had a gem buried in her record pile. I almost threw out this record, but instead, I did my due diligence. I actually looked through each record and dug deeper when I couldn’t find anything on it at first. The tedious work paid off!  I’d say a good rule of thumb is that if you can’t find it at all on eBay, it’s probably rare…. or just really worthless…. It’s at least worth a 2nd look with a Google search.

Flip details

  • Purchase price – $25 (for the lot)
  • End Selling Price – $208.07
  • Fees and Shipping/Handling – $28.92

Total Profit:  $154.15

WOW! Now I only need to do that once a week, and I’d be thrilled.

Now, since this was my biggest sale so far, I’ll get to teach you the biggest lesson I’ve learned…

eBay Auctions are just like gambling – you’re going to lose in the long run!

Imagine that you are the gambler sucked in at the casino and the eBay buyers are the house. Really now, hear me out.

A lot of buyers take advantage of auctions and their low prices. Here’s a podcast over at Scavenger Life with a guy who buys rare coins from eBay auctions and then re-sells them as Buy It Now – all on eBay!

eBay got started with auctions only, so people think they still need to use that as the mode of delivery. We all imagine that there’s going to be a bidding war, but these are actually few and far between.

Auctions on eBay are good for ONE thing. Moving inventory. That’s it. If you don’t want to sit on a lot of stuff in your storage area, auctions are for you.  But that’s about it.

EDIT: I say below that Auctions are only good for one thing. This isn’t exactly true. They’re also helpful for testing the waters on a new category of items or just to get started on eBay. Thanks to Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions for reminding me of this!

Bonhams Auction House Cre-Shells Surf Record

Start high and let the buyer get close to you!

For those of us who would like to make a little more profit (slow quarter vs. fast nickel), Buy It Now is the way to go. This lets your item get seen by many more buyers, and you can add in that “best offer” option to entice people. Auctions are only there for a week. On top of that, you are basically saying, “Well, here’s the lowest price I would go, but really, I want more.” You would never do that when haggling.  Nope, instead if you have to throw out a number, you start with your HIGHEST.

SO how much did i leave on the table with my surf rock record? Probably about $100. There were a few records between 2005 and now that all sold for $290. If I could do it all over again, I’d probably set the listing up as a Buy It Now at $350 with an auto accept of $299.99.

I hope you only use the auction option to sell quickly, as I will from now on. Oh, and keep an eye out for some vintage surf rock! Who knew?

-Dollar Flipper

Photo Credit: Daniel R. Blume, Bonham’s Auction

Comments 19

  1. Grading records is like grading comics, coins or marbles. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can get crucified by picky buyers. I recently saw a pile of 45’s and passed them up with that downside in mind, but maybe I should have taken a closer look. You never know if a gem is hiding in there. You are right about auctions. They’re so not what they used to be. That being said I recently had 30 bids on a Disney Pixar Cars lot that sold for $61 plus shipping. I was happy with that.

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      That’s a great sale! Sometimes I feel like this whole eBay thing is a crap shoot whether I’m doing auctions or BIN… 🙂

  2. Is there a record site where I can get an idea of value? I see a lot of 45’s with great sleeves but am never sure of which is valuable.

    1. Post

      Other than eBay, I’d say that Popsike really can help you. Maybe do a search of some of the more valuable ones on that site to figure out what you should be looking for (genre, bands, era, etc.)? For example, here’s a search with “Rock” and sorted by price (high to low).

  3. Here I am, setting up my first ebay listings as “auction” and “buy it now.” Now I’m going to change them to Buy It Now! All except one … I have two dresses that are identical except for the size. I’m going to experiment with them by listing one for auction and one for Buy It Now. I’ll see how they do.

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      Oh no! Auctions are a good way to get your feet wet. I’m actually going to edit the post to note this. I guess I’ve been in the game a bit longer and don’t mind having an inventory. If you do end up having trouble selling the dresses, try putting them together as a lot! That’s always a great way to move both at once while save a bit on shipping.

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  5. I disagree in regards to the idea that eBay auction are a losing proposition.
    Many items that I list as auctions go for more than I expect, sometime much more. This is particularly true with some more rare or unique items that don’t have a lot of others available on eBay. With BIN, you eventually might get what you’re asking (or maybe less with an accepted offer). With auctions, you might eventually get what you’re asking (minimum bid) or you may get more.

    Basically, with BIN or Amazon listings, you are competing with other sellers to get the sale, and the competition usually results in a price war: Whoever lists it cheapest gets the sale. But with an auction, the buyers (bidders) are competing with each other to get your item, and this competition usually results in a bidding war. Yes, please.

    Of course, there are other factors that might make BIN appealing (often times buyers don’t want to wait for an auction to end and perhaps be outbid at the last minutes). I wrote a bit about it in my blog:

    I also wrote about why I’m not too keen on selling records on eBay:

    Flipping a Dollar is a great blog, by the way. I love blogs that actually offer insight and opinion of the topics related to reselling, rather than just a “what I sold this week” journal.

    1. Post

      Thanks for stopping by! I love that we can all discuss stuff like this, maybe get a little debate going!

      For my above record, I definitely should have sold it BIN. There were none on eBay recently, and they’ve historically held their value. Lesson learned.

      I feel like the BIN is an avenue for the people who don’t mind waiting. I know what the record was worth, i hoped for more, but started low to entice buyers.

      You make a good point about price competition for BIN. I am one who is going to list it and let it sit. I have space right now; I don’t need to push through all of my inventory. If it’s still there in 6 months, maybe I’ll re-adjust. Some people need to plow through inventory to keep cash flow going. I’m in a space where this is a fun side hobby. I can wait.

      Amazon is a race to the bottom with certain items. Most retail arbitrage items are definitely in this bracket. I still sell books on there when I get them, but I scan less and less these days.

      Finally, your posts are awesome. I’m glad you see the value of BIN! To quote you “It is better to not sell an item than sell it for too little.” Can’t agree more. I don’t like listing auctions at my BIN price. I’d rather the buyer make his impulse decision. 🙂

      Also, you’re so right about records. I’ve sold 2 and have a bunch more that aren’t worth much. I’m debating about giving them to a guy I know who sells records at flea markets just because I don’t want to deal with them. And on the shipoping note, they make special boxes just for records. You slap a “do not bend” sticker on it and it keeps it in great shape. That’s how I shipped my Beastie Boys Record a while back.

      Thanks for the praise! I’ll be adding your blog to my regular readings. I love trading info and I try to give some insight into why I’ve done well with an item and where I could do better. Haul pictures are fun but buying is the easy part…

  6. Wow, what a weird and awesome find! I’ve honestly never really thought of using the Buy It Now option. I use eBay when I clean out a room or a closet to make some cash instead of just tossing stuff. I set prices at .99 so they list for free and just see what happens… clearly I’m more of a gambler than an entrepreneur ;o)

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      Oh no!! Don’t just list at $0.99! eBay now lets you get a TON of free auction listings starting at any price.fee.html#free” title=”eBay Monthly Free Listings”>TON of free auction listings starting at any price!!! The free $0.99 listings is a thing of the past now. eBay is comfortable making money off of your final value fee (your gross sale, shipping + sale price). That way, you get what your items worth! Even if you’re not going to put it up for full price, at least start it at $4.99 or something like that to get a little more money out of the deal. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, you’ll actually end up losing money. At that point, it’s cheaper for you to throw it in the trash!

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