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Brian Ellis

The Crazy World of Northen Soul Record Prices

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Two latest big name records to go for bumper prices on eBay over the past couple of days:

Bobby Kline Say something nice to me - MB - $1,925 = £1,069

Johnny Mae Matthews - I have no choice - Big Hit - $1,825 = £1,013.

Johnny M's Price Guide

BK - £500

JMM - £700.

Watching eBay is getting more exciting than the Antiques Roadshow!!

Brian

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Just seems to me that people are bidding even higher, getting carried away with the cheap dollar even though the eventual £ conversion takes the record value to a new high. And, unless a new stock of the previously rare record is found (which is highly unlikely) the eBay value sets the new benchmark at which people will need to bid (or pay) in future.

The record box is doing much better than the Stock Market !!

Brian Ellis

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The Ty Karim appears to be in much worse condition with felt tip all over the label and the vinyl described as 'having several surface marks'.

As far as people buying records in poor condition I guess they are coming to the conclusion that the real rarities are unlikely to come up often for sale in any condition, and with prices constantly rising there is a real feeding frenzy when they do make an appearance.

In some ways I can more understand people paying big bucks for absolutely genuine rarities (despite their condition) than I can for people paying over a £100 for such items as say the Futures, Ace Spectrum, Bettye Swann when there are confirmed high multiples of them about.

In the words of Kenny Thomas 'It's a Crazy World' (SuSu 12" 2003)

Brian

PS - A Kenny Thomas on eBay failed to attract any bidder at the opening offer of £9.99!!

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As far as people buying records in poor condition I guess they are coming to the conclusion that the real rarities are unlikely to come up often for sale in any condition, and with prices constantly rising there is a real feeding frenzy when they do make an appearance.

Brian

But the two records we are talking about seem to be cropping up at fairly regular intervals, if not on ebay, sales list???? How rare is rare these days? 10 copies, 50, 100, 200 copies?

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Have a look on e-bay tonight.Reissues of the Futures 'buy it now' £9.95(Makes the reissue worth twice as much as the original :-))))).Also reissues of Frank Wilson on Soul 'buy it now'.I can understand really rare stuff getting reissued,but come on,The Futures,I know Frank Wilson is so rare,but you can get the british issue for next to nothing.

What the f**k is going on?

confused,bemused,perplexed,puzzled

Pete

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All a big stupid game really and to be honest a lot of people are getting bored with it, some of the American ebayer's are loving this, pitty their grading of records is often way off and very different to ours.... records are for playing, know what I mean!!!

I paid £18.00 for Bobby Kline and have had at least three copies over the years, not as rare as people think but still a fantastic record.

There is a stack of titles which appear on ebay almost on a daily basis such as Bobby Reed, Troy Dodds stock copies, Kenny Sheppard, tons of Dee Dee Sharps - Deep Dark Secret etc. etc. there seems to be a flood of the market at the present time, but it will get better i'm sure, rare should mean rare but records turn up and the mother load can be found on any record so more a case of paying your money and taking your chance................

Keep it real - Mark Bicknell

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I agree with Mark, someone somewhere has stacks of 'rare' stuff and keep drip feeding them onto ebay, pushing prices way up. Ebay seems to be setting the standard these days doesnt it. The other point of course is that the inflated prices of certain records does not reflect the fact that they are rare, but merely in-demand. Soon we will see a price drop in the Futures just as we have seen with the likes of Ace Spectum et al, although some listings still ask £75-£100 for the Ace Spectrum issue - come on! A classic example that comes up on lists and on ebay now and again is one of my all time fave tunes The Deadbeats 'No Second Chance', huge price (if I could afford £800 for the one on JD's list I would have bought it!), but just how 'rare' it? Can anyone tell me as there seems to be quite a few around - or at least appearing. Now where's me credit card!!

Grant

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In response to Mark's comment about US record grading, firstly - Mark - hope you're well mate!! Haven't seen you for a while, so I look forward to seeing you around sometime.....

Secondly, and getting back on the subject, my experience of US record dealers over the past 15 years leads me to believe that, generally, the Americans have a far stricter grading system for records. The term EX (or Excellent) doesn't exist in the standard American grading terms, so the next drop from MINT- is VG+ (or VG+++, etc). Most of the time, I've found VG+ to be anywhere between MINT- and EX, and VG is actually above average. However, their G (Good) does means shagged!!!

I've only had a couple of bad experiences with US sellers on Ebay, but they both admitted to being newbie sellers. One described a record in VG+. When I received it, the record looked like the whole family had eaten breakfast, lunch and tea off of it (and the head of the household probably even wiped his bum on it!)!! I Emailed him to say I was sending it back and to please send me a refund. He sent me a refund by PayPal, but told me to hold on to the record!!! He also gave me positive feedback as an "amicable, understanding buyer"!! The other seller (also a newbie) sent me a record in flimsy cardboard packaging and guess what? NO SLEEVE!! Needless to say, it arrived broken in two. On this occasion, I scanned him the two halves, and he refunded my money by PayPal immediately!! I also put him in touch with Bags Unlimited, the best place I know in the USA to get 7" sleeves.

So just a couple of bad experiences with US grading/packaging, but both had an amicable resolve.

Gene

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I would love a copy of JMM but havent seen it on any lists but then again am I getting the right lists ? it surely cant be that rare .

If anybody knows where there is one up for grabs then please tell me so I can decide whether to sell the kids ( again ) or maybe the wife this time.............the problem is what price now ( is this now the new market price as set by e-bay ) or are there still sensible people selling them for what they are really worth.... no doubt when I find one the answer will come out but did you see the condition of the one on e-bay !!!!

finally the JM guide as already mentioned is only a tool but sometimes it makes no sense one way or the other......

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Who knows how many copies of the JMM are around - who is the absolute authoritative expert in deeming a record rare or that there are x number of copies? I guess a lot comes from rumour, legend and folklore, and comments made by respected names on the scene - but I suppose we'll never really know.

I know a good number of people who have got the JMM and it's exactly the same number who, like me, don't want to sell it!!

Apart from seeing this copy on eBay and one maybe 12 months ago I have never seen another one for sale. As for sales lists I'd be very interested also in knowing who is selling it and at what price. It's nice to know what your investments are worth!

Brian

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I find a good way is to work with one or two good/quality dealers that you know wont b***shit you, it is possible... and listen to what they say in that how many copies they have had through their hands, i.e. if a dealer says its not rare cos he has had 5 ( or more ) copies through his hands over a period of time,then without being gullible its a fair comment. also taking into account that if one dealer has had that many there are other dealers with as good as if not better sources who MUST have had a few copies as well.

Unfortunately what Brian says is the most relevant and this is why prices are going crazy, nobody wants to sell them !!

guess we'll have to wait 20 to 25 years till we all start dropping off then there'll be a flood of records on the market and the prices will crash......I'm gonna take mine with me

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...."Secondly, and getting back on the subject, my experience of US record dealers over  the past 15 years leads me to believe that, generally, the Americans have a far stricter grading system for records.  The term EX (or Excellent) doesn't exist in the standard American grading terms, so the next drop from MINT- is VG+ (or VG+++, etc).  Most of the time, I've found VG+ to be anywhere between MINT- and EX, and VG is actually above average.  However, their G (Good) does means shagged!!!"

My experience of buying from US dealers concurs with yours. However I would point out that it is the UK dealers who specialise in soul 45's who tend to grade less thoroughly. Generally I have found that UK dealers who deal in Rock 'n' pop records grade as strictly as their US counterparts.

David Noss.

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