Selling records on Discogs may seem like a daunting task to a newcomer, but you can be well on your way after properly setting up your account and listings.
Here are essential tips to keep your first few customers happy and coming back for more.
Find the Correct Release
If there’s a singular point of confusion shared between both new Buyers and Sellers, it’s the considerable amount of variations a single album can have. The Discogs Database is unique in its comprehensive approach to listings; event the slightest differences between releases warrant a separate listing. For example, the Bobbie Gentry below shown above has individual listings for regional releases and different pressings per region.
While more popular albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours can have up to 500-plus edition, you’ll find that most albums aren’t quite as varied, especially when you filter results using the helpful “Find Your Version” tool, as seen above in the upper right-hand corner. Luckily, many of the differences between versions can be easily found if you know where to look.
Sometimes it’s as apparent as different label designs or catalog numbers, the presence or absence of a barcode, or a more recent copyright year listed. Pay close attention to your record’s dead wax, the area between the record’s grooves and label, for etchings of matrix/runout numbers and other comments. A specific example of this is the records cut by Porky, aka George Peckham, who would etch “A Porky Prime Cut” into the dead wax after the matrix number. For more information, visit our full guide for identifying information on vinyl records.
Finding the right release of your album is an important first step to properly setting up your listing as there can be large differences in sound and pressing quality. Keep in mind that most of these listing indicators are searchable in the Database, and you can even use the official Discogs app to scan barcodes, though you’ll still need to select the correct version after scanning.
Properly Grade Your Items
Before you grade that first record, think about the last time you bought an album only to have your first listen welcomed by clicks, pops, crackles, or skips. Remember how disappointed you were? Now, apply that same discerning ear to all of the records you’re listing and grading.
If there’s a surefire way to tank your Seller ratings right out the gate, it’s over-grading your records. Vinyl will always have some flaws inherent to the format, especially when it comes to the inevitable wear-and-tear of older and more frequently played records, but that’s no excuse to skimp on grading. Discogs uses the Goldmine system for grading, so learn it well but remember that record grading will always vary by Seller and Buyer; what is VG+ (Very Good Plus) to some may be VG (Very Good) to others, and so on.
Our resident expert Brent Greissle, AKA Diognes_The_Fox, has put together a guide to grading tips that all collectors should know for more advice and grading techniques.
With this in mind, further clarifying your record’s status will go a long way to avoiding any negative feedback or refunds. Your listing’s comments section can justify your grading and note any additional issues that may not drastically affect the record’s grading, such as inaudible but visible blemishes or slight dings to the sleeve. In my opinion, the more detail, the better as it both cuts down on any potential Buyer confusion and shows that you have a good understanding of the record you’re selling.
This goes hand-in-hand with properly grading records, as your listing’s price should be determined by both what the item is and its grading. While a VG (Very Good) and a NM (Near Mint) copy of the same album and pressing will demand different prices, certain variations may warrant a higher price despite a lesser grading. Much like grading, nothing is set in stone when it comes to pricing, so feel free to treat this as a learning experience and don’t be afraid to tweak your prices if necessary.
Luckily, there are quite a few sources to ensure that your pricing is appropriate. Of course, we have our internal system that gives you any specific item’s last sold date and its average, median, highest, and lowest prices of the last 10 copies sold. Sites such as Popsike, RootsVinylGuide, and GripSweat are other worthwhile sources.
Set Up Shipping Policies and Seller Terms
Shipping Policies ensure every item in the Marketplace appears with the shipping rate below the item cost. It also automates the process of adding shipping costs to incoming orders. You control which countries you’re willing to ship to and set shipping costs for each country or continent, offering as many methods for each as you’d like, from Standard to Track & Trace to Insured.
Now that Shipping Policies are required for all Sellers, the Marketplace is more user-friendly for potential Buyers, though this requires some initial setup on your end. You can check our Shipping Policies homepage for step-by-step guides to setting everything up, along with domestic and international shipping rates to many countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Additionally, there are some recommended Seller Settings and Terms that are worth setting up to ensure your store is running smoothly. Most of these settings are optional, but Seller Terms are necessary to set clear expectations for your Buyers regarding return policies, regional taxes, and other FAQs for you and your store. To learn more, you can view our help documents about the Discogs Sales and Transactional Policy.