Seven Tips For New Record Sellers On Discogs

Are you new to Discogs? Perhaps you are thinking about selling some records, CDs or cassettes on the world’s largest physical music marketplace. There are millions of completed orders each year on Discogs from sellers around the world. We’ve reached out to some of the most prolific sellers to learn about how they successfully use the platform. Below are seven of the best tips for new record sellers.

Don’t overcharge shipping; be fully transparent with prices

People dislike finding out they overpaid for something just about as much as they dislike surprise fees as they’re completing their transaction. Avoid both of these problems by disclosing all fees and shipping costs upfront, so they aren’t a surprise to your buyer later on. This will reduce your number of non-paying buyers (people who decide not to go through with the transaction after learning the shipping cost) while also increasing your amount of positive feedback. Both buyers and sellers want to be satisfied with their transactions, and this is a great way to start. We have made this as easy as possible for you by introducing a tool to set up your shipping policies. Learn more about it here.

Package your items well

It may seem somewhat obvious, but you want to be very careful with how you package your items. For shipping vinyl, consider getting cardboard record mailers, made specifically for this purpose. They can be a bit expensive upfront, but it’s much better than having to issue refunds when your records arrive damaged. You’ll want all pieces to be snug and secure in their packaging, as any movement could cause damage. Remove vinyl from their jackets, and don’t use bubble mailers or anything flimsy; even with stiffeners, your piece is much more likely to be damaged. Finally, write ‘FRAGILE – VINYL RECORD – DO NOT BEND’ on the outside of the package, for that extra bit of security. Check out our guide on how to ship vinyl records.

Communicate with your buyer at all stages

Good communication is key to providing your customers with a good buying experience. You want them to be able to ask any questions about your item before they purchase, you’ll want to let them know once you’ve shipped the item, and you’ll want to make sure they’re satisfied with their purchase. This will result in happier customers, more positive feedback, and more sales in the future. As a seller, it is important to be trustworthy and reliable. Clear and open communication with your buyers does just that.

Really, really pay attention to how you grade your vinyl

Grading vinyl, also known as determining a record’s condition, is one of the most important aspects of selling on Discogs. The grade given to the media and the sleeve not only helps determine the value of the piece, but it also helps a buyer find exactly what they’re looking for. Naturally, a buyer would be disappointed to purchase a vinyl graded as ‘Near Mint (NM or M-)’ and receive something ‘Very Good (VG)’ instead. This could result in them returning the item and leaving negative feedback for you, which will impact your reputation and how much you are able to sell in the future. Accurate grading is crucial to being a respected seller on Discogs, and doing it well will work out in your favor.

Set up an inventory control system

As you start to list more and more items for sale on Discogs, you’ll absolutely want to have some kind of inventory control system so that you can easily find your items when they sell. This could be on shelves, in boxes or online using the Discogs Collection feature. In the private notes section of your listings or in your Collection, you can write ‘Shelf 3, Box 2’ or something similar and then have this correspond to where you are keeping your media. It may take a bit to set up initially, but it will save you a ton of time in the long run. If you have multiple copies of the same piece but they are different versions or grades, it can be good to put them in separate boxes to avoid having to re-grade or shipping the customer the wrong item.

Use the notes below the ‘media condition’ to add more info

Using this section allows you to be more specific about how/why you graded a piece, how you did, and it can help give the buyer a better idea of exactly what they are purchasing. Buyers want to know as many details as possible, so using this section can increase a buyer’s trust while also making your listing stand out from others. It can also prevent problems from occurring after the sale since buyers know exactly what they are getting. Many sellers also listen to their piece, known as play grading, and note any problems here, which can be another strategy to increase buyer satisfaction and help you stand out from other sellers.

Check what prices other copies have sold for or are selling for and price accordingly

This is good advice for selling anything; you should check what other comparable pieces have sold for and price accordingly. Doing so will help you avoid getting too little for your sale, while also helping prevent your piece from staying on the market for months because it is priced too high. If you’re unsure of which price to use you should put in the higher price that you’re thinking of since you can always lower it if the item doesn’t sell. As most of you should know, Discogs is a great tool for determining the value of a vinyl record. Use public sales data to your advantage and sell more records!

If you still need help getting started you can check out our selling support articles here. Good luck selling on Discogs!

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14 Comments
  • Sep 13,2019 at 12:53

    Much more the storrage at home is of importance for new sellers. The first 20 items fit perfectly on your desk, followed by 50 records in a box under the desk. And you wake up when you have 250 items in the market place and you want put another 500 for sale. Unfortunately your items for sale and your collection are mixed in the meantime…

  • Sep 12,2019 at 21:34

    Set up an inventory control system!!!
    This is so important for new sellers – also be sure you can expand your inventory. New sellers often start with 5-20 Records for sale. Soon you may have 150 or 1500 records for sale and lost overview…

  • Sep 12,2019 at 17:43

    @Wolfi70

    In truth, SELLERS are responsible for delivery, and that includes lost packages, damage, etc. If you pay by PayPal, there is no choice about this. Sellers can claim indemnity in their seller terms all they want, but if they take payment through Paypal, this is utterly meaningless. They are not at liberty to alter Paypal’s terms of use. Everyone should know this.

    Think about it: there is really nothing a buyer can do to ensure safe delivery. Whereas sellers can make sure to package and address things correctly with proper postage, etc. That is why sellers necessarily assume all responsibility.

    For the same reason, sellers should have discretion over feedback for buyers, because buyers can abuse the system and make false claims of damage or loss in some circumstances, demand extra services from sellers, etc., using feedback as a form of extortion.

    Amen to your other points about sellers changing their terms after an order is placed, and being inconsiderate in providing information. For example, sellers that insist on registered delivery–which is expensive and often surprisingly inconvenient for buyers–and yet don’t see any need to provide buyers with tracking or label numbers for their packages. that always fries me.

  • Sep 12,2019 at 16:14

    One more thing: if you’re in the US, and a buyer’s order is under 13 oz., send the package First Class instead of Media Mail. It costs about the same, it’s faster, it gets better handling, and makes you look like less of a dick.

  • Sep 12,2019 at 16:12

    Agree with Ciaccona–there is no need for an “EX” grade, and too many people who use it end up abusing it. It becomes a catch-all, inflating grades up and down the line, with sellers giving grades like “EX-” and even “EX–” to items that objectively are nowhere near that. It means you wish it was in better condition than it is. I see “EX-” and I interpret that as “VG”. I won’t say I’m always suspicious of sellers who use it, but I’m always reassured of the seriousness of sellers who don’t. I it’s not NM, but almost, it’s VG+. Just accept it, and put EX in the notes f you just can’t help yourself.

  • Sep 12,2019 at 08:58

    Hi there-
    I am relatively new to discogs but do buy and sell a lot elsewhere as well. I am not sure what all the fuss is about concerning VG+/NM. Both discogs and ebay use the goldmine system which has very clear descriptors regards NM and VG+, and they flow well; there is no need for an EX under goldmine grading. There are other grading systems, sure, but Goldmine does not have an Ex. I think most buyers can figure it out. I certainly haven’t had any real trouble as a buyer or seller…

  • Sep 12,2019 at 08:22

    Me too agree with all the 7 points above, but let me say something more.

    The first thing is that too many times the grading of the records and cover is incorrect: a record is not Mint, although still in its original shrink-wrap, if the cover shows some bumps, creases or other external defects: a real Mint cover probably doesn’t exist, but I’ve noted that the Mint/Mint conditions grading is reserved to the copies which are not open, but a better look sometimes could be helpful to avoid some disputes after the delivery of the record.

    Second: I speak for myself (until today only a buyer here on Discogs), the most frustrating thing is the unclear shipping costs posted by the sellers, in many cases I’ve ordered items reading an amount for shipping costs and receiving, after the order made without contacting the seller (it wasn’t necessary, shipping fees were showed!) an invoice with an higher amount of shipping costs, this is unfair and I think that, if the buyer pays for shipping, he has the right to know exactly how much the shipping will be before he put an order. I’m sure that many buyers here don’t cancel the order just to avoid a possible negative feedback. In some cases I’ve opened a dispute on Discogs to ask for an help and a sort of “protection” in these situations.

    Third: generally, the buyers are less protected than the sellers, because the buyers pay for shipping (of course), they are assuming the risk of loss or damaged packages, the risk to receive externally good packages but with the items damaged inside, the risk to receive negative feedback if they don’t pay after some days (but sometimes the sellers don’t respond immediately), etc… That’s why I think all the buyers should receive a positive feedback immediately after put and paid for an order, what should a buyer do more? Otherwise, the sellers are waiting to give a feedback after the feedback received by the buyer, this is a sort of “arm” for the sellers the buyer don’t have.

    Third: the lack of communication from too many sellers: after an order, would it be so difficult to reply with a “Thank you for your order”? Politeness and communication are the first things when you sell something.

    Last thing: yes, the EX grading is really missing!

    Sorry for the long comment.

  • Sep 12,2019 at 01:28

    Yes agree with all of the above…. the difference between VG+ and near mint is too big. Please add ex.

  • Sep 12,2019 at 00:59

    Don’t offer buyers “postal insurance”. They know it’s utterly useless and even in theory only protects sellers, not them. So they assume you know that, too.

  • Sep 11,2019 at 21:41

    Not sure why there is no EX category either-if I have something I am selling here I will mention in the notes if I think it is graded between VG+ and NM and I always play test every item I sell. I also check to see what the item is selling for on other sites and one thing that is VERY important to check: if anyone wants it. If I see 0, I either hold it out for later placement or donate, depending on if anyone else is selling it or a lot are.

  • Sep 11,2019 at 21:29

    Totally agree with vinylshrine. There is a big gap between vinyl that is VG+ and NM. It would be great to have an EX CATAGORY. Also when receiving offers that are too low it would be good to have a counter offer option.

  • Sep 11,2019 at 21:10

    Thought this might be a good time to make this observation…I am a big seller in the UK (#31 by records listed) and cannot understand why you don’t adopt the RRPG grading system, that has “EX” as a grading above VG – 90% of my stock is “EX” (+/-) yet that option is denied me on Discsogs. Please consider amending your grading protocol to include “EX”

  • Aug 29,2019 at 20:09

    Step 8) Change your price by a penny every day and drive people who have the item on their watchlist insane

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