If there’s one trend that I’ve noticed that’s really been on the rise during the pandemic is collectors spending more money than usual on items and often times more than the actual value. Although my philosophy is the value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it and I’ve never had a problem dropping top dollar to obtain what I wanted, I’ve been studying the market and seeing just how crazy it’s become. As a collector, you have to pay to play and I’ll definitely play but usually on my own terms and I’m one to stray away from current popular trends. Prior to the hype of everyone buying 45’s, prices were at a medium level with a bit of wiggle room to make offers but most copies for sale being relatively in the same price range. Post the 45 hype, staggering prices and having most of what I needed already in the collection, I’ve switched focus to collecting more Disco 12″ because the once high pricing for those have now leveled off with of course some of the more sought after ones still commanding big bucks.
The difference in how things are moving in the present versus prior is that there seems to be more people buying at the moment and in return driving up pricing. We’re seeing $50 45’s often times now selling anywhere from $150 and up due to bidding frenzies and Discogs prices on many things have become absolutely ridiculous. Much of this practice is the norm in other collectors areas like sneaker collecting, comic books or with fashion brands like Supreme but has never been the case as much in the record world (for the most part). So what changed? Is it that more people are at home because of the pandemic so there’s more opportunity to follow auctions? Have stimulus checks and unemployment payments become like free money and given free reign to spend like there’s no tomorrow? Has a bag of money mysteriously fallen out of the sky that I don’t know about or have collectors gone coo coo for cocoa puffs!?
For myself and many collectors, it’s about shifting gears and changing focus on what we’re looking for to keep our collecting fix satisfied without the need to break the bank. I’ve been digging in other areas and completing other sides of my collections which might have been neglected. But with the sight of seeing insane pricing in the market right now, it got me really thinking and understanding that if I was a new collector, just how much I would not be able to afford and would never be able to build the collection that I do now. As with buying stocks, it’s about buying low and selling high (if need be) but at the rate things are going, the bubble will indeed burst and those high prices being spent will only devalue after making items worth even less. Now of course, not everyone that collects does so with an investors mentality. A lot of it is for pure enjoyment or entertainment so in that case, money is just an object and a means of obtaining what you want but in doing so, it definitely affects the market.
So how have you been spending during the pandemic? Have you been more selective with what you’ve been buying? Have you been splurging on purchases like there’s no tomorrow or have you been investing in other areas that will retain the value and bang for your buck? Regardless of how you spend or what you spend on, as a collector it’s always about enjoying your collection first and foremost. That’s the beauty in why we do what we do.