Acoustic Sounds
By: Michael Fremer

March 21st, 2024

Hey! Records Are Hot! It's Time to Grade Shrinkwrap!

it's come to this

Heritage Auctions now does record albums. That's cool. But what they are doing in this area is anything but!

For instance they are auctioning an "early pressing" of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? Fair enough! But it's a sealed copy so they don't know if it's a more collectible "Tri-color steamboat" original, or an orange Warner-Reprise or a later Warner Communications copy, or where it was pressed OR ANYTHING. You cannot know without opening and knowing what's inside.

What's more, as anyone who ever worked in a record store "back in the day" can tell you many stores had shrink wrap machines in the basement where they'd take 'defectives', re-seal them and return the to the shelves if the defect wasn't major. Just because it has a "vintage" price sticker doesn't mean it wasn't re-sealed.

So what are they auctioning? Well it's been "slabbed" like you should do with a collectible comic book, which for a record is ridiculous and most ridiculous of all the shrink wrap is graded!!!

They are being "honest" in one way: the description of the record is: N/A. The cover: 8.5. The inner sleeve: N/A. The labels: N/A. The shrink: 8.5.

Wait, there's worse, the current bid for this record is $750!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • 2024-03-21 06:50:52 PM

    Josquin des Prez wrote:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  • 2024-03-22 12:35:28 AM

    Silk Dome Mid wrote:

    So true! When I worked at Peaches all the employees took home LPs to listen to. When they were returned, if they were, they just got rewrapped. Anything that looked old and tattered? Defects? Rewrap!

    • 2024-03-23 02:56:08 PM

      Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

      WHAT?? PEACHES!! I LOVED that place more any other store on the planet! Man, I miss that joint. Where, what, when, Silk?? (Sorry not trying to dox you.)

      • 2024-03-23 11:26:56 PM

        Silk Dome Mid wrote:

        I had a great, great time working at the Tulsa, OK Peaches in the late '70s. The chain suddenly hit the wall when the record companies realized they weren't getting paid. We had to return half of our stock to get any "product". A lot of money went to support the owner's "lifestye", aka the Heiman brothers and friends drugs.

        • 2024-03-24 12:33:43 PM

          gern blanston wrote:

          I loved that store! Grew up about 40 miles south and would make weekend pilgrimages to Peaches and Starship. I used those wooden crates for *years . . .

          • 2024-03-24 06:17:55 PM

            Silk Dome Mid wrote:

            I'm glad you enjoyed the store, gern. The staff was young and enthusiastic, worked hard and played hard. I learned a lot there. Still have some cassette crates and several shirts! They don't fit any more...

        • 2024-03-24 05:40:12 PM

          Silk Dome Mid wrote:

          A bit more on the time, record companies usually required payment 90 days after billing. Peaches, by promising to stock every store with a huge amount of inventory including many slow-moving classical and jazz titles, got 120-day billing. Then they didn't pay the bills until threatened with being cut off from new releases. Instead, they used the money to build or convert new stores! The whole scheme required opening a LOT of stores quickly, which is just what they did, but in the long run that plan was unsustainable. We didn't know all this until the Bee Gees released Spirits Having Flown in 1979. Our store got zero copies-we were cut off, and had to return half of the LPs in the store for credit. It took months. The chain only opened a couple more stores and staggered on for a little while before going out of business. The owners had a lot of fun, though...

  • 2024-03-22 01:54:31 AM

    Adrian Galpin wrote:

    AND, the sucker that buys it probably won't open it either, in case it 'ruins' their 'investment!'....what a world we live in!

  • 2024-03-22 03:27:51 AM

    PeterPani wrote:

    In the 90's I bought several "still sealed" records and nearly every one was not mint. Shrinkwraped is nearly a guarantee that the vinyl inside is something aroung +VG.

    • 2024-03-22 10:28:45 AM

      bwb wrote:

      So your sample set of several shrink wrapped records bought 30 years ago that were not mint proves that all shrink wrapped records are VG+ .. .. .. .. Really?

  • 2024-03-22 07:54:34 AM

    Optoman wrote:

    Next stage to identify the pressing will be to use non invasive methods such as X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy as used for analysis of the Mona Lisa. All getting a bit silly

  • 2024-03-22 11:16:33 AM

    Zaphod wrote:


  • 2024-03-22 11:47:52 AM

    David Parsons wrote:

    So you won't know the condition it's condition is in?

    • 2024-03-22 03:13:15 PM

      Silk Dome Mid wrote:

      Thanks for droppin' in.

      • 2024-03-23 04:09:39 AM

        tim davis wrote:

        Well played folks!

        • 2024-03-23 02:53:57 PM

          Jeff 'Glotz' Glotzer wrote:

          Insert crazed Jeff Lebowski face.

    • 2024-03-22 03:40:46 PM

      Anton wrote:

      It's the new Schrodinger rating system.

      • 2024-03-25 07:42:35 AM

        Dave Clayden wrote:

        Schroedinger's Tracks.

    • 2024-03-22 04:17:58 PM

      John Marks wrote:

      As far as I know, Mickey Newbury is the only songwriter ever to have four songs in the Top 5 on four different Billboard charts. "I Just Dropped In..." was one of those four songs: WIKI: "In 1968, Newbury saw huge success with four Top 5 songs across four charts: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" #5 on the Pop/Rock chart by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition; "Sweet Memories" #1 on Easy Listening by Andy Williams; "Time is a Thief" #1 on the R&B chart by Solomon Burke; and "Here Comes the Rain Baby" #1 on the Country chart by Eddy Arnold. This feat has not been repeated."

      His 1996 studio album "Lulled by the Moonlight" is some of his greatest work.


  • 2024-03-22 04:25:21 PM

    Composite Dome Mid wrote:

    Just axing for a friend - what would the market be for a shrinkwrapped One-Step copy of Lara Trump's "I Won't Back Down"?

    • 2024-03-22 04:41:53 PM

      Zaphod wrote:

      The same as the Trump NFTs but I do not think those were shrink wrapped?!?

  • 2024-03-23 04:03:31 AM

    tim davis wrote:

    $750? Sounds tempting but, I think I'll stick with dollar bins at my favorite local record store who shall remain nameless (Recyclable Records - Kannapolis, NC). At least there I can see what I'm buying inside & out.

  • 2024-03-23 05:54:22 PM

    Matt wrote:

    ...and what percentage of old shrink wrapped vinyl is warped!? 50% from my experience...

  • 2024-03-24 01:49:17 PM

    Bob Donnelly wrote:

    Please be aware of an Ebay seller who has an endless supply of sealed top titles. Many sporting "hype" stickers and price tags. It is a fraud. He has at least two different user names on ebay. Do you due diligence. All the top collectable record dealers will confirm, there is no collection of endless sealed Beatles, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, etc. or they would know about it. Plus, when he first started selling on ebay, I found a V.U. "Banana" LP he had bought by searching his feedback, it had a light stain. It later appeared in his "sold" items as sealed (for big $$$). It was reported and that site was closed shortly after only for him to reappear with a new user name. That was yaers ago and still going on.